When I took over FirefighterWife.com in May of 2012, none of this was ever imagined. I’m a consultant for online businesses who was looking for my own blogging / website platform so I could apply what I teach my clients. I wanted a playground but I knew it had to be something I was passionate about or it wouldn’t hold my interest. So I took a small note card and wrote down lots of ideas based on my passions and experiences:
- Working mom
- Divorced mom
- Firefighter’s Wife
- Running / Cross Fit
- Web Design and Development
I carried that card around with me just praying over it and asking God for a sign. 8 days later, Val Selby sent an email to her list of email subscribers for this site stating she needed to sell it. Her fingers were in too many fires and she was narrowing her focus. That was my sign. It couldn’t have been more obvious.
After blogging for a couple of months and managing the facebook page, I really felt like something was missing. I would get super personal emails from ladies privately that just made me cry. Messages like this one:
My husband and I will be celebrating our 9yrs. in august. Other then my husband being on a volunteer firefighter. He works as a EMT-B for a couple of hospitals. Here lately we hit a bump in the road. We’re starting to get back. After reading your stories it helps me to stay steady with my heart. And to keep focus on being a good wife.
Thank you for the stories.
I knew there was a need for encouragement for firefighter marriages and that this site needed to fill it. My prayers became more fervent. My actions more specific. My blog posts more personal. The private messages became more frequent. Fire Wives needed a place to connect. To find friendship and support for their marriages and our sometimes wacky lifestyle.
One evening in late July while sitting beside the bathtub as my 5 year old splashed around, I took my iPad and started the Private Wives Group. I just thought, maybe these wives need someplace more private and personal to engage. By the time I got her dried off and in her PJs and downstairs for a little snack, 40 women had requested to join the group. By the next day, we were over 100. Today we are at 650 and the conversation NEVER stops.
There is a team of 13 ladies I call my “Trusted Advisors” who help to keep things on the right track.
Our Central Ohio Fire Wives have met for 3 events and have a plan for many outings (with and without our Firefighters) in 2013. Five other regional social gatherings are forming for January. (Contact me if you want to start your own group)
July 25-26, 2013 we are holding the first ever National FlameFest where Fire Wives will meet up in person to share all the love, support, advice and fun times that we already have online in the private group. (Some unbelievable speakers and programs are lining up….registration is here!)
We GAVE BACK so generously providing comfort and support to fallen firefighters in Chicago and fire families in need after Hurricane Sandy. In 2013 we are moving towards a non-profit foundation to continue even more generous giving.
Oh yeah, and like any club worth its weight, we branded our self with our own t-shirts now on sale at the Firefighter Wife Online Store.
Blah blah blah. You may be saying who cares. Whatever. Stop tooting your own horn. But I’m not tooting my own horn because it’s not just me. And this story of a community grown together in just 7 months is too good to not share.
This was not just of my doing but because of the amazing, supportive, drama-free, non-judgmental group of women who are part of this community. And because of God. This is not specifically a Christian site so don’t think I am going freaky religious zealot on you, but I am a Christian and there’s no way to separate that from me and what I do here. I rely (not enough) on my God, the Holy Spirit and the Bible to guide me through life. This summer God gave me a number that’s too big to mention. It still scares me (which tells me He’s got me right where He wants me!). Then He said, (or my little mind whittled it down to this) 5,000 by year end. We hit that on Dec. 22.
As 2012 comes to a close, I can honestly say I never expected FirefighterWife.com to be where it is right now. It has given back to me WAY MORE than I have put into it. The number one reason is that my marriage is stronger because of it. My understanding of my husband, his career, his station, his quirks, those obnoxious and annoying things firefighters do, how to communicate with him better and how to understand that stress and hurt and pain that comes with all those difficult runs. All of those things were a gift to me in 2012 because of this website.
I think one of my trusted advisors said it best.
My husband doesn’t even realize how much being a part of this group has helped him as well. I understand him so much better.
And that is too good not too share. Too important to set aside. My vision for firefighter wife is this
Strengthen Firefighter Marriages.
Nurture Fire Wife encouragement, support and friendship.
Build up our Fire Wives mind, body and spirit to be strong and enduring.
To bring an even deeper sense of community to the Fire Family overall.
Will you join me? This will not be done alone. I need partners. I need willing chiefs, community leaders, financial sponsorship. If you believe in this message and want to contribute in 2013, please message me. Things are moving too fast and furious for me to spend time on another pretty web form so just contact me here.
My sincerest THANK YOU for this unexpected blessing and support in 2012. Here’s to the Fire Wife Sisterhood in 2013!
Lori Mercer AKA WifeOnFire
Follow me on Twitter @WifeOnFire
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