I have been unemployed for 1 year and 14 days.
As of July 21st, I will have been unemployed for 1 year, 1 month, and 2 days.
But on July 22nd, I will no longer be unemployed. On July 22nd I will officially be a full time employee of Siskiyou County, as an Eligibility Worker for Human Services! I can't wait to start my new position and get back to work. As crazy as it may sound, I have missed working. It is so very hard to stay motivated when really don't have anything that you HAVE to do. Being unemployed for this amount of time has been a struggle, and I am glad to see it come to an end.
This past year has been interesting, because not only was I unemployed, but my husband was also, and I was the only one receiving unemployment. Financially, things were tight, to say the least. But God provided for us, every single step of the way. We were blessed to be living in an area that has a lower cost of living. We were even more blessed to find a rental home within our price range that really should not have been within our price range! We have had a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food in our bellies over the past year, despite the lack of employment. God has provided extra work for us on the side to bring in some extra money. And now, at precisely the same time that I am losing my unemployment, God has provided me with employment. Some people would say that all those things are just good luck or coincidences, but I know better. I know that God has been watching over us and caring for us every day.
Not only has God provided for us financially, bu he has also given me a number of opportunities over the past year that I may not have had if I had been working full time:
- Started making jewelry
- Worked on my photography skills
- Took a Photoshop class
- Took a ceramics class and found out I really enjoy ceramics!
- Started blogging
- Opened my Etsy shop
- Actually sold some items in my Etsy shop!
- Started organizing my craft studio/guest room
- Made a few cakes
- Helped plan/coordinate some parties and weddings
Sure, I could have done many of these things while working, but I don't know if I would have... When I am working full time, I find it is so easy to just get caught up in life and not spend as much time cultivating the talents that God has given me. I get busy and just put things off. But I think now, after having the time to really enjoy these new parts of my life, I am going to make a conscious effort to keep them in my life. I don't want to go back to just working every day and not doing the things that I love also. I want to enjoy life, every day.
I don't know if any of you read Confessions of a Young Married Couple, but if you don't you totally should! Katie blogs about life, real life. She writes about her marriage and being a mom, and all the good and not so good things that come along with that. I love that Katie is so open and honest. She doesn't just share the good times, she shares the rough patches too, and that makes it oh so easy to relate to her and her adorable family. Her family recently made a long distance move, and it has been hard on them. Katie recently started Operation Bloom Where You Are Planted (BWYP) for herself. Her goal is to, well, bloom where she is planted. In other words, to enjoy life no matter where you are, and to embrace the present instead of looking to the past or grasping for the future. She is recognizing that you can't be content with life if you are never happy where you are right now, so she is making a conscious effort to change that way of thinking in her own life. I feel like that is also something i have been working on over the past year. It can be very hard to be content when you have two unemployed people in the same household. All the days kind of run together, and it is easy to get discouraged, frustrated, and even depressed. It is during those times that is so important to know that God has a plan, and that he wants you to bloom where he has you right now!
Over the past year, I think I have bloomed where God planted me. It took me a while, but I finally found my roots, and bloomed. Now, I need to continue blooming in this new position, while also not forgetting the desires God has grown in me over the past year. God is already providing new opportunities to me that will hopefully help my blog and Etsy site grow, so I need to keep putting in my time, energy, and love into these things in order to help them grow.
If you are going through a difficult time in your life right now, and you are having trouble "blooming" where you are, then I hope you will take a look at this verse:
"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
Over the past year, this has been the verse I have turned to for encouragement. I have it on the banner of my cell phone so that I see it every, single time I open my phone. These words from God have helped me tremendously to remember that God already has it all figured out for me, and that his plan is definitely better than mine. It has reminded me that God has great plans for my life, and that he will not lead me astray. This verse has given me hope on days that I felt hopeless. I hope it may bring the same light to your life. :-)
So that is my exciting news for the week! In order to celebrate, I'm having a giveaway! One lucky ready will receive a $15 gift certificate to my Etsy shop to spend however they would like!
To enter, just comment below and tell me one way that you are going to try and bloom where you are planted.
You can also get some bonus entries, but you must do the first entry before you can get any bonus entries! Just be sure to create an extra comment for each bonus entry!
1 bonus entry for following my blog on Google Friend Connect.
1 bonus entry for adding my shop to your fav's on Etsy. (Leave your Etsy username)
1 bonus entry for telling me your favorite item in my Etsy shop.
2 bonus entries for posting a link to my giveaway on your Facebook. (Leave 2 comments)
3 bonus entries for blogging about my giveaway on your blog. (Leave 3 comments)
And 1 bonus entry if you visit Katie at Confessions and tell me what you like best about her blog. :-)
That's it! You can get up to 10 entries, and a winner will be chosen on Friday, July 9th. You have until Thursday at Midnight to enter. Good luck!