New On The Blog

A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

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. 

  • Patti Hatton

Couples Counseling Benefits



Q: What are the benefits of therapy and counseling, and how do I remove the negative image my spouse has around couple’s counseling? When do you know it is time to seek therapy as opposed to just asking advice?


A: Such good questions! Mental health experts have been tirelessly working to demystify the shameful stigma associated with the mental health community. Elderly patients with terminal illnesses have been known to refuse to take an antidepressant because they feel shame admitting they are experiencing low moods and irritability. Go figure! Seems somewhat normal to struggle with low moods and irritability when confronted with a terminal illness and wise to use resources to overcome emotional physical pain. Scripture tells us that the Apostle Paul “learned” to be content in all circumstances. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”-Philippians 4:11-13.


Just like Paul, we have many things to learn about navigating life’s twists and turns. Statistics tell us that persons seeking psychotherapy have higher levels of education than ever before. Consulting an expert when facing trials or for encouragement and inspiration is a smart thing to do. Successful people run towards resources to help with life’s struggles, not away from them. A licensed professional counselor’s role is not to tell you what to do, but instead to listen reflectively to create self-awareness and to aid in establishing and achieving goals. We cannot change what we will not acknowledge, and goals are accomplished in a series of defined steps.


If someone were to ask your children how their parents resolve conflict, what would they say? Chances are, they would not have an answer. Just like there are specific steps to learn to dance a waltz and specific steps to learn to dance a tango, there are specific steps to learn to resolve conflict and specific steps to learn to connect on a deep, emotional level. Do you know these steps? Dr. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute says, “Couples do not divorce necessarily because they fall out of love, couples divorce because they never ‘learned’ how to resolve their problems.”


Couple’s counseling offers a platform to learn vital skills needed for a healthy and intimate marriage relationship, namely healthy communication, and conflict resolution. It also teaches things like common differences between men and women, ways to strengthen a relationship, ways to prevent erosion in a relationship, how to take responsibility for “your side of the street,” how to appreciate personality differences and so much more! We all bring baggage into our marriages from childhood experiences, and counseling offers a venue for resolving issues that hamper our emotional wellbeing. Another option is to find a church that offers marriage counseling, through on-staff counselors, or by way of a married Bible study class. A marriage class is extremely beneficial. You receive the tools needed to have a successful marriage, while at the same time developing friendships with others in your same stage of life and who are also like-minded. A good marriage surrounds itself with other healthy relationships.


Do not let pride stand in the way of taking necessary steps to grow and learn to create a fulfilling relationship with your spouse. God warns us in only four words what happens to those who hang onto pride. “Pride goes before destruction…” -Proverbs 16:18. Successful people do not run away from learning the skills needed to be in a healthy relationship, they run towards them. Good marriages do not “just happen,” rather, they evolve from learning how to resolve problems and connect in meaningful ways.


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com