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As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Be Happy - Part 6

Updated: Jun 3, 2020

Summary of the book The Law of Happiness by Dr. Henry Cloud


People view their work in three ways:

1) They see their work as a job. It provides a paycheck and a living.

2) They see their work as a career. The purpose of the career is advancement to bigger and better things.

3) They see their work as a calling. The purpose of their job is for a higher purpose which contributes to the greater good.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the person that views their work as a calling is the happiest of the three. Where does a calling come from, though? Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God has placed in each of us a calling, and some of us might experience many callings throughout life.


As a Christian, I caution that you don’t make the mistake believing that your “calling” must only take place inside the church. This couldn’t be further from the truth. God calls us to take what we learn inside the church and go into the world. As one pastor told me, “I teach you every Sunday what God is saying, but then you take what you have learned, and you are the one that actually goes into the trenches on a daily basis.”


The author of The Law of Happiness makes an important point in helping people realize their calling. He says, “…your sense of calling comes from realizing that your life and your talents are gifts from God.” When we use the talents God has given us, we find true joy and happiness. Someone might be an incredible painter. When they paint, they feel joy and happiness. They are using the talent God has given them. They are living out their calling. We may discount our ability to be a great painter and wonder, “How can this be God’s calling on my life?” It really doesn’t matter if we know the “how.” God may choose to reveal to us how our ability to paint helps others, and He may not. What matters is that we are doing what we are called to do, which ultimately makes us happy.


So, my question to you is, “What makes you happy?” It’s usually not hard to figure out. My husband, who works in the investment world, loves using this extreme example when talking with young people who are trying to figure out their future. He says, “Figure out what you love to do in life, then figure out a way to make money at it. Not the other way around. Don’t chase the dollar. Chase the passion. If your passion is spending all day on the beach, then save enough money to get yourself down to one of the Caribbean islands and buy a jet ski. Start renting out that jet ski. Soon, you will have enough money to buy two jet skis. Eventually, you will have a nice business and, guess what? You are living on the beach all day. You may be living in a shack and eating beans while you try to survive, but you will be fulfilled and happy, because you chased your passion.”


The point of this example is to follow your heart. If we are following our heart, then we are most likely following the path God has set before us. When we are in the center of God’s will and doing the work He has planned for us, then we find true joy. When we live with true joy, we act as God’s hands and feet to minister to the world around us.


Many people, especially women, minimize the work they do. Whether we are full-time volunteers, businesswomen or stay-at-home moms, we often fall into the trap of thinking our work is trivial. Or, that we are not making a difference. If we are doing what God has called us to do, though, then we ARE making a difference.

There are seasons in life. Some of you reading this post are still in your teen years. Others are newlyweds, and many are on the other side of the empty nest. I want to specifically say to the moms who are in their child-rearing years, “You are awesome, and you are irreplaceable!” Your days consist of running errands, doing laundry, making dinner and keeping the house from falling apart. Many hold a full-time job to help ends meet. These moms spend the few precious hours they have doing what others want them to do, instead of fulfilling their own dreams. If they are stay-at-home moms, they can oftentimes feel a void in their mental stimulation. They can get caught in the trap of feeling like their work doesn’t matter. Yet, they know this is where God has placed them, and if they are honest with themselves, they love what they are doing. We are truly happy being moms, because we are living our calling.


I used this story in another post, but it’s worth repeating. “When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town, so I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.” –An Unknown Monk (1100 A.D.)


Moms, you can change the world by first, working on the things in your life that need to be worked on, and then, through your positive influence, help enact change in your family! What you do is not trivial, it is powerful. Dr. Cloud says, “When we realize that we are working for God, every task becomes significant and meaningful. We are stewards over his gifts, and we each have a calling.” And I will remind you, our families are a gift, and we need to take our role seriously. Figure out your passion, follow your passion, and live the life God created you to live!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou


(link to Be Happy - Part 7)

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