Friday, March 31, 2017

Pilot Wings

At the end of January I embarked on one of my most ambitious journeys yet -- I flew from Charleston, SC to Lafayette, LA by myself with three children under the age of five. Needless to say it was exhausting, but 100% feasible. I looked like a small traveling circus and received many looks of encouragement and pity in the airport, and the one question I kept getting was, "Where are you going?!"

To which I would reply, "It's my grandmother's 90th surprise birthday party and I HAVE TO BE THERE."  

Thanks to beaucoup frequent flyer miles that Keith earned working in the tax industry, we all flew for free. (Talk about a major blessing, one of many the Lord has given us over the past few months.) So off we went, and while the task seemed daunting, I was excited. 

You see, I love the airport.

I love the way it smells.

I love the hustle and bustle of travelers and often wonder where everyone is flying off to. What are their stories? How are they feeling?

I love seeing the planes take off and land.

I. love. it. all. 

As someone who one day hopes to be an aviator, I was anxious to see a female pilot. She didn't have to be flying my plane...I just wanted to see one in the flesh. This may sound weird, but women only make up approximately 5% of commercial pilots, so my desire was a long shot. 

I am sad to report that I did not see any women pilots in the Charleston, Lafayette, Atlanta, or New Orleans airports. Which wasn't that big of deal, but something happened that made me feel incredibly confused, and if I'm being honest a little angry. 

On our flight from New Orleans to Atlanta, I asked a flight attendant for some pilot wings for my kids. The older two love flying and really wanted some so that "they could fly their own planes when we got home." As she pinned the wings on Gavin, she said, "Here are your pilot wings!" and then she turned the Arabella and said, "And here are your flight attendant wings!" 


This here pushes my buttons. Now, the flight attendant was incredibly sweet and I'm sure completely unaware of what she had said, but I immediately noticed. So, because Arabella is a girl she should limit herself to being a flight attendant, but Gavin is a boy and this means that he should be a pilot? 

What the actual WHAT? 

Maybe it's because I want to be a pilot myself and am well aware of the statistics of women flying in this "man's world", or maybe it's because I don't like my children being placed in a box. Whatever it was, it had me bothered, and I exited the plane with more determination than ever. 

Determined to continuing pursuing my goal of being a licensed pilot. 

Determined to support my kids in whatever they want to do. 

Determined to be aware of my words and not to place judgment on others.

It was a harmless comment, but one that I will always remember. Not in anger, but with fondness...because while stereotypes exist, it is an empowering and beautiful thing when you can utterly shatter them.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Our New Normal

A few days have passed since our family of 5 moved to the new house, and we are slowly getting the hang of our new normal. As someone who loves organization and order, having our home in disorder is driving me a bit insane. I have to consciously remind myself that it will take some time to unpack, and everything will eventually find its place. Boxes litter each and every room of the home, closets are half full, and toys are everywhere...and we are exhausted. 

Exhausted, but thankful. 

Keith and I have been riding a ferocious wave and the season we are coming out of has been hard, but God was good and is good and has provided for us. One day we will share all that He has done for us...all of the blessings that came out of each horrible situation. I know that's incredibly vague, but  the grace we have seen and the mountains that have been moved deserve more that just a shout-out on this post. 

This fresh start that we have been given has us only 20 minutes from our old house, but those 20 minutes put us in a new suburb of Charleston. We now reside in Summerville, the home of azalea flowers and sweet tea. So far, we are enjoying living on this side of town and look forward to meeting our neighbors and creating wonderful memories. Gavin and I will pick back up with homeschool preschool (while Arabella joins us here and there) in the next few days, and that will hopefully give us a better handle on our daily routine.

We are currently renting a home here, and this both excites and terrifies me. It's exciting that we aren't chained to one location and can easily move to a new area or home (although I prefer not as moving absolutely sucks), but I am also terrified because of the same reason -- we do not technically have roots right now. We are excited to get involved at our new church, but have no commitment to this area besides the short lease we signed. But if I've learned anything at all, it has been this -- this is where faith comes in. 

Instead of trying to figure everything out right now, I am giving it all to the One who actually does hold my world in His hands. I fully believe that the crazy things that happened during our dark season all led us to where we are now. It can be hard to let go of the reins and truly trust God's plan, but He knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what we yearn for and what we aspire to be, and I can only hope and trust that he will use us for His kingdom. So we will pray, trust, and immerse ourselves in the city we currently reside, and will reevaluate our location in 6 months time (when our lease is up). 

One incredibly important thing that I am so thankful to truly feel is that no matter where my family resides location wise, as long as we are together, I am home. And that is a beautiful thing.

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