Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our Adventures in Unemployment

HUGE DISCLAIMER-- the paragraph and sentence formatting on this is wacked out and I don't know how to fix it. I have no idea what I did to make it look like this! Please excuse and offer help to avoid in the future! Thanks!

Our adventure starts with Hubby losing his job in August, which I believe I posted about back then

somewhere. The first challenge was that due to the nature of the job loss, we were facing not having 

any unemployment benefits as it was a termination. Hubby decided that because the Dept of labor 

offered an appeals path, he would take it, well, guess what! They gave him an opportunity for a hearing 

before a judge ( actually a 3 way conference call between him, the judge, and the former employer. ) 

The employer never called in so Hubby spoke to the judge alone and was granted not just benefits but 

retro-active  benefits going back to August. I believe this was in mid September.
(Right here, I  have inserted a page break on accident and have no idea how to undo it in blogworld, so excuse me if it looks odd)

     We started using foodbanks and learning how to live "differently" -- I had been used to making a 

menu list weekly and it was very difficult to make if I didn't know what would be in the box and 

sometimes, the stuff in the box would be already waaay past date.  It would be easy to get upset and 

say, " forget this", but God wants us to have a spirit of gratitude: "Okay, what CAN I use from here?"

I have to admit--- I am not the most creative of people in the kitchen, but after 12 years of marriage,I 

can now touch most raw meats without squirming at all! woo hoo! The thing is that mostly, you are not 

given chicken and beef in your boxes. I found that different food banks offered different things as well. 

Some  prepack your boxes and others let you choose what you like,meaning it's okay to pass up 

somethings. One of our foodbanks here serves lunch!

      In addition to the blessings of the foodbanks, we were given a giftcard by a family at church for a 

local grocery store that let us buy those few things that we could not get at the foodbank-the meats. This 

was followed by my parents taking us to Costco where they simply told us to fill a couple of baskets. 

We tried to think of those things which would not  be doubled at a food bank, so we chose  items like 

coffee, toothpaste, deodorant,and other paper goods like toilet paper, etc.Then shortly after that ran out, 

another family showed up with 3 bags of groceries!! Every so often, we are asked what we need. That 

is so difficult to answer without being picky, yet it is also difficult to answer because of what I have 

seen on videos of little kids lining up to eat what is basically mush and so how do I ask for peanut 

butter??? I feel like a demanding queen of something. Yuck! Yet, I know these brothers and sisters 

want to bless, so the usual answer is "whatever meat you find on sale".

       In the meantime, Hubby decided to go back to school. He found out about a veteran's program that 

pays living expenses while you are in school and took out a small-ish school loan to pay for books and 

other necessities. He was sick and tired working contract positions with the constant fear and fret of 

being "off shored". Since large engines ( Semi -truck types) are fixed where they are, it is a field that 

stays right here! That is what he has decided to do and wishes that he had done it twenty years ago.

He started school in January and his program continues through December. he will be needing to be

employed immediately next January (2014) as well as a couple of temporary jobs this summer in June 

and in August. He has a truck driving class in July for 3 weeks and we will get the Veteran program $$ 

for that month only in the summer. 

         How has this affected homeschool? Well, the kids LOVE having their papa around, and that did 

create a bit of a distraction. I have to be honest. It was a juggle to determine, Yes, it is more important 

that they spend time with him at this time, but they also needed structure. He used the internet a lot to

do job searches and they were frequently distracted by our conversations, as well as our schooling 

interrupted by him---coming in and speaking to me while a child was in the middle of reading aloud.

Then we disconnected the internet in November.  This led to trips to the library to use internet and then 

emails would pile up because someone would get sick. We also had special family errands to do that 

were announced an hour before we had to them. I had a quick hard lesson from God to show me that 

I am not quite as flexible as I thought I was!!! (and the song, Refiner's Fire, slowly plays in the back of 

brain as I type this newfound epiphany of myself, although it was probably obvious to the rest of the 

world that knows me.

        Today, Hubby is at school. The kids are here with me and we are sort of  back on schedule. 

The 'net is hooked up again because Hubby uses it for school and quite frankly, I do too! I can put 

library books on hold, renew them online, and say hello to friends through email/facebook without 

calling their homes and messing up their school days! I can also look up recipes when I realize that I 

have been given an interesting combination of food.

So, that has been our adventure. I know that so many are dealing with the same!  And YES, you can 

stay home with your children when your primary wage earner is out of work.  We have experienced 

nothing but blessings through this. It has allowed us to develop compassion for others and has given us 

ideas on how we can help through donations when we are able to do so. It has allowed us to learn 

humility and flexibility as well.

1 comment:

  1. My hugs and prayers are coming out to you. We have had off again on again work for the 16 years of our marriage. It can make or break a marriage if you let it.

    I am learning to be happy with the small things. I have to let things go and concentrate on what we do have. I have to let people bless me with their I'll get the lunch tab, here I got too much this or that at the store, etc. I do it when I have the money too. God's Blessings aren't always for you. They are given thru you to someone else. It is hard for your pride sometimes.

    Give your hubby a big hug and thank God again for such a blessing.