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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Missy Roe

A Mom with 3 Little Ones: Entertaining vs. Hospitality

Updated: Oct 30, 2020



For those of us who consider ourselves extroverts, the last several months have been far from socially fulfilling. As a mom of small children, both my kids and I could really use some more entertainment and hospitality. So recently, I decided I should be the one to get the ball rolling and host a playdate!

First thing to remember, “entertainment” will be provided by your children and the little ones coming to your home. Now you are halfway there! All that is left is hospitality. As you already know, hospitality is far different than entertaining. It is funny, because I do not think I really understood the difference between entertaining and hospitality until about 18 months ago. Hospitality does not need frills. It is really about fellowship. And fellowship involves getting to know one another. What better place for someone to get to know you than in the comfort of your own home.

“I can’t do that. This place is a wreck!” This used to be the first thought that came to mind about having people in my home. I would think about my desire to have social interaction, how I would actually look forward to cleaning up the house, and then realizing how quickly the toys would spread across the room within hours of my tidying. It was overwhelming. But that is just the way things go in a house with little ones, right!?! Always being one to believe I can accomplish more than is realistic, I decided to just commit to gather with friends, and make it happen the best way I could!

Be willing to make the invitation and put it on your calendar! I have found there is a lot of good that comes from just committing. I now have something to look forward to, and I get to tell my children about an upcoming play date where they will make new friends. And, secretly, it gives me a reason to focus on some of the things I have been letting go around the house.

I have only had the honor of being called “mom” for about six years, but one of the most liberating parts is understanding that other mothers know EXACTLY what challenges I am facing and they are not there to judge me. If you approach hosting a play date with this in mind, it is far less intimidating.

I recall a couple visits to friends’ homes that made me realize we can entertain friends and still feel alright with having people over amid our “real life” living environment.

When my first-born was just old enough to interact on play dates, we visited a friend whose two daughters were ages 3 and 5 at the time. On other visits I had with her, the home looked like something out of a magazine. Everything was beautiful and in its place!! This time, I walked into her spacious foyer and past a dining table piled high with freshly washed clothes. Her kitchen island was covered with boxes of dry goods purchased at Costco the evening before, and there were dishes in the sink. It made me feel normal!!

Another experience I had did not even involve kids. It was a meeting of four neighbors to plan an event. During this late morning gathering I arrived to find my friend had taken everything on her kitchen table and shoved it to one end, making space for us to have our meeting. I was a little surprised at first. I have spent years racing around my house the last few minutes before guests appeared, stuffing things under cabinets and into drawers. But it was so freeing to know that she did not mind letting us see her true state of being. She had opened her home, made some coffee, and set out muffins from the grocery store. It was perfect! She was not going to let a few projects the kids were working on stand in the way of us gathering. That is true hospitality!

What stands out most in my mind is neither friend apologized for “a house imperfect”. In fact, neither referenced the areas at all! I loved it, and I decided I should focus more on what matters: fellowship, not the obstacles in the way!

I share all this in hopes that you will not stress before having another family into your home. At the same time, I work best with a deadline and it is often a great motivator for me to tidy up. I think the glory of it all is finding a balance where you are comfortable.

I love having people over! And perhaps I still run around picking up toys in the walkway and moving sofa pillows from the playroom back to the couch. But I no longer put off the opportunity to spend time with others because I do not have everything in perfect order. Enjoy entertaining but stay focused on hospitality. There is a difference!

Missy Roe