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At Lisa Lou’s we believe no table is complete without a decorative charger! These underplates, along with napkin rings, are the go-to accessory every tablescape needs. They can dress up, or dress down, the simplest of dinner plates. Just as we can change the look of a black dress by the accessories we choose, we can do the same to basic pottery with the chargers and napkin rings we use.

What is a charger plate and why are they used? Drop into any boutique that sells place settings, and you will see tables decorated with, what appears to be, exceptionally large dinner plates. Chargers, sometimes called an underplate or service plate, can set the tone for your entire look. This is the one piece in your setting that will stay on your table throughout most of the meal, and it is the item that will be most visible to your guests once they are seated.

“I don’t know what to say when I enter a room full of strangers!” I hear this quite often from people, including some you would never suspect had any type of social anxiety. Knowing how to engage in small talk is an essential tool we need to increase our soft skills. But before we learn a few tips, we need to change our psychology.

A duck on water. On top, it appears to glide gracefully over the pond, but underneath you see webbed feet paddling energetically towards its destination. When hosting a party, we may feel more like the duck under the water than the duck on top of the water. Throwing a gathering takes time and can be stressful, but our goal should be to reduce as much of these feelings as possible. Is this realistic? It can be if we get our priorities right.

When I read the words, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” I am reminded that as a spouse and a parent, our homes and families come under our leadership. We cannot control whether those under our roof accept Christ, but we can control how we act within those four walls.

Have you attended a party where you were enjoying (or maybe not enjoying) a conversation with the people around you, but you needed to remove yourself to speak to someone else? How do we graciously extricate ourselves without seeming rude. Here are a few tips to help you exit a conversation with style.

4. No one wants to hear your conversation. When you must speak on the phone in public, remove yourself and take your call in private. If you cannot find privacy, step at least ten feet away so you minimize the chance of disturbing others. No matter how private we try to make our call, our body language speaks volumes. Patrons enjoying a dinner out do not want to be disturbed watching someone throw their arms around while arguing on their phone.

​I am convinced we need to start thinking of our phones as a human persona. I do not care if you make it look like your spouse, mother, or college roommate. If we were to add eyes, a nose, hair, and a big smile to the front of our phones, we might begin making the connection that every time we converse with someone via text or email, we are allowing them to become a part of whatever we are doing.

  • Prostrate on the ground praying earnestly for those in his life.

  • Living on 3 hours sleep for months to build something special to improve the lives of thousands.

  • In all his busyness, never making me feel I come in second. Even when it means sacrificing himself.

  • Patti Hatton

The 5 Love Languages: Acts of Service

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

When David and I were first married, I could not help but notice the many unexpected things he did for me. I enjoyed having my car washed and opening the dishwasher to find everything had been put away. He did not mind helping me make the bed in the mornings, and I never had to remind him to take out the trash. My dad was the same way, so I decided this was normal behavior and took David for granted. However, overtime, I noticed David’s frustration when I went a few weeks without washing my car or I forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. I took the attitude, “It’s my car. Why should he care?” “He has other shirts to wear. Why did he need what was at the cleaners right now?”

But the message David was receiving was disrespect. Clean cars matter to David and putting his freshly laundered shirts in his closet on a weekly basis made him feel valued and respected. While I appreciated the things David did for me, I did not receive the message of “you are special to me” when he emptied the dishwasher. I considered it to be a part of sharing household chores. All I wanted were words of affirmation and quality one-on-one time with him. His acts of service did not mean as much to me, because he was not speaking one of my top love languages.

When speaking a love language to your spouse (or in any relationship), it needs to be in the language they understand. We speak all 5 languages, but some are much higher on our list than others.

If acts of service are tops for your spouse, consider asking them to make a list of 4 things they would love for you to do. What would make their face light up? Does taking the initiative to bathe and put the children to bed give your spouse time to read or detox after a long day? Maybe they would love for you to take the initiative to bring dinner home. When acts of service are high on your partner’s list, being proactive becomes important. Serving with a joyful heart is also part of the package. If they sense you are dreading the chore, the effectiveness of your gesture will wane. The 5 Love Languages are just that – loving through language. And your love must be freely given. Acts of service is one way to make deposits into your marriage bank which ultimately will foster healthy relationships.

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC