Monday, September 12, 2011

Challenges

The euphoria of Chris finding work and our move has worn off and we have reached a point where we are a bit discouraged. Chris had worked so hard and we were at a good place financially before he was laid off. Now in some ways it feels we are back at square one only this time we are back there with three children instead of it only affecting the two of us.

However, no matter how discouraged we become, we do still remember that there are a lot of people out of work these days and so we are thankful that God has graciously provided for our needs. And I imagine we aren't the only ones struggling right now with having gone from a certain level of living that while not extravagant before the lay off it was still very comfortable and we had money in savings.

Our savings are gone, we used them to live off of until they ran out. We were able to make it until November before it finally all caught up with us - no health insurance because our TriCare had run out and barely able to buy food, much less pay the necessary bills. We had no choice but to apply for assistance.

That day walking to the building to apply, I stopped and looked up, struggling inside. Pride said, "Turn around and walk away. You don't need ask for help." The realistic part of me as a mother that had visions of little girls going to bed hungry and without medical care when sick at war with the pride in me. The mom won out and I walked into the building and filled out the necessary paperwork and asked them to please put a rush on it, since we had no health insurance and Elizabeth has asthma and medication she had to have. Our social worker was a nice woman, sympathetic and offered words of encouragement that we weren't alone - there were a lot of families finding themselves in this situation. Only most of the people who to apply had house payments of $1,000 a month or higher. One of the things that helped us, was that Chris had wisely not purchased a home that exceeded our income. That alone eased some of the pressure.

These days you don't get check or cash like food stamps, they place the food stamps on a debit card you are given. You have a video you have to watch about how to use your debit food stamp card. So I jumped through all of the hoops and found out what amount we would be receiving from the state and started planning a menu.

Through all of this, we learned some things that helped us a lot.
1. Our children learned to eat what was given to them - Beka is the only one who is still fighting me about eating and she mainly just wants to sit on our laps while she eats.

2. We discovered who our friends were and were not.

3. Chris discovered that he is absolutely 100% NOT A SALESMAN and neither am I.

4. We learned that while our situation was not ideal, there are always others who are faring much worse than we are financially.

5. We learned to listen to God's voice and to reconfigure our priorities and that our priorities weren't too far off when we started this new journey.

6. We've learned to be grateful - especially the girls learned to be grateful for what they have and that we are really very fortunate.

7. We learned it's a lot easier to trust God when you have plenty of money, but the real test comes when you are facing hard times and you can still lean on Him. We both got a refresher course in trusting God and letting him have control. And it's a lesson we are still putting into practice these days.

I hope you all have a good week.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

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