2020- The Year of Forgiveness

Happy New Year!!!

2020 is here!  A time of new hope, new habits, new goals and, best of all, a time for new healing.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready! It’s time to do more than pump it up at the gym. It’s time to start a real movement. Something groundbreaking and earth shaking.  It’s time to release something long overdue.  It’s time for a forgiveness revolution!

Let unforgiveness out of your heart. Give yourself freedom from the weight of that hate.

So many things are broken in this world, isn’t it time we start fixing them? Make the Forgiveness Revolution your New Year’s Resolution and forgive someone today, before another decade slips away.

April’s new book Forgiveness Is Free, Why Are You Saving It, is available January 30th.


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

10 Ways to Spice up Your Middle-Aged Love Life

When you’re married and middle-aged, sometimes your love life can grow a little limp.

You love each other and sometimes kiss and spoon, but unless you’re newly married, you’re often a long way from your honeymoon. The days of work, kids, chores, repeat, sap your energy, while Father Time takes a toll on your libido.

You may even find yourself sashaying through the house half-naked, trying to evoke a response from your mate, only to find that Netflix has become their new lover and your desperate plea for attention goes unnoticed.

And then what? Do you throw in the towel and grab a good book to read?

No.  Because they don’t care if you’re wearing a towel or not.

But here are some things that I’ve found to be helpful:

1. Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Sure, it’s an oldie and you may have read it once, but read it again. Find out if you’re speaking to your mate in their love language. Maybe theirs is physical touch and you’re so busy providing acts of service to show your love, that you’re completely missing the mark. Perhaps they aren’t responding to you because you’re just not speaking their language. Read the book and break your language barrier. The growth in your intimacy will speak volumes.

2. Support their dream

Nothing says I love you like supporting the dream of the one you love.  There’s nothing like knowing that someone believes in you, has faith in you and has your back, no matter what. It provides a comfort level that allows you to divulge the innermost secrets and desires of your heart and draws you closer together. And knowing that your mate desires what you desire for yourself, makes them ever so much more desirable.

3. Give them space

Now this likely sounds counterintuitive to growing the closeness between you and your mate, but it’s not. It is very important, especially if your mate is requires quiet time to study, do their job or work on their dream. Anything that involves creativity requires some peace and quiet.  If your mate is tired of playing chauffeur to the kids, give them a respite.  Take on their load for a period of time and allow them to relax and rejuvenate. If they tell you that all they want for their birthday is for you to take the kids for the day, do it.  Better yet, don’t wait for them to ask.  Show them that you understand their need for down time. Respect their need for peace because peace and respect are sexy, but stress and fatigue are not.

4. Skip your nighttime beauty regimen

Yes. I said it.  And you can do it.  Skip your regular nighttime routine once in a while.  Your face is not going to fall off if you forget to apply your eye cream, wrinkle gel, charcoal mask and head wrap for a night.  And wear something to bed that’s better than that usual get-up you throw on.  Make it something you purchased this year. Let your mate mess up your hair for a change and kiss your face without an aftertaste. You’ll still glow the next day. But it’ll be a different kind of glow. Try it!

5. Tickle their non-traditional hot-spot

We’ve all got one, folks.  We’ve all got a hot spot that only those who know us most intimately are aware of.  And it’s there for the tickling. So if your mate seems more interested in washing the car or dishes than you, give them something they can feel. They can’t keep a straight face when you go there, so go ahead and make them look goofy. They’ll be surprised, they’ll widen their eyes and they won’t help but notice you’re in the room.

6. Talk dirty to them

Master the art of flirting with your mate.  Let them know you think they’re sexy. Whisper in their ear.  Tell them what a great time you had last night. Let them know they’ve still got it. Say things that confirm they are the captain of your ship and nobody steers quite like they do.  And develop a code if you need to, so the children don’t know what you’re talking about.  Keep them wondering why their parents talk about Mr. Hammer and Ms. Bellringer all the time. They’ll never guess that fluffernutter has more than one meaning.

7. Date night

You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again.  Don’t forget to do date night!  Take some time away from your kids, at minimum, once a month. Whether you are parents or not, you have to be intentional about keeping your love life alive.  Making it last is hard and it requires effort. You must make time for just each other, to check in, check up and check on one another. Life moves crazy fast. Make sure you’re keeping up.  If you want to feel like you did when you were dating each other, then keep dating one another.

8. Buy them a ticket for something that you care nothing about

If you’re wondering why you should spend your hard-earned money on something that you care nothing about, the answer is, because it’s not for YOU! Purchasing something that you know will make your spouse happy, even if you find it ridiculous, will go miles toward touching their tickle spot. If you hate opera, but she loves it, buy a ticket for her and her mom. If he loves golf but you hate it, buy him some golf shoes. Show your mate that their happiness is a priority and they will make yours a priority in return.  Buy them a ticket, and then turn in yours for a ride on the love train. Woot Woot!

9. Get a sleep apnea machine

Many a good relationship has been ruined by snoring.  It has been the cause of sleeping in separate rooms for countless couples, throughout the years, and it’s difficult for a couple to grow in intimacy when their sleeping hours are spent far apart.  For many couples, the answer is a sleep apnea machine. These devices are like answered prayer to those who have tossed, turned and slept with a pillow over their head, to avoid the growls and snorts of the monster in bed beside them.  Newer, non-restrictive models are available and they’re not just good for your marriage, they’re good for your health.  So do a sleep assessment, get a machine and take back your honey and your health.  Your mate will thank you for it.

10. Forgive them

Is it possible that your love life is suffering because one of you is holding a grudge against the other?  Could it be that you haven’t felt sexy in a long time because your feelings were hurt by something she said, or he didn’t say? Or maybe you’re withholding affection as punishment for an offense you’ve told them you’ve forgiven.  If any of these are possible, then it’s time you loosen your grip on that grudge. Have an open discussion about what’s bothering you. Get it out and then get rid of it.  If you want the freedom to experience true intimacy then you have to give up the things that have held you bound, because you can’t be free and bound at the same time (unless that’s something you’re into). So let out the bitterness and let in the love. Forgive them.

Try one or a combination of these ten things and be intentional about improving your love life. Your engine’s not dead, you’ve simply stalled.  So rev it up, put it in drive and enjoy the ride.  You’re glowing just thinking about it.

Follow me at lovingmiddleagedlife.com

On Turning 50

The month of April is here and I’ll soon be 50!

Yes, April was born in April.  What can I say…my mom was a little tired when I was born and there was a calendar in the delivery room, so….

I’m often asked if I’m excited to turn 50 and my reply is always “Yes!”  50 is a whole new chapter in life, and I can’t wait to turn the first page.

I recently read a list of things that every successful woman should do before she’s 50 and I’ve accomplished only some of the list. But, as 50 fast approaches, I don’t feel compelled to rush out and do the rest.   I believe that each woman’s journey is unique and so should be her pathway.  So, I’m skipping along on my uncharted road, knowing that there will be potholes and breakdowns, but I’ve got the number to AAA and some Fix a Flat, so it will be OK.

My successes aren’t measured by the big things.  I count every little success in life. And my 50-year-old advice to you would be to count every little success, too.

Every day you survive as a wife, husband, mother or father, is a huge success. Every time you make someone smile, you’re a success. Every time you bring someone into the knowledge of Christ is a success. Each time you give, you’re a success.  Every day you show up for work, when you don’t want to, you’re a success.  Every time you take the high road when you could’ve gone off on someone, you’re a success.  Every moment you beat sickness or disease, you’re a great success.

Every day you live is a paragraph in one huge success story.  So write until you’re out of lead and use your eraser, when needed. Re-writes and edits are acceptable.

Am I excited to turn 50?  You bet I am!  I’m excited just because I’m here and I intend to make every moment count.

So, wrinkles and gray hair, bring it on!  I’m ready to show 50 who’s boss!

Who’s with me?


Follow me at lovingmiddleagedlife.com

Until you run out of pages, there’s still room to write an epic ending-Kevin Ngo

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?