July 27, 2015 Early evening:
“I am calling to let you know I will be home early today. And I will be home for a long time.”
“Did you lose your job?”
This is not how I ever wanted a phone call between my husband, Brandon, and I to begin. But sometimes fears, big ones, become reality. Fortunately I was already sitting down, sitting down on the couch with our 11 month old playing on the floor in front of me. For her sake and for my husband’s I did my best to hold it together. It wasn’t very hard, really. I felt numb. I rarely actually feel the weight of life changes, especially unexpected changes. And this was most definitely unexpected.
Four months ago Brandon began a job that was a fantastic opportunity for us. Not only did it mean an end to a long search for a job where he would actually be using his Masters degree, but it meant a much-needed pay increase and an opportunity for him to gain new and vital job experience. So we did what came naturally to us. We prayed to know if this was a good move for us. We felt good about it and moved to a new city ready to start a new life.
Then yesterday happened.
Both Brandon and I felt peace right away. We really know that everything will be alright. However, we don’t know how long it will take. The loss of income is stressful. Our story is not extraordinary. Many families experience unemployment. However, we don’t want to be the only ones that learn from this experience. We want to share our ups and downs, our successes and our failures, with you.
And you know what? After loosing hours of sleep last night thinking and reading articles about unemployment on lds.org, I realized that we are being given an opportunity to begin anew. It is actually a refreshing feeling. No matter how long this phase of our lives lasts I don’t want to look back at it with any regrets. I want to be able to say that we came through this experience better and stronger than we were before. I want this experience to build my character, my faith, and our marriage.
The first evening of this journey was a Monday night. We didn’t miss a beat. We stuck with our traditional Family Home Evening. We talked about temple workshop and made Welch Cakes, a pioneer era cookie (recipe below).
I feel we started out well by honoring our faith and our predecessors. Without both of these sources of strength we would be ill-equipped to face this journey through unemployment; this surprise new beginning.
(This recipe comes from The American West Heritage Center)
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 c butter
1/2 c milk
Mix all ingredients together. Roll out dough on a flat surface and cut into shapes about 1/2 inch thick. Cook as you would cook pancakes; when one side is lightly browned, flip to other side.