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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“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. 

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A How to Love Yourself

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Q: How do you love yourself? How do you stop comparing yourself to everything you see on Instagram? I recently unfollowed people who made me feel bad about myself. I began surrounding myself with more motivational and inspirational people. It made a huge difference.


A: We are all tempted to compare our lives with others to see how we measure up. While it is wonderful to gain inspiration, encouragement, and ideas from others, using our time and energy to live in a tormented state of envy or inferiority is just not worth it.


I use the hula hoop as a metaphor to describe what I own and what lies within my jurisdiction. Imagine a hula hoop around you and a hula hoop around someone else. Everything in your hula hoop belongs to you. Your hair is in your hula hoop. It is your hair, you own it, and you are responsible for it. You can cut, color, or do whatever you please because it is your hair. Your spiritual gifts and natural talents are in your hula hoop. It is your responsibility to learn what those are and to develop and use them to make a meaningful contribution to society. They are your gifts and talents. You own them and you are responsible for them. Your desires, feelings, ambitions, etc., are within your hula hoop.


Why would I use my time and resources to focus on another person’s hula hoop when I do not own anything within their hula hoop? If you look at it through the lens of the hula hoop metaphor, you can see what a loss it would be not to explore and discover what you own and do your very best to love, nurture, and develop those things. Think of your hula hoop as a pie chart divided into sections. Each piece contains something different. Spiritual, intellectual, relational, creative, physical; all are a part of you.


Ask yourself, “What can I do to grow the intellectual part of myself? What books can I read, or classes can I take to stimulate my mind?


What can I do to grow the creative part of myself?” Make goals that are small, specific, and measurable to cultivate wholeness and move towards success.


Scripture tells us in Psalm 139 that God fashioned and formed us in our mother’s womb. We were HIS idea and he has declared each of us to be “wonderful and complex.” God did not make a mistake when He created you. Learning to love and develop yourself as if you were your own best friend is your privilege and responsibility. It is a choice, though. You could choose to squander all that God has given you by focusing on what you perceive others have that you do not. God gave them their gifts for a reason, and he gave you your gifts for a reason. Think of your traits, your gifts, as tools. When we set out to complete a job, we make sure we have the right tools. A carpenter needs a hammer. A cook needs a stove.


God has given each person the tools we need to perform the work he has placed before us. Embrace it and be the best you that you can be. You were created, just as you are, for a reason. It is your job to figure out that reason. We should surround ourselves with healthy relationships, this includes on social media. Just as we would never consume poison, we should not consume destructive things that hold us back from the plan God has set before us. When you are old and gray, you want to be able to look back on your life and know you took responsibility for that which God entrusted to you, and only you. No regrets!


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com