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VOLUME 10 - ISSUE 3 / May 2014


phie Woman’s Magazine


Girlfriends In God ~ Are You Caught Up In The Comparing Game? | Page 15 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ Are You A World Changer? Part 2 | Page 6 Me, Myself, & Inc. ~ Are You Up To The Courtesy Challenge? | Page 29 shutterbuggerz pg 35


torybook eginnings pg 23




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from the

From The Editor: Judy Smith

A young child asked her grandmother how old she was. The Grandmother replied she would be 80 years old. “Did you start at one?” the child asked. ~Unknown I adore my grandchildren so much there are not adequate words to describe it. My heart doesn’t just flow over, it floods over. When they were small they would ask, “Mammaw, how much do you love me?” My answer; “if you look in my eyes you will see my heart”! It just bursts forth. I consider being a grandmother one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever given me.

west. He is forever and everywhere. In fact the Bible tells us in Psalm 103 that as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions.” Wow….I was pretty amazed. At the fact that she thought of that, but mostly, that God will do this. She wanted to know if she got an A for this but I told her she was just now on a D. It was good, real good, but you don’t get to go to the top with just one answer. We drove up the highway and I would ask them to take turns telling which way to turn. We stumbled across a very unusual park and even though it had been a light rain all day, Emily wanted to stop. “Could we find God here?”, I asked. Guess what? God was there. Hannah finally got her A+ but Emily did not quite get there. Walking in the door at home later that evening, they were still chattering over our day. However, I still had one more question. “Could they find God now” and the answer was yes. “So you are telling me that we never had to leave home?”

The other weekend, I had the privilege to keep two of them for the whole weekend. Chocolate milk and cookies is always on the menu, no matter what age they are, and that is usually one of the first things that happens when they get to the house. The question always arises…“What are we going to do?”

The next day on the way to church, Emily asked me if she got an A. Being completely fair and still being a grandmother, I told her she did not…..but, she still had a chance if she could answer the most important question of all. That question being; where is the most important place that you can find God? She got her A when she told me the most important place to find God was in your heart. I have such amazing grand kids!

On Friday night we watched a movie, played some games and then went to bed. At lunch time on Saturday, when one of them finally got out of bed (now you know she is a teenager) and ate her breakfast, I gave them some options of things for the day.

Of course you don’t find grand kids in a cabbage patch. I want to say THANK YOU to our kids for their kids. Then again, you don’t find kids in a cabbage patch and I just want to remind all kids….Don’t forget Mother’s Day.

One, we could go to a movie. Two, we could go bowling or three, we could go find God. They both just looked at each other with curiosity and then back to me. Hannah asked if that was a movie. I told her it was not. Then she asked if it was a play and I told her it was not. Emily said she did not understand and could we just go to the park.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there and many blessings to you.

The options were on the table and they had to choose. Curiosity won out and they picked going to find God….whatever that meant. So off we went. After just a little driving they wanted to know where we were going and I told them they already knew the answer. We were going to find God and if they saw Him to let me know. We passed by a field that had a lot of flowers blooming and I asked them did they see God? We just passed Him. Driving a little farther we saw cows and horses in a pasture. “Do you see God over there”, I asked. Hannah caught on pretty quick then but amazed me with her theological depth when she stated she sees God in the road we are on. “You know how this interstate runs from the east all the way to the west? The road will run out when it gets to the ocean on the west and it will run out when it gets to the ocean on the east. God was in the knowledge to make the roads, the cars, the jobs but the most important thing was that God does not run out when you get to the east or to the

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Message From The 3 Reaching Your Full 6 Sophisticated 8 The Front 11 Adolescent 12 Girlfriends In 15 PDQ: People Dedicated to 17 Unanswered 18 What It Feels Like To Be A Special Needs 20 A Perfect 21 Storybook 23 Me, Myself, & 29 Dream 30 The Hoopla About Pelvic 32 Recipes For 33 35


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********************************************************** 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 it’s content, do not assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided in the magazine, nor shall they be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages arising out of the use of the magazine. **********************************************************


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REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: Building World Changing Leaders: Part 2

by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, World Changer

“Whenever a position opens up on your team, consider young hopefuls – people who haven’t been marred by the crushing disappointments of life. Look for individuals who still believe that the impossible is possible.” ~Brad Lomenick Last month, I shared key leadership development concepts from Brad Lomenick’s book, The Catalyst Leader, attached to the challenge to awaken your inner leader. I promised to deliver Part Two of that message, focusing this month on developing leaders among our younger generations. I am blessed to have many true friends who are much younger than myself. This has given me a vantage point to view the pitfalls and the potential embedded in youth. I have young God-children, young coaching clients, and young family members among those I desire to invest in. One of the greatest gifts I believe that we can give to anyone is to enable that person to awaken to the highest destiny for which they were created. In his chapter on Young Hopefuls, Lomenick shares ‘Twenty Points on Leading Twentysomethings’ that will inspire you to develop the young leaders around you. The following is excerpted directly from Chapter Seven of The Catalyst Leader: Brad writes, “Here are twenty ways we have learned to better lead the next generation: 1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

7. 8. 9. 10.

Give them freedom with their schedules. I’ll admit, giving young leaders freedom with their schedules is tough for me. But it creates buy in and loyalty. Provide them projects, not a career. Careers are just not the same any more. Young leaders desire more options, just like free agents. Create a family environment. Work, family, and social life are all intertwined for the younger generation, so make sure the work environment is experiential and family oriented. Everything is connected! Cause is important! Tie in compassion and justice to the “normal.” Causes and opportunities to give back are important. Embrace social media. Social media is here to stay, and young leaders know how to use it. Accept that they are tech savy. For this generation, technology is the norm. They grow up using Xboxes, iPhones, laptops, and iPads. If you want a response, text first, then call. Or send a direct message on Twitter or Facebook private message. Lead each person uniquely. Don’t create standards or rules that apply to everyone. Customize your approach to each young leader. Make authenticity and honesty the standard for your corporate culture. Twentysomethings tend to be cynical and don’t trust someone just because they are in charge. Understand that they are not interested in climbing the corporate ladder. Today’s young leaders are more concerned about making a difference and leaving their mark. Give them opportunities early with major responsibility. They don’t want to wait their turn. They want to make a difference now

pg 6 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

11. 12. 13.


15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

and will find an outlet for influence and responsibility somewhere else if you don’t give it to them. Empower them early and often. Accept that they want the larger win, not the personal small gain. Young leaders in general have an abundance of mentality instead of a scarcity of mentality. Meet their desires for partnering and collaboration. Twentysomethings are not interested in drawing the lines. Collaboration is the new currency, along with generosity. Realize they’re not about working for a personality. This generation isn’t interested in working long hours to build a temporal kingdom for one person. But they will work their guts out for a cause and vision bigger than themselves. Provide opportunities for mentoring, learning, and discipleship. Many older leaders think twentysomethings are not interested in generational wisdom transfer. This is not true at all. Young leaders are hungry for mentoring and discipleship, so build it into your organizational environment. Coach them and encourage them. Young leaders want to gain wisdom through experience. Come alongside them; don’t just tell them what to do. Create opportunities for quality time, individually and corporately. Twentysomethings want to be led by example, not just by words. Hold them accountable. This generation wants to be held accountable by those who are living out an authentic life. Measure them and give them constant feedback. Grasp that the sky is the limit in their minds. Older leaders need to understand that younger leaders have a much broader and global perspective, which makes wowing them much more difficult. Recognize their values, not just their strengths. It’s not just about their skills. Don’t use them without truly knowing them. Provide a system that creates stability. Give younger leaders clear expectations with the freedom to succeed, and provide stability on the emotional, financial and organizational side.

Leonard Sweet once said, “To imagine things other than they are is the essence of hope. It is also the stuff of revolution.” Whether you are looking to grow the culture in your home as you parent teens or if you are looking to lead the younger troops as you build a company or organization, it is my hope that you will find great promise and passion in the twentysomethings around you. If you find that your network has aged beyond this generation, do as I have done. Bring some young people close and change the world together!

Kim would love to share these principles with your group or organization. Kim would also love to hear your life and leadership stories. You may contact her team of coaches and speakers directly at: www. / To learn more about the author who inspired part of this article, visit:

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Sophisticated Women...

Know It’s The Little Things By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching


he sophisticated woman knows that it’s the little things that matter. It’s the pennies in a jar that can add up to a significant amount of money. It’s vegetables and fruits on plates that add up to significant health. It’s the smile, the kiss and the sweet, emotion filled words whispered in someone’s ear that add up to a significant amount of love and trust in a relationship. Truth is: it’s the little things that matter. Creating significant movement in your life is not about creating an outrageous unmanageable over haul in your life. It’s about adopting a few new practices that can add up to a significant amount of progress. B.J. Fogg, a social scientist at Stanford University and behavior change guru, uses the idea of a “Motivation Wave” to explain that humans can make change but the changes have to be perceived as “easy” versus “hard.” He implores his followers to choose little changes that he calls “baby steps” Our practice of developing “baby steps” then morphs into “tiny habits” that eventually meet a tipping point where we have a “structured behavior.” B.J.’s personal example for us all is about pushups. B.J. had a desire to increase his strength and get into shape. He knew from his research that if an individual wants to create a small change, a key criteria is adding a baby step to a practice that is already fully ingrained in one’s life. After some self-assessment, BJ noted the obvious. He knew everyday that he went to the bathroom at several times a day. This was a solid habit in his life. It’s weird. It’s obvious. But, it’s the truth. And that is what we are looking for, a solid habit that is already established so that we can add a baby step. B.J. decided that after he went to the bathroom, he would do a push-up. This little thing turned into a daily practice of doing 100 pushups a day. As B.J. grew stronger, he added more pushups. He went from pitiful to powerful. I think this is genius. So, I started my own plan for a little change. I thought it would be “hard” to do pushups in a skirt and heels in every bathroom I visit. But, I thought it would be “easy” to do squats in a skirt and heels in every bathroom I visit. So, I did. And now I do 100 squats a day. It is that easy. I have made a significant amount of progress. Not only do I have stronger legs but I have increased the strength in my shoulders, as well, since I now throw my arms in the air as I descend into a squat. I breathe deeper 10+ times a day. I slow myself down to a little something for me amidst my work that by its nature has me pouring myself out into others

pg 8 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

lives. This may sound just like a habit of doing exercise but like most things the little things have a much greater impact than we can imagine. Don’t miss the little things! Here’s your challenge. Choose a baby step that you can take on. Start to change your life in a small way so that you can live vibrantly. • • • • • • • • • • •

My suggestions for possible baby steps… Drink an eight-ounce glass of water before every meal. Answer the phone. Offer a compliment before hanging up. Walk the dog. Tell someone you live with that you love them. Drive to work. Take the steps up to the office. See a human. Offer a smile. Look in the mirror. Love what you see. Know that the woman you see is sophisticated, savvy, and full of faith. Give thanks for your life.

Now, push the EASY button. I’d love to know the “easy” things you integrate into your life! Share them with me at

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pg 10 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

     

The Front Porch F

by Judy Smith

inally, we are seeing the sun more than we are seeing rain or snow. What a crazy mix of weather we have had and if you are like me, the warm weather draws you out of the house. My porch beckons me to sit, read a book, watch the birds, enjoy the new blooms of flowers or enjoy a warm breeze as God whispers of His creation. The most amazing thing is that my porch can be anywhere. Perhaps on a river bank with a pole in my hand just waiting for a fish to challenge me. Maybe on the oversight of a scenic mountain drive where you can reach out and touch the clouds. No matter where, the sight is breathtaking. How blessed we are to live in North Carolina. From the mountain peaks to the furthest reach of the Outer Banks and everything in between, pick a spot and you will be amazed. Did you know there are 100 counties in North Carolina? I wonder how many stories there are in those 100 counties? We could never know but one thing you can know for sure, there are stories in every single county. Do you remember when you had to memorize all the names of the counties in the state? Don’t fret. I am not going to ask you to name them but when is the last time you have actually taken a look at them? If you love adventures like I do, you will not be at a loss to find one that will fit your taste in our wonderful state. My grandchildren are never shocked when we pile in the car to find “an adventure”. The other week, I printed out a copy of the state with all the counties names. As I was looking at it I started wondering if I have been in every single county at one time or the other. What about you? Now there is an adventure! Do they still study North Carolina in the fourth grade? Do you remember that? I did it and my kids did it but I wonder how much more exciting it would have been to make a trip to every county. Maybe that is the next adventure for me to do with my grand kids.

I know the words adventure and safe don’t really complement each other, but I will caution those of you with adventurous minds. There are times when the mind yearns for the adventures that the body cannot keep up with. I have had many of those moments, especially when I wanted to show off for my grand kids. Like the time I wanted to be the first one down the trail from the top of Chimney Rock to the bottom to see Hickory Nut Falls. A word of warning....don’t be fooled by what the brochure says.....”a gentle walk to the bottom”! Everyone knows going down is easy. They just forgot to tell you how to get back up. I told the kids to go on without me and make sure they tell Papaw how much I loved him. At least it would be a beautiful place to die. The brochure also said “ with just a bit of effort” not to miss the view from the top....2,280 feet up! Chimney Rock Park is in Rutherford County. Rowan County is a great place to visit. Not only does it have the N.C. Transportation Museum but we just made a visit to the Lazy 5 Ranch. I don’t know if you know this but giraffes have purple tongues; really, really long purple tongues. I didn’t know that, but now I do. I also now know that zebras will bite but hey, I will fight to the death protecting what is mine, I don’t care how much they want that bucket of grain. Just is safe and so much fun. When you go to the beach, they tell you to watch out for the sharks. Who knew those tiny little sand fleas could be so vicious. “Come on kids, I will go first because we have a lot to do. There is hang gliding off sand dunes, kiteboarding, wind surfing, kayaking, surfing and paddleboarding. Did I just say all those things? Wait, I think I see some very rare birds over in that direction. It is dangerous, I know, but I think I am up for it!” Three counties down and 97 to go. We are off for a new adventure and as Roy and Dale always ended....Happy Trials to you! | pg 11

Adolescent Anger: Understanding the Volcanic Eruptions by Jackie E. Perry, MS, LPCS, NCC


his summer our daughter will be volunteering with an NGO overseas. The town where she will be working and residing is a quiet town where local events rarely, if ever, make the national news. When it does, however, it almost always surrounds the active volcano that exists in the region. Knowing very little about volcanoes and the danger they might pose to her while she is there, she decided to ask the director a few questions during a recent Skype conversation. When she asked what precautions she would need to take in the event of a volcanic eruption, the gentleman responded in a flat and rather cynical manner by

saying, “Well, dear, if you see steam rising up from the vicinity of the volcano then make sure you run really, really fast…in the opposite direction!” He then cracked a smile and gently assured her that volcanoes typically offer plenty of warning signs days and weeks before the lava flows. While his answer certainly seemed obvious to those who know about volcanoes, for those who aren’t fully informed, the concern over the volcano’s proximity seemed reasonable. Living with an angry adolescent in your home can sometimes feel like you are living beside an active volcano as well. Sometimes steam before the episode clearly warns you that a flare up is about to occur. But, then there are those times where molten lava suddenly spews out and you had no idea that the magma deep within was about to explode. In those moments, it sure would be nice if parents could purchase a gadget to monitor the seismic emotional activity below, duly warning us when our teen was about to have a meltdown. Then, we could decide if we wanted to “run really, really fast in the opposite direction” as well! Unfortunately, no such gadget exists; at least not yet! Nonetheless, there are some things that every parent should know about adolescent anger so that you can not only understand but also embrace what may be occurring deep beneath the surface. In this age of abundant neuroscience research, we have learned quite a bit about the developing teen brain. These fascinating studies reveal that teens primarily utilize their limbic (emotional) brain during their interactions with others. The limbic region of the brain is very small, very primitive and is essentially designed to detect a threat. This region is designed to have essentially three responses to address the stress or threats it perceives-attack, withdraw or immobilize. As a result, when a teen feels threatened, vulnerable or ill-equipped in conversations or conflicts, beware of the eruption, the exit or the shut-down that may follow. In those moments their overactive limbic brain hijacks the rational, clear headed, common-sense region of the brain (the prefrontal cortex). As a result they have great difficulty acting or reacting in a rational and reasonable manner. Since parents have a more fully developed brain, the burden rests on you to regularly demonstrate what it looks like to use rational and healthy strategies (prefrontal cortex) to quiet or quell the limbic (emotional) brain. These include taking a time out to calm down, refraining verbal or physical attacks and using guiding principles to help you stay calm. Doing so, gives your teen’s brain a model of what anger management can look like as they mature and manage

the emotional portion of their brain. Remember, their brain is still under construction and will improve with time, experience and exposure. Aside from the shortcomings that come from dealing with a developing brain, remember that adolescent anger is almost always a secondary emotion. This means that another, more primary emotion, occurred before they felt or expressed anger. While most teenagers themselves may not be cognizant of the primary emotion, parents can help them identify this by considering that typically one of five primary emotions occurred first. These include feeling Powerless, Less than or Inferior, Guilty, Hurt and Traumatized. Together these feelings spell the word P.L.I.G.H.T. and each of these feelings can create quite a plight deep within them. The tension and uneasiness associated with each of these often becomes so unbearable that the teen allows them to convert to anger which is a more protective, yet destructive emotion. Unfortunately, they end up pushing you and others away from, rather than toward their heart. In counseling sessions, I often have parents work to detect the emotion that may have lay beneath the conflict being discussed. The tears and raw emotion teens exhibit when parents name the correct primary feeling can be both powerful and eye opening. In that moment, the teen feels heard and understood and the anger de-escalates. The shift that occurs when primary emotions are addressed in relationships can go a long way to foster deeper connections between parents and teens.

For now, accept the fact that living with a teen means that it may, in fact, feel like an active volcano lives in the room beside you. Remember, the teen brain has a long way to go and needs you to model anger management skills. Not only that, consider what primary emotion your teen may be disguising or deflecting as they spew lava upon you. They long for you to know. Gently identifying that emotion as the conflict subsides can go a long way in deepening your relationship and preventing future flare ups.

Jackie E. Perry, MS, LPCS, NCC is a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor. For the past 20 years her primary focus has been working with adolescents and families to address a myriad of problems typical of this season in development. Jackie is also a frequent speaker and writer who is passionate about using her experience to equip and encourage parents and professionals through her seminars, articles and blogs. You can follow her weekly blog, LifeGiving Streams, check out her next speaking engagement or learn more about her work at www.jackieperry. net. She is married to John and together they are parenting three teens of their own.

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pg 14 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May "#! !"%)  "!"  2014 

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The Comparing Game Today’s Truth

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Proverbs 31:30).

Friend to Friend

We live in a competitive world. The pressures to be thin, beautiful, fit, smart, sexy, funny, rich, and popular trap us in a relentless vise-grip. Anyone can become gripped by a disorder or an addictive lifestyle. You could be a college student, a businesswoman, a nurse, a mom, a dance instructor, a retail clerk, or a Sunday school teacher. No one is exempt. Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority ravage hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike. Our attempts to measure up are all-consuming traps. They focus our attention inward verses upward. When we get caught in the trap of striving to measure up, we focus on ourselves. That was never God’s plan. We were designed to focus on Him. Shifting our attention from ourselves to God will change our perspective. God longs for our obsession to be Him. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).

The Dangers of Comparing

A common way we attempt to measure up is through comparison. Comparing is one of the most dangerous and destructive behaviors that we women engage in. We compare everything—our husbands, our children, our churches, and our cars. We compare our homes, our schedules, our finances, our blessings, and our burdens. There is a subtle, internal dialogue that plagues our minds and causes us to pull out our measuring sticks and hold them up to the people around us. That’s not to say that we should isolate ourselves or withdraw from awareness of others. We need to be able to relate to our friends, families, and neighbors. No question. But we shouldn’t compare ourselves to them. Comparing your life, your family, your stuff, your failures, and your accomplishments to that of someone else is dangerous. Very dangerous. It draws the focus of your heart to you instead of to God. The comparing game also brews a bitter cup of jealousy and resentment. I should know. I’ve tasted more than my fair share of that bitter drink. No, we in the church are not immune to comparisons by a long stretch! How many times have you looked across the aisle and thought, “She’s such a godly woman I wish I was more like her,” or “I wish I could pray like her (or sing like her, or speak like her, or bake like her, or be popular like her, or be organized like her)”? Often the things we compare are completely meaningless, fluffy things. Do you have a girlfriend with perfect hair? How about a girlfriend with a husband who treats her as a precious jewel? Got a friend whose house is crazy-organized? Do you have a friend who works out faithfully and looks like she belongs on the cover of a fitness magazine? Got one of those? Sure you do. So do I. Honestly, my list of shortcomings could go on forever. I’m keenly aware that I fall short in many areas. It’s easy to listen to the voices in

your head that say, “You’re not this, and you’re not that. You don’t do this well, and you can’t do that.” Your internal comparison dialogue is a vicious measuring stick that the enemy loves to wave in your face. Your defense in such an attack should be God’s truth. You were made to be you, and are called to be uniquely you, for Him. Yes, we should strive to live lives of excellence. And yes, we should be aware of personal areas that need improvement. But God intends that we should bloom where we are planted and thrive in our gifting’s so that His church can function in a healthy way. In the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul shows us clearly that each of us has a divine design and an important role to play in the Body of Christ. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body (1 Corinthians 12:14-20, NASB). God has a special plan for your life. God’s gifts for you are the best gifts for you to possess. He fashioned you in His image and tenderly knit you in your mother’s womb. You are purposed to be a God-loving you. It’s time we quit chasing the interests of others and start pursuing the passions that were written on our hearts. Our role in the Body of Christ is essential. God wants us to stop trying to measure up to everybody around us and be content in Him.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, please renew and transform me from the inside out! When feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and self-doubt creep into my heart, help me to see myself the way you do. I want to be held tightly by your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

How does this speak to you today? Do you really know how much you’re loved? Pray about it and journal if you’re the journaling type… then swing over to my blog or my Facebook page to talk about it and pray through it together. If you are ready to move beyond comparing, leave a comment, “I’m done with the comparing game!”

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The “P” in PDQ Submitted by Bonnie Coast


ave you ever ate in a restaurant that does not have a freezer or microwave? Most people haven’t including Dean Havas, Operating Director of Hickory’s PDQ. With 40 years of hospitality experience and 52 restaurant openings on his resume Dean had never experienced anything quite like PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality). “When I first learned of PDQ I was immediately intrigued” says Dean. “Fresh Food Fast served in a hip, upbeat environment that appeals to all ages. I just knew I had to be a part of this new and upcoming concept.” Hickory’s own PDQ opened in December of 2013 and was the 18th in the PDQ family. Since then there have been 4 more openings, the most recent in Frisco, Texas a suburb of Dallas. “That’s pretty incredible considering we only had three locations 2 ½ years ago” Dean explains. “We have plans for another 15-18 before the end of 2014” Dean says confidently. So what makes PDQ different in this ever so competitive market

place with quick service restaurants? Well it starts with the simplicity of only nine menu items and using high quality products to produce them. “We are committed to serving hot, fresh, food, fast all day long and you just can’t do it with a giant menu” Dean explains. Employees at PDQ hand cut fries, all of the sauces are made fresh in house, milkshakes are hand spun to order, cookies are baked throughout the day, salads and sandwiches are made to order, not pulled out of a cooler or from under a heat lamp. There is no MSG or preservatives used and people say they can taste the difference. People Dedicated to Quality is not just about food though, it’s also about the quality of service and the facility. The employees are very focused on guests needs not just at the counter but throughout the dining experience. The building is inviting with lots of windows for natural light and has an upbeat but comfortable décor. Half price shakes are served daily from 3-5 inside or at the drive-thru. There is even a hand washing station in the building which is a big hit with parents who can observe the kids washing up without having to go into the restroom. One of the things that really sets PDQ apart from the field is their approach to marketing the PDQ brand. “We do not have a big marketing department or budget for that matter” says Dean. “Most of our marketing is grass roots. Finding a way to give back to the community while exposing them to our food and hospitality.” In the short time open the Hickory PDQ has been involved with multiple community events ranging from elementary school festivals to helping nonprofits such as Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Catawba Regional Hospice, Frye Medical Cancer Support and Hospitality House, Boys and Girls Club, Back Pack Outreach, Alzheimer’s Association and Catawba County Partnership for Children. In just four months of being a part of the Hickory community PDQ has given back and/or help raise in excess of $20,000. “The “P” in PDQ is not just our guests and employees but also our community and we are Dedicated to being a part of helping it prosper and grow.”

People Dedicated to Quality | pg 17


everything a first love should be? Handsome doesn’t even begin to describe how cute Chris was. Courteous, well-mannered but with just a touch of mystery about him. And that smile! Oh yes, let’s not forget that smile that used to melt my heart--even when it wasn’t directed at me.



Submitted by Stefanie Hutcheson

What do you get when you take 50, subtract 33, and then subtract another 4? 13? Me too. And that’s where this story began. Last night I went to my 33rd-year-high school class reunion. It was so much fun and I really had such a good time reconnecting with many folks that I had shared some of the 4 most angst-filled years in a teenager’s life. When I first arrived, I was greeted by many who told of being so glad that I made it. I had previously stated to them that I wouldn’t be able to attend so when I got there after all, I was effusively hugged, smiled at, waved at, and squeezed on heartily by a few old friends. For that matter, I was hugged on and kissed by a couple of folks that truthfully I barely knew, but... who cared? We were uniting in the brotherhood of man and we were high on celebrating that we had made it to our 50th year of life! The more squeezes the better, right? At one point, it got to be that I could hardly move a few steps before someone new was embracing me. Thankfully, we had on name tags so we could all pretend that we “remembered” the other who was so happy to see us as we smiled and continued on with the camaraderie. I lost my husband somewhere along the line (it was so funny hearing how some folks were trying to place him--not to mention the gal that serenaded him and then informed him she was already taken). As I was making my way back to our table, suddenly I was wrapped in an embrace, hugged tightly, kissed on my left cheek, and then hugged again. “Stefanie! How are you? It’s so good to see you!” Another hug. I felt the slight stubble of his cheek against mine. “I’m good! How about you? How are you doing?” The small talk continued for a moment as I tried to adjust my eyes to the darkening room and make out his name tag. When I finally did, oh my… My head flooded with so many thoughts. The kiss on my cheek that I had just received suddenly burned, and my whole body just froze. Chris? My Chris? The Chris I had loved all of those 4 years of high school, had given my heart to only to let him break it? The Chris I had hurt over each time he found a new girl friend? Chris, who I had been thinking of the past few days as the reunion date approached, recalling and pondering so many things about? Chris just sought me out? Chris just kissed my cheek? Suddenly I felt all Marcia Brady-like after Davy Jones laid one on her: “Oh, I’ll never wash that cheek again.” I think I may have even reached up to still feel the warmth of it against my skin. My first love. And oh how I loved him! I mean, seriously, is there a stronger love than that of a 13-year-old girl for a guy who was just

pg 18 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

As I said, I had been thinking about him, wondering if he would be at the reunion. He isn’t on Facebook so the only things I knew about him were from a conversation several years back from a mutual friend of ours. Long story short, though, my sweet Lord had finally revealed some things to me on the road to and from work as I pondered this once young man and why, why God had never let him really be “mine.” Because of the way I was raised, I was so naive, so confused, so unaware that the choices one makes as a kid can have a lifelong effect that may not turn out to be a favorable one. If God had allowed Chris and me to stay together, I would have made some choices that would not have been such great ones. I wrote that I loved Chris with much passion. I would have--had he asked-- done anything for him back in the day. Anything. Who knew that the great flood of 1977 was created by God--just for me!--so that I could remain pure and innocent for another few years? For you see, that flood caused a separation not only from civilization to the outside world, but it was the end for our relationship as well. The passion was put on hold and I would spend the next several years trying to get it back. Fast forward to last night. As the long whispered prayers from a time way back when came back to me, I felt like Garth Brooks. After seeing Chris, after being hugged and smooched on by him, after being briefly in those arms I used to long to have wrapped around me, I almost laughed as the truths hit me. The guy I once loved with every fiber of my being wasn’t even recognizable when we “reconnected” some 33 years later. I had had to read his name tag to know it was him. Chris, the boy I cried over, prayed over, longed for 4 years of my life was now just...just... Hmn. A realized prayer. The truth I finally saw. God does indeed have a time and a purpose for everything under the heavens. By letting me love this man through my high school years, by giving me a taste of the sweetness a real relationship can have when our “going out” first began, and then for letting it fizzle before the fire consumed us, I finally see that indeed some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. God saved me--not from Chris--but from myself, from becoming someone I was not meant to be. Though I went on to make other foolish choices that indeed had somewhat devastating effects on my life, at least for 4 years I was “good.” Mostly. Sometimes. Ah, who are we kidding here? I was a kid, a crazy, sensitive, immature, often sad, silly, impressionable, mixed-up kid who was trying to figure out what life was all about--what I was all about, and who God was to me and why He wasn’t catering to my every prayer. High school and all of the drama it held, growing up in a family that was tearing itself apart, and just trying to figure it all out in those wonder years all teenagers go through was a lifetime ago. Unanswered prayers finally make sense now and I do thank God for being smarter than me, for knowing what I needed--in that moment and in the ones to come. I thank Him for the man He saved me for and for the love we have between us, which is far better than any love I could have ever imagined way back when. I thank God for telling me “No” even though it has taken me so long to appreciate His wisdom. I guess that’s why He is God and I am...I am just me. An older, wiser, and hopefully better version of who I was in the high school years. It took 33 years for me to realize that I wasn’t the only one who was all mixed-up back then. Oh the stories we all could tell! The secrets we could share. The unanswered prayers we could be thankful over and realize that these were indeed some of God’s greatest gifts.

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inside Laurel Park Medical Pavilion

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Caldwell Physicians, Laurel | pg 19 inside Laurel Park Medical Pavilion


That’s What It

Like To Be A

Special Needs Mom Submitted by Kim Eroh I often hear parents of special needs children saying that others just don’t “get it”. They feel judged by outsiders who think their child is a “wild-child” or just needs discipline. I try to remember back before I was a special needs parent. How quick I was to pass judgment and say “if that was my child”….as if I had all the answers. I remember when JC was a bit younger and was having an especially difficult day. We were involved in a parent group activity. I felt so horrible that my child was acting this way. I was so worried about what all of the other moms thought and how I must look like a horrible mother. No one knew of JC’s diagnosis or history. So to them, he looked out of control – and I looked like I had no control. But one mother said to me, “I have been so impressed by how you interact with your son.” I almost cried. How wonderful of her to notice, and then share that with me! From that day on, I no longer worried about what it looked like from the outside. Because for every one person who may think negatively, there are 5 others who may realize that I am doing the best I can. And it doesn’t really matter anyway does it? Aren’t we supposed to be oblivious to what others think of us? Aren’t we supposed to know that we are strong and have our child’s best interests at heart no matter what anyone else thinks? I hope you are having better luck with that than I am. We are our own worst critics as mothers (all mothers, not just special needs moms). We second guess ourselves, feel an overwhelming amount of guilt over things that we realistically cannot control, and hold ourselves to expectations that are unattainable. So it’s no wonder we feel judged by outsiders because maybe we project our own feelings onto others. Bottom line, being a mom is hard. As the mother of a special needs child, our struggles may be different than someone else’s but when you look deep enough the feelings are very similar. So I wanted to put together examples of what it feels like to be the mother of a special needs child. Examples that all moms can relate to and maybe when we all realize we are more similar than we thought, we can all judge each other(and ourselves) a little less. What does it FEEL like to be the mother of a child with special needs?

pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

Think about... That feeling when your child is sick, but you can’t do anything to make it better. You feel helpless and all you can do is hold them. That’s what it feels like when my child has a meltdown because of the slightest frustration or variation in his expectations, and I can’t do anything to fix it. I feel helpless and wish I could do something to make it better. That feeling of heartbreak when your child didn’t make the football team, or cheer-leading squad, or basketball team. That’s what it feels like when I see my child struggling to self-regulate, rebound from frustration or deal with social situations. My heart breaks for him, but I can’t turn the situation into a life lesson about trying hard and “better luck next time”. It’s a constant struggle, and the only lesson seems to be that slow and steady progress will take time. That feeling when you have been working for hours to help with a project of studying for a test, and the longer you try to help, the more frustrated everyone becomes. That’s what it feels like when I try to teach my child how to play a game and the rules are so abstract that he refuses to participate in any way other than his own. Or when he becomes set on doing things a certain way, and as much as I try explaining that it doesn’t work that way... He continues to insist. That feeling you get after the unending fight to get your kids to eat their veggies; the frustration, the “just one bite”, the “no dessert until you eat!” That’s what it feels like every day. Imagine your child refusing to eat ANYTHING. That feeling when your child starts a new school. You are anxious about how they will fit it, hopeful it will be a good fit, and worried that it won’t be. That’s what it feels like almost every day as we enter any situation. Even a common experience can feel new depending on the mood, level of stimulation, subtle changes in environment rile expectations... or any other factor. That feeling when you have had such a long day and you can’t stand the argument over whether or not they can watch TV before bed because all you want to do is have peace and quiet. That’s what it feels like when you see us in the grocery store or restaurant and I allow my child to watch the iPad or eat cookies out of the bag because I have fought him all day over far more important issues like wearing clothes, and at this point I just want to finish the shopping trip or restaurant meal without a meltdown.

That feeling of embarrassment after your child knocks over a display in the grocery store or spills his drink at a restaurant. That’s what it feels like anytime we go out. There may be loud screams, running around (unless buckled in a cart), climbing over chairs and under tables in a restaurant. We don’t go out much unless it is a place with a playground. That feeling of exhaustion when your baby is a newborn and is up several times a night and then needs your constant attention during the day too. That’s what it feels like… even three years later. That feeling when you are the first of your friends to get married or have a baby. Everyone else is still living the single life. You don’t fit in anymore. Your lives are so different. You lose touch. That’s what it feels like as the parent of a special needs child. You have no time for play dates because of all the therapy sessions. In fact, you look forward to therapy sessions to have someone to talk to that understands what you are going through. And even if you had time to schedule play dates, you know your child isn’t that great at play dates so it isn’t a fun experience for either of you. So you relinquish yourself to hanging out at home and are so thankful for the other special needs parents you find along the way. That feeling of defeat when your child is given an antibiotic or steroids that hype them up so much that they are bouncing off the walls. All you can do is count down the days until the medication is over. That’s what it feels like every day for a child who has sensory issues. They play hard and crash hard. Any it never wears off.

But now think about… That feeling you get when your child takes his first steps, says his first words or smiles at you for the first time. That amazing feeling that all the sleepless nights are worth it and you can’t imagine life without that sweet face. The pride you feel when your child wins a competition or advances to a new level of something after trying so hard. THAT’S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE even after the smallest accomplishment, because I know how far he has come. The simplest request to “help me” brings tears to my eyes because he is FINALLY using language to ask for what he wants. The act of saying “I’m sorry” after a tantrum or meltdown has such huge implications that I can’t even describe how proud I was at that moment. THAT is what every day feels like as a mother of a special needs child.

That feeling when your child lashes out at another or jerks a toy away and screams. There is an expectation that 2 year olds don’t want to share. We spend time teaching them appropriate social habits, and they learn them through experience and through watching others. That’s what it feels like on a regular basis because my child struggles to understand those social rules. “Teaching” means not only telling him and redirecting his behavior, but also using social stories, video modeling and a whole lot of hovering. The end result may eventually be the same. He will learn what behavior is appropriate and what is not. But the path that we take is long and winding. That feeling when your child cries for you after you leave then at kindergarten for the first time. That’s what it feels like when my child is so attached to me that he will not allow anyone else to care for him. I love having such a close connection, but for him it is a security issue. I “get him”. I have always been there with him. I know how to make rough situations easier. I am the only one who can calm him after a meltdown or tantrum. It drains me to the core, but I am the only one he wants in those situations. | pg 21

Vintage City Church & Conover School Get Together Submitted by Caitlin Norton Take a second to think back to your high school prom. Does the word ‘prom’ immediately rewind your life a couple years to a day full of beautiful, shiny dresses, French manicures, and too much hairspray? Or possibly it makes you squirm in your seat with flashbacks to awkward pick-up lines, slow dances you never thought would end, and hundreds of pictures next to a boy whose name has now escaped you. Whatever your prom experience, that word has a way of filling high school halls with a buzz that cannot be subdued for months. The air of anticipation and excitement is not any different at a school for students with special needs in Conover, North Carolina. The 2014 Prom is going to be nothing short of memorable for the students at Conover School. Vintage City Church is partnering with Conover School to throw this year’s prom for students with special needs. As the Children’s Director at Vintage City Church, I had the opportunity to hang out with Conover high school student Julia Xiong. When I sat down with Julia, she told me stories about last year’s prom and everything she’s looking forward to this year. May’s prom definitely cannot come soon enough for Julia and her classmates, and this was evident in her largerthan-life smile. Julia is a beautiful young woman whose laughter is truly contagious. Like many other girls her age, Julia dreams of an evening when she can put on the perfect dress, curl her hair, and dance for hours feeling like a princess. After only spending about thirty minutes getting to know Julia, I could tell that she was a little firecracker, so full of spunk and life. I asked Julia a few questions just to get to know her, and she had me laughing hysterically at her answers. She’s definitely one of a kind! Julia has five sisters and three brothers, and she’s an aunt as well. When asked what she likes to do when she gets home from school, Julia enthusiastically responded, “I like to clean!” Let me mention, that all of the adults in the room took that opportunity to invite Julia over to their homes. However, do not let Julia’s sweetness fool you; she’s smart! She quickly added that she likes to clean but does it for money. Clever girl! Her favorite is mopping and then laying on her bed after all her hard work. Julia likes to use her cleaning money to go out to eat with her sisters at McDonald’s, and she also loves playing dress-up and games with her family. It is probably fair to assume that cleaning is not on every high school girl’s list of favorite hobbies (moms out there - it is okay to dream!), but Julia’s ideas of the perfect prom night remind me so much of conversations that I had with my girlfriends in high school. I can remember flipping through dress magazines at lunch, planning how we were going to get our hair done, talking about the perfect earrings to make the look complete, and of course oohing and ahhing over the amusing and creative ways the boys asked out the girls. Writing the word ‘PROM?’ in M&Ms on a cookie cake is a high school classic I’ll never forgot! Julia definitely would have been a hit at my high school prom. Julia’s dream dress would be a pink gown covered in sparkles and sequins, which is what she wore last year. However, she told us that she wants to wow the crowd with a beautiful blue dress at this year’s prom. In addition to the dress, I asked Julia if she got her hair done extra special last year? She responded with a big, “Oh, yeah!” Then I asked, “Julia,

pg 22 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

how do you think we could do your hair this year?” She looked at me with a big smile, and said, “Curly because that makes me feel like a princess!” I can’t wait to see how beautiful she looks! Once you have figured out just the right outfit, we all know that the perfect dance would not be complete without decorations and a few “royal” guests. Julia was a big fan of the balloons last year, and let out a giggle of excitement when we mentioned the Prom King and Queen. I am sure that the whole school is looking forward to honoring those friends this year! Julia’s favorite thing about last year’s prom at Conover School was dancing with her friends. Fast dancing, slow dancing, and even the boogie - Julia loves it all. In addition to dancing the night away, Julia also told us that the thing she is looking forward to the most is singing. Even though she wouldn’t give me a live performance, Julia’s eyes lit up at the idea of singing on a microphone at this year’s prom. There is no doubt that she is a star! Now, a talk about prom would not have been complete without asking Julia the token question “Is there a certain boy you like to dance with?” Just the question made Julia smile shyly and laugh. Her lips were sealed, but she did tell us about her favorite friend to dance with, whom she actually got to dance with in music class the day before. We will just have to check back with Julia after prom to get the latest scoop! As I was wrapping up my time with Julia, I gave her a tiara with pink rhinestones and some shiny pink lip-gloss for her to wear as she looks forward to the prom. She immediately slipped the tiara on her head, and she could not stop smiling. That one moment let me know that this is going to be such a special and joyful evening for so many students. Vintage City Church is so thankful that we have the opportunity to hang out with and love Julia and all her friends at this year’s prom for students with special needs. It is certainly going to be a night to remember!

Sophie Woman’s Magazine


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“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” - Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever | pg 23

Wedding Faux Pas by Mackey S. Carpenter

I attend quite a few weddings and I always see some of the same things happening over and over. Now you may not see them as faux pas, but others may. The wedding season is heating up and it looks like it’s going to be a wild ride this year. Brides are straying away from the conventional more than ever but there are still a few things they should still keep in mind. If one side of the family has fewer members than the other, mix them up. It’s perfectly fine to seat guests on either side. I saw a sweet sign that said, “We don’t take sides here, you are welcome to sit anywhere.” While you may not want to put up a sign, the ushers can alternate seating as the guests come in. The same goes for seating at the reception. There are always people that tend to sit together and that usually leave a few vacant seats at each table. Again, mix them up. Put members of each family at every table so no one will feel left out. The purpose of a wedding is to join two families together, right? That is when place cards come in handy. Hopefully none of the guests will change the cards around. Don’t put the gift table too far out of the way. Makes it harder for guests to find, but also invites thieves to help themselves. It may be family and good friends but you never know who might have sticky fingers. It may also be a good idea to appoint someone to keep an eye on it if there are a lot of people there. Have a large box with just a small slit in the top for guests to drop in their monetary gifts or gift cards. Just recently a bride even had her bouquet stolen from the reception table. pg 24 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

Cutting the cake correctly is a crucial part of the wedding. First, whoever cuts the cake should have on food-safe gloves. And should know what they are doing. There are plenty of books out there that show different ways to disassemble and cut a wedding cake. I have seen cakes that look like they have been in a horror movie. Also, licking ones’ fingers in between each slice is not appropriate. The bride and groom cut the first slice with the special cake knife. After that, a real knife that actually cuts should be used. The small cake plate should be held close to the slice being cut to prevent it from falling apart. Two people can do this very effectively. BOTH should have on gloves. This requires repeating. It is NOT appropriate to make two trips through the buffet line. It’s not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Usually the leftover food is boxed up for the bride and groom’s family. Do not ask the staff to box up a plate to go for you. And do not ask either family if it’s OK to do so. If it’s a seated dinner, don’t ask the wait staff for seconds. I see this all the time. If you are still hungry, go through a drive-thru on your way home. A wedding is meant to be a social event where people talk and mingle. The bride and groom, along with their families should personally thank their guests for coming and sharing this special moment in their lives. Too often I see them talk only to a chosen few and that is usually the wedding party. Make a special effort to greet those from the opposite side of the family. Otherwise, it looks like you just invited them for a gift. Don’t forget to send thank-you notes. If you have invited someone to a wedding, then you should already have their address. No excuses. If you don’t have it, make an effort to get it. People DO remember when they don’t receive a proper thank-you for their gift. And thank them for coming, even if they haven’t brought a gift. And one more thing, sending a ‘thank you’ by email is not appropriate. I know we are all into technology, but that is just not right. Mackey S. Carpenter

Kelly Ray Campbell & Connie Marie Hilton Mr & Mrs Bobby Hilton Jr are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Connie Marie Hilton to Kelly Ray Campbell.

The Trott House Inn 802 N. Main Ave. Newton NC 28658

(828) 465-0404

The wedding date has been set for Saturday, July 19th at Gateway Baptist Church in Newton, with reception to follow at the church. Kelly is employed with Champion Tire & Wheel in Cornelius as a truck driver. Connie is a 911 telecommunicator for Catawba County. After the wedding, the couple will reside in Conover. | pg 25

How To Stay




Wedding Day

Remembering to eat well and drink plenty of fluids can help couples stay energized throughout their wedding days. pg 26 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

A couple's wedding day is the culmination of months and months of planning. For most, it is one of the most memorable, magical days of their lives, filled with fond moments of time spent with close friends and family. As enjoyable as a wedding can be, most brides and grooms who have already tied the knot can attest that a wedding is a long, often tiring day. It is very easy for energy levels to wane. To ensure you have enough energy to last through to the final good-bye of the evening, follow these suggestions to remain energized. * Recognize your wedding day is a very long day. It's possible to rise quite early in the morning to begin prepping with makeup, hair styles, wardrobe and more. If the party is an evening reception, it could last until the wee hours of the morning. You may find yourself up for nearly 24 hours, when the cameras will be flashing and the video rolling throughout. Naturally, you'll want to look your best throughout. * Get a good night's sleep the night before. Get to bed early the night before so you will get ample sleep and look rested. It is understandable that nerves and excitement may get the best of you and make it difficult to fall asleep. If you often grow anxious and struggle to fall asleep before big events, talk to your doctor prior to the wedding to ask if you can be prescribed a one-time-only sleeping pill that will ensure you get to sleep promptly. Do not take this medication with


alcohol, and be sure to take it only if you can get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise you may experience medicine hangover.

Dale Richards Michelle Solesbee

* Enjoy a hearty breakfast. At breakfast on the morning of your wedding, consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will provide the initial burst of energy you need to get going, and the protein will keep you feeling full. A combination of whole wheat toast, fresh fruit and Greek yogurt makes for a filling start to the day. * Stay hydrated. Although drinking a lot of water can result in more frequent trips to the bathroom -- which can be cumbersome for brides wearing their gowns -- it is essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can result in headaches, weakness and dizziness and may make you feel cranky. Be sure to consume water throughout the day. * Pack some snacks. The time between breakfast and the cocktail hour of a wedding may be significant. In your wedding "survival" kit, be sure to pack some easy snacks to eat. Trail mix can be nibbled for a boost of energy, and a banana can take the edge off of hunger pangs. Avoid anything messy that can drip onto clothing or get stuck in your teeth. Arrange to have snacks stowed in the limousine or another mode of transportation so that you can refuel on the way to the ceremony or in transit to the reception. * Don't overdo it with caffeine. It may be tempting to lean on an energy drink or a super-size cup of coffee to give you the boost you need. But caffeine is only a temporary fix. After the effects of the caffeine wear off, you could find yourself more tired than before and crash at an inopportune time during the day. Instead, a brisk walk outdoors may recharge your batteries. Afterward, time spent on the dance floor enjoying the reception will likely stimulate some adrenaline to keep you going. * Eat dinner. When family is beckoning and the photographer needs to get yet another pose, it is easy to skip dinner. Be firm with your decision to enjoy your meal. After all, you paid for it and it should not go to waste. Besides, sitting down to dinner enables you to rest and absorb the atmosphere of the wedding. * Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the night. Alcoholic beverages may be flowing, but too many spirits can compromise your energy levels. Be sure to balance the booze with hydrating fluids, such as water or juice. Weddings take up the entire day, and it can be easy to succumb to a lack of energy as the day progresses. But by heeding a few tips, it's possible to remain in top form throughout the entire wedding day.

Michelle Solesbee (daughter of James and Manila Runyon) and Dale Richards (son of the late Melvin Richards and Barbara Richards) announce their engagement! The wedding is to be held at The Forge Valley Event Center on July 11, 2014. Michelle is a student at AB Technical Institute and Dale is a manager at Walmart. They plan to reside in Hendersonville after the wedding.

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Are you up to the courtesy challenge? From the time we were children, we were taught to say “Please” and “Thank You” as a means of being polite and courteous. For many of us, these were the “magic words” that brought smiles to our parents’ faces because we knew them when prompted, with the hope that the prompting would no longer be necessary. Later, as parents, aunts, or guardians ourselves, we continued the tradition of teaching these magic words to our children and even to others’ children. I have been blessed by the kindness of many people in my life who have had the courtesy to enlighten me in the simplest, yet most profound ways. What these angels of attitude have given to me is an understanding of the power that comes from the “little things” we can do that make such a big difference in the attitude of others. Appreciation: Sitting at a formal fundraiser dinner, everyone was chattering as the various courses were being served. As each course was taken or placed, I noticed that I was the only one saying thank you to the servers. I am not sharing this to come off as some sort of saint, but to demonstrate what one of my angels of attitude taught me. We expect to be appreciated for the jobs that we do, but do we truly show appreciation for the jobs that others do for us? Whether at a restaurant, in a check out line, or any other activity, be the one to say “Thank you!” and “Have a fabulous day.”

be that person too. Simply saying “Hello!” or “Good morning!” has a way of bringing out a smile in someone that wasn’t there before. What you will also find is sometimes what starts as a greeting leads to a conversation providing insight and potential opportunity that you would have never known otherwise. Initiative: I was at an awards event where beautiful floral arrangements adorned the tables as centerpieces. Some of the arrangements were low and sprawling, while others were sprouting from tall vases that rose above the eye level of those around the table. In each case, the arrangements allowed for everyone around the table to see one another and not obstruct their view when engaged in conversation. The problem was that the taller arrangement on a table near the speaker and stage area was blocking the view of the presenter to people seated at tables further back. My table was one of these tables. Everyone commented on the situation, but no one felt anything could be done. My grandmother taught me otherwise. There is always something that can be done with the right approach and attitude. I asked one of the servers if it would be possible to switch one of the beautiful sprawling arrangements from a rear table with the tall sprouting arrangement of the front table. Within minutes, this was done. The second thing I did was after the event, I sought out the event planner to thank her for her consideration and also compliment her on her astuteness in creating arrangements that allowed for everyone at the table to see one another eye to eye. What initiative can you take that shows consideration of others with courtesy to another?

Acknowledgement: I always try to make it a point to learn a server’s name at a restaurant or pay attention to a person’s name tag in a retail establishment and then acknowledge their name in the process of providing me their service. A wise mentor demonstrated this to me and I witnessed first hand what a difference it makes in each circumstance. Acknowledging someone by name says to this person they are being recognized, appreciated and valued in what they are doing. Try this and you will see as well. It is a form of courtesy that demonstrates you care about who they are, and not just what they are doing.

As we go through our everyday lives, it is so easy for all of us to be caught up in our own little worlds, forgetting that each of our worlds touch and often collide with others who may be strangers, but who are people with feelings, aspirations, challenges and lives. What I have learned through taking the courtesy challenge every day is that it reinforces what it is to be human. You will be amazed at the visible difference it makes in every person your courtesy touches from that point forward as well as the emotional difference it will make for you.

Greeting: In a book called “The Luck Factor” by Richard Wiseman, he writes that people who seem to be luckier than others are more likely to talk to strangers. We all know people who just seem like no one is a stranger to them. They will strike up a conversation with a person in the checkout line and say hello to someone walking the opposite way on a sidewalk. You can

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. ( and 50 Marketing Secrets ( have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must-reads. | pg 29

Dream Big You Can Have It All! by Susan Guest, ASID

Did you ever watch “The Jetsons” cartoon when you were young? It was a family favorite at our house. My brother and I would get up at 6:30 on Saturday mornings. We would eat cereal out of the box while sitting on the sofa or floor and savor each new episode. Part of the attraction was the cool, futuristic inventions that the writers created from their imaginations. Machines that dispensed food and drinks, cars that flew through the air, and any fun gadget that you could imagine. Apparently, that show inspired many a budding inventor. Many of the new and fun products that we enjoy today probably were a result of “The Jetsons”. Seems like these days, you dream it, and someone will figure out a way to make it. For example, are you getting out of shape because you sit at a desk all day? No excuses! Now there is a treadmill/desk combo. Apparently, walking on the treadmill while working helps stimulate your brain and makes you more alert and

pg 30 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

productive. Think of all the time that you can save at the gym since you did some of your cardio at work. You’d probably sleep better, too! Last market, I sat in a queen size bed that was on rockers. If you have trouble getting to sleep, just sing yourself a lullaby and rock on! An insomniac probably invented this fun bed. In a plumbing showroom last week, I learned that there are digital shower controls that allow you to preset your perfect temperature before you get in the shower. There are toilets that have a lid that opens when you enter the room. (A friend and I were spooked by this feature in an Atlanta showroom several years ago.) There are toilets that clean and dry you and save the earth’s trees by eliminating the need for toilet paper. Tile floors can be heated in your bath or whatever room you desire. Remember getting your fingers burned when you were a child when you touched the hot stove? Now there is a cooktop that boils water in two minutes but is cool to the touch. Some mom who watched Jetsons dreamed this one! In the outdoor living world, there are hanging pods that you can sit in and swing, infinity pools that seem to go on forever, nano walls that can be opened to the outdoors and closed when needed. Ten years ago, I had drapery made for a client for her screened porch. At the time, it was hard to find fringes,

tie backs, rods and rings to go with the outdoor fabrics. Now, they are available even in mail order catalogues. The outdoor rug and pillow selections have really grown in the past couple of years. Many of us with pets and children use these products inside our homes. One of my favorite new (or fairly new to me) inventions is carpet tiles for residential interiors. I had these installed in my home office and am in love with them. If a tile is soiled, I can take it out, wash and dry it, and put it back in place. If it does not come clean, I can replace it with some of the extra tiles that I have on hand. There is no carpet pad used and the carpet has a rubber backing, so liquids can’t soak through and mildew or rot. This product is available in commercial and residential versions- I used the commercial. The tiles are pricey, but I can take them up and move them to my next residence if desired. Some of the tiles look like sand, some like ocean, and you can combine them to feel like you are at the beach! Were any of you punished when you were little for writing on the walls with markers or crayons? I was artistic and thought walls were my canvas! Now there are chalkboard paints that allow both children and adults to draw or write notes on surfaces and erase later. There are also wallpapers that look like brick walls with graffiti. All these years, people have been complaining about deforming property with graffiti and now it is popular and considered art in some circles! What fairy princess came up with the closet that is bigger


than two bedrooms? While I am totally jealous of having space for 100 pairs of shoes, shelves for 50 handbags, places for scarves, sweaters and everything else you can imagine, would I feel bogged down with all that stuff? A chandelier or large storage island in the closet? Really? I am afraid that once I had that, it would be impossible to ever move anywhere that did not have a dream closet. So far, I haven’t seen one in a retirement home; but at the rate of all this dreaming, it might be the norm by the time I am ready. We as consumers can dream big. Pinterest and Houzz have taken this to a whole new level, which is wonderful in many ways. However, when we forget to be kind to our neighbors or become totally self-involved, all this dreaming can be a problem. In the meanwhile, find an old episode of “The Jetsons” and enjoy the 60’s version of the future!

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. President of ASID Carolinas. For more information, visit

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pg 32 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | May 2014

Recipes for ife


by Emily Wickham

Food for the Body Garden Pasta Salad 16 oz. Tri-Color Rotini 16oz. Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dressing 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped small 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped small 1 large carrot, peeled and grated Salt, Pepper, and Dill Weed to taste Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, rinse, and refrigerate until chilled. Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

A Prayer for God’s Blessing

I believe the weather oddities we’re witnessing relate to the close proximity of Jesus’ return. Consider the truth of Matthew 24:7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” Surely this describes modern times, yet Jesus continues in verse 8, “all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” While we’re definitely aware of current tragedies like famines and earthquakes … they’re just the beginning. Catastrophes unlike anything man has seen await. The day draws near when God will pour out His wrath on an unbelieving world. Even so, hope exists. Gladly we can possess a right relationship with God today. When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior by placing our complete confidence in Him, God accepts Christ’s death as payment for our sins. He makes us a new creature in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17) and sets us free to live the abundant life (see Jn. 10:10). Generously God grants us eternal life, graciously equipping us by His power with “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Truly hope resides in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ! Yes, the Great Tribulation will occur. But for those who genuinely know Jesus as Savior, we’re comforted by 1 Thess. 5:9, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Praise God! Jesus endured God’s wrath for us as He suffered excruciatingly on the cross. At a soon-coming time unbeknownst to us, Christ will return for His people, His bride, to gather us unto Himself: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

Father in Heaven, You are gloriously majestic, Ruler of all. One day soon, You’ll send Your Son back to gather His bride—what an awesome moment that will be! I confess my anticipation of this pending event often fades in light of my daily responsibilities and more. Thank You for the tremendous future You’ve planned for Your people. Please use me to lead others to Christ while we wait. In Jesus’ beloved name, Amen.

Marvelously God has provided a way for us to escape the judgment that inevitably lies ahead. His name is Jesus, who declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (Jn. 14:6). Though we can’t be sure about the weather, we can be certain about Jesus.

Food for the Soul

Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life…

May—warm sunshine, swaying green grass, and gentle breezes— that special time of year when cold has departed and springtime’s glories abound. Afternoon picnics and evening cookouts delight as we enjoy the great outdoors while pleasing our palates. In my mind, pasta salad pairs perfectly with grilled hamburgers, so it seems the appropriate time to share such a tasty recipe. At least I think so… These days the weather increasingly shifts in strange patterns. While the month of May normally grants picnic weather, one can’t be so sure anymore. Certainly I don’t recall such unique, all over the spectrum changes occurring throughout most of my lifetime. But the past several years have hosted extreme cold, heat, rain, snow, etc. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes frequent news headlines, plus tsunamis seem more prevalent. What in the world is going on?

Friend, have you trusted in Him?

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. Additionally she hosts and speaks at the Connecting with Christ Conference.

Visit to read Emily’s blog devotions and to learn more about life in Christ. Connect with Emily on Facebook at emilywickhamPH Please contact Emily about speaking at women’s events such as retreats, luncheons, and conferences by e-mailing emily@ Emily, who is grateful to God for His blessings, enjoys life with her wonderful husband and their four treasured children in western NC. | pg 33


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Dear Mom, I know that you are doing great, shining like a star in snow-like colors. Even though I thought I would never make it without talking to you and learning from all your wonderful advice I have, because you gave me the strength to do so. Life has had its ups and downs just like you told me it would. I only wish you could be here to see for yourself just how right you were. I have kept my faith just like you prayed for amongst many others. I raised two beautiful, and wonderful children with my unconditional love, just like you did for me. Oh, how I wish you could see them now, with families of their own. I tell them about you all the time, about what a wonderful woman and mother you were, and about the sacrifices you made in the name of unconditional love for your family. I wish your grandchildren and great grandchildren could have gotten to know you, gotten to know just how fun, smart, humble, beautiful, and loving you were. I know your life was far from perfect but I knew you loved us and always made the best of everything. You taught me more than you could imagine. You taught me how to have faith, and to love unconditionally. You taught me to be a great mom and to be a humble person. That day in April, 2005 was the hardest day I could have ever imagined going through. As hard as it was to let you go, knowing that you are with God in Heaven-living without pain and sickness and without worries-makes this life easier to bear. Until we are together again I will live by my faith because of you and I will wait patiently until we meet again on the other side. I love you with all my heart mommy and miss you every day.

In Loving Memory: Betty Jo Blair Gayhart Born on Dec 21, 1944 Fairborn, Ohio Went to Heaven on Apr 29, 2005 Morehead, Kentucky From your Eldest Daughter Kathy Jo Gayhart Carter

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Our Monthly Feature

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Sophie Woman's Magazine May 2014  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for Women of All Ages!

Sophie Woman's Magazine May 2014  

Inspiration, Education, & Motivation for Women of All Ages!