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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. 

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.”

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.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

  • 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

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