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VOLUME 9 - ISSUE 2 / APRIL 2013

S

phie

Wo m a n ’ s M a g a z i n e

INSIDE: Girlfriends In God ~ Let’s Run Away | Page 15 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ Where is YOUR Light Coming From? | Page 7 Me, Myself, & Inc. ~ Is Your Life On Autopilot? | Page 27 shutterbuggerz pg 39

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essage M From The Editor: Judy Smith

It was brought to my attention again this week by a new customer of Sophie Woman’s Magazine that one of the reasons everyone loves Sophie is because it is “Good News”. There are times that I feel like it is such an uphill battle to get Sophie out each month, especially since I have had to deal with cancer, that I, like everyone at times, gets a little discouraged. That is not the norm for me but it happens. Most of the time criticism will just go in one ear and out the other and I tell myself to count to nine and by then I am breathing normal again and keep going. Take for example the time someone posted they had never read an issue of Sophie without tons of mistakes. The reproach that sprang to my head would not have been pretty but thank God, counting to nine worked once again. I realized the person probably meant well and really just wanted to be helpful. I know most of the mistakes made, we are aware of and are intentional or out of our control. It has been said before, “I do not have a degree. I am not a professor of perfection….” if you read my articles, you already know that. My articles are always done from the heart, writing the way I talk, and you can bank on the fact that if I was turning it into an English Professor, I would get it back covered with red. Actually, I have a couple of friends who are English Professors and we laugh about it most of the time. That is the way I am about our contributing writers. When you read their article, I want it to make a difference in your life. That sounds corny, I know, but it is from the bottom of my little peapicking heart. So when we read their article every month before it goes in the magazine, we might change a thing or two if it doesn’t flow, but for the most part, I want it to be theirs. Once in awhile, an ad will have a mistake in it. We are always trying to catch them but it does happen and we try to do within reason what we can to make it right. Then there are ads that might have a bad graphic or something that is a little off. We know about it and the customer knows about it but if the customer can’t get it fixed and they tell us to go with it, that is what we do. We need to pay the bills. Which brings me back to my first point. Our rates are low and we do not have wiggle room to do everything someone wants us to. Our very little staff does not make much money but we still have to pay to produce this publication that has a mission. You see our

from the

mission every time you see a copy of Sophie Woman’s Magazine. It is right there on the front: Inspiration…Education…Motivation. Yep, that would probably get a red line. Sophie Woman’s Magazine is more of a ministry of “Good News” than anything else. So just in case you forgot why I count to nine instead of ten, let me remind you. You know the old saying if you are about to lose it, stop and count to ten. May I tell you that for some reason that never worked for me. Here is something God showed me and here is my nine. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control…..count them….nine. Before you ask, the answer is no. Actually a big fat NO! I still make mistakes. If Sophie Woman’s Magazine is a blessing to you and you can look past the mistakes, please let others know. If you can support us with doing advertising, please think of us. If you are a reader please support the advertisers who are in this with us to get out the “Good News”. If there is a contributing writer who blesses your heart, let them or let us know. Without one another, it cannot be done. Much love to you and feel free if you want you can use my nine.

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S

phie Woman’s Magazine

21 East A Street Newton, NC 28658 (P) 828-466-0122 (F) 828-466-0124 Editor: Judy Smith Production Manager & Graphic Design: Scott Hansley Sales: Julia Price 828.308.5437 julia@sophiewomansmagazine.com Janet Gibson 828.310.5930 janet@sophiewomansmagazine.com Michelle Teague 828.441.9652 michelle@sophiewomansmagazine.com Helen Brown 561-853-4945 helen@sophiewomansmagazine.com

A Special Thanks To All Of Our Distributors

Please be sure to visit all of our participating advertisers and remember to support area local small businesses. How to place an ad: Call our office at (828)466-0122 and leave a message. One of our sales representatives will return your call as soon as possible. You may also fax material to (828)466-0124. We reserve the right to refuse to run any ad we deem to be controversial or in bad taste. For more information about advertising or to view Sophie Woman’s Magazine online, visit our website at www.sophiewomansmagazine.com.

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Message From The Heart......................................pg 3 Reaching Your Full Potential................................pg 7 After The Knight...................................................pg 8 The Front Porch......................................................pg 11 Here We Go.....Again!.........................................pg 12 The Fly Lady.........................................................pg 13 Girlfriends In God................................................pg 15 Health & Fitness Tips...........................................pg 16 Journal Entries From Our Readers.....................pg 18 Are You At Risk?..................................................pg 20 Sophisticated Women...........................................pg 22 Lessons on Stress..................................................pg 24 Me, Myself, & Inc................................................pg 27 The Dinner Diva..................................................pg 28 Put On A Happy Face...........................................pg 30 Recipes For Life...................................................pg 33 Ten Things You Should Never Do At Weddings....pg 34 Can You Trust Your Heart?..................................pg 36 Shutterbuggerz.....................................................pg 39 Gardening Tips For Beginners...........................pg 46

*Now Available* SUBSCRIPTIONS

We have been asked by many of our readers to offer a subscription to Sophie Woman’s Magazine. If you would like more information about a subscription, please visit our website at:

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com You can also find more information on page 10 of this issue.

********************************************************** Disclaimer: Sophie Woman’s Magazine LLC is published monthly. The articles published in Sophie do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. All articles are intended for informational purposes only, and none should serve as a substitute for doctor’s advice and orders. Advertisers are solely responsible for the content and validity of information published within their ads and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. Deceptive or misleading advertising is not knowingly accepted by the publisher. Advertising is accepted with the understanding that all liability for copyright violations is the sole responsibility of the advertiser. All material submitted for publication is considered to be the sole property of the advertiser. Sophie Woman’s Magazine LLC’s publishers, staff, and other persons involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the magazine (in whatever format) or ti’s content, do not assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided in the magazine, nor shall they be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages arising out of the use of the magazine. **********************************************************


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pg 6 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013


REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: Where is YOUR Light Coming From? by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Author, Speaker

“He will guide you into all truth.”

John 16:13

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton As a professional Life Coach, I often feel the weight and responsibility of “guiding people toward truth and light.” One key element that makes this a challenging charge is that most people have allowed the wrong aspects of their lives and their identity to be illuminated excessively while key areas remain in the dark. Think of it this way. If you have ever attended a play of Broadway proportions, you can appreciate the importance of the spotlight. This focused and powerful light illuminates the scene and characters that should be the point of FOCUS! If the light gaffer is not doing his job correctly, a pivotal moment could be missed. Such a mistake could cause you to misunderstand the entire story. One of my favorite coaches is Laurie Beth Jones, a Life & Business Coach of international acclaim. As a fellow Christ follower, Jones has authored numerous best sellers and used the principles which originated as Jesus launched His earthly Kingdom to grow businesses around the world… her success has even led to Communist leaders seeking out her teaching and counsel. One of my favorite books of hers is called Jesus, Life Coach. In this book, Jones recounts the story of taking an art class as she sought to follow in the footsteps of her artistic mother. Jones shares: “Recently when I took time off to refocus my life and energies, I decided to take an art class at a local university. Even though I had aspirations of discovering a hidden pool of talent that would surprise and delight the masses, I decided to heed my mother’s wise advice and take a basic fundamentals of drawing class… I was taken aback when the instructor had us doing a series of drawing exercises without even looking at the page we were drawing on. She explained later that these exercises were designed to help us see the object we were drawing as it really is, not how we think it looks. Another lesson involved sketching simple objects on a table. The instructor said, “Before you begin any drawing, you must first identify your source of light. For instance, with this vase on the table in front of me, where is the light coming from?” We duly noted that it was coming from the window on the left side of the room. “Knowing where the light is coming from will affect every aspect of your drawing. Such items as shading, depth, and volume are affected in major ways by the light source. Learn to identify it before you even begin to sketch. If you leave your drawing and then come back to it later, remember that in order to keep it consistent you must have the same source of light. Jones goes on to say, “I have thought about that lesson many times since then. Probably the fundamental source of any human condition can be traced back to this one question: Where is the source of light?

I have found that anytime I am having a problem, or when I coach people through their own personal obstacle courses, one of the first things that needs to be discerned is where is the light coming from.” One of my opportunities this past month involved speaking to a group of female leaders and business owners on the topic of “The Baggage That Women Carry”. This issue of the LIGHT SOURCE came to mind as I was thinking through the concept of DISEMPOWERING THOUGHTS. Disempowering thoughts are those thought patterns that begin when the light source shifts onto the wrong character from the wrong scene of our life story. You know how it goes. A divorce leaves you unable to think of anything or anyone else. The loss of a job or the relationship failure with a friend leaves you feeling ungrounded and discouraged. If we are not careful, the spotlight can get permanently set on this failure or perceived failure, causing us to miss key opportunities for growth and inner healing. Assess yourself: • What/Who dominates your thought life? • When thoughts come along regarding a past mistake or area of regret, do you camp there or do you quickly shift your focus onto the future? Take this coaching advice: learn to discern where the light is coming in from. If your life and your identity feel out of skew, perhaps you don’t have a life problem. Perhaps you have a light problem. Jesus calls Himself the Father of Lights, our Source of Light, and the Light of the World. When you allow your heart to be illuminated from within, the shadows of your past will grow dim and distant. The future lies ahead. Decide today to give your life over to the purpose of reflecting Jesus’ light and illuminating a path for others to follow out of their hurts and disappointments. Your greatest failures can even become your most powerful platform for success and influence!

About Kim... Kim Fletcher is a Life Coach, Speaker and three-time Author of global impact. She and her team at Kim Fletcher Associates are bringing true transformation to the personal and professional lives of their clients. Contact her directly to learn more about her newest release, The Tension Point: Breaking Through To Where You Want To Be. 828 327 0749 / email: kimfletchercoach@aol. com / web: kimfletcherassociates.com.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 7


by Shannon J. White I love homeschooling my seven children, who range in age from eighteen and graduated, to two and not yet ready for kindergarten. But when my oldest daughter Aerin shared that she wanted to make a movie for her freshman high school elective, I definitely felt that we were getting in over our heads! Her daddy, my husband Gary, has always liked learning how various movies were made, and he was willing to help her. Her sister Joelle was also eager to help and proved herself invaluable repeatedly. None of us had a clue at that time, though, that Aerin’s movie would deeply involve our entire family as well as extended family, most of the families in our small church, and numerous other friends. Nor did we imagine all that God had to teach us in the process. After some discussion, Aerin decided on a plot that included a treasure hunt discovered by the thirteen-year-old son in a family who are about to lose their farm. As this son and his friends follow the clues they find, he hopes the treasure will enable him to keep his current life and the land he loves, but he realizes more and more that he needs to consistently choose God’s ways and trust God with his future. It’s an intriguing story! Aerin wrote the script with some characters specifically tailored to friends who wanted to act in the movie, and she prayed for God to provide the actors for the other characters she created. He did! Aerin also enlisted family and friends to pray faithfully for the movie and kept them updated. Gary thought we should allow a $1000 budget for the project. I gulped. That seemed like an awful lot for what I thought would be a rather cheesy result. I wanted to be supportive but struggled at times with the tremendous investments of time, energy, and expense (more than triple the $1000 originally budgeted!). However, we learned

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so much! Most of the filming took place during long, hot summer days. We all had to work on developing patience, cooperating with others, and being creative with what we had. Editing took much longer than the actual filming. On my birthday, we were sickened – to put it mildly – when an upgrade to the editing program completely wiped out the edited version of the movie. We still had the original footage, but hundreds of hours of work were gone. Our back-up version was inaccessible because of the upgrade. Technical support sympathized but offered no real help. We had given After the Knight to God from its beginning, praying about everything we could think of concerning it. We had asked God to use it for His kingdom in whatever ways He chose. He had already used it in our own lives and others’ lives, growing us closer to Him, but now a finished movie seemed like a lost endeavor. In just a few days (a very long time for our family), God provided an insight that called for some complicated maneuvering but allowed us to regain the movie! God is just amazing. And the final product, with an original musical score, isn’t cheesy – it’s really quality. So many people who have seen it have shared with us, unprompted, how much they enjoyed the movie and how blessed they were by its message. Of course, it’s God’s movie, after all. Aerin gave it to Him. Like the Decker family in After the Knight, we are learning to be faithful to follow God’s ways and leave the results in His hands. We are excited to see what He is going to do with After the Knight and the remainder of our homeschool adventures; He is full of surprises! Visit www.aftertheknight.com to watch the movie trailer, buy a DVD, read more about the movie, or purchase a site license for your church or organization. You may also purchase DVDs of After the Knight at Shops on Main in downtown Conover. Copyright 2013 by Shannon J. White


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pg 10 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013


Front Porch The

I have always been told that when your kids are little they play on your feet; but, when they are grown, they play on your heart. That is pretty true but wow, they sure make my heart sing! Sometimes they sing to me and when times are really tough, I sing to them. Okay, maybe we won’t call that singing but it is at least a joyful noise. This past weekend I took care of two of my granddaughters for their parents to go out of town. It turned out to be quite a learning experience. From my oldest granddaughter, I learned things about these duck people who make millions and are on TV. Along with that, I learned that I was to expect one of their younger boys would one day be a part of our family. Does that mean I need to learn how to cook duck? I am just now getting the turkey cooking down. We also discovered that all of a sudden this same grandchild could do a perfect split. Her seven year old sister kept trying but couldn’t quite get there. So she asked Papaw if he could show her. Now this I wanted to see myself. Don’t worry, he is not in the hospital or anything. Even though he usually does whatever they ask, he knew this was an impossibility! One of my neighbors has goats or should I say, they OWN them but I seem to have them. They are always in my yard. I was informed I did not have the “right” menu for dinner that night so Emily, the seven year old, and I had to run to the grocery store. When we got back, there were the goats. They were eating the flowers in a container. Yes they are plastic but everyone does not have a green thumb and they were still being eaten. Emily wanted me to run them off but I told her she could.

by Judy Smith

When it was time for them to go home on Sunday afternoon, Emily said she had the most fun and couldn’t wait to come do it again. Who said entertainment was expensive? No, wait. That was the food. Those grand kids are precious and so much fun. Children are such a delight. Do you treasure those moments? Are you making memories? Muhammad Ali said “children make you want to start life over”. I know I never want to miss the opportunities for those moments but I am not sure I want to start over. My kids are just now getting to the point that they are saying I was right. Why would I want to start over? But if I did……. If I had my child to raise over again I’d build self-esteem first and the house later I’d finger paint more and point the finger less I would do less correcting and more connecting I’d take my eyes off my watch and watch with my eyes I would care to know less and know to care more I’d take more hikes and fly more kites I’d stop playing serious and seriously play I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars I’d do more hugging and less tugging I’d see the oak tree in the acorn more often I would be firm less often and affirm much more I’d model less about the love of power And more about the power of love. by Diane Loomans

Have you ever noticed how large children’s eyes can get when they are frightened? I assured her they were more afraid of her than she was of them. Hey, that works most of the time and it did this time. She sets off chasing them down the yard and when they ran she thought she was queen of Billy Goat Hill. Later as she and I went onto the back porch, guess what was out there? If you guessed correctly, pat yourself on the back. She was filled with delight and she jumped off the porch and stated running them in circles till they figured out which way to go and down the hill they went with Emily in tow. Hannah congratulated me on how creative I was wearing Emily down for the evening.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 11


Lessons for Granny Here we go….. Again By Stefanie Hutcheson

Don Henley sang about it. Jesus taught it to us. Preachers preach it. We teach it to our kids and try to even apply it to our own lives. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Sing it with me: There are people in your life who’ve come and gone. They let you down; you know they hurt your pride. You better put it all behind you baby, ‘cause’ life goes on. If you keep carryin’ that anger, it’ll eat you up inside, baby. I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter. But I think it’s about forgiveness, forgiveness. Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore. I struggle with it. I’ve let it eat me up inside, the anger, the hurt, and the confusion. It’s a daily battle and the process has to often be repeated over and over. Kind of like shampoo…. rinse, lather, repeat. How many of us only wash our hair once in our lifetimes? Even bald folks and those who don’t have much left are concerned with what’s on top of their heads. So, let’s get to “the heart of the matter”. Hmn. Too bad the shampoo can’t get in there, huh? There is much confusion about forgiveness. Matthew 6:15 says it like this: “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” That’s pretty tough! We like to think of Jesus as being the One Who has taken care of all of this stuff and we trudge along, thinking we are doing the best we can. Yet He knows that it’s just not in us to be exactly like Him. So we fudge here and there, choosing which parts of The Bible actually apply to us, and leaving out the hard parts. Can you relate? Most of you know I am a proud (very proud!) grandmother of two young boys, ages 2 and 4. The lessons I learn from them on a daily basis are many and I am about to share another one with you. You’re welcome! The other night I was over at my daughter’s house and Walker and I were sitting on the couch. Connor was in the floor doing something and I accidentally hit him with my foot. “Oh baby, I am so sorry! Will you forgive me?” I asked, but he was having no part of it. “No!” He was too

pg 12 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

busy on his little Zoodles game to take time to let Granny off of the hook. Often I can pretend to cry and he will come running to make things right between us but again, this time he wasn’t interested in mending fences. I moaned out, “Oh, Connor won’t forgive me. I’m so sad.” Walker, my go-to guy who almost always come running to make things better for his beloved, scooches over to me and asks what is wrong. I tell him and he says these words that make it all so real, so simple to me once again. “Granny, I forgive you. Even though Connor won’t forgive you, I will. Even when Connor won’t forgive you in the future, I will. I will always forgive you for what my brother does.” He gave me that sweet hug and smooch that he does so well and I just sat there, dumbfounded. Oh yes, I’ve heard these words before, or at least some similar to them. I think you may have heard them too. If not, here’s a gentle reminder: (Luke 23:34) “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”” Just like Christ took the weight of the world on His shoulders and took our sins away, here Walker was emulating the Jesus that he is only beginning to know for himself. Did I mention the kid is only four-yearsold? How come he is so ready to grasp these truths that are taught to him in simplicity and we adults have such a hard time with them? Oh yeah, I remember now! “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3). It is simple! Kids don’t know how to hold grudges. They are taught when someone hurts them and/or their feelings, that they are to apologize, to hug, to let it go, and to go on. It’s we adults that make it complicated by holding on to the pains, expecting others to come begging us for forgiveness when most of the time they are unaware they have even offended us. And what’s even sadder is these same kids are looking to us for guidance. I think I have gotten that backwards somewhere. These little precious grandsons of mine are the teachers. I am the student. And I have so much to learn! Thank You, God, for kids. Through them, I see You. Plus, they are really cute to look at! Thank You once again for the lessons for Granny. Keep ‘em coming, Lord. Indeed, I have much to learn.


FlyLady THE

by Marla Cilley

Calendar Happiness A few years ago the late Dr. Steven Covey and I were speaking to an audience of over ten thousand people. Before the event he called me to his dressing room and wanted to know just exactly what “The FlyLady” did! I kind of laughed out loud. I told Dr. Covey to think of it like this. Once my ladies graduate from FlyLady they can understand his planner. I still don’t think he could grasp how anyone could not comprehend how to use his planner. This is what has happened to us our whole lives. The born organized folks often looked at us in dismay because we could not do things the way they expected. Our inability to process Born Organized instructions does not make us stupid. Would we be ostracized if we spoke a different language? We are creative people who just want to have fun. Our spontaneity can be an asset but it can also interfere with our creativity. When we miss an appointment or an important event because we got sidetracked again; we feel guilty. This guilt becomes the roadblock to loving ourselves. As I told Dr. Covey, I help my ladies establish routines that include checking their calendars each morning and evening. In our excitement to start another beautiful day, we sometimes forget to check our calendar for what’s next. I know why this happens to us. With a planner; it is usually hiding from us in our bottomless pits of a purse. As with most things in our lives if they are “out of sight, out of mind”. Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on the perfect planner. Nothing ever worked well for me and I know why! I was afraid to mess it up with my handwriting. I would buy a planner system only to look like I had myself organized. You can’t have the perfect planner if you allow your perfectionism to get in the way of using it. The sad part was that planners don’t come with instructions. We are just expected to know how to use them. I finally figured out I needed a calendar that would get my attention; one with big spaces so I could write large enough to see. The most important rule for using a calendar is to remember to look at it. Procrastination is another big stumbling block to calendar happiness. When we have an appointment in hand we don’t use the “Do It Now” Principle to put that appointment on our calendar. We have people complain that using a wall calendar gets in the way of putting an appointment on your calendar when you are at the dentist office or other appointment. To that I say “NO EXCUSES!” Check your

calendar before you go and then put it on your calendar the minute you come in the door. You can easily put a fun sticker on your wall calendar. The best part is that when your calendar is front and center; your entire family learns how to use it and everyone knows what is going on in the household. With color codes for family members you can tell at a distance who has something going on. Even small children can recognize their color. When we make it fun we will use it! This is your main family calendar. Everyone’s schedule is posted on this calendar. Each Sunday make a point to sit down at the dinner table and synchronize everyone’s pocket calendar with the family calendar. If you don’t ask you are never going to know what is going on in your home; especially with teenagers. With everyone having smart phones now; we have partnered with Cozi to help us with keeping our calendar’

FlyLady’s Calendar Tips 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Check your calendar in the morning. Use our Stickers and other stickers to make it fun. Print when you post events on your calendar. Use small address labels to write on. Helps the perfectionist in you! Color code the address labels for each family member with a high lighter. 6. Synchronize the family calendar on Sunday with individual schedules. 7. Write “What’s for dinner?” on each day at the top when you plan your menus. 8. Post events on your calendar immediately 9. Leave yourself voice-mail messages when you can’t post events immediately. 10. On the 27th of the month check next month for birthdays and events 11. Check your calendar before going to bed. Your calendar along with the “Do it now” Principle will help relieve the stress in your life!

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Please bless others with your clutter by donating it to a Habitat for Humanity Restore near you. Copyright 2013 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 13


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pg 14 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013


Let’s Run Away Today’s Truth

by Gwen Smith

And don’t let us yield to temptation. (Matthew 6:13, NLT)

Friend to Friend

It was a windy winter day. Our three dogs needed to stretch their legs and get a bit of outside playtime, so I let them out to roam freely in our fenced-in back yard. An hour later, my husband asked me where the dogs were. “Out back,” I replied. “Honey, the wind blew that gate wide open and only Rocky is on the deck! How long ago did you let them out?” He asked. “An hour ago!” I exclaimed, as feelings of unease crept into my heart. Grabbing our jackets and our shoes, Brad and I bolted outside and began to scour the neighborhood looking for our two runaway dogs. “Roman! Steeler! Come!” We yelled endlessly into the biting wind. After covering several blocks of our neighborhood, having seen no traces of our dogs, I ran home to get my car. While Brad continued to search on foot, I began to drive around and call out for Roman and Steeler from my car. My stomach was in knots, my heart was gripped with ache, and my mind swirled with longing and prayers for our verymuch-loved pets to come home. Please, be safe doggies! Please, Lord, help us find our dogs. We searched and searched. No dogs. Our phone number is on their I.D. tags! I thought. Maybe someone saw them wandering and took them into their home to call us. I drove home quickly to check our voicemail. No voicemail. I decided to stay by the phone in case someone called. Brad continued to search by driving through our development and the surrounding neighborhoods. After a long while, he returned… without Roman and Steeler. We were crushed. Though we had been praying for the Lord to help us find our dogs the whole time, with heavy hearts we prayed some more. And we waited. More than three long hours after the dogs had run away, our phone rang. Hope sprang to my heart as I heard the question from the other end of the line, “Do you have two missing dogs?” “Yes, ma’am! Their names are Roman and Steeler! We’ve looked everywhere for them! Are they with you?” “Yes they are. I saw them playing outside by the street and thought that they must belong to somebody, so I called them over. They ran right to me and I’ve got them in my house. They are both a good bit dirty and a little bit scared, and the small one is limping slightly… but they are safe,” she said. The skies parted and angels appeared in the clouds singing, “Hallelujah!” as I jumped up to grab a pen to write down her address. They were safe! Thank You, Lord! Roman and Steeler had wandered over a mile away from our home. Over a mile! We scooped them up from the kind woman’s house as fast as we could and rejoiced in their homecoming. They needed to be cleaned, cared for, and held. And that’s exactly what we did: cleaned them, cared for

them and held them. Oh, how we held them! And as I spoke with gentle, reassuring words to my small, limping dog it wasn’t lost on me… the parallels between them and me. Between them and all of us wanderers. God has established boundaries in His Word. They are beautiful boundaries surrounding wide-open spaces of His blessing, purposed to bring Him glory, allowing us to thrive in life and to keep us safe from harm. Yet we wander. Oh, how we wander… through so many different gates of temptation. What is your open gate of temptation? Is it worry, fear, or doubt? Is it food, alcohol, shopping, money, or a good-looking guy who needs to be off your radar? Everybody faces temptations, and while being tempted isn’t a sin, giving into temptation is. Jesus himself faced temptation and He demonstrated that we are to ask God for help. “And don’t let us yield to temptation.” (Matthew 6:13, NLT)

Promise of Deliverance

What should we do when we face temptation? We should call out to God. He promises to give us a way out of any temptation. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Because he himself (Jesus) suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.(Hebrews 2:18) The wind had blown hard on the day of our doggie drama. Our two furry friends had been allured by the temptations of an open gate. They gave in – disregarding the boundaries that had been established for their safety and wellbeing – and ventured out into dangerous territory where cars wisped by and other dangers loomed. Thankfully, they made it home safe. We are fully aware that the outcome of their rebellion could’ve ended horribly. Friend, we need to be on high alert. Gates are going to fly open. Temptations are going to come and we need to be ready to run from them. God will give us the strength to resist each one - if we will only ask for His help. SO… Let’s run away today! Not from the fence of God’s protection, but rather from the gate of temptation. Let’s run away from any gate that flies open. And let’s pray that the Lord will keep us from yielding to temptation.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times that I’ve wandered from Your plan for me and given into temptation. Teach me Your ways. Lead me to make choices that bring You glory and that allow me to experience the life You intended for me to live. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn • • •

What are your gates of temptation? What is God’s best for you concerning these temptations? Do you trust that God’s boundaries are for your good? Why or why not? *****************

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 15


Standing Pilates Exercises

1. Exercise Number One- Standing Pilates Leg Lifts This exercise not only helps your balance but should also engage your glutes and hip flexor muscles as well. It requires one leg to be lifted so it is very effective for strengthening the abdominal and core region.

by Sharon Rashidi B.S. Health Education

Owner of The Perfect Workout

Standing Pilates Many readers have commented on how they liked the article I wrote back in 2011 on the Pilates method. In that article I mainly covered the history of Pilates which was developed by Joseph Pilates back in 1926. Originally named Contrology, the method was used as a form of rehabilitation for injured dancers. It incorporated stretching and breathing exercises that focused on strengthening the abdominal core region. Recently, in my Pilates class, I have converted some of the traditional Pilates mat exercises into standing exercises, which adds the challenge of keeping ones balance as various moves shift weight and body placement over one or both legs. Standing on one leg also creates a greater weight bearing challenge for the hip and leg bones of the standing side of the body which is beneficial in the prevention of Osteoporosis. In class, we use a body bar, not to lean on, but as an aide for proper body position. We also use the bar, to strengthen and tone the upper body as well as the core. At home, you can use a wall for support if needed. One of the best things about standing Pilates is that is creates a greater awareness of ones body and body posture. It is much easier to watch your form when standing than it is when lying down on a mat. In class, we use the mirror as both a visual and an awareness tool to check for proper body alignment. Stand tall with head lengthening to the ceiling, hips directly over the pelvis, and all four corners of the foot pressed evenly into the mat. Standing and traditional mat Pilates are both full body workouts that incorporate the same principles of breath, concentration, control, precision and flow. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Breath: the breath in Pilates is in through the nose and out through the mouth. It is a forceful breath as if you are trying to blow out candles on a cake. Concentration: involves giving full attention to the exercise, doing it with full commitment, to insure maximum value will be obtained from each movement. Control: every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control and kept within the frame of the body. Precision- is essential for correct form in Pilate’s exercises. It is better to do one precise and perfect Pilates exercise with good form than doing several half-heartedly. Flow: Pilate’s exercises are done with a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises.

Invigorate your body by attending a Pilate’s class and discover a new you. Both Standing and Mat Pilates offer a safe non-impact body conditioning technique that will help you develop a strong, flexible, centered and balanced body.

pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

Step One- Stand up tall with your shoulders back, feet facing forward and head in a lifted but neutral position. Hold a body bar or broom stick in front of your body.

Step Two – Lean back slightly while lifting your right leg up off the floor towards your face. Your toe on your right foot is pointed down, and your left leg can be slightly bent. Remember the movement if a lift and not a kick. Repeat 6-8 times and work your way up to 10. Change sides and repeat exercise.

Tips- Beginners should not lift their leg high; a couple of inches of the ground will work. If balance is a problem, start off holding on to a wall and then progress to the bar.

2. Exercise Number Two-Standing Pilates Knee Cross Crunch This is a great exercise to help strengthen your obliques, core, glutes, hips, and lower back. It requires one leg to be lifted so it is very effective for strengthening the abdominal and core region. Step One- Stand with your right hand on your hip and your left arm straight toward the ceiling. Extend your right leg to the side and touch the floor with the ball of your foot. Step Two-Bring your left elbow down and your right knee up, touching them together as you twist to the right. Complete 10 repetitions on one side and switch. Tips- Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and focus on maintaining proper body alignment.


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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 17


Journaling TheJourney Two Entries From Our Readers

Dealing With Abuse Anonymous Contributor

I love spring. I wait each year with anticipation to see those tiny buds on the trees begin to pop open and release their tender green leaves. Watching the heads of my yellow daffodils nodding and swaying on a March breeze gives me hope that fresh new life waiting to burst forth from the earth is on the horizon. There was one spring, about 23 years ago that I wasn’t anxious to watch the earth explode into a rainbow of color. I passed my daffodils that spring without noticing their bright petals glistening in the warm sunshine. For the first time in my life I had no desire whatsoever to cultivate the warming earth with my trowel and fill my small plot of ground with splotches of color. It was that spring that I embarked on a journey that would transform me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. At times it has been the darkest, most painful period of my life, but it also has brought healing, spiritual growth and a stronger faith. The old adage ‘be careful what you pray for’ definitely comes to mind as I recall what happened prior to the first steps of this journey. I had knelt at the altar in a small Baptist church and told God I wanted the closest relationship possible with Him. I didn’t know what to think when He revealed a part of my life that was very shameful which I thought had been buried so deep it would never see the light. In my confusion I asked God...”why am I remembering this? What does this have to do with my life now?” And I tried to shove it aside as I had done when I was a budding young teen and wanted to forget a time of pain and shame and move on with my life. But my Heavenly Father would not let me ignore the dark memories that invaded my dreams and nearly every waking moment of my days. Dragging the weight of those ugly memories everywhere I went soon became too much for me and I realized I was going to need help processing them. I had become severely and chronically depressed and found it increasingly difficult to function in every realm of life. After praying for direction I sought help at a Christian counseling center and began to relate some of the dreams and

pg 18 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

flashbacks to a therapist. I remember telling the therapist I just needed to talk it through with someone a few weeks and I would be on my way. I remember laughing about that comment as I was sitting on her sofa thirteen years later, still processing damaging memories, unraveling dysfunctional behaviors, attempting to heal my wounds and rebuild broken relationships. Now before you judge me for being in therapy for a long time let me explain a bit about the process of healing from abuse. I know as well as anyone it is not healthy to get attached to a therapist or counselor. Seeking professional help is about working through the pain or the problem until it no longer has a hold on you and then moving on. The healing process is a very personal thing. It is different for each individual depending on the circumstances that caused the painful memories and the triggers or stressors which bring them to the surface. Everyone is different in the way they process pain. Issues don’t rise to the surface all at one time. I believe God reveals it as we are ready to face it. I like to compare it to unraveling a large skein of yarn. If you have ever done that you know how the strand of yarn begins to glide out of the midst of that skein so smoothly. Then all at once it gets tight and you tug and tug until out comes one huge tangle of yarn, all twisted up in tiny knots. How tedious it can be to pull at each little knot, working at the yarn until you finally get to the last one and the yarn is flowing freely again.....until ..... out comes another mass of tangles and knots. Then you work and work at untangling those tiny little knots again until the yarn will come out of the skein smoothly. Working through dark and painful memories is sort of like that. For a while the memories flow and you feel you are really making progress. Things are moving along as you are growing and understanding your issues....then one day a friend, family member or coworker makes a comment. A comment that stirs the raging anger within or sends you to such a dark place you want to start running and never stop. As you question the reaction you had or the unhealthy thoughts or behavior the incident prompted, you realize it helps to have another person to listen, give feedback or just be a sounding board. There are many factors which will determine the length of time and manner in which a person processes pain. One of the first books I read on overcoming abuse stated there is no end to recovery. You will be in recovery the rest of your life. After 23 years of healing I can vouch for that. When I took the first step on my path to healing I never imagined the hurdles I would have to jump nor the obstacles I would have to shove out of my way to becoming a healthier human being. Perhaps if I had foreseen the mountain of garbage I had to dig through, I would have opted to live in denial like so many dear folks I know. Instead of letting the monster out of the box that is shoved way back on the closet shelf, some choose a myriad of toxic behaviors to mask what they don’t feel they can acknowledge. Part of the reason I wanted to journal my journey is to help others understand that people all around us carry emotional wounds that are invisible to the eye. While it is easy to see when a person is physically ill and battling a debilitating disease, we walk all around people every day from all walks of life that carry a different kind of disease. The kind of brokenness I am talking about comes from deep hurt from our childhood, unforgiveness,


shattered homes, feelings of insecurity, addictions and the list goes on. So often we are oblivious to that kind of sickness even though it can affect every part of us, including making us physically sick. There is nothing beautiful to share about the kind of abuse I experienced. But there is certainly beauty in the Lord who took my hand and said....”You are not going to do this alone. I am with you all the way.” My heart’s desire is to reach someone in pain and offer them the same hope of healing that I had. We truly don’t have to face those monsters alone.

Living With Epilepsy by Andrea Lovins from Lenoir, NC

I decided to journal my journey when I started reading Judy Smith’s article in Sophie Woman’s Magazine. I looked forward each month to reading Judy’s journal and finding the inspiration she put in every article. It meant so much to me then, and now as I am on a journey of my own. My journey actually started before Judy’s, but I had never thought to write it down, but I have found that through writing it down it has helped me to put things in perspective and see what is really important. Mostly because I know how much reading Judy’s journal has helped me. My journey began very unexpectedly one afternoon in 2011. My father had been ill and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and was unfortunately, placed in a nursing home. I am an only child and my mother came to live with me and my family. While adjusting to this change in my life I was also adjusting to a new position where I was employed. There were a lot of life changes going on at one time and yes, there was stress! While visiting my father one afternoon I had a sudden strange feeling and then nothing. I went completely blank. When I came around I had no memory of what had happened for the last several hours or where I was at. That is what I now know was my first seizure. I went to see a neurologist and numerous tests were ran. I was diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia. Several weeks later I started passing out. It was decided by my neurologist that I would see a cardiologist and have a heart monitor inserted under the skin above my heart to see what was going on there. After only one day I went to have the first reading and it was found my heart had stopped beating for fourteen seconds at a time. I needed a pacemaker and I needed it quickly! About a week later I had the pacemaker and felt like that would be the end of the seizures. It was not to be. The seizures returned and since that time I have had hundreds. Needless to say my diagnosis was changed from Transient Global Amnesia to Epilepsy. I have been blessed to see a top neurologist in the Caldwell County area and then to be seen at Duke and the Mayo Clinic in Florida. I have had every test that could be performed and my diagnosis of Epilepsy is confirmed. A small spot on my brain

that I have probably had since birth was detected and for some unknown reason decided to “fire off” causing the seizures. My seizures are a little out of the normal range as I completely lose my memory but can continue to function and follow commands while they are happening. These are non-convulsing seizures as I just have a blank stare. Because of the seizures I had to leave my job and give up driving. I have tried numerous types of seizure medications, but none have been able to control the seizures. While the seizures are not pleasant they are something I can live with. However, my memory loss is getting worse even when I am not having a seizure. That is what really scares me. In the last couple of days I have been told by a top neurologist from Cincinnati, Ohio that I have Medication Resistant Epilepsy, and that the only option would be surgery to remove the spot on my brain. This is a decision that I will really have to pray about. But, some amazing things have happened along this journey. The most important is that my faith has increased more than I thought was possible. While I have lost some of my independence, I have found out what I am really made of. I have found that I am a much stronger person than I thought. I have found that you can do more than you think you can. I have found that you can be very humbled. And I have found that you can be thankful in a difficult situation because there is always someone else who is much worse. My journey will continue and I will take it one day at a time and trust in the Lord. My hope now is that in some way my “journaling the journey” can help someone else the way Judy’s journal helped me.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 19


ARE YOU AT

RISK? Colorectal Cancer – The Silent Killer

If you are 50 or over, talk to your doctor about colon cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is the #3 cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Each year, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S. and over 50,000 people die from it. Colorectal cancer is considered a silent killer because often there are no symptoms until it is too late to treat, so prevention is key.

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.

The good news is that 80-90% of colorectal cancers can be prevented by regular screening. The majority of colorectal cancers arise from precancerous growths in the colon called polyps, which can be found during a screening exam and removed before they turn into cancer. Colorectal cancer screening should be a part of routine healthcare for people 50 years of age and over.

Over 50? Family History? Get Screened.

Age is the single most important risk factor for the disease. Even people who lead a healthy lifestyle can still develop polyps and cancer. Both men and women are affected by colorectal cancer equally. Once you are over 50, your lifetime chance of developing colon cancer is one in twenty. In individuals with a family history of colon cancer and some other conditions, screening should begin at age 40. Research has shown that African-Americans should begin screening at age 45.

Colonoscopy is the Preferred Prevention Test

Colonoscopy is considered the preferred colorectal cancer screening test because it is the only test that both finds and removes precancerous polyps during the same sedated exam. Recent studies show convincing evidence that colonoscopy drastically reduces the risk of death from colon cancer. A person at average risk with normal colonoscopy results won’t need another exam for 10 years. Should a polyp or cancer be found, follow-up intervals may be more frequent. The colonoscopy procedure is safe and effective, well-tolerated, and can potentially save your life. Article Courtesy of Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. Locations in Hickory and Lincolnton

pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

Five Steps to Lower Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer 1. Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50. If you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, talk to your doctor about earlier screening. 2. Eat a low-fat diet. 3. Tobacco use increases your risk of colorectal cancer. If you use tobacco, quit. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. 4. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three to four days each week. Even moderate exercise such as walking, gardening, or climbing steps may help reduce your risk. 5. Reduce weight. Obesity is now a wellestablished risk factor for colon cancer and many other chronic diseases. If you are over 50 or have a family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your healthcare provider about getting screened today. Find out what kind of screening procedure is right for you. It could save your life.


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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 21


Sophisticated Women.. . . Let’s get started!

By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. 
 This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.



 Hide it under a bushel - NO! I’m gonna let it shine. 
 Hide it under a bushel - NO! 
 I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. 
 Let it shine over the whole wide world, 
 I’m gonna let it shine.
 Let it shine over the whole wide world, 
 I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

I didn’t find out I had a “little light” until I was almost 30-years old. Suddenly, it was obvious. It was overwhelming. It was delightful. And it was daunting all at the same time. Before that I couldn’t imagine… couldn’t accept…couldn’t take responsibility for the light. The “little light” is representative of the creators spark left on the inside of you at birth. It is there waiting to be reverenced. It is there waiting to be set free. I only had to ignite the spark. Recognize it. Then with each breath, I fanned it into a flame. On the day I surrendered to the fact that the creator had placed his light in me; I was suddenly filled with an unmistakable desire to serve the world. I can’t explain exactly what happened. I just know that I had one of those “A HA” light bulb moments when I knew the song was true. I had a little light. And I had to let it shine. Letting your life SHINE is a metaphor for releasing our purpose, our mission, and our capacity. It involves five simple strategies that can increase your vibrancy. Using the acronym SHINE. You have a master plan for setting goals, tactics, and formulating next right steps that serve your ordained work.

pg 22 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

S- Self-Assessment: Take stock of your personality, character traits, strengths, challenges, mental models and beliefs.

♦ Take a personality assessment or pull out one you took for work or school. What does your assessment say? Dust off your Myers Briggs and read it! What are your strengths? Your challenges?

♦ Think about the character traits of humanity, resilience, courage and wisdom. Which one comes easy for you? How can you use this trait in a powerful way?

♦ Think about how you think. Meta-cognition allows you to step back from your everyday thought patterns and choose a new way to think. I find that people put their “lights under a bushel” in two key ways. People are driven by their emotions. People procrastinate. Must-reads are: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and Rita Emmet’s, Procrastinator’s Handbook.

H- Habits: We all know we have good habits. We all know we have bad habits. The crazy thing is we have bad habits and we are conscious that they are bad! What is wrong with us? Why don’t we stop? It’s time to stop and ask yourself this powerful question:

♦ If I know I have a bad habit, what is preventing me from changing

it? Make a list of what you gain if you make a change. Make a list of what you will lose if you don’t make a change. Weigh the outcomes. Then choose to integrate a new good habit into your life.

I- Illumination: Illumination is about being transparent, open and available. Once you have done your self-assessment and changed habits, you understand how powerful you can be. It also becomes clear you have a responsibility to release your capacity to light up the world with your talents and gifts. So, what will you do with this one life you have to live?

♦ Your past is full of experiences that indicate how your “little light” shines in different situations. Think of three times in your life when you were amazing in a role. Write down these three stories and share them with a friend. Ask them to tell you what gifts, talents, and capacity they see within the stories. You’ll be amazed at what they hear in your story. Document your gifts and start to carry them with you as you take…

N- Next Right Steps: Next Right Steps are decisions confirmed through the process of using the gifts you’ve discovered in the illumination process. If you are compassionate, then where, when, and how will you show compassion? If you are funny, whom will you make laugh?

♦ On a piece of paper, list the gifts, talents, and capacities you

discovered in the illumination stage. Next to each gift indicate


. . . . . . . . . . . SHINE who needs you. Where can you give your gifts? And ultimately, get clear on WHY you must give your gifts to the world.

E- Energy: To let your light shine bright, you must protect and harness the four energies: intellectual energy, spiritual energy, emotional energy, and physical energy. The goal is to move from diffused and confused to a laser quality focus on your life’s purpose.

♦ To ramp up your intellectual energy, you may need to learn

something new. What learning must take place to provide insight on how your gifts can serve the world? Perhaps like me, you need to enroll in college and finally get your degree?

♦ Spiritual energy requires silence, solitude, and sanctuary.

Letting your “little light” shine isn’t optional. It’s essential. As Marianne Williams shares, “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.” You see if you don’t let your “little light” shine, your darkness creates a barrier that holds everyone around you hostage. If you’d like a free energy analysis so you can self assess, create a new habit, outline next right steps and set yourself and others free. Just reach out to me.

Shine on…

Perhaps you need a quiet space or a retreat to revive your soul?

♦ Emotional energy requires positive relationships where you are heard and understood. Do you need a mentor, a counselor or a coach to listen to your heart’s desire?

♦ Does your body feel good? Do you need to employ a trainer, a nutritionist, or simply take a walk each day faithfully?

At its deepest level, working with a coach frees you to indentify your birthright gifts, discern your deepest passions, and fulfill your highest purpose. A coach can pry you off dead center. As Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group, LLC, a collaboration of individuals focused on work, life and spiritual growth, Nicole is on a mission to impact, energize, and influence people to lead a Vibrant Life by engaging the possibilities. As a life and business coach and workshop leader, Nicole views her role as a conduit to release all that you want to achieve. www.thevibrantcoach.com/www.thelydiagroup.com

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esson on St ress L A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’... She fooled them all.... “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. “

◊ ◊ ◊

◊ ◊

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY ◊

Save the earth..... It’s the only planet with chocolate!* I THINK!!!!

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow. ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue! Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. Drive carefully... It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others. Never buy a car you can’t push. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late. The second mouse gets the cheese. When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

pg 24 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

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Are You Living in Autopilot? With so many demands and obligations, it can sometimes feel as though your life is running you versus you running your life. The problem is that your life shouldn’t feel like it is a machine that is running or that you should be operating. Your life should be as alive as you are, filled with continuous moments of enlightenment, joy, pleasure, gratitude, discovery, learning, growing, interacting and the list could go on. Are you in autopilot some of the time or all of the time? Consider if any of these observations apply to you. Distant versus Connected: When your life feels like it is running you, you often feel as though you are sprinting from this activity to that, barely catching your breath. With so much on your plate, you then believe you don’t have time to take a lunch break or you don’t have time to get together with friends or even take a moment for yourself. When you get to this point, your life has become a series of transactions versus interactions. Without realizing it, your to-do list has created a distance between you and everyone else. The very people in your life who are the reasons for all that you are doing feel that you have disconnected from them. If your family or friends are telling you they miss you, wish they could spend more time with you or are concerned that you are burning the candle at both ends, take this to heart. Start first with a miniretreat to get reconnected with you, and then continue to honor yourself by reconnecting with friends and family. Coincidental versus Intentional: I was speaking with a friend who was highly accomplished but feeling uninspired, which totally shocked and surprised me when you considered all this person had achieved in her life. In sharing my surprise, I learned that all her accomplishments were, in her words, coincidental because she had never really had any goals. Wherever she worked, goals were dictated and she just accomplished them. Whatever she did personally was because it was presented to her and she then decided to do it. Now she was in a place in her life where no one was dictating her next steps or what she should be striving for and so she felt disengaged and unsure what direction to go. The idea of having to figure it out for herself paralyzed and intimidated her. We began to look at which accomplishments she was most proud of or passionate about and then before we knew it, she was identifying some areas she would like to become engaged in to see where they could lead. Just the mere shifting from coincidental to intentional in thought inspired her into action.

Lost versus Present: Are you lost in your thoughts more than you realize? Are you continuously focused on the next thing on your list and then the myriad of things that you know need to be on your list? Do you wonder where time has gone and wish you could get more time in each day? One of the best things I ever started doing was to make it a practice to be “thanking” as much as I am “thinking.” By doing this, it forces me to be in the present and appreciate what is happening in given moments throughout my day. I carry a gratitude journal with me wherever I go and note the simplest to the grandest thoughts about what I appreciate whenever I open the journal to write. I also try to write at least one thank you a day to someone and say thank you as much as I can for even the smallest of gestures. You will find that gratitude is the most powerful means of bringing you back into the present. And you will also be amazed at how your thinking shifts in more empowering and productive ways because of thanking. Taking Control versus Charge: When you begin to feel as though you have no control over anything and must go with the flow to get through the day, you can become numb to the world around you. Then something will happen, a “last-straw” event will occur, and you decide you are going to take control of your life once and for all. Because of the numbness you have felt, your sense of control is distorted feeling more like the “Wrath of Kahn” to those around you as if you have somehow snapped. Instead of vowing to take control of your life, be determined to take charge of your life. The difference is subtle, but powerful. Taking control often results in extreme actions, whereas taking charge focuses on what truly matters. For instance, a middle-aged woman, who had always handled all the household details and duties, decided she had had enough and literally went on strike, deciding she would do nothing at all in rebellion. In the taking charge scenario, she would announce some particular things she was going to make time to enjoy, and therefore, others in the household were going to need to step up and help so it could continue to be a household everyone could enjoy. Our life is indeed what our thoughts make it, but our actions and reactions are what make life our current reality. Your life can be more of what you ultimately want it to be. Turn autopilot off and start truly experiencing, appreciating and embracing every moment now. *** Bio: Sherré DeMao inspires millions through her monthly columns, weekly Insight eZine and national contributing writing. An expert strategist and marketer focused on entrepreneurs, her unique perspective and innovative approach has earned numerous awards regionally, nationally and internationally including being named among the Top 50 Enterprising Women of North America in 2007. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. (www.memyselfandinc.com) and 50 Marketing Secrets (www.50marketingsecrets.com) have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must reads.

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If you’ve adopted a healthy new lifestyle for you and your family, you might be starting to miss some of your favorite meals to sit down to. Meals like pizza, for instance. Announcing that it’s Pizza Night is an easy way to get the family together around the table, but a lot of the chain pizza joints serve greasy, cheesy junk. Luckily, homemade pizza is just as convenient as takeout (if you know how to do homemade pizza right) and there’s no contest that it’s healthier for you. How can you make homemade pizza convenient? There are several ways! Prep ahead of time! If you’re planning on making Friday pizza night, keep that in mind through the week. When you’re chopping veggies for a stir-fry on Wednesday, set aside some extra for your pizzas. Same goes for meat. If you’re cooking ground beef and bacon for a separate dish, set some aside in a container for Friday’s pizza. On Friday morning, before work, grate some cheese while you’re making breakfast, and set it aside in the fridge for later. When you get home from work, make your favorite crust, get the


sauce going and simply put your toppings on and bake! Or, involve the kids and let everyone make his or her own favorite pizza. Freeze it, baby! Another thing you might want to consider, is making your own batch of frozen pizzas! Make your favorite crust recipe and your favorite sauce. When the crust is ready for the pan, bake it for about 7 minutes. After the crust is out of the oven, allow it to cool and then top with sauce (the sauce MUST be completely cooled), cheese and meats/veggies of your choosing. Freeze for 3 to 5 hours. Then, wrap in plastic wrap, label and date. Voila! Next Friday, you can just take a pie out of the freezer, heat your oven to 375 and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the pizza is nice and golden and bubbly. I would recommend making a few of these at a time while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to the trouble, so you can have a stack in the freezer ready when you need them. When you serve your pizza, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Paleo, gluten-free or a traditional variety, put as many veggies and lean, local meats on there as you can and go easy on the cheese. Always serve with a great big green salad. Also try thinking outside the pizza box a bit with your combos. Top your pizza with fresh basil, figs and goat cheese. Or make it Thai and top with peanut sauce, chicken and bean sprouts! Why not?

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2) Furniture makeover- Give an old piece of furniture from your basement, garage, or thrift shop some new life. You might paint it a fun color, decoupage wallpaper on the drawers, or replace the pulls. Add some fun decals for a theme. Bedazzle the piece if that is your thing. Try taking the doors off an old armoire, wallpapering or painting the interior, and filling it with things that you love. By giving new life to a worn-out item, you might just get a lift yourself. 3) Aromatherapy- “Gentle Breeze”, “Tropical Sands”, “Warm Sugar Cookie” are all names of candles. By burning these or your favorite scents, you can possibly bring back some happy memories of a better time in your life. 4) Make a shrine- After losing a beloved pet, I make a temporary shrine in a corner of the dining room. Favorite photos and mementos helped me grieve and remember how lucky we were to have such a wonderful friend-even for a short time of fifteen years. The shrine can be a way to celebrate the life of someone or something you’ve lost, whether it is a true love, a pet, or a segment of your life.

“PUT ON A HAPPY FACE” Design Tips to help you through Dark Days by Susan Guest, ASID Do you ever feel like you are experiencing a thunderstorm even though the sun is shining? Has your normally sane life felt like it has been turned upside down? We all experience times that try our mental, physical and spiritual strength. I have worked with clients who are trying to move on after a divorce or a death of a spouse. Others are experiencing depression or anxiety and struggle to get a handle on enjoying daily life. Still others have had to move to a smaller home due to financial reasons. Even though therapy and medication are sometimes needed to get through a crisis, there are some environmental things that are worth a try. 1)

Paint a small area in your home a bright colorwhether it be a powder room, the wall behind your bed, or even the area above your kitchen cabinets. Just a little pop of color can go a long way. Not only does color affect how we feel, the act of working on a project can sometimes chase the blues away. Paint is one of the least expensive ways to redecorate and a small area can easily be repainted later.

pg 30 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

5) Rearrange your furniture- Rerouting your path through the family room might be just the thing you need to reroute your thinking. Sometimes a different habit or path can enable you to see things a new way and get a fresh start in life. Also, by moving your furniture, you will probably be vaccumning dust bunnies and finding all the money under the cushions. With your new found wealth, you can treat a friend to coffee or add to your retirement fund. 6) Wash your windows- let some rays of light come in your home. Light can be a cure for what ails you! 7) Lighten up-Reduce items in an area of your home by 25% and donate the unneeded items to your favorite charity. Not only will you possibly feel better, someone else might be thrilled with their new treasures. 8) Add something new- find a new accessory that will add a different and interesting accent to your home. Whether it is a fine oil painting or a piece that a neighbor set out for trash pickup, celebrate your new addition. 9) Ask for help- when we know a friend is in trouble, most of us really want to help and simply don’t know what to do. If you are working on a project and need a friend’s help, ask. If it is not in their expertise, they will tell you. 10) Stuck? If you want to add some excitement to your environment, but don’t know where to start, hire a


professional designer. We can help you find the one or two things that you can do to add the most -impact and value to your home. 11) Smile - often you can brighten your mood simply by smiling to yourself. Just going through the motions of smiling can not only make a difference in your day, but can also impact someone around you. 12) Enjoy the little things in life. Find a blooming flower from your yard and put it in a vase in your kitchen. Enjoy all that life holds-even when you don’t want to. Every day is special-even the ones that are not our favorites. Remember, if we didn’t have dark days, we couldn’t fully enjoy the sunniest ones.

Susan Guest, ASID is an award-winning interior designer in Hickory and owner of Guest Interiors, LLC. She is one of the designers featured in “Spectacular Homes of the Carolinas”, found in high-end bookstores around the country. For more information, visit www.guestinteriors.com.

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Buttermilk Biscuits & Sausage Gravy Biscuits: 4 cups all-purpose flour 6 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup butter 1 ½ cups buttermilk Sift together the first three ingredients. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, add the butter until mixture becomes crumbly. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until a soft ball forms. Turn dough onto a floured countertop; knead lightly 20-25 times. Roll dough ½ inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place on a greased baking sheet or pizza stone and bake 8-10 minutes or until top appears golden. Serve hot. Makes approximately 1 ½ dozen. Sausage Gravy: 4 cups milk 1 lb. sausage ½ cup flour Salt & pepper to taste Brown sausage over low-medium heat and lightly drain. Return sausage to pan, sprinkle flour over the top, and stir until coated. Add milk, stirring gently to combine well. Continue cooking over low-medium heat until gravy slowly boils. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over halved biscuits.

AAPrayer for God’s Prayer For Blessing God’s

Blessing

Loving Lord Jesus, You are “the bread of God … that … gives life to the world” (John 6:33). You supply my spiritual needs, and without You I would remain woefully empty. I confess I sometimes choose worldly or fleshly pleasures instead of allowing You to fill me. Thank You for Your constancy despite my repeated wrong choices. Please intensify my hunger for You and irresistibly draw me into Your presence. In Your holy name, Amen.

Food for the Soul Tender buttermilk biscuits drenched with creamy sausage gravy stirs my appetite. Just thinking about this combination causes me to hunger! My daughter especially approves when I prepare this delectable dish. Since I often serve it for dinner, she looks forward to leftovers for breakfast the next morning—if anything remains. What would we do without the sense of hunger? Though many of us spend money and time trying to curb our appetites, let’s think about the blessing a desire for food offers. Hunger usually indicates the body’s need for nourishment. Realizing and fulfilling this requirement contributes to our health and well-being. If we never felt hungry, we’d struggle to consume enough and hence waste away. Yet we often satisfy hunger with unhealthy snacks, which diminishes God’s design. Devouring sweets and junk that appeal to our cravings, we sometimes eat simply for the sake of temporary enjoyment. Being blessed by abundance in the USA has led us to indulge unwisely now and then. In a spiritual sense, two parallels relate to this physical reality. First, we desperately need the sense of spiritual hunger in order to gratify it. In other words, we must know we’re spiritually empty before we can even attempt to fill the void. Secondly, this spiritual awareness must be met accurately with the truth found in Christ and God’s Word. Instead of allowing the evil one’s lies to lure us into false fulfillment, we have to embrace God and His ways. Only then will we genuinely experience spiritual well being. The Bible reveals that all people possess a sense of eternity deep within (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). However, this does not necessarily mean everyone retains a sense of spiritual hunger. Each person needs God, but he/she might not realize God is missing from his/her life. Romans 3:10-11 unflinchingly declares “… THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD.” All of us sin, which means none of us achieves God’s standards on our own. Truly we’re blessed when God enables us to comprehend our spiritually starved state, for only then can we seek to satisfy it. Sadly many people glide through life without realizing their need for a Savior. Even those reared in Christian homes occasionally disregard the truth they’ve heard and fail to grasp its importance. Rather than hungering for God, countless individuals hunger for what this world offers or what the flesh pines for. So they partake of it … but remain empty. Jesus proclaimed, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Only God can satiate our spiritual hunger. The treasures of His Word, the intimacy of prayer, and the joy of belonging to Him fill us to overflowing. Though life’s challenges almost deplete us, Christ’s well never runs dry. He strengthens and sustains us step by step. That being said, we sometimes still neglect to spiritually nourish ourselves. Choosing temporary pleasures and self-gratifying options, we indulge in what we want over what we need: God. Let’s purpose anew to eat wisely by daily choosing to be replenished by God. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Psalm 107:9). Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life … Emily Wickham gently reaches women’s hearts as she teaches God’s Word. Through her Bible study, Reaching for Righteousness: Life ! Applications from the Book of Esther, and various writing endeavors, she encourages readers into close relationship with God. Additionally she hosts an annual women’s conference in Greensboro, NC. Visit www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com to read Emily’s blog devotionals and to learn more about life in Christ. To contact Emily about speaking at women’s events such as retreats, luncheons, and conferences, please e-mail emily@ proclaiminghimtowomen.com. Emily, who is grateful to God for His blessings, enjoys life with her wonderful husband and their four terrific children in western NC.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 33


10 Things You Should Never Do at Weddings by Mackey S. Carpent / mscdesigns.net

This is my top 10 list, not Letterman’s. And even though it may sound funny, it’s really not. If you don’t attend a lot of weddings, you may be in for a surprise.

10. If the invitation says the wedding is at 6 o’clock that means it is formal attire. A candlelight ceremony usually means formal attire. Black tie usually means formal attire. Formal doesn’t have to be a floor length dress, but something really nice. And for men, they can wear a good suit with basic shirt and tie. Now, if the wedding is not local, maybe at the beach, that may dictate something else. Call and ask beforehand if you are planning to attend. 9. If you think you may get thirsty during the ceremony, get a drink of water beforehand. Or if there is a health problem, tuck a small bottle of water in your purse. But don’t constantly get up and down during the ceremony. 8.

Now, with that said, if the wedding isn’t until 6, and you haven’t eaten anything since lunch, eat a light snack before you leave home. Something like cheese and crackers would be good and filling. Just something to tide you over. Don’t stand around while waiting for the bride and groom to arrive complaining about how hungry you are. After the ceremony, it could be an hour or longer before the food is served. And if it’s a buffet, don’t go back for seconds until everyone has been served. And remember, it’s not like the “all you can eat buffet” in Vegas.

7. The invitation is meant only for those named on the invitation. Don’t bring friends or other family members unless they have received an invite. This includes children. If it doesn’t mention them by name, or it doesn’t have “and family” written on it, then they are not invited. And don’t call and ask if they can come. 6. Gifts. Put some thought in it. If you are having financial problems, no one needs to know that information. One of the sweetest gifts that I’ve ever seen was a handwritten letter from the bride’s aunt telling her of the memories she had of her as a child. It’s hard to top that. Sometimes a whole family will go in together and purchase a really nice gift instead of several small ones. 5. Be considerate when parking. This is not a sport’s event where you desperately want to get a good parking space. There may be older guests that will need to park close. And unless they arrive in limos, the bridal party should be able to park close to the church. pg 34 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013


4. It’s alright to save a seat or two, but not a whole pew. I’ve seen people do this and then no one shows up. 3. Don’t ask for an arrangement from the church or off the tables at the reception. For some reason, this always happens. Your invitation can be your memento. Sometimes they may have favors for the guests. 2. If you are giving a toast, don’t tell stories about the bride or groom’s other relationships. Really not appropriate! And it’s not the time to try to embarrass someone. A true friend would never do this. 1. Cell phones. Turn them off! Not on vibrate, not on low, OFF! I have often seen people texting during a wedding. How rude can you get? I have even seen people texting during a funeral. Ridiculous! Not on the list, but it’s a good idea to take a small bottle of hand sanitizer and tissues. I am sure there are many more, but these are my top 10. Enjoy! For All Of Your WEDDING NEEDS Catawba Valley’s YOU~NIQUE Rental Store IT’S MY PARTY RENTALS 1230 9th Ave. NE Hickory, NC (828) 267-2789 www.itsmypartyrental.com &

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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 35


Heart?

Can You Trust Your

Dr. David Hawkins The Relationship Doctor

A year ago my wife and I faced a very important decision. It was one of those decisions where we prayed for wisdom and insight, and still felt unsure of the right choice. We were enamored by a quaint area near Seattle populated by artists, writers and creative folk. We had been drawn to this community over and over, always returning home wanting to live there someday. We kept a faint hope alive that someday an opportunity might present itself. On one of our adventures, just driving around, my wife, Christie, convinced me to stop at an Open House-just for fun. While we decided we weren’t really interested in the house, we formed an immediate kinship with the Realtors, Mike and Robin. We shared our love of the area, and hope of someday finding a home just right for us. Months passed when one Saturday morning Mike called, excitedly announcing he had found an adorable cottage. “It won’t last long… No pressure” he quipped. Looking at one another, my wife and I wondered if we should even go and see it. What if we fell in love with it but couldn’t afford it, which was very possible. What if we were swept off our feet, and made an impulsive decision we later regretted? Always the dreamer, my wife made the decision: “It never hurts to dream,” she said wistfully. Long story short—we saw, we fell in love, we made an offer that was accepted. While the finances were a stretch for us, we felt in our hearts that this was the right decision for our future. We quickly weighed out the pros and cons, prayed more about it and took the leap. We trusted our hearts! It has turned out to be a very good decision, without regrets. Does this mean we can always trust our hearts? Are our hearts infallible? Listen to this story from a woman who wrote to me recently. Dr. David. You’ve talked about listening to our hearts, and yet I don’t think it’s always best to listen to our hearts. Recently I fell in love with a man who I was convinced was, after just a few weeks, a soul-mate. Both he and I felt this way, and thanked God for bringing us together. We knew in our hearts that we were meant for each other. We dated for six months and were so sure of our love for each

pg 36 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013


other that we started talking about marriage very early in our relationship. Just a few weeks ago he suddenly told me that his ex-girlfriend had called and he decided to go back to her to give it a try. His decision doesn’t make any sense to me and I don’t understand it. How could I have been so foolish and deceived? Please help me understand this. What happened in your relationship? Why did it happen? I have a few thoughts. No one can fully explain why things happen the way they do, especially in love. There is a certain mystery to life; an unpredictability that occurs, even with our best wisdom and planning. When it comes to matters of the heart, there is impracticality to the whole thing. It doesn’t all make sense, or fit into a neat, little box. But, was it a mistake? Who can truly say that you made a mistake, though certainly your heart was broken? You took a chance in love and were hurt. Many of our readers will relate to your hurt. Forgive yourself, again and again. You aren’t a robot. You are obviously a passionate, sensitive woman. You listened to your heart and risked it all for love. In time you’ll look back and consider it a valuable experience, albeit painful. Now you must learn from your experience. Is there a lesson or two in the experience you can take with you into your future dating? Can you go a bit slower and ask a few more questions? Did you allow hormones to dictate the speed of the relationship, rather than enjoying those heart palpitations while still taking time to really learn about this potential mate? While it’s important to be vulnerable and honest in relationships, keep a meter on what is happening. Is there mutuality and equality in the relationship? Do you know how to notice danger signals when they arise? When there are danger signals, do you heed them? There is a balance each of us needs to find when it comes to matters of the heart: To listen to the stirrings of our heart, and to be open to what moves us emotionally, on the one hand, and yet to be grounded in practicalities and the realities of any given situation, on the other. We must allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open to possibilities, whether in love or other heart issues, but also use our heads. In all matters we are encouraged to use wisdom in our decisions—the practical application of knowledge. So, can our hearts be trusted? There is always something to be learned from the language of your heart. Should our heart always be considered? Yes, definitely, though tempered with Godly wisdom. Will there always be matters of the heart that are mysterious? Yep.

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Dr. David B. Hawkins is the Director of The Marriage Recovery Center in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of over thirty books, including the best-seller, When Pleasing Others is Hurting You.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 37


pg 38 | Sophie Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine | April 2013


Our Monthly Feature

shutterbuggerz Here are some of the best photos from our March 2013 contest, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Water, Water Everywhereâ&#x20AC;?.

Photo Submitted By: Brandy Watkins

Local Photos of Everyday people, places, and events as seen through the eyes of the area's professional and amateur photographers!

s h u t t e r b u g g e r z . c o m www.shutterbuggerz.com

39


Submitted by Jesse Hinson

Photo Submitted By: Erin Annas

Visit Our Website For The Upcoming Monthly Themes! Submitted by Capture The Moment Photography

40

Visit the website to view all the photos and to enter your photo into next monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contest.


Submitted by Greta Brown Photography

april 2013 Theme is "lights, camera, action!" Action photos only! Animals, people, people riding animals, animals riding people....... :) Anything with some sort of action involved, especially with a creative use on exposure times. email photos to email@shutterbuggerz.com (limit 5 per contest)

Submitted by Melanie Melton Photography

www.shutterbuggerz.com

41


Submitted by Jesse Hinson

Submitted by Asma Khalid Submitted by Creative Belle Photography

Submitted by von Drehle Images

Submitted by Kim Burns

Visit the website to view all the photos to enter your photo into next monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contest. pg 40 | Sophie Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine | Juneand 2012 42


Submitted by William Nix

Submitted by Brenda Andrews

Submitted by Tiffany Co. Photography

Submitted by Alicia Rae Photography

www.shutterbuggerz.com www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 41 43


Submitted by Paige Anderson

Photo Submitted By: Erin Annas

Submitted by Amber-Drew Photography

44

Submitted by Brenda Andrews

Visit the website to view all the photos and to enter your photo into next monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contest.


Submitted by ten9photography

Submitted by Jennifer Johnson

Be Sure To Visit

shutterbuggerz.com

To Submit & View PHotos

Submitted by Greta Brown Photography

www.shutterbuggerz.com

45


Gardening Tips Gardening is a rewarding hobby that many enthusiasts credit with helping them to peacefully escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Though gardening can be both relaxing and rewarding, it’s not as easy as it may seem, and the more time and effort a person devotes to his or her garden the more likely it is to be successful. Gardening can be a little daunting for beginners who have little or no experience planting flowers or vegetables. But gardening need not be so intimidating, especially for those beginners who adhere to the following tips aimed at helping novice gardeners start their gardens off on the right foot. * Determine what you should plant. Where you live will go a long way toward determining what you should plant. While you can plant anything you can get your hands on, the United States Department of Agriculture as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have determined specific plant hardiness zones that indicate which plants are most likely to thrive in given locations. Maps of these zones can be found at www.usda.gov and www. agr.gc.ca. By adhering to the maps, gardeners can significantly increase their chances of growing successful gardens. When in doubt about what to plant, consult a local gardening center or seek advice from a professional landscaper. * Think location when beginning your garden. Beginners with large yards have the luxury of choosing the right location on their properties to start planting. When choosing a spot, consider how much sunlight a location gets on a daily basis and the spot’s proximity to a water supply. If planting flowers, try to avoid planting in areas with heavy foot traffic so the flowers are less likely to be stomped. If you’re planting flowers to accent walkways, then consider erecting a barrier around the flower bed to safeguard the flowers from foot traffic. * Get started before you plant. Preparing the soil a few weeks before you start planting can help the plants thrive down the road. Add some organic material, such as compost or fertilizer, to the soil roughly three weeks before planting. This helps the soil retain water and nutrients, which will help your garden thrive.

pg 46 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | April 2013

for

Beginners

* Time your planting. When you plant is sometimes as important as what you plant. Some climates allow for year-round planting, but many do not. When buying seeds, the packaging might suggest what time of year to plant the seeds. Adhere to these suggestions or your garden might not grow much at all. In addition, keep in mind that many seedlings need significant light throughout the day in order to grow, so choose a time of year with ample daylight. * Don’t forget to mulch. Mulch can be as aesthetically appealing as it is effective. Mulch retains soil, helping roots to grow stronger, while deterring bugs and preventing weed growth. And many gardeners find mulch adds visual appeal their garden, and does so in a very inexpensive way. * Clean your tools. Beginners rarely recognize the importance of cleaning gardening tools before putting them away. At the end of each gardening session, clean your tools thoroughly, as soil left on your garden tools can play host to potentially harmful microbes that might kill your plants. Gardening can be a labor-intensive yet gratifying hobby. By sticking to a few simple rules, beginners can develop a thriving garden to reward all of that hard work.


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phie

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Profile for Sophie Woman's Magazine

Sophie Woman's Magazine April 2013 Issue  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for women of all ages.

Sophie Woman's Magazine April 2013 Issue  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for women of all ages.

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