Friday, December 18, 2009


This is going to be a quick note just to update everyone on what's been going on. And it's kind of disjointed, just like my thoughts. So forgive me in advance.

Most of you have already seen my tweets and/or Facebook statuses but this will tell "the rest of the story."

Yesterday morning Curt was asked to cut his business trip to VA short and be at a mandatory meeting. He told me when he got this news that he had a bad feeling. Preferring to be an ostrich, I stuck my head in the sand and assured him it was nothing to be worried about. I truly believed the best. I mean, it's a week before Christmas after all. Nothing bad could happen... right?

And so when the phone rang just 30 minutes after the meeting began, I wondered how he was calling so fast. When he told me he had just been let go, I truly thought he was kidding. I mean, it's Christmas. And we have six kids to support. What kind of people would do that??

So just like that we went from a one-income family to a no-income family.

The good news is, he does have severance that will get us through for awhile. We appreciate your prayers. We appreciate the emails and encouraging comments on Facebook and the phone calls. We appreciate any leads you might have. We are willing to move and are not limiting our search to Charlotte-- as much as we love our home we have to be realistic.

Life can change in an instant and ours did yesterday morning.

I might be around less in the coming days. In addition to normal Christmas craziness I now am sharing a computer with Curt. This is going to be tricky since I have a book to write and he will be using the computer to find a job. The company took back the computer and cell phone they were providing for him. I can honestly say I had no idea how impacting this was going to be. The ramifications are still rippling out.

Perhaps one of you out there has a laptop you aren't using or don't need. If so and you feel like passing it along to a needy family, I would say that we officially qualify now. We would immensely appreciate it. You can contact me privately if so.

The hardest part was last night when we told our 9yo. The other kids took it in stride really, saying they had faith he would get another job and expressing their frustration with the company for doing this at Christmas. But our 9yo just cried and cried. As Curt held her he looked at me and said, "This is the part the men who made this decision should have to see."

This was something no 9yo should ever have to face. Especially at Christmas.

God will provide. He was not surprised. We trust in His plans. He is sovereign. We know all this is true. Now it's time to live it.
Pin It!


Jess said...

I'm so, so sorry, my friend.



Anonymous said...

God will provide, that's for certain. There must be something better out there for Curt and your family. I know the uncertainty is the hardest part right now.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
If you need anything please contact me.
704.399.9141 or 704.995.1667
((Hugs)) to you.
Keep the faith, it is all going to work out.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

As I said on Twitter, praying for you. We are in the same husband's employer is shutting down this spring. I'm re-reading Financially Free, and it's been such a blessing to me. Just yesterday I posted a passage that spoke volumes to me.

Rossie said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers! We just moved, 7 months ago, from CA (a town of 550,000 people) to MT (a town of 750 people). My husband is a self-employed mechanic! All that to say, God is a God of miracles, and I will be praying your's reaches you soon ;)
What a beautiful family you have!
God Bless, Rossie

emily said...

My dad lost his job when I was a kid...many times over. We moved from Indiana to Iowa to South Carolina to Michigan. I know how your daughter is feeling right now.

Perhaps you won't have to move from Charlotte at all...but in addition to writing your story, the Lord is writing your kids stories, too. Moving a lot was a great part of my faith story. Perhaps it will be the same for your kids.

Still. Right at Christmas. Stink. Will pray that His presence will overwhelm you in a good way this week.

Boston Mamas said...

So, so sorry M. I will be sending lots of good thoughts, and hope to hear soon of a turnaround. -Christine

Heidi Main said...

Your younger kids are correct. God will provide. And you will have a story at the end of this trial. God is with you and your sisters in Christ are praying for you.
I am SO sorry that your family has to deal with this during the celebration of our Savior's birth. Heidi

Leslie Valeska said...

Oh Marybeth. Firstly, I will be lifting you all in prayer. Secondly, know that I am not surprised. My husband has worked for the same company for 17 years. He has not been laid off (yet) but there have been 9 major layoffs in the last 2 years, the last one being in November...right before Thanksgiving. The actually laid an older gentleman off whose wife was in the middle of chemo for level 4 ovarian cancer. She would not be able to continue treatment without medical coverage. They knew it. It's amazing to me how strong the phrase "business is business" truly is. Living in Florida there is nothing here. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. So that makes us extra nervous. The last round of layoffs we were nervous, but more so because we are afraid now that being kept on is not so good. You see over the last 2 years our pay has been cut 57%. I don't know what the total will be this year yet, but that's where it was as of tax time last year. Anyway, we have had to tighten our belts and use our emergency fund, which we are at the tail end of now. He was supposed to get the last 16% cut back after Jan 1, but they sent out an email saying they would not be doing so. So, back to the reason we are so in knots...if the company goes belly up, we will get nothing. You never want to be the last one standing. At least if they laid him off he would get a severance. We keep holding on to God and knowing that He already knows how this is all going to play out. I don't know that there is anything here, but what positions or types of companies will Curt be looking for? The least I can do is to at least see if there is something or a company in here.

I will keep your family in prayer. Our kids have been on a roller coaster for the last 2 years. It doesn't seem fair, but I know that God gives us trials to grow us up. Paul tells us that we are to count it all joy and that we are to delight in hardships. The way I see it, current events and times have been a real kick behind the knee for me, but my relationship with Him is ever stronger.

Don't hesitate to call on me, even if you just need support or to vent!

Tami said...

Marybeth, I am so sorry. I will be praying for God to work through this awful situation. What's Curt's strong suit? I know that it is hard out there, and that Charlotte has been hit hard with the loss of jobs in the banking industry.

Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog for a while. I love your writing style and authenticity. We too are in this season, mu husband lost his job without warning in April. We are still waiting for God to answer our prayer for a new job but he has sustained us in many ways through the kindness of our church community and through my work. This is not what I wanted but I am learning to see God working. Your children will be okay! I actually believe this experience will be a benefit to them if we handle it with grace. Please forgive yourself for an meltdowns, tantrums or pitty parties. I will be praying for you.


RefreshMom said...

I will add your family to my prayer list. It will be easy to remember because we're in the same boat (it's a double-whammy when the job was also your church; it's a weird time of year not to be connected in that way).

As much as we 'grown-ups' know that the Lord will provide--in part because we've seen Him do it before, that doesn't lessen the shock of the situation, the frustration with the timing and the whiplash from changing courses so quickly.

I'll remember your daughter especially. It is so hard to see their little hearts and minds trying to process such big people concerns (I blogged just last night about my son's questions).

I'm glad you have such an extensive support network. I hope you'll be able to spend this next week reminded of the reason we have hope in the midst of unfair, badly-timed, frustrating circumstances.

Mary Hampton

Stephenie said...

Marybeth, I am so sorry that you all are going through this right now. Praying.

Sandra Holland said...

You're in my prayers. When Scott left his job to go to seminary 7 years ago, I honestly had no idea how God would provide for us. But, he has in more ways than I can count and the plan that God came up with is so much better than anything Scott and I could have planned. My job is ending at the end of March and I so I'm looking also. My prayer for your family is that you'll find a way to use the time together as a blessing and that everyone's faith will grow. Grace and peace to you!

Ellen said...


I am praying for your family.


Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Mary Beth,
Saw your update on facebook. :( I am so, so sorry. Praying that all of this causes your family to press in tighter to your Father and to each other, and that there will be some Christmas miracles for you! Our God won't let you down. He has plans for you; plans to prosper you; to give you hope and a future!!
Praying now.

Kate said...

Awwww! *hugs to all, even Mr. Whalen* He'll find a job! (And I can relate to writing a novel while it's crazy in the house...Some people just don't understand writers.)

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you all.

Amy Powers Greene

Anonymous said...

Keep holding on to God's hand, tightly!!

The Nester said...

I was basically going to say what emily said. Looking back on my life all the junk/crap that I wouldn't have picked to happen was the stuff that shaped who I became. Don't you hate it when people say that?

Luckily, it's true. I love how willing you are to go anywhere and I know you will be a great encouragement to your husband and children during this yucky season of your life.

Wish I had an extra computer!

Kathleen Marie said...

Keeping you and yours in our prayers. Like you said, God new this was coming and he has amazing plans for your both. I know this is both scary but it can also be an exciting time as you see what God has in store. And you are right, to do this to so many families at Christmas is just plain cruel. Hugs to your little one. Merry Christmas!

Flamingo Mama said...

oh wow marybeth. i am sooo sorry to hear about this! just last night i was talking about you to my husband and what an inspiration you have been to me...especially recently about focus days!:)and even to just write.

i think as a woman this is one of the most frightening things that can happen.

you are right... God is still there as does make our faith more real in times like this.

what a powerful impact this could have on your financial writing ministry. write about it. you will be able to connect with ALOT of women.

i'm sure this is very hard for your husband too.

it makes me count my blessings.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh Mary Beth, loving on you and praying.


Kelly said...

Praying over here in Tacoma, WA for you guys...I am sorry to hear about this happening to Curt, especially right before Christmas...seems exceptionally heartless to me, but then, business doesn't usually think of the people.
It's a good thing you paid off your debt and wrote your book...which I am re-reading for the 3rd time it is so good...praying that there would be massive sales of your book to help you guys get through, but we all do know Who is in control of it all!

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth,
So sorry to hear this news, and especially at Christmas. Please know that here in GA. prayers are being lifted up to our Heavenly Father (Jehovah-Jirah) on behalf of you, Curt and your family. For His peace, provision, comfort, and a new job very, very soon.

Danielle said...

Mary Beth,

I just read Renee's comment on Facebook and hopped over here. You, Curt and the kids are in my prayers.

Deut 31:8 is a verse I claim alot lately, and one I share when I know others need it. Remember that the LORD has already gone before you in this time. He already knows what's going to happen and when. He's not suprised that this happened and He's already provided a way. Trust in His will to know the best for your family, even when the road up ahead looks the bleakest.

God loves you, sister, and so do we!

In Christ,

Amy O/picketfencemom said...

I was in tears for you all...especially your 9yo! What a shock right here at Christmas! I'm so sorry, but I know that God is faithful! I know you put your trust and faith where it counts...and He will provide!
I will praying SO hard for your family and that Curt will find the perfect job.
Hugs coming your way, friend!
{{{Hugs}}}} and PRAYERS!
Amy O/picketfencemom

{Karla} said...

oh sweetie - I am so so sorry... Praying for you and your precious family.

You are so loved!


Trench Mommy said...


Tami said...

Marybeth, I had another thought about Curt's job hunt. Ask him what resources are set up in Charlotte for displaced workers. There may be a place that is set up for people to come in and use computers, update resumes, and network. I think I remember seeing an article in the Observer about networking opportunities for displaced workers.

Praying, Tami

MP said...

Dear sister, I don't know and only recently started reading your blog, but reading this post broke my heart for you! It's takes these huge moments to shake us up and test our faith. I know mine has been tested lately...but that I won't go into because right now, your pain is what this is about.
God is for sure allowing these trials in the lives of his children to abound. For reasons HE knows. We are on the brink of something buckle up sister and prepare for the ride. God has blessed you with beautiful families and friends, for that I am eternally grateful. Your world has been rocked...but your world is built on the ROCK! I know you know in your mind the truth of God, so we will pray for your heart...for it to have peace. This family in Oregon is praying for you and yours!
p.s. What line of work is your husband in?

Anonymous said...

Praying for your family!

Oh Dear said...

Praying for you Mary Beth (and family)as a friend of ours received similar news this week.

Terri said...

I will be praying for your family! I just read Curt's post on your financial blog & want to share it with my husband who still struggles with his layoff 2.5 years ago. He went from being an executive, to working for the last year as a customer service rep in a call center. I know the Lord is holding us, leading us, and I continually see His awesome provision. For my husband, it is a lot harder. We came from Colorado to Charlotte for this job. After 16months, there was no job. But we feel so very at home here and are really trying to not uproot our family again, unless God makes it abundantly clear that it is His will. So anyway, I can relate! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family..God bless you all!!!


Renee Swope said...

So many people are praying for you guys. I know God's going to use this to show you and your children the power of His love and provision through His children - the Body of Christ. Praying for a laptop and a job that is better than any Curt has ever had. I wondered if there is anything at Vanguard that he'd be interested in. That is where JJ works and it's such a great, stable company. Let me know if Curt wants to send his resume through him. I know JJ would love to help in any way he can.

Love you guys!

Ps. I'd love to bring Aster by so your kids could meet her and get the gift of a big ole smile. Maybe next week sometime.

Arlene Grimm said...

Praying for you and your family Marybeth!

Stephanie Shott said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. What a strange and hard thing to happen at Christmas. Anytime is bad, but, it's Christmas!

A couple of weeks ago my husband was told he needed to change professions due to his health. We sat in the car, looked at each other and he said, "I'm 55. How am I going to start a new profession?"

We know that God was not surprised and is in complete control, but it still doesn't prevent us from frantically searching the mental files of our minds to find our own answers. His answers will be much better, so we'll continue to seek His face and wait on Him.

You will be in my continual prayers and I look forward to hearing how God will bring beauty out of these ashes.
Eternally His,
Stephanie Shott
Phil 3:7-14

Clever Colleen said...

What a difficult time this must be for your family right now. I can't imagine. I posted a comment to your husband's post on the other blog - my heart goes out to all of you, and in a extra special way to your 9 yo that is so affected. Our family will be praying for you all!

Pryncss Briana said...

I feel your pain, Marybeth. My hubby was downsized 18 days ago, just 5 days before our youngest of four was born. :) So here we are as well, just before Christmas, with a newborn and no income ... but we have faith. We know that God will provide, and we will be cared for. :)

Quinne said...

We are praying with you, MaryBeth, and our church family will lift you up, too. Love & hugs, Q

awcamp said...

So so sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to you and your family. Let us know what kind of work Curt has been doing or is interested in. You never know what miracles might be in store. Jeremiah 29:11 comes to my mind: "For I know the plan I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Praying for you and your precious family.

Lori said...

Praying for all of you, Mary Beth.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Dearest Marybeth...

Heart in my throat.
God-prayers on my lips.
Faith gripped firmly in hand.

He has you tenderly cupped close and I'm with you... I choose to believe.

Know I pray and dearly love you and believe He only has plans for to prosper and bless you.


All's grace,

msarabia said...

Ohhh, Marybeth, if we can sit over coffee and talk about our changing worlds! I've been going through the same thing and have sat in a grocery parking lot with $14 in my purse wondering how we were going to buy enough food for our family of 6. I know God is not done with me yet and He's not done with you either. I've been holding onto Psalms 37:23 "The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord". God has not set us up to fail only at times to be like an olive pressed in those tight places, yet the oil that is produced will "taste" so much better!

Stacy said...

I just recently found your blog. Just wanted to say I'm sending up a prayer for you. My dh was laid off back in June. We went from a pretty decent two income family to a not so great one income family. Things are very tight but I've come to find that we don't need as much as I thought we did and with all of the creative/frugal people out there on the world wide web...we have been able to make it. God will provide.

Lecia said...

We just experienced the same thing about a month ago. I so agree with what your husband said about the men making the decision. It is hard seeing your children upset. BUT, as I told my husband, God knows what is in our future and He is already there. God will use this for your best and His glory. Praying for you!

Kelli said...

We are going thru the same thing so I feel your pain. It could be worse though. At least you get severence so consider yourself blessed. My husband dosen't get any severence b/c his company is in bankruptcy. May the new year bring your husband a new job : )

Jeannie said...

I am so, so sorry, Marybeth. I will be praying for you as we travel and then checking in on you when we return. God does have a plan, His plan can be trusted, and His timing is perfect. I can't tell you how many times I've repeated that sentence to myself -- sometimes as if to convince myself. But it's true.

rural momma said...

Mary Beth, I will be praying for you and your family. I know it is a scarey time, and I don't want to sound flippant but God really will provide what need. It may not be what you want, but he will always supply what you need. I do not say this lightly as we have been in the midst of a massive shifting here. Things have been beyond tight, but yet God has been faithful. I need to go, but I want you to know that I will be praying.

Heidi G said...

Jeremiah 29:11 became especially close to me this year in May when my husband lost his job without any warning--from a church that he had served in for 24 years. So we lost his job, our church family, and our people support system, only to see that God is bigger than all of that and he has truly supplied all of our needs since then. I pray He will bless you in the same way.

Jenn said...

The Lord must have lead me to your blog today. My husband resigned his ministry position in October. We are currently living on severance until the end of January. Then we will be a no-income family. I am pregnant with our third child and due in February.

I totally know what it is like to be sharing a computer and trying to navigate having your normally very busy husband home all the time. Today has been a challenging day. Some days we trust and other days the discouragement creeps in.

I am thinking and praying for your family, sister.

I was actually thinking about writing a post on how to encourage someone who is facing unemployment (you won't believe what people will say!!)

So I will simply say, I will pray for peace in the midst of this challenge.

Wanda said...

So very sorry. This was our story last year (not at Christmas) but earlier in the year.
Then it's effects spilled over to our Christmas.
I will be praying for you and your family. God is good!

Wendy said...

Mary Beth - I am so sorry to hear your news. I will keep you all in my prayers. I do know God has great plans for you all!

Shannon said...

I have not posted on here, but read your writings and devotionals. I know you went to HS with some friends of mine, and believe at NCSU as well(my cousin knows you). Anyway, for almost 5 years now, we have been on that job roller coaster...but more in the past two years, since Oct 2007 to be exact. We had moved to Texas in 2005 for my husband to take a new job. He got let go in 2007. I quit my job, we got to move back home to Charlotte. I got a new job, then he found one almost 10 months later. I got let go 4 months after. Got a job in 5 weeks, got let go 110 days later. Six weeks after that, I am in a new job, less money (mine is the higher income with benefits) but our income is cut. I would like to say 2009 is hopefully the end of the Job Saga, but we never know. I will be praying for your family. We know what it is like to run out of savings, and rely totally on the Lord to get us to the next stage. The best thing is, our girls have seen that faith and now know that He has a plan and although we don't always know and are fearful, He will carry us. Best Wishes to you!

sweettea said...

I'm a bit late chiming in to this, but I wanted to encourage you. My husband and I have been through this 3 times, the last time being for a year. I can say for SURE that HE WILL carry you. HE will show you things that you would otherwise not see and understand. HE will give you the opportunity to get out of the boat and walk on water. But most of all, and best of all, this will give you the opportunity to get closer to HIM and to Curt. I'd urge you to keep a record of how HE provides for you - maybe as a family thing - so you can look back and remember and have proof of HIS provision.

And I feel for you... the last time Eddie's boss came home with him (weird enough) - to take the company car back. How awkward that must have felt for both of them. What made it so heartbreaking was how the girls responded. They had made signs welcoming him in, but he didn't come in (which I don't blame him). He had put in a full day's work to be called that afternoon for a meeting. We had expected he might be let go in May when company changes were to occur, but -boom- it happened unbeknownst to us in February. He didn't get this current job until the next February. But GOD provided and HE will continue to do so.

Anyway, if you need some encouragement, feel free to e-mail me. Been there, done that - twice with babies on the way. :)


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