Two months ago Wayne got notice that he would not be permitted to work more than eight hours each day. In other words, NO OVERTIME. This notice was brought about by the fact that he had crossed the owner of the company he works for; he reported a very unsafe work environment to Operational Heath and Safety, which did not sit well with the superpowers of the company. The other employees, however, were (and still are) grateful for Wayne's initiative in trying to solve ongoing safety issues. But they weren't stripped of their opportunity to work overtime--only Wayne was.
Before I continue, I should mention that at the time of this notice, we relied heavily on Wayne's overtime income. He was consistently putting in 2 hours of overtime each day and without it, it's a struggle. Not to mention, my job was cut by 25% at the beginning of September, and since I was not approved for unemployment insurance for the months of July and August, September and October were proving to be a financial struggle. Add into the mix the news of Wayne's complete lack of overtime pay and it equalled one big mess as far as I was concerned.
The day Wayne came home and informed me that he was no longer allowed to work overtime (nor make-up any time he missed due to illness, appointments, etc.), I was upset. Very upset. I saw a very bleak picture of our financial state and questioned as to why this had to happen. "Why now, God?" is all I could utter through my tears of frustration. I was just beginning to catch up on all our bills that had begun to lag behind from the summer, and then this news was thrown at me.
October is actually a blur to me. I'm not sure how we made it, but we did. Somehow. We still ate, drove, and managed to keep our telephone, power and energy connected. I know this is sounding dramatic, but seriously, this is how it was for us. Wayne continued to look for other employment, which he has been doing for several months now, and when something "too good to be true" was a possibility, I believed the answer to our prayers was a job that Wayne had been semi-short-listed for. However, that dream came to a crushing end quite quickly. So, life went on.
And I kept praying that God would give direction; give provision; give hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.
One of Wayne's supervisors told him after the initial mini-war over the Occupational Health and Safety issue that the owner "has it in for you now and is planning to make your life miserable so long as you work here. I'd suggest looking for another job." To which Wayne replied, "I'm looking." However, here we are, two-and-a-half months later and Wayne is still employed by the same company. Things are getting better for him as far as the owner is concerned. Some days it almost seems like the whole incident has blown over. Some days it doesn't.
Now that you have a synopsis of what life has been like for us this fall, I'm going to speak to what this post is really about, and that is of God's provision in ways that are unexpected and most certainly, undeserving (due to my bad attitude towards Wayne's workplace and thinking that God was somehow punishing us for something . . . I really don't like tests of faith. Who does?).
Exodus 16:4 says, "Then the LORD said to Moses, I will rain down bread from heaven for you." Since having to live on less, God has been sending "nourishment" to us from heaven as we have been wandering in our own type of "wilderness" day by day. In small and big ways, God is revealing to me that it is His plan that matters, and I do not need to worry and fret over what cannot be changed. This has been a HUGE lesson for me in the area of trust. I know, I know. I seem to always be in a trust-learning mode. It's the issue I struggle with most. And it's an area that Satan really likes to wreak havoc with in my life.
Three months ago I was not aware of the following events that have or will take place in my life, which clearly display God's provision as "Manna from Heaven" to me (and my family):
~I was offered work at the beginning of November for one week doing inventory at a warehouse. I worked my normal day shift at school and as soon as Wayne got home from work, I would leave for my inventory job. While this was very physically draining, it was fun and I learned and earned at the same time.
~A friend of mine who is a foster mom to two boys aged 3 and 5 called me out of the blue (I haven't seen her for over a year) and asked me to provide respite to her boys once a month, which she is supplemented for and therefore pays me to do this. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that I'm being paid and in return my boys get an extended play date!
~My student and I will most likely be travelling to a new work placement after Christmas, which is almost twice as far away as we travel now, which means my mileage claims will be higher. That means I'll receive more supplemental income for fuel.
~As Wayne and I both drive to our places of work, high fuel costs which began to soar over the summer, have been hard on the pocketbook. However, the current price of a litre of gasoline as of today, is 79.9 cents ($2.37/U.S. gallon). It hasn't been that low since Mitchell was born! At the beginning of this school year it cost me around $56.00 to fill my tank. Now, it costs $38.00. Similarly, Wayne was paying $160 per tank and now he can fill it for less than $100.
~Wayne was "allowed" to work some overtime this past week. The owner's heart and attitude seems to be softening.
~Beginning in January, my 75% job will increase to 90-95% of full-time hours (the small details of the new contract have not yet been finalized). The increase in hours is due to another E.A. requesting one day off per week. I will be working in her position and have the opportunity to work in the school with elementary students, for which I am grateful.
So, as you can see, the above changes, which were completely unforeseen at the time of Wayne's bad news at work, have come as a result of God's provision. His manna from heaven. And guess what? The total increase of our income due to the above pieces of "manna" total approximately the same amount of money as when Wayne worked overtime on a daily basis. But what's better now is the fact that I get to spend more time with my husband and the boys get to spend more time with their dad!
God is FAITHFUL!