Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Strike: Unexpected Blessings

Let me start by saying that I do not believe in coincidences. When something happens to "just work out" I take it as a blessing straight from God. And I fully believe that it you are looking for ways that God is working in your life, He will SURELY show them to you. I think He likes showing off ;o)

When the strike started, I knew God would take care of us...I didn't know how...but I had complete faith that He would. I was still extremely scared about what was to come. I knew that this process would not be easy and that it was going to hurt a lot. But I also knew this would be a time of really learning to lean on God. And most definitely a time for Him to show me how big He really is. Well He was up to the task...let me tell you. When I said to my mom that first week "Its not like Hes just going to hand us money" I feel like God was like "Oh ok...it's on now, I'll show her" Because, man, has He showed me!!

The first day...yes, the first day of the strike, I woke up feeling very sad and very emotional. I went to refill the the toliet paper roll only to realize we were out. Now on a normal day I would have been annoyed. But today I was sad. Sad that this type of small normal purchase was now going to be big. Sad that all the little things that were going to start running out, would cost money that we were no longer making. After my pitty party ended, I packed the kids up to go to target to get some tp and a few other necessities that we had run out of. I ran into a friend of mine, who asked me how I was doing. I told her about the strike, and how I had cried over tp, and how I knew God would take care of us, but that it was still hard. Said goodbye, went on my way. Well as we were about to head to check out, she shows up in the isle I was in with a gift card. Tears completely filled my eyes as I thanked her. What an amazing gesture right?!? So I dry my tears, once again, and head to the checkout. The cashier rings me up, $30.21. I give her the gift card I had just received, she swipes it. "Ok, you owe .21 cents. I lost it again (and you are crying right now too right?!?) 21 cents??? The gift card was for $30 (which is a bit of a strange denomination right?), my purchase was $30.21. It was not a strange denomination. It was God's denomination. It was just strange enough not to be able to rationalize it any other way. It was God thing...and the first of many. So thank you friend, for allowing God to use you to bless me more than I could ever say.

The rest of the week was filled with more God things. Like the next day after Target, I realized I was out of dark laundry detergent. Stared crying again (sorry...I cried a lot that first few weeks so bear with me) because 1. I had JUST been to target, and 2. More $$. So I went back inside and started with my house work. After I was done picking up the house I got a wild hair to organize the garage. There was a pile of towels that I hadnt folded that were sitting on the dryer. Well guess what was under the pile. Yep...a brand new bottle of dark detergent that I had bought whenever and had completely forgotten about. (Thanks God) Later that week, the same thing happened with my eye liner. Ran out, was bummed, a few days later I was putting on my make-up and Olivia wanted to put on some lip gloss. I couldn't find it so I picked up the little container I keep my eye shadow in...and guess what was underneath it...yep...a brand new thing of eyeliner I had bought whenever and forgot about. (this time all I could do is laugh...He is SO good...and now He's definitely showing off)

I have been selling our old baby/kid stuff on this facebook group for a couple of months now. I have been able to make a lot of money doing this and it has really helped us out. I had sold a lot, but there was also a lot of stuff that I had posted that hadn't sold. Including a camera for $50. I kept thinking man, why hasn't anyone bought this. I decided to repost that and a lot of other stuff the first week of the stike to try and make a little extra money. So I did, and it sold. Almost ALL of it. Including the camera. Things that had been posted numerous times with no bites, sold immediately. All in his timing right?! And when I met up with one of the other moms, we were talking about our house loan modifications. She had mentioned how her house insurance was included in her payment, which got me thinking that ours was too and that I remember paying it last month to AAA. So I called them, they said "yep, you have a $260 balance in your account. I can send that check out today" wow...and AMEN!

These are few out of the many...I cant wait to share the rest with you!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Strike

Whew...what a month it has been. Kevin has just finished his 4th week of striking against Budweiser/In-Bev. Just to break it down, the short story is, In-Bev is trying to put the drivers on an $150 a day salary. (Plus a little commission) They are refusing to pay them overtime, but are also refusing to cap them at 40 hours a week then. Which basically means that they will be working them longer hours (they are planning to let go all 30 temporary drivers and spred their load with the rest of the drivers) and not pay them for the overtime worked. This company is NOT struggling in this economy. In fact, the first week the Riverside branch was on strike, In-Bev bought Corona/Modelo for 26 BILLION dollars CASH. They are greedy investors, and do not care one bit about the beer or the employees. The first week they were on strike, they took away medical benefits, and froze the employees 401k accounts so that they would not be able to take out loans from their accounts. Its this kind of below-the-belt attacks that are really showing the companies true colors. They have only given that one offer the entire 4 weeks of the strike and refuse to negotiate with the union at all. This contract that they are proposing is completely illegal.

Now with all that being said, this is a very hard time for our family. We were barely making ends meet when Kevin was getting a full pay check, so there was no money to save for this kind of thing. He gets paid $216 a week from the union for picketing 40+ hours a week. Talk about a scary situation. And what scares me even more than the lack of money is the no health benefits. With Toby being the most accident prone child on the planet, paired with his asthma...we have never gone over 2 months without having to go to the doctors.

The first week was the hardest. I cried...a lot. I was scared, mad, frustrated, sad, and anxious all at the same time. I had a talk with my mom trying to process it all. I was telling her that I know God would take care of us (He ALWAYS does and has been SO faithful to take care of my family's needs) but that I still was having a hard time finding peace because this really didn't feel like a "God situation". It was more of a corporate greed situation. God has given me a supernatural sense of peace in my life. Always. So this felt strange and foreign to not feel that peace. I felt anxious and stressed about the every aspect of the situation. I didn't really know how to handle it. I was stressed about how we would be able to pay our bills, eat, deal with the stress and each other etc. I remember my words exactly when I said "I know He will provide for our needs, but it's not like He's just going to hand us money". I have ate those words over and over by the way. I have had, and continue to have people hand me money on a weekly basis...and I think back to this sentence and smile, knowing that God is looking down at me and having a good little chuckle. What I am realizing more and more is that EVERY situation is a "God-situation" if you are a child of God. And that He can and will use every situation for His glory. I can't wait to tell you the ways he has come through for us. I have goose bumps just thinking about it.