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How We Are Keeping Busy During the Layoff

There is a lot of waiting during a layoff. Waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for an office to open. Waiting for a call back.


Staying busy and being productive have helped us to cope. At least we feel like we are planning for the future in some small way during this uncertain time.

Here we are preparing a plot of land our sweet neighbors have generously said we could garden.

One of the blessings of having Daddy home is being able to spend time working with him.

Lots of space for planting!

Here is our girl taking a break to listen to a story of the time in 1937 when our neighbor got in big trouble because he caught his brand new corduroy britches on fire right here on this very land.

One of the things that has helped us tremendously in keeping our spirits up is to focus on our blessings. We have been on the receiving end of many comments, emails, handwritten letters, gifts, phone calls, and prayers. It seems repetitive to say, but I will say it again.

We are simply overwhelmed with the goodness of God and the kindness of friends.

Here is a note I got in the mail from a sweet friend I have never met who heard about our layoff.This made my day! Thank you, Emma!

If you are going through a layoff:

  • Make sure your friends know what you are going through. They may be able to help out with your needs, encourage you, and pray for you.
  • Focus on the blessings you still have. Look around. Is your family healthy? Do your friends still love you?
  • Find something productive to keep you busy while waiting. What can you do that might be a blessing to others?

If you have gone through a layoff, what have you found to be helpful while waiting?

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  1. This is great that you’ll have such a HUGE garden space. If hubby was working full time you probably would have missed out on this great time together “working the land.” Now that you’ve had the awesome experience I’ll be praying for a super job opportunity to appear;) That’s really nice your kids can get some history with the neighbor and find out how he spent his youth.

  2. My husband lost his job 3 weeks before we got married. I was (and am not able) to work due to health. It was an challenging time but we survived. It changed the wedding plans and ultimately our honeymoon plans as well. Such is life and there was nothing we could do about it – we focused on the wedding plans and setting up home. Fortunately the unemployment time was short, but it was a challenge to my faith happening when it did. God worked it all out. Since getting married we’ve not had a real vacation in almost 8 years, but I remind myself that we are blessed in so many little ways while living on a modest income.

    The second time my husband lost his job we were in debt – striving very hard to pay it off as quickly as we could. He did have another job, but we relied greatly on the 2nd job and for a short time we barely could pay for the basics, including food. Our progress slowed and we had to really cut expenses (we’ve probably cut expenses another half dozen times since then!) On the positive side, we are debt-free. We eventually got there! It just took us longer to do.

    We’ve learned a lot since those times, and I try never to take for granted that my husband has a job. It may not be the best job, and it doesn’t pay nearly as well as it should for what he does. He’s never have been given a decent raise or true cost of living raise, but it’s a job, and I don’t take that lightly.

    What helped me during those times was the ability to focus on making frugality a good challenge – setting goals and giving myself frugal projects to keep occupied. I tried to see what could be accomplished instead of focusing on the things we could not do or did not have. That helped a lot. We helped to lift each other up when the other person needed that.

    We will always live very frugally and have to pinch pennies in order to manage and put aside any savings because things are just that tight. However, reminding myself that we are not alone, I try to remember so many in this world that have so much less really. That will keep one humble. Also, having special family time without spending money will make a lot of wonderful memories. We often still do things like going to a book store and maybe treating ourselves to a coffee, or going to the library. A drive through a park lifts the spirit, playing card or board games and making good frugal comfort food always cheers us. Frugality is a way of life for us. I have been living that way my whole life and I don’t foresee it going away any time soon.

    I found that once the initial shock wore off, the more focused I got the less I worried. Sometimes we need moments to be down and get things out of our system – but I encourage you all to give yourself a short time to do that and then say “it’s time to focus on the positive”. And there is always something positive. Sorry so long but I hope this helps! God bless.

  3. I found that it was really hard to settle into ‘being productive’ whilst my husband was out of work (for a year and a half). But we persevered. I knew a job would come along eventually and it did. The challenge was to keep positive. For us it really helped to keep getting out into nature … walks in the bush, at the beach, even in the backyard.

  4. I hope it’s not a long lay-off, and I’m sorry I don’t have any words of wisdom…. but I am praying for you…
    You are blessed to have been given land to plant, and I know there are many blessings just now with being together, but I still pray hubby gets work soon. x

  5. Have y’all read George Muller of Bristol? I think it would be so encouraging during this time. I’m about halfway through and the Lord is really blessing me with the reminder that He is Jehovah Jireh. We’re praying for your family- it’s been amazing to watch how He has been caring for you and how your attitude has reflected His grace.

  6. We are in month #6 of my husband’s layoff. I actually just wrote on my blog about how I stay positive and encouraged.


    In my post I encourage everyone to read Phillipians 4:6-7 over and over and actually do what God ask us to! I think it’s helpful to actually print it out and put it on your mirror as a daily reminder. This has brought me so much peace! Praying for you during this time!

  7. Connie! Im praying for yall. I am trying to find the post about the bible memory book ABC something? Also do you have a good book suggestion or resource for The fruits of the spirit, The ten commandments and The armor of God? Also- I was going to send a little something your way. Where can I get an address?

  8. Your posts have been so encouraging.

    While we have not had a lay-off yet. My honey’s company is on the downhill. We will make 1/2 of what we made last year. Needless to say, we are tighting our belts.

    Praying for you!

  9. Shannon says:

    My husband was laid off 4 years ago, so I know how you feel. It is hard to keep positive, but it looks like you have a ton of support. My husband ended up taking a job that involved about 90% of his time traveling, and still has that job (he found it on Monster.com). I would not recomend this type of job for every family, it is hard on all of us, but it puts food on the table and clothes on our backs. Ultimately , this not-so-new-anymore-job has been a blessing, as they have provided my husband the opportunity to learn a new trade.

    Something that I find to be a good source of encouragement is making (most) everything a game for me and my kids. For example, finding coupons = scavenger hunt for my girls with the sunday coupon inserts, saving on electricity = we use only “free light” (a term my 4yr old coined) when possible, etc… I’m sure with a large family you do things like this anyway. I just like to make it a priority to involve the kids in a positive way so it’s not stressful for them.

    Praying for you and your family.

  10. My husband is a music teacher and the school he worked for cut the music program last year (June 2010). I HATE uncertainty!!! I have hard time stepping back and giving it to God. I am slowly learning……counting our Blessings helps a lot. I have found in all things when I focus on what I have rather than what I don’t have I have a better disposition. My husband found a part-time job that pays our mortgage. Unemployment pays our van payment and the insurance. I have a student I tutor and a little girl I babysit, that is our gas, electric bills, and groceries. My husband has some intermittent work teaching private lessons, and playing for weddings and the like-that picks up the slack for the rest. And then we pray. God always comes through with *just* what we need. Out kids are on state Medicaid, and I have a high deductible policy for health coverage. My husband has been denied due to a pre-existing condition, that is the only thing that still bothers me, is if he gets sick or hurt :( I stay home with our 2 boys (one is in 1/2 day Kindergarten). I have gotten less ashamed to ask for things. Like scholarship assistance for my son’s schooling (we aren’t paying anything this year!). I have learned to give specifics if someone asks how they can help. We also haven’t forgotten to help others. Blessings on your time, and may it be short!!! 😉

  11. Remember to try and enjoy the time you guys have with your husband/father. I remember two distinct times of unemployment in my family. One time, my parents were stressing and my dad seemed to be constantly waiting by the phone or looking through the paper. The other time, he still did both of those things, but he made the most of his time with us as well, and I remember day trips to a creek to look for gemstones, projects in the garden he never had time for, like our tire swing, and time with him showing me how to biuld a basic woodwork project. Looking for work involves a lot of waiting, as you said, and it’s better to wait spending time with your family than wait by the phone or wait trying to figure out a budget for the hundreth time.

    It sounds like you guys are doing that, getting this garden ready. I hope it goes well for you

  12. Love you

  13. I just found your blog and read that your husband is layed off. I hope that the situation resolves for your family soon. My husband has been layed off for 2 and a half years. Like an earlier reader stated, I have health problems and can’t work. Either way, there are no jobs in the area at present.
    I think you have the right attitude. First and foremost, count your blessings! Its so wonderful to see your family involved in gardening! Once you begin to harvest, things will start to feel much better for you. You’ll be saving alot of money!
    If you can preserve food for winter, that helps a great deal as well.
    You got some very good frugal advise from others here that I would share if they hadn’t already.
    Its not easy, but after some mental adjustment, my family feels stable even after all this time.
    I wish you well.

  14. Thanks so much for these posts. I went through the “Reduction in Force” layoffs in education last year. So many feelings and still feel fresh today.

    I want to share that my blog is named The Lifeboat – there is information that hopefully will help people sail thru the recession a bit easier. If you check out the Action Plan tab – there is a Action Plan of Assistance that can be used anywhere in the U.S. There may be some information that can help you in this period of unemployment. May God bless you for sharing your journey with others and as we know he will take care of our needs we just have to trust him.

  15. chantelle says:

    I will be praying for you all.

  16. My hubby was laid off right after we’d sold our first home and were about to close on another one. the Lord provided very quickly in our case, we stayed with his brother’s family (our daughter’s crib and an air mattress for us in their dining room for a few weeks) and prayed it would happen before closing and without making us lose our loan. My husband had favor with his boss (who hated to let him go and gave him contacts and put in a good word with a former colleage who might hire him), so he was able to land another job that way…his 2nd interview and job offer came the day that the bank verified employment and called to tell us they were cancelling our loan on our new house and thankfully we were able to tell them he had an offer and sent a fax to prove it! phew! our closing was delayed a couple of weeks for paperwork issues related to this, but we were not “homeless” and his new job was great for him and gave him good experience and increases in pay over the next few yrs until we felt called to move out of state. I was (and still am) a stay-home mom and make a small income teaching childbirth classes and babysitting part time for another child. God is good, keep the faith and enjoy some home-grown produce this summer! Even container gardening, I’m finding is pretty easy with tomato plants, leaf lettuce, basil, etc. Praying for quick provision for your family!

  17. I have found goal-setting to be tremendously helpful for keeping up my spirits.

    1. I made a book list and set a goal of finishing one book each month.
    2. I started a blog.
    3. I wrote curriculum for friends doing a teaching/missions trip to China.
    4. I created an Etsy site, sold items on E-bay, and made homemade birthday gifts for my sister.
    5. I help my husband with all the research for new jobs, applications, and phone calls…things that are harder for him to do when he is at work all day so we can pay the bills.

    I also try to set aside time for “fun” things. On Thursday I rode with my parents to my sister’s graduation on the Eastern Shore, and my in-laws watched the kids for the day. Sometimes it’s good to get “out” for a little while! :)


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