Tuesday, December 6, 2011

more like three . ..

Well when I wrote a few posts back that Jim had been home from work for the week, what I didn't say was that he was home because he lost his job.  And he wasn't home only that week- it's been more like three.

It was one of those big corporate lay-offs; pretty much Jim's whole department was cut.  We knew there was this risk in taking a job with a big company; they promised him that he was being hired on a long-term basis, but when their big project was over they just didn't get anymore work and a lot of people were let go.

There is so much grace here.  

I wanted to protect him because it's humiliating and devastating to be laid off- but truly we are not devastated and he has no reason to feel bad.  We are grateful for innumerable graces through this time- large and small- from his boss and co-workers, his parents being in at the time that it happened, my parents, our friends and our three girls who have kept us from taking life too seriously through it all.

The good news is that Jim had two good job offers, both which allow us to stay in Cleveland.  He accepted one and starts later this week.

Despite circumstances we would not have chosen, these weeks have been so rich.  I don't remember a time when we enjoyed each other and our family so much.  We have never laughed more or been so relaxed.

 Jim determined at the beginning that this would be time for me to write, and he made sure I got it.  He packed lunches, cleaned up the kitchen, spent quality time with Annie, made coffee runs; while I exclaimed fifty times a day that this is the way life is meant to be!  I am so grateful- his gift of time is the best thing he could ever give me.

We all walked to school together in the mornings and afternoons to pick Sam up.  I let the house go.  We ate dinner at four o'clock and spent long evenings with books and magazines and newspapers.  I painted.

Of course this is not reality and we cannot sustain this.  We are grateful that Jim has a job to go to this week.

Life can be unpredictable and disappointing and hard.  I realize that this was resolved so quickly and looking back will be hardly a blip on our radar.  But sometimes along the way when we least expect it God really does make us lie down in green pastures.  This is what we will remember.  I am so grateful for God's unexpected gifts.

Psalm 23:2-4
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 I love this photo documentary taken by Annie:

See Josie happily coloring with Dad.
 See dad go to answer his phone.
See Josie on the table with scissors.
See Josie play with scissors.

(The truth is that the girls are in way better hands with Dad than they are with Mom.  Jim would take the scissors and then give her a six-step instructional powerpoint on the correct way to handle scissors. I would be like O, she's okay.)


nana said...

I don't want to say been there done that but I have too. Six months after we bought the house we are living in my husband lost his job, a job I didn't want him to take. That was not the first time he had difficulties. Things were tough for a long time but we all hung in there.

Our children were older than yours and they learned that is always a way. My daughter would often say to me...You know mom, I really have all that I need.

Now, over 20 years later our struggles never ended they just took on different forms but we are still a family who enjoys our time together. There is nothing more important than that.

Fijufic said...

When one door closes another one opens. I am glad that you survived the doubts and made the most out of your time.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Merry Christmas!


camilla said...

I appreciate the thought about God putting us in a position to enjoy green pastures. When Eric was laid off I didn't respond so well. I was stressed and it was a hard time in our marriage. How much wiser to use the time well, knowing God had something already lined up!

Cara said...

I am so glad you're staying in Cleveland!! :) I'm also glad for you that it all worked out well, and quickly (although I'm sure it didn't seem quick at the time!) and that you were able to enjoy family time together!

Jessica said...

Cami, I should have said that we knew fairly early on that there were two good possibilities- otherwise the time would have felt much more stressful!

at the end of the alphabet said...

I cannot believe how big your girls are, I realize it has for sure been way to long since we've hung out with you guys. I miss you.
I'm glad Jim has something else lined up, and that you were able to enjoy that time. Writing. Painting. Sounds like a piece of heaven :) Glad you got it, you deserve it! I miss ya. I often think "now that's a conversation I'd love to have with Jess over coffee"

charrette said...

So. Much. Grace.

I especially love that he gave you time to write!
And that he already has another job offer, so the pressure's off.

Blessings to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, so glad you visited from Misha's place today so I could meet you. Your love for your husband just seeps through your writing and the way you embraced this turn of events reveals deep rooted faith. Lovely!

LisaM said...

:-) this post is so refreshing. thank you.

(it truly was wonderful to see you and your family when we were unexpectedly delayed ... thanks for making the time. you all were a treat!)