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VOLUME 9 - ISSUE 3 / MAY 2013

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phie

Wo m a n ’ s M a g a z i n e

INSIDE: Girlfriends In God ~ Got Faith? | Page 15 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ What Hat Are You Wearing? | Page 7 Me, Myself, & Inc. ~ How Well Are You Nurturing Yourself? | Page 27 shutterbuggerz pg 39

INSPIRATION ~ EDUCATION ~ MOTIVATION

FREE


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The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize this hospital for achieving at least one year of 85% or higher adherance to all Get With The Guidelines® program quality indicators to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STROKE CARE, CALL 828-315-3984. FOR A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL, CALL 828-315-3391 OR VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.FRYEMEDCTR.COM.


essage M

from the

From The Editor: Judy Smith

Where is that book? Wait…you mean I didn’t get a book? How am I supposed to know what to do with this if I don’t have an instruction book? Why does everything come with instruction books but kids? Oh yes. I know there are quite a few books out there telling you how you SHOULD raise your children but have you noticed that most of them are written by men? Really. Why was it, a man did not warn me that when I took my newborn son home from the hospital to watch out when I was changing his diaper? Why wasn’t it the man of the house that the cute toddler, coming in from outside, wanted to show “the cutest little thing” to? Why was I the one that always had to kiss the booboos and make them better when I was the one that hated the sight of blood? The answer. Motherhood. So how come all the men write the books? I will just let you answer that. I could give you my opinion but I might get a lot of hate mail. Now don’t get me wrong. I know there are lots of dads that really get involved with raising their kids…but for the most part, that is left up to mothers. I love being a mother. Actually, I love being a grandmother more but this month I am showing honor to mothers. If your mother is living, don’t forget her on Mother’s Day because one thing I can promise, when she is not with you any longer, you will always think of her on Mother’s Day. She might not have done everything right. Actually, I am pretty sure she didn’t, yet here you are reading this. She gave you life and an opportunity to be who you wanted to be. Maybe your life isn’t everything you hoped it would be but without your mother you would not have had an opportunity. I will never write a best seller about how to raise children but I know how rich my life is because I was blessed to be a mother. I can, however, pass on some good advice on the topics so here are some things to think about. 1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God’s rewards for not killing your own children. 3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young. 4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said. 5. The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own. 6. We child proofed our homes, but they are still getting in. I have been blessed and I have so many wonderful memories that fill my life. Even of times when I did so many things wrong and yet we laughed. I have pictures of my sweet adorable kids in my wallet that I would love to show you. Oh, wait. I have replaced those with pictures of the grand kids. One more thing. If you need parenting advice, just ask a mother.

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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: Janet Gibson 828.310.5930 janet@sophiewomansmagazine.com Michelle Teague 828.441.9652 michelle@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 Building Stronger Communities...........................pg 5 Reaching Your Full Potential................................pg 7 Dragonflies & Damselflies....................................pg 8 Traditional Funeral or Alternative?.......................pg 9 The Front Porch......................................................pg 11 The Fly Lady.........................................................pg 13 Girlfriends In God................................................pg 15 Health & Fitness Tips...........................................pg 16 The Boys of Iwo Jima.........................................pg 19 Truth & Beauty.....................................................pg 20 Sophisticated Women...........................................pg 23 Life Around Here..................................................pg 25 Me, Myself, & Inc................................................pg 27 The Dinner Diva..................................................pg 28 Can’t Every Day Be Earth Day?..........................pg 31 Recipes For Life...................................................pg 33 Wedding Favors...................................................pg 35 Are You Whistling Dixie In Your Marriage?.....pg 37 Shutterbuggerz.....................................................pg 39 Mandy’s Misadventures.......................................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. **********************************************************


The Hickory Tree Building Stronger Communities

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ome of the most important building blocks in our local community are the small businesses that connect citizens, businesses, and all types of local interest groups. The Hickory Tree, a furniture consignment store opened in 2009 by JD and Meredith Ross, brings together two important groups in our community. Furniture sellers, and Furniture buyers. The first group, those selling quality furniture or home accessories, are often moving, re-decorating, down sizing, or just de-cluttering. Consignors who choose to sell their items at The Hickory Tree often say, “These items are just too nice to sell at a yard sale!” Since opening, The Hickory Tree has built a strong base of over 1000 consignors who enjoy the ability to regularly call and drop gorgeous, used furniture and accessory items by the store to sell. In the 5 month consignment period, it is rare that a seller has to pick up unsold inventory, as it is most often SOLD! The second group served by The Hickory Tree, are those who love to find a good deal, and are looking for quality furniture at reasonable prices. The store has furniture to suit all budgets and rooms in the home, boasting name brands such as Hickory Chair, Century, Bassett, Broyhill, and Bernhardt at a range of prices. Along with furniture, the buyer will also find unique art, lighting, holiday items, rugs, antiques, and more! One regular shopper tells the owners that she stops in Hickory to visit this store because it is her favorite stop between Blowing Rock and Charleston. “Our furniture is priced reasonably, and we sell it fast! One of our most common compliments is that our entire store looks totally different each time shoppers return,” says owner Meredith Ross. Whether buying or selling (or both), The Hickory Tree promises to be a fun and exciting experience for all! With new inventory arriving daily, and prices at half of new retail cost, there is no excuse not to stop in to see the Ross family and their lovely store before shopping anywhere else!

831 Old Lenoir Road (Just Off 321) 828-324-1655 MONDAY-SATURDAY 10:00AM - 5:00PM SUNDAY 1:00 - 5:00PM FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 5


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pg 6 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013

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REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: What Hat Are You Wearing? by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Author, Speaker

Some people collect cars. Some collect shoes. Some collect family heirlooms. I collect great people. And I made a great addition to my stellar collection yesterday evening. As I write, I am sitting in the New York home of some of my favorite people whom I met on a trip to Alaska in 1993. Since that time, this amazing couple had a beautiful daughter, now sixteen. She calls me “Aunt Kim” and I adore my adopted niece. We visit every chance we get. This time, I traveled north for her spring break, leaving the warm air for snow! What was I thinking? Early in the week, her father kept talking about a lady he met years ago in the city while working his city forestry job. I had heard him mention her before, so I decided, if he thinks this much of her and stayed connected all these years, she MUST BE a keeper! I asked if I could meet her during my visit. That meeting finally happened last evening when she invited us to her inner city home. As she opened the gate leading to her driveway, I immediately noticed she was wearing army fatigues and a bright green t-shirt with more gold jewelry around her neck than my own mom has ever owned. My new friend is Mary, a Spirit-filled elderly Christian of African American heritage. As my friend introduced us, she quickly began telling me that she had farmed cotton for many years. I knew this was going to be a great visit with a fascinating woman! Her home was filled to the brim with hats, shoes and family mementos. I quickly realized from a photograph of a handsome gentleman in an army uniform that she was wearing her son’s fatigues from his days in the military. That made me smile. As we sat down in her dining room to share some cake, she began to preach. While that may sound like an odd way to start a conversation, it seemed to fit perfectly as she literally took off her plain black hat and topped off her army fatigue outfit with a large brimmed black hat trimmed in gold. She clearly stated, “I KNOW MY MISSION.” It struck me in a powerful way that this woman is crystal clear about her calling in life … to share the Gospel and to bring Jesus to her neighbors and her community. With her “Sunday hat” as part of her “Thursday outfit”, something occurred to me. This woman is not your typical Sunday Believer. She is taking her Sunday faith into the week and into her neighborhood. She began to tell stories from earlier in the week when she had encouraged local police officers in their mission as they stopped by her home to check on her as she worked out in her lawn. She used my friend as an example. “Mr. Ricky, when you are out here in that work truck of yours, you wear the hat of a city worker. But before you can wear the hat, you have to know what your job is. Do you know what your job is?”

I began to think how for centuries, people have worn uniforms to designate their roles in the market place. Scrubs quickly indicate medical professionals, while power suits designate business leaders and entrepreneurs. Ms. Mary had a great point. You must first know your job before you can wear the hat. Any professional has first gone through extensive training before the hat or uniform officially sets you apart as a member of an elite profession. This message is still resonating with me this morning as I enjoy my first cup of coffee. I came away with these thoughts… thoughts that just might allow you to evaluate your own life’s mission right where you are today. Take some time over coffee to coach yourself deeper into your truest calling and purpose (you might even want to have some cake!). • WE MUST KNOW OUR TRUE CALLING IN ORDER TO NOT BURN OUT ON THE WRONG PURSUITS: Ask Yourself: What hats do I wear? While you may not wear an actual hat, consider what roles in your life receive the most of your time and energy. • TRUE LEADERS PREPARE: Ask Yourself: Am I well prepared to wear this hat? Consider if there is anything in life that you wish to accomplish that might require training, mentoring or further preparation. • THOSE WITH A CLEAR MISSION STATEMENT ARE MORE LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Ask Yourself: Can you state a clear, concise life mission statement when others ask who you are and what you do? I will provide a link at the end of this article where you can access a FREE document to construct your own mission/vision statement. As we left, Ms. Mary embraced me and asked me to come again. I promised that I would. As we drove away, she stood there in her black hat and army fatigues, clear of her calling and filled with enthusiasm and joy. Someone in your life needs the influence of your calling and the overflow of your enthusiasm. Be on the lookout, as some of life’s most powerful moments come disguised as distractions or interruptions.

About Kim... Kim Fletcher is a professional Life Coach, Author and Speaker of global impact. Her joy comes in sharing the concepts and strategies which catapult an ordinary life to extraordinary impact. Contact Kim by email to receive a FREE copy of The Path Mission Statement, a document which will allow you to craft your own life mission statement (please put “Mission” in the subject line). Call us direct or visit our website to learn more: 828 327 6702 / www.kimfletcherassociates.com.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 7


Of Dragonflies & Damsel flies… Creating Simple Water Gardens By Betty Ann Winters, 2013 For centuries artists have been drawn to the beauty found in water; Monet’s Water Lilies, Van Gogh’s Irises, and one of my favorite paintings, seen here, is by Jesse Wilcox Smith, “The way to wonderland.” Through the eyes of a small child, it captures the quiet secrets and wonderment that can be found in a water garden. ANYONE can create a natural, biologically balanced Simple Water Garden. Electricity, batteries, chemicals are not needed. It needn’t be expensive, as water is a gift to us all. With the proper balance of plant and animal life, your Simple Water Garden will flourish all summer long and for years to come. Follow along with me, as I take the apprehension and mystery out of building one of your own! LOCATION Sunny please! A minimum of 5 hours of sunlight is recommended, afternoon sun is preferred. As the old saying go’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’, so keep it close by. Checking on your garden is both relaxing and enjoyable, and it’s exciting to see how quickly the plants and fish grow. EQUIPMENT Any water holding vessel is a possibility. Make sure that it is not made from a toxic material, and be cautious with metal, it can get too hot in the summer sun. Ideally, your vessel should hold a minimum of 20 gallons of water and be at least 18” deep. For temperature zones 7 and lower, the deeper water level is necessary to cover winter fish and some plants. Some cold-sensitive plants will not survive winters in zone 7 or lower. Think of these as “liquid annuals” they can be composted at the end of the season and replanted next spring. If you’re up for a challenge, they can be brought inside to over winter. This half-whiskey barrel has a pre-molded liner that fits snuggly and makes the ideal all season Simple Water Garden. (Pickerel Reed, water hyacinth, water lily)

Check this out. Instead of filling this garden pot with soil, I filled it with water! Adding plants and a small gold fish, created a surprising patio planter. (Water hyacinth, water lettuce, pickerel reed)

research what temperature zone you live in, that way you will know what plants can’t survive in a cold winter. Sometimes too many choices can be a bit overwhelming, so here are a few of the basics and some of my personal favorites. Floaters: These plants control algae bloom by blocking out the sun. Unless you like pea-green water, these are a must. They float freely on the surface of the water; their roots hang down into the water and create hiding places for fish and frogs. • Water Hyacinth – beautiful purple flower, blooms in the late summer. (Eichornia crassipes) • Water Lettuce – round shaped clusters of leaves, resembling little heads of lettuce. (Pistia stratioles) • Fairy Moss- delicate tiny fern-like plant that turns a beautiful dark burgundy in the fall. (Azolla caroliniana) • Oxygenators: These are the filters of the pond, the silent unseen workers. • Anacharis – long light green strands of plants material, sold in bundles (Elodea canadensis) • Water Lilies: What would a water garden be without the blossom of a water lily? Choose a miniature variety or one specific for small containers. Hardy water lilies survive the winters in most temperature zones. Tropical water lilies need to be brought inside or protected from the cold. If fragrance is important to you, choose a Tropical water lily. ANIMAL LIFE Goldfish will add the sparkle and amusement to your little oasis. The ‘plain-Jane’ Comet will make a happy, hardy addition; keeping you company and eating the mosquito larva. One or two will be just fine, too many will cause an imbalance in the pond. If you choose not to have fish, purchase something called Mosquito Dunks. Shaped like little round donuts, they float on top of any water surface. They are environmentally safe to use, and will do the trick in controlling the mosquitoes that will hatch in standing water. Fresh water snails multiply quickly and are good algae and scum eating scavengers. As an added bonus, frogs and toads may also arrive and take a swim in your Simple Water Garden. They eat bugs, are great fun to watch and are very educational for children of all ages. If you build it, they will come; frolicking, playing hide-&-go seek, and before long, your water garden will be home to countless tadpoles! Over the years I have built many Simple Water Gardens and ponds. Some have been in-the ground, others have been in a wide array of water holding containers. One of my favorites was in this old 1940’s style green wringer washing machine. It’s so much better than doing laundry, don’t you think? There is something magical about a pond of water. Perhaps it’s the Dragonflies & Damselflies dancing on top, or maybe it’s the occasional frog that takes a peek at you and then hides beneath the surface. Take the plunge…Create a little natural oasis in your own backyard! Betty Ann Winters is an avid organic gardener, educator and artisan. She has her degree in Floriculture, the study of floral design

PLANTS Today’s garden centers, mail order and internet suppliers offer a plethora of choices. Browse, read, learn and enjoy what they have to sell. Be sure to

pg 8 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013

& horticulture. Originally from Long Island, New York, she finds inspiration and peace living with her husband and four cats in the foothills of the North Carolina Mountains. www.etsy.com/shop/ whispersofnature


“Cremate what is left of me... ashes to ashes, dust to dust... If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all my prejudice against my fellow man. Give my soul to God. If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.” - Author Unknown

Traditional Funeral... or Alternative?

It does not take but a few minutes with Tim and Drew to know that their heart is in fulfilling the wishes of your loved ones in a memorable withingrace, respect, andyou concern for the We prayerfully hope theway materials this packet will help to administer a ones remaining. columbarium with quality, precision, excellence, and compassion in mind. When Tim Clark and Drew Estes partnered together to form -Cornerstone Columbarium

their company Cornerstone Columbarium, they knew they going to be able to offer alternative solutions to the Companywere Summary “traditional” way most families with funerals. Tenproceed Stages of Grief Cornerstone is a privately held company founded Theybyare passionate in North Carolina the two owners, Tim Clarkto let others know that whether Understanding the grief process is helpful. and Drew you Estes. Both and Drew have for your own future or carrying out areTimpreparing Below is an example of grief stages that extensive backgrounds in construction, design, someone whooptions mourns might endure: someone’s wishes, there are different available. marketing, and customer relations. 1. Shock The name Cornerstone comes from Ephesians 2:20 Burial within the church itself or2.inEmotion the adjacent churchyard “Built upon the foundation of the apostles and 3. Depression and loneliness was once a common practice. Historically, loved ones prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief 4. Physical symptoms of distress Cornerstone.” from the earliest times have buried their loved ones in 5. Panic 6. Guilt with respect to the loss theColumbarium proximity the place of worship where they could Cornerstone offers to a new alternative 7. Anger and resentment to traditional and for our final resting place. remains safeguarded. Tim and beburial remembered and their 8. Resistance to return to normalcy We provide a celebration of life when an individual Gradually hope comes through Drew that today, with 9.the widespread return of dies and gathers lovedbelieve ones to bring closure and 10. Struggle to affirm reality move on. We provide customit built cremation, iscolumbarium practical to use the columbarium as the and niche walls to new and existing cemeteries, best choice for the final resting place of God’s faithful municipalities, memorial gardens, and religious servants. institutions as a choice for the final resting place.

Why a Columbarium?

A Ministry on behalf of the d

For the deceased, the administrato for overseeing the perpetual care a columbarium and for insuring that place is maintained in an appropria Although perpetual care issues are here, they are serious issues that n addressed early by the committee board of the project or church bod

A Ministry to the living

Niche Wall

The top 5 reasons for Cremation:

The administration of a columbariu very rewarding ministry. It is a “real you will be frequently dealing with families who are grieving, imminent the passing of a loved one, or simpl affairs in order.

In each of these situations, people n 1. Cost is much lower. Many times less than a Whether you’re looking to be a good steward of We strive to ensure that your Columbarium trator who understands and can he third of a traditional funeral. Earth, want to be fiscally responsible, or if you Sosucceed whyanda continue columbarium at your the home or church? Program will to serve details as well as the grieving proce just want a peaceful place to visit your loved one, the needs •of yourMore facility orchurches organization well to servecenter the living by helping them are seeing the rise in cremations and want to provide their ofchurch members with a memorial and 2. Comfort having your loved one’s remains a columbarium provides the solution you need. into the future. In short, record keeping, rules “Death ends a life, not a relationshi nearby. columbarium program that they can cherish on the grounds of the church. Talk it over with your family and friends. and regulations, sales, contracts, inurnment orders, Chat with your church members or place of plaques, and records are butis a few • memorialization Very often there a significant cost savings when compared to “traditional” funeral costs. 3. Cemeteries are running out of grave sites. worship in your area about placing the remains documents that have to be in place for the • Knowing that you have reserved a special place for your loved one helps to ease the decision making process at a of your loved one in a columbarium. Even if they accomplishment of the project. 4. Environmentally friendly or “green”. don’t have one, setting up a memorial for the difficult time. deceased is not as expensive or time consuming Cornerstone Columbarium helps during this 5. Many religions sanction cremations. as they may think. Most of the time, there is a process every step of the way. significant cost savings compared “At Cornerstone Columbarium, we want to when bring you topeace of mind for your future, as a decision maker, or carrying costs. out someone’s wishes. We offer“traditional” the Whatever bestfuneral solutions this difficult time. Our goal is to create a columbarium that is you choose, beduring true to your loved one, and give those remaining the best spiritually uplifting, attractive, and meaningful for families and friends to visit in memory of their loved ones.” option to remember them. A columbarium in a place of peace with memorialization may be your best and most logical choice.

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Front Porch The

Warm weather brings on many of my favorite things. One is sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee in the mornings. I may be reading a book, doing a Bible study or just observing the beauty of the day, hoping to catch the glimpse of a courageous deer that wanders close to the edge of the yard. Sometimes though, instead of the beauty, I notice the work that needs to be done to wash old man winter away. The piles of leaves that accumulated around some of the furniture needs to be swept away. There are lots of pots that need to be replanted with vivid colors of various flowers. The deck furniture needs pressure washed. These are just a few of the things that stick out.

Isn’t it a shame we don’t see the “trash” in our lives as easily as we see other things? One of my favorite books is by Max Lucado and his book A Love Worth Giving has many worn, dogeared pages because I go back to it over and over. One of the paragraphs I have highlighted, underlined, circled and marked up is about trash. It says, “Life has a way of unloading her rubbish on our decks. Your husband works too much. Your wife gripes too much. Your boss expects too much. Your kids whine too much. The result? Trash. Load after load of anger, guilt, pessimism, bitterness, bigotry, anxiety, deceit, impatience. It all piles up.”

by Judy Smith

Paul does not leave us there and I am so thankful he goes onto say in Philippians 4 that “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Perfection is not in my blood line. It did not get handed down to me and I did not hand it down to my children. As much as I try to clean up the trash in my life, I still need to dust and sweep every day. Otherwise it just keeps piling up and affects all we do. One thing for sure. I can’t do this on my own but I know the One that can! So for now, I don’t see any deer…just goats. So I guess I better get up and start some spring cleaning.

Don’t you wish we could just pressure wash all of that rubbish away. Don’t you wish we could just bag it up and put it out for the garbage truck to pick up and carry off? I only wish it was that easy. Sometimes it seems to me, I get rid of one pile of trash and two more appear. I am so thankful I am not alone in this. Please tell me I am not alone in this. My heart’s desire is to be perfect. To always feel the right feelings, to think the right thoughts, to say the right things, to do the right things, yet I fail. Everyday. I get up in the morning with the best of intentions but by the end of the day I have blown it. Wait. Did I say by the end of the day? I really meant within the first five minutes some of the days. If it is my hearts desire, then why does this happen? That is a really deep question and I love that Paul shared the same thing in Romans when he said “why do I do the things I don’t want to and not do the things I know I should”. OK, that is my version and not exactly the way he said it but I love knowing that even Paul struggled with some of the same things I do. Paul goes on to say that in our flesh there is not any good thing.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 11


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FlyLady THE

by Marla Cilley

Cut Your Losses We all make mistakes! This is a fact of living. So why do we beat ourselves up when we have made a bad choice. I think it is because deep down inside we are doing what has been done to us all of our lives; punishing ourselves. This has got to stop. Instead of admitting that we have made a bad choice we keep trying to make that decision work. Maybe we should take a lesson from business and cut our losses and move on. Instead we keep trying to fix things to make them better. Clutter is clutter no matter what form it takes. You can’t organize clutter; you can only get rid of it! I want your home to be filled with things that make you smile. Our lives are too short to continually deal with that pink elephant in the living room. One time a dear friend was moving from a home where she had lived twenty-seven years. It was hard for her to let go of things. Eventually she came up with a plan. If she had any doubt about whether something should be packed; she would set it in the main path to the truck. On the first day she would gingerly walk around the item. The next day she pushed it aside and if on the third day she kicked it; it went to the curb. This showed her that she really didn’t love it as much as she had originally thought she had. We can decorate that pink elephant but it is still a pink elephant. It is sucking the life right out of you. You spend your whole day doing your best to make it fit. God knows we don’t want to admit that we made the mistake of bringing that pink elephant home in the first place; that we wasted money and worst of all our time. We just keep plodding along; hoping that the pink elephant will not get mad and become the bull in the china shop. The sad part is that it already has. Just being in your living room it is destroying the most important thing in your home and that is you!

Many years ago I had a diseased gallbladder. I was sick all the time. This gallbladder was toxic to me. Once it was removed I was able to get on with my life. Relationships can be like this too. We have all had people in our lives who suck the life right out of us. You may be with someone right now who is toxic to you. You may have a friend that uses you to make themselves feel superior. You may be struggling with an abusive situation that you hope and pray will get better. They don’t get better. They get worse. This abuse can mean a lot of things: physical, emotional, sexual, drug, alcohol and financial. It is time to cut your losses and strap on your wings to FLY; Finally Loving Yourself. For when you are FLYing, you realize when something is clutter in your life. As nurturers we really do want to help everyone but in the end, we can only help ourselves. This is not a selfish attitude. It is all about self-preservation. This type of clutter is going to destroy your spirit. Accept that you made a mistake! Forgive yourself and cut your losses by decluttering. In business if you lose a nickel on everything you sell and you sell a million of them; you are losing a million nickels. Stop the blood-letting! It is time to FLY by Decluttering!

For more help getting rid of your clutter and CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or read her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House. Help me build a Habitat Home this year. http://www.share.habitat.org/flyladybuildproject 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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Got Faith? by Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV)

Friend to Friend

The greenest grass is always found in the valley. Shepherds and sheep are well acquainted with the fact that both mountains and valleys are an inevitable part of life. Again, the shepherd is the one who has to figure out a way over the mountain and through the valley. If a sheep is injured, the shepherd must carry his sheep and tend to its wounds until they are healed and the sheep is ready to return to the fold. The shepherd’s whole world revolves around the safety and comfort of his sheep, even in the deepest valley. Valleys are a certainty of life. Your job is eliminated. Your husband is having an affair, or your teenage daughter is pregnant. Financial pressure suffocates dreams, or the betrayal of a trusted friend inflicts a wound so deep and painful that you long for that valley of death. Each day is thick with fear, and your heart is filled with disbelief. The valley may suddenly be before you in a time of loneliness or in the shock of a dire medical diagnosis. The death of a loved one can derail a life. The death of a long-held hope can plunge us into a slimy pit of despair and darkness. Dreams that have slowly died or relationships that have abruptly ended can leave us stranded and alone in our own personal valley of death. While valleys may come in all shapes and sizes, one thing is certain—valleys will come. That being said, we must ask and answer the question, “How can we deal with the valleys in life? We must respond with faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” It was advertised that the devil was putting his tools up for sale. When the day of the sale came, each tool was priced and laid out for public inspection. And what a collection it was. Hatred, envy, jealousy, deceit or pride…the inventory was treacherous. Off to one side was a harmlesslooking tool priced higher than all the rest, even though it was obviously more worn than any other tool the devil owned. “What’s the name of this tool?” asked one of the customers. “That,” the devil replied, “is discouragement.” The customer asked, “But why have you priced it so high?” The devil smiled and explained, “Because discouragement is more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open and get inside a man’s heart with that tool when I can’t get near him with any other. It’s badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since so few people know it belongs to me.” Valleys are lined with disappointment and discouragement. Some people seem to thrive on adversity, emerging from their valley with greater strength and deeper faith. Others stumble and fall, giving in to discouragement and dropping out of the race. The difference in outcome is determined by the way we choose to handle discouragement. We must respond to each valley with trust and faith. The word “trust” means “to lie helpless, face down” and is the picture of a servant waiting for his master’s command or a soldier yielding himself to a conquering general. “Heart” refers to “the center of one’s being.” In other words, to trust God completely means that from the very center of our being, from the very core of our existence, we trust Him, totally abandoning ourselves

in childlike faith to Him and His plan. We come, holding nothing in our hands, pushing no agenda, with one word in our heart—“whatever!” “Whatever You want me to do, Lord, I will do. Whatever You want me to say, Lord, I will say. Whatever You want me to think, Lord, I will think. Whatever path You have for me, Lord, I will walk.” If you are like me, you sometimes think you don’t have enough faith. The amount of faith is not nearly as important as the right kind of faith— faith in God alone. A mustard seed is small but can still take root and grow—just like faith. Faith is also like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. We must remember that faith doesn’t rest on what we have done but on what Christ has done. As Paul says, times of stress accentuate the presence and power of God. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:3-5 nlt). When the valleys come, we are tempted to abandon our faith and strike out in our own strength when what we should do is embrace our faith in God, look for our Shepherd, and follow Him. The story is told of a shepherd who tried to persuade his sheep to cross a swiftly flowing stream. Since sheep are naturally afraid of rapidly running water, the shepherd couldn’t get them to cross. Then he had an idea. Picking up a lamb, he stepped with it into the river and carried it to the opposite shore. When the mother saw that the shepherd had safely led her lamb across the stream, she forgot her fear and stepped out in faith and into the rushing current. Soon, she was safely on the other side. The rest of the flock followed. Faith rests in what Christ has already done on the cross and in our lives. Faith also hopes for what He will do for us in the future. Faith builds on the victories of yesterday to help us face the valleys of today and the questions about tomorrow. Faith in God is sure and certain, believing that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. When we believe that God will fulfill His promises, even though we can’t see a single promise materializing, we are exercising faith. Faith does not bypass pain. It does, however, empower us to deal with pain. Faith steps up to the bat and invites the opponent to throw his best pitch. Sometimes faith strengthens us, and other times, surprises us. Great faith is forged in the deepest valleys, beginning where our strength and power end.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to thank You for being my Shepherd. Please teach me how to rest in Your care and trust You no matter how high the mountains or how deep the valleys in my life may be. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

By faith, accept the truth that God is always at work in your life and thank Him for His steadfast provision. Look back over the past few days, weeks and months of your life. Now praise Him for the things He has done.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 15


Inner Thigh Exercises 1. Exercise Number One- Inner Thigh Leg Lifts With a Body Bar This exercise not only tones your inner thighs but should also engage your glutes and hip flexor muscles as well. It requires one leg to be lifted so it is also effective in strengthening the abdominal and core region.

by Sharon Rashidi B.S. Health Education

Owner of The Perfect Workout

Sleek and Sexy Inner Thighs Last week after teaching a Shred IT! Class, one of my members come up to me and asked if it was possible to tighten and tone up her inner thigh areas without having liposuction. I told her that unfortunately, when your body burns fat, it takes it from all over your body. You can’t be specific about where it comes from. Although we cannot spot reduce, we can decrease the total amount of fat in our body, (including thigh fat) by doing whole body workouts, and sticking to a healthy eating lifestyle. It is also possible to tighten and tone the inner thigh area with specific exercises that target the small muscles of the inner thigh, called the adductors. The adductors are responsible for movement of the leg toward the midline of the body. They control your leg movements as you walk, run and jump. Muscles are more metabolic than fat, meaning that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. Whole body workouts, such as walking, elliptical training, kickboxing, tabata, step class, and circuit training activate our larger muscles-chest, back, legs and glutes. When you exercise the larger muscle groups, your body will spend more energy during the workout and for several hours after. Combine whole body exercises with reduced caloric intake then your body will start to lose fat. Keep in mind that improving your diet is going to have the largest impact on the appearance of your inner thighs. I explained to my member that her body will decide which areas she will lose fat from. She seemed discouraged at first, until I told her the good news. She would definitely benefit from specific inner thigh exercises that target the small muscle groups underlying the upper thigh area. Varying her workout with a combination of moves will help keep her inner and outer thigh muscles balanced, while still providing a good toning workout for her inner thighs. You can have toned thighs if you follow my inner thigh series of exercises 3 times a week. A healthy diet will work in conjunction with strengthening exercises to smooth your inner thighs. So eat smart, complete whole body workouts, and watch your inner thighs tone, tighten up and appear sleek and sexy.

pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013

Step One- Lay down on your right side and bend your left leg so that your left foot is flat on the floor. Keep your right leg straight and place one end of the bar on the right foot and the other end on the floor. Make sure the bar is not resting on your knee, but on the floor. Step Two –Inhale and then take an exhale as you lift the right leg straight up. Use your bent knee as your guide to how far you should lift your leg. Remember the movement is a lift and not a kick. Repeat 20 times and work your way up to 30. Change sides and repeat exercise. Tips- Beginners should not lift their leg high; a couple of inches of the ground will work. You can advance this move by adding some pulses at the top of the movement. 2. Exercise Number Two- Sumo Wrestler Squat with Dumbbells This is a great exercise to help strengthen your inner thighs, shoulders, core, glutes, and hips. Step One- Stand with legs wide and toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down by your sides.

Step Two- Bend your knees until your knees are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Arms should be in line with your legs — you should see the weights in your peripheral vision. Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously. Complete 2 sets of 15 repetitions and work your way up to 3 sets. Tips- Remember to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and focus on maintaining proper body alignment. Beginners complete the exercise without weights.


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The Boys of Iwo Jima (From the book: Heart Touchers “Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter)

by Michael T. Powers Each year my video production company is hired to go to Washington, D.C. with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall’s trip was especially memorable. On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial). This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave men raising the American flag at the top of Mount Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima, Japan during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, “What’s your name and where are you guys from? I told him that my name was Michael Powers and that we were from Clinton, Wisconsin. “Hey, I’m a Cheesehead, too! Come gather around Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story.” James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, D.C. to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good-night to his dad, who had previously passed away, but whose image is part of the statue. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C. but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night. When all had gathered around he reverently began to speak. Here are his words from that night: “My name is James Bradley and I’m from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called Flags of Our Fathers which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game, a game called “War.” But it didn’t turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of twenty-one, died with his intestines in his hands. I don’t say that to gross you out; I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old.

would say, “You do what I say, and I’ll get you home to your mothers.” The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, “You’re a hero.” He told reporters, “How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only twenty-seven of us walked off alive?” So you take your class at school. 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only twenty-seven of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of thirty-two, ten years after this picture was taken. The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky, a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, “Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epson salts. Those cows crapped all night.” Yes, he was a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of nineteen. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother’s farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away. The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite’s producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, “No, I’m sorry sir, my dad’s not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is coming back.” My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually he was sitting right there at the table eating his Campbell’s soup, but we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn’t want to talk to the press. You see, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, ‘cause they are in a photo and a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died, and when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain. When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, “I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. DID NOT come back.” So that’s the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.” Suddenly the monument wasn’t just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero in his own eyes, but a hero nonetheless.

Michael T. Powers HeartTouchers@aol.com

(He pointed to the statue) You see this next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment this photo was taken, and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. A photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection, because he was scared. He was eighteen years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men. The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the “old man” because he was so old. He was already twenty-four. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn’t say, “Let’s go kill the enemy” or “Let’s die for our country.” He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he

Copyright © 2000 by Michael T. Powers Write Michael and let him know your thoughts on this story! Michael T. Powers, the founder of HeartTouchers.com and Heart4Teens.com, is the youth minister at Faith Community Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart Kristi and proud father of three young rambunctious boys. He is also an author with stories in 31 inspirational books including many in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and his own entitled: Heart Touchers “Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter.” To preview his book or to join the thousands of world wide readers on his inspirational e-mail list, visit: HeartTouchers.com

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 19


Question: I’m trying to save money these days, giving up little things here and there to save a buck or two. One way I thought I could save money was to trim my own bangs at home. I only get a full hair cut every 3 months, but I get my bangs trimmed every 4 weeks, and my hairdressers charges for a full cut, regardless if she trims all or just bangs. My question is, “how do I trim my bangs and do it correctly, so that I won’t mess up my hair”? Answer: This is a tough question to answer in writing, since there are so many variables to cutting bangs. How you cut your bangs is depended upon many factors, such as face shape, eye shape, thickness, hairstyle, length and width of bangs. You may want to explain your idea and reasons for it to your stylist, and ask them to show you how to do it. They should be willing to explain the “how to” of bang trimming. I offered this service to all my hair clients, as well as schooling them on styling techniques. My thinking was that if their hair looked as good everyday as it did when they left the salon, that people would always want to know, “Who does your hair”? and that would only bring me more business. If they are not willing, then I will attempt to help you the best I can in a written explanation. • First: Cut your bangs while hair is dry. This will elevate the most common problem of cutting the bangs too short. Wet hair will stretch, so if you pull the hair down and cut it where you want it when it is dry, you will end up with really short bangs. So always cut dry. • Second: Determine how long and how wide you want your bangs to be. For example a good length for most everyone is just below the eyebrows. Then your width should be just to the outside of your eyebrow arch. Do not cut from temple to temple. That cut is usually reserved for children to keep the hair out of their eyes, it doesn’t usually look good on an adult. • Third: Once you have decided on the length and width, section off the hair that you will be cutting. This may be in a triangle shape or simply a straight line just inside the hairline. The triangle shaped section will create a thicker, fuller bang. The straight line will create a thinner more wispy bang. To cut the triangle bang, part hair down the middle of head, then part off a triangle section by starting at the middle line and part another line from middle of head toward the corner of eye. Then repeat on the other side. Try to keep lines as straight as possible. Once you have done this you will be holding a triangle shaped section. Comb entire section straight down and cut a straight line from side to side. Start by cutting just a little bit of length. You can always cut more off, but you can’t put it back on if you cut too much. Once completed then check the length. If they need to be shorter, repeat all steps until you have reached your desired length. Straight bangs are much easier. Just section a straight line across front of hairline with as much hair as needed for your desired thickness, then cut straight across. Remember not to section too far past the eyebrow arch. If bangs seem too bulky on the ends, do some point cutting by turning scissors straight up and using the point of the scissor to cut into hair about 1/8 - 1/4 inch into ends on hair. This will make them more wispy. These are the two most common bang styles but there are many others. Long side bangs, supper short choppy bangs, etc. etc....too many to give instructions on. With all this being said, I give you a word of warning. Cutting your own hair can be disastrous, so ask yourself if saving a few dollars is worth the heartache of having to wait weeks for your hair to grow back before it can be fixed. Talk to your stylist about pricing, you are probably paying full price for a bang trim because you are receiving a shampoo, condition, cut and style service. Ask if they will just do a “dry cut for bangs only?” You may find that they are more than willing to accommodate your needs. My best advice for this question: Leave the haircutting to the professionals!

pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013

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

The Four Way Test Of the Things we think say or do, Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

ARE INSIGHTFUL

Every situation holds a precious opportunity for you, a sophisticated woman, to make a positive impact. If you’re in a business situation, odds are you desire to represent your organization in a professional manner. If you’re in a social situation, odds are you desire to build your network of acquaintances. If you’re in an intimate situation, odds are you desire to demonstrate love to your family and friends. Despite all good intentions, your choices of actions don’t always lead to the highest and most positive outcome. Haven’t you been disappointed that you could have phrased something just a little bit differently? I know I have. Don’t you wish you’d not taken any action at all? I know I have. Do you regret procrastinating and missing an opportunity? I know I have. Do you long for a tool that would provide insight into your next right step? I know I have. I found one. I offer it to you as a tool for insight into every situation where you are responsible for making an impact, being a woman of influence, and increasing your insight. It is Rotary International’s Four Way Test. Herbert Taylor wrote the Four Way Test back in the 1930’s. Like many of you, Herbert Taylor faced a lot of challenges. Do these scenarios feel familiar to you? • • •

The economy was terrible. The people Herbert worked with lacked good judgment, morals, or standards. Herbert was responsible for creating a culture where people were productive.

Herbert needed a thought process that would provide new insights to overcome his challenges. He started to think, ‘How can I test my own actions, words, and deeds to create better outcomes and seize every opportunity?’ Herbert believed that “In right, there is might”. He knew that many organizations had a code of ethics - but a code was long, almost impossible to memorize and therefore impractical. He needed a simple test, which he and everyone in his company could quickly memorize. He said, “This test should not tell our people what they must do, but ask them questions which would make it possible for

them to find out whether their proposed plans, policies, statements or actions were right or wrong.” And the Four Way Test was born. Herbert started using the Four Way Test on an individual level. He saw amazing results. He implemented it in his organization. And today, the Four Way test is used by over a million Rotarian’s around the world. I encourage you to use the Four Way Test. Let’s get started! What will surprise you and stunned me is the power of question number one, “Is it the truth?” This question suggests that we carefully examine the reality of our situations. So, many of our conversations do not include the whole truth. It’s not that we’re lying necessarily but we are not being as open, honest and as candid as we could be. Our conversations are full of exaggerations or the opposite behavior holding back information. This behavior leads to feelings of frustration, guilt, and resentment, which is a barrier to the very outcome desired. Think about sharing more honestly and openly with those around you. It will create a much more productive outcome. If you can’t take on one more responsibility, say so. If you don’t agree with the decision say so. Sharing your personal truth will free you up and create clarity for others. The second question is vital. Questioning whether or not an opportunity that presents itself is fair to all concerned can remedy hard feelings, help us see how our actions affect others, and give us fresh perspective on how one behavior can have a domino effect on every part of the whole. The third question, “Will it build goodwill and better friendships?” helps you develop your personal and professional network with integrity. Having a healthy network provides the conduit for you to resource your journey. Taking time to consider the ‘if and how’ you can impact the most people in order to create the most good makes you a visionary for cooperation, communication and peace. Finally, the fourth question insists that you gain insight into the benefits of taking action instead of waiting to see how things turn out. The world needs you. A sophisticated woman who can clearly see and state how things must change laced with insight into the benefits that come from that change is needed in the world! Can you see how using the Four Way Test would be beneficial to all concerned?

Nicole Greer, PPCC is a Rotarian, the Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group. 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

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 23


Digestive Health Center welcomes

Terri L. Jaggers, MD Gastroenterologist Dr. Jaggers earned her medical degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine. While there, she also completed her internship and residency in pathology, as well as her fellowship in gastroenterology. She is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and has special interest in womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and the prevention and treatment of both colorectal cancer and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Dr. Jaggers enjoys cooking, reading, biking, gardening, and family time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She looks forward to caring for you and your family. Digestive Health Center inside Robbins Medical Park 322 Mulberry St., SW, Lenoir

Call 757-8250 pg 24 | Sophie Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine | May 2013

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Creeping slowly down the block, looking for a parking space, I try to shut out the horns of the overexcited drivers behind me, strung out like a parade. I railed against myself, “Mom would never have left all this undone! Mom would have planned and executed a well-thought out strategy! Why did I go and invite everyone to our house for the holiday??! Mom would have made lists and stuck to it! Mom would never have let it get this close before shopping for all this stuff!” In disgust I struck the steering wheel, promising myself to never let myself get in such a jam. Once again I spied that open space at the end of the block, the one marking the yellow-painted curb, just opposite the shop I needed to go to. The car behind me blared its horn loudly. At the last second before I passed it, I jerked the wheel and pulled in and turned off the car. “I’ll be real quick!” I promised myself, grabbing my pocketbook and bolting from the car, nearly getting hit by a car as I ran across the street to the little shop that would solve all my problems. Smiling smugly, I returned to the car, more relaxed than before. “There, all done. Mom would be proud of all the great bargains I snagged. I’ll have to tell her about this place when she comes. Chip off the old block. Nothing to it. Why ever was I fussing? I can handle this”, I mused. Juggling the packages so I could reach into my pocketbook, as I neared the car, I thought I saw something fluttering on the windshield. “Just a sales flier”, I told myself. “They always flag all the cars in a shopping district”, I reassured myself, but I refused to look as I deposited my packages in the backseat. Straightening up, and then closing the door, I was moving in slow motion, steeling myself for what might be at the front of the car. Slowly, I walked to the front, forcing myself to turn and look at the windshield. Sigh . . . . Yes, it was a ticket. Ugh! Getting in the car, I ranted to myself. “I was only trying to help the ailing local economy! I could have shopped at the mall! No, I patronized the local merchants, and what did I get for it – punished!” On and on I agonized, making myself more and more miserable. Driving home I racked my brain on just how to tell my husband. He’d be furious! I’d have to endure months of ‘women driver’ comments, telling me I was a public nuisance, that I needed to stick to online shopping! “Why did I do this to myself?! Not again!” Recriminations bounced around in my head as I drove home, the thrill of shopping victory now stale. Preparing my husband’s favorite dinner, I hoped he’d arrive home in a good mood so I could ‘ease’ him into the fact that I’d gotten a ‘communication’ from the local municipality. Hearing his car in the drive, I braced myself for the inevitable. “I can’t believe it! That short-sighted cop saw me, but not the guy on my bumper! How dare he give me a ticket, and not the other guy! He fairly pushed me down the road, made me go that fast, just so I didn’t get ‘bumped’. Where was the cop then??? I tell you, life isn’t fair! The one time I go over the speed limit, a cop has to be sitting there! Can you believe it?” Red in the face, barely pausing for breath, my husband continued to expound on the injustice of the situation. A small smile crept across my face, and in my most consoling voice, I agreed with my husband. “Gee, Honey, some days you just can’t win for losing!”

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How well are you nurturing yourself? May is the month of making merry with May Day and celebrating motherhood on Mother’s Day with brunches, breakfasts in bed, a myriad of homemade gifts with love and heartfelt gestures from appreciative children and spouses. One of the universally known characteristics of being motherly is being nurturing. All too often, those of us most cherished for being so considerate, caring and nurturing to others also put ourselves last on the list. Whether you are a mother or simply motherly to others, the question is, how nurturing are you toward yourself? In a Me, Myself & Inc. Study, which I have conducted with more than 300 participants to-date, when looking at how effectively women are honoring themselves, less than 14 percent of women between the ages of 35 years old up to 65 years old are fully honoring the Myself aspect. Younger women between the ages of 18 and 35 are doing a better job with 31 percent fully honoring the Myself aspect. The Myself portion of the survey asked participants to confirm ongoing nurturing in four areas by checking them if they were 100 percent true for them. The four Myself statements were: 1) I make it a priority to allocate time for myself on a regular basis so I can recharge, refocus and relax; 2) I have hobbies or things I enjoy doing just for me and my own self expression, self development, and fulfillment; 3) I believe that taking care of myself is a priority and, therefore, I regularly exercise and eat right to nourish my mind, spirit and wellbeing; and 4) I enjoy and regularly learn new things and explore new ideas or places alone and with others as a way of continually bringing more to my life and my work. Your Health: I conducted the Me, Myself & Inc. Study as a part of a keynote speaking exercise among professionals in the dietetic and institutional food service industries. These individuals, 93 percent of whom were women, were in roles ranging from nursing home administrators and daycare directors to food service managers, dietitians and nutritionists. Alarmingly, less than 15 percent of these women checked the statement, “I believe that taking care of myself is a priority and, therefore, I regularly exercise and eat right to nourish my mind, spirit and wellbeing.” In an industry where caregiving is a part of their job and good nutrition is a part of their protocol in serving others, they were doing a dismal job in practicing what they preached. The sad reality is that this is true for women in general. We take care of others and leave no time for ourselves. Don’t make your health a “someday I’ll get to it” promise. You need only look at the statistics of cancer and health disease for women to know this to be true. Make it a priority starting now. Your Spirit: There is a reason that everything from yoga and meditation to feng shui and spirituality beyond religion are gaining greater mainstream relevance and popularity. Because the power of a nurtured spirit cannot be underestimated in the empowerment it gives to your

overall confidence, wellbeing and positive impact on others. Just taking a little bit of quiet time for yourself can do wonders for you, allowing your head to become clearer from all the clutter that can sometimes cloud your thinking. Simply appreciating the beauty around you, noticing and appreciating a beautiful day, taking a deep cleansing breath of the fresh air when you walk outside to get into your car, paying attention to the sights and sounds of nature or bustling activity around you nurtures your spirit. Your Intellect: One of my favorite books is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, by Michael J. Gelb. The book shares seven da Vinci principles determined to be at the center of his genius. These principles are: 1) Curiosità (Quest for knowledge and continuous improvement); 2) Dimostrazione (Learning from experience); 3) Sensazione (Sharpening the senses); 4) Sfumato (Managing ambiguity and change); 5) Arte/ Scienza (Whole brain thinking); 6) Corporalità (Body-mind fitness); and 7) Connessione (Systems thinking). Exercising your brain and continually building upon what you already know through continuous learning, experiences and insights help you truly embrace your underlying potential. Your Passions: A highly accomplished 30-year old happily married mother of two children was on track to be promoted to a six-figure salaried position upon completion of her MBA. The problem was that she felt “empty,” could not understand why and even felt guilty about it because she had so much to be thankful for in her life. When I took her through an exercise of her passions and personal values, an “aha” occurred. She had nothing happening in her life that was nurturing areas in which she was truly passionate from a creative expression standpoint. Her job was very technical in nature, so she could not nurture it as easily there. However, through introducing creative expression to her young children as well as seeking classes and groups in which she could nurture it in herself, the emptiness quickly dissipated and she began to feel complete. Nurturing and taking care of yourself not only assures your longevity, but it also assures your vitality in living life to its fullest. You will find that as you take time to nurture yourself, your time spent nurturing others will be more rewarding and more meaningful versus feeling like an obligation or expectation. Others will sense something new and wonderfully different about you because you will be smiling more, laughing more, enjoying more and appreciating more.

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.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 27


Dinner Diva The

By: Leanne Ely

How to best use your refrigerator Chances are, you have a refrigerator in your home. But, if you’re like many people, you don’t put a lot of thought into the what-goes-where process when you get your groceries home from the market. There is a reason why your fridge has all of those drawers and shelves. Certain areas of your fridge have different temperature and humidity controls, and that’s why different types of food are intended to be stored in specific places. Who wants to send their produce into the dark recesses of the refrigerator to die? Nobody! So let’s learn more, shall we? Temperature, ethylene and humidity . . . oh my! You know how sometimes you’ll find a floppy zucchini at the bottom of your fridge? Or a bunch of carrots that have gone limp after a day or two? That’s because you let them become dehydrated. To keep your produce fresh longer, you need a certain amount of water vapor in the air or a good level of relative humidity, depending on the type of vegetable or fruit. A good way to remember which produce requires more humidity is to think of which wilt the fastest. Foods that require the highest levels of relative humidity are your celery, grapes, zucchini, cucumber, beans, leafy greens, asparagus, avocado, pears and berries. Things like citrus, tomatoes, melon and sweet potato can handle medium level humidity, while dried garlic, squash, onions and pumpkins are more suited for lower levels of relative humidity and they don’t really even need to be stored in the refrigerator. You know that crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge? That’s where the most humidity is generally found. If there’s a little sliding tab on the front of the drawers for adjusting the humidity levels, use it! That feature closes the vent and keeps dry air from getting to your produce so it can stay nice and hydrated down there. Keep the relative humidity set at 90 or 100%, the setting where most of that produce will be happiest. Speaking of that crisper drawer, some types of produce don’t play nicely with others and should be stored separately. As vegetables and fruits are harvested, they will most often continue to ripen. When this happens, the food produces ethylene gas. This gas can

pg 28 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013

negatively affect other fruits and veggies. It can cause green vegetables to yellow, potatoes to sprout, carrots to turn bitter and asparagus to toughen. Common ethylene producers include apples, pears, plums, peaches and cantaloupes. Keep veggies in one drawer and fruits in the other and you should be fine. Storing meat and eggs Your fridge probably has a meat keeper drawer. That is the coldest part of your fridge, so use it for your meat (which is likely the most perishable item in there anyway). You can keep fish in there, too, as long as you don’t forget about it. Fresh fish really should be eaten the day you bring it home, so you shouldn’t have to worry about keeping it fresh for more than a couple of hours. Fridges used to come with little egg holders on the door? Some still do! But, you should never store your eggs there. Why not? You should never store anything highly perishable or items that are sensitive to temperature changes in the door of the fridge. That’s because each time the door of the fridge is opened, a blast of warm air hits that area. Eggs need to stay deep inside the fridge where they’ll enjoy a nice, even cold temperature. On that note, however, you should always bring eggs up to room temperature before you cook them. This will help prevent your yolks from breaking and it will help them cook more evenly in general. Condiments Use the door of the fridge to store those condiments you may use on a regular or semi regular basis. And there you have it! Anything else to add to these fridge usage tips? Let us know on our Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/savingdinner Leanne Ely is a New York Times bestselling author of Body Clutter and the Saving Dinner series. The Dinner Diva syndicated newspaper column appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. Learn how to cook great and save significant money with the Dinner Diva?s menus, recipes and shopping lists at www.savingdinner.com


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pg 30 | Sophie Womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine | May 2013


CAN’T EVERY DAY BE EARTH DAY?

by Susan Guest, ASID

April 22nd every year is Earth Day-a celebration of nature and the beauty of God’s creation. It is a wonderful day to dig in the ground and plant pretty flowers or a summer garden. If you are a city dweller, it can be a great time to walk through a park or drive to the mountains for a picnic and hike. This year, I participated in a celebration at the local Habitat for Humanity where each designer was asked to decorate a shovel. My shovel was transformed into a ballerina. After consulting with some young neighbors who still dance in recitals, I used some plumber’s piping for arms, netting for the skirt, and painted a dancer’s face on the front of the shovel. My old ballet shoes and tights finally found their final resting place on the creation. (I think no home is complete without a ballerina shovel in the yard!) Other events on Earth Day included seminars on taking care of our environment, contests at colleges, grade school festivities, marches to promote awareness of our limited resources, and special celebrations all over the globe. Some people do not believe that global warming is taking place and that all the hype is untrue. Even if it is untrue, don’t you think that we should be better stewards of our earth? There are currently about 6.5 billion people on this planet. If we all have no regard for our actions and how they affect others, just think how selfish that is for not only our children and their children, but for people living here now. According to Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, “Many people think climate change is a remote problem, but the fact is that it’s already impacting real people, animals, and beloved places all over the world, and these Faces of Climate Change are multiplying every day.” If you did not read the stories or see the photos of all the images shown on the Earth Day campaign this year, please take time to research this. I have read that future wars will be fought over water. That stuff that flows so easily from our faucets might someday be scarce and treasured (and already is in some parts of the planet). There are so many things that we take for granted today that may be a problem even for the next generation. Shouldn’t we at least practice taking shorter showers with water a little less steamy or find a rain barrel to collect water to use on our lawn? Yes, I have an addiction to the convenience of bottled water. Finally I bought a nice water bottle that does not sweat and keeps the water cool all day. That is reducing my plastic usage overall, but I still get careless in a hurry. Even though the plastic bottles can be recycled, apparently only a portion of the plastic bottles are. One way we can all help the environment is by recycling e-waste. I have a stack of old phones, TVs, computer keyboards and monitors in the basement that are waiting to find a new home. Some of these items

contain calcium, lead, and mercury and can hurt our environment when taken to the landfill and burned. Apparently there are facilities that can dispose of our e-waste properly. E-Stewards is a website that can direct us to the recycling facility in our area. Also, you can go green in your own yard or neighborhood. Trees not only make our neighborhoods more attractive, they also clean the air and keep our homes and businesses cooler. Thus, less power is used to air condition the interiors. By planting a small garden following the square foot method, you can grow some tasty and fresh vegetables in a small space. Home grown produce is more nutritious than store bought and hasn’t used gasoline to be shipped across the country. If you don’t have room for a garden plot, you might consider container gardening on your deck. There might be a community garden in your area where you can have your own space to grow vegetables. No green thumb? The local farmers market has a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. When my hubby and I were gathering information to complete our taxes, we noticed that our utilities were $2000 lower than the previous year. We had replaced our 40 year old furnace with an efficient new one and had replaced all of the 1940 rope windows. These actions made such a difference in even one year of bills! Energy star appliances are available in all price points and can add up in money spent on power, but also our impact on the environment. Another easy way that we can have an Earth Day every day is to cluster our errands and trips. With a little extra planning, you can try to do all of the errands on one side of town in one trip. Besides saving money on expensive gas, you save time spent in your vehicle and more time on something you love. If you can’t afford a hybrid or a car with high gas mileage, drive the speed limit to cut down on your gas usage. Earth Day is a day of celebration and focus on our wonderful world. If we all work together, our ancestors can celebrate what we have for many more years. God has given us such a wonderful gift in His creation. If all of us treated every day like Earth Day, the world would be a better place.

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.

www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 31


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Recipes for ife

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by Emily Wickham

Food for the Body

Classic Ranch Dressing

(Online source: http://americanfood.about.com/od/saucesdipsanddressings/r/ Ranch_Dressing.htm)

1 cup mayonnaise ¾ cup buttermilk ¼ cup sour cream ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley Combine all ingredients and whisk together thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving on a fresh garden salad.

AAPrayer for God’s Prayer For Blessing God’s

Blessing

Loving Father in heaven, You are the Eternal God, Creator of time, which I confess I sometimes waste on meaningless matters. Thank You for my precious children and the opportunities to pour Your love and truth into their lives. Please focus me to prioritize and utilize time with them as a way of contributing to Your kingdom. In the name of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Food forfor the Soul Food the

Soul

Even though I miss holding my babies’ tiny, chubby hands and enjoying frequent opportunities for snuggles, I don’t want to miss today’s opportunities. For instance, my youngest son recently helped prepare dinner. While I tossed salad, he discovered and whisked together an incredible dressing. (I might soon be out of a job—he retains quite a flair for cooking!) As we amicably worked together, I considered the blessing of fixing food with my son. Time is ticking. Life is fleeting. What’s important? The Bible says, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14, NASB). Truly this sounds serious. But do we earnestly receive God’s counsel about life’s brevity? Or do we just casually listen, like when I “heard” my mom’s words years ago? Friends, every minute of every day counts. While God “ … richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17), He also instructs us to live “making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). Surely the day rapidly approaches when Christ will return for His bride, the church. What will we be doing? Will He find us faithfully pursuing and obeying Him? Additionally the Day of Judgment hastily nears. Those who refuse Christ as Savior will receive the just consequence for their sins. Yet forgiveness and new life remain possible today: “… behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION’” (2 Corinthians 6:2). So, what’s of primary importance during our brief earthly days? A relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, easily tops the list. By placing our faith in Christ, we freely experience God’s forgiveness based on Jesus’ shed blood. If you don’t possess the joy of knowing Him, won’t you trust Him today? He makes us new. He gives abundant life. He provides purpose for our days. Finally, for those who already have received God’s gift of eternal life, let’s daily focus on knowing the Lord intimately and expressing His love to those around us. As our relationship with Him feeds our service for Him, He’ll use our talents and gifts to bless others. On this Mother’s Day, joy mingles with sorrow concerning my swiftly growing children. Joy floods in recognition of these absolutely wonderful individuals God has created. Sorrow engulfs as the reality of our limited time together looms. Even so, my greatest desire for each of them is to “… LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH” (Mark 12:30). If my sons and daughter attain this quality of relationship with the living God, my mother’s heart certainly will rejoice … for eternity. Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life … Emily Wickham gently reaches women’s hearts as she teaches God’s Word. Through various writing endeavors, she encourages readers into close relationship with God.

“You blink your eyes, and then they’re married.” My mom shared this wisp of wisdom years ago in reference to my children. Her words went in one ear and out the other—it seemed my kids would stay little forever! But sure enough, two of my sons have exchanged toddling about with driving motor vehicles. All three sons now prefer sleeping until late morning rather than awakening early. And as for the days of resisting certain foods, they currently consume sizeable servings of just about everything! My daughter has advanced to the tween years, my eldest has become an adult, and my other two sons follow closely behind him. Yes, my children have grown quickly indeed.

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


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Part of a wedding that is usually forgotten until the last minute are the wedding favors. One of the many definitions of the word favor says it is something freely done for someone else as a gracious gesture. What a great way to show your appreciation for your guests who have taken the time out of their busy lives to help celebrate your wedding. Even though favors are not required, they can give you the opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. This is even more true if your funds are limited. But budget constraints aside, the most important thing to remember is that you should put some HEART in it. You want something your guests will remember. (In a good way.) Anyone can go out and buy something. Here are some of the tried-and-true favorites. •

Candy bars “relabeled” with the couples’ names and wedding date. This works for both the large and small candy bars. Not a good idea though, at an outdoor Summer wedding.

Just about anything can be relabeled. Any beverages in bottles or cans, from Coke to beer to even bottled water. Even small bottles of wine would work. The companies that produce blank labels for mailing are also producing tags and other unique shaped labels for printing. Even though they are not favors, the small packages of tissues work well done this way and then placed on the pews for guests to use. Paddle fans are another idea if the weather is warm.

One of the nicest (and least expensive) favor is a scroll containing special notes from the bride and groom. This can be a personal thank you, as well as a story of how they met. Quotes from the Bible, especially those containing the word “love” would be beautiful printed on faux parchment.

Another great favor is a pack of seeds. Even nicer when placed in a tiny flower pot. A note attached could compare the growth of a garden to the growth of a marriage.

Individual seedling trees ready to be planted are another great idea. Especially with a note attached with planting instruction. There are many ways to present these.

Another version of the above idea is individual plants. Depending on the season, white petunias or pansies would be nice. Flowers with the wedding colors are another way to go. These clustered together would make a great centerpiece and later presented to guests.

A small picture of the bride AND groom, nicely framed would be welcomed by family members. Small inexpensive frames are available at many of the dollar stores.

Any tiny container such as boxes, baskets, plastic glasses or even birds’ nests would work well as vessels to hold little wrapped candies.

Pint jars containing layers of ingredients along with the instructions to make a batch of cookies. This idea is endless, especially when you consider all the possibilities.

There are many more, only limited by your imagination. Plan ahead and buy when things are available (such as the pastel Hershey kisses). Sometimes you can buy out of season and save quite a bit of money too. If it’s a favor you would like to receive, then you know it’s a job well done.

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Are You Whistling Dixie in Your Marriage?

By Dr. David

Denial can be a good thing—in very small doses. Who wants to come home from work at the end of a long, wearying day and be faced with every family problem that occurred throughout the day? Or face every little difficulty percolating below the surface of your relationship? Not me, that’s for sure. I’d rather just whistle and pretend the problems aren’t there. Ignorance is bliss. There is, however, a time when denial is not good. There is a time when denial and avoidance are like listening to distant elephants, believing they’re far away on the distant horizon, of no immediate threat, only to find them parading through your living room making a very stinky mess. We all have our distant elephants—things we avoid talking about, but have negative effects on our relationships. These are issues that are easily avoided or minimized. However, these issues cannot continually be avoided without painful consequences. A couple came to see me recently and their story is a good example of whistling Dixie. Dan and Shelly seemed like a nice couple, coming to their initial appointment holding hands and smiling warmly. He was a robust man who wore cowboy boots, a bright silver buckle, and a long sleeve Western shirt. The only thing missing from his ensemble was the hat. His handshake and greeting were generous. His demeanor carried none of the reluctance most men bring to their first counseling session. Shirley was equally warm and friendly. She was modestly built, with big blond hair down to her shoulders and a brightly colored skirt. Her red lipstick matched her fingernails. Gene and Shirley were both on their second marriage. Their intake sheet noted they had “a few small problems” they wanted to work on. Their first marriages had been lengthy, ending when their spouses left for someone else. Filled with bitterness and distrust, both remained single for several years until meeting at their church’s singles group where it was “love at first sight.” Now in their late forties, Dan and Shelly obviously cared about one another. Openly affectionate, they approached their session as if nothing was seriously wrong, and I began with that point of view as well— though my opinion soon changed. “So tell me what has brought you here,” I said. “Well,” Shelly began tentatively, smiling at Dan. “We have a wonderful relationship. But I think Gene may have a problem.” “Not as far as I’m concerned,” Gene replied, smiling back at her, a twinkle in his eye. “I don’t think it’s anything we can’t solve, but Shirley insisted we come here for a session or two. I’ll see a shrink if my sweetheart wants me too.” I sat quietly, growing more suspicious as to why they were here. I waited for them to address the real issue, but both appeared reluctant to share anything. Finally, I broke the silence. “So, what is this problem that needs our attention?” “Dan likes to play blackjack at the casino,” Shelly blurted. “Ever since the new casino was built down the road, he’s their best customer. I think it’s a problem. He doesn’t.” “Once a week or so I like to stop by The Lucky Eagle and play cards,” Dan offered firmly. “I keep my spending under control. It’s been a bit more lately but I can cut it back.” “Is that all of it?” Shelly asked. “It is for me,” Dan said tersely, now revealing his testy side. “I told

you it is no big deal and I can cut back any time I want. And I will.” “Remember three weeks ago when I called you on your cell at eleven o’clock, and you were still playing cards?” Dan bristled. “When was the last time I spent my paycheck at the tables? Like I said, this is nothing we can’t work out ourselves.” Shelly looked at me, wincing. “Does it sound like we might have a problem to you?” “It certainly sounds like there might be a more serious problem here than either of you has admitted. I think we should look a little closer.” I spent the rest of the session exploring their relationship and “the problem.” What I discovered surprised me. Dan appeared to be a gambling addict. He not only liked to play blackjack, as he originally admitted, but was also at the race track on many Saturdays. Reluctantly, he admitted that he had spent numerous paychecks on gambling and that it had played a role in the demise of his first marriage. Dan’s gradual admission took courage on his part. What was more surprising, however, was Shelly’s posture toward him. As soon as he began to admit a greater problem, her concern for his gambling seemed to lessen. She said he had not spent his paycheck on gambling in the past month, going out of her way to avoid being critical of his behavior and defending his ability to control himself. Shelly’s behavior shocked me. The more I confronted Dan, the more she came to his rescue. The more I indicated there might be a serious problem, the more she backtracked. She clearly enabled his addiction. She allowed the elephants to parade through her home, pretending they were still off in the distance. As you listen to Shelly and Dan, perhaps you can see elements of their relationship in your marriage. You may be able to see how you have traits, like Shelly, of codependency—which is any attempt to ignore, and thereby reinforce, another’s weaknesses. This, of course, only makes matters worse. Dan needs immediate help, but will not likely volunteer to get it because of denial. Shelly, because of her own denial and codependency, fears forcing the issue. She enjoys the special attention he gives her, and fears rocking the boat. However, unless they face this problem, and quit whistling Dixie, they will undoubtedly have more serious problems in the days ahead. Christ taught much about seeking peace with others, but also taught about breaking out of denial. He said that it was important to “speak the truth in love,” (Eph. 4: 15) and that “the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) His message challenges us to be honest instead of mincing words. We must occasionally look our mates in the eye and say we are unhappy with the way things are. We dare not approve of their excessive drinking, spending, work, drug use, deception, and yes, even avoidance of conflict. We cannot sit with the silence any longer. It’s time to talk! Take a moment with your mate and answer these questions: • What are the topics we avoid? • Why do you think we avoid them? • What can we do to make it safer to talk about the tough issues? • Is there any action we must take to end certain problems in our lives? • How will we hold each other accountable for change? Now, quit whistling Dixie, take a clear and honest look at the elephants parading through your home, and make a commitment together that you will practice speaking the truth in love. Even if it hurts! Solve problems. It’s better than waking up one day to stinky elephants lounging in your living room.

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


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pg 38 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013


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Visit the website to view all the photos to enter your photo into next month’s contest. pg 40 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | Juneand 2012 42


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s e r u t n e v d a s Mi ’s y d n a M

by Mandy Thomas

So what do you say to your daughter, who is convinced that her fashion choices are phenomenal, that she looks like a drunken hobo abandoned beneath a bridge? I’m trying hard not to judge her, and to refrain from saying things that are sure to be psychologically scarring like “What are you thinking?” and “Honey, do you realize that’s red? And do you realize that your pants are orange?” but with every new outfit, I find myself more and more tempted to make my opinions known. I mean, what kind of mother am I if I let my child out of the house looking like she’s bound for clown college? I’m not saying she isn’t beautiful, or that expressing yourself is bad, but sometimes, I wonder if censorship isn’t such a bad idea. Especially when she’s wearing pants under a skirt. Or maybe, I’m just getting old and losing my sense of style. Either way, I’m not really enjoying this part of motherhood. I miss the days when I could pick out her clothes, the times when she’d actually let me brush her hair instead of telling me that she knew how. I suppose that really, I just miss my baby. And who knows, maybe polka dot tops paired with bright, neon green star pants will be all the rage one day. I’ll pass, though.

pg 46 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2013


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Sophie Woman's Magazine May 2013  

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

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