Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Still “Secund” To No One

Well, first the bad news.

Brett will not receive his unemployment benefits for the past two weeks, since “Secund” ratted him out about turning down the Green Giant job. (Ouch! I mean, this definitely hits us in the pocketbook!)

The good news (and plenty of it!) is the woman from unemployment Brett spoke with yesterday was kind, compassionate, and understanding (score one for the prayer warriors!). She even called her supervisor to be sure Brett’s case was handled correctly and to ensure he wasn’t being unjustly shafted out of any benefits.

She gave him the positive news that, in spite of losing two weeks benefits, all he has to do is apply for some jobs and bring the paperwork down to the unemployment office. His benefits will then be re-instated!

She even said he can apply to places that aren’t currently hiring, just so he has paperwork to show he’s trying. I thought this was especially sensitive on her part. This was in response to Brett’s telling her about us just having the one vehicle and waiting for the Cadbury job to open up.

The woman from unemployment racked up another point in her favor when Brett brought up what “Secund” suggested about him finding a job near a bus route. The women said that was “ridiculous,” since “you live nowhere near a bus route!”

Since that is EXACTLY what Brett and I thought, we were both happy with her professional assessment of the situation.

Take that, “Secund” suckers!

Overall, the outcome of the call was very positive. I’d like to thank everyone who prayed for us. It obviously made a difference, and we deeply appreciate your prayers.

Yesterday, in the middle of all this, we received word from a “third party liaison” that we should receive our foreclosure papers in 3-5 business days. This is sooner than we expected, but we knew it was coming eventually, so it wasn’t a big surprise.

The foreclosure papers should give us a time frame for when we need to be out of the house. The time frame, we’ve heard, can be anywhere from 30 days to 3 months.

You would think getting this news would make me even more frazzled. But, the truth is it energized me! I immediately grabbed the paper, circled the apartment ads, and started cold calling.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve looked for apartments (eight years, to be exact). This time the process is made more complicated since our credit is for crap (pardon my French).

Also, we are probably making it more complicated ourselves, due to our “druthers.”

For instance, we’d rather stay in the Roscoe area. We really like it there. However, at this point, we are willing to go as far north as South Beloit and as far south as Loves Park.

We want to stay out of Rockford, if at all possible. It’s farther from Mom than I’d like (I know…I’m an overprotective only child!). But I don’t really want to be far away if she needs me (or if I need her!).

Secondly, with a baby on the way, we really want a ground level unit. I don’t want to be juggling a baby, carrier, and folded-up stroller on my way up icy stairs in the middle of winter. Not with my klutz factor.

Also, because of Sam, we would really, really like a washer/dryer in our unit. This is a tough point for me economically, since it’s something I want desperately, but units with washers and dryers are significantly more money. *Shrugs*

That point may (I hate to say it) have to be negotiable. Drat!

So, let’s say we find this perfect unit – Roscoe address, ground level unit, washer/dryer, in our price range – there is EVERY possibility the landlord still won’t rent to us, thanks to our phenomenally bad credit, Brett being out of work, etc.

So, as you can see, this item will also need a lot of prayer! I hope you don’t mind if I enlist you all again to pray for our living situation. With the foreclosure notice nipping at our heels, our immediate short-term living arrangements will be in much need of your prayers.

And, as always, they are MOST appreciated!

As I mentioned, I spent part of the day on the phone with apartment owners. I have to say the experience was really (strangely) fun. Almost every person I spoke to was a gruff, burly, construction-type guy who gave me way more “specs” than I needed. Still, every single one of them was sweet, funny, and helpful.

Sometimes, God gives you a morale boost exactly when you need it!

When I got home and received the good news about unemployment from Brett, we decided to celebrate by driving by a couple of the apartments I had checked out.

One unit in particular had us enjoying the beautiful weather as we drove, car windows down, through a winding neighborhood in Roscoe where the apartment complex was neatly tucked away.

In spite of this struggle, God has been giving me tremendous peace. To be honest, I’ve also felt a thrill of exhilaration to be “starting over.” A new life to nurture, a new place to live, a new perspective on what our version of the American Dream will be.

I can’t say that any of this comes naturally. If I weren’t a believer, if I didn’t believe God has a plan and a purpose for these things, I would be incredibly discouraged. Anyone would.

But, because I believe, God is able to bring me peace in the storm. He is showing His hand in so many ways – the wonderful lady from unemployment, the funny apartment guys, and so many other ways that can only be attributed to Him.

My dad used to say, when going through struggles in life, there is a time you keep your head down, shoulder to the plow, and then suddenly there is giant burst of sunlight above you. You look up. There, as clear as day across the sky, is a handwritten signature, “Done by God!”

And you realize that all of the struggle, all of the trial, is part of the picture God is working on, part of you that needed to be changed, refined, and shaped. The end result is a breathtaking picture, done by the Master Himself that brings honor and glory to His name.

So whether we live in an apartment, a house, or even someone’s basement, I have faith God is still making those broad brush strokes in our lives.

I’m eager, hopefully waiting for the day I look up and see “Done by God!”


joydriven said...

praying about these things.
my neighbor works at cadbury-adams. it's about 3 minutes' drive from my place.

could you remind me, why is the roscoe address a determining factor if neither of you work there? is it just simpler paper-work-wise to keep in roscoe limits?

Ann-Marie said...

Not big fans of Rockford schools or Rockford taxes, and the truth is we really love the Roscoe area - it's just so peaceful, pretty, and feels like a retreat. It's a nice place to call home.

a joyful nusiance said...

What an exciting time in your life! I love your outlook on all that is going on in your life!!

Karyn said...

I just LOVE watching you grow! So very exciting!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Wow-- many blessings!! And, yes, I certainly will keep my knees to the ground for you guys.
Your Dad and the things you remember him saying are just wonderful. Such treasures in your heart.

You are doing great, girl! You are "with it," trusting, getting prepared. I've often heard that a person's true character is revealed when the times get tough (or during traffic.) You are a fantastic person!

Heidi said...

Rockford schools have gotten better in the last couple of years. Things change in the time that it will be before the baby is old enough for school anyway.

Some parts of Rockford are really nice and the rent will be lower. You might be surprised what you might find, down here.

Be thankful that your mom lives in the same state as you. Mine lives 2000 miles away.

Jennittia said...

Sorry, been a busy week and I didn't read any of your blogs till today, but you are in my prayers regularly. Your dad was truly and amazing man and left you with many wise words!

Juliet said...

Let's just say, "My mother lives in Rockton and she makes a great babysister." Day or Night.

And Our God will take care of what He owns. Love you, Mom