Wednesday, December 11, 2019


When it rains at Niagara Falls, enjoy it with an umbrella!
Well, we all have them and a JOB LAYOFF hit us this year.

The Hubs had worked 22 years for this company and you hear about this kind of thing, but you never think it will happen to you - a consistent, hard-working, loyal employee.  But if there's anything I've learned over my 50+ years, it's that NOTHING'S SIMPLE.  In fact we have a little saying at our house, NOTHING'S EVER SIMPLE, usually referring to home and car repair - LOL.

The Hubs will tell you that after getting the hint the week before it happened, he shifted into overdrive a couple of days.  He spent a few hours with his twin brother.  He talked to co-workers. By the time he got the call from the boss, he had an amazing response, "Lay it on me!"  His boss laughed and apologized that he had to make this call.  It happened to 153 others too.  It was purely a reorganization and was nothing personal.

For several weeks after that he had a lot of "conversations" with people in and out of the tech industry. He updated and submitted a lot of resumes.  Had a few interviews.  We considered moving to Tennessee for a job.  Even with the thought we could come back and retire here in a few years, we decided with our kids that live here, our aging mothers nearby, our church that we love so much - it was just too much to give up, although the adventure sounded fun and refreshing.  We talked a lot about our goals, our lifestyle, downsizing our home, making our home into a bed and breakfast (LOL - not for very long) and early retirement.

I tried as best I could to not say everything I was thinking.  He is the one who has supported our family financially for so many years.  He needed to do what was best in that regard.  A friend has told me more than once in conversation that you go where the job is, and I remembered that each time he considered a job somewhere besides here.  Thank goodness I had a big project going on - the women's retreat at church.  My mind was occupied with all the meetings, details, and specifics of that! But after that, I was pretty weepy, considering giving up the ministry and activities I love so much if we were to move away.

God provided a new friend to The Hubs during this time!  An acquaintance at church became a confidante and calming presence to him.  This man was the husband of a friend of mine, and had been laid off from his job earlier in the year.  He has a new position out of state now, but is able to maintain their home here and visit family often.  They met a few times and his advice to The Hubs was this:

Now, I knew he needed a project, something to do in all the hours he was waiting around for the phone to call.  But I didn't want to cause any more stress with my suggestions.  He respected the advice given and guess what?  He immediately went to work on one of our upstairs bathrooms!  It hadn't been touched since our daughter painted the wallpaper around 2006.  He challenged himself to get it retiled and painted for under $300 or something like that. It was worth every penny.  He tore out tile, scraped wallpaper, retextured, replaced moldy sheetrock, re-tiled, grouted, and painted. We finished it up with new towels and shower curtain.  
Before and after
Working out nervous energy

Other benefits of being "off work" were being able to participate in some things at church he ordinarily didn't have time for, and helping me with retreat things, even coming down to the camp to help set up.  Together we helped a family from church on their moving day, and the biggie - we went on a two week road trip to Maine!  All the while, trusting that


One thing that hit me a few weeks into this turn of events was that had this happened in July 2018, we would have been much more stressed.  At that time, we were headed to Portland Oregon for our son's wedding in August, and still had a semester of his college left to pay for.  This year we had no big financial obligations like that!  God's timing is right.   

As I wrote this post, I realized HOW IMPORTANT FRIENDS AND FAMILY are and were to us during this time of uncertainty.  The Hub's new friend I mentioned already, but we also were supported by others.  We went to eat dinner at Panera one evening, and coming in the door with some church acquaintances turned into sitting together and getting caught up.  Our friend prayed for The Hub's job search at dinner and that meant a lot to us.  Our kids were upbeat and supportive - our DIL's parents own a lake house and she invited us to join them for a weekend there.  We went on a previously planned trip to Georgia with our long-time Bible study group friends and that was such great time to know that we are loved whatever our circumstances.  We were encouraged by a former work friend that encouraged us to come up and stay at their home in Maine, which prompted an amazing 2 week road trip.  Several people at church encouraged us through conversation and texts. You just never know what simple acts of kindness will impact another's life.
A weekend with our kids at Lake Tenkiller in August

Our sweet Christian brothers and sisters - trip to Senoia, Georgia

Former work friend we stayed with in Maine

There was a lot of talking, praying and thought during this time.  It was a strange time of feeling "less than"  (for me, at least), clarification of our goals, a sweet time of togetherness for The Hubs and myself, and rest.  But, it's nice to be past it, to have health insurance paid for once again, and to not have to answer the questions anymore.  A lot of lessons learned.

I pray 2020 is smooth, but we all know LIFE HAPPENS.  And it's not all good.  Remembering our lives are in God's hands and trusting that he has a plan means I don't have to worry or fret about it.  Romans 8:28 "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan." NCV