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!   My final landing likely 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 thought 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

During 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 it is 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 beautiful, 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.

 

Merry Christmas!

Saying yes post

 

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

 

He’s landed, he’s landed

Brown and Blue Small Business Presentation (1)

Do you remember the TV show Fantasy Island? I do.

I loved it when Tattoo would climb to the lighthouse, ring the bell and shout out,”The plane! The plane!” Mr. Rork would greet the guests as they were arriving and say, “Here, you will be a part of miracles.”

Just like on Fantasy Island, the plane has landed at my house.  However, I’m far from announcing, “He’s home, he’s home!”

Lessons in Landings

My husband has been on a three-day trip, and he will be home in less than 8 hours.  I’m looking forward to being with him, but, girlfriend, I have no bell to ring.

While my pilot was away my son’s turtle died. Being the compassionate, loving mom I said a little turtle prayer and suggested that we have a burial ceremony in our canal behind our house. The whole time I tried not to cry.  Afterwards, we went back to the house to dispose of the tank full of smelly water. While doing so, five-gallons of water spilled all over the floor!

Need I say more?

As I sit here in my yoga pants and walking shoes waiting for my pilot to land, I’m also thinking and praying. With all the departures and arrivals of my life, it’s not about the “shoes” I wear going from one gate to the next; it’s what I put in them.

When I put on my shoes, I set the mood for my pilot’s arrival.  I can make the landing bumpy or smooth for him.

Over the years, here are a few things I’ve learned…

1.I set the altitude of his arrival.

2. I need to focus on his arrival, and not my problems.

3. I try hard not to instantly share every little thing that happened i.e. turtle died, a flood of water on the hardwood floor or present him with a long list such as fix the tub, install a lamp above the dining room table, etc.

I have a choice.

A verse that speaks to me about how I handle his arrival is in Psalm 20:14  It  reads,

“ May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you?” (NLT)

_May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you._Psalm 20_14 (NLT) (1)

When Jeff comes home from a trip there are times that I need to take a deep breath and remember that God’s love will guide me in what I say and how I think. While I think I have it tough when he is away, I’m learning that his time away from home isn’t always sunny either.

It’s not all blue skies for him either

Recently Jeff received a small package in the mail from SWA and it said he would be featured in “LUV mail”. They wanted to thank him for living and working the Southwest way. They also sent him a heart pin that he could wear or attach to his bag.

Of course, I was curious! What did he do to earn such a special pen and honor?

I asked him and he said, “Oh I don’t know, must be something.”

So I immediately took a trip to find out what he did.  Apparently, this past summer while he was about to pushback from the gate, a passenger had an upset stomach and made a tactical error in trying to reach the lavatory that was at the back of the plane.  As you can guess, the passenger did not make it all the way,  and in the process managed to throw up on 3 passengers.   While the flight attendants immediately took charge of cleaning up, Jeff ran out to the terminal and bought clothes for the affected passages.

As if that weren’t enough, that same flight had to divert to another city due to thunderstorms and windshear, resulting in a second round of air sickness. In the end, they refueled and were able to return to their original city.

Crazy, right? He was definitely not landing on Fantasy Island.

Let’s face it, no one desires that kind of life, our lives as pilot’s wives are anything but. Now I know, some days neither is my pilot’s.

I have to remember that my husband’s day to day responsibilities, of dealing with passengers and weather can be just as challenging as at home.

So when he arrives home after stormy travels, I have a choice. I can vent, by pouring out my frustrations when he walks through the door, or I can have an open heart and mind to let him rest and feel welcomed.

“It’s better to live alone in the corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious  (nagging) woman.” (Proverbs 25:24 NASB)

How to plan for a smooth arrival

So what can you and I do to make our pilots feel as if they’re landing on their own Fantasy Island?  Here are some ideas you may want to consider:

1.Slip on some open-toe booties which say, I’m open to listening about his day before I speak.

2.Give him space to reconnect with the kids.

3.Most importantly, kiss and hug him as he comes home.

4. After 3 days of eating out, plan a “home-cooked meal”. It will mean more to him then you could know!

I won’t lie, at our house, not every landing is smooth. I struggle. I fail. And I admit Jeff has come home to a nagging wife. Within minutes of his arrival, I can easily share with him all the frustrations that I have dealt in his absence.

Those days, however, are few and far between. Not because we’re perfect people, but solely because we’ve both worked on our arrivals with each other.

Right now, it’s good. We just have to remember that like our pilots, you and I  are in an ever-changing pattern that life has for us.

So when I  get a  text message of “I have landed,”  I run into my closet, slip on my open-toe booties, and prepare my heart to welcome my pilot home.

How do you welcome home your pilot when he returns from a trip?  I’d love to know! Leave me a comment below and let’s learn from one another.            

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Love for you to fly over to my Takeoff and Landings Facebook page.

 

 

 

I don’t do weekends…

I don't do weekends photo

I don’t do weekends…

When my husband takes off out on a Thursday or a Friday only to arrive a few days later, I often find myself in a love-hate relationship with the weekend:

1.Friday nights – everyone else is on a date with their pilot, while I sit at home alone.

2. Saturday – full of kids activities, rebellious attitudes, and the inevitable accident.

3. Sunday – I walk into to church by myself, putting on my “I’m blessed to be here” face for others. In reality, all I want to do is hide in my seat by the window and cry.

Please don’t think that all my weekends are like this cause, in all honesty, they are not.I do have some weekends that are full of fun with friends and family.  Nevertheless, I will find myself flying into a weekend that wasn’t on my schedule.

A boot-kicking type of weekend

I have two boys. I love them to pieces but they are a challenge at times. So much so, most days feel like I’m in constant turbulence with them.

A few years ago the boys were outside playing with nerf guns.  Harmless fun, right? Not with my two.  Within 30 minutes, their fun of shooting each other had turned into a battle to see who could break the other’s gun first. 

I could only watch from my kitchen window and wonder what my pilot would say if he were here.  I glanced at the clock – it was only 10 am!

Later that afternoon, I asked my oldest son to mow the lawn.  By his attitude and behavior, you would have thought I’d asked him to mow 10 acres with a push lawn mower. Every so often he would come inside dying of thirst or be complaining the mower wasn’t working.

At that point, I was ready to throw off the black suede boots I was wearing that day and hit the call button to kick some bootie!

On weekends like this, I’ve found that my black suede boots support me in the “tuff” areas of walking, standing, and protecting myself when my pilot is gone.

Need some suede protection

We’ve all had the unexpected happen when our husbands are away: sick kids, broken pipes, the family dog attacked by a raccoon or a boat hanging ever so slightly off the lift.

While those situations weren’t funny at the time, I can laugh at those incidents now.  If you’re like me when those things happen, you may want to pack up your black suede booties in a bag and scoot off into the sky.

Honestly, though, I wouldn’t change one bootie.  I have three different ones for flights such as these:

  • Slip-on for easy access for whatever flies my way
  • Lace-ups  when I need strong support
  • Open-toe booties for when my husband is coming home

Adapting to my husband leaving is not easy, even after all these years.  I may take off wearing one style of bootie and immediately put on a different one.  But that’s the life of a pilot’s wife.

When my husband flies off I have to plan and prepare, ‘cause I’m up against far more than I can handle on my own. Although I get to pick out which shoe I choose to wear when my pilot’s gone, ultimately I need  God to show me how to protect my feet.

That’s why I love this verse in the bible, ”….for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”  Ephesians 6:15 (NLT)For shoes, put on the peace that comes from Good News so that you can be fully prepared.Ephesians 6-15 ( NLT) (1)Our shoes are never a mistake. We buy them and wear them for whatever season we are in to handle any malfunction that may occur while our pilot’s on duty. Our shoes provide us with the traction we need for those difficult times/days/moments. When we put on black suede booties we find an anchor for our faith.

If you think about it, suede’s a delicate material. It stains easily, and it’s hard to get rid of scuff marks – kind of like the stress we PWs endure when we’re flying solo. In addition, it’s not the best fabric to withstand rain either – similar to the tears we shed as we face the struggles we encounter on the weekends. 

 

 

However, if you were to put a protectant spray on your shoe, in the form of God’s covering, and lightly brush them with prayer and God’s Word, then your suede boots will last longer.  And so will you, my friend.

Without that hope, we’d find ourselves heading out the door without anything covering our feet! Then where would we be?

Something happens when I wear black suede booties. I become more aware of the way I walk and act. Yes, there will be some turbulence and rough patches. However, I’m able to take the controls of my day and pray that I won’t experience engine failure.

Which suede bootie are you wearing today?

 

Take off and Landings Always,Tiffany

Love for you to fly over to my Takeoff and Landings Facebook page: https://Takeoff and Landings of a pilot wife

Shoes that a Pilot Wife may pack…

Brown and Blue Small Business Presentation

 Have you ever been stressed about which shoes to pack for a trip?

This past summer our family traveled to Japan for two weeks. I was so proud of myself for investing in a few pair of trendy but comfortable shoes to wear with my outfits: a pair of wedges, black espadrilles, Van sneakers and cute sandals. All were walkable and would go flawlessly with my versatile outfits.

When my adult daughters saw what I was packing, my shoe selection went from four to two. All that was left of my original shoe choices were my sneakers and my espadrilles  (which didn’t count as they were only for the plane ride!).

After a lengthy discussion, my girls determined that besides my sneakers and plane shoes, oxfords would be the only other shoes I would need to bring.  Three pairs of shoes for a ten-day trip. That did not fly well with me.

So what did I do? I threw a pity-party shoe fit.

No one walks in our shoes

In those two weeks of our trip, when I decided which shoes I was going to wear for the day of sightseeing, I found myself irritated in what I’d picked out myself.I was disappointed that I didn’t bring the shoes I had originally set out to wear.

As I prepared for our trip and set out my shoes and outfits, I made sure they would all fit in my carry on bag.  I have been traveling for more than 25 years; I’m confident in knowing how to pack for a 10 day trip in a 22 inch required carry on.  In other words, girlfriend, by letting others make choices for me ….I was creating my own turbulence.

How many times do we pick out the perfect shoes for just the right occasion, only to have someone come question our choice and tell us we shouldn’t be wearing those shoes?

A pilot wife shared with me that no one walks in our shoes. There are times that our friends, our children, and our family do not see what we personally pack every day to put in our life of travels but us.

Maybe you’ve found that to be true too?

Different Shoes for Different Travels

For over 25 years I’ve ventured into my closet to find the right shoes for the right occasion.  As a Pilot’s Wife, you may have a similar collection of footwear as well:

1. You’re leaving, oh wait, you’re coming home? ( Suede bootie)

2.Holiday emotions of a pilot wife.(Canvas Ked sneaker)

3.Sergeant Mom has arrived  (Military boot)

 4. WHAT??? You’re picking up a trip or you’re rerouted.( Flip-flop )

5. These are the storms of my life (Rain boots)

6 5 Second or less communication (Running shoes)

7.Keeping things stabilized( loafer.)

8. I’m his runway for when he lands. (Stilettos)

9.  Reunited and feels so good ( Sandal)

10. I’m on the conveyor belt and I can’t get off! I ( finding your own shoe)

11. A wedge of friends ( Wedge)

12. Traveling on the wings of flexibility—Changing at a moments notice  (Easy on, easy off flats)

Maybe you’re like me and you love the shoes you’re wearing.  But if I’m being honest, some days all I want to do is throw them out the exit door. The shoes, not my pilot.

As you walk with me down the runway of our lives, may we bring each other encouragement, love, and laughter.

If you find a new shoe  I would love to hear about it.