Monday, February 1, 2010

Blessings in the midst of trials

My husband is still out of work. He is a carpenter. Most of his work has been framing houses or millwork (trim and cabinet installation). He has worked for several different builders over the years. Some of those builders are completely out of business right now. Some have downsized their number of houses they build by over 75%. It's shocking really. He has been on unemployment for the first time in his 18 years of working.

His unemployment just ran out last week.

The President "ok'd" an extension of Emergency Unemployment Benefits recently. The only problem is, you have to apply by mail for this extension once your benefits run out, and it can take up to 4-6 weeks to get an answer.

Kinda defeats the purpose of this being an emergency, but I won't complain.

If he doesn't qualify for this extension, then yes, I will complain.

To who? I have no idea. Probably here, so consider yourself warned.

There have been some amazing blessings through this though.

I know that on the other side of all this we will be a different family. A better family. I am honestly trying my best not to rush God through this. Ohhh how I want to be on the other side of this, but I am still learning, I still see it everyday. So, I'm taking notes and storing them in my heart so they don't get lost.

Here's a couple:

Little things can leave the most amazing memories your children will cherish for their lifetime:
We rescued a kitten a little over a year ago. When she was old enough to need to be fixed, we didn't have the money, so I didn't do it. This last Fall she had kittens. 4 of them. 1 died a few days after birth. 1 was so tiny (the runt) that I feared we would lose it too. My youngest was determined to love that little one to life. She did. Every single day she would go to the garage and sit and hold it and and make sure it got it's spot to eat and would watch over it the whole time making sure none of the other 2 kittens pushed it around. It made it! And today you should see her and "Whittie", they are inseperable.
For Christmas we gave one kitten to my Mom, who's cat had just recently died. She says it was the best present she's ever received!
The other day my girls were playing with the cats and my youngest daughter started to quietly cry.
I asked her what was wrong.
She said nothing was wrong. She was just so happy and that having these kittens had made this the best year ever!
Of course that made me cry. I had just been feeling like this was the worst year ever.
not anymore. If I'd had the money at the time, I would have gotten the cat fixed and would have missed this event which turned into a huge blessing for my girls.

I have never been a huge junk food buyer. Like, I don't think I have ever bought a box of twinkies or anything hostessy. But we have in the past eaten very conviently. The freezer was always stocked with frozen burritos, eggos, hot pockets, fries......and the cupboards had cans of soup, crackers and chips. Easy quick to fix food.
Well if you've ever been on a grocery shopping budget you know that these type of items can be made by spending alot less money. Yes, I'm talking from scratch. I started slowly. The girls love pancakes and waffles for breakfast and I just couldn't afford to buy them all the time. So I started making them from scratch. Same for the fries. Do you realize how much stuff you can make from a .99 bag of potatoes? And the homemade fries are now a family favorite!
If you looked in our freezer now, you'd see only meat, some frozen fruit, and frozen bread. With the cupboards not holding so much quick snacky stuff, we eat tons more fruit and veggies. Basically because sometimes that's all there is to snack on.
I am by no means a healthy food expert but it does feel good to know I'm not putting so much processed food into my kids diets. My youngest gets headaches alot and my middle daughter has some attention/dyslexia issues. I can't say that these have gone away, but I can see a huge improvement with them. Is it the food? I don't know for sure, but my Mommy instinct says yes.
If our finances hadn't changed, I don't know that I would have changed our eating habits so much and I love the way my girls eat today.

Blessings in the midst of trials.

What blessing can you find from a trial in your life? They are there. We just need to make the choice to see them.

*disclaimer: I did not mean to start a debate in any of the following areas;
President Obama
Food choices

I realized after I wrote all this that these are very some touchy subjects now a days. I'm just trying to share the blessings our family is receiving through a hard time. So, PETA instead of telling me how irresponsible I am, how about tell me where I can get my cats fixed for free.


Carpool Queen said...

Several years ago my husband lost his job for a season. It was a difficult season for us, but the lessons I learned in those days have stayed with me.

Beauty from ashes.


Gretchen said...

I love this. Not to say that I love that your husband is out of work, or that the budget is slim. But...I mean that you are praising and trusting the Living God when it seems the most culturally crazy thing to do.

Lurve your disclaimer, too! Ha

Mommas Soapbox said...

I have lived what you are speaking of. It is so true how there are blessing sprinkled amongst the pain and stress. And boy howdy can food be a big budget buster. I also believe diet plays a big roll in not just our body but our minds.

I will be praying for your family but I do believe you will come out the other end stronger for it. It makes you realize what is most important.

Great outlook......I hope you qualify for the "emergency" money.

Anonymous said...

When times are tough, as they are for you and yours right now, it's sometimes hard to see the upside, but you're doing it and your children are helping. As I've said to my two teens during hard times: Chin up, eyes to the horizon. Tomorrow will be a better day. You will be in my prayers.