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Dealing With Daily Uncertainty

Now that my husband has 2 part-time jobs, our financial burdens have been eased some. We are able to pay our bills and buy the very basic necessities for running a household of 10.

I still struggle with the uncertainty of day to day matters though, especially since he is working out of town most of the time now, and I am here with the kids on my own.

  • Will either of these jobs lead to a full time position?
  • When will he get to come home?
  • How often will he be called out of town?
  • Should I take the baby to the doctor for her fever? (He always knows what to do.)
  • How many more trips will his 1997 truck make?
  • How am I going to get the garbage to the dump? (He always takes it.)
  • Should we sign the kids up for gymnastics again?
  • What if one or both jobs fall through?
  • How do I answer, “What is Daddy’s job? What does he do?”
  • Am I being too hard on the kids?
  • Am I being too easy on the kids?

It seems this layoff has made me second guess everything I thought I knew for sure.

  • I thought my husband getting up and going to work every morning was a sure thing.
  • I thought my husband being home for dinner every night was a sure thing.
  • I thought being careful with money meant getting the bills paid was a sure thing.

Now there aren’t very many things I’m sure of at all.

I’m sorry there is no wise or witty ending to this post. I’m certain that at one time I would have had one, but I’m not sure I know what the take-away should be anymore.

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Job Update and Layoff Series News

If you have been following my live layoff update page or Facebook fan page, you know my husband took an oilfield job.

Here is the scoop about the job:

  • For now it is part-time.
  • He will keep the roofing job part-time also.
  • It has potential to be full-time.
  • He will be traveling a lot.
  • It will require lots of waiting to hear when and where the next assignment is.
  • A long time friend from the golf business had heard through my Facebook updates and this blog (Hi, Mitch!) that he needed work and contacted me about it.
  • Hopefully we won’t have to move since the company is planning to expand to our area.

As for this weekly layoff series, the response has been so overwhelmingly positive, that I plan to continue with the following topics:

  • How to plan for unforeseen financial crisis
  • Adjusting to part-time work
  • Tips on looking for a job
  • How to pay your bills during a layoff

I am also taking guest posts for the series, so if you have experience living through a layoff and would like to submit a guest post to encourage others, please contact me.

What else would you like to read about on this series?

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Needs Vs. Wants

Since we are trying to spend as little money as possible, the difference between needs and wants has come into sharper focus for me than it has ever been before.

For instance, I am a butter lover. In fact, my kids teasingly call me “Paula Deen, the butter queen” because I firmly believe every dish is better with a stick or so of butter in it.

And I am a butter snob, so I mean real, honest to goodness butter, not margarine.

Well, it turns out that butter is a want, not a need, so I have been baking with less butter, or, don’t you judge me, margarine.

I can buy a pound of  margarine for $.89 when the same amount of butter is $2.99. You might be thinking that worrying about such a small amount of money is silly, but it is very serious for us.

We are scrimping to save every little bit of change we can so we can be sure to pay our necessary bills.

Butter is a want. Electricity is a need.

The same is true for baby shampoo.

We have had baby shampoo in our house almost constantly for the last 16 years. I love the way a freshly scrubbed baby smells!

But, it turns out babies are just as kissable and sweet when they are washed with free antibacterial bar soap as when they are washed with baby shampoo.

Baby shampoo is a want. Paying the mortgage is a need.

Please, understand that I am not telling you these things so you will feel sorry for me or send me some baby shampoo. My goal is to encourage those who are in our same situation.

God provides for our needs.

If you are unemployed and you have needs that are not being met, please, contact your local church. There are many Christians who want to help you in the name of Jesus.

What would you consider a want that you once thought was a need?

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Employed, But Without Income

So far, my husband has driven 1200+ miles and handed out around 80 fliers in his new job as a roofing contractor.

Since it is a commission based job, and he hasn’t closed a deal on any roof work, he still isn’t bringing home any income.

This means we are still in extreme NO SPEND mode as we continue to nervously look at the horizon and wonder what is ahead for us.

We hope this job will eventually generate the income we need to keep us afloat.

Until that happens, or another opportunity for employment presents itself, we will stick to our layoff survival plan the best we can and remain faithful that God will provide for our needs.

During this time, I have been reminded time and time again that none of us knows what tomorrow may bring. When times are good, it is so easy to be lulled into the false assurance that tomorrow will be exactly like today. It is when routines are upset and plans are dashed that we realize each day is a gift and not to be taken for granted.

I will determine to appreciate what I have today.

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Having Faith

If you read here regularly, you know that my husband just began work as a roofing contractor.

Since this is a job that is completely based on commission, that means if no sales are made, no money comes in.

I won’t lie. I would have felt much better about a salaried job that had insurance coverage and a vacation package, but at least this is an opportunity to bring in income.

I can’t help thinking that God is still working out some kinks in my faith.

I have often pondered the faith of pilgrims or pioneers who would pack everything they had in a ship or covered wagon and head off to an unknown land. Who knew if they would encounter violent thunder storms (no weather radar to check), savage animals (no animal control to call), or starvation (no grocery store on every corner)? They actually had to live on faith.

I don’t think many of us have ever had to live on faith to that level. I know I haven’t.

I have a feeling this new job will teach me a few things about having faith in God’s provision. Who knows if he will make any sales his first month? Or second? Or all through the winter?

One thing I do know. God will provide. I have faith.

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A Job! {and Free Business Cards}

We are excited to announce that my husband has a job!

Of sorts.

That is to say, he has the opportunity to earn some income.

He has gone to work as a roofing contractor. He’ll be trying to find people who need roof repair. Since it is TOTALLY commission based, that means we still don’t have any income unless he makes some sales.

At least it is a start, though. He is excited about who he is working with and is eager to learn the ropes.

Interestingly, during this layoff one of my blog readers contacted me to say that her husband owned a roofing company and he needed workers, and being the trusting type I am, I was all, “Shyeah, right. You SAY you’re a blog reader, but you’re probably really an ex-convict named Scary Larry Rodriguez, AKA The Blade, who has just been released from prison after a lengthy incarceration for a bloody crime and you read Mom blogs to troll for your next victim.

But then she emailed me a couple more times, and my friend, Joy was like, “Connie, I know her. And besides no one goes by “The Blade”, plus ex-convicts read deal blogs, not Mom blogs*. Stop being ridiculous and contact her!”

So I did, and my husband met her husband, and they are totally nice and normal! Well, except for the part where they are expecting their EIGHTH baby. That is cuh-RAZY!

Our next step, besides my husband following her husband around saying stuff like, “What’s that? Why are you putting that there? How many of those did you order? Is that your real hair?” is to set up a website and get business cards printed up.

So, if you need roof repair and live in Texas or know anyone who does, I know a really hunky dude who will come right to your door and help you with everything you need to get that sucker fixed up good as new! (Seriously, email me!)

And speaking of business cards, Vista Print has an offer TODAY ONLY** for 250 business cards FOR FREE!!! Hurry and snatch this up! I ordered some cute ones a while back and I often use them to put in gifts at baby showers or birthday parties. That way, the recipient has my address handy for a thank you note.

*I totally made up that part.

**I am an affiliate for this program. I will receive a small payment for each order.

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What's the big deal about Young Living