My Traveling Shoes

traveling shoeLife is not a journey you want to make on autopilot.

A few Sundays ago Jeff and I were flying out of Pensacola, Florida. However, we forgot that it was the end of  Spring Break vacation for most people. There was only one flight to Houston that we wanted to be on.  Just two seats, but the only seat left was the jump seat (a place that only a pilot can sit in) which meant I would have to find another flight.   As Jeff walked down to the jetway, a look of sadness covered my face because I was left behind.

Left alone at the airport waiting for another flight, I had to find something to occupy my long wait time.( 7 hours to be exact) Being the observer I am, I found myself people watching.

I wondered, where all these people were going? Were they going home, traveling to work, or going on vacation? I wanted to know!  I observed their constant activity; I couldn’t help looking at their shoes.

Shoes can reveal a lot about a person. I saw women wearing cute heels.  Or people wearing boots, tennis shoes, or loafers. At the same time, I wondered what do my shoes (identity) reveal about me?

The Terminals I’ve walked down

In walking the different terminals (seasons) of life, I have worn an assortment of interesting shoes.

1.When my girls were in school, I decided to go back to college and pursue a degree in Hospitality management. I had a dream of owning and operating a B&B, and I worked hard at making it happen.  We took off looking for B&B in an area of where Jeff would be close to work. We landed in the small town of New Smyrna Beach, Florida where we found the perfect B&B.  We met with the sellers prior to our move and at that time felt that there was a connection between all of us.  However, in negotiations with the owners, there were signs that this wasn’t going to happen. Durning our talks I spent a week with the innkeeper and walked behind her as she showed me the day-to-day operations.  After that week, as I walked out the door, I knew in my heart God had shut that door and had me pack away my shoes (dream) for the time being.

2. A few years later, the church we attended didn’t have a women’s ministry. After talking with my pastor’s wife, she encouraged me and offered support and prayer in allowing me to share with the women at our church a vision to introduce a women’s ministry. However, over the next year and a half in developing women’s events and retreats, there was an unexpected turn of events. In that time I felt that this door was being shut as well. I needed to walk away. I did so with a shoe of grace and sadness. (To this day, I still get teary-eyed about the loss.)

3.  During that season of serving as a women’s ministry leader, Jeff and I were asked to fly into the area of raising a little boy that needed a sense of security and love (go here to read more). At the same time, I also had unexpected health issues that required many doctors visits and some time in the hospital. ( In time I will share with you my story of healing.)

In all honesty, I found myself crying out loud and yelling to God as to why he was taking all this away from me. I had worked so hard, I moved and uprooted my entire life, even leaving friends and family, to follow a dream and share a vision to start a ministry.  Now it was gone!

Wearing the shoes of hospitality, serving, being a mom to a little boy, and dealing with health issues,  I learned that I was only to wear those shoes temporarily.  God revealed many things to me, and in retrospect, he showed the closed doors were for my good.

God had me in an area where I was vulnerable, and I needed him to carry me to find my true destination.

As I struggled to find something to call my own, I discovered a few things about myself.

1.I don’t need to compare myself to others who look as if they had the perfect outfit (life).

2. As I traveled and searched for that one thing to fulfill me, I needed to be willing to venture out into other areas where God was taking me. If I needed to walk away, I learned to do so with grace and hope.

3.If there were something that I wanted to pursue that would allow me to use my gifts and talents, I needed to have the courage to share that with the people that I loved.

While I felt that each of these shoes ( passions and calling) were intended just for me, I also believed that they gave me purpose and magic. For a time, I guess they did.

Now I see that God had me try them on so that I could eventually walk in the shoe that I was intended to wear.  I also know that He let them stay in my bag so that I could share with others what I have learned.

Your plane is here

Believe in your heart that you’re meant to have a life full of passion, purpose, and magic and miracles.” ( Roy Bennett)

I have always had a passion for writing. It gives me confidence that I have never felt before. Over the past ten years, I have written devotions to offer hope and love to other women ( go here to read those).  It was during these times of sharing that I felt alive and full of purpose. My family saw that in me as well.

In my struggles and searching, there were times where I  found myself feeling tired of carrying around the weight of feeling lost in what it was I was ultimately designed to wear. I wanted to unpack those desires that I had and use them to bless others.

Recently I discovered four questions that I had written several years back when I was part of the women’s ministry.  Maybe these questions can help you find your purpose and calling the exact shoe you were destined to wear.

4 questions

Those are tough questions, and I had to prayerfully think about them myself. Perhaps some time alone with these questions can help you find the answers you’ve been searching for.

When I started this series “The Shoes a Pilot’s Wife Might Wear,” I came up with this acronym that I think combines my love of shoes with my calling and purpose:

She

Helps

Others

Evolve

She helps others evolve…..into the woman that God has intended her to be. 

Each of us has been designed to help others evolve into something magical and purposeful.    Something that fulfills.  He has equipped us with our calling.

I have been uniquely designed for a purpose” (Psalm 139:14-15  NIV)“I have been uniquely designed for a purpose” (Psalm 139_14-15 NIV)

 

Girlfriend, I pray that whatever shoe God has for you for your unique purpose that you wear it with confidence, strength, and passion. And above all else, wear it well.

 

 

Prayer for today: Father, you know my heart.  You know what I am passionate about and what breaks my heart. I ask you to reveal that me in a way that only I can see what it is that I’m to wear.  That desire in my heart that I have show me how to take those steps to do what it is that you have equipped me to do.  “God doesn’t call the equipped,  he  has equipped the called!” I ask all this in your precious name. AMEN

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

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Rain Boots by the Door at all Times

Rain boots requiredHave you ever had a water explosion you couldn’t identify? Or you wake up at 0 dark early to the sounds of your dog yelping in pain outside?

These are the storms of my life, and both of them required me to wear my rain boots.

There is a saying amongst Pw’s: If something is going to happen that includes waters, it does so when our husbands are away.   In my case, every water rescue occurred that way.  I want to share two of them with you as I’m sure you can relate. I have had a few waters rescues in my 25 years of marriage.

Water Emergency #1  

I heard a loud knock at my front door at 5 am one morning. With Jeff out of town, I created in my mind a madman or ghost coming into my house.  I didn’t want to answer the door, so I hid under the covers hoping whoever it was would go away.   

A few hours later my neighbors called to tell me that water was spouting out at the corner of the house.   It had made a loud noise that startled them out of bed.  Apparently, one of our sprinkler heads popped off, hit the roof, and all that water was making its way into our garage ceiling.   To make matters worse, I didn’t notice the intensity of the water damage until two days later when Jeff came back home.

Water Emergency #2

Another morning, my boys let our dog out in the backyard.  Within minutes of letting her out, I heard loud yelping. Running outside in my pajamas, I saw that a raccoon had attacked my dog and was dragging her out to the water near our boat lift (I later learned that when a raccoon attacks it will take their fight to the water in order to drown its victim). 

 

Image

This is Lucy and. The calm of the water aftermath.

 

Honestly, I had no clue what to do. 

My boys, however, thought that shooting the raccoon with a bb gun was the solution.  Certain I would shoot my dog rather than her attacker, I suggested to my boys to throw rocks while I grabbed the water hose and aimed it straight at the evil animal. Within 5 minutes, which seemed like an eternity, we managed to scare the raccoon away and free our dog from its snare.

Upon closer inspection, we say that there was minimal damage to Lucy. She was out of breath, had some blood on her paws from the oyster shells in the water, and suffered cuts on her neck from the raccoon’s teeth. In the end, she only needed a few rabies shots and some recovery time to overcome the trauma.

Each of these water emergencies required me to don my rain boots. I gladly put them on as they provided stability and protection in the midst of a crisis.

Sully’s rules for emergencies

A few years ago I read the book Highest Duty, by Capt. Chesley “ Sully” Sullenberger. I’m sure you recall the unforgettable landing he and his FO made on the Hudson River.

In the book, he said there are general rules about any aircraft emergency. 

1. Maintain aircraft control.

2. Analyze the situation and take proper action

3. Land as soon as conditions permit.

Some pilots have found an easy way to remember these basic rules: Activate, navigate and communicate.

Being married to a man who lives and flies by these rules, has caused me to adopt the same mindset when faced with water emergencies.  I will confess there are times where I first panic, scream and maybe cry, but within minutes I have switched gears to:

1.Activate my surroundings and establish what is going on.  I have to simultaneously gain control of the situation while at the same time remain level-headed with my emotions and the emotions of those around me.

2. Navigate where it is I need to land as soon as possible. Gather information as to how to find a solution to the problem.

3. Communicate with those around me. Once I’ve assessed the situation and navigated my way to safety, then I need to calmly communicate with others what it is I need help with.

My water challenge rules 

Once I’ve followed those rules and have put on my own personal flotation device, then I call my husband without freaking out and explain to him what just happened.  Let’s face it our husbands are flying a heavy-duty machine in the sky which requires their full attention.   Calling or texting him while he’s flying and yelling, “Mayday! Mayday! “ would only make matters worse.

I will spill out some water guilt, I have called him freaking out about a crisis or emergency, it didn’t make anything better.  In fact, it only made me feel like I was drowning all the more.  How could I expect him to solve my problem when he was miles away?

Now, when I’m alone and facing a difficult situation, I need to rely on the One who not only walks on water, but can cause it, and my troubled heart, to be still. In water emergencies and more, I find comfort in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”Philippians 4_13I have to remind myself that I’m not Superwoman. When I face troubles, pressure, and trials,  I should take a moment to pause and ask God to give me strength when it feels like the waters will overtake me. I’m grateful to know He won’t let me drown.

I’m sure we can all share our water stories and how often we find ourselves wearing rain boots.   The storms of our lives definitely offer challenges.  Though, I would have to say that in those water challenges we find the strength we didn’t know was there.  Because of that strength, the next time we step into our rain boots, we can walk with confidence and the right tools.

Our prayer: Dear Father, when stressful times arrive, and I find myself worried and anxious, please give me the peace of mind and calm my troubled heart.  I feel as if I’m in a turbulent sea and unable to find my balance, so I worry. Help me to find clarity of mind and answers that I need for Your protection.  For You are my life vest and I know that you will guide me as I walk through the stormy waters of life.

In Your name, I pray, Amen.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Leave a comment and share your rain boot stories. I’m sure we could get a good laugh and relate from own water emergencies.

Love for you to hop on over and join  The Takeoff and Landings Facebook  page.

 

Sergeant Mom has Arrived

sergeant mom

My sergeant shoe of parenting

In the span of twenty-four hours my life had made a sudden detour. A  season of motherhood that I’d not expected, when a 2yr old little boy entered my life. It was a trip that I hadn’t been prepared for, much less packed.

What happened?

Jeff and I  were asked if we could take in a family member’s son. They were finically unstable to offer the care and responsibility of raising their son. We told them that we were willing to help and our home was his home until they could get back on their feet to properly care for him.

Instantly, I was in a season of raising my two teenage daughters and son but also a young boy who came with a lot of emotional baggage for a child his age.

IMG_0315Opening our hearts and home to this child came with unexpected challenges and health issues that needed to be addressed.  Most importantly, we needed to establish security and a stable environment for him

I knew exactly which shoe would be required for this new stage of our lives. I headed straight to my closet to grab my military boots. Sergeant Mom had arrived.

I didn’t pick out the shoe of discipline

A short time after the lasted addition to our family arrived, I was on my way home from grocery shopping. I was frustrated, overwhelmed and at my wit’s end from dealing with all my kids.   As usual, Jeff had been on a trip.

As I was getting into my car, my mom called.  She asked how the kids and I were doing. Within seconds of her asking, I started crying. Just not your typical cry, I was sobbing.

I was upset about a lot of things. Upset that this whole parenting thing was not something I signed up for.  I didn’t want to wear my Sergeant Mom boots all the time. I didn’t want the added parental challenge of potty training, establishing bedtime routines,  or teaching someone how to bathe and brush his teeth. I had already flown that trip three times.

I was tired.

Raising four children and being married to a pilot who travels, requires discipline and order. I FELT it was MY job as a mom to establish that.

When you look up the word discipline in the dictionary, you’ll see some common words next to it: control, training, routine, and respect. Reading those words reminded me of how I expect those attributes in my own life and children.

1. Control – I want to control how things will be when my husband is gone, including bedtime, behavior, chores, and our schedule.

2. Training- I want to train them to clean their room, be nice to each other, etc.

3. Routine- I want  to establish  morning, afternoon, and bedtime routines

4.Respect-  I want respect for each other’s things importantly, for me as a parent.

Did you notice the I’s above? I want. I need. I don’t.  It wasn’t about me. It was about God who had placed this little boy in my life to care for him, love him, bring stability and routine to his life that only I could do.

There is a verse in the Bible that comes to mind, and I love how it reads in the Message,

“Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old, they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22-6 MSG

“Point your kids in the right direction— when they_re old, they won't be lost.” Proverbs 22-6 MSG

Isn’t that what we are trying to do? Pointing them as to where to go so that they won’t get lost. 

As a mom, my role is to train, to establish an environment of stability and structure and of course love.   And let’s not forget the carry-on of flexibility.  If I don’t take the time to pack those and map out those routines, I will eventually encounter turbulence.   I can be flying throughout my day, and all of sudden my attitude of patience is no longer working.

Some days flying as a parent and all that is required of me can be tough.  Although I don’t always enjoy wearing my military boots, I know it’s the call God has for my life, and I has their mom.

Leaving my shoes at the door

Sharing my struggles with other PW’s,  they have opened up to about their difficulties wearing the military boots. “I run the house day in and day out;  mostly it’s my rules,” one wife opened up to me.  She went on to say, “My husband shouldn’t have to deal with all the nonsense that goes on when he is home, but he does hear about it when he’s away”. It’s a catch 22. 

A few other moms voiced,” I’m everyone’s UBER. I’m regularly cleaning up messes, running to the grocery and doctors appointments. Personally, there’re times I feel I need to be in control.”  Oh, I can relate.  I have no plan to take off my “Command of Discipline” shoe.

When dad comes home, the routine may change up a bit, because now there are two parents.  During those times I have to remember that it’s not just me solo parenting it’s we. We are one, and we work together.  But subconsciously, I don’t. I  continue to wear those shoes and resume to bring order and routine.

Do I still wear those sergeant boots? You betcha!  I struggle with taking them off at times when I need to.  Every moment of every day. At times it seems like every moment I’m asking God to give me wisdom, grace, and mercy not only for my kids but me as well.

Prayer;  In Corinthians 12:10 you say, “For I am weak, then I am  strong.” Help me to find comfort that you are in control in those moments of weakness. I feel torn and stretched in so many directions that I do not know which way to go.  In the midst of my stress, may I look to you.  Give me the strength to handle areas where I feel pulled in. Thank you that I can run to You for wisdom and peace. Amen.

An update ….

That little boy that took me off course is now eleven. He is in 5th grade and is back with his mama. I miss him! He was unquestionably a challenge and full of zealous energy that required many evenings of wine. As I share with you about him, I may not have given birth to him, but I definitely felt as if he was my own. He still his.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Love for you to hop on over and join  The Takeoff and Landings Facebook  page.

How do you handle discipline in your own life as a wife of a traveling husband? Leave a comment below. I’m sure we can all learn from each other.

A Wedge of Friends

A wedge of friendsAt 6:30 in the morning I receive a text from another pilot’s wife.  The text read,”Hey Chica, Good morning just saying Hi, let’s get together for lunch today.” I responded, “Sure absolutely!”

After hitting send on my text, I became nervous, like an elementary school girl meeting a new friend in the lunchroom. I wanted to make a good impression; I stressed over what to wear.

We had only met once,  on a lunch date that our husbands had arranged

Thankfully, she and I connected right away.  We talked about kids, husbands, families and, of course, how long we’d  been married to our pilots.  Before we knew it, our visit was flying its way into cocktail hour at the bar. But we were responsible women and had to pick up our kids from school.  So we said our goodbyes with hugs and scheduled another time to re-connect.

Meanwhile, she had befriended another pilot wife and that pilot wife befriend another pilot wife. Before you could push back an airplane and close the door, we had all become friends. All four of us text each other almost every day. Sometimes those texts will start as early at 6 am and go on till eleven at night.

I had no idea that I would be blessed with three amazing, beautiful ladies.  We make each other laugh till we pee in our pants, or spit out our drink of choice. We call and vent to each other with no worries of feeling judged. We genuinely care about each other. That can be a rarity in this culture that we live in.

Pieces of the Wedge

Maintaining friends takes hard work. Especially in this day of technology, where face to face relationships are becoming less and less. I don’t want that.

I want to have friends that I call on and say, “Hey can you come over and be with me cause my teenager is angry and I don’t know what to do? “ “Or ‘hey I know it’s late, but I need to vent, my husband is …… or I’m worried cause I’m going to the doctors, etc.” We all need friends to walk with us in the good trips and ugly trips of our lives.

I’ve learned having a wedge of friends is necessary. As I was thinking about it, I came up with an acronym for WEDGE.

W-Wine. Having wine with your girlfriend(s) is a must!

E-Excitement. When we share good news, like personal accomplishments, or our husbands upgrade, and we share their excitement.

D-Dependable. When we are facing a difficult situation on our own, we know we can depend on one another.

G-Giggles. When we find something funny to share that will make them giggle its fun to let our girlfriends know.

E-Encouragement. When we’re feeling sad, or stressed by our family or frustrated with life, in general, their encouragement is the perfect pick-me-up in moments like those.

My favorite verse in the Bible about friendship is, “A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17_17

A true friend will love you through a bad mood, an accident that happened to your child, a blown up microwave before a dinner party, or even a hurricane ( and your pilot is gone.

These are the WEDGE of friends that matter. I don’t know what I  would do without them.

An invaluable blessing of friends

There’ve been times when each of us have called one another and the first thing out of our mouth are, “I’m venting!  Let me cry.” We all know that whatever we say stays between us. No taking off with what we share to a different town.   I will say that we have our “textful” venting times as well.  ( those can be interesting, especially when all the emojis appear).

“On This Day” on Facebook, and it’s been exactly one year ago when my girlfriend and I met for lunch that day.  Happy Anniversary, my friend!

There’s  a quote I love that defines the friendships I have.  “We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”

If I were to ask a PW what is the most valuable thing to have while their hubby is away, without hesitation, they’d say friends. I couldn’t agree more.

When my husband and I made our move from Florida to Houston ( the place we now call home), I prayed I’d meet other pilot wives.   I wasn’t looking for much, just a friend to have coffee or wine with now and then.

Today as I’m writing this I know without a doubt that I didn’t meet these four ladies on accident.  I believe that God placed them in my life at just the right time.

Our prayer this week:

Dear heavenly father, I think of a quote I saw that  said, “You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.”  My heart is blessed with the friends that you’ve given me in this season of life. For those that are searching for those blessings of friends, I just ask that you bring them a friend or two that can be there to inspire, stretch and encourage them as my friends have done for me.  Amen.

 Love for you to hop on over and join  The Takeoff and Landings Facebook  page. A place where you can find encouragement and support from a wedge of great friends.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Dressed up for Arrival

dressed for arrivalWhen I was nineteen, I worked as a hostess at Water Street Seafood Co, in Corpus Christi, Tx. Once a week a well dressed,  pretty woman and her husband would visit the restaurant for lunch.

I always enjoyed the days when they came to the restaurant, especially when she would arrive dressed up in a costume to celebrate a particular holiday.  She was a sight to behold!

I remember one Valentine’s Day when she showed up to the restaurant dressed as Cupid.

She wore a red tutu, a headband with a heart on it and fun red boots.  In her hands she held a red arrow, ready to aim at her love.  It was awesome!

As I seated her on this special day, I was excited to watch her as she waited for her beloved’s arrival.

When her husband arrived, and I showed him to the table, I remember her reaching out with her cupid arrow and doing a slight curtsy and giving him a kiss. She had definitely marked her spot on her Valentine.

Watching these two lovebirds, I was impressed at how they connected with each other.  Whether she was waiting for him to show up or they walked together hand in hand, there was always a look of joy on their faces.

I remember as a naive, young girl this couple inspired me to find a husband who cared for his wife and looked at her with such admiration.  I longed for a husband who took delight in seeing me like that each day. 

Thirty years later, I still think about them.I don’t know where they are today. Hopefully, she is still dressing up for her husband.

I want to dress up

Several years ago I read Women From the Ankle Down. In the book, the author talked about how shoes convey how we feel like a woman. You can tell a lot about a person by the shoes she wears. Shoes just make a woman feel good about herself and can transform a simple outfit into something spectacular.

As I think about that, I wonder what Mrs. Cupid felt every time she put on her shoes to join her husband for lunch.  What did she want to say to him as she slipped on her Cupid costume and red boots? Or for that matter, a regular lunch date with her husband?  I’m sure she thought about how she wanted to feel not only about herself but also to have her husband see her as a beautiful woman as well.

Talking to other veteran pilot wives, they’ve learned how to make their husbands feel loved; they do their best to have their pilots leave with a smile on their faces and are happy to return home. I believe that was what Mrs. Cupid was conveying to her husband as she had lunch with him.

A dear friend shared with me to have a successful, loving marriage is to outdo one another.   Basically,  put each other first. As I was reading my bible, I was reminded of this verse, “Love each other with genuine affections, take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12-10( KJV)

“Love each other with genuine affections, take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12-10( KJV) subheading

There’s no doubt in my mind that there was some “outdoing” taking place when this couple came into the restaurant. (In my opinion, she won every week!) They put each first.

I don’t know about you but I’m all about putting my husband first. If I don’t show him I love him and take delight in honoring him, then what does that say to him and our children?

Showing him my love

It’s important that I (we) take the time to plan things that we do together. It was essential before kids, while we had kids (especially little ones), and now with one teenager left at home, and will be when we are empty nesters.

My goal is to be that wife who surprises my husband with whatever shoe I pick out to wear when I’m with him.

In the book Wife-Dressing, by Anne Forgarty ( highlight book) the author states,“The most dangerous threat to a successful wife-dressing is the triumphant cry; I’m married! The battle is won!”

What is wife dressing, you ask? It is an art, a science, a labor of love, a means of self-expression and above all a contributing factor to a happy marriage.  I would suffice to say that like married life itself, how we dress is pretty simple. It requires a frank understanding of yourself, a healthy attitude in your marriage and wanting to please your husband.”

I don’t know about you, but when my pilot returns home from a trip, I want him to know that I took the time to look nice for him, even if it’s putting on a clean t-shirt and making sure my hair is brushed.  If I don’t have time for all that, then I slip on a jacket and a baseball cap.

Side note, if my man is walking in from his travels after 9 pm or better yet, midnight, he gets what he gets. I’m not getting up to put on my heels.

My fellow pilot wives, let’s show our husbands love in ways that are genuine, fun, and that attempt to outdo one another. So dust off those heels in the back of your closet and pick out an outfit that makes you feel pretty. Take him for a night on the town or treat him to a quiet dinner once the kids are in bed.

My prayer for us this week:

God, Thank you for your unconditional love for me. I pray that the love me and my husband share continues to grow deeper and more profound every day. I want to have in our relationship spontaneity and to think of creative ways to outdo each other.  Finally, may we never take for granted the vows that we made, but instead we fulfill them with honor and strength and the willingness to delight in each other.  Amen.

Join  The Takeoff and Landings Facebook  page.  I’ll share with you fun ways to bring extra love into our marriage. I’ll also be showing how other pilot wives creatively shower their pilots with love.

Come join us!

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

I want a letter, not a text..

i want a letter, not a textWhen was the last time you wrote a letter to your husband?

Personally, I can’t remember when I wrote a letter to Jeff. At least not in the last year. But I do remember writing letters in the early years of our marriage.

IMG_0086

These were six pages long!

In those love essays, I would tell him my frustrations of raising our two-year-old daughter,  venting about not being a good mom.  In great detail, I would tell him stories of things they had happened, both good and bad. Most of all I wanted him to know how much I missed him and I would draw little hearts all over the page for added effect.

A week or two later the mailman would deliver a letter that was addressed from Jeff. I remember opening them with excitement!

His letters were encouraging and loving. He didn’t try to solve my frustrations or give advice on how I should be a better mom (okay, maybe there were a few sentences about him trying to solve things). He would share with me about his exciting travels and how he missed being home and to see all the new adventures that our daughter was discovering.

AHHH! Those letters are priceless!

You know what? I miss those letters of communication when he was away, both in receiving and giving.

A letter then, a text today

Nowadays we communicate by text; it’s easier.

I will text him while I’m at home, or running errands or if  I have a quick question about an event or a family commitment that we have. Sometimes, I just say hi, I was thinking about you.

However, I’m embarrassed to admit I become impatient if he doesn’t respond to me immediately. Even if my text was nothing more than an emoji kiss!

In addition to my impatience  I’ve mentally packed a few more expectations in my carry-on:

1. A call asking me how I was doing or just to say, “Hi I was thinking of you.”

2. A listening ear and an understanding, loving and supportive response when we do talk.

3. Call or text starts and ends his day. (I do receive those text or calls more often than not)

As I was lugging around my bag, I began to feel the weight of that, and as I continued to carry it, I became sad the entire time Jeff was away. 

I anticipated how those conversations would go, I waited for those text of a “Good Morning Beautiful or Good night; I love you.”

Thinking about it, that was selfish of me and unfair to Jeff as well.  He had no idea of what I had packed. In doing so, I  removed the potential of loving and grateful communication and conservation with each other. No wonder I was frustrated.

I once heard that in marriage we owe everything to each other but are not owed anything to one another in return; especially in how we hope they would respond to us.

I didn’t want that.

How to let go of weighty expectations

Being a veteran pilot wife, I should know better than to expect my husband to carry the weight of how those conversations should fly.  There are things I should remember…

1. I have control over how I react to my husband’s text messages or calls and whether or not they are what I expected.

2. When I call, and my husband is not available, I need to be more understanding of what is going on in his day.  He’s busy flying and can’t answer his phone.

3. When I do call or text, and I’m venting or letting him know about an event, I need to provide him with the cliff-notes, same as if he were at home.

4. When my husband says,“ Honey, make it fast. I’m about to leave the jetway” to just say, “Okay, I love you. We’ll talk later.”

5. In all likelihood he is not dead or doesn’t want to talk to me, his phone is probably not charged, or he’s just too tired to talk at the moment.

When those negative thoughts creep in, I need to remind myself that he can only do so much when we are apart.

Quite frankly, that it’s hard to do.

Create in me an open heart of response

When I asked other wives how they communicate with their husbands on a trip many of them shared that the majority of the time they will text their spouses throughout the day. Occasionally a long text of whatever is happening at that “vital moment” of the day; maybe a call or FaceTime later in the evening.

A few wives admitted that they too, at times found themselves becoming impatient in not receiving an immediate response from their husbands.

While we never intend to be selfish or set unrealistic expectations, if all our conversations start with “I”… (I expect this, I….), that will ultimately lead to some serious engine/marriage failure!

That’s why this verse that I recently read inspires me,  “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit with me.” ( Psalm 51:10 KJV)

a clean heart, communcation

When we find ourselves carrying a heavy weight of expectations, this verse reminds me that open communication starts with my heart and my spirit.  Otherwise, my conversation with my husband will be hindered.

Is that how I want my communication with Jeff to be like while he is gone?

I want to have an open heart and unobstructed view to take-off while he is away. I pray that God will renew my thoughts when the enemy hands me that carry-on of expectations.

My prayer for us this week:                                                                                                           Lord, communication is hard. It takes constant work with our husbands, especially as they travel and are away for long periods of time.  I know that you are always near and you care about all parts of our lives.  I understand that communication is essential in my marriage.  Often those expectations that I carry often lead to my frustrations.  Show me how to release those moments of heaviness that I have.  In those times of hoping that he knows what I want or prideful moments come on my radar, give me the strength to put aside everything that keeps me walking in wisdom and help me to have a clean heart and right spirit within me.  Amen.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Love for you to fly over to The Takeoff and Landings Facebook page. Where we can talk and encourage each other while living this life.

Timing your Communication….

Shoe of Communication

Do you ever find yourself having to make a communication connection with your pilot when he’s home?

I know I do from time to time.

Throughout our marriage, I have learned the ups and downs of talking (or sharing) with him in a way that benefits both of us. I’m an early bird communicator while is Jeff is a night owl communicator.

We have two different arrivals of waking up in the morning: I’m ready to talk around 7:30 am. I have my own personal PW(pilot wife) checklist to share, whereas Jeff is not eager to speak until at least nine or ten in the morning.

We’re definitely not flying the same flight path!

Being married to a pilot, I have come to the realization that it is important to have a strategy in making the right communication connection that gets us to the same destination!

Our cup of coffee talk

Have you heard the phrase actions speak louder than words?

Because of our different communication styles, on those mornings when Jeff is home I put those actions into practice.

I will bring him a cup of coffee in a way that he won’t experience a sudden wake of turbulence.  I won’t put the coffee cup on the nightstand next to the bed.  No, I set it gently on the small table opposite of the bed, doing my best to create a soft landing with no bumps or spills.

IMG_0033

I communicate with coffee.

Then I walk over to his side of the bed, open up the blinds to let the sunlight in and give him a morning kiss and touch and whisper good morning.

Rather than yell, “Its time to get up, so I can make the bed!” I’ve visually communicated with action and tenderness.

If you were to ask my pilot if he enjoys his cup of communication, he would say yes, because it makes him feel appreciated and loved.

The kiss, the touch, the coffee, they were all a form of connection that works for us.

It’s all in the delivery

When talking with my husband I have learned a few flight patterns to do and not to do while he is home.

In doing so, my efforts can quickly take off in an entirely different direction than planned.

1.Don’t share that you’re ready to put the kids on the next one-way flight to “Kids are driving me crazy” town, where they stay for the duration of their remaining life.

Do say, “Honey here is a glass of (your favorite drink). When you have a moment, I’d like to share with you how I wanted to open up the emergency door, slide down to safe ground, and leave all the little people that were being rude and loud.”

2. Don’t share everything that’s going on with your friends or family all at once. Especially when he first gets up the morning or works on his schedule. BIG NO, NO!

Do reach over to touch his arm or rub your fingers through his hair and ask if you can have his undivided attention as you share the bullet points about your friends and family.

(I’m confident he will enjoy taking the time to listen to you)

3. Don’t get mad if your pilot says he forgot about something you’d mentioned earlier or was not listening to what you had just said ten minutes ago.

Do make a check-list of events or something that needs his attention in the desired time frame. If you need to write it down, so he can visually see’s what is going on.

How we approach things is very important in how we communicate with our husbands. It’s critical that everything isn’t critical, less drama, facts, figures and desired outcome.

While these are just a few of the ways I’ve learned to best communicate with my husband, please know that it may not look the same for you and your pilot.  We all have different shoes we wear when we talk with our pilots.

I have had my fair share of failed moments in wearing the best pair of shoes of communication. I’m sure there will be more.

Always sound cool on the radio;  Smooth delivery makes for better communication

As a wife of a pilot pre-planning is essential as how we want the conversation to take off. Timing is vital in how we want to steer the direction of what it is we would like to share.

I will be first to admit there are times in my marriage where I forget how my words will affect my husband. I must be careful in how I approach my thoughts and concerns to Jeff.

While it is great to have something to say,  it is also important to think about it first. 

Recently, I asked other PW’s(pilot wives) to share how they handle communication when their husbands are home.

“It would never go over well for me to tell my husband what we are or are not going to do.  If we disagree on something and yet he sees how important it is to me, and I’ve respectfully discussed it, he always supports me,” one wife shared.

I could relate to what she said, about respect in voicing our thoughts to each other.

When I tell Jeff about our son’s behavior or an issue with the house, and I have presented a clear reason for my decision, he has supported me.  I have done the same in return.

A few other wives said that they never force their husbands to talk when he says I don’t want to talk about this right now, or if he says, I’m working on my schedule, let’s talk later.

Y’all when Jeff says that he doesn’t want talk, etc., I will find myself (at times) wanting to communicate with some shoe stomping. But I have learned to walk away with grace and try again at a better time. 

“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” Proverbs 15-28 NLT“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.” Proverbs 15-28 NLTThis verse is an excellent reminder that we should be careful with our words and how we respond with an answer.   We, I, should do so in a wise and timely way.  If I babble it will just cause a reaction that I did not want and was not prepared for.

It often leads to sudden relational  turbulence in the form of an unwanted argument

Do we want that? I know I don’t.

Respect is like a small carry-on, easy to deal with when traveling.  A trunk of frustrations and disrespect is a lot harder to handle on a daily basis.

Communication is a choice.

You and I have a choice in the shoes we put on.  They can look ugly and dirty (complaining or mean) or well-taken care of and fit well (kind, respectful and loving).

I  have a choice in how I wish to communicate to my husband.

There was a quote I read the other day, “People might not always tell you how they feel about you, but they will show you by the way they treat you.” 

When I bring Jeff a cup of coffee in the morning, it’s telling him that I love him. I start the day with the right shoe.  I enjoy that!

In those early mornings when I wake up before my husband does, it gives me time to pray, enjoy my coffee and ask God to show me ways I can better communicate with my husband as well as to be careful not to spill the coffee.

My prayer  for you and for me :

Lord, help me to love my husband the way you show us, love.  Give me strength and understanding each day. Give me a tender heart. A heart that doesn’t keep a record of wrongdoings.  May I be wise and appropriate in a way that gives my husband the respect he deserves.  In James 1:19  it is read, “You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.”  I pray that as a couple we are careful in our words and listen with thoughtfulness. I ask that we are patient and understanding of each others time. Help me to be able to communicate love to my husband. Amen.

 Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Love for you to fly over to The Takeoff and Landings Facebook page. Where we can talk and encourage each other while living this life.