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Sugar For My Coffee, Issue #005 -- THE INFORMAL NORMAL IN A BLACK-TIE-AFFAIR WORLD
April 23, 2004
Hello,

Here is your latest issue of Sugar For My Coffee

Dated April 23, 2004
Issue #005

CELEBRATING THE ARRIVAL
We usually like to get our Newsletter out around the middle of the month. However, this month is a special month for the Leffew family.

On Monday, April 26th my wife and I will become parents for the second time. We will enjoy the arrival of a little girl and our 2 year-old son Zachary will become the big brother of a little sister.

Her name is Selah Gabriel. The name Selah is a musical term meaning "to pause, meditate or reflect".

This describes our feelings during this special time.

May each of you reading this find your own life full of moments that cause you "to pause, meditate and reflect" on the many blessings of life you too enjoy.

Thanks to all the subscribers who through this Newsletter share this moment with us. Indeed, you really are "Sugar For My Coffee".
*Sugar For My Coffee Mission*
To journey each month into The Coffee Shop of Make-Believe. While there, through cyberspace technology and the click of a mouse, we can enjoy a cup of coffee together as we get to know some of the most influential mentors of life empowerment of our time. Our presence together becomes, "Sugar For My Coffee".
Published by Stan Leffew
SFC@advice-for-lifetime-relationships.com

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favor and "pay it forward". If a friend DID forward this to you, and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

* Monthly Mentor - The Coffee Shop of Make-Believe
* Perspective - Stopping The Identity Thief
* Journey With Jessica - Happy In Your Own Skin
* Couples Corner - The Informal Normal in a Black-Tie-Affair World


Monthly Mentor - The Coffee Shop of Make-Believe

Welcome to another issue of Sugar For My Coffee. This is the one segment I try to include in all my writings.

The Coffee Shop of Make-Believe is open. Please, come on in and join us.

He said, "Most couples spend more time planning vacations than planning their finances during their entire marriage. As a result, most couples end up with little or no savings and many end up divorced due to the stress of financial burdens and debt..."

Have you taken "The Latte Factor"?

Have you discovered how to create wealth "automatically" - without a budget, discipline or painful sacrifice?

Have you discovered how you can "automate" your way to financial security, whether you have a head start on retirement or just live paycheck to paycheck?

Today's coffee break guest is showing people how.

How fitting in this month of Income Tax preparation that we should meet a guest like we will meet this month in The Coffee Shop.

How fitting that we should be discussing "The Latte Factor" in "The Coffee Shop of Make-Believe".

Today's coffee break guest: David Bach

David Bach
David Bach is the author of several national bestsellers. His brand new book was just released this past January. With already over 700,000 copies in print, it has become an instant national bestseller, hitting #1 on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists, as well as an international #1 bestseller in Canada.

As an author, David Bach has figured out how to take a topic (money and financial planning) that intimidates and often bores people and make it simple, fun and empowering.

Regularly featured on television and radio, as well as in newspapers and magazines, David is a regular contributor to CNN American Morning and just recently made his first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he shared with the world his strategies on becoming an automatic millionaire.

In addition, David has appeared on ABC's The View, NBC's Weekend Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, CNBC's Power Lunch, CNNfn and MSNBC.

Some works by David Bach are:

* The Automatic Millionaire
* Smart Women Finish Rich
* Smart Couples Finish Rich

Those of you who are familiar with this segment of my work know that you can join us for this coffee break any time you wish. You only have to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a seat at the table and get to know our guest. You can do that now by visiting the following Website on the INTERNET.

For David Bach visit here.
For more about me visit here.

Did someone say, "Pass The Sugar, Please"?


Perspective - Stopping The Identity Thief

This is the area of our newsletter where we try to take perspective of things.

We've all seen them!

The commercials use the voices of people clearly not the ones speaking to relay what can happen when someone else becomes you. Almost everyday another story is reported on this growing intrusion into our lives.

No, we're not going to talk about that kind of identity theft.

I want to talk about how we are being infiltrated by a foe so dangerously subtle that most of us don't even know it is happening.

What defines your identity?

What do you feel best identifies you in life?

Is your identity being stolen?

Some of the ways our identity is being defined today:

* He who has the most "stuff" wins.
* See you at the top.
* Money, Money, Money, Money. (Isn't this a song?)
* It's all about me and my need to be happy.

I remember growing up in an era where a person's identity was found in far more simple pleasures - FAITH and FAMILY.

As Katherine Lee Bates wrote in "America The Beautiful":

America, America, May God thy gold refine, Til' all SUCCESS be NOBLENESS and EVERY GAIN DIVINE.

My parents never used their status quo, position or income to determine their identity. Money was a means for enhancing the identity they found at home and not the home for their identity.

My wife and I will continue to tell our children over and over again that they are our greatest claim to fame.

That's this month's perspective. All the best!
Journey With Jessica Happy In Your Own Skin

This segment helps us add a bit of estrogen to the testosterone mix of our newsletter.

Hi everyone! Jessica here!

I just saw something really sad.

I was flipping through channels, trying to see if there was anything on, and I landed on what I found out was MTV. The show was "I Want to Look Like Someone Famous", or something like that.

I've noticed that there has been an onslaught of such shows.

Everyday people going under the knife to look like someone else. Not subtle little changes like hair coloring or whitening their smile, but drastic changes like chin implants, nose jobs and complete body changes all in the course of a few weeks to look like someone else.

These are perfectly acceptable looking people wanting to look like someone famous. They are so uncomfortable with who they are, with being in their own skin, that they are willing to put their lives and faces in danger to "become" someone else.

I look at the stretch marks forming across my nine-month expectant-mother frame and think how with just a flick of a laser they could be gone. I look at the wrinkles forming around my eyes and mouth and think how just a few injections of Botox could rid me of those nuisances.

But I realize what those marks are.

Reminders of my life experiences!

I can point to which stretch marks are from Zach and which ones are from Selah, due to the different ways I've carried each. The wrinkles around my eyes and mouth are reminders of all the laughs and giggles I've had in my life. I wouldn't change a one.

Look at your imperfections for what they are, YOURS.

You are you, individual and beautiful.

I don't want to look like someone who is famous this year for their 15 minutes. Ten years from now, no one will know who they are, much less who you look like.

I don't want my children to think that their value is found in someone else's fame. They are loved for who they are. They are special for who they are.

I heard it best put by the man himself, Fred Rogers. People are like fish. Everyone is fancy in their own way; some on the inside and some on the outside. You just need to figure out how you're fancy and know that no one can take that away from you, unless you let them.

With words of wisdom like that, perhaps we would all do well to spend a little time in "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood".

Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed our journey. Until next month!


COUPLES CORNER The INFORMAL NORMAL in a BLACK-TIE-AFFAIR WORLD

In this segment, we will share timely thoughts and articles on relationship building.

Have you noticed the trend?

You ever notice how on "The Bachelor" most of their dating episodes are via limousine escort? They travel to lavish destinations amid scenic splendor. The sunsets are so beautiful you can almost hear nature singing its own rendition of, "Love Is A Many Splendid Thing".

You rarely ever even see a rainy day.

In "Sleepless In Seattle", the audience was left "Speechless in New York" atop the Empire State Building. The climactic romantic interlude that followed is one that will be etched in the memory of movie-lovers for a long time to come.

In "Sabrina", the audience feels the eloquent charm and ambience of Paris.

"You've Got Mail" spammed us with the scenic elegance and grandeur of all that's good in and around "The Big Apple".

If you really want to be depressed, sit and watch some of the work out programs that abound. Watch as brisk morning breezes enrapture the velvety clouds tracing the horizon from the backdrops of scenic vistas and ocean views. Who couldn't be motivated to work out?

We easily become captivated by "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous", "Cribs", and the latest craze of "Extreme Make Over-Home Edition", dreaming if only...

Watch a few of the music videos that abound at VH1, MTV and BET. You will see more money, lavish diamonds, fancy fashions, flashy gold jewelry, expensive limousines and other fine automobiles watching these music video programs for one hour than most people will see in the average lifetime.

All commercials seem to have the same goal in mind to make us feel that their product is the missing link to our imminent happiness.

We live in a Black Tie Affair World!

No wonder so many people struggle with comparisons.

When one becomes enamored by the glitz and the glamour so prevalent in our culture, it is easy to feel relationally shortchanged and cheated in life.

This Black-Tie-Affair mindset causes many couples to strive to keep up with the Joneses to the point of being maxed out to the hilt in financial demise from debt. Money issues are cited as one of the biggest reasons for the breakdown in the family leading to divorce.

Are you struggling with the fantasy?

Are you confused with all the hoopla?

Is this life reality?

Is this relational reality?

Is it reality?

If it is, I must be missing something. I must have made a wrong turn in the road somewhere. Most of the families I know must have made the wrong turn with me.

Although my wife and I love each other very much, much of our relationship life is spent, well, INFORMALLY NORMAL.

A day in the life for most couples is spent:

* Punching the old inevitable time clock.
* Doing the dishes and the laundry.
* Cooking.
* Paying bills.
* Fighting colds, headaches and fatigue.
* Changing diapers.
* Bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed.
* Getting up the next day and doing it all over again.

Most of the world struggles with getting up, getting old, getting fat, getting sick or simply getting by.

So, do yourself a favor. Stop buying in to all the hoopla and falsehood.

If you get caught in this web of deceit, you just may miss out on what really matters - faith, family, character and integrity.

The last time I checked, love wasn't defined by the word MONEY.

For words that better define love you may want to consider: commitment, sacrifice, support, unselfishness, home building, encouragement, forgiveness, planning and working together.

Maybe a bit informal and normal...maybe not as flashy as dollar signs...but ironically, a lot richer!

Blessings!
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