Yesterday a tearful husband called me at 9:18 am (approximately...ahem) and told me his boss had called him into his office and laid him off. Unexpectedly. A few weeks ago, all the salaried and year-round employees in his company took a significant pay cut, and we thought that was the end of it. Sure it was a blow. But I'm sure you can guess our mantra, right? "At least you still have a j_ _!" Can you guess the missing letters? Sorry, there's no prize. So you understand why Tuesday's news seemed a particularly low blow. Oh, and the little detail of a big national holiday coming up. What is it again? Oh yeah....CHRISTMAS. Nice timing.
So we pray. Well, first we cry, and rehash the whole event, and wonder whatintheworld we're going to do, and how quickly we can sell our house. We resolve to try every avenue, explore every option.
And then...we put up all our Christmas decorations. Since we are real-tree people, we haven't decorated yet because we haven't gotten our tree. We haven't gotten our tree because we are waiting to go with Dan's brother and his wife and they are available this upcoming weekend. Anyways, we put up the decorations. Which seems like an odd thing to do the day after Dan was laid off. But what is a normal thing to do?
We have had a lot of (financial) ups and downs (o-kay, mostly downs) in our married life so far, but our married life so far has been awesome. There was a small, irrational little part of me that was actually glad that Dan will be home to spend time with us. We've been here before. Up until now, Dan has been laid off every winter...it was just part of his prior position. Of course, we were thrilled that his new job was year-round and salary. Such peace of mind, we thought.
We aren't quite sure what to do, but we've been praying hard even before this happened. We've known we needed to make some (major life) changes, and were just asking for the right path. So what seems disastrous we are so hopefully interpreting as a nudge. In, you know, a direction. Now, knowing what direction would, of course, be particularly helpful. So, if you'd like to pray for us, please pray that way.
Our preference? We don't care if it's hard, or challenging, or new, or different, or near or far. We will not lose our optimism, our joy in our family, our love for each other. Those things are absolutes. I saw my husband smile today, heard my daughter's uncontrollable laugh, ate yummy grilled turkey and provolone sandwiches with mustard, and made the house feel like Christmas (minus the tree). I am thankful for each of those things. But, Dear Lord, we need a plan. We want to please You and make You proud. We want to be generous and love each other and others well. We celebrate Baby Jesus, Advent, and that He grew up to do so much with a few small fishes and loaves of bread. Make 'em multiply. We're ready.