When Mothers Unite

As my daughter and I were leaving the mall last weekend, we came upon a woman who was shaking, crying, and yelling out someone’s name.  Not far away was a man, yelling the same name, with a look of sheer panic on his face.

As a mother I knew that look, I recognized those cries. I knew that in a mall full of Black Friday shoppers, their child was missing.

We approached the man and discovered that he did not speak English.  I asked him if he was looking for a girl or a boy. He scrolled through his cell phone and showed me a picture of a beautiful brown-haired girl with two pigtails, about 4 or 5 years-old. Her name was Nala.

Without saying a word to one another, my daughter and I began walking in different directions, calling out the girl’s name.  We entered each store, questioned the staff and asked them to look out for her. And the further we went from the mother of that child, the louder her weeping became.  My heart was beating out of my chest, quickening with each of her cries.

After several minutes, I walked back to the mother, but the girl had not been found. The mom was hyperventilating now and other shoppers were holding her hand. So I walked off again, stopping other shoppers, asking them to help in the search.

Each mother I stopped sprang into action. Their eyes recognized that fear. Their hearts knew that horror. And our common bond said “It’s no longer time to look for a bargain, it’s time to look for that girl!”

After what seemed like an eternity, with a swarm of people looking for little Nala, she was located by a shopper who led her to her mom.

Dozens of searchers gathered around and cried tears of joy as Nala’s mother embraced her . I didn’t understand a word the Mom said, but my heart felt each and every one.  I wiped my eyes and whispered out loud “There’s just nothing like a mother’s heart.”

Minutes later, when we found each other, my daughter was annoyed with me. She’d been dialing my cell for a while, but I hadn’t noticed, as my mind was focused on the search.

I apologized and tried to explain the unexplainable.  To tell her that mothers share a bond that only we understand.  A bond that transcends language and race, religion and time. And a missing child unites us in a way few others will.

She forgave me, smiled and we headed for the exit. And as we walked together, I thought, “She’ll be a great mom one day.” Because without one word from me, her future-Mama heart had sent her searching for Nala too.

To all of the mothers out there, God bless your Mama hearts. The world is a better place when we look out for each other’s children.  And caring for others should never grow old, because everyone was once somebody’s baby.

Follow April at lovingmiddleagedlife for your chance to win a pre-release copy of her new book Forgiveness is Free…Why are You Saving It

This Holiday, Give Forgiveness

The season of giving has begun!

It’s the time of year that brings out the best in us and prompts us to become the bearers of great hugs, great food and great presents.

And as you continue your giving, I challenge you to add a unique gift to your list….one that will bless both you and the receiver, far past the holiday season.  I challenge you to add the gift of “forgiveness.”

It wasn’t for sale on Black Friday because forgiveness is free. It can never be discounted or oversold.  It is one of life’s few treasures that are both free and priceless, at the same time.

And it’s one of the best kept gift secrets ever. You won’t find it on your loved ones’ shopping list because it’s a quiet longing, seldom expressed out loud. But the gift of forgiveness speaks volumes to the heart of the receiver.

And no shopping or shipping is required!

Forgiveness sits on the shelves of our hearts, always in stock, ready and waiting to be given to those we’ve withheld it from. It needs no gift wrap, no card and no special occasion. It just needs its holder to choose freedom from bitterness, open their heart and release it. And when they do, they’ll find that they benefited, as much as their beneficiary, because their heart will be lighter and their life will be brighter.

So, why not add forgiveness to your holiday list?

Spread some around to your family, your co-workers and the neighbor who put up their Christmas lights in August.

Give it to someone, drop the mic and walk away like you just started world peace. Because, in a great way, you just did.

April’s new book Forgiveness is Free. Why Are You Saving It? will be released in January 2020. Follow her blog for upcoming giveaways!

Stress-free Entertaining

Is there really such a thing as stress-free entertaining?

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to conquer. When your days are filled with stuff…work stuff, kid stuff, family stuff, life stuff…it’s a challenge to host an event for the folks who bring good stuff to your life.

First, there’s the cleaning. And unless you live with Alice the maid or Geoffrey the Butler, there’s always cleaning to be done. And the degree of cleaning depends upon who’s coming to dinner. Overnight guests require cleaning for days because they might look in your drawers or sleep in your bed, and no room is off limits to them. Co-workers require a thorough cleaning because they’re likely to talk about your home at the office, and even close friends merit a tidy up.

Then there’s meal prep. You don’t want to underfeed folks who came hungry or overwhelm those who are trying to eat healthy. And then there are those with dietary restrictions like lactose intolerance, vegetarians and vegans. How do you cater to them all?

And what about entertainment? What if the conversation wanes?  What if they don’t like your kind of music?  What if the conversation turns political?

These are all thoughts that were pummeling my mind about a recent gathering, when a co-worker suggested some simple, obvious advice.   She said “Order a pizza and don’t worry about the cleaning you want to do that’s undone.  Your guests won’t know it’s undone.”

These few words were mini miracle workers. Regular pizza, vegetarian pizza, chicken wings and a salad covered everyone’s taste buds.  Line dance music and good old fashioned board games made fun for everyone. And what wasn’t covered with dust or encircled by flies didn’t get cleaned.  There was no need for cooking or cleaning for days or meeting expectations that were placed on me by me.

So, whenever you want to throw a shindig and ensure you’re not too tired to enjoy it, keep it simple! If it’s not a special occasion where you’re cooking Uncle Leroy’s favorites for his 70th birthday, clean a little, dance a lot and let ‘em eat pizza. He’ll never know you didn’t dust under the refrigerator.

Dedicated to my wise friend and co-worker, KP.

Follow my blog at lovingmiddleagedlife.com

Happy Wife, Happy Life

This one is especially for my male readers.

You’ve all heard the expression…Happy Wife, Happy Life.  Sounds expensive and elusive right? But what does it mean to a woman?

Does it mean that you have to agree with everything your lady says?  Does it mean that you can never win an argument?  Does it mean that you have to give up everything you enjoy to satisfy her wants and needs? Or perhaps it means that every cent you earn should be spent on her every desire.

Whatever it means, it sounds like it costs an arm and a leg. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some inexpensive ways to achieve Happy Wife, Happy Life.

  • Men don’t need to agree with everything a woman says…but they should listen. Offering an opinion on the subject lends evidence to active listening and makes a woman feel that what interests her, interests him.
  • There’s no need to give up everything you enjoy. Invite her along, if possible, and let her see if it’s something she might enjoy, too. Or, if it’s time with your buddies you require, be sure to encourage her to spend time with her friends doing something they enjoy. But, if your hobby is disrespectful to her, it’s a good idea to find another hobby.
  • Most women don’t expect you to spend all of your earnings on them. And if they do, they might not be the right woman for you, or for anyone.  What most women desire is for a man to be a provider, and providing can take many forms. Men who aren’t the financial provider of the household, but are in school, unexpectedly unemployed or tackling the role of Mr. Mom are still providers. And most women will tell you,  in households where one or both partners work, there’s nothing more attractive than a man that comes home and helps with the household chores.  Helping with chores is right up there with drying her tears and making her feel protected.  You can’t go wrong with these, guys.
  • Support her dreams.  Give her uninterrupted time to work on her business plan. Use your gifts to help her…paint a room for her office, taste the recipes for her cookbook, help her build her website or encourage her to take a class. There are tons of ways to support her in achieving her goals and you are just the man for the job!

All of these things can be done with a simple investment of your time, attention and affection, gentlemen. So what are you waiting for?  Why not help fold that laundry?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And away we go…

I’ve been thinking about blogging for a long time now.  What better time for a new beginning than the beginning of a new year?

I see things every day that make me say “Wow. I should really write about that!” Today, I’m going to start that journey and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

So…what to blog about?  Where should I begin?

I’m going to write about things I know best… like motherhood, relationships, and life for the middle-aged woman. I hope to make you think a little, laugh a lot and often say “Oh. I can relate to that!”

I won’t take much of your time and I promise it will be time well spent.  Since you’ve already read a lot for today. I’ll make today’s topic short and sweet and I’ll just introduce you to me.

My name is April and I am in my late forties.  I can hardly believe I’m this old already.  I really think and feel like I’m much younger and often find myself looking at others, especially celebrities, and wondering at how much they’ve aged, forgetting that I’ve aged just as much.  Ever find yourself doing that?

I am a Christian and I am married with three kids (a twenty-something, a middle-schooler and a high-schooler). I also have two granddaughters and a really cute white dog named Popcorn who bounces off the walls like…well…Popcorn.

I’m a working mom so, needless to say, I work HARD everyday. I have a bad junk food habit and plan to lose weight one day, but not today.

My house is often messy and sometimes I just let it stay that way, and I’m okay with that.

I like gospel, jazz and R&B and my favorite singers are Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker. When I see them, I scream, really loud.  I hope everyone has had an artist they’ve screamed really loud for. Think back, you’ll think of one.

I love to write. I have authored two fiction books and am working on my third, which is about relationships. And I am a blogger, of course, starting today.

My friends, today, I leave you with this…find your passion and do it everyday. Don’t know what your passion is?  Start with what you’re gifted at. Search for it in bits and pieces and one day, the puzzle will form a more beautiful picture than you ever could have imagined.

Bad day at work?  Do your passion.  Co-worker upset you? See your passion. Kids getting on your last nerve? Work your passion. Husband acting crazy?  For goodness sake, show him some passion!

Pray about your passion, laugh about your passion and be about your passion.  And, if all else fails, eat a Snickers!

Talk with you tomorrow!

Love,

April