What consumes your thoughts on a daily basis? Who has the focus in your household? For Winter Harris her focus remains set on the man upstairs, the Lord. Harris has literally managed to build a career around her faith centered focus. In the past couple years, this former NFL wife, has been able to produce a periodical magazine that captures and supports women that are able to balance being fabulous and full of faith.
Pro Player Insider’s Theresa Villano caught up with our newly nominated Off the Field Wives Association Woman of the Month Winter Harris. Winter is not just a football wife of former Washington Redskins Steven Harris but a CEO, Editor in Chief, author, social media consultant, philanthropist, mom and woman of God to name a few. Among all these titles Mrs. Harris is a busy woman encouraging woman to be modern, fabulous and full of faith with her “Christ Centered Home Magazine.” These are all reasons why she is nominated for this honor.
Pro Player Insiders: Winter great to have u joining us. How are you?
Winter Harris: The summer has been extremely busy for us. I have four children and I do a lot of nonprofit work on top of my business, so yes we’re very busy.
PPI: Tell me a little about your amazing “Christ Centered Home Magazine”. When did you start the magazine?
WH: This was kind of born out of my passion to reach out to other women and moms like myself who are quite young. I’m not an old woman, so I wanted to create something that was relevant and relational in my walk with the Lord. I wanted to share my walk as a woman in today’s world.
WH: (cont.): Also, I have always enjoyed writing. I’m in the process of writing a book and have co-wrote a book that will be out in the fall. I kind of started blogging and playing with it from there. Starting the magazine was a dream of mine which turned into a reality and we’ve just grown. It has been phenomenal. Just to see it grow with all the women that I’ve been able to partner with and all the additional writers that have come on to create this magazine. It wasn’t just me that was feeling this way; there really was other women that were feeling the same way about faith in today’s world. Most women don’t subscribe to faith based periodicals. Christ Centered Home Magazine helps to reach those people.
PPI: I read you use the magazine to support raising a family according to God’s standard. Living in the sometimes glamorous NFL world how have you managed to do this?
WH: I actually was born and raised in a small town in Arkansas. My parents were pastors. Once we got into the NFL lifestyle it really threw our family off.There are so many things that you’re unprepared for with all the temptations and drama that can exist in this arena. I was fortunate enough to come in to the Redskins and the Bible study that the women held. I am very country glam. I like being close to the city but I don’t like living there. So during our transition from Arkansas to DC, our Bible study was my lifeline. My husband and I almost divorced when my husband and I were in the NFL. It’s so easy to get caught up in that lifestyle. I don’t consider myself an NFL wife but I do consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity. I’m just a regular person like anyone else.. That’s what’s great about the magazine. It is for the everyday woman. I’m just encouraging women to be what God has called you to be and to live life to the best of your ability through God’s grace.
PPI: You have a unique mix of contributors that write for your magazine including 7 year NFL veteran Vernon Fox. How did he get involved and what does he bring to the magazine?
WE: Vernon and his wife are very good friends of ours. We met while he was playing with the Redskins as well. We talk often, and he became involved just by me sharing my vision with him. He’s a minister, so he has helped out (man’s point of view). He will be back in the future to contribute.
PPI: Have you faced any obstacles in fulfilling this dream?
WH: There are challenges every day. This is a brand new magazine. A lot of the challenges have just been spreading the word. I’m not a self-promoter, so God has been really good to me and it’s been nice to find people that have a passion for the magazine. I had a meeting with a Christian radio station in the area, where I will be working with them to get our name out across the country. This is a needed resource for modern women of faith. So just really spreading the word has been the biggest challenge. I trust that whatever God puts into motion will provide for.
PPI: As the word has spread, there’s been a specific scenario when working on the magazine that you thought ….wow this is the exact reason why I’m dedicating my life to this cause? Tell us about your ah ha moment.
WH: Tuesdays are really fulfilling for me. We call them “Tell it Tuesdays” where people submit prayer requests. That alone without a shadow of doubt, this is what I was meant to do, and I hope my girls will take this over when they’re older. God put me on earth to do this. I think so many people work and they work and leave nothing. We are put on this earth to do so much more than we think we are. Every Monday we feature a Christian mom blogger. A lot of these moms are talented writers and this is a chance for us to help promote their talent. We also put out different articles for our readers to show that although we’re from all walks of life, we all go through struggles and many are common.
PPI: You are also involved in other charitable efforts which project is closest to your heart?
WH: The Meant to live foundation. This foundation is led by the belief that all humans are meant to live a life free of poverty. We seek to transform impoverished communities by providing education, medical access and food programs.” And their vision states, “To foster social responsibility in order to combat poverty through long-term sustainable programs that aim to transform individuals, families, and communities worldwide.” The players wives association, Off the Field, has been so supportive, just having them on board with this organization is a blessing. Hopefully we can continue to work with them in the future. AARDA ( American AutoImmune Related Diseases Association) is another organization I’m actively involved in after being diagnosed with RA myself back in March. I’m involved with quite a few, so I can’t name them all. There are so many wonderful organizations. I want to encourage all of our readers to do something, that’s all I care about. Tomorrow is not promised, do something!
On her HUSBAND…
PPI: Your husband has been a major support. How did you and your husband meet? What is Mr. Harris doing these days is he playing football?
WH: We were married at 19 & we had our first child within our first year of marriage. We were pregnant again when our first child was six months. We had to bury our second daughter Autumn Lynn when she was at almost nine months of pregnancy. We now have four children. Even with having our young family, he was able to graduate with 2 degrees in IT & Management, where he now does budget software. He’s also a wide receivers coach for a Christian school in the area. He loves every single second of it. With coaching the kids and IT he’s getting the best of both worlds. With him being retired for almost 5 years, we’re settling in now. We will celebrate our 12 year anniversary in September. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but God has been extremely good to us.
PPI: How has losing three children effected your marriage?
WE: The first baby we lost was so difficult, we had to pick out the funeral arrangements while I was in the hospital waiting to deliver. There is no happiness in that type of situation. Losing three children was extremely painful and it hurt us both. I thought God hate me. It really tested our faith and our marriage. However, I am so grateful for those experiences. I saw God do amazing things, I am a much better individual because of it. It’s just amazing, we have great kids. I love being a mom. I enjoy being a homemaker. I can do it all by the grace of God. Somehow it all works out and we make it on the other side..
PPI: What was your favorite moment watching your husband play?
WE: Most people don’t know this but Tuesdays are cut day and pay day. We would Celebrate and go out to dinner to thank God that he made it through another Tuesday. I knew he was good enough, that accomplishment making it through every Tuesday! He got to play pre season against Ray Lewis. You beat him and that’s all that matters.
WE: We have our own NFL group,“Now Faith Ladies.” We have met consistently for the last 6 years. Talia Covey (Jeff Covey), Emma Dockery (Derrick Dockery Redskins), Enishia Williams (Mike Williams former Bill/Redskins), Dorian Scott (coach of Jacksonville). Our couple’s friends are also Vernon and Ty Fox. If I have a crisis or situation in my life they’re who I call. As far as having best friends I didn’t really have that growing up and these ladies have definitely filled that void for me. Lasting relationships is the greatest thing that the NFL gave to us.
On her Family…
PPI: I have read that you have four blessed children. Tell me one or two words to describe each of your children.
Kayla Sky – Full of grace, mini me, loves the Lord
CJ-Steven Jr.- Rambunctious, extremely smart, hilarious
Eric-Serious, doesn’t his mix words, intense
Autumn Grace-last baby in struggles of losses, fireball, and don’t let the smallness fool you
PPI: Tell me about a day in the life of the Winter household. living, working, Your children ?
WH: My husband is gone when we wake up 6 am. School starts at 9 my oldest is 11 so she gets the rest of the kids up and serves breakfast. We get ready for school, talk, pray. We play we go for a walk. She takes really long naps. So I do conference calls etc… Then we pick up our children, they have chores and homework we do for a certain period of time. We’re pretty busy in the evenings, Thursdays are our free days, and they have daddy dessert night on Thursdays. Bedtime is at 8:30. Then once nine hits we have some down time.
PPI: The focus of your magazine is on woman, so if you could give advice to others on balancing career and family what would it be?
WH: Don’t under estimate yourself. We are capable of more than we think we are. Don’t be afraid to fail or put yourself out there. Every failure is another opportunity. God only asks for a mustard seed of faith. Trust in God to really see me through. He hasn’t failed me out.
PPI: How can football fans and Pro Player Insiders readers help support your Christian initiatives? What can we do to support your efforts ?
WH: Subscribe to our website www.Christcenteredhomemagazine.org and check out all of our social media we have available.
Also to make sure you are keeping up with the latest 2013 Summer Style trends check out one of CCHM latest features here: VStylist Summer 2013 Style Report
-Interview by Theresa Villano Follow @Theresa_ppi @PlayerInsiders
–Alec Short contributed to this story.
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