Friday, July 23, 2010

My unemployment story. And how the birds are keeping me going.

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Mathew 6:26

My husband was laid off at the end of February back in 2009.  He worked for a wonderful company in their lighting department.  When he first started working with them back in 2005 he was a warehouse dude.  Then he moved up to the front desk.  Then he started to drive a truck route.  Then he got bumped up again.  And again. And finally he ended up at a desk job and we had to purchase some khaki's and nicer shoes for his new "office" job.  He is one of those hardworking, blue collar, all American fellows who goes above and beyond to earn certificates and training all on his own.  He earned several gift cards (which resulted in us look like we are sooooooo cool with two computer screens and a new set of golf clubs) and many certificates.

Keeping busy by building our family a shelving unit, April 2009

Now here we are, a year and four months later.  Living the life of the unemployed family.  He could go to work for $8-$10/hr.  But he makes more on unemployment.  And his unemployment check barely pays the bills.  Let's just say this ain't no year for Disneyland or that cruise to Cancun.  Infact, we second guess the drive to Wal-Mart thirty minutes away. 

"Do we really need toothpaste?" Just kidding... kind of....

My Mary Kay business has been a blessing by being able to provide the means to purchase our necessities (toothpast, toliet paper, etc) and by putting gas in the minivan.  I am active with the business and I do etch out a time several days a week to book my appointments.  The dishes can wait because they don't pay the electric bill.

 "Mom needs to make her phone calls so we are going to have quiet time and read our books"  Never underestimate the power of a woman on a mission.  If you have a bill to pay, by golly you're going to figure out a way to get it paid.  To me, it's to check up with my customers and see if anyone needs a new foundation or cleanser.  They add up fast and my gals are glad to hear from me. :-).

On the phone making my calls with Ernest in tow, Feb 2010.  Photo courtesy of Ethan.

Kendall ebays stuff.  Garage sale stuff.  Old stuff.  Stuff from out of the free box at yard sales.  For example, I bought 3 huge boxes of K'nex from a family of four boys.  That mama looked tired.  She was done storing them and the boys had moved on to machine guns and football, or whatever teenaged boys do.  After some research we listed them on ebay and by golly a guy from Qatar purchased them.  When it was all said and done he paid over $400 US dollars for that stuff.  FOR REAL.  Go through your closets and look on ebay, you might be sitting on some gold and could pay your mortage with the stuff in your basement!

Back to unemployment- are we poor to the world?  Yes.  We'll eat top ramen before going to Denny's.  The local parks and river are free, Valleyfair is not  To me, however, it's a matter of what your definition of poor is.  My children are fed, bathed, and clothed.  We have our health!  We have our freedom's (by a thread) and live in the United States of America.  We are AMERICAN CITIZENS! 

And we have our faith.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
God's way of saying "I know this looks really bad and all, but I've got your back and if you just stick with the plan I have something great up My sleeve."

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
In God terms- "Don't love money!  Be happy with what you have!  I will never never never NEVER leave you or fail you or abandon you."  How many times does the guy gotta say it?

And my favorite quote for this chapter in our lives:
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Mathew 6:26

You're right, God.  You feed the birds, and they're just birds!  You love my children, my husband, and myself so much more.  Why should I worry and give my energy to something you have under control anyway?  Why should I entertain thoughts that gray my focus of Your blessings?  We are a blessed family!  I will focus on Your promises.  I will focus on YOU.  We are only on this earth for maybe 80 years or so.  But I will be with you in Heaven for eternity.  What's 80 years to eternity?  Not a big deal.  Thank you Lord for my children, for providing us with food and clothing and shelter.  A safe home.  Our minivan!  Thank you God!  It's all Your's anyway. 
Just know I appreciate it. 


  1. Crystal,this just made my day ! Your so sweet & I love how you posted this blog.All the Glory is God's.I can't say it enough! I thank him so often,we truely are blessed ! Enjoy those boys & Hubbs & precious time till little sweet baby girl arrives ! ~Amy Penner (:

  2. I LOVE your attitude. I try to think positively, but it gets hard at times. My husband is employed, and it barely pays the bills...It's just not an easy way to live. I often think of those very verses though. We may have lost a house to foreclosure...and are by no means wealthy, but we have always had our needs met. Thank God...and thank you, Crystal!

  3. You are such a strong woman and doing a great job raising your sons! Can I order things from your Mary Kay website and have them shipped to me? How does that work? I love their hand stuff and would love a new set.