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.

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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.

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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.