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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 & the Changes It Brought

2013 started off just like any other year for me.  

     We were struggling to make ends meet and unsure how the year would turn out.  My husband, who has worked in the construction industry for as long as I've known him, was being used by his employer.  I really shouldn't explain it that way because he really was a sub-contractor not an employee but I don't know how else to put it right now.  No matter how hard he tried to get another company to use him, he could find no one else but the builder he worked for.  The company kept dropping the price on what they would pay for the different kinds of work done till it seemed that my husband was working for just enough money to get to the next job.  Bills were stacking up and frustration was mounting.

     When people look at us, it sounds crazy.  Most people wouldn't think from looking at us that things were rough.  Most people assume we live an easy life but it was so bad that we were back on food stamps yet again.  Now there is nothing wrong with being in need and having to go on food stamps however, there is a stigma attached to food stamps.  Most people don't even think about their attitude it just comes out.  Unless you're dressed in raggedy clothes, when you swipe that EBT card, people look at you like you're cheap skates just trying to scam the system not honest folk having a hard time making ends meet.

     Then things started turning around.  My closest friend did something for me that most people would never dream to do.  She went online and registered me for classes with Liberty University....AND THEN SHE TOLD ME WHAT SHE HAD DONE!  Crazy !!!! Right?  Funny things is it was exactly what I needed.  It was exactly what I wanted.  I honestly had to thank her.  She was also my husbands accountant so she had all the information to quickly do my financial aid once I knew about it.  So I went back to college on top of continuing to home-school my youngest son.  Not long after I went back to school my husband dropped off his resume at a store that does patio doors, windows and rooms while driving between construction sites. Within days he was called in to meet with the boss and he became a service technician for them.  Things were looking good.  The pressure was lifting and his income was enough to severely reduce any food stamps we were getting so we ask them to stop the food stamps.  That felt good.  That felt really good.

     Mid-year we changed churches and I found the place I was supposed to be.  I began to grow spiritually like I needed to grow and before too long I started teaching the kids and the E.W. Dance Team was created. Through out all of this I was working with my friend (the accountant) to get our business in an office.  Finally, around August we found the right place and began to prepare the space for our office needs.  We worked through till the middle of November before we were able to have our Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  Because we are newly opened and are slowly building our clientele, we are making no money yet.  (We are building the business with our first goal to get to our break even point.  Then we can finally get paid  A week later my youngest son (Joel,) my husband and myself were in Atlanta preparing for open heart surgery.  My son had been in need of surgery to replace his aortic valve and ascending aorta and we jumped on the chance to have it done before Thanksgiving when the opportunity rose.  The surgery went well but was 10 hours long and he didn't recover as quickly from the surgery as they expected him too.  Two days later he needed a transfusion and we've been dealing with issues from the transfusion and slow recovery since then.  As we came into December he was running fevers, I was working my schoolwork and trying to take care of business while my husband worked.  By mid-December my schoolwork ended and I got a little break, Joel stopped running fevers and his recovery sped up some.  In the business, we started moving on several clients work to prepare them for the new year.  THEN...

The week before Christmas, my husband got laid off.

     So here we are getting ready to end 2013 and walk into 2014 and there is no income.  It's bad enough right now as this year ends that I need to go and reapply for food stamps.  2013 began with at least an income coming in although it was not good enough to meet our needs.  2014 is going to begin with NO income coming in and yet, crazy as it may sound, I feel better off than I did a year ago.  I had no hope as 2012 turned into 2013 but I have hope now... as 2013 turns into 2014.  In 2013 we accomplished so much! Things happened in 2013 that I had wondered when and if they ever would.  2013 changed my life.  No matter how it ends, no matter how we come into 2014 I'm only taking the good forward and believing 2014 can't help but be better.

Happy New Year!

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