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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.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A How To Motivate Yourself

Updated: Oct 22

Q: How do you motivate yourself to do something you love to do, or have always wanted to do? I have a new sewing machine that has been sitting in the box for years. What is the best way to begin?

A: To motivate yourself to accomplish a task, you need to break it down into small, measurable goals. Using your example of the sewing machine, let’s dissect this. Start by scheduling 2-3 times a week to address your desire to sew. As a suggestion, on M, W, F from 4 to 4:30 pm, you devote 30 minutes to setting up the sewing machine. On Monday, you take it out of the box. On Wednesday, you accomplish the first part of the instructions to make the machine function, etc. Do not go past the 30 minutes allocated. On a scale from 1-10, rate yourself on how you feel before the 30-minute ritual begins. Repeat this process after the 30 minutes is completed. For example, it is 3:45 pm and you begin to focus on your goal to sew. Are you dreading this? If so, you might rate your feelings as a 2. At 4p.m. you begin to unpack the machine. By 4:30, you have unpacked the box and you stop. Now, rate yourself again. Using the same 1 to 10 scale, you might rank as a 7. Why? Before you began, you had not accomplished anything. You just felt like a big project was in front of you that you might not know how to tackle. But after the 30 minutes when you have successfully completed the task, you feel good. You accomplished the one goal you set for yourself that day. When a behavior produces positive emotions, we are more likely to continue with the thing that caused the good feeling, because we know there will be a high return on our investment. Small, measurable, and specific goals are the most likely to be completed because they are predictable and manageable. With any project you start, begin by breaking the entire scope of the idea into bite sized pieces. Write these down. When you see that your big goal is nothing more than a bunch of smaller goals, it does not feel so overwhelming. It is the staggering feeling of a huge project that keeps us from moving forward. If you rank yourself low on several occasions after your allotted 30-minute scheduled time, you should re-evaluate how important the goal is to you. You might dream of making a beautiful dress, but the time you will need to invest is not worth the trade-off. This will help you evaluate how important your goal really is. We all dream big, but that does not mean every dream is to become reality. It is fine to let a goal go. Donate the machine to someone that might not otherwise have this chance. You will have done a good thing. When you do what you love, time flies. But when every minute feels like an hour, you may not be experiencing something you love. Find your passion, and you will be motivated to persevere.

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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