An other woman enjoys company of a married man

After 21 years of marriage, I discovered a new way of keeping alive the spark of love.

A little while ago I had to go out with an other woman. It was really my wife’s idea.

“I know that you love her,” she said one day, taking me by surprise.

“But I love YOU,” I protested.

“I know, but you also love her.”

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my mother, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally. That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

“What’s wrong, are you well,” she asked? My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

“I thought that it would be pleasant to pass some time with you,” I responded.

“Just the two of us.” She thought about it for a moment, then said, “I would like that very much.”

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date.

She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary.

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel’s.

“I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed,” she said, as she got into the car. “They can’t wait to hear about our meeting”.

casual dining

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.

After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the entrées, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips.

“It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small,” she said.

“Then it’s time that you relax and let me return the favor,” I responded.

During the dinner we had an agreeable conversation, nothing extraordinary, but catching up on recent events of each others life.

We talked so much that we missed the movie. As I and the other woman at her house later, she said, “I’ll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you.” I agreed.

“How was your dinner date?” asked my wife when I got home.

“Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,” I answered.

A few days later my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have a chance to do anything for her.

Some time later I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined.

An attached note said: “I paid this bill in advance. I was almost sure that I couldn’t be there but, never-the-less, I paid for two plates – one for you and the other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you.”

At that moment I understood the importance of saying, in time: “I LOVE YOU” and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve.

Nothing in life is more important than your family.

Give them the time they deserve, even if mom is the other woman, because these things cannot be put off till “some other time.”

A King And His Four Wives

four wivesOnce upon a time…there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidante and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King’s 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

Tragedy hits the King

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, “I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I’ll be all alone.”

King seeks help from his wives

Thus, he asked the 4th wife, “I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“No way!” replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.

The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, “I have loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“No!” replied the 3rd wife. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to remarry!” His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the 2nd wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!” replied the 2nd wife. “At the very most, I can only send you to your grave.” Her answer came like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: “I’ll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go.” The King looked up, and there was his first wife, who looked sickly from malnutrition.

Greatly grieved, the King said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”

diamond ring

In truth, we all have 4 wives in our lives.

Our 4th wife is our body.
No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will leave us when we die.

Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth.
When we die, it will all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends.
No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

Our 1st wife is our Soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the ego.
However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go. So cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, it is your greatest gift to offer the world.

William Brentlinger’s brief life brought everlasting memories to parents

The journey of William Brentlinger lasted only eleven days, yet he brought a lifetime’s worth of precious memories to people around the world and his parents, Lyndsay and Matthew Brentlinger.

William Brentlinger
Photo credit: Lindsey Brown Photography

Against the odds

Ultrasound pictures revealed William had severe heart abnormalities, which normally would have resulted in a still-birth. Yet he managed to survive the trauma of birth and spent 11 meaningful days with his twin sister, Reagan Brentlinger.

A local Ohio photographer specializing in portraits of newborns, Lindsey Brown, found time from her busy schedule to take several heart-warming pictures of the twins, so the parents could forever treasure their time together with William.

William Brentlinger and sister Reagan
Photo credit: Lindsey Brown Photography

Lindsey Brown captures the moment

“I could not believe how perfect they both looked,” Brown told CNN. “They were both in the five pound range when I photographed them. William was extremely alert, as if he was trying to take it all in, while little Reagan slept and barely opened her eyes.”

“Pictures are just memories,” said Brown. “I know how much people cherish them, so I was really glad I was able to do that for them.”

About congenital heart disease

William Brentlinger may have lived a little more than week, figures from the Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium state about 40,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects each year and “approximately two to three million individuals are thought to be living in the United States with congenital heart defects.”

According to the American Heart Association, “Congenital heart disease is a problem that occurs with the baby’s heart while the baby is still developing. It’s seen in approximately 1% of babies born in the United States and is the most common form of birth defect.”

Hopefully little William Brentlinger will shed more light on the dangers of this potentially deadly condition and save some lives of other beautiful young children before it’s too late.

More info: (h/t cnn.com13abc, good.is, boredpanda.com, March of Dimes)

Three Words Our Kids Need to Hear

by Kari Kampakis

It is Monday morning, and my daughter drags into the kitchen. She sits on a bar stool, slumps her shoulders, and casts her eyes down at the bowl of Cheerios I slide in front of her.

She moans and groans and tells me how tired she is. Part of me is irritated. I need her to step it up because I have four kids to get to school in thirty minutes. I don’t have time for this.

going to school | i get itImage credit: openclipart.org

But then I remember – I get tired, too. And like me, this child really needs her sleep. So instead of rushing her, I take a minute to let her wake up.

“I get it,” I tell her, remembering the many times I’ve struggled to get out of bed. “Mornings can be hard for me, too.”

It is Wednesday afternoon, and I can tell by the look on my daughter’s face as she walks toward my car that she’s upset. As she buckles her seatbelt, she blurts out what’s troubling her.

Once again she didn’t place in the school art contest. Once again her friend won first place.

With a bitter tinge in her voice, she complains that it’s not fair. Part of me wants to correct my child. I want to tell her to be happy for her friend.

But then I remember – I get jealous, too. And being jealous of a friend is the hardest kind to overcome.

“I get it,” I tell her, remembering the times I’ve felt overshadowed. “You worked hard on that piece, and I know you wanted to place. I get jealous of my friends sometimes, too.”

It is Sunday, and on the way to church I argue with my daughter because she didn’t brush her teeth like I asked. We’ve had this argument so often I feel compelled to describe how her mouth will look when her teeth begin to rot.

praying in churchImage credit: pexels

During the church service I think about our argument, and I feel bad about being so harsh. I wish I’d controlled my tongue. I lean over to my daughter and whisper an apology.

She shakes her head and pushes me away. She’s mad and not ready to forgive me. Part of me is hurt. I want closure to ease my guilt.

But then I remember – I need time when I’m mad, too. Forgiveness isn’t always instantaneous.

“Okay,” I say, kissing her head and giving her space. “I get it.” I ask God to forgive me and to work in her heart so that arguments like this don’t build walls between us.

The mistakes I make as a parent are relatively common. When it comes to our children’s moods, we often expect them to have mastery over their emotions. We expect them to get over their most unpleasant feelings, soldier on, and not need time to process them.

But our kids are human, and like all humans, they have messy emotions that need to be acknowledged and worked through. They have good days and bad days, highs and lows, shining moments and moments where we wonder what on earth has come over them.

I am learning, as my kids get older, the importance of being empathetic. Taking even a minute to listen and understand how they feel can make a big difference in whether they open up and talk through their feelings or keep them bottled up.

My tendency is to react too soon. I throw out quick solutions or express my thoughts on how my children should feel without taking into account how they do feel. And of all the tools I’m using to help break this habit, the most effective one is compassion.

Because sometimes what my kids need most is permission to feel what they feel with complete honesty. They want a sounding board, not a problem solver. They find it comforting when I nod and say, “Yep, I’ve been there. That happens to me all the time.”

Everyone knows the cornerstone phrase of parenting: I love you. But if you ask me, there are three other words that belong in our vocabulary, too, words that build bridges between hearts and strengthen the parent-child relationship.

Kari Kampakis 3 Words | I get it

I get it.

I get it you don’t feel like going to school.

I get it you’re jealous of your friend.

I get it you need time to cool off before we talk again.

Saying, “I get it,” isn’t a green light for our kids to act on unpleasant emotions or dwell on them. It doesn’t lower our standards or compromise the expectations we have of them. More than anything, it connects us with our children and reassures them they aren’t alone. It reminds us that they are human, and sometimes it helps to cut them a little slack in honor of that fact.

A little empathy can go a long way in growing a relationship. So can the right words. One goal I have in parenting is to have less of a lecturing mouth, and more of a listening ear. Because the conversations that result when my kids express their real emotions reveal priceless insights into their minds. They teach me about my kids and teach my kids to feel comfortable in expressing their inner reality.

I want my kids to know that if I get it, others may get it, too. Whatever messy emotion they’re wrestling with, there is someone who wrestles with the same thing and is brave enough to admit it.

Knowing this makes the world a more approachable and comfortable place. It gives kids the courage to be real, and the power to build relationships based on truth, empathy, and perfectly normal human emotions.

Reprinted courtesy of Kari Kampakis.

Author of Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? available at Amazon, Barnes and NobleChristianbook.com, and her best-seller 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know.