Many people ask, “how did you make your blended family work?” With so much divorce in our society, I can see how this perplexes folks. My prayer is that these 5 tips will help you in this journey called, LIFE.
Pray!!!! I am so serious about this. Bringing children and a spouse together is a totally different dynamic that can make or break a new marriage. I prayed so many times for God to give me directions on how to keep not only my mind stayed on Him but on how to keep my cool. If you don’t have a prayer life, I would suggest starting today. Something like, “Look God, I need your help.” That’s how my prayers always started.
I had to make some adjustments. At first, I did not want Don to discipline Gabi. This caused so much anger and frustration at the beginning of our marriage. But God has a sense of humor, because I found myself on bed-rest 7 months into our marriage. So guess who had to do everything?? Don did! That included disciplining Gabi. Once I made that adjustment and trusted him to love her, the arguments in that area stopped. We had other areas to overcome but we both had to agree to do what was best for not only her, but also for the two children we created.
We had to be okay with some things and not try to force it. I wanted to change Gabi’s last name to Barnett for the longest time. Every time we tried, something would happen. We even got her father on board with it but, he would change his mind right before we filed papers. Once I got over this thing that I wanted so bad, it didn’t matter. The funny thing about it is that, now she is married, and her last name is that of her husband.
Let things happen organically. I wanted Don to be like my dad, but he is nothing like him. The more insisted he do things like my dad, the more he did the opposite which was, nothing at all. Once I eased up, he found his place with her. They both love movies, so every time a movie came out, they were right there. She ran track
and he loved track, so he decided to be her coach. This lasted for years until she got to high school. Now that she is in the Coast Guard, she calls him all the time and some times I have no clue that they even had a conversation.
We never used the word STEP. We felt like that made an immediate division in the home. So from the outset, he was daddy to her and he called her is daughter. No one knew he wasn’t her biological unless we told them, which wasn’t often. She has written him beautiful poetry since growing up calling him daddy. She calls her biological father by his first name. This organically happened and I’m glad we made a choice to not use STEP in our home.
Proud brother and sister
Gabi’s High School Graduation
Gabi’s Coast Guard GRaduation
Was having a blended family easy? Absolutely NOT! However, we had to make conscious efforts to have real conversations about what was acceptable and what was not. I love what Don and Gabi’s relationship has finally become.
Love pays dividends big time when you are a giver. This weekend was uber busy for me! I took a 2 day road trip round trip that was exhausting but rewarding.
When I got home, hubby was handling Sunday dinner and getting our teens ready for school the next day. While I was in the shower, he ran out to get me these vibrant orange roses. He said he got them “JUST BECAUSE”. He said that I am always giving to others and he wanted to just give me something he knew I love: flowers.
Tuesday, he was stuck in traffic for over an hour and only drove about 15 miles from home. He turned around, went home and decided to take the day off. He called me a few minutes before my lunch break to say he was coming by with lunch-for me. You know the best thing about this, he got my order right without asking what I wanted. LOL!!
To top it all off, he calls me and asks me to come straight home without making any stops. This dude grabs my keys when I walk in the door and heads to get new tires put on my car. I’ve been needing tires for a few months but our schedule never permitted for me to have them replaced.
You may be wondering why I titled this post, Love Pays Dividends. Well, I used to be an extremely selfish wife who complained unmercifully. Once I changed my ways, made deposits of love and respected my husband, he began to reciprocate. So, love does indeed pay dividends and I’m thankful we are both getting a return on our investments.
How do you and your husband make deposits of love into each other?
This was my 1st road trip alone, since my book launched on June 4, 2016. On my 4hr drive back, I thought about the weekend and learned these 3 life lessons.
Your greatest blessings, most times, come in small packages. Initially, I didn’t want to go to this event because it was a small venue and I had no idea how many people were coming. The blessing: I had an opportunity to learn from women in their 80s and 90s. Mrs. Bragg said, “I’m not looking for a man my age. All they want is a nurse and my purse. They not getting my purse and I didn’t train to be no nurse.” #wisdom
The amount of a gift is not as important as the heart behind the gift. Due to the generous support of these ladies, I was able to bless a young lady with a $100 donation for college. Initially, I felt like a failure for not raising more money but I realized that my donation was BIG in God’s eyes.
It’s important to enjoy the journey. My family always drives through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel without stopping at the bridge. Well, since I was by myself, I decided to stop. I was able to stand where the Atlantic Ocean dumps into the Chesapeake Bay. It was a relaxing experience and I did not have to rush. At my parent’s house, my daddy fed me well and sent me hone with goodies for my family.
I enjoyed being able to learn from from these hilarious seasoned ladies and spending time with my parents. It was a great trip and I am looking forward to many more.
Have you ever learned a life lesson on a trip you took by yourself?
3 months after my book launch and 2 months after a total rebranding, I sat on a panel at the Congressional Black Caucus. The panel consisted of experts in the field of relationships and marriage.
Say what now? The chick who was pregnant at 19 and looking at the military as her only option? The girl who’s baby daddy had another girl pregnant at the same time? Yeah, that girl.
I had the awesome opportunity to work alongside my husband last week. It was definitely a dream come true for the both of us! Granted it was only for 54 minutes, but they are 54 minutes that I will never forget.
I was invited to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Relationship Panel. I was in shock when I was initially asked to do it. My hubby, on the other hand, was extremely proud of me. He said the hard work I put into my new book, Being a Wife Just Got Real, Things I Wish I knew Before I Said, “I Do” was paying off. He was adamant that it was the direct result of God’s grace on the book. My hubby assured me that God’s desire to see marriages be healthy and whole who be helped with this book.
We met he other couples on the panel and chatted it up. It felt like we knew each other for years. They were especially friendly and we talked with them for several minutes at the end of our segment.
After the panel was over, I had the opportunity to sell my book in the Author Pavilion. I met several other authors who had intriguing books that I will be adding to my home collection of books to read.
I am eternally thankful for this blessed opportunity and the fact that it opened doors for more speaking engagements.
***THEY ARE RELOCATING! FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK.***
The atmosphere was relaxing and quaint. The food was good and the menu was impressive.
I was pleased to have an opportunity to speak with older patrons about Washington, DC in their day prior to the event beginning. Everyone was friendly and the staff was extremely welcoming. Jesse, the owner, was awesome and he thanked me for coming. I loved chatting with him throughout the night.
The event started off with Tiah introducing me and then I explained the reason why I wrote my book. The conversation took on a life of its own as men and women weighed in on the subject of being a wife. Before I knew it, 2 hours flew by with people still talking about love, relationships, sex, kids and divorce.
Since I had an hour drive to get home, I wrapped up my portion of the discussion to begin the book signing. One gentleman loved my message so much, he bought 5 copies of the book to give away. Another guy bought 3. I believe the men enjoyed the conversation more than the women and I was glad they were able to hear the heart of a woman from a woman.
I have to say, I truly enjoyed this Real Wife Conversation and hope to incorporate more of them where men are involved and can not only be heard but also to hear relationships, from a woman’s point of view.
Do you think men should be included in conversations pertaining the roles of women in relationships?