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Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

  • 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

www.pattihattoncounselor.com

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