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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.

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.

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.”

  • Rebecca Steinbach

Eagerly Watch



“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”

Psalm 5:3


We all know prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life, but how do we do it when our families seem to have constant demands on our time? Moms should not stop praying, but we often have difficulty finding time for uninterrupted prayer. I am learning to let go of what I thought “prayer time” or “quiet time” looked like. When I was young, I was very disciplined and had consistent time reading my Bible, memorizing verses, and praying daily. While this provided me with an excellent foundation, I learned that my spiritual journey could change, along with my circumstances.


There is not just one way to connect with God. We are each unique and God speaks to each of us uniquely, in different ways at different points in our lives. Before becoming a mom, my prayer time was very structured and predictable. As my responsibilities grew, prayer time looked more like thinking about scripture while driving in my car, praying while rocking a child, or finding encouragement in children’s Bible story books and songs. Letting go of what I thought prayer time should look like, freed me to encounter God in new ways, in the everyday things.


More recently, I have been approaching prayer with no list or formula for the “right” way to pray. I try to come open-handed, saying, “God, what do you have for me today?” I usually do this while walking because my mind seems less distracted than if I am sitting. It is very freeing to simply ask God what He wants to show me and then watch eagerly for His movement. On a recent walk I tried this method, and as I walked, I was thinking, “God, the world just seems so heavy right now.” I felt God immediately answer, “Yes, Love. It has always been heavy, but I have always been in control.” Wow! If I had been going through my list of prayer requests, I might have missed this truth from Him! There is definitely value in praying for specific people and circumstances, but sometimes, just being with God and asking what He has for you, is enough.


Challenge: Approach your prayer time this week with no list. Just, “What do you have for me today?”


Rebecca Steinbach

“In the Trenches” Contributing Writer

Wife, Mother of 3 girls, and avid travel planner!

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