New On The Blog

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. 

  • Lisa Lou

Understanding the Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law Relationship Part 1

Updated: Mar 3


Cecelia and I filming our MILDIL video


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.


We have all heard of the dreaded mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. Comedians tell jokes about it, shows have highlighted it, and hundreds of books have been written about it. No wonder some women grow up fearing their future mother-in-law, and why some mothers look on their future daughter-in-law as a foreign invader into their already established family.


My question has always been, “But, why?” Why does a relationship, that should be one of the most precious in a family, cause so much anxiety and hurt? Is it real? Or is it a false narrative? My daughter-in-law, Cecelia, and I are on a mission to destroy this negative stereotype and tell women who find themselves in these roles that if you think you are destined for misery, you have been fed a lie. To see our vlog on the subject, click here. But for now, let’s take a deeper dive into part one of our three-part series on this relationship.


At Lisa Lou’s, we seek to point you to truth. God has given us an example of what the mother-in-law/ daughter-in-law relationship should be. It can be found in the book of Ruth, and It is a beautiful illustration of how God designed this bond to work. These two women did whatever it took to care for each other, even when the man that brought them together was no longer with them. They loved each other, they honored each other, and the key to their success? They both put God as the most important figure in their lives. To help us understand the dynamics, let’s take a deeper look into the psychology of the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law.


Side note: These names have always been too wordy for me, and we do not use the word “in law” in my family. So, I have coined a new term. Knowing our relationship should be one based on love, I have incorporated the Spanish word for love: amor. I have created my own nicknames. Mother-in-law is mamor, and daughter-in-law is damor.


Understanding the Mamor:


First, we need to understand why things happen the way they do in this relationship. There is a special bond that occurs between a mother and her son. It is like the father/daughter bond, but different in certain ways. A little boy’s first love is usually his mother. How often have we been told stories where a toddler asks his mommy to marry him? She is the love of his life. He brings her flowers. He holds her hand. The affection he shows is strong.


As the boy grows older, he begins to separate from his mother and move toward his father. He looks to the male figure in his life for guidance on how to become a man. This separation is part of God’s plan, and it must occur for him to grow and mature. The first separation between mother and son can be painful, although she knows it is necessary for the health of her child.


The second, and final, separation occurs when the son marries. This can feel like a death to the mother, but these emotions have zero to do with her future damor, and they have everything to do with the separation that is occurring with her son.


I remember when my son, Caz, proposed to Cecelia. The two had dated since high school, and Cecelia and I had the advantage of several years to cultivate our relationship and develop a true love for each other. If my son had not asked her to marry him, I would have been crushed!


When the day finally came, I had butterflies in my stomach because I was so excited. Yet I suddenly had a flood of emotions that blind-sided me. I was not prepared for my reaction. When my father passed away and I received the initial news while standing in an airport, I could not breathe. I felt as though someone had stabbed me in the heart and punched me in the gut. This same feeling occurred when the day came for Caz to propose. “What was this feeling? What is happening?!?”


Years before Cecelia and I had joked if she and Caz did not marry, I could still be a bride’s maid in her wedding. We were being silly in our conversation when I told her I would be the one walking down the aisle crying because she was not marrying my son. It is important for you to understand how close we are, and how much we love each other.


So, why did I feel the same way on this special day as I did when I found out my father had passed away? Because what I had just experienced was the exact same thing. Death was staring me in the face. The dynamics of the relationship I had with my son were about to change forever, and his engagement represented the beginning of the end of a special bond as I had known it.


When a son marries, the mother feels replaced as the most important woman in his life. She is pushed into a new role, whether she is ready or not, and she no longer has control over anything in her son’s life. He is now a man, and he has flown away.


Understanding the Damor:

Caz and Cecelia on a football date


There are certain things a damor also experiences when it comes to her mamor. When she first begins dating her future husband, she might sense the strong connection between he and his mom. As the relationship moves along and the couple become engaged, there can even be a jealousy that develops. The bride wants her fiancé’s whole heart, not just part of it. If she feels he is holding back a portion of his love and giving it to his mother, this will cause problems.


Once the son and bride marry, the new bride can often feel she does not meet the expectations of her mamor. The first year of marriage is wonderful, but it can be hard. Two lives are learning to become one, and there will be bumps in the road. Maybe the damor borrowed a recipe from her mamor to cook her husband’s favorite dish, but according to her new husband it “does not taste like mom’s.” The damor can feel threatened as though she is being compared, by her husband, to another woman. This can make her feel insecure in her new role as a wife, and her instinct might be to push her mamor away, dig her heels in, and make it be known that she is now the Queen Bee.


Now What?


Now that we understand a little of the psychology that is occurring inside the mamor and damor, what do we do with this newfound knowledge? Embrace the reality! Acknowledge that these are very normal feelings for both women. Each of them is going through changes and being pushed into new roles. If you have never been in this position, then you are having to learn “on the job.” This means mistakes will be made and feelings might be hurt, even when it is unintentional.


The greatest thing both mamor and damor can do is show grace! Do not just listen to the words being said but, also look at the actions. Take a hard look inside her heart and ask, “What does she really mean? What is she, deep down, trying to communicate?” This helps everyone be more understanding as we continue to foster our new relationship.


Be on the lookout for the second part of our three-part series as we take what we have learned and discuss practical application in our new roles.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou