This weekend marks exactly one year since I took over running this website and posted my introductory post here.
Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from our Fire Wife community. Here’s just a few….
1. There are many people in this world who are hurting and seeking and looking for inspiration and encouragement to get through everyday. And it is so easy to serve them with daily encouraging words
And we all need a little challenge and motivation in our life to keep growing. #firestrong is our mantra around here. It means a lot. A whole lot. It took almost a whole year to capture all its meaning and I’m certain we aren’t done yet. But you can read more about it here.
2. There is ALWAYS another Fire Wife who has already experienced this challenge I’m facing right now.
There is never a post that goes unanswered in our Private Wives Group. And even when there are different opinions, the fire wives truly know how to share a strong word in a healthy manner. That is so rare for such a large group of women that I am just in wonder and awe at that instant sisterhood. I don’t have any sisters. Now I feel like I have thousands.
3. Online friendships are just not enough when there is truly a sisterhood. Fire Wives want to connect and there have been many new friendships made in the local groups.
When life really throws you a curve ball, you need hands and feet nearby to help you out. Our Fire Family needs to do a better job of growing this community spirit locally instead of the divisiveness and competition between departments, pettiness amongst wives in the auxiliary or officers who have long forgot what it’s like to work 24 hour (or longer) shifts away from your family. I’ve heard all the complaints. And now we’re moving onto solutions and connecting new friends together. I can truly say I have found the best female friends I’ve ever had in my life since my college years. The bond is unexplainable.
4. The Fire Family community is known for its strength and stick-together-itive-ness. But until you experience that personally and intimately you have no clue the depth of the care and selflessness.
Many times this community has rallied to support complete strangers when their husbands have fallen in the line of duty. Funds were donated countless times for widows and families in need. Most recently, the West Texas tragedy demonstrated these immense acts of caring that extended beyond the fire family as we honored the fallen with our random acts of kindness.
5. Especially in the Fire Family, you’ve not “been there and done that” until you own the t-shirt
(and hence the Firefighter Wife Store was born)
6. There are many people reaching out to support our mission because they have been personally impacted by divorce or a difficult marriage in the Fire Service. It hurts. A lot.
7. Doing “The Love Dare” saves marriages, never gets boring and you learn something new every time
We did this twice as a group and I lost track of the thank yous we received for marriages restored and back on track. So we added an online email program so anyone can start it at anytime. Sign up here at FirefighterWife.com/thelovedare
8. Doing something the first time is never easy but so totally worth the effort.
I learned that my you need a clear mission or you’ll get crazy off track.
I learned that you can’t please everyone and you’ll kill yourself if you keep trying. Focus on doing the most good for your mission.
I learned that this is waaaaaaaaay more than just blogging and making a website. It’s about connecting and changing lives. (Our trip to FDIC was raw evidence of that)
And for those reasons last fall I took a big leap of faith and signed a contract for our first EVER National Gathering of the Fire Wife Sisterhood happening this summer in Atlanta (registration and details here) (Please join us! We want year one to be an amazing success so we can go even bigger next year!!!!)
9. I learned that I’m not alone or abnormal or not fit to be married to a firefighter.
Because there is nothing different about me and the 12,000 other fire wives out there on our Facebook Page who can vent, support, encourage and love on each other through the Fire Wife lifestyle.
10. Lastly and most importantly, I love my husband even more than I ever imagined.
I mean, how does that keep happening year after year? Love is such a blessing and there is no better gift on this earth than to fall more and more deeply in love with each other over and over again. The ladies I have met in this community have made me a better wife and lover.
Surround yourself with what is good and pure and true and good things will happen.
Each of you is a blessing from above. 10,000 reasons for my heart to sing.
Fire Wife Love,