Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hi :)!


A few new things to report on Jim and his job situation and lots of ways that God has been providing...

The city that he is currently laid off from recently decided how they are going to put the levy on the ballot for August (it has been up in the air for a while) and it looks like there's a good chance of it passing as it's a smaller tax increase for the residents then they initially were talking about it being. If it does pass, the city said that they will call back three officers, one of which will be Jim :). So, our biggest prayer right now is that the levy will pass and Jim will be back hopefully sometime in August. As hard as this all has been for him, his desire is to be back where he's been for the past eight years and to continue on there for many more years. It's hard to imagine him anywhere else at this point and we are optimistic that he will be back there soon. If God completely closes that door, then we will go from there, but we have a reserved excitement as it is looking hopeful.

(A little side note here...) I thought of something today on my way home from getting Jacob from school and I wanted to share it with you all. In the past, whenever I see a Police Officer on the road I always pray for God to protect that officer and to protect my husband Jim while he's on the road. Well since he's been laid off, every time I see a Police Officer while I'm out and about, I pray for Jim to get his job back along with the other laid off officers. Would you do the same? Every time you see a police officer, would you please pray for the levy to pass and for these guys to get their jobs back? Thanks so much! I thought this was a good way to flood Heaven with our request and an easy way to remember :)!!

(Back to life here...) The last couple weeks, Jim has been working for a large exterminating company in the area. He knows the owner and she has been giving him as much work as she has available. He has done everything from spraying roller coasters at a large amusement park to killing bed bugs in icky hotels and homes... yuck!! He doesn't mind it though and is just thankful to be working. It's just in him (and most guys :) to work hard and to provide. Jim would go crazy if he was just sitting home day after day so it has been good for him to be working and staying busy.

God has been providing for us in so many ways! The blessings have literally been pouring in and I want to shout from the mountaintops how good God is to us! As I mentioned before, our health insurance is covered in full while Jim is laid off. We have been overwhelmed once again by the way that people have given so generously to us! We have received so many gifts to lighten our load right now and we are so humbled! Last week I was having a down day and feeling discouraged and I came home to a note and unbelievable gift from friends of ours. Not only has God been providing for our every need, but He is lavishing us with blessings! And then when I wrote (and re-wrote, and re-wrote) a thank you note 20 times (because I felt like I couldn't say thank you enough for their gift), they wrote back thanking us for the perspective that we've given them through sharing our story. We are in awe of these blessings and it truly is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives. God is so good and I have never felt more taken care of in my whole life as I have over these past couple weeks. Kind of crazy how that works isn't it?! We have been most blessed by going through some of our hardest times. So thank you all for praying for us, caring about us, blessing us and loving on us through this time!

Whatever it is you are going through, I encourage you to completely trust Him. There are times like this when we see only a piece of the puzzle. We look at that piece and have no idea what it is. It looks confusing and it's hard to make sense of it. But when all the pieces are put together, we find out that it was a part of a beautiful picture. Whatever that "piece" that you're in right now, I encourage you to trust Him as He sees the beautiful picture that will be complete soon :). I love this verse below! Be confident in that today!


"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers,they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
Isaiah 43:2


And a few new pics to give you all something to look at :)...


Jacob in his Spring Program :). Only 8 more days left of Kindergarten! We're so very proud of our Jacob and so very excited for summer break :)!!
Abbey playing outside today :)

Micah being silly!

Caleb getting big way too fast! Almost 7 months already!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

One Year Ago...



Now, we are here. So, so happy to be where we are today... even with everything else going on. Sure helps put things into perspective.

I promise to do an update soon on what has been going on here. For now, I hope Princess Aurora above puts a smile on your face. She does ours! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Blah...

That about sums up how we're feeling. This past week has been a roller coaster of emotions. We have had some really high times where we have been so excited about the way in which God is setting things up for us to be perfectly provided for, yet we have also had some times where we can't catch our breath from the pain we are feeling.

I don't know if I can explain this ache that I have in my heart. I so wish I could take this away from Jim and just make this whole situation go away. I'm really not worried about the money. I know God will provide and we have seen some amazing evidence over these last few days (I'll share shortly), but I am more sick about him being done there and about the job that he has loved and been fully committed to these last eight years being gone. Last night at 11:00, Jim had to turn in his gun and badge. Blah... It makes my stomach sick just thinking about it. He has wanted to be a Police Officer since he was three years old and has been fulfilling that dream for the past eight years in a wonderful city. I can't believe that this is what's going on right now. Blah! It's just yucky and sad and stinky and I just wish it could go away.

And I think what makes it so personal is all that he has invested into his job. Being a Police Officer is so demanding and the amount of training, education and tiresome work that went into him even becoming police officer, then the stress, shift changes, time away from family, working on holidays, long hours, standing in the freezing cold on the interstate, being a constant target for criminals, carrying a gun and the responsibility that comes with that alone, needing to wear a bullet proof vest, protecting the streets all night while the residents sleep safely in their homes and capturing reckless and drunk drivers so people are safe on the road to name a few, makes it even harder. Yesterday, it was a huge part of his life and today it's gone. Blah...

So now for some good things, which I have to focus on since today I am focusing way too much on the yuckiness of it all....

The amount that we will have to be paying monthly to keep our health insurance through COBRA is being covered in full by an amazingly generous couple that we are blessed to have in our family. The other night as Jim and I were getting ready to walk out the door for a City Council Meeting, the phone rang and on the other end was the blessing of us not having to worry about our health insurance while Jim is laid off. There are no words to describe how this burden being lifted felt. Jim also has a week of work lined up for this week of 40 hours plus working with an exterminating company. We have been offered help from a family who specifically said that they don't want to see us touch our savings and we have been blessed with some gift cards for everyday living stuff like groceries. God is providing and that is evident.

We are praying and trying to trust that his actual job will fall into place next. We talked last night for a very long time about every which way this could go. Jim's desire has always been and continues to be to work in law enforcement. We never have questioned once over the past eight years that that is where God has wanted him. Yet when we realistically look at the options before him now it seems almost unreachable for him to continue to be an officer unless he gets called back to Pepper Pike. As of now, there are almost no departments that are hiring. I am confident that Jim would be strongly considered to get a position if there were some available, but that isn't very promising at this time and like I've mentioned before, it is about a 6 month process to get in somewhere. Like the rest of the country, many cities are struggling with finances so the majority of departments aren't looking to make their departments bigger, but instead cut back as Jim's department has. Jim has his resume all over the place for other job opportunities as well and at this point, we have heard back from only jobs that are out of Ohio. There is so much that goes into us possibly moving, my family, our friends, our church, Abbey's doctors, Jacob's school to name a few and the thought of that right now is pretty overwhelming.

This August, a levy is being put on the ballot in the city in which Jim worked and our prayer and hope is that the levy passes. At that point, if it would pass we were almost promised that at least 2 or 3 guys would be called back, which Jim would be one of those guys that would get their job back. Please pray that this would be the case for him.

We know with our heads that God has this planned out perfectly for us and that one day we may look back and see why this has happened, but today my heart is tired and sad for yet another huge trial set before us....

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our Newest Hurdle...

Our prayer for today...
Lord, our faith is in You and You alone. Apart from you, we can do nothing; with you, we can do all things. We choose to walk by faith and not by sight. We will not be afraid of man or anxious about the future; for you are going with us throughout this day. Whatever we encounter, Your grace will be sufficient. You have promised victory to those who walk in agreement with Your word and purpose.

We have had a rough few days here. I can't tell you how tired I am of having to say those words. At times, it feels like we are still trying to get back on our feet with everything that we continue to go through with Abbey. And here we are, facing another huge hurdle in front of us. It would be very easy for me to sit here and complain about what's going on now. BUT, we are choosing to have faith and to stand in what we know to be true.

This past Friday, Jim got a layoff notice and his last day will be this Friday, May 7th. After several proposals from the city, each one being voted down by the majority of officers, the city made it's decision to lay off the 5 lowest guys, Jim being 4th from the bottom.

So we now enter this new unknown. I would be lying if I didn't say that this is a huge blow to us. I laid awake much of last night, dwelling on the fact that I truly feel that Jim is being wronged in this whole situation. For 8 years, he has been committed to being an outstanding Police Officer while risking his life daily to serve and protect. Yet, as of Saturday he will have no job. Due to the cities irresponsibility with their money, and the decisions of some of Jim's co-workers, we are put in this position. Some of his closest "friends" have decided that making more money is much more important than saving 5 guys jobs and for that I am sick.

But, this morning I woke up and filled myself with what I know to be true and I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel. It is a constant battle, but minute by minute, hour by hour, we are choosing to give God freedom to do with us and through us anything that will bring honor and glory to Him.

Would you walk with us as we get past this newest hurdle set before us? Would you please pray for Jim? Please pray for some good news today. He is in the "running" for some other police jobs in the area, but the process is long, hard and very competitive. Please pray for some opportunities to arise quickly and that God would put him exactly where he wants him. Last time Jim was looking for a job was right after we got married. Here we are, four kids later and one with cancer. Jim has great responsibility in providing for our family and the most important thing to him is to provide for us well. We are confident that God has something great in store for him. Would you pray for Jim to be encouraged by something good today.

Our health insurance will be stopping as of Friday so we will most likely be forced to go through COBRA which is very expensive. There are a couple other options that we are looking into. Please pray that one of these other options would work out so we aren't paying an arm and a leg to keep our family insured. As Abbey continues to be in active chemotherapy treatment for another year, our insurance is probably the biggest concern in all of this.

On a good note, we are so blessed to have an amazing support system. We know we are not going through this alone and the people that God has put around us are the best! From our families to our friends to our Pastor to our church family to all of you, we are blessed. So thank you for loving us through this and praying for my Jim.