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 to drown its victim). 


Lucy’s smile before the Racoon fight.  Gotta love that smile!

Honestly, I had no clue what to do. 

My boys, however, thought that shooting the raccoon with a bb gun was the solution. Sure 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 during 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.  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.


IMG_3765   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 our own water emergencies.

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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

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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.