Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not so great news

So, as most of you reading this know Sam was laid off from his job with Chrystler a week and half ago where he worked as the service writer. It happened so quickly, the company has been struggling financially if you have been following the financial news headlines and since he was a new hire (only been there since June) he was let go about thirty min before he got off and they didn't give severance package or anything. He came home and I was so happy b/c he said he was able to get off work the next day so we could hang out together that Friday.. but he seemed a little weird. I finally asked what was up, he said didn't want to talk about it while Sammy was awake but I couldn't take the werid vibe so he said, "well there is a reason I am off tomorrow..." and that is when the room kinda spun a little and panic set in for me. I hate to admit that is not the response I would desire to have but honestly, it is scary! We have talked and prayed a lot trying to figure out what we shall do. I am so thankful for Sam's attitude that night, He did not seem shaken in the least. He was confident in God and was so strong when I needed Him to be.

The situation is especially sticky b/c my funding ends in couple weeks. When I started my program I was so blessed to receive a completely free ride and garaunteed stipend (salary) for 5 years for being a TA to psych courses. Well, now that I am in my last (praise God!) and 6th year the only way I can get funding is to be a full instructor and actually teach my own course. That would be great if I could work as I did before Sammy, the good ol' 12/13 hour day situation. My work week has been drastically cut and now I only have M-Thurs about 6 or 7 hours in day and maybe 4 hours in evening after Sammy goes to bed to getin all my work ,which leaves no room to make progres towards graduation and instruct a course with no TA to help me with grading, etc. So we are of course praying for direction with this as well. Teaching would mean income but would mean no progress in program which makes no sense to pay for Sammy's chidcare and would be basically spinning our wheels and not moving forward.

Sam and I do feel confident that this situation, no income at all, was not a surprise to God. Sam was miserable at his job at Chrystler. It was not ideal but we were thankful he had a job. He did not have a pleasant work environment (ie., rats in break room, worked 60 hours a week for little pay, etc) and it really wore on him. He had been looking for a new job off and on while there but was unable to find anything, so we reminded each other there was some reason God was keeping him there. If he wanted Sam out, He would make it happen. Admittedly being laid off was not how we thought God would move but, we are trusting that God will do something great and provide a much better job for Sam- one that he enjoys and pays enough for us to live on, and that he can make a difference in others lifes with. To be completely transparent and honest though, it has really been rough and a test of our faith. It is so sureal to admit and I know it makes no sense but I feel scared and yet at the same time have a great sense of peace about it. I know that God will not let us starve and our basic needs will be met. Our quality of life will and already has changed as we have cut back drastically but big deal, right? God promised in His word to meet all of our needs not our wants but our needs.

I say my faith has been and is being tested b/c we have prayed for so long for a new job, for at least 9 months or so, and then Sam is laid off and we are in even worse situation. It is challenging to pray and pray and not see a result, or is this the result and we can't recognize it? I feel like God sees me as a spoiled brat when my human nature gets the best of me, He is working it all out in his way to fit His big picture/plan for our family and yet I doubt Him. Things don't go as my little brain thinks they should so I worry and complain and yet all the while He is doing what we have prayed for. I am thankful for the excellent support we have. Our families have been just so wonderful and reassuring, I can not even express our grattitude in words. Our "extended" family, and by that I mean church family, has been just such a blessing. When we shared our news with them, instantly we gathered, joined hands and prayed. We have had so many encouraging us to stay strong in our faith, sending job leads to us, and just allowing us to be real with them. Thank you to Kim who has helped us in every way imagninable. Thank you to Andrea for just everything, I can't even begin to write how she has helped us along, it was no coincidence you ended up at our house shortly after, He knew right when I needed you! Thank you to Katie for opening up Sunday morning and for all who were there in class as we Got real about doubting God and "borrowing" each other's faith. It is so great to be comfortable bearing your soul, your innermost thoughts with those whose advise and direction you can trust. It is just indescribable to have a group of believers that we can be that real with and get honest feedback from. I know I say it often but I am just so very thankful for this group of friends God has given to us, true friends who carry our burdens for us when we can't bear it any longer.

Our experiences in Guatememala and other third world countries have helped us realize that no matter how rough think we have it our circumstances in NO WAY compare to what others in the world struggle with. We will make it through this and will be much stronger for it. I will keep everyone updated on the job search and our funding decision. Sam has submitted several applicatons and been on one interview already. We have one lead we are especially excited about, it would be just perfect for him.

I don't want to leave things on such a bleak note so here are a few pics of Sammy & Hannah from the other week for you that should make you smile. We had a great time playing on the patio, Hannah blew bubbles for Sammy and he giggled with pure delight. She also enjoyed trying to help him become more fond of the sand in his sandbox. Mom & Richard got him a sandbox b/c he once upon a time loved to play in them but his weird issue with things touching his feet has made him very hesitant to get in. He begs for us to open it andsigns please from inside the house looking at it but then cries a little when we open it. He stands outside and leans in to play but then cries if it touches his feet???? Don't ask, I have no idea. So, Hannah in true Hannah fashion jumped in and took a "sand shower"to show him sand is ok. It took me and her about 3 times of scrubbing her hair in the shower to get most of it out and even then she still had some sand in it. Lesson learned! No dumping sand in hair from now on. I included a pic of Hannah with Jan, one of the missionaries from Guatemala who stayed with us for a week, we had such a great time visiting with her and Hannah still asks when Mrs. Jan can come back over. The reading pics are of them with Sampson. Sherry sent Sammy a book about a sock monkey named Sampson and an actual Sampson monkey and it is by far Hannah and Sammy's fav book to read together, nevermind that it is about the Christmas Story (EXCELLENT message about God intertwined, I highly reccomend it btw). Each time she is here they read it and Sammy kisses and hugs Sampson when Hannah reads his name. (that's right, Hannah reads very well now, I am sooo proud of her she is doing so great sounding out difficult words!!!)