Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh, the Adventures of the Unemployed

Wow, it's been over a year since I have posted here.

Since then, Robert wrecked our Jeep on black ice.....that was just before Christmas last year.

In February, I was laid off from the company I worked for since 1998.

In June, my oldest son graduated from high school.

Of course, those are just one sentence highlights of the biggest events of the year. There have been many daily ups and downs and highs and lows. However, the biggest part of my day is spent praying and doing my best to enjoy this God given life I live.

One big challenge has been ride sharing. The accident last December was a blessing in disguise. Robert was driving, and I was a passenger. We were headed south, hit black ice, crossed lanes and hit the guard rail, coming to a rest headed north. Nothing was coming toward us, and nothing was directly behind us. I hit my head on the passenger side window, but other than a headache, we both walked away unscathed.

I thank God for our lives, because right after the accident, Robert and I were standing between the guard rail (on an overpass) and the Jeep, surveying the damage. Suddenly, another car started spinning out of control, toward us. It stopped just inches away from the Jeep. If it would have hit the Jeep, we would have been pushed over the edge on to the highway below. I am so thankful we are still here.

As the accident was in progress, I was thinking, "Lord, what about the kids? Who is going to be there for the kids?" So I not only walked away, I walked away grateful. The insurance company totaled the Jeep, and the gap coverage (eventually) paid it off. When I was laid off in February, it was nice not to have that payment to worry about.

However, our back up vehicle is a 1997 Astro Van, which we have put more miles on than the poor thing deserves. We used to never drive it, then Josh drove it for a while. All of a sudden, it's become our main source of transportation. We've put idle arms, tie rod ends, a water pump, a fuel pump and a few tires on it this year. We don't like to drive it in the winter, as it's just not real stable in icy conditions....or windy, for that matter.

Most of the time
, Robert takes the van to work and I stay home. When I have an appointment or somewhere I need to go, I get up before the crack of dawn and take him to work. Generally, I take my laptop to look up job postings or visit friends/relatives in town, etc. It saves gas to stay nearby versus coming 12 miles back home, then returning to pick him up.

The big hassle with ride sharing is that both teens work. Josh works at the nearby outlet mall, and Jess works in another town, at McDonald's. We seem to be on a constant go~go~go. Inevitably, someone ends up waiting to be picked up. Josh hasn't shown much interest in driving since he wrecked the van in August of 2008....and Jess is saving a little every two weeks for a car. She plans to wait until next August when she is 18 to drive. That way she doesn't have to pay $400 for Driver's Ed.

For Robert and me, we have been unable to save for a second vehicle. Every time we think we are just about there, something comes up. Over the summer, we spent a big hunk of money replacing our water well pump and some hardware. Of course, the van repairs I mentioned keep us on our toes. Every unexpected thing that came up made it so we can't buy that much needed second vehicle. However, I firmly believe that if I am doing what I need to be doing, God will do the rest. It's all in good time and patience.

This year has been an exercise in faith and remaining joyful in all circumstances. I am learning to be content in plenty and in want. I miss working. I miss not being concerned about going to the store and spending $100 on groceries. I miss knowing that I can pay the electric bill and phone bill and mortgage, etc without thinking twice about it. I'm not going to say that any of this has been easy. It's just I know I must open my mouth and thank God for every blessing He provides. I get up every day and thank Him for a new day. I do my best to find someone I can encourage and bless in some way. By doing so, I take the focus off of me, me, me and put my trials in their proper perspective.

Most recently, Robert's insurance went up by $30 a was already $1,000 a month. Then, management changed the employee work schedules from 45 hours a week to 32. We thought we had cut as much as we could. We're now finding new and inventive ways to stretch every penny. We are learning to do much more with a lot less.

In the meantime, I am not sitting back, twiddling my thumbs. I am on just about every job website I can think of, applying for any office job I might remotely qualify for in the area. I've used:, craigslist,,,,,, etc. I think I have applied for over thirty jobs in October.

I know I have the experience, I know I have the intelligence, I know I have the personality. I just need the opportunity. In the past, God has given me favor with people, and I still serve the same God. I know He will lead me to the exact job I need to have when I need to have it.

I figure I will start updating my blog. If nothing else, it will keep my typing skills sharp. I need to be as sharp as I can's quite an adventure, here in the land of the unemployed. :-)