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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.

  • Patti Hatton

Capture Your Feelings



Scripture tells us to “bring every thought captive” and to dispute thoughts that do not agree with God’s truth. Thoughts that do not agree with God would be our rebellious thoughts. “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT).


How do I know when I am thinking rebellious thoughts? My emotions provide the “tell.” When I feel conflicted, convicted, less than, sad, depressed, or other painful emotions, I use a skill called “go to the balcony” for help to determine if my thoughts are rebellious or some other form of feeling.


When I “go to the balcony” I can look down, capture, and observe my thoughts. As I begin to analyze my thinking, I realize my feelings follow after my thoughts like little baby ducks follow their mother. Self-awareness is the first step to making change. Dr. Phil says we cannot change what we will not acknowledge. And Jesus tells us to “confess (acknowledge) our sins so we may be healed” (parenthesis mine).


"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16 NIV).


Some negative thoughts are blatant and easy to label as rebellious or going against God’s truth. Others require skill to recognize. There are patterns of thinking that can be learned to help us identify these thoughts, and we can change patterns of negative thinking when we become aware of them.


The checklist below is commonly used to identify dysfunctional thought patterns that cause internal friction. If you learn these patterns you will be able to identify and dispute certain destructive thoughts when compared to God’s truth.


CHECKLIST OF COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS

1. All-or-nothing thinking: You restrict possibilities and options to only two choices: yes or no. It is an all or nothing mentality.


2. Over generalization: You view a single, negative event as a continuing and never- ending pattern of defeat.


3. Negative mental filter: You dwell mostly on the negatives and generally ignore the positives.


4. Discounting the positives: You insist your achievements or positive efforts do not count.


5. Jumping to conclusions: You assume that people are reacting negatively to you without any objective evidence. Or you predict things will turn out badly without any objective evidence.


6. Magnification or minimization: You blow things out of proportion or minimize their importance.


7. Emotional reasoning: You reasoning is based on your feelings. "I feel like a loser, so I must be a loser."


8. "Should-ing” all over yourself: You criticize yourself or other people with “musts,” "shoulds," “oughts,” and “have tos.”


9. Labeling: Instead of saying "I made a mistake," you tell yourself "I'm an idiot" or "I'm a loser."


10. Personalization: You blame yourself almost completely for something you were not entirely responsible.


(Above points adapted from Feeling Good by David D. Burns, MD.)


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com