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Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“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. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

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.

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. 

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.

  • Lisa Lou

Common Sense



Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.”


Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture?

If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture. Yet, God says we have no excuse not to believe He exists, because even His invisible qualities He has made known to us.


I have never seen nor heard the artist that created the painting, but I KNOW he exists. We do not have to see God face-to-face, or even hear His voice, to KNOW there is a Creator.

“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense…” (Job 12:7-10 MSG/emphasis mine).

Friends, do not let the world tell you there is no God. Do not let the “elites” ridicule you. If God were not real, then why do so many fight against Him? Why do so many try to muffle His voice? If I spent my waking hours trying to convince others that Santa Claus was real, would anyone care? Would people rise to ban my voice? Of course not. Why? Because everyone would know that what I was promoting was not real. My belief in Santa Claus would not be considered a threat. Only something that is real can be a threat. If something does not exist, it is not a danger, for the simple reason that it does not exist.

I have always viewed the battle we face for our religious liberties as one proof there is a God. If He were not real, then why would those that do not believe in Him waste so much time trying to silence His voice? How can you defeat something that does not exist? You cannot. You can only defeat what does exist!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV).

I had the opportunity to listen to a well-known atheist, turned Christian, speak about religious freedom and the state of our nation. Before he became a Christian, his mission in life was to prove Christianity was nonsense. He might have described himself as an intellectual. He might have even considered himself as part of the “elite” that believed God was a myth. But God had other plans, and Dr. Harber now spends his life defending others when their religious freedoms are attacked. Below is a paraphrased summary of Dr. Frank Harber’s speech on religious freedom. Direct quotes are in quotations.

Freedom originated from God. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free…” (Galatians 5:13). To be called means someone must do the calling. There must be a caller. Who placed the desire to be free in the heart of every man? God.

We know the first gift God gave man was the gift of life, but the second gift was freedom. God intended from the very beginning for us to be free. Free from disease, disaster, death. It is hard for us to imagine, but in the Garden of Eden, there were no cemeteries, because there was no death.

When we are free, this means we are free to pursue happiness. Happiness is derived from freedom, which comes from God. There is a clear connection between faith and freedom, and when you take God out of the equation, we begin to lose freedom. Why? Because freedom comes from God. No God? No freedom.

The key to maintaining freedom in a society is trust in God. Once God is eliminated, not only does our freedom begin to disappear, but so does morality. Why would morality disappear? For the same reason freedom begins to disappear. God placed the desire for freedom in our hearts, but He also wrote His law of morality on our hearts. (Romans 2:13-15). Where do you think our concept of right and wrong comes from? Morality comes from God. No God, no morality. No morality? Any means to an end will suffice.

The elites, the intellectuals, see God as a myth. There is a great movement to ban God from our public square. When an atheist is faced with the reality of God, a common answer is, “’Well, that’s just your opinion.’ My answer? ‘My opinion rose again from the dead. He conquered death. What has your opinion done?’”

God will not be mocked. (Galatians 6:7). When we remove Him from the public arena, we, as individuals and as a nation, will suffer the consequences.

The “elite” in our society mock Christians. They say God is a myth. Prominent figures call us “nuts.” As God Himself says, it is common sense that He exists. God also reminds us that those that do not believe in Him have been blinded by evil “so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Ladies, it is time to make your voice heard. It is time to stand against those that ridicule us. Fight for what you believe, and fight with conviction knowing that you stand on the side of Truth!

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV/emphasis mine).

Together with you,

Lisa Lou