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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. 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.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Lisa Lou

Honor Your Marriage By Honoring God


Louie is 8 months old. He is still a puppy and has a lot of energy. Every morning I sit in my reading chair to study my bible, catch up on news and read. It is my quiet time before the storm of the day hits. I crack the door to the backyard so I can hear the fountain outside. I love the sound of running water. In the winter, I keep the door wide open. Our dogs can roam in and out and I feel the cool breeze. Last week my husband said, “It’s that time of year again.” I knew what that meant. The season was upon us where the door must remain shut. Not because of heat, but because of the wayward mosquitos that start hovering in our humid, Texas climate. They usually do not bother me, so their bite is rarely on my mind, but they are drawn to my husband like he is a walking honey pot. So, I gave my annual sigh, and told him the door would remain closed until winter.⁠⠀

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This morning, our 9-pound, 4-legged furball was exceptionally active. My husband had left for the office, and I thought, “I don’t see any mosquitos outside. I am sure it would be fine. I can just open the door halfway, and this would allow Louie to run in and out. It sure would be nice for him, and it would grant me time to read in peace.”⁠⠀

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Sometimes I just need to have a conversation with myself, and this was one of those times. After rationalizing my position, I then said, “But, I promised my husband I would keep the door closed. Whether I think there are mosquitos or not, I gave him my word.” ⁠⠀

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“He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” -Proverbs 10:9. I can pretend my great integrity was why I chose not to open the door, but there was a bigger reason. I was motivated to keep my promise, because I love my husband and want to live honorably. But what really motivated me was knowing that nothing I can do is hidden. “Would not God find this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart.” -Psalm 44:21. I gave my word to my husband, but I am accountable to God. ⁠⠀


I chose to keep the door shut. I lived up to my word. But even throughout all my rationalizing, what it came down to was, yes, I adore my husband, but ultimately, I serve God. And He is the one I want to please. “…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work…” Colossians 1:10.