PRAY – It’s that simple. I had to pray. I had so many things happen to me. I could only get through them with prayer. They weren’t bad things, but definitely different from my norm. Once I began to pray first, the stress level decreased tremendously and I was able to see clearly the tasks before me.
FOCUS – Because of prayer, I was then able to focus on the tasks at hand. My nonprofit, Forever Free Books, grew and my new business, The Real Wife Movement™, was born. I had to get focused and not side tracked by what others thought or what other people were doing. I had to focus on the steps I had to take to complete the things I had before me. Focusing on a holistic me, helped me to say “NO” to things that were distractions and to say “YES” to things that would turn my life in the right direction to begin my journey to walking in my purpose.
GRIND – What do I mean by grind? I mean putting in the hard work and time needed to grow. Plain and simple! I began attending educational events that helped me gain the information I needed to grow as an entrepreneur. I also began spending money on classes to help me become a better me. Not only that, I connected with like-minded, purpose driven people and asked someone to mentor me. That was the best decision I ever made. She pushes me beyond my mental capacity which causes me to grind. In my grind I now have results!
REPEAT – I know you are probably thinking, “Well, that’s dumb.” On the contrary, repeating these steps is crucial for continual growth. If I stop at grind, I can go no further than that place. Repeating these steps causes us to go to the next level, the next business deal, the next phase in our life. Growth is a continual process.
During the month of October, The Real Wife Movement™ will be featuring stories from wives who have blended families. They will share what they did to ensure their families thrived beyond 10 years.
Be inspired by Shelly’s Story.
Blended family: a family consisting of a couple and their children from this and all previous relationships.
I was asked by my dear friend Tanya to write about my blended family of 26 years. I was glad to not only give my 2 cents, but any chance to talk about my family that I adore was awesome. There was only one problem, my husband and I never considered ourselves a blended family. Another dear friend told me to just tell my story as I see it.
I had a chunky little one-year-old when my husband and I met in 1990. I did not see my husband as a natural parent to my son initially, we had a few conversations about his “parenting style”. What I realized was, he was interjecting his own military upbringing. I decided to pull back and let him parent his way. I did not want him to feel like a glorified babysitter once we decided to live together, and later marry.
My husband and son created their own bond when I had to work or any other time they spent together. A couple years later we started our own family. When the baby was born we made sure Ryan knew he was a big brother and that was an important job. One baby turned into 2, 3 and 4 more. The philosophy in our house was the same, the work “step” did not exist. There was no distinction, “your child”, “my child”, “our children together”. That was my husband’s rule from day one, “what’s yours is mine”.
A few times the younger kids said anything about Ryan not being my husband’s son, my husband would quip, “I’ve been Ryan’s dad longer than any of you jokers!” Point taken by the younger ones.
My husband was at every parent teacher conference, doctor appointment, football game and track meet. He paid for saxophones, summer camp, and college. He taught Ryan to drive, shave and tie his shoes.
Some say our family blended so cohesively because my son was so young. While that may be true to an extent, parenting as a unit is most important. Also, I retained my maiden name when I married, hyphenating my name so that Ryan would not feel different in that respect. Ryan is now 26, working on his PhD and loves his dad to pieces. Why? Because he was loved to pieces.
Shelly Brown-Rainey is the proud mom of 5 wonderful young adults, 4 of whom went to college. Her youngest is a Junior in high school. She and Marc have been married for 22 years.
Shelly is currently enrolled at Lynchburg General School of Nursing. She loves reading and vacationing with her husband.
By now, you may know I live life to the fullest. Yet, I had to find a way to compromise like a negotiator to ensure Don felt included. Only recently, did he join my world. Prior to that, he thought I was crazy for having a packed schedule.
This weekend was yet another one filled with events ,so I asked Don to help a sister out.
I want to share with you how to compromise with your husband to get things done so everyone benefits.
- I needed jewelry for my event Saturday but I didn’t have time to pick it up. (My friend Keshua of KK Jewels makes jewelry for my events.) I told him I would “hook him up” later if he ran this errand for me. This made him extremely happy and he eagerly obliged! Hey, it worked for me too! Give and you shall receive, you know what I’m saying.
- Doni was an assistant to a full figured model. Don was initially
going to take her so I could go to a house warming. I also knew he REALLY wanted to catch the Cowboys game. I told him I would take her to the shoot so he could catch some of the game and then we could make the house warming a date. He agreed and decided to record the game so he could catch all of it later. (This is HUGE LADIES. He chose me over the COWBOYS!!!)
- After the housewarming, we headed to the Indie 500 Fashion Show. Since, I am not great at taking pictures with my phone, Iasked Don to help me out. He loves to take pictures, so he was excited about it. Plus, having press passes, placed us in VIP and we had access to the designers and the models.
I found that when Don feels like he is taking an active role in what I have going on, he is more inclined to participate. Find what your honey likes and incorporate that into your negotiations. Marriage must consist of constant compromise for it to work. I am happy we finally figured this out and it makes life easier. When I benefit, he benefits and we get to spend more time together.
What do you do to compromise in your relationship?
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?
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.