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Heart from the
From The Editor: Judy Smith
"I know him, I know him" That is one of my favorite lines from the movie Elf. They tell Buddy that Santa is coming and he starts jumping up and down exclaiming that he knows him. My bones just get all giddy and I laugh just thinking about it. So it is one of the first Christmas movies we watch every year as a tradition. That is why you have traditions. Some of the articles that we have this month speak about traditions: why they are important and how special they become down through the ages. I wish we could grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and you tell me about some of your traditions. It really blesses my heart when I hear what other families do. In fact, why don't you email me and share with me a tradition that has meant a lot to your family. I will add my email address at the bottom. One tradition that seems to have lost its following is going Christmas Caroling. I would love to do that but I would not be the one to get it going around my neighborhood. The dogs might join it but that would probably be the extent of it once someone heard me sing. If you don't have at least one or two traditions that are special to your family, it is not too late. Make this year your year to start. One that has become very special to me is the Christmas Eve service we have at our church. You really never know who might show up. I will have to be honest and tell you when we first started doing this, I was not too keen on the idea of taking the time out from all the "things" already going on. The blessings of sharing this tradition with others is too amazing to describe. If you don't have one at your church I would love to invite you to come to Tri-City Baptist church in Conover and share in our tradition on Christmas Eve. You can call and get the time at 828 465-6644. Don't forget to include others. Do you know someone who is
going to be alone maybe for the first time ever this Christmas. Think about inviting them to join your family. Maybe you could go to a rest home and ask a resident what kind of traditions they used to have. It would make their day to talk about it and I pretty much know it would make yours. One other tradition that I have is always trying to bring a smile to your face. What better time of year when there are so many things to laugh about. So here are a couple of answers you might want to keep in mind if someone asks you if Santa is real: •
Why would you even ask if an obese man flying in a sleigh powered by reindeer -- one of which has an electric nose -- is real?
Only to those kids who believe so much that they keep their rooms cleaned for the entire month of December.
Sure, let me show you this Santa Tracker app
Do you think there would be so many animated Christmas specials on TV if he weren't real? No one in television has that much of an imagination to just make that stuff up.
One last thing. The way I started this article...."I know him, I know him". Do you know the reason for the season. I can shout to the rooftops....I know Him, I know Him.
You can email me your Christmas traditions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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828.464.8260 www.abernethylaurels.org www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 3
phie Woman’s Magazine
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Message From The Heart......................................pg 3 Reaching Your Full Potential................................pg 6 Sophisticated Women............................................pg 8 The Front Porch...................................................pg 11 Stop And Dig......................................................pg 12 Girlfriends In God..............................................pg 14 Building Bridges To Better Health..................pg 18 The Holidays...Bring It On!................................pg 20 Friend Me. Like, For Real...............................pg 22 Lessons Learned From Living ...........................pg 24 Me, Myself, & Inc.............................................pg 29 Follow The Star................................................pg 30 Recipes For Life................................................pg 33 Holiday Living Made Easy.............................pg 34 Shutterbuggerz....................................................pg 39
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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 its 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. **********************************************************
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
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REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: MULTIPLY YOUR GRATITUDE
by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Speaker, Author
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern
f you received your new copy of Sophie on time, you are most likely reading somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both of these holidays are deeply anchored to the simple, yet often overlooked concept of gratitude.
I have offered several strategies for striving to fulfill your potential this year, including the importance of authenticity, clarifying your life vision, not sabotaging your own success, cultivating your leadership and living in humility. While these strategies each hold the power to transform your life, none is more important than living a life of gratitude. I actually received a hand-written thank you note today. That simple note made me ask myself one question, a question you might want to ask yourself: “What act of gratitude that has impacted my life the most?” The answer is easy for me, as one memory remains in a category all by itself and has gone uncontested for many years. Meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a beautiful woman who lives in Ghana, West Africa. I have been privileged to travel to this developing nation on two separate occasions and Elizabeth was one of my first friends there. Elizabeth is middle-aged in our country, which makes her elderly in her land where it is miraculous to live beyond 50. She is even more of a miracle as she survived polio, leaving her with a disability which requires her to walk with crutches. That simple fact does not diminish her lady-like sophistication. She dresses in full African dress, usually in dresses she designed and tailored herself. When I met Elizabeth, her husband and children had abandoned her because her disability represented a curse in their nation. She had to find a way to make clothes and sell them through another source as no one would buy from her because of her disability. She lived a simple and lonely existence, making her a prime candidate for a new friend.
pg 6 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
From the moment we met, she hardly ever let go of my hand for the several weeks I was in her country. She proudly introduced me and my team to her disabled friends. This band of unlikely escorts became our guide as we reached out to the forgotten disabled population of Ghana. All throughout our time together, I was captured by how quick she was to verbalize her gratitude to friends and strangers alike for our team coming to her town. I was even more astonished when she honored me with several garments of her own design, woven and tailored by her own hands … I still wear them to this day, especially when thinking of my friend. Gifts and verbal gratitude … these were treasured memories, but the one act of gratitude that stands out in my mind above all the rest came as a surprise. Tears were shed by us both as we parted, my team now having to drive several hours back to the capital city where we would catch our flight back to the US the next day. We vowed to meet again someday … I had no idea that next meeting would come so quickly. When I arrived at the international airport the next morning, Elizabeth was standing at the gate, propped on her crutches. My mind began to spin as I remembered leaving her in her hometown yesterday. I could not believe what I was seeing. When I asked what on earth she was doing here, she simply said, “I had to come thank you ONE MORE TIME!” One more time. Seriously! This woman had shown more gratitude in our days together than I had ever experienced, yet she felt she wanted to offer more. I held her tightly. Her gratitude was not just simple thanks. This act cost her something. For a woman with a disability, traveling alone put her at great risk of being taken advantage of. Despite that fact, she also chose to travel at the most dangerous time by bus overnight, as the fare was cheaper than day travel. She risked her safety, spent money she could not spare and gave a gift of gratitude larger than I could comprehend. That memory has never left me. I hope I am still more grateful as a result of her example. Take some time to recalibrate your own gratitude this season. Who needs to hear you say simple words of thanks? How will expressing gratitude change your daily life? Your impact on yourself and on others may be greater than you can imagine.
Are you ready for the global cultural changes that are imminent? As a Life Coach of global impact, Kim would love to share these principles of influential leadership and cultural transformation with your group or organization. Contact Kim today for a FREE proposal on a powerful coaching partnership. You may contact her team of coaches and speakers directly at: www.kimfletcherassociates.com / email@example.com / 828 327 6702.
By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching
Hear The Voice
Do you hear what I hear? This powerful question, the title of a classic Christmas carol, tells us that there is a voice, a “voice as big as the sea”. This is true. There is a “big” voice inside us that speaks. In fact, it never ceases to speak. Like the sound of the ocean waves, it’s consistently communicating if, we stop to listen. Most of us have been blessed to experience the anticipation of a trip to the sea. For days, we dream of seeing it, hearing it, receiving its gifts, and enjoying some peace. The sea mesmerizes us, slows us down, and we find ourselves more introspective. This same kind of experience is available to us, even in the month of December. We can choose to hear the “voice as big as the sea.” Like an escape to the beach, each and every day you can set aside time to hear the voice. This is the habit of “Quiet Time.”
FIVE TIPS FOR CREATING A QUIET TIME 1.
Choose a time of day where you KNOW that you can create a sacred space to be quiet. It may be for an hour or five minutes. The quantity is not important at first. Quality is the name of the game. Go into your calendar, your paper version and/or your electronic version and schedule this time with yourself. Consider that if you made a doctor’s appointment or an appointment to have your hair done you’d do the same thing gladly because you know that these things edify your life and are necessary for your health and confidence. Your quiet time will have the same effect on your life.
Ask yourself three powerful questions each time you enter your Quiet Time: What do I really want? Where am I now? And, What is my next right step? These questions create focus and intention. You’ll find yourself setting goals for the future, taking stock of the present, and articulating action steps that serve you and those you love.
Surround yourself with things that inspire you. Set up a table with a framed picture of the people you love. Stack inspirational books, set a favorite quote in your line of sight, and place a journal/pen prominently.
Listen to the voice. Practice sitting alert to the “goodness and light” in your life.
Journal what you hear…
The composers of “Do you Hear What I Hear,” Noel Regney and his wife Gloria Shayne Baker, hasten us to quiet ourselves so that we can act on this call to action: See, hear, give, and pray for peace… The habit of Quiet Time is simply being intentional about having a conversation with the “voice” to open your eyes and your ears to receive wisdom that ultimately brings peace. Let’s define the “voice”. If you ask me, “What is the voice?” Unequivocally, I will tell you it’s God. I believe that the creator of the ocean speaks both in the form of the ocean and in my form. This “voice” is in all things. Like the song says, the voice is in the wind speaking to the lamb, causing the star to dance, the shepherd boy to dare to speak directly to kings. In turn, the kings hear and are led to give. And ultimately, they receive. This same pattern is possible in our lives.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!
A habit of creating and sustaining a Quiet Time can and will bring into our lives goodness and light. Shel Silverstein, author and poet, penned: There is a voice inside of you That whispers all day long, "I feel this is right for me, I know that this is wrong." No teacher, preacher, parent, friend Or wise man can decide What's right for you--just listen to The voice that speaks inside.” This is very good advice. In this same spirit, here are five tips for creating and maintaining a Quiet Time to hear the voice.
pg 8 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
At its deepest level, working with a coach frees you to identify your birthright gifts, discern your deepest passions, and fulfill your highest purpose. A coach can pry you off dead center. As Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group, LLC, a collaboration of individuals focused on work, life and spiritual growth, Nicole is on a mission to impact, energize, and influence people to lead a Vibrant Life by engaging the possibilities. As a life and business coach and workshop leader, Nicole views her role as a conduit to release all that you want to achieve. www.thevibrantcoach.com/www.thelydiagroup.com
The NC Foothills Affiliate of Susan G. Komen would like to thank our volunteers, participants, and sponsors for another successful Race for the Cure held on October 18, 2014. The Race raised over $114,000. Seventy-five percent will remain in our affiliate area (Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties). The remainder will be sent to the Komen National Research Grant Program to fund cutting edge research. 2014 Race Sponsors Platinum Level Wilson Family Foundation Silver Level Big Dawg 92.1 FM Bronze Level A Woman’s View Academy Sports Blue Cross, Blue Shield of North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance - Catawba County Frye Regional Medical Center Survivor’s Celebration The Main Cellar Precision Electronics Garden of Hope Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge
pg 10 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
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by Judy Smith
While sitting on my front porch the first of last month, I still had flowers, birds singing and warm weather. This month though, my yard is filled with deer (the kind that just stand there and light up), flashing candy canes, a manger scene and lighted Christmas trees. Now all that is needed to make it a winter wonderland is some snow! I can't believe I just said that, seeing how I am a "perfect weather" kind of girl. Sixty degrees, day and night, that is what I want. Not too hot and not too cold. Maybe I should go visit the three bears....wait, I think I have a bear in my front yard as well. Since I am mentioning animals, I can most definitely tell you I do not want a winter as cold as the one we got when I was a child. My dad said it was so cold that when he milked the cows all he got was ice cream.....unless he milked the brown cow. Then he got chocolate ice cream. (Sorry, I could not resist) Being the kind of person that likes to plan ahead, I decided to check with the experts to see what kind of winter we were going to have. So I looked it up in the Farmer's Almanac. Do not laugh about that! If we can go to a groundhog to see if winter will be ending or if it will be longer, then the Almanac is just as reliable. Not to mention my knees. Anyway, the Almanac puts it this way...." More Shivery And Shovelry! Don't you just love the way they put that? You definitely don't have any trouble picturing that in your mind. Of course, I don't want you to fret over that. Unless you are like my husband. He will start shaking just from reading the forecast. I can't even watch the movie Snow White without him shaking.
OK, speaking of snow....How would you scare a snowman? Answer: Get a hairdryer silly. Sorry, could not resist again. Back to the winter wonderland thingee. Again, I want it perfect. I want it to snow that morning and just lay in the trees and the yards. Don't want it to affect the power lines or my hubby's TV, nor to lay on the roads. It can hang around about three days so the kids can have fun and then just....BE GONE! Would that not be just incredible? Of course I am not in control. We should all be thankful for that, although I would like to be in charge of Government for a week or maybe a month. You have probably heard this one but just in case. What is the difference between the government and organized crime? Answer: One is organized! Sorry, could not resist. Whether the weather is a perfect 60 degree day or 10 inches of snow, I love my Christmas decorations. I love my family. I love the Lord. I love you our readers. Merry Christmas from our family to yours. Now you know, I can't resist! One last thing! How do we really know that Santa is a man? Because no woman would ever wear the same outfit year after year.
Blessings, Love and Laughter www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 11
STOP AND DIG:
Take time to explore what lies beneath all the dirt by Jackie E. Perry, MS, LPCS, NCC As an adolescent therapist, I have the privilege of regularly listening to teens talk about their thoughts, feelings, and how they are coping with all that is happening in and around them. In the midst of many of these conversations I will often ask them to “stop and dig” for a minute. They quickly learn that this phrase is an invitation to stop for just a moment and temporarily explore what is happening in their heart and mind as they are sharing that story, dilemma, experience. What are they really feeling? What do they need or desire? What are they doing to satisfy these longings? What are the voices of shame or doubt that drive their efforts? And, finally, what could God be up to in the midst of it all? In these pauses, kids are encouraged to tune into the desires that dwell in their heart at any given moment. They are also taught to recognize how their actions are always connected to these desires. Over time they begin to see how seemingly insignificant decisions are often motivated by either the voice of shame and doubt or the whispers of truth and hope that come from God. This is hard work but it is good work. When a teen is able to make a connection between their longings, their expectations, their actions and the constant dialogue in their mind, lasting change begins to happen. These intentional moments often help many teens begin to recognize and consider their constant need for a relationship with the Only One who can fully satisfy the desires of His children. What about you mom? What “above ground” challenges are you facing today? I invite you to pause today, to take a moment to stop and dig. Hidden beneath that argument with your teen or behind that conversation you had with your spouse, what are you really feeling right now? And, what do you deeply long for? Maybe, it is just rest or peace at home. Perhaps it is to see healing or goodness or reconciliation occur. What is the dialogue or the constant conversation that flows through your mind? The voice of shame and doubt will always remind you that you messed up, that you aren’t a good enough mom or that you should’ve done this or that. The voice of hope, however, will whisper words of encouragement that compel you to cling to the Mighty One, to lean on Him and to trust in Him. Lastly, how are all of these impacting your decisions, your actions? As children of God, we must remember that many of our deepest desires mirror the heart of God. He wants us to experience joy, peace, and healing as well. As we study His word tune into His spirit we can hear his heartbeat for us. The voice of His heart is never condemning and is always hope-filled. Unfortunately, we often don’t take the time to stop and listen. Instead, we spin our wheels above the surface trying to attack, manage, or solve the problems on our own. In the end we are left with very little fuel to really dig up what lurks below. Before you know it we find ourselves making decisions
pg 12 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
that were completely driven by the loud voice that reminds us of our failures as a wife or mom. Before today ends like it did yesterday and the day before that, I invite you, my friend, to take a moment and sit before God and His Word. Think slowly for a minute about the problems and challenges that you are currently facing. Then ask the Lord to expose the deepest desires of your heart so that you can lay those before Him. As parents of teens we often spend so much time tuned into the heart of our kids, that we neglect what might be happening in our own. As you bring your heart before the Father, you need not fear the hands of the great surgeon. He will lovingly listen to the cries that lurk in the crevices of your own heart. He loves you so much and deeply longs for you to trust Him with your heart. Only He can satisfy the longings that you have and only He knows how the path to hope and healing. So, stop and dig. And, trust the Lord with whatever roots you might uncover.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
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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Don’t Miss Christmas! by Mary Southerland
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
The Christmas rush is on! I know many of you are still looking for the perfect gift, wrapping presents, baking your famous sugar cookies, packing the car for a long trip and wrestling with overly excited children. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Stop right where you are! Take a deep breath and travel back with me to a time when there was no hope and no celebration. I can’t imagine a world without Jesus and yet, many times I live my life as if He doesn’t even exist. A trial comes and I try to handle it on my own. Loneliness floods my heart and instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness. He then interrupts my life and fills each black corner with Light. His love flows over the pain like a soothing balm and once again, I experience the manger. Once again, He steps into the smelly, unlikely and very ordinary existence that is mine to change everything – everything!
Jesus could have come to us in many ways, but He chose to interrupt the very ordinary with the most extraordinary. He could have chosen to be born in a palace. After all, He was a King. But His life on earth began in a manger housed in what amounted to little more than a dirty, smelly barn. The simplicity of His birth is one of His most precious gifts to me, and one of my most profound life lessons. I often wish I had been there that holy night when Jesus was born, but then He reminds me that I have my own manger; my own holy moment when God became a reality to me, and I worship Him!
Every year I am reminded of the very heart of Christmas -Emanuel, God with us. God wants to be involved in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life: where we go and what we do, the smile we give the harried stranger and the patience we exhibit in the crowd of impatient shoppers, the love that prompts the secret gift and the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call and visit. Join me in this quest to celebrate Him and His birth in everything we do. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Bake Him a huge cake and invite neighbors to join in the celebration. Adopt a family
pg 14 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
in need. Reach out to the lonely. Look for Him in the crowd. Emanuel, God with us! Wow!
Father, today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. I celebrate Your birth, Your life, Your death and Your resurrection. And as I celebrate, Lord, help me to be “God with skin on” to those in need around me. Open my eyes and let me see them as You see them! I love You. Happy Birthday, Jesus! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Put your faith in action by making a step-by-step plan to keep Jesus at the heart of your Christmas season. Give a gift to someone you don’t know. Invite a needy family into your home for a special “Friends” dinner. Go through your closet and give the clothes you don’t wear to those who have no clothes.
More from the Girlfriends
I pray that your life is filled with God’s peace this Christmas. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy. Guard your heart and mind, and keep your focus on the birth of Jesus as you begin to prepare for the Christmas holidays. No matter what your circumstances may be, you can celebrate the Christmas holidays because God is with you. Looking for a Bible Study to start the New Year? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. Don’t miss the new study, How to Tame the Tongue, beginning January 20, 2014. Do you want to revolutionize your prayer life? Check out Chair Time, a new E-Book written by Mary’s husband, Dan. It not only will teach you how to hear from God – it will change your life! And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
Seeking God? Girlfriends in God P.O. Box 725 Matthews, NC 28106 firstname.lastname@example.org
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 15
Chamber Holiday Bazaar
December 5, 2014 2pm-8pm Charles Mack Citizen Center In conjunction with the Downtown Mooresville Holiday Event Shop for the perfect holiday gifts
Things To Do...
December 2014 Dec 1
Appalachian Christmas, Waynesville
Dec 4 Dec 4-7
Canton Christmas Parade ChristmasVille, Rock Hill SC
Dec 6 NO ADMISSION CHARGE PRIZES Join us to kick off the holiday season! Sponsored By: at our Winter Wonderland OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Dec 8 Dec 9 Dec 11
Dec 13 Dec 31
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pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
Christmas in the Park, Conover Christmas Parade, Morganton
Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas Festival of Lights, Greensboro A Christmas Carol, Waynesville (Weekends Only)
Taylorsville Christmas Parade Breakfast with Santa, Morganton Claremont Christmas Parade Granite Falls Christmas Parade Saturday with Santa & Holiday Open House, West Jefferson Wilkes County Annual Christmas Parade, North Wilkesboro 43r Annual Downtown Brevard Christmas Parade Waynesville Christmas Parade
“Calls from Santa” Program, Statesville “Calls from Santa” Program, Statesville Hickory Holiday!
Girls on the Run 5k, Salisbury A Night Before Christmas, Waynesville Holiday Farmers Market, Morganton Breakfast with Santa, Morganton First Night Charlotte
Dec 2: Dec 3: Dec 4: Dec 5: Dec 7: Dec 8: Dec 10: Dec 11: Dec 12: Dec 13: Dec 14: Dec 15: Dec 16:
December Daily Holidays
"National Mutt Day" "Special Education Day" "International Day Of Persons With Disabilties" "National Cookie Day" "National Salesperson Day" "Bathtub Party Day" "Earmuff Day" "International Ninja Day" "National Peal Harbor Remembrance Day" "Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day" "Nobel Prize Day" "International Ugly Christmas Sweater Day" "Gingerbread Decorating Day" "Poinsettia Day" "Worldwide CandleLighting Day" "Monkey Day" "Bill of Rights Day" "Barbie & Barney Backlash Day" "National ChocolateCovered Anything Day" "Clean Air Day" "Free Shipping Day" (At Participating Retailers) "Wright Brothers Day"
Dec 18: "Answer The Phone Like Buddy The Elf Day" "Underdog Day" Dec 20: "Games Day" "World Day of Prayer & Action For Children" Dec 21: "Crossword Puzzle Day" "Humbug Day" Winter Solstice(11:48pm) Dec 24: Christmas Eve "Egg Nog Day" "National Re-Gifting Day" Dec 25: Christmas Day "Plum Pudding Day" Dec 26: "National Candy Cane Day" "National Thank-You Note Day" "National Whiner's Day" Dec 27: "Visit The Zoo Day" Dec 28: "Pledge of Allegiance Day" Dec 29: "National Chocolate Day" Dec 30: "Bacon Day" Dec 31: New Year's Eve "Look On The Bright Side Day" "Make Up Your Mind Day" "No Interruptions Day" "Universal Hour of Peace Day" Sophie Broyhill Center 14_15 Season.qxp_Layout 1 9/11/14 8:17 AM Page 1
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Catawba Valley Community College is one of 58 comprehensive colleges in the North Carolina Community College System. Our college has served the higher educational needs of Catawba and Alexander counties since 1960. At CVCC, you can choose to complete the first two years of your four-year college degree, or you can select from one of over 40 valuable career-training programs. Our programs are manageable and affordable, moving at a pace that works for you. Discover your options today at Catawba Valley Community College.
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 17
Building Bridges to Better Health What makes you feel like you have found the doctor/patient relationship that moves you forward to better overall health? Could it be the way the doctor takes time to listen and explain the what, how and why, then gives you the best solutions to your problems, which will ultimately help you attain the health goals that you have set for yourself? Knowledge is power when it comes to your health needs. Dr. Chris Reese is “Building Bridges to Better Health” by listening to his patients, doing thorough initial examinations and keeping his practice up to date with the latest dentistry has to offer. Everyone knows that a beautiful smile is one of life’s best assets. You feel good when you smile and you make someone’s day when you give one away. Why not have that for yourself? There are many reasons a person puts off getting that beautiful smile whether it be fear and anxiety from past experiences, not knowing what is available, time and ﬁnances. All of these are valid concerns that can be worked out in dentistry today.
Once he arrives at a proper diagnosis, then he can develop the appropriate plan to help patients keep their teeth for a lifetime or provide them with wellfunctioning prosthetics that will work similar to their original teeth. Many patients are amazed at the options they have. Those may range from simple procedures to more complex solutions. Dr. Reese wants his patients to let him know how his recommendations ﬁt into their lives physically, emotionally and ﬁnancially. He invites all to visit their website at PearlyWhites4Life.com. This site will tell you about Dr Reese and his team, show you their facility, give speciﬁc details on the services they provide and what their patients have to say about them. He also hopes folks will visit, and like them on Facebook. Dr. Reese spends countless hours continuing his education. After graduating from UNC School of Dentistry in 1985, he has studied at The LD Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL , The Kois Center is Seattle, WA (of which he has reached Mentor status) and he completed the a year long implant fellowship at The Medical College of Georgia. He is a member of the ADA (American Dental Association), the NCDS (North Carolina Dental Association) serving as Board of Trustee Chairman in 2013, the ICD (International College of Dentists) the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry). Dr. Reese was recently acknowledged as an Associate Fellow in this academy this year at their annual conference in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Reese and his team have volunteered their time and talents at various dental charity events. He said that every time they get an opportunity to do so, they always feel like they received more than they gave. They have participated with the NCMOM (North Carolina Mission of Mercy) through the NCDS. Dr. Reese is a member of the statewide NCMOM Oversight Committee. They have worked at our local CCM (Cooperative Christian Ministry) clinic and the NC Baptist Men’s dental bus. With his team’s advanced dental skills and training, they are capable of performing a range of procedures from minor teeth whitening and bonding to advanced restorative procedures such as crowns, veneers, minor orthodontics, periodontal services and tooth replacement with implants. As mentioned above, they have advanced training in managing patients with sleep breathing disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea and hypopnea.
Dr. Christopher Reese and his staff A beautiful smile can be yours today. It is never too late! Dr. Reese evaluates all patients in ﬁve main areas: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Periodontal (gum) health – this is the foundation for your teeth and the gateway to the rest of your body. Teeth – evaluating for cavities, erosion and checking the status of existing dental work. Bite – how well your chewing system works. Smile analysis. Overall health and wellness – Dr. Reese and staff have advanced training in how oral health affects overall health. Speciﬁcally, how sleep breathing disorders such as snoring, sleep apnea and hypopnea affect the mouth and body.
Christopher N. Reese DDS, PA
It becomes obvious from the ﬁrst contact with Dr. Reese’s ofﬁce that there is something unique about their approach. If you are looking for a high-tech ofﬁce with a personal touch, you should give them a call @ 459-1990. As is stated in their purpose, they strive daily to open the lines of communication with those they serve with hopes that will lead to long lasting doctor/patient relationships. That is their great reward!
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At the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s 2014 Annual Meeting Christopher Reese, DDS, of Claremont, NC was recognized as an Associate Fellow of the Academy. As one of 655 dentists who hold this distinguished membership, Dr. Reese is one of the leading experts in implant care.
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Building Bridges to Better Health
To qualify for Associate Fellowship, Dr Reese completed a minimum of 300 hours of post-doctoral instruction in implant dentistry, performed implant cases and passed the Academy’s Associate Fellow examination. This examination, which is conducted by an expert panel of implant dentists, included a written examination, a series of oral examinations and defense of three implant cases that he had completed. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry is the oldest professional organization in the U.S. dedicated to the advancement of the implant ﬁeld. Its more than 5,000 members include general dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists. The Academy’s Associate Fellow and Fellow credentials are a testament to excellence in implant dentistry.
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 19
The Holidays.... Bring it on!
By Cyndi Caldwell
The radio stations are playing Christmas carols, the ABC Family Channel has put out their list of specials for the “25 Days of Christmas”, every retail store is decorated to the rafters and I say…….BRING IT ON! I love the holidays. Of course there is always that Ebenezer in the crowd who barks about how early they start the carols, and huff and puff about the tinsel but I’m not one of those folks. I love everything about the holidays….the smells, the sounds, the sights, the food, the spirit of giving. I’ll take it all. I believe life is about experiences, the kind of experiences that memories are made of. Ask almost anyone and they will more than likely have a Christmas experience that holds a special place in their heart. Our eyes light up, our hearts beat faster and we step back into a sweet place of magic when we think of our favorite holiday memories.
Christmas story. Luke 2:15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Just reading together as a family was such a simple thing to do but a memory that I will hold my whole lifetime.
When I was a child my mother used to decorate our tree with ivory snow detergent. Believe it or not if you whip that stuff up in a mixer it makes a gooey mixture that can be put onto your tree and when it dries it looks just like real snow! Oh my goodness the smell is divine. So as you can imagine whenever I smell Ivory Snow detergent – BOOM it’s Christmas. That’s the magic. It’s as simple as a smell or a sound and you go back in time.
So what is your treasure chest filled with? Is it Grandma’s special Christmas cake recipe, a stocking you’ve had since childhood, lighting of the Advent wreath, or Christmas Eve service at midnight? Ask yourself, “How can I include the seniors in my life in a specific and meaningful way?” After all the holidays aren’t just for children but for everyone. Honoring your senior loved ones and including them will enrich your life for years to come.
We all have those magical triggers. For my own children I think it’s probably my Christmas village. It just wasn’t the holidays until the village was in its proper place. I knew this was part of my daughter’s Christmas treasure chest when I saw her explaining in great detail which figure was Tiny Tim and which one was Scrooge to her fiancé. Long after the X-box is obsolete, we’ve outgrown the lacrosse gear and the Little Tikes plastics are sold at the yard sale it will be the wonder of the season that will remain.
The good news is that holiday “magic” is there for the asking. Contrary to what the circulars may say it isn’t “on sale” at Kohl’s. (no offense Kohl’s) The Christmas story- the birth of our Savior- IS the magic. What could be more mystical and magical than that? How we share the GOOD NEWS with one another is where memories are made.
Over the years whether spending time with my own family or in my professional life working with seniors, I’ve found that the traditions and memories we treasure find their roots in where we “come from.” I can’t think of a better reason to find special and specific ways to include the seniors we love in our celebrations throughout the holidays. I remember reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve and assigning each family member –my husband and me, my children, and most specifically my own parents each a passage to read as we lit the candles on the Advent wreath. The joy that was created just hearing the different voices reading the story of Christ’s birth was astounding. My children still remember the words of their Grandfather as he read the last few verses of the
pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
So this holiday season I encourage you to take this GOOD NEWS and translate it into the magic of the season. Treat your special food, decorating, carol singing, visits with friends, holiday movies, shopping trips, faith based rituals, and family traditions as the true Christmas gifts of the season. Think of ways that you can enhance your traditions and make them even more meaningful by including that special senior in your life. Deck the Halls – it’s the holidays! Make them the merriest yet and decorate your heart with memories. (after all memories can last a lifetime and they aren’t even fattening)
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11/13/14 3:58:22 PM www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 21
Friend Me. Like, For Real. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 Social media has been a relatively painless way for me to connect with family and friends, to transform shallow associations into deeper ones through ease of technology. Honestly, I am grateful for it. But what about those friends I can’t ‘friend’? When I arrived at the Hickory Soup Kitchen an older gentleman, his black hair speckled gray and his face wrinkled with age, had just polished off his mid-day meal. “Hey, I know you.” His brows narrowed. Yeah, right. He rounded his eyes amply exposing the whites, pinned them on mine, and insisted he knew me. My reckless thoughts began to ramble. What, are we friends on Facebook? Doubtful, sir, since I see that you are homeless, without a phone. Don’t imagine you get wi-fi out in the woods near the interstate. He raised a bony finger, pointed it at my face. “Weren’t you at that church?” And then I remembered. It was James, the same man who sat slouched in a corner wing-back chair at my church last winter. He’d been sleeping like a baby, eyes shut tight. He was among several other homeless who’d been invited to enjoy an evening’s break from the brutal cold. I’d trudged - duty-bound - through the snow toward an amber glow and yanked on the double doors, scanned the spacious meeting room. Several men and women sat wreathed around folding tables where they’d just eaten. I approached the sleeping soul, cast a shadow over him. James lifted his lids. Momentarily. I’d taken his hand in mine, shook it. He forced a grin before returning to a dreamy doze. At the soup kitchen we met again. Divine appointment. James, a precious man, created in God’s image. Somewhere along life’s journey he took a detour that led him to his present circumstances. Not someone with credentials and work experience that would enable me to endorse him. And, being hungry and homeless he wouldn’t give a rip about my ‘status’ anyway but one who extended dignity in remembering who I was. For real. In person. Facebook and Twitter can’t touch that kind of real connection. I thought of Clarence. He’d been incarcerated in a maxiumum security
pg 22 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
facility for several years. Could I send him a friend request on Facebook for status updates behind bars with stalwart guards watching his every move? Shoot a private Twitter message his way? Maybe he’s more of a Linked-In kinda guy. Nope. I learned of his ‘status’ simply by sitting side-by-side and listening to his story, studying his sorrowful eyes. And there’s Lois. One of the highest honors I’ve received (aside from being a mom) is when this 89 year old assisted living resident welcomed my impromtu visit with ‘Hello, girlfriend’. When I enter her room she doesn’t hesitate to switch off the TV or raise her weary head from a Christian romance novel. She insists I position a chair directly in front of her. Why? We’re building an authentic relationship with eye contact and breathing one another’s air. It occurred to me, how many ‘friends’ do I have who will likely never be in my social network, who desperately need real heart connection? Have I watered down the concept of becoming a friend to nothing more than connecting to the internet and a subsequent click? The care-worn faces of James, Clarence, and Lois turn my attention to the cross. There my best Friend hung, bleeding and broken, giving of Himself for relationship’s sake, expecting nothing in return. And demonstrating how the friendship thing oughtta be done. But what if Jesus should ask, “Do you want to come hang with me?” I’m not sure I wouldn’t clutch my chest and panic. “Uh, do you mean, like literally hang or just hit a quiet mountain top together for a friendly visit over a cup of hot Jerusalem tea? ‘Cause I’m good with that.” He might respond with, ‘You’ve heard it said that greater love has no one than He lay down his life for his friends.’ “Yes. I’ve read it. Well-written...Not like anything You’ve written is less than fabulous,” I quickly clarify for fear of lightning strike. He nods. “Who, then, are your real friends?” As I scroll through my cell phone and social media contacts, I wonder, for whom would I lay down my life? For whom would I invest time and resources knowing they are unable to pay it back? Who are the friends I’ll never be able to connect with via taps on the keyboard? Tough question. But it’s those people God considers my friends. Like, for real.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mary Albers Felkins is a former Registered and Licensed Dietitian turned writer. Throughout the course of her private nutrition consulting business she wrote much of her own teaching materials. Mary is currently constructing her first Christian contemporary romance using principles taught by My Book Therapy (www.mybooktherapy.com). She considers scripture the most alluring romance ever written. She is married to Bruce and they have four (adolescent to young adult-sized) arrows in their quiver. Mary cordially invites you to take a plunge into deep oceans of thought or to stop and laugh out loud at her website, www.maryfelkins.com Email contact email@example.com
Lessons LearnedFrom Living
fter being around for sixty-plus years, I have learned to appreciate many things. Some of these I am sure would have easily been overlooked in my younger days. After making many mistakes along the way, some of which I do attribute to youth AND menopause, I have learned many valuable life lessons. I have learned which friends are true friends and which are of the fairweather variety. Now I always keep a blanket in the car, make sure to check the gas gauge before going anywhere and to not always assume that every business takes a debit card. I have also learned to listen, especially to those whose lives have been impacted by truly incredible events. And from these stories, my own life has been gently impacted as well. I do believe in miracles, not all of which the media would consider news-worthy. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, you have to admit that some things just happen for a reason. Most of which I believe is to make us sit up and take notice. To make us realize that we are put on this earth to make a difference, in not just our own life, but others as well. Here are two that have made a great difference in my own life. Katy was one of the most out-going personable people that you could ever meet. Always positive about everything. I had never had a bride come into my shop like her. She was one of the few that never complained about her appearance, her weight or anything for that matter. Usually when I meet a new bride for the first time, we talk for a few minutes. This helps me to understand their needs a little more and I like to think that it helps them to feel a little more comfortable. I know it helps me. After talking to Katy for a little bit, the fact that she was in a wheelchair went away. When Katy was fifteen, the car she was riding in was hit by a drunk driver. Even though she was wearing her seatbelt, the outcome of the impact caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. No one else in the car was severely hurt. She went through months of agonizing therapy, hoping to get back some use of her legs but that didnâ€™t happen. She said by the time her high school graduation came around, the realization set in that she would never walk again. Instead of doing a pity party, she set about to make her life count. She had always made good grades, so was able to get in to a good college along with two small scholarships and a small amount of money as a result of the accident. Since not all of the tuition was covered, student loans and a job helped give her what she needed. Yes, she also worked. She went on and finished college (one semester was spent in Italy) and then
pg 24 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2014
graduate school. Her life could have easily gone the other way. She said that one of the attorneys that contacted them after the accident told her that she was a prime candidate to get disability. That she would never have to work a day in her life. Her dad was so angry that people would try and convince her to give up on life, to take the easy way. Katy was lucky in so many ways. She grew up with hardworking parents that encouraged her to want more from life. That being in a wheelchair didn’t keep you from getting where you wanted to go; it just takes a little longer to get there. When I am in the mood for my own pity party, I do think of her. I met Mary right after I started my business. Her first husband had passed away three years before and she had finally met someone that not just adored her, but her children as well. Life hadn’t been easy for her or the children. The death of her husband had left her in substantial debt and soon after they had to give up their home. She said her fiancé not only took care of her and the children, but helped her pay off all of the debt. Neither of them wanted to start out life together that way.
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Contact Patty Hayes @ Because of his job and promotion, they reluctantly had to (828) 308-6855 or move away. We stayed in contact (thank goodness for emails) firstname.lastname@example.org and connected a couple of times a week. One week I realized that I hadn’t heard anything from her and called. Her husband answered and said that she was in the hospital and had to haveBrushy Mtn Golf quarter ad Dec 2014.indd 1 emergency surgery. I thought maybe it was her appendix or something like that but it was cancer. He cried as he talked and then I started crying. Finally we both hung up and I cried some more. Soon after going home from the surgery, she started radiation and chemo. After a while, that seemed to be working.
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But two years after that the cancer returned; again with the radiation and chemo. That happened twice more until I got a call from her, saying she had been cancer-free for five years. Even though I was not the one that went through that dreadful event, I felt like a weight had been lifted. During the same call, she also told me that her son and his wife were expecting their first child. This is truly the season for miracles, for believing in things you can’t see. For realizing that you will get more out of life if you are willing to put something into it. That good things do happen for people that decide to stick with it, instead of giving up and taking the easy way out. Have a wonderful Holiday.
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Are you an all-seasons friend? There is something about growing older that makes us reflect on who we want to enjoy life with and why. While this is certainly something to consider with our partner in life, spouse or significant other, it also is important to assess when it comes to family and friends. This becomes even more relevant in the friendships we choose to maintain amidst many other friendships that dwindle or diminish over time. It also is something to consider in the type of friend we are to others who we consider to be special in our lives.
Thoughtful & Honest: Think about something thoughtful a friend did for you recently. Now think about that thoughtfulness also being coupled with honesty in something that you needed to hear in a way that would enlighten you or prepare you instead of disarm or alienate you. A friend who can be honest while also being thoughtful is a treasure, appreciated for how they are able to convey what they are thinking. Consideration is a measure of respect that ingratiates you to be forthcoming out of concern for a friend. When a friend wants to really know what you think about something, and is prepared for whichever way your answer may flow, you have earned this coveted position. Available & Accessible: In our busy lives, yes, we are pulled in a million directions. We have obligations. We have demands. We have deadlines. True friends are there when you need them in the best way they know how to be for you. This doesn't necessarily mean they drop everything, though they wouldn't hesitate if needed. It does mean that they reach out and reconnect on a regular basis. You feel you can call without hesitation, and the person on the other end of the line will make you feel like there is never a distance between you. As busy as they are, they are never too busy. Confidential & Trustworthy: This one is a powerful one for me, as it is a weighty one, especially with a group of mutual friends. What difference will it make if one friend tells a mutual friend about a confidence shared by another friend? After all, they are all friends, right? Does someone really have to tell you not to tell someone for you to know whether or not it is okay to share? Discretion is a quality that is among the most influential ways to endear you to others and affirm your trustworthiness. Trust is earned as much, if not more, by what you don't say and donâ€™t do as much as by what you say and do.
Sharing & Caring: When enjoying the company of a friend, are you mutually sharing and caring or is it a one-sided interaction? Is one person listening while the other is expressing and doing all the sharing? Part of sharing is the caring part, which means paying attention, listening, hearing and taking in what is being shared versus merely responding to what is being said. Acknowledgment is part of this equation in reinforcing understanding and a genuine interest in how the other person is feeling, relating, and being in that moment. Sensing what is not being shared or spoken is probably among the most astute gifts a friend can possess, demonstrating caring at the deepest of levels, merely by paying attention to what is beneath the surface. Comforting & Inspiring: Have you ever been talking to a friend about a situation or problem and by the time you finished sharing, you realized exactly what you needed to do? When we are going through a challenge or difficulty, we need the balance of compassion and motivation to get us through to the other side. This isn't as much a pep talk as it is a step talk, helping us see the situation through another set of eyes in order to envision steps we may not have been able to conceive or grasp alone. The challenge many of us face is in desiring attributes and qualities in people that are missing in ourselves. This focus on assembling a tapestry of friends who complement us, while intriguing and stimulating on a variety of levels, also causes tension when these differences occur at inopportune times. What I have grown to realize as I enjoy my tapestry of friends is there are certain qualities that I realize are a connection among all of them that weaves us beautifully together. My hope is that they in turn realize these same qualities in my friendship with them. These characteristics translate into what I call "friends for all seasons." Through sunshine and rain, bitter coldness and squelching heat, whatever emotional, physical, or spiritual roller coaster we may be on, we know they are the ones we can count on to ride in the front with us all the way up, down, and around to the end. Bio: SherrĂŠ 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 29
Follow The Star by Susan Guest, ASID
s the Christmas holiday is nearing, we turn to traditions of years past for happy memories of our childhood and simpler times. The smells, sounds, colors, and bustle of the season give us a spirit that is absent the rest of the year. I love to see the holiday lights and decorations in December. One of my favorite symbols is the star. The star in Bethlehem, North Carolina; Moravian stars on front porches, and twinkling stars in lighted garlands add to my festive mood each year. The original Christmas star was said to be extremely bright and led the wise men to Bethlehem. There they brought expensive gifts and worshipped the Christ child. The guiding star was written in prophecy in the Old Testament years before. Some astrologers think that the Christmas star was a coincidencemaybe a meteor or a combination of lights from two planets in alignment. Some scholars say that Matthew invented the entire star story in his writings since it was not mentioned in the other gospels in the Bible. I’m just happy that the star is a Christmas symbol with lots of meaning that celebrates Jesus. My favorite stars are made of natural materials. Twigs or branches can be wrapped with twine into rustic stars for mountain cabins or woodsy areas. Styrofoam forms covered with moss and thin gold ribbon are beautiful in any setting. One of my favorite stars on Pinterest is made of chicken wire with raffia wrapped on the edges. Stars can be made of almost anything! Fragrant ones can be made with cinnamon sticks and twine. Miniature stars can be made with cloves. In fact, they can be created from almost anything in a short amount of time. Some of the prettiest stars are made of paper folded into interesting origami styles using sheet music of your favorite Christmas songs or pages from a beloved story. Plan a craft day with children or friends using materials including old barn wood, tin, ribbon, or yarn. Spray paint a pine cone green and top it with a small gold star for a lovely miniature
pg 30 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
tree. String many homemade stars together for a garland for your tree or place one large star at the tree top. A beautiful but simple door hanging can be made using a single branch on it’s side with stars of your choice hanging from it. Add some to your Christmas wrapping along with ribbon and a cinnamon stick. One of my favorite uses of stars for the holidays is in baking. Use dough and cookie cutters to create the perfect treats - plain, iced, or made into star sandwich cookies. Star muffin tins can be filled for festive breads to share with friends. Stars are very versatile. They can be used alone on a mantle or front door or can accent greenery. They can be grouped together for a dramatic look in a window or table centerpiece. Stars can be lit but have an interesting shape when not. For a lovely party decoration, buy or rent a star projector that makes your wall or room into a constellation. Glow in the dark stars can cover a ceiling or walls. Patterns for stars are easy to find or you can make your own. These can be used for pillows, handbags, coasters, or anything you can imagine. Knitted or crocheted ornaments are fun gifts for friends. Star quilts are great gifts for family members who love tradition. When you see a star this holiday season, remember the ancient story of the wise men and the Christ child. As you decorate, find fun and exciting ways to incorporate this symbol into your décor. The sky is the limit (pun intended).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Follow the Star! 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 www.guestinteriors.com.
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Recipes for ife
by Emily Wickham
Food for the Body Crescent Cookies (Recipe from the kitchen of Marjorie Rist) ½ lb. butter, softened 2 c. flour 2 c. chopped pecans 5 Tbsp. sugar 2 tsp. vanilla 1 Tbsp. water ½ tsp. salt Powdered sugar Blend butter with sugar until fluffy, then add vanilla and water. Sift flour and salt in another bowl; combine with butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the pecans. Form tablespoon-sized portions of dough into crescent shapes, place on a cookie sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes. When the cookies are finished baking, immediately roll each one gently in powdered sugar. Enjoy!
A Prayer for God’s Blessing Magnificent God, Alpha & Omega, beginning and end, You are eternal, existing outside of time. Your love is everlasting. I confess every so often I ignorantly overlook or become impatient with Your timing. Thank You for wisely and appropriately designating every moment throughout the ages. Thank You for sending Your beloved Son into this world when conditions were precisely on schedule. Please grow my ability to trust You and Your sovereign choice of when to act. In Jesus’ saving name, Amen.
Food for the Soul I vividly remember it—the minty green plastic bowl with a lid. Before Christmas arrived, my mom would diligently bake, filling that sizeable storage container with buttery, powdery cookies. Yet sadly I didn’t appreciate them at the time … because they contained nuts, which just weren’t welcomed by my juvenile taste buds. Today, however, I savor everything about crescent cookies except the calories, of course .
Timing. What an important role it plays in our lives. Just as my tastes have changed with age, I now grasp particular truths that eluded me in my younger years. But wondrously, time retains zero effect upon eternal God. Even so, He wisely utilized time in the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ: “But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Gal. 4:4, NASB Down to the minutest minute, God perfectly planned Jesus’ entrance into this broken world. He was born exactly when God deemed best. The right government, the right Jewish conditions, the right town, the right mother—God sovereignly chose every aspect surrounding Jesus’ birth and introduced Him to mankind “when the fulness of the time came.” Christmas, our celebration of Advent, is exceedingly busy. But God’s amazing timing ability should evoke peace within our hearts. Amidst the hectic holiday rush and seeming lack of time, we can be comforted knowing the Prince of Peace arrived on earth at the proper moment. Since God easily coordinated those complex details, certainly He can effortlessly administrate our minutes too. God also impeccably implemented time in regards to Jesus’ death. Romans 5:6 reads, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” The Lord of life voluntarily succumbed to death—at the right time—according to His Father’s will. Let’s soak in the magnitude of that extraordinary truth: Christ died for us … the ungodly. Almighty God chose that point in history to forever change history. Because of Jesus, our brief years on earth can be meaningful, brimming with hope. Placing our faith in Him, we can experience the abundant life Christ came to give (see John 10:10). Are we weary of waiting for the Lord to fulfill a specific request? Are we anxious about His silence concerning a need we’ve repeatedly voiced? Surely each of us can agree with the Psalmist’s words, “My times are in Thy hand …” (Ps. 31:15). Unquestionably God already has demonstrated His flawless capability to manage time, so we can peacefully rest in Him—His wisdom, His power, His timing. As another year closes, I’d like to express my gratitude for the time you spend reading this column. Faithfully, lovingly the Lord provides words for me to share, and I wholeheartedly appreciate your interest. Though I’m unaware of most of your identities, God knows you intimately. He loves you. May He grant you an extra measure of joy during this Christmas season … and always.
Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life… Emily Wickham gently reaches women’s hearts as she teaches God’s ! Through various writing endeavors, she encourages readers Word. into close relationship with God. Additionally she hosts and speaks at the Connecting with Christ Conference. Visit www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com to read Emily’s blog. Connect with her via social media: www.facebook.com/emilywickham.author www.twitter.com/emilywickhamPH Emily, grateful to God for His blessings, enjoys life with her loving husband and children in western NC.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 33
With so much on our plates between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the holiday season can be hectic. Fortunately, there are many ways to save time and make the holiday season more manageable.
Holiday Living Made Easy pg 34 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2014
• If you don’t have plastic clips to hang lights around windows and to the eaves of your home, inexpensive clothespins will work just as well. If you’re concerned about the color of the wooden clips, paint them holiday hues before stringing the lights. • Put a bath mat, rug-side down and rubber-side up, beneath your Christmas tree stand. This allows you to spin the tree as you hang lights and ornaments without damaging the floor underneath. It also makes it simple to undress the tree once the season is over. Use a tree skirt to hide the mat. • Squeeze artificial tree portions into concrete form tubes. First wrap the tree portions in twine and then slip them into the concrete sleeves. Each tube can be stowed in attic or garage rafters, freeing up precious space. • Use empty squirt bottles to make baking and cooking easier. Pancake and cookie batters can be squirted from the containers for less mess. • Store one or two strings of lights in a plastic shopping bag to keep the strands from getting tangled. Hang the bags from a hook in a garage or stack them in a storage bin. • Use plastic zip ties to attach garland and lights to bannisters. They’re easy to assemble and will not damage the bannisters. • A paper towel holder can be screwed to the wall in a craft room to neatly hold spools of ribbon. Simply pull the length you need from the spool and cut for easy decorating. • Mount a tree stand to a piece of wood with screws or glue. This prevents spills from reaching the floor while stabilizing the tree. • Old maps make interesting gift wrap and are a nice change of pace from commercially produced paper or newsprint. • Wrap duct tape or another type of sticky tape around your hand. Pat over fallen pine needles that accumulate around the tree. In hard-toreach areas, wrap the tape around a broom or a floor sweeper. • When traveling for the holidays, use a brightly colored suitcase or flashy tape to make your suitcase stand out from others at the airport. • Place hardened brown sugar in a baking dish, cover it with a moist paper towel and either microwave it on high for 20-second intervals or place it in a 300 F oven for five minutes. This will soften the sugar, making it easier to use the sugar to prepare your favorite holiday cookie recipes. • Save plastic bread ties, which can be used to make tags for the wires on certain devices. Such ties also can be used to organize decorating components and to keep your place on a roll of tape. • Measure the inside of your picture window and construct a wooden frame to its dimensions. Staple holiday lights to the frame and then easily slip the frame in and out of place each year. • Hang a live wreath or some boughs of evergreen in your home to give it that fresh pine scent if you have an artificial tree. • Color-code storage containers so you can easily find holiday decorations in the attic or basement. • Pack for a holiday excursion using a collapsible clothing storage hanger for closets. Fold clothes on each fabric shelf and then collapse it into your suitcase. When you get to your destination, unfold and hang it in a closet so all of your clothes will be at the ready. Make the holidays even more enjoyable with a variety of timesavers and clever tips.
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& Happy New Year
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The City of Newton encourages you to support local businesses as you search for the perfect gifts. You’ll find great shops, restaurants and entertainment in Newton.
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