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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Lisa Lou

Top 7 Tips for Good Cell Phone Manners

Updated: Jun 30, 2020



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 that person to become a part of whatever we are doing.

If I am out for a romantic dinner with my husband, but I continually check my texts, the person on the other end of my phone has now crashed my date, and with my permission. When we are on our cell but the person in our physical presence is speaking with us, what is our natural reaction? Come on, you know. We have all done it. We say, “Go ahead, I’m listening,” while our head is staring at a screen instead of the eyes of the one speaking. By doing this we demonstrate we are not 100% present with the person across the table.

Think of it this way. If I were on a date with my husband, and a friend walked up to our table, would I leave my husband, even just for a few minutes, to spend time with my friend? Of course not. I would not allow my friend to crash my date. Imagine if my husband was in the middle of a sentence and I just walked away. We do not need to be told how rude this is. Not only rude, but hurtful. When we allow our phone to take us away from being present, we cease to remain fully focused on the person we are with.

Neuroscientists have proven splitting our attention among different sources makes us less effective. Contrary to what many of us were taught, multitasking is not productive. When we are talking with someone while simultaneously checking our phone, we become less effective in our listening skills.

These 7 tips will help you manage your cell phone while still staying engaged with your friends!

1. Put your cell on silent/vibrate and leave it in your purse. Only if you are expecting an important update you MUST KNOW NOW should your phone be placed in view of others. According to a researcher recently quoted in the New York Times, when a person checks their phone while in a meeting or social setting, the message they are sending is, “You are less important to me than my cellphone.” Checking your phone while talking with someone else is the same as talking with someone at a party but looking around the room at the same time. Your body language is saying you would rather be spending your time with someone else. Vicky Oliver, author of 301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions, states checking your cell phone when with a group is one of the top habits that can get you fired. “They know that while your butt may be planted in the chair, your mind is roaming,” says Oliver.


2. This tip really correlates to the one above. Keep your cell phone out of sight! An article was published a few years ago and the headline read: Mobile manners: How even putting your phone on the dinner table can convince your friends you don’t care. The piece was about two research studies conducted by Essex University. The researchers found just the presence of a mobile phone on a table, even if not being used, was enough to cause a negative impression of the person to whom the phone belonged. It affected closeness, connection with the individual, and the quality of conversation that took place.


3. If you are waiting on an important message that is time sensitive, most people will understand. It is important you communicate this up front. Say, “I apologize, but I may need to check my cell phone during our meal, because I am waiting for an important text/call from my son’s school.” Place your phone on vibrate and keep it in your lap. When I need to do this, I place my napkin on top of my phone so no one can see it. Out of sight, out of mind! If you do receive the interruption, excuse yourself from the table (if it is a phone call), or quickly check the text and respond. I remind the others at the table, “I apologize for texting, but the important message came in and I need to respond in a timely manner.” Do not get into a back and forth texting conversation. If this needs to take place, excuse yourself from the table, handle your business, and return as quickly as possible. If you have difficulty ignoring your phone every time a text comes through, I recommend using the Do Not Disturb automated text message response. If you have a relationship in your life that texts quite often, you might consider letting them know you will be unavailable for a while. Do whatever works for you but figure out a way to put boundaries around yourself so the use of the cell phone does not affect the quality of your relationships. In a business setting it is also your reputation that is on the line.

4. No one wants to hear your phone call. 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 10 feet away so others cannot overhear your conversation. No matter how private we try to keep a call, our body language speaks volumes. Patrons enjoying themselves at a restaurant do not want to be disturbed by watching someone with a contorted face throwing their arms around while arguing with another person on their phone.


5. If you do miss a text or call, once your evening is over, respond quickly to the person. If they are frustrated you did not respond right away, politely say, “I was having dinner with my husband.” No other explanation is needed. There is never a time in life you should be at someone else’s beck and call 24/7. If you have this type of relationship with another person, then they are the one in control of your time. You do not control your own time. The only people I am available for around the clock is my family. Even then, if they text while I am at lunch with someone else, I wait to respond unless it is time sensitive or an emergency. We have a rule in our family if it is an emergency, we pick up the phone and call instead of texting, because we have agreed we will not drop everything to check our texts. Do not let an electronic gadget keep you from being present in the moment with the people you are with.


6. Do not use the cell phone as a crutch. People can be uncomfortable in social settings, and instead of engaging with those around them, they hide in a corner and surf their phone. Although we would not want to live without this technology, the introduction of social media via the cell phone has caused society to lose a large portion of their social skills. This has become such a problem with job-seeking college graduates many universities have brought back basic etiquette and protocol classes to help their students become more successful when trying to enter the work force. Leave your phone in your purse and step out of your comfort zone. Make personal connections with those around you. A little small talk can go a long way!



7. One last tip. When it comes to family dinners at home, I suggest cell phones remain in another room. Or put out a family bucket and have everyone drop their phones in before sitting down. Mealtime around the table is vital to the success and health of our families. Do not let technology damage the precious few moments you have together at the end of a long day. There is not much I find more heartbreaking than observing families at a restaurant where the children, and Mom and Dad, have their heads buried in their phones. Little conversation takes place. Children desperately need quality time with their parents. This is not possible every day, but we should do our best not to squander the time when it does come around. Look at it this way. Imagine if you could spend a full hour, every day having quality dinner time with your child. What if you could do this every week, every year. Yes, I mean you do not miss one meal together until they leave home at 18. Even with all this time, which seems an almost impossible task, that would total only 274 days in the life of that child. Time is fleeting. We do not always need a lot of it to make a big impact, but God also warns us not to waste it. There is not much that is more important than being present for our families.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou