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Always be prepared for the unexpected guest. Whether it is a friend stopping by after work or neighbors gathering on the front porch for an impromptu drink, here are a few tips so you are always party ready.

Whether you are entertaining overnight guests or friends just dropping by, the powder room is the one area all will ask to visit. Have you taken inventory of this part of your home lately? Make your bathroom boutique beautiful by implementing our top points below. 

May can be a crazy month with the chaos of end of school activities, home projects, and travel plans. But we need to hit pause for one day to celebrate the special mom in our life. With hearts of gold and putting others before themselves, we have gathered a list of ideas to help you honor the special lady in your life.

A few years back my husband and I attended a play that was an adaptation of the classical movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which originally starred Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy. It was a beautifully 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.

Giving a party 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 anywhere from $15-$100. What you spend will be determined by your relationship and the type of event. Is it a formal dinner? A backyard BBQ? Also, when possible, know the likes and dislikes of your hostess. If she is allergic to flowers, you probably will not arrive with a bouquet in hand.

1. Choose the table. Will you use a round that seats four or a rectangle that seats twelve? This decision will determine your centerpiece.

Warmer weather will be arriving soon, and I am seeing more of our four-legged members making an appearance in the dog parks and on walking trails. With pets taking more prominent roles in our lives, I thought it would be good to brush up on basic dog etiquette and ownership responsibilities.

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 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.

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.

  • Writer's pictureRebecca Steinbach

God’s Upside-Down Kingdom

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

“Whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it.”

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Matthew 20:26; Matthew 16:24-25; Matthew 5:44

God often encourages us to think in an “upside-down” way - love your enemies; lose your life to find it; serve if you want to lead. These things sound like nonsense compared to the wisdom of the world. With this “backward” thinking in mind, a friend once gave me the advice to try “doing the opposite” when having a frustrating day. For example, when your kids are clingy and you really want to be left alone, instead of trying to hide in the bathroom, read a book together or start a dance party. If you have bickering kids, make them work together on a task, instead of separating them.

Our family has a “kindness jar” which is a jar with chores written on pieces of paper. When siblings argue, I do not try to figure out what is happening or who started what, I just hold out the kindness jar and they have to choose a job to complete together. This might be vacuuming mom’s car, sweeping the garage, or washing the patio furniture. Once they start the task, it only takes a few minutes before they are laughing together again. One Christmas break I had my entire household to-do list completed with this method!

To add to the anticipation of pulling out a chore card, and to reinforce the idea that God’s grace saves us from what we deserve, there is one “grace card” in the jar. This card has a quick and silly task such as: “Sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star together.” The grace card always leads to a sigh of relief from the offending sibling, and the performance provides hearty laughter for the entire family.

By choosing the opposite of what seems logical, we can model for our families what it looks like to pursue God’s upside-down kingdom. It is a reminder to show love when we have been hurt, to put others’ needs before ours, and to choose humility when tempted by pride.

CHALLENGE: Sometime this week, choose the opposite of what seems logical and see how it goes.

Rebecca Steinbach

“In the Trenches” Contributing Writer

Wife, Mother of 3 girls, and avid travel planner!

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