What's the big deal about Young Living

In Which You Find Out Smockity Isn’t As Nice As She Wishes She Were

We are going on week four since my husband was laid off, and in case you thought it was all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows here, I thought I’d fill you in on a few of the emotions I go through in a day.

Not  that I’m proud of myself for feeling this way mind you, and almost every day I feel like a great big bawl baby because I know there are so many people going through real, gutwrenching heartache and my little problems are only a drip compared to their great sea of despair.

Nevertheless, the feelings come, and I wish I could say I was wise enough and strong enough to push them away, but that just isn’t true.

  • Self Pity – I feel sorry for myself and wonder why this is happening to us.
  • Anger – I feel angry that this is happening. Angry at people who complain about their jobs, angry at gas prices, angry at the economy.
  • Shame – I’m ashamed that we have to take food from the church pantry. I’m ashamed that I am angry.
  • Worry – I feel sure that there is no way we are going to make it.
  • Exhaustion – I feel overwhelmed with all the analyzing and scrutinizing that goes into everyday decisions. For instance, if we need milk, should we use the gas to go to the store to buy it today? Or do we wait until we go in to church to pick it up? Everything seems extra complicated.
  • Defensiveness- I feel the need to explain if someone I know sees that I have a Starbucks frappuccino. (I used a gift card.)
  • Guilt – I feel guilty about these feelings. Guilty that I worry.

I realize these feelings don’t make sense and that I shouldn’t feel defensive, for instance, about using a gift card to buy a frappuccino.

I do believe that God will care for all of our needs, but I also know that sometimes God cares for the needs of his people with locusts and wild honey, and here’s the thing, I don’t care for eating crickets.

So, now you know the cold, hard truth. I’m not as nice as you thought I was.

And I’m biased against eating insects.

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Comments

  1. Connie. Here is a little to think about. I know what it is like to go through what you are. My husband was laid off from his work back in 2001. He was hired about a month later by another company. However, back to your post…did you consider that God provided that gift card because He knew you needed something (even as little as a frappuccino) to give you a little sanity in your crazy life. You are doing well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is the time in your life when you find out who your friends are and who isn’t. And this is also the time in your life that you see God’s blessings are a lot more clear. Like Starbucks coffee… have one for me, will you?

  2. Been there done that several years ago. Hide – site is wonderful. Several things I learned during that time. Graituded did not come easy for me, but it helped the anger. Shame and guilt of this kind is a product of the devil, blessing are from God (He gives every good gift…). What to do?? Send a prayer to the Holy Spirit for an answer (milk now or later) He is very good at whispering answers, takes away some of the stress. :-)

    Oh, and you are human… Give yourself some slack! Your children don’t learn it in a day or week, He, God, gives you the time you need too!

    Praying for you and your family.

  3. My hubby has been out of work for 2.5 years. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who struggles with these feelings and the decisions on when to go get milk. You truely learn what is and isn’t important during times like these, although it doesn’t make the feelings any easier nor any better.

  4. Reading this makes me cry, because I have felt all of those things since my husband’s layoff x10. It’s encouraging to hear that I’m not the only one working through those emotions! I recently wrote a post on my blog about God providing:

    http://momanswerswithbrit.com/?p=342

    I mention a quote in there about self pity from Helen Keller. This has been on my biggest struggles! Praying for you!

    “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” – Helen Keller

  5. Oh, my heart goes out to you. I know that doesn’t help, but I *do* know that my responses would be like yours but TEN times worse :(

    I really pray for hubby to get work; for contentment for you and him; for a sense of peace…………
    Hugs x

  6. I came upon your blog 2 days ago. I read your review on Spelling Power. Not knowing this crisis in your life, you unknowingly have encouraged me. The love of the Lord is evident in your life. God is using you whether you see it or not. Most of the time He uses us when we are in a valley. Now is the time to soak in His presence and feel His hand wrapped around your family. God bless you.

  7. When our income was cut in half the year we came to Christ, we quickly learned to be dependent upon the Lord for each and EVERY SINGLE THING! I remember being totally amazed at His provision. In fact, Philippians 4:19 was the very first verse I memorized (and quoted often!). Being a brand new babe in Christ, you can imagine what this did for my faith!

    Thank you for your transparency. I don’t have an appetite for insects either! :)

  8. Connie, you are only human. I think you’re handling everything very well! Thinking of you and praying daily…

    Kim

  9. Connie,

    You are only more precious as a Sister in Christ BECAUSE of your weakness and your frailty. You are modeling to us how to live through this crisis the right way. You are showing us normal emotions and reacting to them the best way you know how!

    Keep your chin up Sister! I have seen this very thing happen in our own family and almost without exception those laid off end up with a better job/benefits/pay than they had before! God is good. He will reward your faithfulness.

    *HUGS*

  10. Been there and done that! 3 years ago my husband lost his job. He was our ONLY income! I had four children at home and a huge mortgage note (more than we could really afford WITH his job) and credit cards, etc. We’ve lived everywhere—even in an old warehouse we turned into a house on the inside for a 1 1/2 years. I started selling on Ebay and CL to help supplement, but it was a drop in the bucket for what we NEEDED. I can’t tell you how many nights (3 a.m. seems to be the worst) I wake up in sheer panic. From “how are we going to eat” to “I forgot to take back that library book and now I owe a fine!!!” thoughts. We’ve learned that just when we THINK we are at the bottom as far as what we can do creatively with finances…we find we can go lower! :) The work has picked up a little (he draws house plans) again now, but for 3 years it has been a nightmare. I also homeschooled my children and graduated two during this process. I truly KNOW how you feel. My husband always says….just look back….somehow we’ve made it! Somehow we have a roof over our heads and we haven’t starved. It may not have been ideal, but God has provided!
    (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your BLOG—keep us posted! I love hearing REAL stories!)
    SUSAN

  11. Connie, this is so normal. What a rough time you are going through! It doesn’t matter if others are worse off. What matters is that this is what YOU are going through. This is your trial. And it is very difficult.

    Thank you for encouraging so many with your life!

    I hope you get many more gift cards because they sure do brighten our days!!

    (hugs)
    Blessings
    Mrs. White
    The Legacy of Home

  12. Bless u smockity family! I am praying for u… Hugs!

  13. Love you sweet friend. Praying for you and Mark and the kiddos.

  14. Know that I am lifting you and your family up. You are loved and this too shall pass. You would be there to support others so it is okay for them to give support to you too.
    Keep the Faith!

  15. All of your feeling are natural and god provided that gift card. Like previous posters said you needed a little sanity in your life. Believe in christ and he will provide everything.

  16. Now I KNOW you’re nice!!!! Smile! This difficult time in your life will force you to cling to the Word of God and NOTHING else. That is all that we have and that is the only sure thing. Everything else (including jobs and money) varies, the Word of God is the same today as it was thousands of years ago.

  17. Just want you to know that YOUR faith builds MY faith. So many people are praying for you.
    I would love it if you would also pray for my friend, Rebecca. She’s a homeschool mom of three who just found out she has breast cancer. I keep the 2 of you in my prayers daily. I wrote about her today if you want to find out who she is. Much thanks…and blessings wished your way!

  18. Dear Connie,

    Thank you for writing this. I go through these same emotions constantly. My husband was laid off in September 2010, and has been substitute-teaching while we live with my parents to make ends meet. We have a 1 year old and a 5 month old. The 5 month old wakes me up at night (soaking wet), and then I can’t fall back asleep because I worry so much. I think if I bought disposable diapers (instead of using our cloth diapers with tripled liners) for him at night, then maybe he would sleep better? But then I think how we can’t afford anything extra right now. It goes on and on. I started The Abundant Wife as an effort to battle these emotions, to fight the self-pity with gratitute and joy. But it’s hard every day. Thank you again for writing.

    Jessica

  19. Connie,
    I too, know these same feelings, when just a few months ago, my husband was laid off for a month or so! And it is true, late nights are the worst, I would wake up and think of things I had even touched on thinking during the day and just lay away for hours, worrying. When in reality, God does provide and that was just Satan attacking me at my lowest! I really believe we have to go through times like these to make us truly appreciate what we do have in the good times!!! And to remember to praise him in both times!!! I will continue to pray for you, just remember God takes care of even the sparrows!!!
    Love,
    Amanda

  20. We’ve gone through it twice, too. So, with much experience (of which I do not want), I’ll say that the first time is HORRID, you think you’ll die of starvation, and the “what ifs?” are worthy of a mental breakdown.

    Then…you get through it somehow, months or a year later, and realize that you weren’t naked, you weren’t without a roof, and you never did starve. Also — it was character-building for the kids, who learned they didn’t need the latest XBox 360 game. And — it was family-building for all, as you battled that giant together.

    So, if/when the second time comes around, as our family is in now, you’ll not be scared at all and just see it as an adventure.

    (It wouldn’t hurt me to starve just a bit anyway) God bless! ~ Lori

    • Lori,
      Thank you for sharing this. We’ve been through it once and wouldn’t really want to go through it again but it is sure nice to know it’s not as bad second time around. I can see the truth in that.
      Renee

  21. I am also biased against insects. :-)

  22. Connie, this looks like some of the Psalms David wrote. He didn’t hide his feelings when talked to God, and I don’t think we should either.

    David was honest with God, even expressing anger to God about his circumstances, and still God called him a man after his own heart because underlying all those feelings was a complete and utter dependence on God.
    But that dependence did NOT mean that he didn’t have those same feelings you are experiencing.

    So don’t ever feel like you have to suppress your feelings about the situation. Continue to express them honestly to the Father, but always remain in complete and utter reliance on his watch care over your and your family.

    You are loved Connie and we continue to pray for you!

  23. I listen to Christian music throughout my day. It comforts, soothes and uplifts depending on where I am emotionally. Singing songs to the Lord as you go through your day also helps to take the focus off your worries. Many people in the Bible shouted to the Lord there anger, frustration and worries, so feel free. He wants all of you, not just the pretty parts.

    There are lessons the Lord is teaching you in this difficult time. What they are I don’t know. But, some years ago I went through something similar. My husband suffers from depression and 4x he was so depressed he couldn’t work. These episodes would last 4-7 months at a time. It would wreak havoc on our finances. I learned to always have at least a years amount of food on hand(lesson from Joseph’s story). At least we would eat.. I read every book I could on cutting expenses. And when he got better we stayed in cutting to the bone mode. Looking back, I only wish I had leaned more on the Lord. I wish I had read the Bible more and prayed more than I did.

    I will continue click on your blog daily and if I buy from Amazon, it will be from your site. God Bless You and Yours.

  24. You have a teaching certificate, and you teach your own children. Perhaps you could take a tutoring job with a local tutoring service for the summer. It would be easy to quit when your husband finds a new job, and it might be interesting for your children to have a bunch of just-dad time for a few months. I think a very temporary job like this would still demonstrate your confidence that your husband can soon again become the sole provider for your family. Perhaps God is providing for you during the layoff by having provided you over many years leading up to it with valuable education and experience that you can use to ease your financial troubles in this time. Something like this may also help ease your not-so-nice feelings about struggling.

  25. My husband was unfairly fired from his job in the middle of March. I never, ever thought he would be without a job because his job seemed very secure and he excelled there. God has done amazing things in my husband through this season. I feel it has been the unexpected answer to many prayers I have prayed for my husband. He is looking to God and relating with Him in a whole new way.

    I know you had said at the beginning of this process that your goal is to keep your house. My husband called our lender, GMAC, and told them he was unemployed. He was going to ask if maybe they could charge us interest only until he got a new job. They did so much more! They referred us to a program in our state called “Keep your home California” that will pay our mortgage for up to 6 months. We qualify b/c he was our sole income. It does not affect your credit, your mortgage terms, anything. It is a govt. sponsored program. It looks like before they process the paperwork my husband will have a new job but the fact that this was an option really helped ease my husband’s mind. Maybe your lender has something like this?

    I’m glad you were able to have a little coffee treat! Little treats like that are special! Take care, precious sister in Christ!

    • Mer,
      Please contact me as soon as possible! I am the Communications Director for Keep Your Home California and I would very much like to talk to you about your success with our program. I’m writing several “Success Stories” and you would be a prime candidate! Please email me at egerberding@calhfa.ca.gov.
      Thank you!
      Evan

  26. I experience a variety of those emotions on a daily basis – and we don’t even have a job loss or any other reasonable excuse! I love reading Habakkuk 3:17-19 when the dark clouds roll in. It reminds me of what my heart attitude should be in spite of my “crisis”.

    Praying that the Lord be your strength and your joy!

  27. Fears are compounded in the dark of night. At times like this I found it helpful to physically tire myself so I would be more likely to sleep through the night:)

  28. I can totally relate. My husbsnd is an electrician and we just went through a three or four month layoff. I’m trying to learn to allow God to use the situations to give me snap shots of my heart. But it means I have to own my yuck & that is hard.

  29. Hi Connie! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and have found so much inspiration in your love of the Lord, large family and frugality.

    We’ve had some really difficult financial circumstances the last few years too. For awhile, I was completely panicked all the time. But as our relationship grows closer to God, I try to set my focus on eternal things. God has curbed my paralyzing worry and turned it into a healthy “I don’t care” attitude because in the end, our struggles here are not eternal. He is eternal.

    You’re doing a wonderful job supporting your husband. Thanks so much for his posts and perspectives, it’s helped me in supporting my husband during our struggles. It’s hard to know what to say to encourage your husband, because sometimes, what you would find helpful, they do not and find offensive. So any insight your husband has is priceless!

    We’ve cut back to nothing for years and every now and then when we treat ourselves to a $20 dinner out, I feel the same way – that I have to defend myself to the people that know what’s going on. But it’s never because they say anything, it’s all in my head. So I totally hear you!

    Thanks so much for sharing as those of us who have been there (or are still there) feel similarly and it’s nice to gain encouragement from others!

  30. That about sums it up – Tim and I have been through a lot of it.

    Our first layoff happened just after we moved to a cheaper apartment (saving us $75 a month) and our first anniversary in 1991. He was layed off for a year, though got a side “job” through that company … but ended up not getting paid for much of the work he did. A school called me out of the blue and hired me to teach … school started in 3 days. A year later, that company hired him back.

    In March 2000, they called him in to say they were downsizing the company (already just themselves, their son, and Tim). They were very generous, paid for 2 paid vacations plus 2 weeks severance, plus continued insurance for 6 months. He ended up with a contract job in July at a BIG corporation. We sold the house, moved north … and in November that big corp layed off over 700 people.

    We hung in until March 2001 hunting for work and living off the sale of our house before returning to our hometown (not a good place for computer work).

    His first found job was with a paranoid guy who didn’t know beans about programming, but had a great programming idea – Tim was his 4th person – and he was paranoid because some of the others had hacked/virused his program when he fired them. … Wasn’t long before he was worried about Tim and hired a new guy without letting Tim know he was replaced … which cost him several of his programming books that he was never able to retrieve … that guy left 2 weeks later.

    Then followed a stint with McDonald’s from Oct. 2001 – March 2006. That was far less than positive. During this time, we were forced into bankruptcy. … Most of it resulting from medical bills, dental bills, car repair bills, and moving costs. Otherwise, we had always been very frugal.

    Out of the blue, he ended up at a company close by, doing computer work from March 2006 until March 2008. Neither of us are sure of the politics involved in his being layed off there, as his co-workers were quite shocked and dismayed.

    So, once again – no income, and now we had 3 kids. We had a pitiful amount coming in from unemployment. Mostly we survived from income tax return and frugality and kindness of those in our church and neighbors. Just a few days after he was layed off, I found out I was pregnant – and lost the baby Mother’s Day – and I nearly died from the dose of Morphine that the hospital gave me. I sunk into a deep depression (that was our 5th miscarriage).

    A year later, he got a job with a gov contract which ran the month of April – then was denied security clearance. We were again expecting. Mother’s Day my Mother suddenly died from a pancreas infection. Leaving me with care of my Dad’s house (we lived next door) and my niece that they had custody of. But between that month of income and our taxes – we made it to basketball season (Tim refs). Baby was born in October. We had a major car accident in November 2 days before Thanksgiving. My sister was in a car accident the following Spring. My best friend’s baby was born with Downs and then had a huge ovarian cyst removed (while I kept her 4 older children for most of 6 weeks). And Tim had a major heart attack in March.

    Yeah …. that really sums up how we have been feeling. Especially hard has been the anger, self pity, and depression – and the never ending, mind numbing headache of exhaustion … wondering what we did wrong to be punished so much – worried that I’m ruining my children – ashamed and guilt because I’m not more available to my family to help them out – afraid that I’m showing the same symptoms that eventually killed my mom – ashamed to keep asking for help (our church and friends seem to always be bringing us groceries). Guilt for any tiny splurge. Defensive when we get anything new. Fear of the future and the unknown. Guilt when I don’t cope.

    I should be thankful more. I should be so much more than what I feel and what I am. We keep seeing God’s provision and grace … why can’t it be enough? … I go weeks without touching my blog because I don’t trust myself to remain positive. Then feel guilty because it means so much to my grandmother and other older relatives to keep up with our families.

    Thanks for being brave enough to voice what so many of us feel. One thing I have learned with so many miscarriages … it helps a LOT to know that you are not alone – and that others struggle with the same feelings in the same circumstances.

  31. (((Connie))) Praying for your family!

  32. I always cling to 2 Cor. 12:9 during difficult times when I feel similar emotions to the ones you listed.
    “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.”

    Praying for you all!

    • One more verse for you that brings peace to my heart.

      Isaiah 43:2
      When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. (NLT)

  33. Nice try, but I still think you’re every bit as nice as I thought you were. ;-) (((Connie))) Praying for you, friend.

  34. Mary Kay says:

    I am reading your blog regularly and ordering all Amazon orders through your link. I hope you have lots of little bits that add up.

  35. Thanks.

  36. I so know those kinds of horrible emotions! I’ve been through it more than I want to remember. A lot of things helped me, one was my husband, constantly pointing out that even though we don’t know how we’re going to pay the bills, at least for the time we had a roof over our head, food to eat, our kids were healthy, and we had family, friends, and a Church ready and willing to help in whatever ways they could. Not what we wanted, but we had what we needed. Then he suggested that we decide to be happy, no matter what. This pf course got harder when he had no job AND needed surgery, but people we didn’t even know stepped up and started giving us food and family started buying our kids clothes without us even asking! I realized after a while that since service is so important to being a Christian, someone has to need that service. Think of the story of the good Samaritan. Beautiful story. It teaches us that we should always help those in need, even if we have personal issues with them. But then I looked at in a different way: if the man had not been robbed and left for dead, the Samaritan couldn’t have served him. So even though we constantly try to serve others, God needs us all to take turns being the one who needs service so others can serve! I hope that made sense.
    And although we’ve had times when we only had $25 to $30 for a week of food, we never were willing to try insects either. Honey seems like a good option though.
    And I know how it is to feel neurotic about every penny you spend! We’ve even walked 2 miles to get milk and eggs and oatmeal during a wind storm in 30 degree temperatures, because we didn’t have the gas money to drive to the store! Then not having money for trash bags, asking the saleslady at Walmart to double bag every thing so we could use the plastic bags as garbage bags! For some reason, that was a hard habit to break!
    We’re praying for you! Good luck!

  37. Hi Connie,

    I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. Those emotions are quite normal(I speak from experience)
    I noticed on your blog that you said you sold aprons but I could not find a button, link or category that would direct a person to your shop.
    Are you still selling them?

  38. Thank you for sharing this. I am grateful to know that I’m not the only one struggling with these emotions. I’m not real fond of the idea of eating crickets myself.
    Our pastor encouraged us this past Sunday that it’s okay when we go through our struggles to argue with God about them. He can handle it. It’s when we try to handle it all on our own that we will fail.
    Big hugs!

  39. Hello Smockity,
    this is only my second or third time around here, and I’m liking what I’m seeing. Now, for a real “been there, done that” that will hopefully help:

    DH and I have a 2 y/o that came as a surprise when we were the least prepared financially and otherwise, WHATSOEVER!! DH had to return to his country while I did immigration ppw while pregnant. After an unplanned emergency C-section, he had to leave again b’cuz he had no “green card”. I was left to take care of baby, recover, attempted BFing, with no car, no family help (my mother was terminally ill at the time and sis had to take care of her and neither could help me obviously), on foods stamps and whatever little was left of what DH sent from his work in his country, after paying all the immigration fees.

    Hubby got his “green card” in Sept 2010, came home to us to meet 1y, 8mo. old little guy and find no job for 3 months. weren’t getting food stamps anymore, lived off skinny savings. He found a temporary job when savings were running out (under $100 left). Worked for 2.5 months, saved a little, and have been without a job for 2 months now. Savings ALREADY RUN OUT. He got a little cash for his b’day. I got a little cash for Mother’s day. We’ve spent it in groceries (our diet is getting quite close to locust and honey now). $9 left in my purse; $5 left in the bank; cell phone bill due tomorrow; rent due in 10 days. No idea where the money is coming from . Still no car.

    But like many others said, we still have a roof over our heads, beds and bedding, soap, towels and dishes, friends and family, and a loving church. We are telling as little as possible about our situation b’cuz we are trusting the Lord completely. He may choose to help us thru others, but we are willing to wait until it is absolutely necessary.

    BTW, now that we have to be so meticulous about even the food we can or cannot buy, I’ve discovered several “luxuries” in my house that I am cleaning and putting up for sale. When you get hungry, and bored with “locust and honey”, you may just realize you may do without the fancy accesories and decorations in the house, or the old jewelry you keep only for sentimental reasons.

    Believe it: “it all works out for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) There are those who live like this every day of their entire lives and they are happy, joyful, faithful Christians. I think the Lord is trying to teach you and me the secrets they have known for so long, that we may share in the mystery of their joy.

    All my prayers for you…

  40. I downloaded your eBook via a Money Saving Mom Facebook announcement, and this is my first (of probably many) posts to read on your blog.

    I am sorry to hear about your husband’s layoff.

    I think you are very brave to be so candid and transparent. I’m sure that others with similar trials will be very blessed by your testimony. God has a reason for “stirring your nest,” and He will clue you in in due time.

    I am a homeschooling mom of six kidlets (ages 8 & under with four 4 & under, so technically only homeschooling two for now), and I can’t wait to poke around in your blog some more. ☺

  41. Rebecca says:

    Connie,

    All the feelings you are having I too have felt, and still feel. My husband has been self-employed for the past 2 years with no regular income. God does provide. I must say that where I have my sewing machine, I wrote Philipians 4:11-13: 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

    12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

    13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

    It gets me through the rough days, the days when I am crying because our food money ran out, and we need milk, or our freezer is getting bare. Somehow God has provided just when we need it most. As a friend of mine has said to me, we serve a last minute God. Sometimes we get what we need literally at the last minute, because its His will. I will be praying for you, and enjoy the little gifts that people give you for you. :)
    Rebecca

  42. May I respectfully say, sometimes being a helpmeet means stepping out for your family and taking a job. If you feel so ashamed about hand outs and want to be self sufficient, get a temporary job. You have so many skills, unique to you like cooking, teaching, organizing that could get you a job and not your husband.
    I would do just about anything legal to keep a roof over our head and food on the table. Your husband does not seem like a man threatened if you bring home the bacon so to say, temporarily.
    And please don’t be too hard on yourself. You are allowed to have fears and doubts, just keep telling them to God.

    Blessings.

  43. You sound pretty normal to me. Never feel ashamed of getting help from your church pantry or food bank. I’m sure you’ve been on the giving end before. But, it can be a very humbling experience… And yes I understand about the whole complicated decision process. We no longer have a car because there was no money for it. Now if I want to shop I have to plan around when I can get a ride from someone or walk or bike. The weather becomes a big factor and sometimes everything just seems too complicated. however, we have a roof over our heads and food to eat and I still have my job and have found there are ways to bring in little bits of income here and there. We are also discovering we just don’t need so much…

  44. when my dh lost his job he was making over $100,000 a yr. they took our home and our car. we began renting and dh went to work at 2 crappy jobs , working from 8 a.m til midnite 6 days a week. i was stuck at home with at the time only 6 little ones with no car. in the middle of no where .
    we lived on $16,000 a yr for 8 people. but with bills geared to our previous salary. for 2 years.
    i cried when i saw empty cabinets and dh and i went hungry to feed the littles. then God told me to go to the food pantry :) i know embarrassment well.
    our church refused to help us! they said it was a handout and they don;t do that. we left that day.
    my dd had open heart surgery during all this. more stress! the hospital looked down on us as we arranged emergency medicaid so she didn’t die.she’s fine now.

    i know the anger, rage, self pity, hopelessness, fear, discouragement, shame ( we had christmas during all this! i couldn’t buy anything! my mom gave us a tree and the toys for tots provided gifts. you want to know a shameful sinking feeling?)
    we went on food stamps and all of a sudden we weren’t christian by many people’s standards.
    i know the feelings you are experiencing. i am telling you this becuz i want you to know that blogging saved my sanity. that this feeling will last a very long time even after dh gets a job, that you will second guess every choice for a long time to come and that i don’t believe in saying look for the blessing and smile. God created those feelings to get us thru things. and you are getting thru it. you may not see it for awhile but you are getting thru it.
    learn everything you can about saving money. be prepared to simply go without. wait for the well wishers to drop off in while cuz they will, once your story doesn’t change fast enuf. but you will find out who your true friends are :)
    this is a learning experience and a half! you will learn more about yourself than you ever wanted to know. and what your values are. how strong a marriage you have , what your kids are made of and your apptitudes. i learned i don’t sew well but boy can i work a yard sale ! i pray that this is over faster for you than it was for us. i pray that soon all will be good again.
    tip- baking soda alone washes clothing just fine. mix in a bottle with water and you can wash dishes or hair. it works as a cleaner too. i do all of this daily and it works.
    i hope i don’t sound bitter or discouraging. i just don’t want to be another person who says i’ll pray and that’s that. i want you to know you have a friend who totally gets it :) and you can say anything you want to me and i’ll understand. my email addy is above :) and by the way-don’t feel badly if you don’t rush out and get a job. i can’t tell you how many people blasted me for that! it goes against our beliefs and i was homeschooling too!

    • to you, too, Tami.

      As far as Mom getting a job goes… you ladies know that you are *capable* of getting a job and “bringing home the bacon,” but I’d venture to say that a homeschooling Mommy returning to the work force during this trial in your family’s life would be more overwhelming to the kidlets than what you are already experiencing. Just hang in there ~ God is in control, and He (who cannot lie) has promised to meet your needs. You will come out purer and shinier at the end of this fiery trial. Tie a knot in the end of the rope and hang on!!

    • Tammi, thank you for your post too. You tell it like it is, which is what I do too. It’s honest, out there, upfront, no holds barred reality. I have loved every post, but yours helped me know that we are not alone. This is not just something my family has gone through. (It’s so hard when everyone around you seems to be fine and you are the only family struggling to keep the lights on!) I completely understood your comment about going without food for the sake of the kids. I no longer eat supper at night….it’s one less mouth to feed. We refuse to go on food stamps, etc. Some say we aren’t hungry enough yet….but I just say I am thriftier than they know! :) Thank you again….and Connie….thank you for your blog….I really love it. Hoping for good news soon!!!

    • Oh man Tami you are so right on. With everything! Our stories are much the same.
      I would get so mad at Christmas because I would want to be the one picking out gifts for the kids rather than getting trash bags full of Dollar Store junk. (the kids didn’t care. Christmas is great no matter what they get) And I was supposed to be thankful.
      You are so right on about “not being christian for taking food stamps.” We moved to a little community and I refused to use it there because EVERYONE knows who’s using assistance. And call people nasty names for doing so. And really I struggled with “I’m not trusting God to provide.” Even though it enabled me to stay home.
      We let our house go. It was a huge loss to all of us. But I learned that I am the one who makes the home. And 8 of us lived in a 2 bedroom for 3 years. I would take the kids to the historic homestead homes (we are in Nebraska) and say “See. This use to be how everyone lived.” I was really trying to convince myself.
      I think we underestimate what we are capable of. I’ll just say Ditto for your second to last paragraph.

  45. thesocialhomeschooler says:

    Hey, my husband was without work for the 13 months leading up to last fall. Of course we live in the infamous Michigan ;) I have definitely been there. It’s a very, very scary road to be on! You feel like, “How am I? Really? Do you REALLY want to know? You might be sorry for asking if I am real about how I feel.” It’s a catch 22. Either you share and then feel like you’ve dropped a huge weight in their lap, or you suffer in silence. And it’s so hard to try to live day to day with kids during all of this.

    God is with you every step of the way. You just have to give it all to Him, and then give it to Him again, and it will make a HUGE difference. You’ll see.

  46. Praying for you Smockity Lady!! *hugs*

  47. I’ve been praying for you, Connie!

    It made me think of a very powerful moment for me when Eric and I were helping a woman pick out Christmas gifts for her children at a church function where parents get to pick out gifts that have been donated. Anyway, during it, she just broke down. She told us that she normally would have been a person who was helping people pick out gifts. She couldn’t believe that she was the one doing the picking.

    I remembered that especially one year when we were on the receiving end of some financial help to make Christmas possible for our kiddos.

    (((HUGS)))

  48. You are holding up remarkably well under such circumstances. And there’s no fooling me, I know you’re nice!

    We’re praying for you.

    Nikki

  49. Heather Mason says:

    Thank you for being so real, Connie. I think of you almost every day. I am a mother of 9, and finances have always been tight. I appreciate your admission that things aren’t all rosy for you. You are so cheerful, and I love that about you. I appreciate you for letting us know that you aren’t ALWAYS cheeful, though. Now I don’t feel so guilty for not always being rosy like Connie (smile).

  50. It’s an honest thing to share what is really in one’s heart and I am sure it’s very helpful to let these feelings out. No one can fault you for feeling down some days.

    You might think this to be different, but when I read your blog and of your husband’s unemployment, I see a family that is very blessed. A loving family of many children, a devoted husband…side jobs, gifts of food, gift cards, meals from friends, continued extra activities for your children. I’m sure there is more, but “wow”, how wonderful it’s been for you to be on the receiving end of such love and care. Not many people in this world have such fortune to be given so much or to receive as much love.

    Now, I am going to strongly encourage you on something (and I hope you take this with the good intent behind it). There is no reason to keep feeling shame – shame about your situation, shame about receiving help, shame about the food pantry. It’s simply not productive. There is no reason to feel ashamed for something that simply cannot be helped.

    You don’t have to be perfect through this, you just need to persevere (yes, I know that’s the hard part, but it’s gotta be done). :) Have you thought about writing down all the blessings that come to you each day – like a gratitude journal? It really will lift you up, when you need to be reminded most.

    I SO wish you all the best!

  51. I know this is a really scary time and that frappuccino is a nice escape. Just know that what you are feeling is normal and that those of us that read your blog think you’re amazing and appreciate your honesty.

  52. Hang in there, Smockity. Been there, still there. My business crashed and burned a couple of years ago, and I’ve been working hard to re-build – NOT easy and very slow going. I’ve cringed with shame at receiving handouts from the church pantry, hand-me-down clothing from friends, the constant worry and struggle over bills and whether you buy gas or food, and not being able to buy birthday presents for the kids. It can wear you down and wear you out. But on the other hand, you do learn some things – new skills, frugality, you draw closer to your family, you learn to really depend on God, and you learn new attitudes and perseverance. The Lord gives us the lessons we need, not necessarily the ones we want. Keep your faith strong, and keep moving forward – someday, you may look back on this period with pride on how you coped with the crisis.

  53. My husband was out of work for 10 months from 2008-2009 and I got pregnant during that time (with our fourth) too. We had to take money out of our 401K to live on and God saw us through it mightily! Lean on Him during this time and don’t beat yourself up over the feelings you have from time to time.

  54. Our pastor talks (jokes) about how God can provide our food even by ravens, not that we would like to necessarily eat what a raven might bring ;)

  55. I”m praying for you guys (came here from The Common Room blog). We’ve had a few close calls but never been through a layoff. We have always lived off of one income though since I have worked while DH is in school (God hasn’t given us children at this point).
    For income, apply to write at demandstudios.com It is flexible, the articles aren’t difficult to write and it pays decently and consistently. I can actually make more/hour writing there than at my full time job (but I like my job more). It is 100% legit- we’ve been doing it for over 6 months now and have made a decent income just doing it part time. I’ve been told many people apply and get a “no” the first time, but are accepted if they reapply.

  56. Robin D says:

    Connie, I’m SO GLAD I came across your blog! You have just stated ALL the things I have felt in the past 3 (YES, THREE) years!! I pinch every little thing I can! You are NOT alone! I have felt so guilty and ashamed that I have chosen to ignore the fact that I, myself, needs blood pressure medicine, and that I have a ticking bomb inside me that can explode at any moment! BUT what do you do when you have lost your medical insurance and can’t afford the meds!! You try to manage it ANY way possible and keep the FAITH!! GOD will do whats best!
    Now, we do stock our freezer EVERY winter with WILD GAME (deer, turkey, etc.)! This is what we eat all year! We grind the deer into our own hamburger, I also make beef tips for stew, or even Beef Tips & rice! I grow LOTS of veggies in the summer and freeze them too! We have TWO freezers full! I use the seeds from last years garden that I dried and saved! I will not go get foodstamps UNLESS I have to! And in the 3 yrs, I have not had to! GOD IS GOOD!

  57. Robin D says:

    OH, also, we have 2 Cherry Trees, (which are ready now) I pick and make freezer jam, mini pies, and cobblers with! I also pick a BIG bucket to take to a lady down the rode who has Blueberries and I swap with her! Next the 2 peach trees will be ready to pick, in which I do the same with! Then we have 2 apple trees, and then 1 pear tree!!It’s really tricky trying to keep the squirrels away (especially the peach trees! I think them rascals sit an check them every second! ARGHH! LOL!) But I was successful last year! So lets see if I can do it again!! God is Good!!

    If you have some ideas for the fruit trees PLEASE pass along! I enjoy a GOOD recipe!

  58. You are only human, so therefore, you have feelings. But we know that you are doing the best you can. The church pantries are for those in need, and you’re in need, so use it!! You wouldn’t want the stuff to go to watse, would ya? :)
    Also everytime I check my blog, I say a prayer for you and your family. And a side not, my hubby bought me a kindle for Mother’s day, and he went through your link. Every little bit helps, right? :) God bless you!!

  59. I think this is just grief Connie. At least it was for me. (6 years being under-employed after a year layoff.)
    It is so hard to lose your lifestyle. To be unable to buy your own things. Things you enjoy. Things that you take pride in. Christmas. To be unable to give. Even to give your children their desires. These things bring us pleasure. And when they are gone… well it’s just hard.
    The hardest thing for me was having so much pride that I couldn’t ask for help. When I finally (after 5 years of this) dumped on a friend. The blessings started deluge-ing in.
    Hope you don’t have to endure this too long.

  60. Rebekah says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I have thought about writing a blog once called “keepin it real” since I feel there are plenty of blogs that paint life as just rainbows and flowers when it really is nitty-gritty most of the time.

    My husband has been laid off for 2 years and we are at the end of our rope we are living in a relatives house and just had our 6th child.

    G-d has been providing our “needs”. We have food, shelter, and warmth. However it is extremely hard. We are selling many of our possessions to pay our bills and have to take food form the government. ugh..
    The hardest thing for us is keeping it together emotionally and be good parents to the children. Like you mentions in your post…The situation adds so much EXTRA stress and effort when you have to figure out small details just to make ends meet. We barely have enough energy to homeschool and have a meaningful relationships with the children. So then piles on the guilt. Our kids then act up, we lose it, and the cycle continues. We are trying, trying, trying…but it feels like we take one step forward and three steps back.
    You are not alone…..

  61. Connie, I’m new to your blog and I’m just catching up on your current situation. As a military wife I can tell you that even the best of times at the bottom of the pit, are still at the bottom of the pit. It’s dark. It’s scary. And above all, you have children down there with you. I’d love to share something with you. I was active duty Navy as an intelligence analyst and wad deployed to Iraq in 2007. While I was there we received a heavy rocket attack. In the middle of the tiny trailer I worked in, I had kicked my only other worker out, ordering her to run to the shelter. The rockets were landing all around my trailer and the explosions were shaking those ridiculously thin walls. I HAD TO SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTERS. Why there was no Kill switch I’ll never know, but one by one I had to get them shut down properly or it could be catastrophic. In the middle of that, I was, of course, panicking. But something occurred to me: “God isn’t surprised by this. He’s never surprised. He always knew. Even about this. And he had a plan.” That gave me so much comfort. I loved that He never has those, “oh crap!” moments. Even before I was born, he had a plan. I ended up being injured, but it wasn’t that bad compared to others that day. 3 guys lost their lives. I was medically evacuated 3 days later and am still getting medical treatment even now. But I just want you to know that yes, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. This too will pass. And in the end your children will remember you as the pillar of strength that held it all together when the roof looked like it was going to cave in. My prayers are with you.

  62. Theresa says:

    I understand this all too well! Me & my family have been in a hotel since March 26 after lightning struck our home & caused fire. Feb 26 my dad almost died so I had him staying with us when this happened. My husband hurt his neck at work & had to have neck surgery a few months prior to this & right before Christmas they cut his workman’s comp off & wont allow him to come back to work due to his limitations. I am disabled due to DDD, RSD, peptic ulcers, OA..so I suffer daily with chronic pain.I put on a smile even when Im in so much pain so most people dont understand. So I feel ALOT of guilt from not being able to work & help while my husband is healing. It looks as though we may lose our car, our home, everything. We were struggling to make the house payments & are behind but had ins paid. They have just been dragging. I am a Christian & know that all things work together for the good to them that love Him…It would be nice to have someone from our church to offer to go cut our grass or help out with caring for our pets that are still at the house instead of us going everyday, which is so costly, or offer some kind of help. I thought the bible says that when the one member hurts the whole body hurts…that we shouldnt just say go, be fed..we are praying for you. But to be doers..Lighten each others load. I don’t mean to complain or grumble but it is so hurtful for those that I called my family to forget us during such a terrible time in our life when we are in such despair. I try and encourage others while at the same time hoping it will encourage myself & lift my spirits up. We are Christians but we arent perfect..We do get down, sick, hurt and need someone to be there for us. Thanks for your posts

  63. Connie – this is so well said. I’ve felt those things too. It’s okay. It’s okay to acknowledge them. In fact – it’s reality. Just thinking of you today and praying for you.

  64. Connie,
    Thank you for being so open and honest. You were able to put into words what I too have been feeling. I don’t have the way with words that you do, and I was not able to group my feelings the way that you have. It is almost therapeutic seeing these feelings identified. I am not the only one who tries to figure out the cheapest way to get that gallon of milk to my house or feeling guilty for having something nice or somewhat embarrassed because the whole world is seeing us have to downsize.

  65. I have heard that the locusts referred to in that Bible passage could be the locust bean, which is more commonly known as carob. If that’s any comfort. ;)

  66. I can totally relate to this Connie! It’s been almost 2 years since we’ve been in the same boat. My husband was layed off in May of 2012. It took 7 months before he could find another job. That job was part-time and no more really than unemployment paid us. 6 months later, he finally got a full-time job, but then was let go one month after he started. The Lord provided another full-time job within a month this time. It’s been like craziness. Just when we thought we would be caught up, it started all over again. We also were given food from church pantry. So many miracles occured when at the last moment, God provided. What I learned to help you Connie, is even though we struggle with those negative feelings, we press on. The good news is that you are not alone. The Lord really uses these times to test our faith in trusting in Him. Over and over again. Thank you for your post and I will be praying that His love surround you all, you are blessed. He hasn’t forgotten you. You have inspired me to write about my situation. Sometimes it’s hard to share these personal hard times, but this is how we can encourage each other. I like to remember how God dropped down His manna and quail from heaven. . . a little more delightful than the locust and honey. :) LOL
    I have a post about trusting the Lord during these hard times, if you’d like to check it out? http://littlepinkcasa.blogspot.com/2013/08/20-bible-verses-for-trusting-god-in.html
    So many Blessings to you!

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  1. [...] she is trying to make better, as well as the bad that just must be faced. Her latest post in the How to Survive a Layoff series is a completely  honest look at her frustration and I commend her for being brave enough to [...]

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