A Present of Perspective.

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Nestled in a comfy spot on the couch with my iPad, I was about to click on Pinterest and look for tree ideas for a Farm House Christmas when my husband comes into the living room with an announcement.  He suddenly has a great idea about the master bath downstairs and suggests we move our bedroom to the first floor.  He gave me a whole plan of what we could do. 

What? I just wanted to figure out where to put a Christmas tree.

Within minutes my thoughts went from a Christmas tree to a bathroom makeover.  Do you want to know what my first concern was when he landed the idea into my lap?

The downstairs bathroom only has one sink! How am I going to go to his and her sink and abundant counter space to one sink?  Not only that, if we move our master bedroom downstairs, it means I have to move my office upstairs. What will happen to my sanctuary?

Here I was merely thinking about where to put the Christmas tree.  Maybe I should just put the tree in the bathroom and call it done. (hahaha)

So for the last few days, I have been thinking about a bathroom remodel and where to put the tree. Both of them require rearranging things.  I tend to rearrange things in my home as therapy.  Though, right now, I see a different kind of treatment may be with wine.

The view I wish to have

I once read If you want a different perspective change your view.  Let’s face it a new bathroom and rearranging the furniture for the Christmas tree will definitely change my view.

But I’m also praying for a new perspective on some big decisions and new paths that God has me on. All of which overwhelm me. Honestly, I could use a new perspective in quite a few areas this time of year:

1.Holiday expectations. I have hopes of how our home will look to who will be here.  How much are we going to spend on our kids and family? Since Jeff’s schedule changes from year to year, will we do family dinner or breakfast this time of year? My expectations might need a new view this holiday season.

2. A new remodel.  Not only for the bathroom but for me as well. It will mean new surroundings, a different view than what I have now. If you know me, I’m not good with change. How am I going to adjust to having a less counter space to share? It’s called flexibility. 

3.A change of plans. What does God have for me right now in this season of my life? I’ve been thinking more and more about writing a memoir and the commitment that it would take.  Not only that, there are changes I want to make in my ministry to my PW tribe.

As I walk through these changes, it’s a good reminder that the best growth comes from rearranging and looking at things from a different view than before.  When we see the finished product, we find a surprising joy that we didn’t expect.

The outcome will be beautiful 

When I shared this story with a close friend of mine, she reminded me that finding that perfect place for the tree to remodeling a room in my home can be chaotic.

She also encouraged me to be open to a new outlook of what God has planned.  Cause life is a story. You have a start, a little conflict, and obstacles to overcome all of which lead to a beautiful ending that you didn’t expect.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29;11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29;11Text placeholder

 

God gives me hope to what is to come.  A beautiful arrangement of his forever love and blessing. Although I’m fretting about these things, I’m grateful God has a plan, His perspective on how things will be.

Just like when my husband comes to me and says that we should toy with the idea of redoing the bathroom and moving our bedroom downstairs, there is a plan in the making.   But all I can see is chaos and construction.

 

Isn’t in those times we should open our minds and hearts to welcome those changes?

My PW, are you looking for a new perspective on something?  If so, let me assure you’re not alone!

This holiday season I pray you find a new way of looking at things, be open to change, and expect the unexpected. Maybe some of them will come with a big red bow around them.

If you have any rearranging to do or remodeling projects on the horizon, leave me a comment below. That way we can commiserate together!

Love for you to fly on over to my facebook page.  

 

IMG_3765 Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany

Daughters of a Pilot…

IMG_6289Raising kids and having my husband travel comes with its challenges. There have been times that I’ve questioned my mothering skills and have become so frustrated that I would cry if his trips were one day too many.

A couple of weeks ago I asked my adult daughters how they felt about their dad traveling. More importantly, I was curious how they saw me as I was carrying that extra parenting bag on my own.

Paige, my oldest daughter, was little more descriptive in her answers. I guess you could say the firstborn view came out in her. Paige was born into the military life with Jeff who was gone for 6 months at a time and was surrounded by other kids who had their dad gone for long periods as well. Paige was a strong-willed child and still is. She would let you know if she was unhappy and she was definitely not afraid to speak her mind.  Now that she in her early twenties she has become an amazing young woman. She is independent and strong, like her mother. She works full-time for a start-up company in Austin.  Surprisingly, she and her sister, Jillian, live together!

My youngest daughter, Jillian, has always been the wise, old soul kind of girl. She often tells me to settle down, or says, “Mom, you gotta pick your battles with Tobin or Adin.”  Jillian helped me a great deal when I was dealing with health issues, and she immediately stepped up and helped out with family responsibilities that I couldn’t handle at that time. I will always be grateful and blessed for her help and attitude. She is in her early twenties now and works at a Flour Mill. In addition to her job, she is a part-time student at a Junior College in Austin studying  Organic Farming.

Here are the five thought-provoking questions I had asked my girls….

  1. What’s it like having a dad who travels all the time?

Jillian: I’ve never thought it was that weird because that’s how it’s always been! It’s cool that any city I go to he has recommendations. The opportunities to travel both as a kid with the family and now as an adult is amazing and all the trips we’ve been able to take because of his job is incredible… not something to take for granted!

Paige: Kind of annoying. But it just becomes life. At some point, I realized how weird it would be if dad was home all the time and how annoying that would be. 

As a little girl, teenager and now in my early twenties?

  • Because everything was about ‘me’ when I was little, it felt like a personal thing. Like “oh dad doesn’t care if he misses my birthday.” – not true 
  • As a teenager, I started adopting my own independence. I didn’t take it as personally. It was just the way our house worked. I got to have his car when he was home. 
  • Now, I’m an adult. It doesn’t bother me. I learned to crave the space from growing up the way I did, watching mom and dad orbit around each other to an extent. Occasionally, I’ll call dad and the call with go straight to voicemail and I know he’s flying; I just know to call him in an hour or two and fix problems myself. 

2. Did you learn to play-off on Dad and I when he was on a trip? How was I when dad was gone?

Jillian: Mom is the person to ask about most things but for the “big” decisions you talk it through with mom and get the final vote of approval from dad. Dad’s harder to talk to sometimes and sometimes more strict… but I think that’s based off military experience, not pilot life. Mom was always firm on “I’m the same person no matter if dads here or not” so not much of difference.

Paige: Not consciously? Mom, obviously, took the brunt of the parenting just because of proximity. 

  • Was I scared of Dad for a long time? Yeah. He was the hammer. He would get home and whatever trouble I got in 3 days ago was suddenly remembered. It was like “ah I love my dad but he’s scary.” He’s really tall and his voice is really deep, it as a lot for me sometimes.  
  • Mom was a little more stressed out with dad gone. She had 2 kids to take to school, a dinner to cook alone. Then, we decided to add another lil baby in the mix. At a few points, mom had a job so she was doing all that plus working with dad being gone. She constantly had to tell her friends “oh Jeff is flying, he can’t be here.” In a world where a women’s place is based on her husband’s success (and arguably, availability) I think that was hard. Some of mom’s friends just didn’t get it I think. 

 

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3. Did you enjoy your dad being gone? Cause I recall a few times you girls asked when he was leaving.

Jillian: Sometimes! Because he gets antsy when he’s home too long! But also sometimes I’d think “hmm when is dad gonna be home for longer than a day or two?” when we were working on a project or he got called in semi-unexpectedly.

Paige: Yes, sometimes. We were a house full of girls. He was (and is) this giant man who booms around the house. I’m making him sound like a giant, but he’s not. He just takes up space. Like any human does. 

  • Me and dad butted heads a lot as I got older. When I was mad at him, it was great having him gone. I didn’t have to deal with tip-toeing around him trying to be nice when I was fuming. 

4. Were you ever worried about Dad flying? If so, Why?

Jillian: No. I think flying with him in smaller planes 1-on-1 and seeing his knowledge really solidified how much knowledge he has about flying/air safety that I can’t even grasp.  He’s also an observant guy who always talks about issues in the news/scary stories openly and I’ve never doubted he can think smart and quick to manage any situation.

Paige:  During 9/11 yes. I remember that day. 

  • When your dad is a pilot, there’s just always a certain amount of fear associated with the profession. Being 30,000 Ft. in the air in a metal tube isn’t a natural place for humans to be. So, of course, it’s a little scary. You have to become comfortable with accepting the fact something bad might happen. You have to trust that things will turn out. 
  • When dad started flying with a gun and going to the shooting range, that’s when the danger of what he did set in a little bit. 
  • When I was little I remember sobbing when he left. I thought he was never going to come back. I totally just neglected the fact that he already flew airplanes every day. 
  • There was a night in college when I woke up from a dream and dad had died in a flying accident. It was 5am and I called mom and dad. It’s a scary dream, my worst nightmare, but it’s just a fear. 

5. What have you learned by having a dad who’s a pilot?

Jillian:  Airports aren’t scary or stressful unless you make them that way. Time management is the key to life.

Paige: Traveling is fun. 

  • Traveling is stressful. 
  • Traveling is taxing, emotionally and physically. 
  • Traveling is worth it. 
  • I will forever have a love for aviation. If I get to retire early, or ever get to have time in my 30s, I would like to learn how to fly. Just for fun. 
  • The space mom and dad had in their relationship is rare, and they made space work for them. They had to establish a lot of trust. As an adult, I’ve realized I couldn’t live with someone who comes home and lives in my world every day. Having a dad that traveled and a mom that stayed at home made me live with 2 very independent parents. They trusted each other and were really a team in both providing for the family and raising us. For the most part, they made it look easy, even though I know it wasn’t. 

Just for fun, I asked the girls what they told friends if they asked what their dad’s job was…

Jillian: My dad flies airplanes and its cool. My friends thought the same thing. Plain and simple.

Paige: What he did for work and what he did in child rearing are 2 different things, but related. 

  • When I say my dad is a pilot, people think it’s cool. It allowed him to do adopt a pilot with my 5th-grade class. Now when I say my dad is a pilot, it’s usually followed up with explaining how much training he had to do to get there — I have a lot of friends who are scared to fly. I’m like “get over it, my dad is a pilot. He literally has to go through so much training.”
  • But, raising us, he made me f*** work for s***. Sorry for the profanity but it’s true! 
  • When I left for college and didn’t have a car, was living with 14 other college students in a house, and had little money my friends were like “Wait, what? Won’t your dad help you with school? Why do you have to have a job? So mean.”
  • Now I describe him as an airline pilot, highly intelligent, if not conservative-leaning, hard-working dad who worked really hard so we could live comfortably growing up. He loves me, he loves our family, but he’ll also give me advice + compliments sometimes at weird times. Imagine being home although Christmas and having your dad say “Have your own finances together before you get married, you should buy your own house.” Or running a half marathon and at mile 8 having him say “Just so you know, I really like who you are as an adult.” Dad is a low-key feminist, but he wouldn’t say that. But he is. He has always prompted us to provide for ourselves, be able to be independent, to not need to depend on anyone else. 
  • When I tell my friends those stories, they laugh. You never really know what dad is going to say or do next. He might rent a plane and fly to Tampa, he might buy a tiny boat, he might have to have an emergency landing on a trip. His life is more exciting than he thinks it is. 

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WOW! After reading their honest answers, I cried. But a proud cry.  As a mom, I felt like I wasn’t there for them as I wanted to be. I was surviving from sun-up to sundown. I yelled, slammed doors from time to time, and I’d cry in my closet or behind a locked door.locked.  I tried hard not to reveal the ugly side of me, but more often than not, I did just that.

Lest you think I forgot about my son for this interview, I promise I didn’t! I was going to ask Tobin these questions as well, being a teenager I knew his answers would only be one-word sentences. So I’ll wait a few more years to ask.

If you’re a young mom, a mom in the teenage season or have adult children just remember that you’re doing a great job. Your kids see that.  I had a friend tell me, “The seasons you are in with motherhood become different only cause you get different.”

I couldn’t agree more. 

photography of aircraft wing

Take-off and Landings, Always Tiff

A Pilot Wife’s Mother’s Day…

pilot's wife mother's day

“I have always told my husband that however Mother’s Day “went down” would be a direct indicator of what Father’s Day would look like. We do have that advantage with Mother’s Day being first.” – Wife of a Pilot

Several weeks ago I asked a group of pilot wives what they wanted for Mother’s Day. After reading their answers, there was one common bond between all of us: appreciation, love and the chance to relax.

Here are the Top 5 ideal gifts that PW’s dream of —

1.  A day off to enjoy going to a  spa

A day to relax, me, myself, and I.  This was a first class dream for the majority of wives.

Is it too much to ask that we want “me” time to relish in quiet and finish a thought? Or have a massage with scented oils that relive some of the stressful knots in our shoulders or arms from picking up toys and little people?

Right now, I dream of a spa day! I have an aching knot that is throbbing intensely from the stress of a teenager, from sitting at the computer, and from selling our house in Florida. Need I go on?

2.  A chance to work in the yard and putter around

Being able to plant and play in the garden was another popular request several wives posted.  “Oh, the eternal hope and promise of a seed,” one wife noted. As  I become older and witness my children maturing into adulthood, there is something about the promise of a seed (child) and watching it grow.

For me, I would love for the stupid squirrels to stop eating my precious flowers. Thanks to these invaders, the flowers I planted a few months ago are half chewed on or dug up from the squirrels thinking there are nuts are in the soil.

3. Vacation by myself

Vacation all by myself? Is that possible?

One PW stated that she was going camping with her son.  We all chimed in that she would receive the Mother’s Day reward! It’s a semi-vacation by yourself.  Another wife commented, “Well, maybe with an air mattress, a down comforter and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot.”

I loved this idea from a girlfriend, “Every Mother’s Day I only want a night away with my other mommy friends at a hotel – a full 24 hours off! It’s the best, and I look forward to it every year!!” Now that’s a gift!

Just last week for our anniversary, my husband and I took a weekend trip to the hill country and stayed at a B&B. I almost told him to leave me here after our time together so I could write and enjoy the birds chirping and the sights and colors of the wildflowers. Of course not having a teenager argue with me about taking out the trash, or having the dog following me to go out to use the restroom, would also be a vacation benefit.  Side note: I do have a great teenager, he’s just a teenager.

4. House cleaned and organized

If you’re like me, I love a clean and organized house. When I had little ones running around the house, the most important Mother’s Day gift for me was to have a neat and tidy home.

Clearly, I’m not the only one. One overworked and weary wife flew in with, “I want my house to stay spotlessly clean (without me doing it) for an entire week!”  Another one cried, “I just want the lines in our carpet to resemble I vacuumed. Is that asking too much?” There was one wife who pushed the called button and said she would love to have her husband send a cleaning lady and a professional cook for the days when he’s away.

Personally, I would just like my teenager to stop wiping his hands on the railing as he goes up the stairs to his room. Or have a meeting of the minds with the dust bunnies to stop leaving their mark on my floor. I also have issues with an unorganized closet, drawers, and kitchen pantry. I have a friend that is an organizer by trade, and she recommended that I go online to napo.net to get some awesome advice and ideas.  I’ll do that after my massage.

5. Spend the day with my family

While it’s not always a popular choice for moms, it can have its own reward.

A PW friend shared with me a heartwarming Mother’s day moment with her family, “One financially lean year when my husband was gone, I gave each child 3 dollars and drove to the dollar store. I waited in the car. They came out so proud!!!!! They each picked out some trinkets, and the cashier lady even threw in a balloon. It was probably the most precious Mother’s Day. Brings a tear to my eye today. They were five and nine years old.” I don’t know about you but receiving a handmade or thoughtful gift from your kids is priceless.

I have been a mother of 3 incredible kids and one special little boy that came into our lives for a just a few years.  As I think about Mother’s day I just have to remind myself that I’m a good mom. I’m not a great mom. I make mistakes. Who doesn’t? But when I see my children smile, bring me a homemade card or gift or just want to sit in my lap, I can’t help but feel that is the best gift of all. IMG_0697

My friends, may you have a beautiful Mothers Day.  I hope you get your house cleaned and organized (even it’s just for a day or two), the chance to putter around or plan a trip just for you, and above all, to spend time with those you love and who allow you to wear the title, Mom.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

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

A Pilot’s Wife Vows

Pilot's wife Vows

I, ____________________, take you, _______________, to be my lawfully wedded pilot, to have and hold, from this day forward, in turbulence and delays, for richer and for first-year pay, in sickness when you are gone or home, and in health until either you or I take off to the pearly gates.

I also do solemnly swear to be your one and only pilot wife.

I promise to remember:

To take your uniforms to be pressed or to wash and iron when ready for departure.

How to get around in a new city and remember to always to have my passport updated as well as our kids.

The names of the airport abbreviations as well as military time.

That the only constant thing in our life is flexibility on both our parts.

That it’s me that sets the mood for your arrival and departure.

I promise to follow:

You in an airport terminal cause you know where to go.

You to the tropical islands when you say let’s go.

You if or when you choose to live close to the airport to reduce commuting.

Your lead when there is a sudden change in reroutes or flight plans that will affect our family.

I promise to remind you:

Of important dates when I would like you to be home for.

 Not to forget your work badge/headphones/ and jacket if needed.

About birthdays, anniversaries, or other special memories that are coming up.

I’m not here to pack our unpack your bag. (unless asked)

I love you regardless that you put your towel on the floor, leave your suitcase in an area where I trip on it, or you forget food on the counter cause you are in a hurry to get to work.

That sometimes life is not a check-list.

I promise to try to:

Make friends for me and find couples that we can go out with.

Be more patient when appliances break when you’re gone or I have to go to the emergency room by myself for a child’s sprained or broken ligament.

Be flexible when you call to say you have been delayed or detoured or got called out unexpectedly.

Keep focused on the positive instead of the negative.

Be understanding and not get over excited if something happened at work. I need to listen when you need to talk. And let you work through the situation. wedding-wedding-ring-53585

I promise to wait:

For you to come home later than expected.

For your schedule to come out, so I know when you will be gone, but also know that it might change.

 To talk to you about important things that need your attention until you have arrived home and had a chance to reconnect.

To hear from you’ after you’ve landed the plane and arrived safely at your hotel.

 For that kiss with potential(4-second kiss) all over again.

I promise to live:

Within our means your first year with the airlines.

With your suitcase always out and your travel bag of personal items on the bathroom counter.

With a piece of furniture that you like and that makes you feel at home.

With you wanting to come home and wipe the kitchen counter or just piddling to reconnect with the family.

With the understanding that as a pilot you are a man of routine and like to have to control (over some things) but that’s what makes you a good pilot.

*A life of my own; to find a passion that will give me a feeling of independence and confidence.

I promise to be there:

For when you need to talk about your frustrating day or you encounter an unexpected delay while at work.

For the kids when you are gone.

To leave something to eat for you on those late arrivals coming home.

For those times that you need me home at a certain time for a delivery or appointment that you arranged, but are unable to make because of work.

I promise to love:

For the life, we created together, not the life we think it should be or left behind.

For your integrity and strength and passion for life, not your uniform.

For who you are today, not who I want you to be.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

What would you add to a Pilot’s Wife vow?  Leave a comment below.

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

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

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

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). 

IMG_0065

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.

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.