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Why Marriage Matters: Supporting Your Spouse Through a Job Loss

Supporting Your Spouse Through Job Loss GraphicIn January 2009, Hubby came home from work early. I was so surprised to see him and asked if he was feeling well. He had an expression on his face that imprinted into my memory. Before he said anything, a chill coiled in the pit of my stomach. My heart pounded against my ribcage. Then he said the words that sent a spiral of panic coursing through my veins…”Due to economic downsizing, I’ve been let go.”

His position had been eliminated.

I’m a stay-at-home-work-at-home mom, but Hubby’s income was our primary financial resource, and he carried the insurance for our family. 

After the initial shock wore off, I remembered a conversation I had with God a few months before that. I had thanked Him for Hubby’s recent promotion, then asked Him to prevent Hubby from being affected by the layoff rumors.

From January 2009 to July 2012, Hubby had a couple of temporary jobs, but nothing permanent. God opened the door for him to return to school to get his degree in business. However, when he graduated, he struggled to find a job. He received interviews, even second interviews, but no job offers…until God opened that door last July. 

During those three years, I learned a few things about supporting a spouse:

  • Pray for your spouse. Ask God to give you the words to encourage and the patience to endure the trials to come. Ask God to open doors on your spouse’s behalf. Ask God to give your spouse a sense of fulfillment and encouragement.
  • Expect a variety of emotions. Hubby’s career counselor likened losing a job to going through divorce. Your spouse may experience negative emotions–sadness, frustration, depression, anxiety, feelings of failure–and it’s so hard to see him feel this way. Men, in particular, feel the need to be providers. When this is taken from them, they struggle and can feel like they’re failing their families.
  • Speak his language. His love language, that is. Let him know through your positive actions and words that you’ve got his back–you’ll be by his side and you will work through this together. Speak truth to his strengths. Remind him of his positive traits. Encourage him to stay active in his other roles.
  • Voice your expectations. If you’d like your spouse to take on more responsibilities around the house while he’s looking for a new job, be sure to work together so you both know what each other’s expectations are. Men and women have different ideas of clean and what needs to be done. Your hubby may not be bothered by the overflowing laundry basket or realize you’ve been out of milk for two days. Being clear in your expectations helps to eliminate frustration and resentment.
  • Consider your finances. Review your finances as a couple and share ways you can cut back on unnecessary expenses. Be creative for date nights and family fun events that cost little or no money. 
  • Resist the urge to “help” your spouse with his job search. While you may think you’re being helpful by sharing job opportunities from the classifieds or Monster.com, your spouse may feel pressured already. 

Your spouse’s loss of job can turn out to be a mixed blessing–more family time, less time spent commuting. Be sure to take time to communicate concerns. Be quick to listen and slow to lash out in anger or frustration. This is a difficult time for all of you, but it’s a season. God has a plan and a purpose for your lives. 

Why Marriage Matters graphic

 

Your Turn: Has your spouse or another family member experienced a job loss? How did you support him or her?

If you’d like to write for Why Marriage Matters, be sure to read the details here: Why Marriage Matters Guidelines

Lisa Jordan
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Why Marriage Matters: Building Up Your Husband

Why Marriage Matters graphic

Therefore encourage one another 

and build each other up, 

just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Quite a few years ago, I “vented” to my then sister-in-law (she and my brother-in-law have divorced since then) about something my husband had or hadn’t done. I said, “I don’t mean to complain, but…”

She replied, “Yes, you do, but you’re frustrated.”

Her response floored me.

I meant to complain? No, I wanted to vent. There’s a difference. Right?

No.

Venting equals complaining. By doing so, I was tearing down my husband. 

Quite honestly, I get quite annoyed by male bashing because I’m the only female in my house. By lumping all men together, I’m saying my husband and my two sons are part of that group of men who can’t do anything right. 

And that’s not the perception I want any of them to see from me.

I saw a quote on Pinterest stating, “Don’t talk bad about your husband to anyone. Ever.”

I have to confess and say I was convicted by that statement. 

Yes, I get frustrated, but it’s my choice how I deal with that frustration.

I want my husband to feel like the most important person in my life. I want him to know I have his back. I want to build him up so he’s the man God created him to be. 

Here are my simple tips for building up your husband:

  • Pray daily. Pray for his spiritual walk. Pray for his parenting skills. Pray for his job. Pray for his health. Pray for his attitude. Pray for his devotion in your marriage.
  • Speak truth. Tell him how much you love him every day. Let him know what a good father he is. Share something about him that you love. Every. Single. Day.
  • Love always. Love is a choice. Love is a commandment from God. Love is essential to every marriage. Say “I love you” daily. Show how much you love him by doing something that pleases him, even if it’s something little like making his lunch or keeping his laundry washed and folded. 
  • Honor him. You made a vow to honor him for the rest of your life. A promise. When the marriage gets tough, don’t be so quick to end the marriage. 
  • Choose peace. Frustration happens because our insecurities surface or our expectations aren’t being met. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with your husband, consider why. If he didn’t take out the garbage like you asked, is it worth getting on the phone and griping to your best friend? Maybe he did forget. Instead of lashing out, let him know how you feel and what expectations you had in a way that strengthens your bond instead of biting his head off. 
  • Model Godly behavior. If you have children, you are modeling behavior. They notice when Mommy and Daddy fight, when they show love and how to have a strong marriage. Model the kind of Godly behavior you want your son or daughter to share with their future spouses. Instead of calling Daddy an idiot, make sure your child knows about Daddy’s intelligence or kindness. If you’re in a spiritually mismatched marriage, your Godly behavior will be noticed by your husband.

Building up your husband takes purposeful thought and effort, especially if you’ve fallen into a negative pattern. If you’re struggling in your  marriage, take it to God in prayer. Every marriage is different and no couple is perfect, but with God’s help, you can have the kind of marriage you desire. Building up your husband daily will go a long way in creating a marriage that lasts a lifetime. 

If you would like to write a guest post about Why Marriage Matters, please email me via my contact page, and I’ll be in touch. For Why Marriage Matters guest post guidelines, click here: Why Marriage Matters guidelines

Your Turn: If you’re married, how do you build up your spouse? If you’re not married, how do you see others build up their spouse? Share examples. 

Tweet to share: Are you building up your husband? @lisajordan shares Why #Marriage Matters: Building Up Your #Husband http://ow.ly/j8WVN 

Lisa Jordan
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Holding Hands With God

As a mom, my greatest fear is losing one of my boys. Sometimes my fears will smother my faith and twisted thinking will fill my head. I’ll pray for God’s protection over my boys, then stop. I don’t want to pray a certain way because what if God allows something to happen as a way of testing my faith?

Twisted thinking that allows Satan to get a foothold in my spiritual walk. 

After Hubby left for work this morning, I grabbed my tablet and crawled back in my warm bed to do my devotions.

I read about a single mother whose family lived in a poverty-riddled neighborhood. She put her children in God’s hands. Even while attending her one son’s funeral, she said he was still in God’s hands.

Holding hands with God can be tough, and it’s a growing process for everyone, including Christians. Fear is a great motivator for wanting to control our situations. Admit it–at times we think we know more than God. 

I’m not always quick to grab God’s hand when going through tough times. I admit to having days of shaky faith. No matter how shaky or faithless I am, God remains patient and faithful with me. I pray during times of tragedy I will be able to lean into him. After all, holding hands with God means letting go of our fears. 

Your turn: How do you face your fears? How has holding hands with God been a growing process for you?

Lisa Jordan
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Home is Where Your Story Begins

I had the privilege of attending the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) last week in Dallas, Texas. 700 writers and industry professionals gathered together to celebrate the craft, each other’s journeys and the Lord.

Attending ACFW is like a huge family reunion. I saw friends whom I’ve known for years. I met new friends face-to-face whose names I recognized from my online community. I attribute much of my writing success to ACFW.

Saturday evening at the ACFW Gala, I had the honor and privilege of being awarded the Carol Award for Lakeside Reunion in the short contemporary romance. Being a finalist filled me with incredible joy, and I wanted to have the same joyful spirit for whomever won. I truly did not expect to win, so when Mindy Obenhaus announced my name, I gasped and buried my face in my hands. 

When I accepted my award, I shared a tiny bit of the history of this novel–it’s dedicated to my husband because he gave up his greatest dream due to my intense fears, yet he’s my strongest supporter. Lakeside Reunion is dedicated to him. I concluded thanking other important people in my writing life–my boys, my mentors, my agent, my editor, my writing support group and my God…after all, without Him, none of this would be possible.

As I reflected on the journey I’ve taken with this first novel, I realized home is where my story began. I don’t recall the date, but I remember the exact moment when I knew I was called to be a writer. If I hadn’t met that handsome Marine on that summer’s evening in 1989, then I wouldn’t have had this particular story to tell.

Our home world shapes us into who we are and how we view life, with our family and friends playing characters in our life stories. The choices we make create life experiences. Our life experiences allow us to draw on those emotions when developing our fictional characters. Each one of us has a story tell. And we are the only ones who can tell it in our own unique voices. 

Your Turn: How has your home world shaped you into the person you are today? How do you share the stories of your past? 

Lisa Jordan
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What Would You Do For Your Children?

 In my newest novel, Lakeside Family, Josie will do anything to save her daughter’s life…even if it means facing a man from her past–Hannah’s father. 

When I brainstormed Lakeside Family, I had to give Josie a good enough reason to want to find Nick again. After all, the man broke her heart ten years ago. Despite the pain and resentment she felt, she knew she needed to put that aside and find him. He was her daughter’s last hope.

As a mother, I would do anything to keep my boys safe. That Mama Bear instinct kicks in and I’m all ready to tackle the world on their behalf. Wouldn’t most parents do the same for their children? 

So why do we think God is different? Why do we put God in a box and think He couldn’t or wouldn’t do something for us?

We are God’s children. 

The Bible is filled with stories of His grace, His protectiveness, His “Papa Bear” instinct. 

And like our own children, we become angry or disappointed when God doesn’t give us what we want when we want it. Would we give in to our children over everything they wanted? No. So why do we expect God to do the same for us?

Positive parenting allows children to develop and grow into responsible adults who understand right and wrong and the consequences of their actions. 

We serve a loving God who wants the best for us. He is the role model for positive parenting. He is our Heavenly Father. And He wants the very best for us…whatever it takes. 

Your Turn: If you are a parent, what would you do for your children? If you’re not a parent, what have you seen your parents do for you? How does your parenting style or upbringing correlate with God’s parenting?

Photo Source

**Be sure to comment on my Lakeside Family Book Release Celebration post for an opportunity to win fun prizes!

**My sweet friend Roxanne Gray interviewed me on MBT Ponderers. Stop by and comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Lakeside Family.  

Lisa Jordan
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Lakeside Family Book Release Celebration!

Let’s Celebrate Lakeside Family!


Lakeside Family has been released by Love Inspired! To say I’m excited is an understatement. Having my first book published was a dream come true, but to have another book in less than a year–wow! I’m humbled and overwhelmed.

If you read Lakeside Reunion, you met Josie as the owner of Cuppa Josie’s. I never expected Josie to have her own story, but my friend Ginger said she enjoyed meeting Josie and wanted to know more about her. So I did some pondering about Josie–why she was a single mom, where was her child’s father, etc, and Lakeside Family was born.

I will be celebrating the release of Lakeside Family with a month-long celebration during August. I will be visiting friends’ blogs, giving away free copies of Lakeside Family, drawing random names from my Author Facebook page for Starbucks gift cards and offering other goodies.

Since Josie owns a coffee shop, I figured it was fitting to offer two giveaway baskets: Coffee Lovers Basket & Tea Lovers Basket. 

Coffee Lovers Basket

The Coffee Lovers Basket offers a coffee-themed hand towel, 6 packs of different flavors of coffee, a travel coffee mug, Nonni’s biscotti in chocolate and chocolate hazelnut, handmade cards by me, chocolates, a small coffee cup candle, a copy of The Coffee Mom’s Devotional, a copy of Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit and whatever else I may decide to throw in there. 

 

Tea Lovers Basket 

The Tea Lovers Basket offers a beautiful Romans 15:13 tea set with an assortment of Tazo teas, a copy of Tea Time with God devotional book, handmade notecards by me, a tea-themed memo pad, Nonni’s biscotti in chocolate and chocolate hazelnut, assorted chocolates and whatever else I may throw in there. 

 

Other Giveaways

  • In addition to these giveaways, I will be drawing 1 name every Monday during the month of August from those who “Like” my Facebook Author Page for a $10 Starbucks gift card. 
  • Also I will be participating in a blog tour and giving away copies of Lakeside Family and other goodies
  • To be entered in the Coffee Lovers Basket or Tea Lovers Basket Giveaways, simply post a comment here with your name, your email address and your coffee or tea preference. Two names will be chosen randomly for each basket–one name per basket. Be sure to leave your email address so I can notify you if you win. 

Contest Rules

  • The names for the Coffee Lovers and Tea Lovers baskets will be selected using the number generator at www.randomizer.org.
  • All contests begin at 12:01 a.m. EST on August 1, 2012 and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on August 31, 2012. 
  • Contests participants must be at least 18 years old by August 1, 2012. 
  • Contest participation is limited to U.S. residents only.
  • No purchase necessary to participate.
  • The odds of winning are dependent on the number of participants.
  • Winners will be contacted via email by Friday, August 31. Winners have one week to respond to prize notification. If a winner has not contacted me by 11:59 p.m. EST on September 7th, 2012, another winner will be chosen. Prizes that need to be mailed will be mailed via USPS within one week of contest closing.
  • Winners will be posted on my blog on Monday, September 3, 2012. 
Lisa Jordan
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Who Supports Your Dreams?

I received a phone call at the end of June letting me know Lakeside Reunion is a finalist in the ACFW-sponsored Carol awards! I was thrilled, excited, overwhelmed, humbled, then slightly disappointed when the contest coordinator said I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone.

“No one? Not even my editor or agent?”

“No one.”

“Wow.”

“Well, you can tell your husband, but that’s it. You can’t share the news until the finalists are announced in July.”

I received that phone call two hours after I had received the call from Hubby’s new company offering him a job. I couldn’t wait for Hubby to get home–first to hear about his job offer details (I had texted him so he could call the HR office), then to share my news. 

He was thrilled for me.

Hubby has been a huge supporter of my writing dream since he learned I always wanted to be a writer. Without his support, I couldn’t succeed to where I am today. He helps pick up the slack around the house when I’m on deadline. He’s an impressive Errand Boy. He supports me emotionally when I’m going through a writer rough patch. 

I’ve heard stories from women and men whose spouses or significant others don’t get their writing. They are unsupportive and the writer feels so alone in an already solitary journey. 

My heart aches for those writers because support on the homefront is critical to have a full-bodied dream become reality.

Hubby doesn’t always get my writing, but he appreciates it. He gave me the greatest gift when he read my first novel.  

I can’t grow as a writer if I don’t have his support.

Your Turn: If you’re married, in what ways your spouse support your writing dream? If you’re single, who supports your writing?

Lisa Jordan
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When God’s No Becomes Yes

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

In January 2009 my hubby went to work like every other day. Then he came home early with news that due to economic downsizing, his position had been eliminated. 

Man, talk about a sucker punch to the stomach.

Hubby had been our primary breadwinner since the beginning of our marriage. My in-home childcare program is a profitable business, but to live on that? How would we survive? And what about medical benefits?

You see, a couple of weeks prior to that dreadful day in January, I had been driving home from church and had a talk with God. I remember turning the corner by the hospital onto the road that took me home and reminding God that Hubby had lost one job already, so we were good, right? No more job losses? This was the answered prayer in 1998, right? Right, God? 

Hubby had mentioned concerns about layoffs, but we didn’t expect them to lay off management personnel. 

I have to confess to experiencing many emotions in the past three years–anger at God, frustration with employers over job interviews not going anywhere to losing hope. Yes, I lost my hope. 

During the time Hubby was off work, we experienced many blessings. He had the opportunity to go back to school to earn his college degree. He had the opportunity to spend more time with our boys who were quickly growing up. He had the opportunity to relax. He had the opportunity to knock some things off his Honey-Do list. 

After college graduation, he worked temporarily at one company that we had hoped would morph into full-time with benefits, but sadly, he wasn’t chosen to become full-time. He started working with another company that has sketchy business practices and no benefits, but it was a job, so he kept it while looking for something better. 

In May, he applied at a local company for a position that would utilize his skills and talents. So weary of getting my hopes up, I had a “Eh, whatever” kind of attitude about the job. I just knew it would be like all the others…get called for a second or third interview only to receive the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” kind of response.

Hmmm, this one was different though. The HR manager called for a second interview. Then Hubby called a week later for a status update on the position. She invited him to come in for a different interview for a different position. He rinsed out his paint brush (he has been painting our house this summer–another blessing), changed his clothes, and drove 45 minutes to the interview. (Yes, in our area, that’s local.)

On Friday, June 29th, the HR manager called and asked for Hubby. Since he was unavailable, I had to take a message. She wanted to offer him a job opportunity and would he please call her at his earliest convenience. I hung up the phone and cried. And praised God for a positive answer to prayer…three years in the praying.

Even when I had given up hope, God continued to provide. He continued to work beneath the surface. All of those negative interviews were necessary for Him to provide the opportunity He had waiting for Hubby. 

While we awaited a new job opportunity for Hubby, God provided for us financially. He opened the door to my publishing career–another huge blessing. We always had enough money for bills, food, necessities. Yes, vacations have been off the table for the past three years, but we wiped out old debts and freed up a huge portion of our budget. All because of God. Despite my lack of hope, His faithfulness and provision have always been there. God’s No became a Yes in His timing. 

Your turn: Share a time in your life when God’s no led to a greater blessing. 

Lisa Jordan
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