A Wedge of Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pieces of the Wedge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An invaluable blessing of friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our prayer this week:

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

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

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Dressed up for Arrival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want to dress up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Showing him my love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My prayer for us this week:

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

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

Come join us!

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

I want a letter, not a text..

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

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

IMG_0086

These were six pages long!

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

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

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

AHHH! Those letters are priceless!

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

A letter then, a text today

Nowadays we communicate by text; it’s easier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t want that.

How to let go of weighty expectations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quite frankly, that it’s hard to do.

Create in me an open heart of response

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

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

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

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

a clean heart, communcation

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

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

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

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

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

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

Timing your Communication….

Shoe of Communication

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

I know I do from time to time.

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

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

We’re definitely not flying the same flight path!

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

Our cup of coffee talk

Have you heard the phrase actions speak louder than words?

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

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

IMG_0033

I communicate with coffee.

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

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

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

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

It’s all in the delivery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do we want that? I know I don’t.

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

Communication is a choice.

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

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

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

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

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

My prayer  for you and for me :

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

 Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

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

What Not to Wear- The Shoe of Comparison

Shoe of Comparison

This morning I made a drastic decision. I took down my full-length mirror! 

Last night I kept hearing a clicking noise in the bathroom, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. First, I thought it was a grasshopper hopping around, then thought maybe it was a mouse.  Or a squirrel trying to find a warm place in my house!

These are the things I think about at 3am in the morning when my pilot is on a trip!   

Do you ever have moments like this?

Later that morning as I got dressed, I heard the sound again and discovered that it only made that sound when the heat came on. Puzzled, I stood there trying to figure out what the heck was going on!

The air vent is located where it will hit the back of our bathroom door where the mirror is.

After a few minutes of research, I realized that the noise was a result of the air vent hitting the back of the bathroom door where my bathroom mirror hangs.  Apparently, the sticky tape that holds the mirror to the door had become loose so that when the air hit the mirror, it created my mystery noise.

So what did I do? I took the stupid mirror down, sticky tape and all!

Traveling with an over-the-limit bag of doubt

It wasn’t a big deal for me to remove the mirror from the door.  The creepy noise wasn’t the only reason I took it down.

When I look in a mirror, I find faults. 

I don’t always find faults in my reflection; there are days where I like what I see. I feel confident and ready to step into what I have planned for the day.  The majority of the time I don’t even think about flying over to the comparison town of inadequacy.

Lately, though, I’ve found that playing the comparison game weighs heavily upon me, and the doubts and negativity that I pack in my bag becomes too much.  In fact, the last few months I have found myself with my suitcase packed with a wide range of emotions:

1.  Jealousy that “her” house is much more beautiful than mine (which I know is absolute nonsense).

2. Failure, in that “she” takes the time to learn how to set up her husband’s schedule and I don’t (I have no clue on how to do that, and quite frankly, have no desire to).

3.  Not up to par, in that, I’m obviously the PW without an espresso machine (seriously).

Side note: I love my friends. I love their homes. I love their espresso machines.  I love that my friends know how to make their husbands’ schedules work for their families. It’s awesome!  ( It has impressed my husband that I have become knowledgeable in those areas).

Although I have battled these comparison emotions many times before, perhaps my biggest struggle comes on a much deeper level.  You see, I recently gained a few pounds and compared to everyone else I feel like I’m not pretty and nothing fits, while everyone else looks awesome!  Which, if I’m honest, makes me feel unattractive to my husband.

I could go on, but you get the point.

It’s real, girlfriend!

Comparison was not on my radar

The majority of the time I have no desire to play the comparison game. I’m blessed with many things: I have a beautiful home, an awesome husband who regularly reminds me that I’m beautiful and great friends to spend time and delicious lattes with!

So why do I even pack for that trip?

  In  her book,  Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl,” Lysa Terkerust says, “Whenever I get an overly idyllic view of someones else’s circumstances, I often remind myself out loud, ” I am not equipped to handle what they have both good and bad.” She goes on to say, “The things for the person I’m comparing myself to are almost never what they seem.”

How many times do you and I tell ourselves “I wish I had what she had?” I know I do.

As I fly into a New Year, my goal is to repack my thoughts of comparison, jealousy, and guilt. They can weigh down my bag and cause me to feel exhausted and weak in my thinking.

I don’t want that for my year, or my life.

I want a bag like yours – or do I?

When I find myself traveling into those mindsets and putting those unfashionable ugly shoes into my bag, I need to remember that God is the one who makes me content.

That’s why I love this verse from the Bible, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” ( Galatians 6:4-5, MSG)

comparrison shoe

When I become jealous of the shoes someone else is wearing ( I.e., her life), maybe I need to remind myself that something is leading me to think that way.

If I  believe that her style is better than mine, that her home is perfectly decorated, I might want to consider that it’s not that I want to take all that away from her. It may be because I have the desire to feel appreciated by others as she is at that moment.

Yet I need to remember that God has a beautiful plan for me.  A life, and a shoe, that is designed just for me to wear and to accomplish things in my own life. Perhaps what I should be doing instead is praying that God helps me find contentment with the basic needs He has provided me.

With that in mind, my goal this year is to try not to compare my shoes to another PW, or anyone, for that matter. I want to walk in the shoes that He has for me and wear them with confidence!

When I do, I can remind myself that I’m not “her.”   Because the truth is, we all have different taste in shoes from functionality to dressing up.  In the end, we find we all have one thing in common- we all put on one shoe at a time.

My prayer for you this week:  Father, help each of us to walk with confidence, strength, and wisdom that we are beautiful.  Help us to remember that You have equipped us with everything that we need to live the life You have given us, from the shoe we wear to the way we decorate our house.  Help us not play the comparison game with other Pilot Wives.  Instead let us remember that compares with You, and to be content with that.

Take-off and Landings Always, Tiff

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.

The Hospitality of Christmas

 

The Hospitality of Christmas

It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas.  Wasn’t it just July?

My tree is up, the mantle is decorated and everyone’s gifts have been noted.

While I love these aspects of Christmas, my favorite is our Christmas tradition of brunch, complete with pancakes, eggs, fruit and lots of coffee.  I’m not sure why we started this Breakfast tradition; it just evolved over the years when Jeff was returning home late Christmas Eve or having to fly out Christmas Day. I guess if the plane flies, it works!

In addition to hanging the decor, purchasing the family gifts and preparing for our Christmas meal, I  bake cookies or pies and take care of all the other small details for the holidays.

The list goes on and on.

I guess you could call me the Flight Attendant for Christmas Hospitality! And it’s a position I fill proudly!

A Flight of Hospitality

I’m sure you’d agree, the Christmas season can get crazy with all the planning and organizing.

I plan things weeks in advance, before I know it I find myself in the city of Super Target or the little town of Hobby Lobby making sure I have all the decorations, table placemats, and dishes for the Pinterest perfect Christmas.

It’s a nonstop trip!

When Christmas finally arrives I’m tired!   It’s likely that my final landing has a few skid marks along the way.

Unfortunately, when I get off the plane of Hospitality, I often realize that I didn’t take the time to sit and enjoy the trip I was on. 

I missed out on so much.

I didn’t savor every moment or take in the surroundings around me. I was so busy making sure everyone was happy, I forgot to sit down and enjoy my family and the interesting conversations they had. I forgot to laugh and play.

I don’t think that’s the way God intended Christmas to be celebrated. Do you?

Call me Martha, I’m here to make you feel comfortable

The holiday craziness reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary found in Luke.

Martha knew all about hospitality.  She welcomed Jesus and his friends in her home. She provided a home cooked meal and a comfortable place to sit and relax after their long journey.

She was focused on entertaining and wanted to make sure everyone was well fed and had what they needed during their visit.

That was her gift!

Jesus saw all that Martha was doing to please everyone and that she was continually making a list and checking it twice.  He saw that her intentions were good, but still, she needed to adjust her wing flap (attitude).

What Martha didn’t know was that she could take a seat and enjoy the ride.The problem came when she focused more on the preparations than on the company. 

After all, Jesus was in her house!

If we read more of their story and understand the cultures that they were in, Mary would have been expected to entertain and cook, as well, but, she saw it as a choice. And her sister was doing all the work, anyway. If she was thinking that at all.

Her definition of being hospitable was being with the guest and listening to their stories.

But why didn’t Martha make that same choice?  And why do I feel as if I don’t have the luxury of making that decision? If I’m honest with myself,  I am a Martha. I tend to fall into that role at any given time. It doesn’t have to be around the holidays.

Holding Pattern of Frustrations

Mary chose to sit at Jesus’ feet.

As Mary sat, Martha fully expressed her frustration by saying,“Lord, don’t you know that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

I’m sure Martha was thinking, now would be good, Lord! Oh, but God’s ways aren’t our ways, are they? For then Jesus said to her,

“Martha, Martha,” you are worried and upset about many things, but Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42 (HCSB)

When I think about their story, Martha was scrutinized for so much. She was always busy, and then vented to Jesus about why her sister Mary was not helping.

As pilot wives, don’t we all do that from time to time – vent about whatever is in our current holding pattern of frustration?

However in Martha’s defense wasn’t she the one that opened up her home and provided a meal for Jesus and the others?

She must have spent that entire day cleaning and dusting off the red sand from her floor. 

  When Jesus arrived, Mary sat down at his feet and enjoyed the company.

I was recently reading a book,: Unwrapping Martha’s Joy Having a Mary Christmas and Brenda Poinsett said,   “All kinds of things become possible when we invite Jesus into our homes. We can talk to Him, hear Him speak, learn from Him and enjoy Him. We can have a Mary Christmas.”  When we have those moments, it opens up the door to let us know Jesus better.  Quite frankly, my relationship with Him grows and strengthens in areas that only He knew that I needed. 

It was him showing hospitality to me.

Brenda went on to say that, “Martha had an advantage that made her WANT Jesus to come to her house, He was right there in person!”

Inviting Jesus to our Christmas

Durning this crazy busy season in what ways can we pilot wives spiritually walk up to Jesus and invite him to our Christmas?

1.In the days leading up to Christmas take some time, five minutes, an hour or whatever you can do and just pray, offer God your thoughts and worries. Let him be with you.

2.  Set aside distractions and take time to enjoy that cup of coffee or tea. And listen to others.  Listen to what God has to say.

3. . Be open to unexpected arrivals. Christmas isn’t about Pinterest perfection. Offer Grace not only for others but more importantly for yourself.

4. When setting the table for the Christmas meal do so in a way that is comfortable. It can be as simple as your everyday plates, or paper plates, for that matter.  Enjoy who you are sitting next to be open to listening to their stories.

Christmas will be here, and before you blink your eye, it’s  gone. Because of this, I do my best to make sure everyone has what they need and desire. It’s important to me that my family and friends are warm and well-fed and comfortable.  In doing that I feel that is when I can celebrate Jesus.

As I share with you about Christmas Hospitality, if I were to pick a shoe to wear, I believe I would have to go and wear my open toe bootie.  you can go here

Why?

Just as its essential to have an open heart for when your pilot arrives home,  I believe that we should have that same thought of experiencing Jesus.  In doing so, that is a way to have a Mary Christmas. 

Just as Martha opened her heart ( door) to Jesus; it would be as we are inviting in the Spirit of Jesus.

Isn’t that was Christmas is about?

every good and perfect gift is from above.

 

When my children open up there stocking and gifts, I want to have an open heart to enjoy their smiles and love.  At our Christmas Breakfast, I need to stop and enjoy my cup of coffee and be open to the warmth that they bring to the table.

The willingness to be open to celebrating the birth of Jesus. To humble ourselves in trying not to do so much and just enjoy sitting down with the people we love.

My pilot wives, may you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas. Love on your pilot, love on your kids. Most importantly, love yourself!

 

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.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

The Not-So-Jolly Emotions of a Pilot’s Wife at Christmas

 

Brown and Blue Small Business Presentation (1)

The Not-So-Jolly Emotions of a Pilot’s Wife at Christmas

When my girls were twelve and seven, they were taking ballet for a season. As the holidays approached, they had been practicing several routines for the big Christmas event.

As excited as I was to see my girls perform, a growing anxiety rose within as I knew what would be required of me.  There was only one of me, but there were two girls, two different dances, two costume changes, and two hair prep demands.

With Jeff working I wondered, how would I get it all done?

  When the big day arrived, I tried to balance my husband being gone and my parents’ arrival with the demands of getting the girls’ hair and makeup ready and a two-year-old needing a nap.

Needless to say, girlfriend, I was not in a jingle-bell Christmas spirit! All I really wanted was some quiet, and a  have glass of wine!

Finding a seat of cheer

When I arrived at the Hall, I took the girls to their designated places for the performance. 

They were excited as well as my son.

When the girls settled, I needed to find a table that would allow me to take pictures and have enough chairs for my parents and Jeff when they arrived.  As the world slowed down, I felt as if a plane of loneliness had flown over me.  All I wanted to do was take off.

To overcome my loneliness, I looked for tables with people who seemed friendly or for the familiar face of a mom from the ballet studio.

I don’t know about you, but when I am in a crowd of people, and by myself, it’s not fun. 

When I finally found a place to sit, I was greeted with kindness and smiles. It was easy to find common ground for conversation as we talked about who are children were and which performance they would be in. At one point someone asked my son, Tobin, “Where is daddy?”  In true two-year-old fashion, Tobin replied, “Daddy, plane.”

Funny how those two little words opened the door to all the familiar questions”…Oh, he is a pilot?  How many days is he gone? Does he fly the same route? Do you get to travel a lot?

    Usually, I can handle those questions, but at this time of the season, I just couldn’t.

As I sat there with my new friends and answered their questions about my absent husband,  all I wanted to do was to take-off somewhere else. That’s not always easy to do in a season that’s supposed to be all wrapped up in joy.

Not-so-jolly emotions

When you’re a pilot’s wife, taking care of it all during the holidays, some of the feelings you have wrapped up aren’t always pretty and sweet.

  • A gift bag of frustrations because I have to do so much by myself.
  • A box of comparison and jealousy when I see other families laughing and carrying on about their plans for Christmas,
  • *A stocking full of loneliness.

Unwrapping the Emotions of the Holidays

I’ve been flying this Christmas route for years, and I’ve learned that those wrapped up emotions are honest emotions.

So how do I carefully unwrap those feelings, so they don’t pour out on everyone else?

1.  I remind myself that God knows my struggles and frustrations, and he offers me support and wisdom to handle those difficult times.

2.  I take comfort in knowing that God has equipped me with confidence and encouragement in areas where I feel as if “their” Christmas tree is greener and shinier than mine.

3. I trust that I’m not alone.  I may feel lonely, but in truth, God is with me every step of the way.

4.   I try to find comfort and joy in all circumstances and focus on the blessings I have: a smile, a wave from the stage or a little boy laying his head on my shoulder.  Most importantly,  I have a husband who loves me and wants to be there for recitals and events. Even if he is a little late.

Recently, I asked my girls if they remember their dad being at their Christmas program. They don’t recall their dad showing up late.  What they remember is their dad giving them hugs and kisses after their performance.   Both of them said, “Of course, he was there!”

Looking back now, I have to admit, that day was fun.  I was proud of my girls, and my heart was full love and joy watching them on stage. 

I know first hand that this time of the season I experience a multiple of emotions and challenges of being a pilot wife.  I have to continually remind myself to be open for unexpected bumps,  detours, and even late arrivals.

A Shoe for the season

So what type of shoe should we pilots’ wives slip on to feel secure, confident, and not-so-alone during this holiday season?

Personally, I love a canvas Ked sneaker.

Why?

  Because canvas is a durable fabric. It’s tough, and it withstands a lot of things.

How appropriate since the Keds company motto is, “To empower women to be who they want to be and go where they want to go.”

Wow! Isn’t that like us as pilot’s wives to feel empowered and strong, especially during this, or any season?

I also love how versatile a canvas Ked can be: festive and sparkly or just plain white.  It’s the kind of shoe that can take you from day to night, so you’re ready for anything. It’s also the perfect shoe to chase a 2 yr-old around while suddenly stopping to watch your girls on stage.

There’s no doubt I need that type of shoe during the holiday season!I

Decorating my canvas Ked

If I were to decorate my Keds, I would add a little glitter and color but, I would also paint a verse on each one.

On one side, I would have “I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me.”

( Philippians 4:13 NIV)  The other shoe I would paint, “The steps of the godly are directed… He delights in every detail of their lives. ( Psalm 37:23 NLT)

I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me.z (1)

 

 

I can do anything through Christ that strengthens me.z

These verses comfort me as I am easily distracted when things get off course, or I find myself getting lost in all the events, i.e., performances, parties, etc. They are my reminder that God is watching over me, and directing my steps. 

You and I just need to trust him! 

This season let’s remember that  God knows what we are doing at all times. From juggling our kids’ activities to feeling alone in a crowd and to the frustrations and overwhelming feelings of trying to do it all. 

After all, isn’t He the one who designs our shoes for whatever flies into our path?

How would you decorate your holiday Keds? Leave a comment below, and let’s share what sort of Keds we’re wearing this Christmas.

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.

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany