As I alluded to Sunday, this week started bright and early with another new schedule. Back in May, Calvin lost his job. So, over the summer, he has been employed by a staffing agency for on-call home health work. (This usually provided 1-3 days of work per week; not much, but something!) In the meantime, he regularly applied to jobs, even scouring Craigslist for “odd jobs” around town.
Then, in August, the work assignments stopped (a client was admitted to the hospital, and no longer needed home care). This meant three weeks of complete unemployment. Another staffing agency hired him on, but didn’t have any work assignments for him either!
We have been so thankful for God’s blessings during this time. The rent has always been paid, there is nourishing food on our table, and (so far) no one has incurred any expensive medical bills (minor issues have been treated homeopathically at home). I have learned even more frugal household techniques in the meantime (such as this and this), which has certainly been a blessing in disguise!
Right before the job loss in May, God provided the finances to stock up our pantry for the future. I felt an urgent sense of necessity to complete this task in April, and I ordered bulk organic beans, grains, and flours from our co-op. This was incredible timing, as we have been so blessed to have this provision to cook from throughout the summer. We also were blessed with venison and fish from family members, to stock our freezer. The Farmer’s Market has a nice “food stamp program” to provide fresh produce, and we’ve been growing some of our own plants as well.
God also brought a buyer for our car, after weeks of being on Craigslist. It seemed that God was preparing our hearts not to rush out and buy another car. As we waited for the car to sell, we had a growing realization that we really needed to use all the earnings from the car for living expenses and tuition costs. We realized that we couldn’t have the mindset that “maybe we will buy another car with a small portion of the money.” Originally, we deemed the one-car situation as experimental, but we’ve now embraced it.
It was disappointing to give up the dream of having a car with air conditioning, but we’ve made it through the summer! We are so thankful that we didn’t purchase a “new” car before selling our old one, as we had discussed at one point, and even contacted some sellers on Craigslist. At just the right time, when we were wondering how to pay the rent bill, a buyer showed up. God’s timing is so perfect.
Our current car is full of quirks, and on its last ‘legs’ (literally; it needs new tires, a head gasket, and other various attentions), but through our minimal driving, and use of public transit, we are getting where we need to be. (We still shake our heads in awe that God has kept this little old car “alive” for this long!) We are praying that God will continue to provide for our transportation needs in the future. (Ironically, the one place we wouldn’t be able to get to in a timely manner without a car would be our church, as Sunday morning transit is very limited.)
Packing for long road trips has been challenging in our little car; Gen hardly has room to move in the backseat amidst the camping gear! But so far, we haven’t lacked anything on our trips. (It was obvious, though, that if God ever blesses us with more children, we would either need to stop taking long trips, or acquire a larger vehicle.)
During an especially emotionally-challenging time, Suzanne’s series on Surviving Job Loss was incredibly encouraging.
After prayerfully waiting through the unemployment, we are grateful for God’s provision of a new job! It is a new position as an EMT; the career Calvin has trained for and enjoyed previously. The company recommended that he sign on as “part-time/on-call” to allow him the flexibility of choosing shifts around his school schedule. (Full time paramedic school starts in two weeks!) This week, Calvin is in training classes for the full week. We are praying for God’s provision of shift availability and regular paychecks in the future.
Gen & I still don’t have health insurance (it’s not provided for part-time employees), but we continually place our health needs in God’s hands. (However, Calvin will have insurance for himself through his school, though, as a requirement of the program.) Through quality nutrition and using natural/homeopathic remedies, we are attempting to be good stewards of our health.
When my glasses broke this summer, I was able to order an inexpensive pair off the internet. We had each visited the dentist this spring, with good results, and this routine has helped keep our smiles bright. Calvin and I have been thankful for our background in the healthcare field, as it has been encouraging to have had some medical training to use for our family’s health. God is faithful to remind us not to worry, and that he cares about all the details.
It has been an adventure of a summer, but I am so thankful for how we have seen God work, and for all that we have learned. We have had incredible challenges and blessings this summer, as God is growing us through living simply and serving him.
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