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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

Gather Around the Table this Easter

Updated: Jun 3, 2020


My husband and I recently saw an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The performance took place at A.D. Players at The George Theater in Houston. It was a well written, and quite comical, story based on the difficulties families faced in the 1960s with inter-racial marriage. The scene that stood out the most to me was when the son was trying to bring both families together for dinner. In the last line of the last act, he turns to his father and says, “Dad, we need you at the table.” With that, the father joined the others, and the audience was left with the understanding that healing had begun.

Life has, and always will, center around the table. It is where families gather for celebrations and children do homework. It is where we pay bills, work on crafts and have debates. It represents a physical anchor that holds a family unit together. This is not some made up narrative created to give an inanimate object some type of meaning. The table has always been the center of life. It is significant for a reason, even if we do not fully understand why.

All we must do is search the Old Testament to see the importance the table has played. In the book of Esther, we find that the Queen of Persia was the only person that could save the Jewish people, her people, from death. At risk of her own life, she chose to approach the King and invite him and his prime minister (vizier), Haman, to a feast. It was during this dinner that Esther confronted Haman about his plot to kill the Jews. She could have used the throne to save the Jewish people, but instead, she knew the power of communion and chose a dinner party instead. The Jewish people were saved because Queen Esther gathered around the table.

We know the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. After many years and much tribulation, Joseph’s fate turned, and he became prime minister (vizier) of Egypt. His brothers thought Joseph was dead, and years later when they traveled to Egypt to seek food during the famine, they did not recognize their younger brother, who was sitting in a seat of judgement as decisionmaker for the land. After Joseph revealed himself and forgave his brothers, they celebrated with a feast, and gathered around the table.

In Acts 16 Paul and Silas were thrown in jail in Philippi for causing a disturbance in the Roman city. When the Roman guard ordered to watch over these prisoners became a believer in Christ, he released the two men, at risk of his own death. The first action the three men took was to celebrate with a meal, as they gathered around the table.


The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He and His disciples partook in the Passover meal. He explained to His followers that the bread they were eating represented His body and the wine represented His blood. These statements were to foreshadow His death that would occur the next day. Jesus spoke these words during the Jewish feast, as He and His disciples gathered around the table.

As we enter the holiest of holidays for the Christian faith, we acknowledge that Easter is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection, which occurred on a Sunday three days after Passover. In the wave of our pandemic, I read one headline that said: Easter and Passover Cancelled. That struck me as very strange. If I did not have a birthday party, does that mean I did not have a birthday? Easter is an event that happened in our history. It is not a festival. The thought of “church” being cancelled is also a flawed statement. “Church” cannot be cancelled when you are gathered with others. After Christ’s crucifixion, the early church was nothing more than a few people gathered together in worship. There were no buildings or fancy rituals. It was just simple, pure worship of God. The word “church” is from the Greek word ecclesia, which means “an assembly or called out ones.” Church never has been, or will it ever be, a building. The apostle Paul wrote, “Greet the church that is in their house.” Romans 16:5. Brick and mortar do not make a church; believers make the church.

As we gather this Easter, even if it is virtually, let us make the time with those we love special and fun. But let us also remember the significance that all our gatherings have and be intentional about bringing these important moments to our families as we celebrate life, together, around the table.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou