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For every person who has ever wanted to leave the Church and never return, Let me tell you a story….. The Homecoming: A Story For Anyone Who Has Ever Lost His Way is available in The Sepia Store: http://sepiaprimewom ancom.ipage.com/stor e/page2.html

“Often we are forced to confront our deepest concerns about God’s love for us in the hardest, most desperate places of our lives, but it is through the crossroads of pain and faith in God alone, that we find grace both to hear His answers or accept His silence as we learn, first hand and for real, of a love that transcends all.”


The Magazine for Bold Movers

Cover Features: What’s On Your Heart? Concerns of Prime Time BOLD Movers p. 10 Funding Your Non-Profit Vision p. 6

In Every Issue Prime Time p. 4 Frankly Speaking p.9 Sepia Style p. 11 Nurturing You p. 15

Superwoman Sanctuary: Frozen Hearts p. 21 Loving: Not Just Another Date Night p. 17

Profitably Speaking p. 8 Your Body Strong p. 13 The Main Thing p. 23

Michele Aikens, Publisher Writers: Winfred Burns II, Charles & Traci Childress, Vanessa Church , Tasha Odunuyi, Marilyn Okoye, Candice Payne, Terri E. Wilson

Sepia Prime Woman Magazine is wholly owned by Sepia Prime Woman, Incorporated


PRIME TIME What’s On My Heart? You are.

I wonder how you deal with grief and grieving. I lost a friend….a really good friend, and for a couple of weeks I “wasn’t myself.” I noted in our Facebook Group, that every time you lose someone, your world changes some. It is true. Has your world changed any in the last 12 months? Take a minute to think about it and then, let’s continue. The phrase, “I have something on my heart” has always puzzled me. Why couldn’t it just be in your heart? Maybe the phrase means it feels like the heaviness of something is resting right on top of your heart. I get that. Because I sense some of you are about to turn the page, I’ll get to my point: There are a lot of things that seem to rest in the area of our emotions heavily, and we don’t address them like we need to. Are you ignoring a sense of urgency because you’re too busy? STOP and consider the heavy thing that is resting on your heart. If you knew your time was ending, how would you respond to what you are putting off today? Do it NOW. Is there someone you’ve been putting off honoring? Plan a celebration for them NOW. Is there a community, a nation, a people on your heart? Go find them, and love them with what has been placed in your hands NOW. Is there a dream on your heart? Then stop dreaming and implement it NOW. As we enter the prime of our lives, right next to the freedom and exhilaration of we embrace is the knowledge of just how fleeting and precious life is. When I was a child, death was a vague reality; as I grew up, my parents’ friends were passing away; now it is my friends who are leaving. How do you respond to what is “heavy on your heart?” Let me help you: You don’t just throw dirt on it and walk away – you do something. My friend, Lynetta, suffered and died because she had breast cancer. Triple Negative…generational. After her diagnosis, she went to Paris, France and spent wonderful time with family. She planned a gettogether for people from around the country in Atlanta. She took her grandson to New Orleans. She lived. She connected with people internationally through music. She changed my world. Lynetta was the third woman I know to die from triple negative breast cancer. I never told her that. Two of the three women I know who died of triple negative breast cancer were associated with Sepia Prime Woman. How will I respond to that knowledge? I will respond with action. Heavy stuff requires effort to move it. Whether the heaviness you are experiencing is because of your self image, your issues with other people, the loss of income or a relationship, or due to grief, you have to do something to move the heavy object. Take action that moves you forward

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The picture below is the shirt my friend asked me to include in the Sepia Prime Woman collection in 2012. She and I are the only people who have this shirt. If you buy this shirt in pink, the profits will always go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Lynetta’s name. I’m working with designers to create one that will have a pink ribbon and a music note, so that those in her music connections can also give and acknowledge her. The designer is moving slowly, so I may need to find another one. A response requires action. Why am I telling you this? Because when something is heavy on your heart, you don’t just throw dirt on it and walk away. You respond. You don’t minimize what is heavy on your heart, and you don’t allow others to minimize it either. You use what you have been given, and you make a difference in the lives you have been sent by God to touch. Lynetta White did her job. I intend to do mine. You are on my heart. What heaviness are you carrying? More importantly, How you will respond? E-mail me at talkback@sepiaprimewoman.com if you have a topic you want to see discussed here on our blog talk radio show, Your Prime Time with Michele Aikens. You are loved,

Michele To order the Sepia Prime Woman Pink shirt in Lynetta White’s memory, click here: http://sepiaprimewomancom.ipage.com/store/page4.html If you prefer to donate directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Lynetta White’s name, click here: http://kansascity.infokomen.org/site/TR/Events/KNS_GreaterKansasCityAffiliate?pxfid=284816 &fr_id=1771&pg=fund To learn more about Triple Negative Breast Cancer, click here: http://ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/Content_Binaries/KOMEED079100.pdf

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Funding Your Non-Profit Vision By Kathleen Jackson There are people among us with vision inside of them for an organization that will change a neighborhood, a community or nations. You passion may have provoked you to give, and do and pour into such a vision, but on your salary you can only do so much. Has it ever occurred to you that your passion might be a viable Non-Profit Organization? Before you spend another paycheck funding your community idea, consider treating your passion like a business. Following are some steps to determine if your passion can be funded as a Non-Profit Organization: Clearly define your “Vision.” I recommend that once you’ve realized your vision, document, research, and cultivate! Having a vision is one thing, but documentation of your vision with clearly defined goals is also very important.

FEATURE ARTICLE Once you have applied for and been granted a 501c3 designation, consider the following: a. Not all corporations and foundations will fund a new or start up organization initially; most want to see measurable results, population served, and sustainability of the organization beyond the funding that they have granted. b. Only research those organizations that fund your specific focus area. c. Carefully read funding source guidelines; some may say they don’t accept unsolicited requests, some may indicate rolling deadlines, while others may have specific deadlines for Letter of Intent, and actual proposal. d. Once you’ve identified a funding source that may appear to be a “good” fit. Contact the program officer to schedule an appointment to discuss your organization, and possibly offer a site visit. e. Tell your organization’s story wherever you can!

First Things First: If your vision needs a non-profit designation you need to know the following: What is a 501c3? Section 501(c)(3) is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations, specifically those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. It is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service. There are other 501(c) organizations, indicated by categories 501(c)(1) – 501(c) (28). This discussion will focus on 501(c)(3). http://501c3.org/what-is-a-501c3/

WAIT! You are about to miss the BEST PART! Click here to purchase this copy of Sepia Prime Woman Magazine, or to subscribe for one year. http://www.joomag.com/en/magazines?q=Sepia +Prime+Woman Don’t miss another opportunity to enhance YOUR BOLD MOVE… WWW.SEPIAPRIMEWOMAN.COM

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Funding Your Non-Profit Vision (continued) Here are some other steps you can take:   

Identify individuals and/or organizations that share the same vision, or a similar vision. Research the length of time that they have been in existence, and identify their funders. Cultivate existing relationships for support of your vision, and ask for introductions to others that may have the capacity to support financially. Not all relationships will lead to financial funding, but they may lead to people who are considered “Connectors.” These are the people who can connect you to the right people that can help you realize your vision.

Finally, here are a few resources to help you identify funding: Donors Forum Library: This is one of the best resources you can find! Not only will they assist you in identifying corporations and foundations that support your cause, they can assist you with identifying individual donors, and how to use a wealth engine to identify private donors and their

giving capacity. They also provide educational workshops, grant writing, and networking opportunities. Crain’s Book of Lists: This annual publication lists various corporations and foundations along with their areas of interest, net worth, and contact information. Private Foundations in Cook County (Illinois) Website: This is a very helpful website: http://nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/ge oShowOrgs.php?Id=C17031&Code=C17031 &V=Pf&Src=County The Go-Giver A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. To recap, here are the steps to funding your Non-Profit Vision: Clearly define your vision, Document your goals and who will benefit, Research others that have the same or similar vision, and Cultivate those relationships! Kathleen Jackson has been a professional fundraiser for more than 20 years.

"A strong passion for any object will

ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means" --William Hazlitt SPW Magazine – February 2014

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PROFITABLY SPEAKING Establishing Your Future THROUGH Your Finances By Winfred Burns, II “Forgetting those things that are behind me, I reach for what is in front of me, I press toward the mark of the prize of the HIGH calling of God in Christ.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

These words from Paul are the words many of us need to embrace. We learned what to do to make peace with our past but now we must make the next decision: what is my future. Yes, you determine your financial future. You determine whether you will live the rest of your years paycheck to paycheck or will you make the take the steps of those of us who embrace the high calling in our financial future. Most of us spend all of our time focusing on a budget. We focus on what we spend and where we can save. We look at ways to increase a paycheck or add another stream of income. None of those are bad or wrong; however it is not the end. When is the last time you completed a Personal Financial Statement? The Personal Financial Statement (PFS) is the true way to determine an individual’s net worth. Net worth is calculated by taking a person’s assets and subtracting liabilities. This is the true measure of your net worth because it not only assesses your bank account, but all assets and all liabilities.

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The objective is to continue to reduce debt (liabilities) so that more of your income can be used to purchase appreciating assets. This strategy is what sustains long term wealth. As we have discussed in previous writings, there are a few different methods used to systematically reduce debt. When I advise clients, I use the method that best fits them and their lifestyle. I believe the system only works if it is worked. Giving a cookie cutter plan, in my experience, won’t automatically give you the formula for success in your household. Looking at the asset side of a personal financial statement you are able to see all different form of assets from the most liquid (how easy something is converted to cash) to the least liquid. Now that you have a solid budget in place, you have your team (family) on board with a solid vision, it is time to build. Begin paying down debt and using the excess to purchase assets. Whether you are under a mountain of debt or have a small amount, remember this is a condition that you can change. One decision at a time, you can build the dream life you want for you and your family.

Walk in Truth, WBII Winfred Burns II is a financial coach and host of The Global Drive Show on Blog Talk Radio.


Frankly Speaking Valentine’s Day Already? By Stephanie Franklin Ugh!!! I just finished with the struggles of learning what the lonely do at Christmas time and now I’m being slammed with one of the most perceivably dreadful days of the year in the life of a single person! If on no other day of the year, Cupid’s fury is unleashed and everybody is in love with somebody (at least for the day) on Valentine’s Day. We are bombarded with reminders that “he went to Jared’s” and Fannie Mae candy becomes the equivalent of crack! EVERYONE seems to be saying it with roses, so you’ll stand a better chance of winning the lottery than of finding a dozen. The dating pool has quickly become a puddle (ESPECIALLY when you get older). You KNOW the dating sites are getting special when there’s a phone line for farmers to get dates. Signs of your desperation really begin to show when that one guy pursuing you, the one who looks like the Keebler Elf’s cousin with missing teeth, isn’t looking so bad after all. STOP! Take a breath… You are going about this and looking at it all wrong. Being single is not a curse or a torturous process you must endure while you await the arrival of your prince charming. If you can’t be happy being single, then I can tell you that it will NOT, and I repeat, will NOT get better after marriage. YOU have the privilege of creating your own happiness and what you desire. It may seem a little weird at first, but trust me, it gets easier. Date yourself! Buy yourself those dozen roses you love so much and get your own Fannie Mae Pixies. Put on that nicely fitted dress (after you have consulted with Victoria and found out her secret), and pull out all of the stops with the hair, nails and please don’t forget the shoes! Take yourself out to dinner, the movies or wherever you like to go and enjoy yourself! You deserve it! Doing things based on the expectations of others changes you because you give control of how you feel about yourself to another person. When you do it for yourself, it’s not based on what others think. Stay true to who you are and set the standard for what you expect for yourself. Now if Cupid happens to put an arrow in the butt of someone who notices, well then… But if he doesn’t, embrace your singleness and don’t’ settle out of desperation. It is said that something is better than nothing. Trust me when I say that sometimes, nothing is better. Now about those Pixies. . .…

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What’s On Your Heart? Sepia Prime Woman conducted a survey to find out the most pressing concerns for Prime Timers. The results may surprise you. Future for our children: While some may think we are less concerned about our children as we get older, the opposite is true. Whether it is concern about employment opportunities for adult children, or safety and education for teens and younger children, 41% of us are still more concerned about our children’s future than anything else.

Accomplishing a task or dream: 18% of respondents said their desire to accomplish a task or dream was a major concern. This speaks to the kind of impact BOLD Movers want to make in the world and to the legacy that follows. It may be starting a business, a community outreach activity or ministry project, but BOLD Movers are still pursuing dreams and looking for opportunities to make a difference.

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BOLD Movers Speak Crime: 14% The good news is that respondents didn’t say crime was the most pressing concern. The not-so-good news is that answer to the first question may reflect a higher concern about crime than is indicated by response to this question. BOLD Movers are concerned about crime, but more concerned about doing their part to

make the world better. Money/Employment – 14%-- Many of us are still being impacted by the state of our economy, and the concerns about employment and money were tied with those about crime. It’s understandable. According to an October 2013 NBC News article, nearly 40% of unemployed workers are over age 45, and the average time they are unemployed can range from 45-57 weeks. (http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_new s/2013/11/16/21266839-over-50-andout-of-work-program-seeks-to-helplong-term-unemployed?lite)


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Health 12% -- Imagine a time that Prime Timers are more concerned with achieving a dream than with health concerns. That time is now, and is likely due to the fact that many are living active

lives that include exercise, healthy eating and a healthy attitude (gotta have one to pursue those dreams). State of the Church 3% -- We allowed the addition of one concern and this one got the most

responses. Three percent of respondents are concerned about the state of “the church.” This is significant from a Prime Time perspective because this population (those aged 45 and up) represents the group who are considered to be “churched.” We think this statistic bears watching because if the “churched population” starts showing greater concern for the state of the church, we may see changes in how Prime Timers participate in church. Here was another interesting finding: When asked if they were concerned about a marriage or other relationship, 0 people responded….

Join the community of BOLD Movers at www.sepiaprimewoman.com, or connect with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/S epiaPrimeWoman/ Oh yes, expect to be challenged. How else will you Make A BOLD Move?

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SEPIA STYLE True Love and the Perfect “Date Night” Shoe By Monique Mayfield

Ah, le grand amour, the great love. Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate that great love in your life. In the traditional sense Valentine’s Day is known as the couple’s holiday. The most standard way to celebrate the occasion is with a dinner and a movie date night. At the heart of it, though, Valentine’s Day is simply about love. Love can exist anywhere, with anything, and between anybody. Try something new. Set up your date night around that great passion in your life whether its music, poetry, art, or food. This year let’s make it a holiday for everybody by upgrading our Valentine’s Day date night agenda and our date night shoe game. As always with anything you do, you must look fierce while doing it. No fierce outfit is complete without the perfect pair of shoes. As women I think each of us can admit that we all have a shoe addict living deep inside us. Set her free this Valentine’s Day. Have fun with your shoe game. No matter where your date night leads, make sure you go there in style. If music is your thing and you find yourself single on Valentine’s Day, plan a girl’s night out dancing to your favorite songs. This red suede shoe has a solid gold cuff that demands the spotlight. It’s just the shoe to set your night on fire. Pair them with your favorite flirty dress and look good while you get your groove on.

Are you into literature, film, and just the general craft of good storytelling? Try adding a twist to your typical date night trip to the movies. Go to the theater and see a play instead. Find out what’s currently playing in your town. Get dressed to the nines and complete your look with these sexy leopard peep toe pumps.

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Do you love a good vino? If so, then attend a wine tasting on Valentine’s Day. Over the past few years restaurant wineries have been gaining popularity. These restaurants with onsite wineries offer great food, a laid back atmosphere, and a chance to expand your knowledge of fine wines. These black suede metal studded booties are sleek and sophisticated, much like that full bodied Pinot Noir you may find yourself indulging in.

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! However you decide to celebrate your le grand amour do it in style ladies!

Monique Mayfield is a fashion blogger for Dale & Company

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YOUR BODY STRONG Why Fad Diets/Workouts Don't Work By Tasha Odunuyi We live in a world where everybody wants it quick fast and in a hurry when it comes to weight loss. The first question I hear as a trainer is “How soon will I lose weight?”, or “How much can I lose in X amount of time?” People have grown accustomed to the latest trends that claim to deliver unrealistic amounts of weight loss in record time, and they don’t factor in other things that come along with this dangerous train of thought. You've heard the infomercials and video claims. There’s the lemonade diet, cabbage soup diet, the low carb and no carb diet, to name just a few. And let's not forget workouts: lose weight in 8, loose 30 pounds in 30 days, pills, patches, creams, wraps, guaranteed 10 pounds in 7 days and no workout needed programs. The TRUTH is that there is no magic pill for weight loss! Some may deliver results in short amounts of time but they lack the ability to educate people on the importance of a healthy, balanced approach to eating and the role exercise plays. Real weight loss is all about lifestyle changes. As a trainer, I want to help clients put systems in place that they can continue to use on a regular basis. These systems include things like: Recognizing what's triggering unhealthy behaviors How to read food labels Understanding your motivation for losing weight Knowing how many calories are needed to burn a pound of fat Knowing if you have a healthy BMI/ and body fat percentage Workouts for various body types, kinds of cardio and when to use each one food prep and vision boards Knowing which muscles are being worked in an exercise, and how to design a workout instead of going into a gym without a plan  Proper workout form        

These are all the things that fad diets and unrealistic workouts don’t address. In order to be successful at your weight loss goals you have to understand that the weight didn't come overnight and it won't disappear overnight. It is also not healthy to attempt to lose it overnight. I'm sure you have seen people who seem like the weight just fell off. Unfortunately the majority of those people put the weight back on and some. Fast weight loss does not last and it slows and damages your metabolism, which ultimately defeats the purpose of losing weight.

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So how do you get started? 1. Sit down and write out your goals. Know where you're going. 2. Understand your Why. What are some of your reasons for wanting to lose? 3. Recognize your triggers or bad habits; some triggers include stress, boredom or habit. 4. Find a nutritionist or do some research on healthy eating habits. There are tons of FREE resources online. 5. Start planning your meals and logging the foods you eat. People who use a journal are more successful at reaching their goals because it serves as a tool to understand what's working and what's not. 6. Find a fitness professional or accountability/workout partner. 7. Determine what day/ time you will food prep and schedule workouts. Write it down and stick with it! 8. Look for fun activities you like to do. Dancing, skating, running groups or joining a sports team like volleyball. In order to be successful you have to enjoy it. Maybe you work better in small groups, classes or one-on-one training. 9. Find a non food reward for reaching your goal. It could be as simple as a new clothing item, spa day, girl's day out or money jar splurge for every goal reached. 10. Write a letter to yourself talking about how reaching this goal will help benefit you and the people around you.

The key is to realize that this won't be a fast approach but it will pay off in the end. Trust and believe that a consistent approach will yield longer lasting results and a greater sense of accomplishment knowing that you worked hard for it. Circle of Life Fitness has all the confidence that you can do it. If you’re in need of help to get started on your journey feel free to contact us. This is coming from a married mother of three who has been there and whose mission is to now help others achieve their fitness goals. Tasha Odunuyi is owner of Circle of Life Fitness and an NASM/NPTI certified trainer. You can reach her at: tasha@colfitness.com or visit her website at: www.colfitness.com

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NURTURING YOU By Marilyn Okoye Are you the compassionate woman who pursues truth and stands on your beliefs with determination? Are you courageous enough to make bold moves, not only for your personal gain, but for the betterment of your family, community, and nation? Are you bold enough to stand for what is right, even when others around you do wrong? Well, whether you realize it or have been recognized for it, you are a modern day “Shero”. That’s something to reflect on; as grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, spouses, co-workers, and friends, that's who you are. You walk in courage and integrity, caring for others, consistent with your beliefs, and set an example for the young women who cross your path. You impact the lives of others everyday. You don’t need to be pointed out in a crowd. You don’t need to receive daily accolades; you just live your life with the determination to impact, in a positive way, the world around you. What does a “Shero” look like? She looks like the grandmother who has raised not only her children, but who has helped to raise her children’s children, quietly imparting wisdom into them. She is the

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mother, whether she works outside or inside the home, loves her children with the unconditional love that sets them on a path for great success. She is the daughter, a successful business entrepreneur who creates programs that help other youth to prepare for entrepreneurship. This daughter returns the love and care that your parents gave you as you went to school, got your first job, and bought your first home. A “Shero” could be the sister, who has supported every sibling’s dream financially and emotionally, and is now preparing to travel the nation to promote economic growth and self-sufficiency. The aunt is a “Shero”; she may not have children of her own, but gives time and talent to encourage other children, and operates the community center where hundreds of children come every year. The niece, who at age 38 is a successful civil rights lawyer fighting for the rights of the less fortunate is a “Shero”. The wife, who has esteemed and reverenced her husband for 65 years of marriage, and whose husband still calls her blessed, is a “Shero”. The co-worker, who has taken on the company to fight for all employees to have rules and policies changed, is a “Shero”. The friend, who stood during the most difficult times, encouraged and inspired others to face their fears, and pursue their dreams, is a “Shero”. Some of our greatest “Sheroes” are the single mothers, facing everyday challenges with strength and valor, raising children, operating businesses, and mentoring.


If you operate in any of these capacities with courage and determination, I salute you and thank you for making a difference in the lives of your loved ones and ultimately the world we live in. You are today’s modernday “Sheroes”, homemakers, entrepreneurs, scholars, and activists and, you are far more precious than rubies!

Never be too ashamed to know your heritage or too proud to share your story. You who sit among us today have a great future; you are neither too young nor too old. Our stories continue to unfold. Pay attention to every detail and be careful of the choices you make because they will tell... our history, our heritage and our legacy.

Here’s something else to consider: February is Black History Month, a time we celebrate our history and our heritage. To be honest, our history should be celebrated every day of the year. I am not going write a list of accomplishments we have made over the years. Instead, I am going to ask that you do your own research. While the internet and the libraries are great places to start your research, I encourage you to start with your family. Take some time each day to talk with a family member about your heritage, about your history, about your legacy. Talk to Big Mama and Big Daddy, your aunts and uncles, older cousins and other relatives, one, two, and three generations out. You may be amazed at the historical accomplishments within your own families. If you feel you have not discovered any, then create some for the generations to come. What is a need in your community? Work to bring forth a solution. What national or global changes do you want to see? Create a plan of action to make it happen. Your family is the next generation of bold movers. We are a dynamic people who have done great things and can still do great things. So, in addition to celebrating the accomplishments of our ancestors, let's get our names added to the mix.

Rosa Parks, by Bill Farnsworth, from the book, Heroes for Civil Rights, by David A. Adler. Born: February 4, 1913 -Died October24, 2005

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LOVING Charles Said:

Not Just Another Date Night By Charles & Traci Childress Traci Said: About nine years ago I found myself encumbered by life. I had things to do, projects to complete, and children to raise…you know the deal. Charles was also being diligent in his affairs, but that meant we didn’t’ spend a lot of time just being with each other, even though we interacted every day and slept through our movie rentals on Friday nights. Something was changing, and although we weren’t at each other’s throats, a distance was silently forming, and that wasn’t acceptable to either of us. Coming to ourselves, we decided to choose a date night once a month, when it would least likely be interrupted, and from the first date we saw the impact.

Date night was a real game changer for our relationship in the truest since of the term. Prior to establishing that time once a month we had virtually no relationship-enhancing time together; there was always something more “important” to do. Simply establishing date night made it a day I looked forward to, and our relationship was now officially on the calendar like any other important event in our life. Date night also fostered the habit of thinking about us, our likes and dislikes, and what we were going to do each time. It’s important to note that the reason we experienced such a large positive impact was partially because we went from almost no time together to a regularly scheduled time. You might already have frequent times together, and so the question is no longer time itself, but what you’re doing with that time.

You might be thinking, “Once a month? Is that all?” Well, before you judge it too harshly, let me say that if you aren’t already setting time aside, you could find yourself overwhelmed, or worse, you could fall into the rut of predictability. I’ll let Charles talk more about that in a minute. Suffice it to say, I have learned and suggest to you, that once a month has its perks.

The dictionary definition of the word “rut” is “…a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.” Wow, what a perfect description of many so-called date nights. There is a point when dinner and a movie becomes muscle memory, they no longer contain any fruitful conversation, interesting discoveries or playful challenges; they simply become another event to mark off the calendar… like taking out the garbage.

For starters, once a month is easier to guard so you are less likely to allow others to encroach upon your date. Second, once a month will help build anticipation for your special time. Third, if your budget is tight, you will have time to accumulate funds for your date, and fourth, the once a month date gives you time to be more creative with your date planning. Waiting until Valentine’s Day to be creative is sad… you can do better than that.

Remove predictability from your date night vocabulary. The very act of coming up with new and creative ideas for your time together will spur new conversation, and the new experiences will bring about new reactions, which will prompt fresh excitement for your relationship. In the end, isn’t that the whole purpose? It’s not about spending a lot of money or being


extravagant. If you never go on a walk and just talk, then for you that will be creative, refreshing and impactful to your relationship… and absolutely free. There’s no excuse to settle for just another date night. The investment you make in creativity will pay higher dividends than you ever imagined. Traci Said: I’d like to add kissing to this conversation on creativity. How often do you kiss your spouse? And I’m not talking about that quick peck on the way out to work. Well, here is a way to spice up your date night: play the kissing game on the way to where ever you are going. Kiss at every stop sign and stop light (until it turns green) on the way to your destination, and don’t be so quick to get on the expressway. Be sure to keep mints and don’t make excuses. If you are thinking “that’s too much,” you may have identified a need in your marriage, a need to be lovers. As Charles said, the whole idea of date night is to prompt excitement…Did you see the movie Date Night? If so, you know how that ended (wink). Simple add-ons and twists to your

existing plans can be the game changer. Sometimes the reason couples get stuck on date night is because they are so set on what they don’t want to do that they don’t allow themselves to make discoveries. If you try something and you don’t like it, try something else next time, or talk about how it can be improved and try it again. It’s not really about the date, it’s about the relationship. If you don’t feel you can be creative, take some time to get on-line and use someone else’s creativity. On The Marriage Network, Charles and I post Romantic Action Plans (R.A.P), so take a peek and go to www.funinmarriage.net. Charles & Traci Childress oversee The Marriage Network, a ministry that empowers couples to see their relationship as more than just co-habitating, but as an opportunity to be a dynamic force in their homes, community, and extended family. You can find them at: www.funinmarriage.net

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FROZEN HEARTS By Candice Payne If you have young children, especially daughters, then you I’m sure you’ve seen the latest Disney Princess movie, Frozen. My daughter is so girly and she owns every princess gown in the Disney Store. I knew I’d probably get my “Best Mom Ever” title revoked if I didn’t take her to see this movie. I sat in the theater waiting for the typical pretty princess-in-distress-and-cute-guysaves-the-day movie, or so I thought. I was wrong. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED FROZEN!! Finally a kid chick flick that embraces the importance of our bond with our sisters (whether blood or not). SPOILER ALERT: Elsa and Anna’s relationship became strained when they were very young. Elsa had a special power but because she accidentally hurt her sister Anna, her parents decided to keep Elsa’s powers a secret and lock the entire family away in their castle. I believe the parents could have saved the girls a lot of hurt if they had helped Elsa embrace and understand her powers. A few years later Elsa’s powers are exposed to the others in the Kingdom when Anna unintentionally upsets her. After that Elsa released her powers without fear. Elsa was still hurting because of her past which caused her to flee the kingdom. However Anna chose not to give up on her sister and went after her. People in the kingdom wanted

SUPERWOMAN SANCTUARY to kill Elsa because her powers caused an eternal winter. When Anna saw one of the men trying to kill Elsa she threw herself in the middle of them and froze solid which prevented her sister from dying. The reason Anna froze solid was because Elsa, during an aggravating argument, accidentally struck her heart. Anna would remain frozen solid forever unless she was unthawed by an “act of true love.” It was assumed that Kristoff (who grew fond of Anna while searching for Elsa) needed to be the guy with the magic kiss but in the end it was the true love from her sister that she needed to be restored. I am not a feminist but I think Sisterhood and Sisters, women who have strong bonds are essential in life. We finally have a Disney Princess movie where a woman is not waiting for the kiss of a Prince to heal her, or waiting for him to ride in on a horse and save her. This movie showed how two Sisters who were complete opposites and probably couldn’t stand each other at times still loved each other. What I loved the most was how protective they were of each other. Anna didn’t like that her sister got angry and caused an eternal winter, but that didn’t stop her from protecting Elsa from those who were trying to harm her. Anna put her own life on the line for her sister. I thought men and women had the most complicated relationships, but I think women and women are complicated. We are competitive, critical, and

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sometimes very cruel to one another. I think we take for granted how much we need each other. I’ve heard women say they relate better with men and wondered, how? Our husbands should be our best friend, developing relationships with the opposite sex is healthy, and bonding with our children is so precious… but in my opinion another woman plays a crucial part in all of it. No one “gets it” like another woman. A man can understand but a woman has experienced it. A man can advise you based on knowledge, but a woman can advise you based on wisdom gained through experience. February is the month people usually express love for their significant other. Let’s bring love back into the relationships among women. There has to be at least one woman you can trust other than your mother. You should have a woman in your life to encourage/mentor/challenge you and you should be that same woman to another woman. There are women who believe they will NEVER be loved unconditionally by a man and that belief has caused major heartbreak and bitterness. They need to be encouraged and uplifted by other women who overcame. We need to have a burden for one another that makes us not want to see our Sisters suffer. If you don’t have a support group of women ask God for guidance. It’s definitely important to choose wisely because everyone will not have your best interest at heart. If you’ve been hurt by a woman or women,

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forgive and move forward. Bonding with your Sisters is good for the Soul!

“People make bad choices when they’re mad, upset, or stressed. Throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best.” -My favorite line from Frozen Candice Payne is NOT a professional counselor; she is a friend with an opinion and host of The Superwoman Sanctuary on Blog Talk Radio beginning in March.


THE MAIN THING THE KING WAITS By Terri Wilson Throughout history there have been many kings on many thrones. There were the African kings, the Norse kings and the Egyptian kings to name a few. Some were loved by their subjects and some were feared and hated by their subjects. Sometimes you asked for an audience with the king and sometimes you were summoned by the king. When you asked for an audience with the king you were expected to bring a gift: a first calf, the first harvest of the crops, or even a slave or two. When you were summoned by the king something was often taken from you, like your head, your children or your spouse. However I know a King who waits until we realize we need him. In my mind, I can see him shaking his head at us after we have tried and done all we know how to do. It's at that very time we have come to the end of our rope that he steps right in and fixes things better than we could have ourselves. He watches us run around, hitting our heads on the wall, wringing our hands, crying and sweating, and just when we're at the point where we throw our hands up in surrender, He steps in to make the crooked places straight, calms the seas, takes our burdens on his shoulders and allows us to rest. I believe I've heard the elders say take it to the altar and leave it there. Well, some of us, me included, have a tendency to go back to the altar and pick it up (or at least a part of it) again, thinking we can handle this piece or that piece. In the end, we are reminded of the reason we put it on the altar in the first place. Here’s a reminder that when you have done all you can do and are standing with that, “What do I do now?” look on your face, just remember, the King waits. Terri Wilson is a minister, women’s coach at her church and an author.

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