Tip o’ The Day

Tip o’ the Day ~ Meeting Your Man at the Door

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Tip o' The Day | 4 comments

If you happened to pick up the phone and give me a ring asking if I were home so that you could swing by for a chat in about 10 minutes, I would be thrilled! After all, you and I are friends! We’ve been through a lot over the past year or so as you’ve looked into my personal life on this blog. A few things would happen as soon as I sat the phone down though. We’re good friends, and you’re just dropping by, but I would want to make myself somewhat presentable and my house in less of an extreme uproar.

I’d probably head to the bathroom first, brush my teeth or at least throw a piece of gum into my mouth. Next I’d run a brush through my hair. It may go right into a pony tail, but at least it’s been brushed once in the past 24 hours! I wouldn’t bother too much with make-up. A quick 15 seconds of eyeliner and mascara should do the trick. I’d turn around the room, make sure there’s toilet paper on the roll and that the toilet’s been flushed. Next I’d head into my room and throw on a clean t-shirt and swipe some deodorant under my arms.  You probably wouldn’t mind seeing my milk/oatmeal/bean splattered shirt, but I have been wearing it for a little too long.

After making myself somewhat presentable, my eyes would scan the floor in the living room to make ensure that no large objects would trip you as you walked into the house. I’d clean a spot of the couch for you to sit, and maybe even light a good smelling candle or turn on my diffuser.

When you arrived at the door, I’d greet you with a smile and a hug. After asking if you’d like something to drink, we’d have a nice little chat. So, are you ready to come visit?

Each morning my husband leaves to work a grueling 8-10 hours for our family. As the day progresses, my anticipation rises knowing that the time of his arrival home nears. When he walks through the door, I know that he doesn’t care if the house is wrecked, my hair a mess, and my clothes unchanged since he drove away. He loves me and our home and family no matter what.

On the other hand… why should I treat you – a dear friend, yes, but not my husband and main earthly priority – better than this man who’s been working all day for me? Shouldn’t I show him more love, more concern, and more attention than others?

Matt calls me when he leaves his office each day. This gives me between 50 and 60 minutes to start dinner and tidy myself, Abigail, and the house. You may not have that much time, but at least you should have a general idea of when your man will be home. Does this mean our home and I are always looking spotless upon his arrival? Ha! No way! But I at least try to give a little attention to these things so that he can feel comfortable and relaxed when he walks in the door.

If you know your man, you probably have an idea of the things he notices around the house. Matt frequently comments when the dishes are done and my hair isn’t a mess. Toys scattered around the floor or the bathroom counter cluttered don’t capture his attention at all. I try to make sure that the former two things are taken care of as he drives home. If you’re not sure what your man would appreciate most, ask him! I also try to pray and have a joyful heart for my man. Sometimes the days are long and lonely at home, but I want to give my man a reason to drive to me, not make him dread the foul mood woman waiting for him!

One of my goals is to make sure that my husband feels safe, comfortable, and loved when he’s in our home. This doesn’t mean my home is ever close to perfect. It does mean, however, that when my hard working, hunk of a man comes into our abode, I’ve put in some effort to make him feel at home and sense my gratefulness for all he does!

It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.

Proverbs 25:24

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Tip o’ the Day ~ Empathy vs. Sympathy

Posted by on Feb 2, 2011 in Tip o' The Day | 44 comments

A while back someone asked me to do a blog post explaining the difference between the words apathy, empathy, and sympathy. These three words that sound the same, two of which have similar meanings, are necessary words for any vocabulary to include. After reading today’s post, I hope that you’re able to use them frequently with confidence. (If you ever have an interesting idea, whether a recipe you’re looking for, a grammar question, or a book or product you’d like to see reviewed, please leave a comment or send an email! I’d love to hear your ideas!!)

To begin, let’s look up a basic dictionary definition for these words:

Apathy: noun

  • Absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement
  • Lack of interest or concern for things that others find moving or exciting

Sympathy: noun

  • Harmony or agreement in feeling
  • The power of sharing the feelings of another, especially in sorrow or trouble; feeling sorrow

Empathy: noun

  • The intellectual identification or experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another

Next, here are the definitions in my words:

Apathy:

  • lazy attitude or actions towards something that should cause excitement or interest

Sympathy:

  • Feeling a deep emotion (usually sorrow) towards someone else normally during a trial or difficulty in their life

Empathy:

  • Feeling a deep emotion (usually sorrow) towards someone else normally during a trial or difficulty in their life because of a similar personal experience

Below you can read a few sentences using these three words:

  1. Although Jill’s parents were offering her a bonus allowance if she made an A on her essay, she seemed apathetic to begin the research and writing of this paper.
  2. My sympathies go out to the families of the service men and women who have died defending our freedom.
  3. Moving across the country can be difficult for a family. I certainly can empathize with teenagers having to leave their friends and begin a new life in another state.

In sentence one above, we see Jill being lazy in regards to her essay writing. Although this may be something she doesn’t get extremely excited about, it’s certainly is not something that she should just slough off.

In sentence two, I express sorrow towards families who have lost loved ones in the military. I can have sympathy towards them, but I can not empathize with them. The difference? I have never lost a family member in the military. Therefore, I do not personally know what it feels like to have someone close to me die in that manner.

Sentence three does express something I personally know about. I moved twice as a teenager to different states. Therefore, when a teen tells me that they’ve just moved, I immediately know some of what they’re going through.

In summary:

  • Use the word apathy when you’re describing someone’s lazy or nonchalant attitude towards something they should care about
  • Use the word sympathy when you’re showing sorrow towards someone in a situation you have NOT personally experienced
  • Use the word empathy when you’re acknowledging someone’s sorrow that you HAVE similarly experienced

Hope that helps! Please keep your ideas coming!!

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    Thanksgiving Tip o’ the Day: Think About a Thank You

    Posted by on Nov 2, 2010 in Thanksgiving, Tip o' The Day | 0 comments

    On a stormy June day in 2006 I sat with several hundred people at the unexpected funeral of my uncle, Bob Case. At one point during the moving service, my cousin’s husband rose to read several letters written by cousins to their step father. Each letter shared memories and love to this incredible man. As I sat listening, I thought of my own memories of my uncle and how I never would be able to tell him “thank you” for spending time with me, for taking me fishing, for letting me drive his golf cart, and for many more happy times spent together.

    At this moment I decided that I did not want to sit at another funeral for a family member or friend having refused an opportunity to tell that individual what they meant to me. And the Thanksgiving Thank You idea was born.

    Each year I try to choose one or more people who have influenced my life and write them a handwritten note expressing my gratefulness.  My goal is to share specific examples of how this person encouraged me in some way. Sometimes these letters are quite lengthy as I try to express gratefulness. I usually try to choose someone that I normally might overlook during a holiday or birthday. Meaning, it’s normal for me to communicate with my grandparents to share love and thankfulness, but I rarely pick up the phone to tell my youth pastor from eighth grade how grateful I am that he taught me the Word of God without wavering.

    I challenge you to do the same! Pray and ask the Lord to share with you someone who has influenced you to be the person you are today. Write them a personal note, address it, and mail it before Thanksgiving. Sit down with your kids, and ask them who they would like to color a picture for or write a letter to as well. Perhaps choose someone as a family.

    Here are some ideas:

    • Spouse
    • Parent
    • Pastor
    • College Professor
    • High School Teacher
    • Youth Group worker/leader
    • Childhood Sunday School Teacher
    • Friend
    • Sibling
    • Grandparent
    • Mentor you haven’t talked to in years
    • Extended Relative

    Remember, our lives are influenced constantly by those around us.  Take the time to give back to someone who has molded you into the person you are today. You never know when it will be to late to say “thank you.”

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    Tuesday’s Tip o’ the Day ~ Making a List

    Posted by on Jul 13, 2010 in Tip o' The Day | 2 comments

    One of my favorite things to do is make a list of the tasks I need to accomplish on a given day. I also enjoy making grocery lists, menu lists, lists of projects to complete over the summer, a list of things to pack in my suitcase for a trip, and lists for what to cook when company’s coming.

    And these are just the ones I write down…

    I’m constantly making lists in my mind for the order I’ll accomplish my “to do list” or a list of things to talk about when I call a friend or a list of the order I’ll approach a subject in Bible study.

    Maybe you aren’t an avid list maker like myself, but I guarantee that if you begin to make lists for simple tasks for your day, you will accomplish so much more! I’ve tried many different approaches to making lists, but the method I have pictured above is my favorite. (click on the picture to see a larger view.)

    Basically my method is list all of the things I’d like to do on a given day. I don’t write them in any order; I just jot them down as they come to my mind. Often, I will write things that are habitual daily tasks for fun (Bible, shower, etc.). This gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I check them off, plus it helps me remember to make time for them.

    Next, I take the numbers 1,2,3 and write them next to each task.

    • 1′s: Things that MUST be done today.
    • 2′s: Things I’d really like to do today.
    • 3′s: Things that would be great to do, but if they don’t happen, it’s ok.

    I then set out to do the things on my list. I try to stay disciplined to complete all of the 1′s before moving on to the 2′s.  Then, I must do all of the 2′s before moving to the 3′s. This simple method helps me to keep my priorities in check and finish the items that are needed not just the ones that are fun or can wait another day.

    The only exception to following the number system I allow is with time frames. For example, on my list for today I have “dinner” listed. I write this down everyday to make sure I do the prep work needed for this meal (set meat out to thaw, soak beans, etc.). However, since dinner often doesn’t happen until 7pm, I don’t wait until that “1″ is complete before I move on to doing my number 2′s.

    This method has been highly effective for me to use my time as wisely as possible throughout the day. So often it’s more fun for me paint my toenails and read blogs, but if I know those things will come after I do the more productive items, life is a lot better. :)

    What ideas have you found to help you be productive and organized with your time during the day? I’d love to hear about them!

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    Tuesday’s Tip o’ the Day: Words that Really Aren’t Words

    Posted by on Jun 29, 2010 in Tip o' The Day | 12 comments

    It has happened again. Yes, it took a few months. I finally succumbed to intense strain and frustration I felt as I glanced across my Facebook status notifications. This, my friends, is the result of that agony. Many people out there are using words on a daily basis that are not actually words at all!

    Horror! I know. The trouble is, you could be one of them! I myself struggled with understanding the spelling of a few of these “words” in the past. Today I am here to set the record straight – to help you become a better, more knowledgeable and competent writer. If you are one of the dozens of individuals using a form of these “words,” don’t sweat it. Be grateful that you too can be liberated from the grip of this beast. You can be free!

    Alright is not all right.

    The word alright is often used by people as a type of slang word or in conversation. However, this form of the word incorrect. Alright is technically not  a word in the English language at all. The correct spelling is all right.

    The definitions of all right are:

    1. yes; very well; ok. EX: All right, I’m ready for bed.
    2. satisfactory; acceptable. EX: You did all right at the game today.
    3. without fail; certainly. EX: I’ll make an A on that test all right!
    4. safe; sound. EX: Are you sure my kitty is all right?

    Today’s young people are trying to change the acceptance of the word alright into our English language by simply misspelling the words all right and using alright in its place for the same definitions.  In the years to come alright may appear in dictionaries and be accepted in college essays, but that time has not yet come. So until then, use the words correctly, all right?

    Here’s another word I hear alot.

    That’s right, fans. The word alot is not actually a word at all. In fact, if you search dictionary.com for the word alot, they ask you ever-so-sweetly if you meant the word alto!

    The definition for the phrase a lot:

    • Very many; a large number; very much. EX: I love you a lot!

    Because this word denotes the size of something, it makes sense that it would be two separate words. For example, we use the word lot to describe spaces – parking lot or a lot for a building.  When we use this phrase to describe a huge number, it is easy to see that we would not want the a touching the lot.

    I really hope this helps you all out a lot to see when certain words are all right to use and when they aren’t.

    Happy writing!

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    Tuesday’s Tip ‘o the Day ~ Traveling Tote

    Posted by on May 11, 2010 in Tip o' The Day | 3 comments

    (This is not my travel tote, but I think it's absolutely adorable!)

    Matt and I are not world travelers.  Maybe someday I’ll be one of those women sailing off on one of my many yearly cruises around Europe or scaling the tops of Mt. Kilimanjaro or camping in all of the National Parks of America.  Until then I’ll have to settle for seeing these places on Google Earth or by living vicariously through my Facebook friends.

    Even though the Hunter family does not travel extensively, it does seem like we leave home fairly often.  Whether it’s youth camp in New Mexico, Dnow in the fall, Winter Camp in the spring, Christmas at the family’s place, or a quick weekend getaway, plenty of times to pack a suitcase present themselves.

    And I hate packing.

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