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