My very first job at 16 was working at a very small newspaper company in Vermont. I was a telemarketer calling people to subscribe to the newspaper. I didn’t care because even at 16 I wanted to be a journalist. If that is how I would get a newspaper on my resume so be it.
It didn’t work long. I had major issues with self-doubt and also with bosses who had no idea how to run a business. So I quit. ( Now I am my Own Boss!)
Started working at Dunkin Donuts. We moved around a bit and every new place I would find the local Dunkin Donuts and work there.
When I started college I switched from DD to Starbucks and upgraded as the store manager.
It felt like the Journalism degree was staring at me every time I greeted a customer at the register.
Oh, the question that always plagues us, “What’s the point?”
Are You Searching Instead of Seeking?
So I continued to search instead of seeking our Lord. Plain and simple. I didn’t pray before I made a decision. I asked everyone else instead of asking God what should I do with my life?
I can’t even remember how many interviews I went on looking for my grown-up job. A job my journalism degree would be proud of.
When I landed the job that looked good on paper, I was pregnant.
Pregnancy had me thinking I wasn’t meant to have a career. That desire wasn’t Gods desire.
Our finances said on paper it would not be possible for me to not work and stay home with our baby. I just graduated from college, my husband had student loans, we both had car loans and the credit card bills.
It was while I was on maternity leave I received a phone call explaining my position had been eliminated. They offered me a new position with a higher workload for less money. I couldn’t take it. As much as I wanted any money at all, the Lord told me to decline.
It was a very low moment in my life for me.
I lived 12 hours away from my mom and it just about crushed me to think I would do this on my own. I just graduated from college where all my friends were moving away.
I didn’t have that friend who I felt confident to be there for me. I met some amazing women at my grown-up job who gave me all the mommy stories and were my support group. Yet they were all moving on and I was being laid off.
My best friend since 1st grade lived 12 hours away, and my husband’s family was an hour away.
I felt, lonely, not good enough, and so very unworthy. I questioned why God had me home like this.
Yet, God had a plan. Today I am long gone from that girl who was easily destroyed by the enemy.
You too can rise above and compete. You too have a plan ahead of you that is always better than where you are at right now.
It is so incredibly hard to see that our trials are for a purpose when we are in the midst of the storm. Especially harder when we haven’t talked with Jesus and put in an effort into that relationship.
Six years later I’m living out in the country starting a farm, a dream of mine. I run my own business and make a full-time income working only 3 hours a day! I didn’t give up. I stayed obedient. It was a challenge for sure but one I am so very thankful for.
10 Things I did When I was Laid of from Maternity Leave
1. I cried
I had to just let it all out the pain, confusion, hurt, fear. And breathe.
“For You Have made me rejoice, Lord, by what you have done, I will shout for joy because of the works of your hands.”
2. I remembered when one door closes another door opens
Many of us agree this saying can cause our eyes to roll. If you breathe for a minute and believe there is a plan for you, something better will speak life into your soul.
3. I told myself that I was good enough
I didn’t need to find my self-worth in a paid job. I kept repeating this.
In Shauna Niequests bible study Present Over Perfect, she says, “The only way through the emptiness is stillness: starting at that deep wound unflinchingly. You can’t outrun anything. I’ve tried. All you can do is show up in the stillness.”
4. I made a budget
We had to figure out how this was going to work on one income. We didn’t know how much money we were spending and we had to figure this out. We followed Dave Ramsey and started giving every dollar a name.
Check out this scripture from Luke 14:28-32
“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish.”
5. Best Use of Unemployment Checks
I made the best use of my unemployment and made sure to attend my meetings. It was a blessing to receive unemployment for the short time we did. During the weeks I was receiving it I was able to plan out how we would make ends meet.
I also had to struggle through the self-worth in this. I found it humiliating to be going to an unemployment center when I was a college graduate. There was a whole bit of self-development going on here.
“There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful.” Lysa TerKeurst
6. I got very Resourceful
I researched how to make EVERYTHING I could from scratch because it was so much easier. I made all homemade bread, rolls, biscuits for over 2 years. I cut out as much processed food as possible. My husband has type 1 diabetes so we were on the path of eating healthier this gave us that extra push.
7. We didn’t go out to eat
This is such a big expense so many people don’t realize. Cooking from scratch gives your taste buds a wake up call. You’ll start to taste the over salted frozen foods, when you choose to eat out. Many times you can make meals that taste better for less at home. You need to change your mindset. If you hate cooking, figure out why that is?
Is it because you think you can’t cook? Try again.
If you can read and follow directions you can cook. This may be temporary but worth it.
8. I dressed up every day like I was going to work and put makeup on
This makes a difference and boosts your self-esteem. I knew the days I felt like I could pamper myself because I deserved it I felt much better. It’s not silly go ahead and try it.
9. My husband got a work van and we sold one of our cars so we only had one
You know the drill one less car less money. When your spouse has a company vehicle it is a huge blessing. This was so needed because my husband drives 45 mins to an hour every workday EACH way. That gas adds up. When he is home we can use the one car we have together. When we both needed to go somewhere we had to communicate and work out a schedule. It was TOTALLY worth it.
10. I couponed like crazy
For Real. To the extreme and got our grocery budget down to $25 a week when it was the two of us. That included toiletries, personal care items too! Today I can still keep that grocery budget to $45-$60 a week for a family of four. ( My kids eat way more today)
11. I prayed and prayed
Sometimes the hardest times are the times you become incredibly close to the Lord. Right after my brother was ill I longed for that daily desperation chat with God. I know now that I can still have a deep real personal relationship with Jesus, even when my life is not falling apart.
A great book to create a powerful prayer journey is “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer.
12. I didn’t care about maintaining a certain lifestyle
That means I didn’t need to get an upgrade or new phone. I didn’t need to run out and see a brand new movie. I didn’t need a brand new car, we didn’t need a bigger house because our family was growing. We kept it simple.
I didn’t get a smartphone until a couple years ago AND the reason for it was expanding my business. Otherwise, there wasn’t a personal need to have a smartphone. Stop and think for a humble minute about how many things you don’t need that are surrounding you right now.
Living life on a budget, cooking all your meals can seem like a bore to many at first. Don’t let our culture decide for you. You can get creative thanks to so many amazing articles on Pinterest. This routine lifestyle doesn’t have to be forever. You can plow through this season knowing the next season will be even greater.
When we stop looking to satisfy our own desires and start looking to meet our family’s desires the world shifts in a whole new light.
We realize that urge to surround ourselves with stuff, or people, or insert your own, diminishes because it doesn’t bring us closer to the whole point of this life.