Saturday, January 23, 2010

Now Is the Time To "Toot God's Horn!"

For the most part my blog focuses on my weight loss journey and the boys and their activities. Yesterday's assignment at the Sisterhood was to "Toot My Horn", tell people why "I Rock"! It was challenging but a great exercise for me, but today I am going to post a bit of praise for GOD and Toot HIS Horn!! Before I do, I will be giving a little background info...If I don't you'll be confused and I don't want that. I want this post to be "clear as a bell" so to speak. I want this to be a visual reminder of the good and bad!

Here goes...My dh is an architect, who has been working as a contract designer for the past 5 years. Before 2009 he rarely had to "look for work". It always came to him, or he would make a few phone calls and "boom" he had work, so his marketing plan was to pick up the phone and talk to a few people. Throughout the first half of 2009 business slowed down to basically non-existent. He lost client after client until August when there was "no more work". The beginning of September he started seriously looking for work and "just happened to drop in" (co-incidence, I think not) a former client's office. He talked to the owner and a few days later he started working there. He was promised work for 2 months' time, but the longer he worked there the longer the owner wanted to keep him working. About 1 1/2 months after working there they asked him to continue working till the end of the year. We were excited! We now knew we would have income through the end of the year and the way it looked it would be extended even further. He was so busy working in this office he didn't really think much about marketing or looking for more work. It didn't really look as if he would need to worry about it.

We thought he would be working for an extended period of time and we had figured out how to lower our expenses so that we could afford for him to work there and not worry about "extra work". Then on December 18th, dh was told he would not be needed to work over the weekend. Come back in on Monday, the 21st. Most people would be excited to be told "not to work over the weekend" but we are not most people. This seriously cut into our income (paid hourly) and we really needed that income to meet our budget. We started freaking out a little but he welcomed a break to hang out at our new apartment, since he hadn't really gotten to spend much time there yet. We took it in stride.

He went back in on Monday, the 21st and was told he would only be working Monday and Tuesday and then there would not be a need for him! HELLO....Can you say FREAK OUT??
Where was our income going to come from? How were we going to pay bills? How would we live? You can imagine how my life turned upside down, can't you? Keep in mind that most people when they get laid off from a job can go file for unemployment and collect a bit of a check for 6 months as long as they are looking for work. As a self-employed contractor, dh couldn't do that!! UGH!! Not to mention, guess what? It's the end of the year and the Christmas holiday break! No one hires at this time of the year! UGH!! Again!!!

Time for me to really stress...Strange thing is, dh wasn't really stressing out too much. I guess I was doing enough for both of us! We spent a lot of time praying for God to provide for our needs. We also spent a lot of time trying to find ways to "not spend money". The first part of January dh started making phone calls and started looking for work. He didn't really have a game plan, just start making phone calls to all the people he knows and telling them he was looking for work and sending out resumes. He has an amazing number of contacts. He has an impressive resume. He also has done some impressive work during his 20 years doing independent contract architecture.

This past week, dh finally got into contact with some offices that actually are hiring. He got 3 interviews this week. He feels like he will be offered at least one of these positions soon. Problem with this scenario...we "were" down to about $20 in the bank. No credit cards. Little food in the house. And no idea how we would pay rent on the 1st of the month. We borrowed money from That Kid (who has a great job) so that the cell phone (the one that dh uses for making business contacts) bill could be paid without disconnection.

I spent Wednesday and Thursday in probably one of my worst funks ever. I spent a lot of time crying. I spent a lot of time telling God, "I just can't do this anymore". I spent a lot of time complaining to God that we had endured enough of this "no money stuff". I told God that "we can't live on nothing". I broke down and cried while talking to a couple of friends. I just basically had a "melt down". Strangely enough, I am following a Bible Reading Plan and I started reading Job on Wednesday. Then another friend emailed me a quote from Job. Hum....maybe God was trying to make a point, huh?

I woke up feeling better on Friday. I decided I would just hold my head up and make the most of the day. A friend of ours from That Other Kid's hockey team was coming over and taking us to the new movie The Tooth Fairy. It was right up our alley. We were excited and looking forward to spending some time with friends doing something fun. That Kid also got some tickets to a hockey game that he couldn't use so he asked me to sell for him. He told me to keep half the money from the sale of the tickets since he couldn't use them and the money had already been spent. I started sending emails to people I thought might want them. I didn't hear back from anyone right away, but just decided that I would hang on and believe that they would be sold!

Early in the afternoon dh got a phone call from a "new" client. She asked if he could do "xxx" and would it be possible to "meet with her this afternoon?" Ugh...YES!! He wasn't doing anything else...and the possibility of a contract job that needed to be started SOON!! Can you say, "YEAH GOD??!!!" So dh started getting ready for meeting with the client. That Other Kid and I started getting ready for the movie with friends.

About this time, one of my contacts I had emailed about the hockey tickets said he was interested if they were still available!! Thank you, God! Tickets were sold!! I could meet them Saturday morning and they would pay for the tickets then and we had some cash to get through the end of the month...some grocery money, gas money, and able to pay the water bill. Now to just pay the rent...where would the money come from for that? (Hang on, my story is not finished yet!)

My friend called and said she would be here in a few minutes. We went out to meet her and she handed me an envelope from her sister. Inside this envelope -- $500 CASH!! (Not enough to pay rent, but I believe my story isn't told!) As I opened the envelope FULL of cash from a lady that I had only met a couple of times I just stood there and cried. My friend also gave me money for gas so that That Other Kid could go play hockey tomorrow with the team. After taking us to the movie and dinner at Chickfila (TOK's favorite place to eat) my friend stopped off at the grocery store and bought us almost $50 of groceries. God is soooooo good! He used my friend and her family to BLESS MY SOCKS right off!

At this point, Saturday late afternoon, dh is sitting in his office working on a proposal to present to his new client and we still have 10 days to come up with the money to pay rent. My faith and trust that "God will provide all I can ask or think" has been restored. So I am sitting here at my computer waiting for God to bless our socks off again! HE CAN AND I KNOW THAT HE WILL! I will be reporting back as God blesses us more....

How has God blessed you recently??? I would love to hear your story!!


Sincerely Anna said...

God is so good and not distant when we cry out to him. I know that your story isn't completely told, either. I pray that your husband's proposal will be well received!

AmericanTribal said...

This is very neat, I'm so glad that you've been blessed! :)
I hope your husband's proposal goes well!
Thank you for stopping by my blog :)

Brooke said...

*hugs* that's amazing ann. He never lets us down does He?