The Six Things I’m Packing This Year?

Do you have a particular way you pack your suitcase? 

Do you pre-plan what you’re going to take weeks in advance or, PW, do you fly by the seat of pants?

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Me? I’m a plan-ahead packer.  I check the weather for my upcoming destination (usually ten days in advance), gather my 2-oz bottles and mentally begin deciding which outfits I want to take.  I’m sure it drives my husband crazy.  After all, he does travel on a weekly basis, and half of his stuff is already in a bag.

 While it may be easy for our pilots to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice, we PW’s many of us may not be so adventurous. But this year I want to flip the switch. I want to say, “Where are going and what do I need to pack?” when my husband invites me with him on a trip. It won’t be easy to do this, but I think it will grow me and our marriage as well.

My packing list for 2019

For the New Year, my goal is to pack items that will get me out of my comfort zone. When 2019 comes to a close, I hope that I will have grown and matured into an accomplished traveler God intended me to be. And I learned to pack without overthinking my choices. 

I’m choosing this new way of traveling because last year was a challenging, yet encouraging year for me. I finally found my writing voice. (I still need that extra voice of from editor, but I’ve found my own to share with others.)

Whether we realize it or not, all of us are approaching a new year with new arrivals in our lives.

That means we might need to pack a little differently going forward. For me,  I’m going to make sure I have the following with me whenever I had out on a journey.

 1.The idea that  I don’t have to conquer “everything” at once. Jeff and I have entered the Empty Nest season of life…  Do I have to have it all figure out immediately? No!  I had one PW tell me to relish in the spontaneity, have no agenda and think of ourselves as newlyweds. It’s a process, and it takes time to adjust.

2. To not immediately say no to new opportunities just because I don’t know the outcome. I want to be flexible and dare to try something different. When Jeff says we’re going someplace warm, I’m going to have my swimsuit ready, even though I don’t feel pretty enough.

3. To not overthink past failures and regrets.  In the past, I often compared myself to other women and believed that I wasn’t a good mom. Many times I wouldn’t speak up as a wife and admit to needing help or wanting my own joy. This year, I’m letting that go and promising myself to be more vocal of my needs rather than stuffing them in a bag.

4. To be true to me.  If I had a one-word mantra for the new year, I immediately said, “My voice.” In 2018 I found my voice in so many different ways, and I want to continue strengthening in 2019.

5. To not get so wrapped up in the jacket of discouragement. Instead of wrapping myself in defeat, I want to wear the coat of encouragement that reminds me I’m doing what is best for my child. Yes, my son is at boarding school. Having him attend this school will be awesome for him in so many areas of his teenage life. I want the best for my son. I want him to excel and shine into what God has for him. 

6. Find a sense of adventure and be willing to take risks. My girls told me over the holidays that I needed to revisit that girl.  They encouraged me to take that trip to Paris, go out on date nights and be bold in voicing what I want. They both unanimously said, “Its time, Mom, its time!”

6 things i will pack 2019

 

 

A new bag for 2019 

So my fellow PW’s, when you pull out your suitcase to a new destination, pick out the things that will bring you boldness, the willingness to be flexible and spontaneous and adventurous.  More importantly, the one outfit that makes you, you!

 

 

 

How will you pack for 2019? What goals do you hope to accomplish, or what word will guide as your travel through the year? Leave a comment; I’d love to hear what it is!

Happy New Year!

Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

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What Are You Waiting for This Christmas?

Hope.

Peace.

Love.

Joy.

In preparation for Christmas this year, my goal was to focus on these four words. Not only that, I wanted to see how these Christmas promises intersected with what I’m currently needing and waiting for.

These last few months I’ve been yearning for hope, seeking peace, trying to find that loving feeling and waiting for the joy to overtake me. There are moments when they come, and when they are fleeting. 

To help me re-discover these things, I planned to sit in my chair with a cup of coffee and read a daily devotional to welcome in the season of Advent. (This is a great book to learn more about Advent).IMG_0504

But you know what they say about the best of intentions … and unfortunately, I haven’t been fully committed to reading my Advent devotions as I had hoped for. When I do sit down, within minutes my thoughts turn to what needs to done right now from my never-ending to-do list.

Ever been there?

While I haven’t focused on these words as I’d planned, I have still managed to figure out a few things in respect to them.

What I need

I’m not sure why this always happens to me at Christmas, but as I reflect on things this holiday season, I see that I have experienced some of these things already:

1. Hope. God knows my struggles and frustrations. He offers me hope in the difficult times. Recently,  I‘ve shared some struggles we’re having with our son. In the last few weeks, God has placed people in my path to offer me support, and hope. They’ve shared their own stories of struggles with their child. I’m forever blessed God brought those mamas to me.

2. Peace. The peace I receive from His equipping is what allows me to survive each day. He brings me encouragement in areas where I need it most.  It gets me through those moments where I want to yell and lose my mom cool or beat myself up cause I feel I’m failing as a writer when I can’t focus.

3.  Love. I try finding love in all circumstances and focus on the blessings. God’s direction can sometimes be hard, but in those circumstances, God loves me and has a plan. Not only for me but those I love as well.

4. Joy. The joy I have when I see a smile or hear “I love you” from my children and husband. It’s in those little moments that I’m reminded that joy comes at times of unexpected moments.

Let me ask you, as you reflect on these four things – hope, peace, love, and joy – how have they been supplied to you this holiday season or this past year?

It’s important that we take time to look back so we can better plan and anticipate what is to come.

What I’m hoping for

I don’t know about you, but this time of year I think about what God has blessed me with and how He has traveled alongside me during seasons of stress and worry.

As we get closer to Christmas, and the New Year approaches, I have faith God has it all planned out. He knows the steps I’m to take, the prayers I’ve lifted to Him. More importantly, that I’m to trust him.

 

This coming year I’ve been in prayer about what is to come…

1. A New Hope. I’ve had a few mentors (excellent, God-fearing friends) tell me I have a story to share. A story of hope, healing, faith, and encouragement. Now it’s time to make the commitment and share it.  In the new year, I will be focusing on writing a memoir of how God has brought me healing and hope.

2.  A New Peace. To have peace that I’m a good mom. God has a plan for my son. I’m to trust that God has it all under control. My son has his own story, and it’s just beginning.

3.  A New Love. Date my husband. Whether it’s going on spontaneous trips to a warm destination or putting those golf lessons to use and playing 18 holds with him, I want to have fun with my pilot and shower love on him.

4. A New Joy. Discover an unexpected joy in trying new things and entering a new season of my life.

As we travel into the new year, do you find yourself hoping to bring a dream to life, for peace in a situation, experiencing love on a new level, or rekindling the joy you once had, but hope to see again? Don’t worry you’re not alone! We are all traveling this journey together!

My hope as we celebrate Christmas and approaching of a new year is that we each find a renewal of hope, peace love and joy.

Isn’t that what we all want as we travel into 2019? Please say ‘Yes’, because I want that for us too!

But these things may take time to meet us, and that’s okay. Waiting is hard, but it’s always worth it. In her book, Come Lord Jesus: The weight of Waiting, Kris Camerly writes, “The advent season provides us beautiful, and sometimes difficult, opportunities to practice waiting. We won’t do it perfectly. There will likely be more tasks, more invitations and more opportunities for distraction on our calendars then we can manage.” Oh, but when the wait is over, it’s glorious!!

So when it comes to hope, peace, love, and joy, what is it you need and what is it you hope for? Leave a comment and let’s share and encourage one another!

And finally….

Merry Christmas, my PW.  May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

P.S. Be on the lookout for new things with Take-off and Landings for 2019!

LOVE FOR YOU TO FLY ON OVER TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE.  

IMG_3765  Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

 

 

How to Discover Your Next Steps When You’re Re-routed.

 

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If I had a dollar whenever someone asked me where Jeff was flying to, I’d be one wealthy woman!  The majority of the time I tell people, “I have no idea. His route changes all the time because of weather, late arrivals or they need him to fly a different trip then was scheduled. There’s no set route.” ( Go here to read more PW questions I get asked.)

As much as we like predictability in life, we know that life is anything but predictable. There are always constant changes and re-routes thrown our way.

So, my PW girlfriend let me ask you… Do you fly the same route? Do you have a specific itinerary for your day, your week, or even the next five years?

I know, I know. You must be thinking – Wait, you’re kidding, right?

I feel as if I always have to shift my routing from one place to another. Whether, it’s five minutes, a week or the next five years, I’m always thinking and praying about what’s next.

What’s the best route for me?

This morning I listened to a podcast, “Girls Night Out,” with Stephanie Wilson.  The guest speaker was Emily P. Freeman, who was sharing how she discovered what the “Next Right Thing” was for her. In other words, what is the next best route for me at this time in my life,  and for the season I’m in?

Listening to Emily, I started to question what my next step was. What do I need to be doing or changing in my life right now? It can be making goals you want to accomplish, losing weight, perusing a career or opening a business. It’s your journey.

next steps re-routed

  What’s my direction?

We all find ourselves planning, preparing, and making a check-list for our day-to-day operations. But when life throws us off course and we are to figure out how to bring back focus that’s when Emily said, “Ask yourself what makes sense to me today?”

Thinking about that, I asked myself what makes the most sense for me right now and remembered I needed to take the clothes out of the dryer. ( literally, I was thinking that)

But yet, I still have more significant questions about the bigger things in my life. What makes sense for me to focus not only today but a month from now, six months or even a year from now.

Recently I’ve struggled to figure out what’s next in certain aspects of my life. To be honest, some of them cause my anxiety levels to rise, but at the same time I find myself more courageous as I pursue the things that really matter to me :

1. What to do about my writing journey? I’ve been writing continuously for a year now, and I’ve seen myself evolving and changing the way I think and write. I’ve been more willing to share my struggles and vulnerability that wasn’t there before. Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with opening up my heart. But as I sit down at my computer and search for the words that will bring hope and love to other women I’m compelled to keep moving forward.

2. What can I do to bring hospitality back into my life?  A Book Club, Supper Club, something that allows me to open my heart and doors to a community of women who enjoy reading, eating and sharing the love of God. But being hospitable requires courage to step out, invite others to join me, and let go my control. (which is a whole another  story!).

3. What is the next step in my season of parenting a teenage boy? I often find myself on my knees praying for wisdom and direction. At the moment I’m fearful of where God’s path may be in leading us concerning our son’s next season of life. Letting go and trusting that God knows what is my son’s best thing is hard.

When is all said and done, the heart question I need to be asking is: Am I willing to change my route or am I going to stay grounded in fear?  Sometimes that is a difficult question to ask.

These are the things that have me questioning my current flight path and the possibility of re-routing. I’m having to approach things differently as a woman, a mom, and a wife. For you, it might be something else.

next steps re-routed (1)

There are days when turbulent moments/events will happen.  When they do, I remind myself  of one of my favorite go-to verses: “Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.” Proverbs 3:6 CEV 

When it comes to offering advice on the best possible route or step someone should take, I’ll admit, I’m no expert. When I question my path, I rely on God to show me. He always makes it clear to me what my next route is.

What will you choose when things change, and you’re to consider when life is re-routed? What will be your next step be?

fullsizeoutput_4b1   Take-off and Landings always, Tiffany

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When Staying Calm as a PW Matters.

staying calm (1)My daughter was two-year-old, and I’d made plans to meet my girlfriend, Melissa, for dinner. Within minutes of having drinks delivered to our table, my beautiful little girl spilled a full glass of coke and “something” all over my side of the table where the whole drink made its way to my pants and the seat I was in.

So what did I do?

I immediately grabbed a few napkins and moved my daughter out of range of the spill and began cleaning up. When I finished, we were both wet and sticky from my drink. Our excellent waiter immediately brought me a new glass along with crayons and a coloring book. While my daughter entertained herself with her new toy, Melissa and I chatted, laughed, and shared our frustrations of having our then Navy husbands gone.

Despite the earlier splash adventure, we managed to enjoy the time we had together.

The next day Melissa called me and said she was impressed with my calmness and patience when Paige spilled my drink. “I don’t know how you do it, and I would’ve gone crazy and want to leave,” Melissa voiced to me. 

Say What?

Looking back on that day, all I wanted to do was run away from the restaurant and hide in a corner to question why I didn’t bring toys, even if it was just a coloring book, for my child.  A good mom would have done that.

Yes, I was seriously thinking this.

In my eyes, I had failed at keeping my child distracted so she wouldn’t spill my drink.  I was anything but calm at the moment.

I know I can be calm in a situation. But I fail on many occasions.

Can you relate?

Winging it as a Mom

staying calm

In those moments when calmness eludes me and panic sets in, all I want to do is call or text Jeff with my aggravation. ( mind you this happened 23 years ago, there was no texting or emojis) If something like that would’ve happened now, I would’ve expressed myself on the phone or texted him with those little emojis.

But aren’t we all like that?  As a mom, I will get emotional, state my reason for getting upset and look for a solution anything from grounding to something that will bring unhappy consequences.

Even today, raising two adult girls and a teenager, I’m on a wing and a prayer when it comes to motherhood and life. My take-off and landing percentage is about 50% between smooth and rocky. But in my struggles and many seasons of motherhood, I’ve learned a few things about myself:

1. Take time for yourself. Do something every day for you. When my child spills a drink, or my teenager acts out, it’s then when I go hide in my bathroom or go outside, breathe, and remind myself that this too will pass.

2. Do your best. Try not to nag yourself with thoughts of “I messed up.” I’ll give all my best in this season of my life.  I also look to others for help and support because I’ve learned my best isn’t necessarily a solo job.

3. Laugh. Laugh at those spills, those arguments. I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes. There are days where I want to cry and be mad.  In the end, all that stuff eventually works its self out.

I’m glad I’ve learned these things about myself as I’m constantly putting them into action. Just last week, I  got upset with my son, raised my voice and threw a shoe. Don’t worry I didn’t throw anything at my teenager, but oh boy, I wanted to! It was about respect, homework, and boundaries. All the big issues that are at the forefront of raising a teenager.  I was anything but calm! ( Melissa are you reading this?)

When my rage passed, – a couple hours later- I used these things I learned of walking away, telling myself I’m not perfect in the way I reacted, and eventually laughed to calm myself down.

Packed with Expectations

Although there are days when I’m calm, whether it was sitting in that restaurant many years ago or today, I still struggle as a mom:

  • The expectations I put on myself.
  • The comparison game I play against other mothers.
  • The guilt I carry in my less-than-calm reactions.

But to hear my friend say she didn’t see me freak-out or scream gives me hope and encouragement. That maybe, I’m not a bad mom after all.

So hang on to that. Whatever season you’re traveling in remember to carry with you a bag of grace, hope, love. You might even bring a shoe or two to throw at something, not a someone. LOL!

We all fly a plane packed with mom challenges. I’d love to know what your challenges are and if you’ve been encouraged by someone. Leave a comment and let’s start a mom conversation.

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fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings, Always, Tiffany