Jan/Feb 2012 FREE! Take One! www.iflourishonline.com facebook.com/designedtoflourish
Designed to Flourish aims to inspire, encourage and uplift the women of Hampton Roads.
Women’s Hearts of Passion We all have passion living inside of us. At times, it lies dormant. But then, like a whisper on wind, it stirs from within, jolting every sense awake. It’s like a chance meeting that we never want to end. Passion is our finest moments, heart and soul, commitment, perseverance. ROMANCE. It’s also being our best in our worst moments. Passion is us standing up TALL on the inside, looking racism and bigotry square in the eyes, undaunted. It’s facing cancer and kicking its butt. It’s taking on a challenge, making a life, TOGETHER. Painting, singing, laughing, dancing. Art. Looking inside and finding the hero. It’s the ignition that fuels courage. Keeping our vows. Nerve. Swagger. It is finishing a long way from where we started, baby. Bye-bye excuses, hello freedom. Passion is God’s gift of soul-fire to help us blaze a trail of beauty, blessing others and manifesting His smile upon us. It’s allowing Him to ignite our heart of passion, ladies—stirring us to take the first step across the bridge from the mundane and into HIS heart of passion for us. Let’s face our fears head-on—living our Godsized dreams OUT LOUD.—K.H.!
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
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Individual, family, and group therapy • Cognitive Neurotherapy • Parenting Classes • School Consultations • Medication therapy Sexual Abuse • Women’s Issues Psychological Testing • Medication • Military Issues • adolescence and adults • Alcohol/Drug Abuse • Problems • Diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children, Anxiety • Depression • Martial Problems • Learning Virginia Beach: Pembroke Western Branch: Churchland Norfolk: Downtown 398.2881 490.0377 622.2114 Comprehensive therapy for children, adolescents, and adults Newport News: Oyster Point Onancock: Eastern Shore Chesapeake: Greenbrier 312.8002 787.8448 873.0735
Helping people find peace even in the toughest situations. Most Insurances Accepted Including; Tricare Champus, Anthem BCBS, Cigna, Value Options, Optima and many others.
Editor’s Note Have you ever started to realize a dream that you didn’t even know you had yet?
I never was one to have that dream, or passion, of the proverbial 2.5 kids and the home with a white picket fence. I really just never thought much about those sorts of things. I was actually even more than a little confused by those who couldn’t wait to grow up just so they could get married. Married? Kids? Really? It wasn’t until sometime in my early 20s (after radically allowing Jesus into my heart) that some healing came and I therefore began to see some areas of brokenness. I had been damaged because the “picture” had been marred for me. You see, I was the child (who nowadays would no doubt have been classified as ADD) of parents who divorced when I was just 3 years old. Worse, though, were the intense and constant spankings and emotional abuse suffered at the hands of my mom’s then long-term boyfriend from ages 4-12. Combined, these things all took a huge toll on me emotionally. I was always “in trouble” and didn’t know why. I came to see myself as “bad.” Home wasn’t a happy place, and it didn’t occur to me to dream for anything different in terms of my future family life. So, the escape and adventure I thought travel and the Air Force could provide were what fueled me instead. (For some, the idea is instead that the “perfect” marriage will solve their void, which also doesn’t work.) Only our Creator can give us peace and shape our dreams to align with His since HE knows us each better than we know ourselves. Amazing thought, isn’t it? Thankfully, the Lord desires to restore even the most damaged of us beyond what we can even hope or believe for ourselves, putting everything in the perfect balance. He can put His desires in our heart, so that we can achieve the great plans He has for each of us. During my stint in the Air Force, my grand search for adventure was satisfied briefly, but it wasn’t long after that my world unraveled and the “hole” in my life manifested itself in an even bigger way. Thankfully, the Lord quickly captured my heart. It came at a time when I hit bottom, finally getting to the end of myself. Phew, I sure had made a quick, hot mess of things. But He gave me grace. Unmerited. Undeserved. Overwhelmingly appreciated, and the very thing to cause the fire in my heart to burn hot for Him from then until now 16 years later. Not long after giving my heart to Him, when I was in Bible school, the change in my dreams slowly took place. The catalyst was a wonderful family who took me under their wing. Seeing the “right” picture of this family in action changed my desires for my future almost instantly. I saw their love for one another, which gave my heart the wings to believe for something better for myself too; causing me to dare to finally believe in love, romance and motherhood. Through their unspoken teaching, I began to see that I had bought into a lie that such promises were either limiting or just plain impossible for someone like me. You know, someone “broken, with a past.” I’m so very glad that the Lord took the time to show me how very wrong I was! Now I can say (with tears in my eyes) that I am so honored and blessed to be the wife of a wonderful husband and the mom to three exceptional children (and that’s not just my motherly bias speaking). Not that there haven’t been some bumps in the road, but it’s us together, unified in a way only God could do. It’s amazing to me that the latch-key kid who couldn’t seem to keep from losing her key every other day is now actually entrusted with the health and spirit of three beautiful little souls. It is nothing short of a miracle to me, (and some others who knew me, I’m sure). And that, my dear sisters, is my point—that we serve the God who is still in the business of miracles. They aren’t always as radical as the parting of the Red Sea (not that He couldn’t or wouldn’t, mind you). But, sometimes miracles have much less fanfare. Though, in my understanding these “quieter” miracles still require the crossing over a bridge into the heart of God—leaving behind our marred self images, self-doubt, shame, lack and hopelessness. He calls us to step out from all that we know and understand and move into a place of beauty, hope, passion and fulfillment. Receiving the miracle may require us to give up those proverbial pots of meat (think of the exodus) and survive on manna for a while. But that land of promise, our heart’s desire, is still in front of us all for the taking if we will but put our faith, hope and trust in Him. If we can do that, then all we must do is watch what He does with what is the beautiful masterpiece that is each of our lives. I desire to see us all walk more fully into our passion and purpose in 2012, ladies. He is the one who is able to take even the “least of us to confound the wise.” I’ve been an example of it many times over, and know He wants to do the same for each one of us! So let’s not let anything – especially ourselves and old ways of thinking—stop us. We can renew our minds in Him, believe for restored “pictures” of our futures that are full of hope, love, passion and romance! Let’s believe and be free to walk this journey with Him!
“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever” (Psalm 52:8). Designed to Flourish Magazine is for Hampton Roads Christian singles, wives, moms, friends, daughters . . . women. It is for those aspiring to be all they were created to be—their most beautiful and fulfilled selves. It is for women who desire to sparkle with the light of Christ in their relationships, roles, finances, life goals and all areas of life. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). This includes being a Proverbs 31 woman! One Columbus Center, Suite 600 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-348-5664 iflourishonline.com Publisher/Executive Editor Kelly Head Senior Editor Cresta Shawver Senior Copyeditor Belinda Elliott Editors Nathalie Jeter Belinda Elliott Design Director Nicole Knight Graphic Design Assistant Chanelle Holloman Flourish Ad Design Francisco Afanador, Chanelle Holloman Contributing Writers Jennifer Avis, Rebecca Brittingham, Armeka Carter, Theresa Ceniccola, Belinda Elliott, Kelly Head, Nathalie Jeter, Cherie James, Hope Jordan, Dr. Linda Mintle, Lisa Marshall, Vierna Naomi, Cresta Brooke Shawver, Amy Volk, Dana Williams, Joy Wansley and Janet White Sales Executive Jenn Wakefield Special Thanks All the wonderful supporters, advertisers and contributors. Thank you!
Designed to Flourish Magazine is published six times a year by Flourishing Media, LLC. No portion may be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. The opinions of the contributing writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Flourishing Media LLC, assumes no liability for products, services or statements made by advertisers. The publishers reserve the right to refuse advertisements that do not meet the publication’s standards. Have your Designed to Flourish Magazine delivered for $18 annually to cover the cost of shipping & processing. Email email@example.com. All rights reserved.
In This Issue 3
Editor’s Note: Unlock Your Hidden Dreams in 2012
Christianity in High Heels: Can Today’s Modern Woman Really “Have it All?”
6 Joys of Style: Your “Unders” Got You Feeling Frump, or Fal-La-Labulous?
7 Got Guanxi? Local Fulbright scholar shares what
Chinese women do to succeed in the marketplace.
8 Silence Kills: Janet Dildy shares the horror
of her own domestic abuse and why she now advocates for local abused women with DOL’s.
9 Family of Seven: Two Pink Lines = Five? Gulp.
A story of despair leads to newfound strength and joy.
Mintle Heath: Keeping the Love Alive
Help us spread the ministry of Designed to Flourish! Please pick up extra copies and pass them along to the women in your life. Our goal is to steward the copies by getting them directly into the hands of the Christian women of Hampton Roads. Also, are we available at your church, Christian conference, Bible study or other event? We would love to be! Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for people with a heart for the Christian women of our community. We currently are looking for volunteer help with online media marketing, administration, proofreading and distribution. Come be a part of our ambassador program or an officer in our newly forming Flourishing Ladies leadership committee. Email email@example.com today. Please review the writing submission guidelines prior to sending submissions at www.iflourishonline.com.
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Smart Cents: Help! Where can I go for some tax 9-1-1? About the Cover Artist
implified Living: Four Tiny Tips for Organized Living & S Falling for Pink - It’s Now for Big Girls Too!
13 Mompreneur: Does your husband love your business too? 14
Find some “Zing” to help your love go the distance
Need to plan a “cheap date?” Hampton Roads has plenty to offer!
Know Your Hubby’s Love Language? Crack the code!
No More “Hating”: Let’s show our sisters some love!
Destination: France! Delish recipes to give
your romantic dinner some French flair!
Joella Skilleter is predominately a self-taught artist. For many years, she focused her attention on watercolors, as it suited her nomadic lifestyle. After settling in New Zealand for a number of years, she began to explore the acrylic medium. In recent years, she has developed an interest in painting during times of worship and prayer. Joella currently resides in the United States. You can explore her range of paintings at www.joellaskilleter.com
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Ramps Across America: is a locally based all-volunteer organization for those skilled and unskilled in carpentry who provide labor in constructing ADA code compliant ramps. Contact founder Judy Head, herself a bilateral amputee, at 757-327-0696 if you want to get involved. www.rampsacrossamerica.org.
Christine Kelby Photography
Christianity In High Heels
The Myth of Having It All By Blessedbabe I grew up dancing to the “girl power” philosophy of the Spice Girls, and by the age of 15, I had myself a plan to “have it all.” I wanted to get this powerful chick persona as early as possible—I would graduate at 20, become a creative director of a huge advertising firm at 25, get married at 27, and juggle between my cell phone and pushing a stroller with my baby boy by 28. I would, of course, accomplish all that while looking extremely fabulous.
Booking now for 2012
An article in the Harvard Business Review reported that “More Women Manage to Have it All.” The article reports that more women get advanced degrees today but “highly educated women are still less likely to have children.”
757.359.0257 firstname.lastname@example.org www.christinekelbyphotography.com
But of those who can have children, another study stated that “a third of the women said that the hardest aspect of parenting was being a good mother whilst also being dedicated in the workplace.”
Confident Faith Ministries New BegiNNiNgs
Confident Faith Ministries New Beginnings Women’s Conference March 9-10, 2012 The Founders Inn and Spa
5641 Indian River Road. Call 800.926.4466 for special $99 conference rate.
Featuring Praise and Worship led by Norma Bass Christian Humorist, Lisa Watkins Changing the world, one woman at a time.
Register by March 1, 2012 Send $30 nonrefundable fee to CFM, PO Box 2218, Virginia Beach, VA 23450
confidentfaithministries.com New Beginnings: A Study in Genesis can be a time of new beginnings and application in and for your life as we study the well known story of the creation and fall of man, touching on the fundamental principles of human existence.
“Having it all” (defined by carrying on spousal, parental and career-driven responsibilities while being extremely fit as a size 6 mom) has been called a myth from this same group of women who we thought would espouse this kind of ideal. Most of my good friends attest that having a child made them give up their shoe shopping therapy paydays when children’s diapers and tuition became the priority. What then, does it mean to “have it all?” Are we chasing a fantastic dream born out of HBO and a couple of chick flicks? The truth is, even though some of us are blessed with beauty, intellect or connections, each of us are given the same amount of time. In those same 24 hours allotted to each woman, we all need to prioritize what is really important. Some of us think that settling into family life and motherhood is giving up on excellence, but that’s just denying what we truly want. A Huffington Post writer spoke about this “myth of having it all” and said, “I looked at women who seemingly had it all and noticed that so many of them were so tired and overburdened that they did not seem to be enjoying anything. And when I looked at women who nurtured their natural preferences and abilities and made choices to support those, rather than chasing after all the ‘should’s’ in life, they seemed peaceful and actually quite happy. And these women seemed far more feminine to me.” When you look at it, we women are fairly simple creatures with basic wants—we want loved ones who stay with us forever whom we can nurture. For years, we have shunned this thought thinking this was just “settling” on something low and easy when they’re just the opposite. The real reason why we want them? It’s simple: God put them in our hearts. I don’t think it’s a shame to admit that. Surely, God has already destined us for a good future, one that entails us being true to things that matter, instead of one that has us chasing after a myth. I’m still believing in faith for a married future because God knows me well . . . even when I’m way past my intended timeline. And when that finally happens, I just know that I will still look fabulous. “blessed babe” works as a marketing communications professional in the Philippines. She’s also actively involved in organizing events for her local church’s young adults and market workplace ministries. Aside from all this, she’s a professional maid of honor, aunt, shopper and blogger. Her single Christian girl’s adventures are chronicled at www.christianityinhighheels.com.
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Joys of Style
Foundation Follies! I feel so pretty . . . oh so pretty . . . la la la la la la la laaaaa! Do you see it? Do you see the twinkle in my eye? Of course you do, I feel so pretty! And of course you may ask why, and it’s a little known secret that I would absolutely love to show you, but that would be really immodest, so I am going to have to tell you about it. And by the way, Victoria has nothing on this secret . . . if you get my drift. What is one thing that could make a girl feel like a lady, and a lady feel like a woman?! You got it—the unmentionables, the delicates, or as they are so fondly called nowadays, “the foundations.” The foundations are the beginning and the ending of a perfect feeling day. They make you feel beautiful from the inside out! According to Carla Mackie, director of operations and sales at The Full Cup, the right foundations will make any woman shop differently. She will be drawn to things she normally would never consider because of an ill-fitting bra. A bad bra will make certain tops/
dresses/sweaters impossible to wear, but the right foundations, especially a bra and panties, will cause you to walk a little taller with a skip in your step and a twinkle in your eye. Carla has some fascinating facts about women and their bra fashions. If you find yourself thinking “Wow, I’ve done that,” just remember you are not alone. Women tend to focus more on other things, so the perfect-fitting bra isn’t always a priority. 95% of women are wearing the wrong bra and 70% apologize when they go bra shopping for the bra that they are wearing. Ladies, ladies, ladies! STOP sacrificing your fashion and get fitted for proper foundations! Carla states that the bra is THE start of dressing. Why? Because . . . It changes the way your body feels. It may negate those aches, pains and dents in your shoulders you have had for so many years. The right-fitting bra pulls the breast tissue off your rib cage—and get this miracle—it makes you look as if you have lost at least 10 pounds. And who would not absolutely love to
The Perfect Fit: 1
Your bra should fit snugly around. You should be able to fit one or two fingers under the band comfortably. If you are tugging straps up or down throughout the day, then the band size (the # part of your bra size) is too big. •
Can you fit 1 or 2 fingers comfortably? If yes, then the band is the right size.
If you’re having a hard time putting one finger under the band, then move the hooks to the loosest fitting eyes. If it is still tight on the loosest fitting, then try on one in the next band size.
If the band can easily be pulled away from your body, or if the band rises up your back, then go down one in the band size.
Decision time: what are you going to do for your next special occasion to put that spring in your step and twinkle in your eye? The little somethin’-somethin’ underneath can just be for you and no one else. Remember comfort is key, buy your favorite color because it adds your personality and a splash of fun underneath it all and do look for different designs and fabrics that make you feel good. Carla loves the saying, “Once you are fitted you will NEVER feel the same way about your girls.” Hopefully, when I see you next you will be walking a little taller with a twinkle in your eye—and we’ll both know what makes you feel extra special!
The #1 selling color is nude, followed closely by black. We all like red, which is usually a seasonal color. The upcoming fashionable, hot color for bras is shades of blue (deep blue, turquoise). So ladies, be on the lookout for your trinket of beauty!
Styles There are three main style standards in the industry: Full cup covers the entire breast Balcony covers ¾ of the breast Low plunge use your imagination
Now, here is your homework assignment for 2012: visit Carla Mackie at The Full Cup and tell her that Joy sent you. And be ready to be pampered with the best customer service that makes you feel even more comfortable in your own skin.
Demi Strapless Nursing Corset Bridalwear (You want to feel sexy on your special day!)
The Full Cup is located in the La Promenade Shoppes in Virginia Beach. See www. thefullcup.com for more details.
Bustiers Now women are wearing them on the outside of their clothing.)
Enjoy your JOYS OF STYLE!
If so many women are walking around with ill-fitting “foundations,” how do I know if mine is fitting properly?
If you are wearing an underwire bra, the wire that comes up between the breasts should lay flat (or as close as possible) to your breast bone. If you are wearing a bra with no underwire, you should have two separate breasts, not just one big boob.
If the bra is a soft cup bra, you shouldn’t have any extra, gapping fabric. If the bra is a molded cup you shouldn’t have any extra room in the cup. Your breast should completely fill the cup. If it is gapping and the band feels fine, then go down in the cup size.
hear, “Girl, did you lose weight?”
You don’t want to be spilling out of the cup—not from the top, bottom or sides. If the band feels fine then go up a cup size.
If you raise your arms up (do this a few times), the bra should stay against your body, not lifting up or off. If this happens try a few things: •
Adjust the shoulder straps by loosening them.
Pay attention to the band. Is it too tight? Or too loose? Or just right?
If the band is just right, and adjusting the shoulder straps didn’t work, then go up a cup size.
If you have a small frame or are petite, you may have one of two problems. First, you find a bra that fits the band, but you don’t quite fill the cup. You’ve already tried the next cup size down and it’s still not quite right. Second, you have the “right” size, the band fits and you fill the cup, but the
wire is poking your underarms. With either of these problems, try a Demi bra. A Demi style bra is different from a full-coverage bra. The Demi has less wire, by about an inch or more.
Try on different styles of bras. Every style fits and fills differently and can “shape” your breasts differently.
If your bra fits correctly, it should NOT be painful or uncomfortable.
(information provided from 007b.com)
Flourish’s resident fashionista, Joy Wansley has a passion for fashion and an eye for style whether vintage or new. Her ‘Joys of Style’ will entice you and transform your thinking about how the world of fashion can be fun! Joy is a 20-year professional in the fashion/retail industry in areas of styling, merchandising, buying, sales, leadership, management, operations, brand marketing, coaching, staff development and consulting.
Local Leader Brings Understanding of Chinese Culture Hope Jordan
Almarie Munley (third from left) and colleagues in Hong Kong.
Dr. Almarie Munley, assistant professor of Organizational Leadership and Management at Regent University’s School of Undergraduate Studies, was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholar appointment to The Chinese University of Hong Kong for 2010-2011. Dr. Munley was one of only 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who traveled abroad in 2011 through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Much of Dr. Munley’s research is on the crosscultural role of women in leadership. Working with Chinese women allowed Dr. Munley to observe firsthand how much the women in leadership in the United States have in common with the women in China. Dr. Munley was
able to consider the recurring leadership themes —Passion and Energy, Dedication, Persistence and Commitment, Relationships Building and Compassion, Integrity, Authenticity and Honesty, and Humor and Humility—from Ladies Who Lead Voices of Authentic Character by Jordan, Derrick and Hunter (2008), which looked at the traits of effective leaders in educational leadership. The traits were shown to be pivotal qualities shared by those women in the study who rose to leadership in the US educational system. Dr. Munley was able to expand upon this research to determine if the women in similar leadership positions in China with displayed the same traits. It was noted that women in China exhibit their Passion and Energy through resilience. Their culture and heritage instill a belief in hard work, and they are fierce in the workplace. Their Dedication, Persistence and Commitment were evident as they overcame hardships and challenges. Women in China believe in raising the standard of excellence in the workplace. Dr. Munley notes, “I witnessed many examples of women taking personal time to finish work projects—at times they would sacrifice family life to take care of their commitments.” With regard to Relationship Building, one must understand the Chinese term guanxi. Guanxi literally
Experience, honesty and top-notch personalized service.
means “relationships,” and it stands for any type of relationship. In the Chinese business world, it is also understood as the network of relationships among various parties that cooperate together and support one another. This concept of cooperation and support is very important to understand. The Chinese business women have the mentality of, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” In essence, this boils down to exchanging favors, which are expected to be done regularly and voluntarily. Therefore, it is an important concept to understand if one is to function effectively in Chinese society. Honesty and Integrity as well as Humility are also an important part of Chinese culture. Dr. Munley found many of the Ladies Who Lead themes were as important to the success of Chinese women in the business world as they were to American women. In the next couple years, she will be working with a team of women who will be further investigating the Ladies Who Lead themes globally and expanding on what she learned while in Hong Kong. Dr. Hope Jordan is currently a Professor of Education at Regent University. Her areas of expertise and interest include teacher preparation, special education, global education, and leadership (particularly women in leadership). She has written and presented extensively.
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Silence Kills An Interview with the Daughters of Life (DOLs) by Dana Williams
he’s your sister, your friend, your neighbor, your fellow church member. Maybe, she’s even you. Far too often she sits all alone in silence, wondering if today will be the day that he kills her. Stupid,
ugly, worthless, no-good,” are the words that pour from her abuser’s lips straight into her heart. And she believes it. Every word. What happened to the love he professed just a short time ago? What did I do to make him so angry at me? she silently cries amidst the noise. She feels embarrassed, helpless and trapped. She is a victim of domestic violence, an epidemic involving the willful abuse by one intimate partner to another, reaching across all socioeconomic, religious, racial and educational backgrounds. According to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, this epidemic is one of the most underreported crimes, with a less than 25 percent report rate. But there is hope: the tide is slowly changing. Several local organizations in Hampton Roads are working together on anti-abuse initiatives, raising awareness of the issue and providing practical help to victims in need. One such organization is the Daughters of Life (DOLs). Led by the terrific trio of entrepreneur Denise Britt, musician and hairstylist Janice Dildy, and educator and trainer Charlene Winley, Ph.D., this two-year-old nonprofit exists to strategically bless families in crisis, many of whom are victims of domestic violence. Having partnered with The Samaritan House, who provides emergency shelter to families victimized by domestic violence, and the YWCA, the DOLs have only just begun their courageous mission. The origin of the DOLs happened quickly and organically. Britt and Dildy have worked together for over 15 years at Hair Fantasy, a beauty salon owned by Britt. Together they began brainstorming about ways in which they could reach out to help families in Hampton Roads. Enter Dr. Winley, a longtime client of the salon. Having been raised in a Christian home where her parents always looked after the needs of others, her childhood upbringing propelled her to join in with her ideas of ways to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Both Britt and Dildy have personal connections with domestic abuse. Britt’s father abused her mother. Her way of helping women to find their way out started with her volunteering and financially supporting Samaritan House—an endeavor she has continued with for over 20 years. Dildy was, herself, a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her first husband. “I was surprised the first time my husband ever hit me,” she recalls of the 11-year relationship. “This was a man who acted crazy, insanely in love with me. I had never thought about a man putting his hands on me, and when it happened, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a plan.” Dildy goes on to explain that each physical altercation got worse, and she became very fearful. Her ex-husband would often threaten to kill himself if she left him, and due to incorrect religious teaching, she believed that leaving him would be wrong. To make matters worse, she didn’t tell anyone, keeping the pain of what was happening to her a secret from her friends and family. “He would always apologize, tell me how sorry he was, and that he would never do it again. I felt sorry for him, and I was deeply emotionally involved . . . so I took him back.” Again and again. The abuse quickly began to escalate until the point when Dildy says she had a wake-up call. “I just knew. I told myself, ‘If I don’t leave this, I’m gonna die in this.’” Clinging to her faith, Dildy called out to the Lord. “It was like God was saying to me: ‘You’re not gonna do this anymore. I’m going to give you the strength to leave this.’” And the next time her ex-husband hit her was the last time. “He threw me on the floor, and my head was inches from the fireplace. He began choking me and threatening to kill me. I couldn’t talk, but I just remember calling out in my mind, Jesus! Jesus! I told the Lord, ‘If you let me live, I won’t come back.’” Dildy recounts that in that very moment, her ex-husband released her neck, burst out in tears and ran from the house. “It was like he came to himself.” Dildy kept her promise to God and left. She is now happily married to a man she adores and who treats her the way God intended. Through the DOLs’ experiences, they are not only able to empathize with a woman in crisis, but also relate. Their motto is “Ordinary women doing extraordinary things.” The group accomplishes this by providing women with help in a non-judgmental, loving and compassionate way. One of their proudest moments came when they were able to remodel the living room of one of the YWCA’s emergency shelters. The DOLs networked with local contractors, including the interior designer for Home-a-Rama, and produced a warm, cozy and beautiful space that families could actually enjoy. This is only the beginning for the DOLs. Their goals are to have communities of shelters in which families of abuse can live safely, receive education and training and live more productive lives. “We want to focus on the whole woman—physically, mentally and spiritually,” advises Dr. Winley. She also implores women to invest in an intimate relationship with Christ. “You attract what you are,” she says. “If you spend intimate time with Christ, He will fill those holes in you.” But above all else, find a way out. Tell someone. Because silence kills. Dana Williams’ life’s passion is to see broken people restored. She is currently working on young adult novels touching on social justice issues and inspiring readers to renew hope in God. Dana resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and four children.
1 out of 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Women account for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15 percent. Domestic violence affects a host of others beyond the victim (children, loved ones, witnesses and society as a whole). If you need help, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800799-7233 or The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474. www.ncadv.org www.dvrc-or.org
Passion for my Family of Cresta Shawver
n a Sunday morning last year, we got a bit of a surprise—two pink lines on a pregnancy test. While I can’t say I was shocked (after giving birth to four boys, I do know how this works), there was some panic there. FIVE kids??!??! Am I nuts??!!? What was I THINKING!?!?!! Of course, as the day went on, we got excited. Another one to cuddle, to rock to sleep, to nurse and love. (And maybe, just maybe, this one might be a girl?) How could we not be excited? At the same time, the reactions were not all happy, dare I say. “You guys DO know how this happens right?” was a frequent comment. Eye roll, but I must admit it “got” to me and brought up self doubt. How would we afford another child? So even with the excitement, there was that underlying hesitation or embarrassment, even in telling my family and friends. But it was not meant to be. Just eight short weeks into my pregnancy, I was struck down by a horrible event that comes in the life of many women—a miscarriage. Suddenly the opinions of others didn’t matter a hill of beans. Who cared what they thought!?? I just wanted to be pregnant again. The hormones took me up to the heights and then dropped me down to the depths. I went through about a 24-hour pit of despair where my husband was seriously concerned. The sudden drop of hormones in my system temporarily robbed me of my sense and left me a raging lunatic. Thankfully, I came out of that horrible place and proceeded to work through my grief. We knew we
wanted to conceive again as soon as possible, but my doctor cautioned me about trying TOO soon. So we waited. And waited.
It seemed like forever to me. My maternity clothes were still in the closet. I couldn’t bear to put them up. I’d need them again soon, I assured myself. Occasionally, I would run into people who didn’t know I had miscarried, and I’d have to tell the story all over again, dragging up that misery. The date I was allowed to try to conceive again was marked in red on the calendar. Those two months felt like a holding pattern. I couldn’t think or plan anything until I knew if I was going to be pregnant again. Finally the day came when that line turned pink. Again. And the fear set in. Fear of telling people I was pregnant again, but this time it was NOT because I feared their disapproval. This time I feared the agony of telling people it was over—again. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to trust God and control the fear. Mostly, fear of telling my boys, because they had been so disappointed with the first loss. As the weeks crept by, the fear lessened. When I passed that line—you know, the week in which I miscarried last time—we started to tell close friends and family. I made the biggest leap of faith, and we told the boys. Everyone was very supportive, even the naysayers, because they knew how hard this was for me.
But God is faithful. Every time the fear rises up within me, the faith comes up right behind it. For every fear, He sends comfort. At 16 weeks along, I’m now feeling the baby kick and roll, and every tiny movement is a reassurance from the Lord—Everything’s ok. The baby is fine. Stop worrying, and let Me take care of both of you.
While the “large family” concerns haven’t gone away completely, my focus is no longer on that. I’m just so thankful to be blessed with another child, I could care less how hard it’s going to be, or how society may frown on our decision to have a large family. I have a family, and that’s all that matters. I can’t deny that in my darkest moments of pregnancy-induced hormone surges, some of those comments still bring me moments of doubt. How WILL we afford this? Am I ok if this is another boy? Where am I going to find a minivan that seats seven? But then I stand up on the inside and remember the pain of loss. Surprisingly, the experience has brought me clarity and courage; strengthened my passionate belief that the Lord is happy with my decision to trust HIM with what we believe is our calling to have a large family. I can’t be afraid of what other people think when I’ve come through that Valley of the Shadow of Death. All I can be is thankful for God’s blessing. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this was HIS plan for my family, and it’s okay if it is different from His plan for other families. And if He is pleased with me, who cares what everyone else thinks? I know well the Psalm, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, are the children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame” (Psalm 127:4, 5). I will not be ashamed. When people say, “Oh my, are they all yours??!?” I now smile and say, “Yes ma’am! God has blessed us with four beautiful boys, and one more on the way!” (Not that I don’t harbor a small wish for pink. Just sayin’.)
Cresta Shawver’s first job is mommy to her four boys, ages 7 to 2, and wife to her husband, David. In her spare time (yeah right!), she is senior editor at Designed to Flourish, translating her mommying-skills back into real world usefulness.
Regent University’s Center for Worship presents:
True Worship: Writing and Stewarding Music for the Church Saturday, January 28, 2012 | 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. | $49
Linda Mintle, Ph.D.
Keeping Love Alive
Life gets complicated; money is tight. Be smart about your finances—and taxes. Not just for April 17th, but for your future. For tax and accounting advice based on unmatched knowledge, experience and education, contact Cherie James!
Small and new business specialist. Committed to understanding your unique business and individual tax needs. Responsive and accessible. Over 20 years of experience in the tax and accounting industry. Experience assistance and peace of mind all year long.
It begins with attraction. You see him across a crowded room and can’t take your eyes off of him. The passion that burns inside helps you overlook the fact that he can’t make a move without consulting his mother. Who cares? You are in love! And that initial desire burns intensely, rendering you oblivious to the red flags waving in the air. What you may not know is that hidden deep in your biology is a chemical concoction working to create this loving feeling. Your brain is being soaked by a love cocktail, a powerful combination of neurotransmitters causing you to feel romantic love. For years, researchers believed that this love cocktail wore off after about 18-36 months, explaining why romantic love burns hot in the beginning of a relationship and then simmers to ember stage. Without an understanding of the biology of desire, we can easily think something has gone wrong and join the Righteous Brothers in singing, “I’ve lost that loving feeling and it’s gone, gone, gone.” However, there is good news on the research front. Brain scans now reveal that romance can last—even past the effects of the love cocktail. In fact, we now believe long-term relationships can have that same passion as new love. Turns out that long-term relationships are less anxious and obsessive for the person in love (sounds like a good thing) and more calm and attached. When couples keep the emotional bond strong, their sex lives stay lively as well. And adding novelty to your relationship can reignite love. So all you potatoes get off the couch and sign up for a couple’s cooking or art class. Do something new to stimulate your relationship that breaks from ordinary life. New experiences stimulate dopamine in the brain, one of those love cocktail neurotransmitters that brings feelings of romance. This Valentine’s Day, forget the traditional candy and flowers and go on a picnic, get massages, or take a drive to a favorite romantic spot. Create a memory that strengthens the couple bond by doing something new to bring passion to your relationship. Romantic love doesn’t have to fade over time. It just needs a few more shots of the love cocktail! Dr. Linda Mintle is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing for over 30 years. Follow her on Facebook (Dr. Linda Mintle, author and speaker), Twitter (drlinadhelps) and her daily blog on Beliefnet.com (Doing Life Together). Join the daily conversation with Dr. Linda Mintle’s new radio show, Doing Life Together, KTALK, 1650 a.m., 1-2:00 p.m. For more about Dr. Linda, check out her website—www.drlindahelps.com.
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New Year, New You! Tired of failing each year to keep your resolutions to lose weight and get in shape? Optimum Life Fitness can help! Optimum Life Fitness puts the in personal training to help you get the results you want.
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It is tax time – again. How in the world can I determine the best tax professional to help me through my annual task of complying with the Internal Revenue Service’s complex (and ever-changing) rules and regulations? A CPA may be just what the doctor ordered for your individual and/or business tax return preparation needs this year. You might be surprised to learn that CPAs rank just behind physicians in polls measuring consumer trust and confidence. That’s because CPAs remain available year-round to assist with business and tax planning, complete continuing professional education each year to keep abreast of all the changing and intricate tax laws, and also abide by a professional code of ethics. If you own a business or real estate, you might want to consider engaging a CPA. Selecting a CPA is an important decision. It is an opportunity to develop a professional relationship and choose a trusted advisor. Take a moment to consider your current and future needs. Does your current tax preparer offer
other services that you may need now or in future years? Are consulting services to assist with personal or business decisions offered? If financing to support growth of the company requires preparation of financial statements, is that service available? As your business grows will you need a resource to provide referrals for a banker, an attorney, a business valuation, insurance, a financial advisor or a payroll service? Does the CPA have a network of professional resources and references that attest to his or her knowledge and reputation? There are numerous benefits to utilizing a CPA for preparation of your tax return. Just as your business and/or individual tax situation is unique, the specialties and areas of focus a CPA pursues are also unique. When selecting a CPA, the CPA should be interested in learning your specific needs and you should be interested in discerning the CPA’s areas of
Cherie A. James, CPA
expertise. This process will allow both of you to determine whether a good match exists. A CPA who specializes in your industry and is familiar with your unique needs will be able to effectively assist with your annual tax return preparation and will also be a valuable resource throughout the year. What is your goal for surviving tax time this year? Are you looking for more than a tax return, signed and ready to mail to the IRS? Consider contacting a CPA who is focused on preparing an accurate tax return and developing an understanding of your goals and unique needs. Look for someone who is accessible throughout the year to respond to questions, will keep you on track to meet specific goals, and is qualified to help with business and personal decisions. There are many options available when selecting a tax preparer. As you organize your receipts and tax documents this year, think about the qualities that are important for your tax preparer to possess. Cherie A. James, CPA is the owner of Cherie A. James, CPA, PLC. She offers audit, tax and consulting services to small businesses, not-for-profits and individuals. She is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), VSCPA (Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and TCVSCPA (Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 363-5887.
Why Resolutions Don’t Work and
Why I’m Passionate about Personal Training
At the start of each new year, we often find ourselves taking a moment to pause for personal reflection. We ponder our level of happiness, success or fulfillment in various areas of our lives. One area that almost always receives some evaluation is physical fitness. “THIS is the year that I will get in shape and get healthy,” we say. As the words cross our lips, they sound faintly familiar and, in our hearts, we know that they are still lingering in the air, unfulfilled since we spoke them last year. Dread begins to creep into our minds as we recall our past efforts to conquer this mountain that is fitness, and our hearts sink even lower. Determined to fight and overcome, we go to the gym consistently the first month, but then the motivation starts to wane and resignation sets in. Resolutions determined by the will alone are often not enough to bring about lasting change. I understand the pain and frustration of the internal turmoil between wanting to fight for victory and wanting to throw in the towel. I know how alone we can feel. Yet as believers in Christ, we are called to bear one another’s burdens, to love and to serve one another. We are called to live in community and come alongside one another to encourage and support. These are wonderful commands, since we all need help from time to time. My passion for personal training was ignited several years ago when I needed help and someone came alongside me and led me on the path to physical transformation and restoration. Knowing that person was going to meet me each week and fight for me gave me the motivation to press forward. After my breakthrough, I was inspired to share what I had learned and help others. The Lord has called me to be a facilitator of life and healing, and I am honored to serve others in this capacity so that they may experience life-giving transformation. I love it when a client sees progress. When she experiences a moment of victory, whether being able to lift more weight than the week before or complete an exercise instinctively in good form, my heart wells up with joy. It inspires her to persevere and can be healing, not only physically, but emotionally too. If you need help to complete your resolutions, ask for it. God has surrounded you with abundant resources within His body. Reach out and receive the help you need, and one day you will be able to do the same for someone else. We are each worth the fight. Lisa Marshall is a certified personal trainer who approaches fitness from the fact that we are spirit, soul and body. Her passion is to cultivate fitness inside and out so that her clients reach their fitness goals and live their best lives. Find her at: www.optimumlifefitness.com.
4 Tiny Tips for Organized Living
Fall In Love With Pink Again Armeka Carter
Remember when you were a little girl and everything had to be pink? Oh, come on ladies, we’ve all been there! Pink nails, pink bows, pink socks, pink dresses, and we’ve all snuck a little bit of mom’s fuchsia lipstick. Then we grow up and get to that stage when we despise the color. Well let me give you a few reasons to love pink again! Pink is a natural and flattering color for ALL skin tones. (You just have to find the right shade.) It can be used as a “nude,” which is an ongoing trend. It looks good on eyes, lips, cheeks and nails. Take your pick! It looks good in matte, shimmer or glossy tones, so the possibilities are endless. There are so many shades of pink you’ll never get bored again!
Here are a few tips when looking for pink makeup and nail colors. If you have fair skin try soft pinks, but avoid frosty finishes. Soft petal hues are your best friend. Bright sheer pinks can be used to jazz up your look. Medium-fair tones can be complimented by peachy or brown based pinks. Pinkish-brown lip color will give you a sexy nude look.
Sometimes the clutter in our homes seems so monumental that we don’t see any simple solution to tackling it. Often we feel overwhelmed and instead of doing something, we do nothing. January is National Get Organized Month among the Professional Organizing world. To get us all set in the right direction for 2012, I want to share with you my four cardinal rules for organized living. I call them four tiny tips for staying organized, but really, if you started doing these, it could lead to getting organized in the first place! First, let me say that if you and your family can get in the habit of putting things away after taking them out, this one action could cure most of your household troubles with clutter. With that said, here are your tips for 2012.
Four Tiny Tips for Organized Living:
Make your bed each morning! Get in the habit of having everyone in your home make the bed each day. It will set the tone for a tidy home.
Vibrant pinks are the way to go if you have medium-dark skin. If you dare, try a white-based pink on your lips! Brown-based pinks are also very flattering on dark skin. Rosy colors, mauve and any pinkish-purple give dark skin a glamorous and bold appeal. Maybelline’s Color Sensational, $5.69, lip colors have a wide array of pinks for EVERY skin tone. OPI’s Hearts and Tarts, $8.50, is a universal pink! When it comes to nails, soft pinks are fun, flirty and professional at the same time. (OPI’s website has a try it on tool. You can find the right pink for your nails with a few clicks. Go to http://opi.com/ and click on the “Try ON This Color” tab.) Armeka Carter is a 24-year-old local cosmetologist and Regent University Communications graduate, who loves food, fashion, and all things girly!
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Put things away! Each time that you take something out and use it . . . put it back. When you buy something new . . . find a place for it! When you take off dirty clothes . . . put them in a hamper. Simply getting in the habit of returning what you use, and teaching your family to do the same, will make a huge difference in your home. Plus, the long-term benefit of this is having children who make good roommates and spouses, because they aren’t messy!
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Five Minute Clean Up Place a basket in a central location in the house. Each night, set the timer for five minutes. Everyone in the house gathers the things they have left around and puts them in the basket. When the basket is full, it’s time for everyone to grab their own things and put them away. This daily exercise controls the clutter that happens all day, and you can wake up to less mess.
Deal with the mail Toss junk mail immediately! Have a basket for things to shred. Place “keep” mail in a single place. DO NOT make a pile of mail to go through later. Later never happens, and pretty soon you have a week or more of mail that you haven’t touched. Make it a daily habit to decide what mail you are keeping and what mail is either getting tossed or shredded. It takes less than five minutes to do this and will save you hours of time later down the road. Simplified Living LLC founder Amy Volk has a passion for creating beautiful, clutter-free homes and corporate environments. She helps people learn to live more simply. Visit her at www.simplifiedliving.org.
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Five Ways to Help Your Husband Fall in Love with Your Business So how can you bring your husband on board with your business? Communicate Clearly and Honestly
Got a man who’s not supportive of your business? Welcome to the club! Every mompreneur I know has struggled at one point or another to gain her husband’s support for her business. In fact, it’s one of the most common obstacles for moms who are running a business while raising a family. But the truth is, behind every successful mompreneur (at least the married ones!), is an encouraging an understanding husband. Not that your husband will agree with everything you do in your business, but he can reach a place where he supports you and views your business as a blessing —not a burden. We just need to help him get there. Let’s take my husband for example—he’s used to being publicly examined. Chris has been my Number One Fan for 17 years in my business (and for 6 years before that!). When we were first married and I was looking for a job, he’s the one who encouraged me to work as a freelance writer from home in our tiny apartment so that we could actually spend time together since he worked the evening shift. Whenever I was tempted to take a “REAL JOB” out of fear, he was the calming voice that reminded me to stay true to my path because this is the life we wanted to create for our family. This is not to say that my husband is an energetic cheerleader when it comes to my travel schedule and late nights on the computer. But he believes in me and agrees that the life of the mompreneur is one that blesses our family in many ways. In my experience—and from what I know about my friends and clients—the arguments heat up when it comes to the two most precious resources a couple has: time and money. But underneath the surface of the disagreement is usually something deeper—an issue that is laced with fear of failure, change or loss of control. I’m not going to psycho-babble, but I want you to realize that when your husband says he doesn’t like you spending time at evening meetings or declares that you should be making more money in the business, there is usually something more to his words.
Let your husband know WHY this business is so important to you. Show him how passionate you are about your goals and what it will mean to the family to see the business succeed. Help him to understand that you are fulfilling your purpose and following God’s plan by sharing your gifts with the world. Let him know that your intention is NOT for the business to distance you from him, but to bring you closer and give you a whole new dimension to your relationship. Present your case to him with courage and confidence and ask for his blessing (not his permission). If you find yourself putting your dreams on hold because he feels “It’s not the right time,” then ask him to join you in prayerfully considering if it’s God’s time for the business.
Invite Him Into Your Business I’m not saying you need to make your husband the CEO, but you should be willing to open the books and the business to him in whatever capacity he is ready to participate. My husband is my “Vice President of Information Technology and Research.” Of course, he does not have a formal title, but I honor him for the role he plays in keeping me online and up to date. And I share my goals and decisions with him. I believe there’s no reason to hide anything from your husband. (Except maybe a new pair of black pumps—guys will never understand the need for so many shoes!) But when it comes to your business, the more he feels like he is in the dark, the more likely he will be to resist. You certainly don’t have to bore him with every detail, but do let him know that you have nothing to hide and that he is welcome to ask anything he wants. And be sure to bring him in on the celebration each time you move forward in your business!
Give to Get Remember, your husband needs to be supported as well. You can’t expect him to champion you and your business if he feels like you don’t share in his life and his success. Be sensitive to his needs and reassure him that you will always be there to support him. Let him know that you are fully committed to him and the children first and that the business will always take a back seat in your heart (even if it seems to take up all your time and attention at first). Ask him if he is fulfilled in his career. If so, explain to him that you want that same feeling of fulfillment. If not, let him know that you love him and want him to find a purpose-based life of abundance as well.
Decision Making • Organization • Time Management • Self-Control
Understand his Objections Helping your husband fall in love with your business plan is not going to happen overnight. It’s going to be a series of conversations over time—even if you’ve been in business a long time. Create opportunities to have those intimate conversations and really listen to his concerns. Ask him to share what he is truly worried about—does he think you will be married to your business and you will neglect him or the children? Is it that he doesn’t trust you to succeed? Is it that he doesn’t want to be overshadowed? Get to the bottom of his fears so you can assure him he has nothing to worry about.
Be Prepared to compromise As a couple, you are in this business together. It doesn’t matter if your husband has an official role in the company or not. The mere fact that you are a mompreneur means that your business will have an impact on his life—and your family. Just as you would resent your husband for making a decision to relocate the family for a job opportunity without your consent, he will feel the same way if you invest the entire savings account into your business without his approval. In addition to money, there will be certain things that he is “sensitive” about; you’ll need to acknowledge and honor those issues. For example, my husband feels neglected if I work in the office every night—even though I have spent the last six hours taking care of the children. He wants us to have time together in the evening. But I tend to want to take advantage of the quiet time when the kids are asleep to work. This situation was an ongoing source of argument and frustration. So we came to an agreement that I would spend specific nights each week with him, and the other nights (mutually agreed upon), I could work as late as I needed to in the office. Whenever I stray from this promise, he gently reminds me (well, not always gently) and I return to honor our agreement. Becoming a mompreneur is not about the income for most of us. It’s about making a contribution to the world. It’s about sharing our gifts and talents with others. It’s about growth and personal development. If your husband can see these benefits of your business, then he would be foolish not to give you his unconditional love and support! What’s your husband’s biggest objection or concern about your business? And how do you address it with him? Find us on the Designed to Flourish Facebook page and share your tips! Theresa Ceniccola is the Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to mom’s running a business that support faith and family. Read her inspiring ezine: www.theresaceniccola.com.
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Romance Alive by jennifer avis
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Those words mean more than the physical or the emotional connection between two people. They mean, in the deepest sense, a spiritual connection, an eternal expression of how a couple loves and serves the Lord. Spiritual devotion to one another is what we strive for so our fruits can reflect love and happiness in our memories, in our closeness, in our children and in ourselves—a sound whole. Even so, life is life, and as the character Massimo says in one of my favorite movies, The Wedding Planner, “Love is just love.” The passing of
Marriage is your baby. It needs constant attention, care and love. Neglect of it will surely make it delinquent.” Javier and Amy Letada (Norfolk), married 18 years
time tapers fiery attractions, and we settle into a life where the mundane and the everyday smother our bonfires into barely a spark. In essence, we
“If we stay interesting, our
always need fuel. We frequently need spice. We constantly need something.
marriage stays interesting.”
And as Massimo says again, “We need to understand the passions.” These passions are ever changing, fluctuating with our growth both
Joe and Kelly Dartmouth (Virginia Beach), married 6 years
together and individually, which means paying constant attention to them. We can easily burn out in a sense. Yet understanding what motivates us, what keeps us inspired as couples, helps us create lasting bonfires that melt us together forever. When it’s hot, our relationship is
“We frequently de-stress the mess. Once that’s done, there’s just us.” Mike and Michelle Cooper (Norfolk), married 13 years
pliable, easy to mold and shape, and sure to be something beautiful. “We talk about how the little things mean so
With 12 years of marriage behind me, I have realized a few things essential to keeping the romance alive. Frequent conversation so we can “check in” with each other—at home or out. The expression of fondness and appreciation—we can forget how much we mean to one another. Friendships with others who have strong marriages—a very organic way to keeping things real and validated. Keeping out the muck—criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. Yikes! That’s always hard. Romance. Romance! ROMANCE! Finding romantic gestures and moments in everyday life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Laughter. If you don’t laugh, you certainly cry! Say sorry and stay humble. The key is to remember that relationships are living things. They change. They move. They thrive. And they can die out. Love brings fire, and fire is life, so why not tend to it? Jennifer Avis is the author of Morty the Meerkat Has Autism. She has a M.S. Ed with a post graduate degree from The Institute of Children’s Literature. Devoted wife and mom, she writes for children and their families. You can find her humble blog Memoirs of a Challenge on Facebook, written for The Elijah Foundation.
much, but after 50 years of marriage, the big things count a lot. How each person feels about faith, family, children, commitment, and materialism–those are biggies. If the big things are in place, the little things mean so much more. They go beyond the moment and last a lifetime. If you think about it, with the big things, then you have the cake. The little things? They are just the icing on that cake! “Always ask yourself Would I want to be married to me? Do I have a smile on my face when they come through the door? Do I have something nice to say? Am I always griping? “We all go through the same stages of life… the romantic beginning, baby years, school and teen years, midlife, retirement and death. When you know the person, their inside and outs, when you can complete the other’s sentences, it gets easier and life is beautiful.” Mr. and Mrs. Robinson (Virginia Beach), married 50 years
Understanding the passions is essential to the self. People’s passions make them purpose filled—the core foundation on which they build a spiritual life. It is always important to keep in touch with your passions, because they tell you who you are in God’s eyes. And as you practice your passions, inspiration sparks and meaning is achieved. The happier you are the more contentment radiates outward, perhaps drawing in the goodness of friendships, experiences, achievements, and, maybe, The One. Life is a journey with God, and who better to dance through the times of our lives than with Him who will never leave us lonely, leave us empty, leave us without a heart of fire. If we practice our passions, they become us, reflecting joy and light and making time irrelevant. So during your journey of singlehood, assess your design. You are specifically made by God for a purpose He dreams in you. Be productive, positive and purpose filled, and your heart’s flames will be steady, rhythmic and lead you to feel passion right down to your shoes, leading you to a dance you’ll never forget.
Romance adds color and vibrancy to a world which tends to grow dark at the drop of a hat. Making a committment to live a romantic life will soon turn into a passion which has you looking at the world differently. Love will take on a new face, one of excitement and newness like the heart of a child. Here are some sites loaded with tips to fuel that fire: www.romanticideas.com http://marriage.about.com/od/ loveandromance/Romance.htm http://www.rd.com/family/40creative-romantic-ideas/
fun on the cheap by rebecca brittingham
Don’t let your “budget” keep you from spending quality time creating meaningful and fun memories with those you love! We’re blessed to have so much to do right here in Hampton Roads–from taking walks on beautiful beaches, frolicking in our many parks uncovering the many historical secrets or enjoying a tasty treat–there a lots of things you can do in the area that are high on quality and low on cost! Having a good time isn’t about what you are doing, it’s about spending time with those you love! Here are some ideas:
First Landing State Park – Va. Beach Cost: $4 per vehicle on weekdays, $5 per vehicle on weekends First Landing State Park is located off of the Chesapeake Bay. This can be a beautiful day trip with opportunities for boating, swimming, nature and history programs, hiking, biking and picnicking. First Landing also offers a boat launch, cabins and 20 miles of trails on 2,888 acres. If you are feeling particularly adventuresome, you can bring along camping gear and turn your day trip into a weekender! Enjoy an evening by the fire, toast s’mores and spend an afternoon swimming or hiking. You might even get up early enough to catch the sunrise!
Paddlewheel Ferry – Norfolk/Portsmouth Cost: $1.50/person each way The Paddlewheel Ferry is located on the Elizabeth River between Norfolk and Portsmouth. There are three 150-passenger paddlewheel ferries that travel between North Landing and High Street in Portsmouth and the Waterside festival marketplace in Norfolk. They’re fast, economical and offer a unique view of the river and the waterfront. Ferries operate every 30 minutes with 15-minute service during the summer at peak times on weekends. You can get off and take a walk around the shops and restaurants of Old Town Portsmouth.
Walk on the Beach – Oceanfront Cost: Free Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a nice leisurely walk on the beach. Perhaps you are feeling in the mood to enjoy the cool sand between your toes. If you are daring enough, you may even get your toes a little wet! However, if this doesn’t appeal to you, walk on the boardwalk that is adjacent to the beach. You can still enjoy the waterfront view and listen to the seagulls’ cries without touching the sand. Why not end your evening out with a stop at Haagan Dazs ice cream! Yum!
St. Paul’s Church - St. Paul’s Blvd. and City Hall Ave. in Norfolk Cost: Free Tours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. St. Paul’s Church, built is 1739, is Norfolk’s oldest building and the only structure to survive the British attack on New Year’s Day in 1776. Enjoy free admission as you walk through the courtyard and graveyard of this historic site. Don’t forget to view the cannonball fired by Lord Dunmore of the British Fleet, still embedded in the southeastern wall.
MacArthur Memorial – Norfolk Cost: Free Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Located in Norfolk’s restored 1850 city hall, the MacArthur Memorial traces the life and military career of Gen. Douglas MacArthur of the Army. In addition, it honors those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Highlights include military artifacts, photographs, documents, paintings, memorabilia, the general’s trademark cap, sunglasses and corncob pipe, plus his 1950 Chrysler Crown Imperial limousine. You will not want to miss the separate theater, special exhibit galleries and a historical research center, which are also featured in this timeless exhibit. Rebecca Brittingham is a Regent University graduate student.
What’s Your Love Language? Belinda Elliott
Men–ever wish you could get inside their heads? What are they thinking? You want roses and romance for Valentine’s Day. Instead, your man proudly announces he got the oil changed in the car. You want to spend your Saturday together, even if it’s just running errands or working around the house, but he’s up at 5 a.m. to go hunting with his buddies . . . again. What’s going on? Doesn’t he care about you? Perhaps the problem is that the two of you aren’t speaking the same language. It’s a common problem in relationships says pastor and author Dr. Gary Chapman. His book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate helps couples identify their love languages—what they need from their partner to feel loved. Chapman explains that we each have a “love tank” that needs to be filled for us to feel loved. When our tanks are empty, we can grow resentful toward our partner because we feel he no longer cares. Harsh words, a critical spirit or withdrawal can be signs of a love tank that is running low. “People behave differently when their emotional love tanks are full,” Chapman writes in the book. The key to filling your partner’s love tank, and having him fill yours as well, is to learn each other’s love language.
Chapman identifies these five languages as: Words of Affirmation Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Maybe the way to your heart is through compliments or plenty of verbal “I love you’s.” If so, there is a good chance that your love language is words of affirmation. If you’d rather your man help with the dishes or laundry, your love language could be acts of service. The way you express love to others can be a clue to figuring out your own love language. We tend to express love the way we like to receive it. To improve your relationship, determine your partner’s language and then practice “speaking” it. Most likely, his language will be different than yours so it could take some work on your part. Just as important, is letting him know your love language so he can express love the way you understand it best. Here are some ideas you can implement for each language.
Words of Affirmation—Show love to people who speak this language by verbally complimenting their appearance or accomplishments. Express how much you value them. Encourage them when they are facing a difficult task. Let them know you believe in them and their abilities. Your tone of voice also matters. Words won’t mean much to your partner if they are spoken harshly or sarcastically.
Quality Time—Show love by making time to spend with your partner. All
couples need time together, but for people with this love language time spent together is even more important. Do activities you know your partner enjoys. The activity doesn’t have to be something extravagant or expensive—even a movie night at home suffices (without the kids, if possible). What matters most is being together. Also, be fully present during conversations giving your spouse your undivided attention.
Receiving Gifts—People with this love language value tangible expressions of love. These don’t have to be big gifts. They could be small, thoughtful, “just because” surprises. Get familiar with some of your partner’s favorites. What is a favorite food, favorite flower, favorite drink or favorite treat? Surprise your mate with one of these regularly. People with this love language see these small gifts as visual reminders that you were thinking of them.
Acts of Service—Determine what acts of service your loved one most appreciates. Is it when you do the dishes, do the yard work, or get the kids ready for bed? Once you know what your partner appreciates most, do those things without being asked. Also, take care to do them with love. If you take out the trash, but you’re grumpy about it, it no longer serves as an expression of love. Physical Touch—What type of touch does your partner value most from you? Obviously, sexual intimacy in a marriage is important, and partners need to communicate their desires to each other. However, this love language isn’t just about sex. Back massages, foot massages, holding hands, kissing goodbye whenever one of you goes away, giving hugs or little love “pats” on the knee are all expressions of love that your partner may crave from you. Want help discovering your love language, or that of your significant other? Chapman offers a tool on his website to help. Visit www.5lovelanguages. com/widget/ to complete the online test and learn more about each love language. You’ll soon be on your way to loving your spouse better and getting your own love tank filled as well.
Belinda Elliott is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Va. She has a Master of Arts in Journalism from Regent University. Her articles have been published in several magazines including Church Libraries, The Christian Communicator, Advanced Christian Writer and The Secret Place.
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Who Are They?
Hailing from Houston, grammy-nominated progressive rock act Leeland comprises Leeland Mooring (lead vocals, guitar); Jack Mooring (keyboard, background vocals); Shelly Mooring (bass); and Mike Smith (drums). The group has been known to deliver songwriting beyond its years and worshipful rock so genuine it disarms the honest cynic. Often quoted as one of Christian music’s most gripping live bands, Leeland’s 2006 debut Sound of Melodies as well as follow up projects Opposite Way (2008) and Love Is On The Move (2010) have established Leeland as a leader in the worship community and beyond. All three albums were GRAMMY nominated and drew a combined eight GMA Dove Award nominations. Leeland recently received its fourth career grammy nomination for The Great Awakening in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album Category. The 54th Annual grammy Awards® ceremony will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. On Sunday, February 12 and will air on CBS.
Album Review//by Jae Rae
The Great Awakening
Leeland’s The Great Awakening, without reserve and with great creative clarity, will stir spirits to awaken out of spiritual slumber. Once again, the band’s lyrical prowess and fiery passion for God’s presence challenges the body of Christ to shine its light to the world. Each song, in its signature way, takes you on a journey, searching the heart while seeking a deeper understanding of God. This is especially evident in “All Over the Earth”; you can sense the band’s authentic response as God’s presence descended. The spontaneous praise on this track is reminiscent of worship leader Jason Upton and legendary songwriter Michael W. Smith. This anthem emanates the awe and majesty of our holy and powerful God. The spontaneity of worship is definitely an added bonus. The Great Awakening remains true to Leeland’s musical talent and leanings toward profound lyrics of great spiritual resolve. Unlike their past CDs, this one is Leeland’s coming-of-age story, one that will ignite the passion of the listener to be a part of God’s “great awakening”. Jae Rae is an arts and entertainment enthusiast with 20 years of professional experience in Radio, Television, Film, Music and Media. She is a writer, musician and producer working professionally in the media industry. She is currently working on a blog/website to inform people about positive, life affirming art and entertainment within popular culture. You can read more music reviews on CBN.com.
Ladies Love….. Each Other?
by Armeka Carter
Recently I attended a local festival with a few friends. I enjoyed observing people as much as I enjoyed the sun's warmth on my face. The broad spectrum of culture, foods and, of course, fashion had my eyes as bright and wide as a kid in a candy store. However, that joy would soon be crushed by what I like to call a she-man woman hater,”and sadly, this time, that she-man woman hater”was me.
face. Think of all the happy mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins and friends we could create. Girls run the world, huh? WELL, SHOW THOSE GIRLS SOME LOVE! There are women suffering from abuse, neglect, post-partum depression, insecurity, low self-esteem, drug addiction and a host of other things. We could go on and on about problems women face, but love could be the one drug to heal I can feel the questions stirring and your eyebrows every wound. When you push a sister toward scrunching up in confusion. So, allow me to explain. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let something great, in love and support, look everything you say be good and helpful, so that When I say a she-man woman hater”I mean someone up and see that you yourself are stepping your words will be an encouragement to those who is just that—a “hater,”but specifically of other closer to greatness. Be free with your support, who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29, NLT). women. A hater is someone who cannot be happy smiles and compliments. Show your sisters for another person's success, so they make a point what it means to love, and by all means, of exposing flaws. The she-man woman hater is very DON'T be a “she-man woman hater.” I'm not open and honest when it comes to hating and hones in on other women. writing this so we can all get sappy and sit around a campfire singing Most of the time she will have something negative to say about any and “Kumbaya.” I simply want us all to think and maybe, just maybe, love! every female that crosses her path. If you observe this type of hater long Armeka Carter is a 24-year-old local cosmetologist and Regent University Communications enough, You'll realize it usually happens because she doesn't love herself. graduate, who loves food, fashion and all things girly! Insecurity, jealousy, rudeness and being all-out-judgmental stem from issues within, which are really easy to see when someone is in “hate mode.” The thing is, if you participate in these festivities, even by virtue of not speaking up, you are also a “she-man woman hater.” Yes, ladies! I said it. If you laugh, agree, nod your head, or let out an “mmm-hmm,” you are just as guilty as the person spewing the hateful words. On the day of the festival, I realized that by my own, “mmm-hmmm's” I was guilty of supporting nonsense.
Tired? Frustrated? Looking for a place to connect?
Every time a female or group of females walked by us, someone had something negative to say. Nothing was off limits—the way they walked, their clothes, shoes, hair, makeup; no appearance was safe! When the rest of us let out chuckles, high fives, head nods and “yea girls” in response, it just added fuel to the woman-hating fire. But, then it hit me. Here I was laughing “Accept one another, then, at hurtful comments, and breaking just as Christ accepted you, my neck to catch a glimpse of the in order to bring praise to next “hot mess,” when these women God” (Romans 15:7, NIV). were beautiful in their own Godgiven way. Instead of applauding God's creativity with friendly smiles and compliments, we were supporting the work the enemy uses most—division. You see ladies, if the enemy can get us to claw each other down with our perfectly manicured hands, his don’t have to get dirty. We don't realize the damage that we may be causing, but James 3:5 lets us know that words alone can be weapons of mass destruction. Imagine the things we can achieve if this much energy was intead put into all things positive; think of the smiles we could bring to the next woman's
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a place where moms with children from birth to kindergarten come together to encourage, inspire, and recharge each other along the amazing journey of motherhood.
Meets at 9:30 a.m. on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month New Life Providence Church- Kempsville campus 1244 Thompkins Lane | Virginia Beach,VA 23464
Deep Creek Group
Meets at 6:00 pm. on 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at New Life Providence Church- Deep Creek campus 423 Shell Rd. | Chesapeake,VA 23323 For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.nlpmops.com because “Real friends don’t let moms mother alone.”
Take your taste buds on a
Destination: by Nathalie Jeter
The Salade Niçoise [nee-SWAHZ] originated in Nice, a Mediterranean city in Southern France. So it comes as no surprise that this tasty salad is infused with subtle reminders of Provence and the sea. There are dozens of ways to make this salad, so the information below should be used merely as a guideline. Adapt the ingredients in creative ways according to your personal taste—but do at least try the anchovies! ¼ C red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp minced shallot
1 hard-boiled egg, cut into wedges
Chicken in French Cream Sauce
This is my go-to recipe if I’m having friends over for something “French.” It’s a no-fuss, no-frills, fall-on-your-knees-delicious recipe from a friend in France who once served it to a well-known gourmet chef (to rave reviews). Serves four. 2 whole chicken breasts, split in half ¼ C butter
2 Tbsp flour 1 C chicken broth ½ C white wine 1 bay leaf
¼ tsp pepper
1 C cooked green beans (can be from a can, in a pinch)
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
2 Tbsp chopped shallots
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 C mixed young greens, washed and hand-torn into large pieces
1 can (8 oz) oil-packed tuna, drained
¼ lb fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
½ C heavy cream (add more as needed)
½ tsp salt
2 small waxy potatoes (like Yukon Gold), boiled, peeled, cut into wedges
6 oil-cured olives (preferably niçoise, but Kalamata would work) 6 anchovy fillets
In a small bowl, make vinaigrette by combining vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper and whisking together while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Toss the potatoes in the vinaigrette until coated. Arrange a bed of lettuce in a couple of shallow bowls or on a platter. Divide up the ingredients and add potatoes, egg, green beans, tomato wedges to the bed of lettuce. Top with tuna, olives, and anchovies. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette on top of salad and serve the rest.
¼ tsp thyme /8 tsp marjoram
Salt and pepper chicken and brown in butter in heavy skillet. Remove. Add garlic, shallots and mushrooms to butter in skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Blend in broth slowly then add white wine. Add herbs and bay leaf and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping pan. Simmer 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan and cook until tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add cream and simmer. Do not boil. Season to taste and pour sauce over chicken. Serve over noodles with steamed broccoli or asparagus on the side.
culinary holiday! Whether it’s a celebration with friends or a romantic dinner for two, nothing says Je t’aime like a delicious multi-course French dinner by candlelight. Bon appétit!
Crêpes can be savory or sweet, depending on their filling. For these dessert crêpes, provide your guests with options like Nutella, jam or preserves, granulated sugar with a squeeze of lemon, powdered sugar, or vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce sprinkled with toasted almonds.
2 Tbsp butter, melted
½ C milk
1 C all-purpose flour
½ C water
¼ tsp salt
Combine eggs, milk, water and butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add in dry ingredients and whip until smooth. Lightly oil a griddle or crêpe pan and heat to medium-high. Holding pan off heat, use a ¼ cup measure to scoop out batter onto the surface of the pan. Immediately tilt the pan in a circular motion so the batter spreads evenly over the surface. Cook for a minute or two, monitoring the surface and edges of the crêpe. Flip the crêpe with a spatula when edges start to curl and “bubbles” have formed over most of the surface. Cook for about a half-minute to a minute on the other side then set aside and repeat for the next crêpe. To serve crêpes, fold them either in triangles, or “enchilada style,” or if there’s a lot of filling, fold up the sides so that the crêpes look like an overweight man in a jacket that doesn’t quite fit. If you don’t have a crêpe pan you can substitute any small round skillet. Crêpes are best served hot right off the griddle—but in a pinch they can be reheated for a few seconds in the microwave, topped by a wet paper towel.
Nathalie Jeter was born and raised in Paris, France, where her parents were missionaries. She blogs about travel, food and prayer at www.prayerwalkguides.com.
What is the sign of a good decision? ®
It’s having a financial professional you can depend on. Now more than ever. At Commonwealth Financial Partners, LC, we know how important it is to have confidence in your financial professional. That’s why we work to earn your trust by delivering custom insurance solutions that can be adapted to fit your changing needs. And with access to MassMutual’s range of quality insurance products, services and tools structured around their long term business philosophy, you can be sure the decision you make is a good one. MassMutual. We’ll help you get there®.
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Commonwealth Financial Partners, LC
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MassMutual Financial Group refers to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Insurance products are issued by MassMutual, Springfield, MA 01111 and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. CRN201212-141966
Your Gift is Counseling. Ours is Equipping You. You already have the heart of a counselor. Now you can add the credentials. Regent University’s School of Psychology & Counseling offers a wide range of practical, highly regarded programs—from brief, ministry-oriented counseling classes and workshops to fully accredited graduate programs including an online master’s degree that’s known for quality, value and affordability. Take our advice. Apply today. And start applying the values-based tools and skills you need to make a real difference as a counselor.
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SometimeS you juSt need a helping hand. thankfully, angel Care iS there. There In Your Times Of Need
When sisters Susan and Dottie Unger* first met their “Angel” from Angel Care Private Duty Nursing Services, they were badly in need of some relief. The ladies were ragged after months of caring for mom and dad, whose declining health had them both bedbound and in need of constant care. The daughters were loving and very helpful, but just needed a break for their own mental health. That’s when someone told them about Angel Care. Susan and Dottie were amazed that they could just call the day before for services and didn’t even have to be committed to a contract or set number of hours! They were also very grateful and relieved to find someone they could trust. Angel Care gave them the break they desperately needed. Then, a few months later, mom passed away. It was hard on the sisters, but they also were very stressed about who would stay with their father the day of the funeral. Again the sisters rang for an Angel. Later they expressed how they couldn’t have asked for better service. “The caregivers are just so caring and professional. We will definitely refer others to Angel Care” -- Dottie and Susan Unger. *names changed to protect privacy
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