When the Unexpected Happens

When the Unexpected Happens | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Oh, friends. Life has been a little crazy around here lately to say the least. I wasn’t really sure how to come out and talk about it, so forgive me if this post is awkwardly worded or I start rambling or something like that. Sometimes I feel like I can be eloquent, but today is not one of those days… consider yourself warned. 🙂

A little less than a month ago, we started hearing mumblings that things weren’t going so well for the company Donnie worked for. He is in oil and gas, so with the recent low oil prices and the volatile nature of the industry to begin with, we knew a bit of a slump was happening, but what we were hearing sounded bad…really bad. Donnie had actually just started with said company in October. He was really enjoying it and is very good at what he does– he always puts 110% into everything– but about a week after we started hearing that things were going downhill, we got the official word. He was being laid off. And not, “Oh we’ll have you finish out your projects for a few more weeks and give you some time to start applying other places.” Just, “You’re done. Today.”

To say that we were surprised would be a massive understatement. He originally took the job because the company was one he respected a lot and was doing great things in the field. They seemed to be growing and doing well, even in the midst of the slumping industry. Up until a week before, we never saw any of this coming.

This is actually not our first experience with job loss. Donnie was in the financial industry in 2008 when everything came crashing down {We have amazing timing, right? 😉 }, and three weeks before our oldest son Connor was born, two weeks before Christmas, he was laid off from that job. Back then we were scared to death. We were SO young, our first baby was coming any day, and we weren’t sure how we were going to navigate the whole thing. Thankfully, Donnie got another job right away, God provided abundantly for our needs during that time, and D even got to spend some extra time with Connor and me that he wouldn’t have gotten had he kept his old job. God was faithful.

When the Unexpected Happens | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Our little Steelers family in 2009, right after Connor was born

Even so, I would be lying if I said I was totally at peace about it right away and didn’t throw a temper tantrum or two when we got the news this time. Actually, I had allllll of the emotions. I was angry at Donnie’s old company for treating us like we were a number that could be easily crossed out rather than real people who have lives and obligations and kids to support. I was bitter toward the whole situation– we’ve already had our turn with this trial. Couldn’t it be someone else’s turn this time? I was disappointed… we had started looking at new houses and were planning on moving out of our townhouse this summer, and with one fell swoop those plans were axed indefinitely. I’m not going to say that wasn’t a tough pill to swallow. It was something I had really been looking forward to for a long time, and it seemed like it was finally going to happen and then… it wasn’t.

But after I was done acting like a five year old and was able to step back and take an honest look at the situation, I started to get excited. Really, really excited. As I said in my “goals for the year” post, our dream was for Donnie and I to both be able to work from home, caring for the Cs and doing online business-y things together. {Maybe I should have specified that I didn’t mean quite yet… 😉 } Whether we were ready for it or not, though, it’s happening. For the past two-ish weeks we both have been full time bloggers, and it has been awesome!

We’re still really not sure how this is going to all play out. Donnie is still applying for other jobs, but with the way the oil and gas industry is right now, openings are scarce. So until something else happens that causes us to do otherwise, this little ol’ blog is what’s going to be supporting our family. Part of me can’t even believe I just typed that. It’s scary and exciting and exhilarating and scary and amazing and incredible and scary all at the same time. Did I mention it’s a little scary? It’s a little scary. But it feels completely different than the last time this whole job loss thing happened to us. This time we’re prepared. We have a plan. And not just any plan–we’re getting to do our dream jobs! How amazing is that?!

When the Unexpected Happens | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

One thing that I know will not be different from the last time is that God will still be faithful. He always has been, and He always will continue to be. Whether this whole blogging thing works out and we’re able to make it our full time jobs forever or whether Donnie ends up getting back into oil and gas or some other industry, I know that our God loves us, I know He wants His best for us, and I know that He is faithful in all things. And for that I am so, so thankful.

So what does this change mean for Just a Girl and Her Blog? Well, we’re not completely sure yet. You’ll probably be seeing Donnie around here a little bit more, so the name “Just a Girl and Her Blog” just became a total and utter lie. 😉 (Don’t worry– no plans to change it!) He has expertise in some unique areas that I think will be really helpful to you guys as readers, and now he’ll finally have time to write about them– yippee! You may be seeing more posts about the business side of blogging since that’s what we’re cracking down on these days, and when we learn something new that’s helpful for us we always like to share. {One of the things Donnie has already played a big role in helping me set up is our “7 Days to Start a Blog” Challenge, so if you’ve ever wanted to start a blog but just haven’t taken the leap yet, be sure to sign up— it might be that final kick you need to get motivated! #shamelessplug 🙂 } Whatever happens with the blog, though, please know that our #1 goal is still to put out content that will be helpful and inspiring for others. That’s something that we don’t plan on changing.

Aaaannnndddd just as I suspected, this post just got really long. Let me just wrap it up by saying thank you. Thank YOU, the readers of this little blog that no one was ever supposed to read, for making this whole thing possible. Thank you for coming back post after post, for all of your sweet and encouraging comments, and for your endless support of Just a Girl and Her Blog. We really do appreciate you more than you know. HUGS!!!

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124 Comments

  1. Karen @ a house full of sunshine says:

    Guys!!! I read your second paragraph and my heart just plummeted to the soles of my feet and instant tears sprang to my eyes. I just cannot believe this happened to you. Again!! What a horrible shock and disappointment. I’m so sorry you didn’t even have any warning.

    But you know… as I kept reading…. my heart started climbing back up in my chest and I felt this bubble of hope for you, and even excitement. Of course…. YES!!! This all makes total sense. God’s got you, for sure. I know it’s not the way you would have planned for this to happen, but THANK GOD for this amazing blog and how well it’s been doing, ready for just such a moment as this.

    I pray for continued favour for both of you – that you won’t just survive in this venture, but THRIVE. That this seeming setback will actually be the catalyst pushing you to new heights you never even dreamed of. What the enemy intended for evil, God will use for good. I’m sure of it. Much, much love. xoxo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the best, friend! Thank you so much for your sweet, encouraging words! God is good. Hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Sarah Laurence says:

    Wow – just when we think we’re figuring it out, God’s timing takes over. I’m so sorry for the challenge and the scary situation you must be facing at the moment, but I know that this will only mean great things for you both in the future. God really took you at your word! Good luck. x

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Seriously so true! God is always keeping us on our toes, but I completely believe that He knows best and has it all under control. Thank you for your sweet words, friend!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Hi Abby!
    I’m Silvia, from Italy 🙂 – I’ve discovered your blog recently, seeking for organizing solutions and..since I’ve started to follow you, you’ve made a difference (I can’t believe I can now make pretty and functional word planners and lists by myself!!!:-D!!!)! For what’s going on, I wish to you and your lovely family, good luck for everything!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yay! Congrats on your planner and list-making endeavors! Isn’t it addicting? 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet words, Silvia! Have a wonderful day!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Hi Abby
    Life can be tough sometimes but I’m sure you guys will overcome this situation. Trust in the Lord and everything will work out fine.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Angel! <3

      ~Abby =)

  5. Natalie Bradley says:

    Sometimes we’re thrown right out of our comfort zones and it makes us grow that much faster. The same thing happened to my husband and I back in 2005 and it was the best thing that ever could have happened. At the time it was so, so, so scary as we navigated unchartered waters.

    As one of my mentors says when all chaos breaks loose – “Congratulations! Big things are on the horizon for you!”

    Sending love and blessings your family’s way!! <3 All is well!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement and for sharing your story, Natalie! It really means so much!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Sometimes His timing does not go according to your plan, but what a blessing this will all end up being. Good luck and hang in there! God is good!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      He most certainly is! Thank you so much, Heather! <3

      ~Abby =)

  7. Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods says:

    Sending hugs and wishes for peace during this hard time for your family! We love seeing Donnie on the blog so yay for that!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  8. Kim {Pinspired Home} says:

    Oh Abby…
    What devastating news to receive! I can totally understand allll the feelings. I’m sure I would be equally tantrum-prone upon receiving news like that. But praise God for His provision and perspective! What an adventure this will be for you and Donnie!
    As I read this, I couldn’t help but think of the post you wrote way back when about “such a time as this.” Abby, THIS could be that time! How exciting!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for reminding me, Kim! I went back and looked at that post and it was almost exactly a year ago to the day. So funny. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Hope you all are doing well!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Jeannine O'Neil says:

    Sometimes life has a funny way of putting us on the right track. My career has taken many twists and turns and somehow after many bends in the road, I ended up exactly where I needed to be. Looking back at all those “pit stops” I learned things, met people, acquired skills that were necessary to run my own business, my ultimate stop. I have learned one thing. When we vocalize our goals and aspirations, they often come true in the least expected form as possible. I am thinking of you and your family as you go through this transition. However, from reading this blog & how you work together, I think your family is going to be all right. You have already achieved so much that many bloggers aspire to!

    Positive thoughts!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Jeannine! Such an encouragement! Hope you are having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Abby, I so love and appreciate your honesty! I’ve always loved how authentic you are 🙂 I can relate to this post so much and I believe I have the solution for you and your beautiful family, please email me your contact info so I can share – michelle@applyyourwhy.com. I truly believe that when one door closes another door opens, one that is more amazing than the first 🙂 xo

  11. Jen @ Migonis Home says:

    So exciting… but you’re right… if you’ve witnessed God provide before it’s so much easier to see Him doing it now and know he will continue to do it!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So true. He always provides! Thanks, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  12. I am so sorry 🙁 My heart sank for you as well. We have also been there (well we both left our jobs when I was nine months pregnant– but my husband didn’t really have a choice). I am posting the link to hopefully inspire you during this time. It took 5 months for us to get back on our feet again but there is no doubt the Lord provided our every need. Thank you for sharing not only your “mountains” but also your “valleys”.

    https://www.createprettyblog.com/2013/05/a-little-bit-of-my-heart.html

    1. and I am THRILLED at this new adventure for both of you!

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, Caroline! I loved reading about how you guys stepped out in faith. That step can be so hard, but so incredibly important at the same time. Thanks for your encouraging words and testimony! <3

        ~Abby =)

  13. Rita C at Panoply says:

    Well, Abby, I’ll give you this – you & Donnie seem to know how to take whatever is thrown your way. I know you must be going through the normal mad, sad, and all those other emotions with this latest curve ball, but what that employer doesn’t know is what obstacle you’ve already trumped and that this will likely be a mole hill in comparison.
    I worked in oil & gas for a big part of my career, and my guess is it will all come full circle with the price of a barrel skyrocketing again (my husband & I’ve actually seen those forecasts). But by then, Donnie may have found his place alongside you in your work world. I look forward to seeing his perspective on your blog, and I think it’ll be a great, new facet to your work. I wish only the best for you both!
    Rita C at Panoply

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Rita! Oil and gas can be one finicky business, right?! The longer he’s working with me, though, the more I don’t want him to go back! 🙂 We’ll see what God has in store. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Ginny @ Organizing Homelife says:

    As you already know well, God’s plans are so much higher than our plans. He knows exactly why this happened and isn’t surprised at all. He definitely has your best in mind and will be with you every step of the way. One of the times in my life when I was caught by unexpected circumstances, I felt like I was stepping off a cliff into a great, dark chasm. It turned out that I was just stepping off of a curb. Of course I couldn’t see that at the time because I didn’t know what was coming. God knew the plans all along, he just wanted me to take that first step of trust so he could show me the next one. Maybe your road will be long, maybe it will be short, but when you walk in His light, you can be sure it is the RIGHT path and He will be with you, leading you each step of the way. I’ll be praying for you often! Proverbs 3:5-6

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ginny, I absolutely love that word picture of the chasm and the curb. So true! Thank you for your encouragement and testimony. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  15. I just started following your wonderful little blog and love it! I am so sorry for this turn of events for you, but excited you see the “open door”.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Joan! <3

      ~Abby =)

  16. Sonya Barker says:

    Thinking back to your January Income report and the huge increase in many areas makes me believe God started providing before you were even aware…Prayers sweet friend! ~Sonya

    1. justagirlabby says:

      God is good, that’s for sure! Thank you so much, Sonya!!

      ~Abby =)

  17. Dear Abby & Donnie ~
    A little quote by John Lennon that I love ~ “Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans” ~ It’s so true –
    One thing I see is that you trust God with everything you have, and this will get you through ~
    Everything happens for a reason and you will both be better for it.
    God Bless you both and only the best is about to happen.
    Much love,
    Rose

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Love that quote, Rose! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

      ~Abby =)

  18. Brenna@DomesticCharm says:

    You know what they say….. when one door closes another door opens. Here’s your door…. just walk through it. I’m very excited for you! I am sure your success will continue to grow and provide for your family! Best wishes on this new adventure!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Brenna! <3

      ~Abby =)

  19. I feel for you, Abby. This has happened three times to my husband, and God has always opened a door to something better for him. I know He has big plans for you and Donnie and will make them apparent soon. If you are both meant to work from home, He will put things into place to allow that. Sending hugs to your family and praying to hear good news soon!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Lecy! It really means a lot!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Lisa-Brit says:

    Hey, Abby! Even with the disappointment and unknown – I can still hear your strong faith helping you navigate these waters as a couple! Your positive attitude is grounded in prayer and trust: keep that focus! So inspired by the way you use your blog cathartically (sp!?) When you come out on the other side – God’s steps will make more sense….. trust….
    I signed up for the 7 Day Blog Challenge…. can’t wait!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Lisa! And I’m so thrilled you signed up for the challenge! I can’t wait to check out your blog!

      ~Abby =)

  21. Anna-Mack Severn says:

    Oh my gosh Abby I’m sorry to hear the news but so excited for you guys! I’ve always enjoyed Donnie’s post when he has time to do them. God always seems to have a plan, although sometimes its a curveball you weren’t expecting. I think you guys will come out of this on top and I can’t wait to share the journey with you right here on the blog! Will he be blogging here rather than over on Donnie Law? Last time I looked there lots of the pages wouldn’t pull up :/

    1. justagirlabby says:

      God is good, for sure! We have migrated all of the income reports and blog-related posts from DonnieLaw over to my blog (you can find the list here: https://justagirlandherblog.com/project-gallery-blogging/), and Donnie will be doing posts about blogging here at Just a Girl and Her Blog and writing about going paperless at DonnieLaw. We are excited for new directions and happenings! Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Anna!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Praying for you … and praying that God reveals His plan to you as He guides you through the unknown.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Brie! <3

      ~Abby =)

  23. We are praying for you Abby! We know God is going to reveal himself in a new and fresh way(even though you have already walked this way!) He is so faithful! I know you know that but wanted to encourage you today. We are praying and waiting with great anticipation about what He is going to do in ALL of this for you! Trust Him!! Cling to each other and know that He has equipped you for this season! Hugs to you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Amy! It truly means so much! God is good.

      ~Abby =)

  24. Oh Abby, what a roller coaster! My hubs works in oil and gas too and we’re definitely seeing hard times all around us. I’m just so happy you have found opportunity when you could so easily get lost in disappointment. Perhaps this is just the push you both needed to make this dream of yours a reality! Wishing you both the very best of luck on this new journey my friend! xo

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! You are the sweetest!

      ~Abby =)

  25. Kristy S. says:

    Totally crazy how life shakes out sometimes. I am a firm believer everything happens for a reason and that yes, God is faithful! So excited that this gave you all the time to pursue a dream that might not have come to fruition due to other obligations in life. You all are taking some lemons and making lemonade….that is so inspiring! Looking forward to more great content coming from both of you.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and vote of confidence, Kristy! It truly means so much! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  26. Cami Hall says:

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. It breaks my heart that you all are going through this… but your faith in this hard time is truly an example to me! Praying for you and your family!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers, Cami! <3

      ~Abby =)

  27. I recently started following your Instagram account, and stopping in at your blog occasionally. When I saw your post today I had to come read it because we are finding ourselves in an unexpected place too all of a sudden. This is something I can definitely relate to. My husband works in oil and gas also. Or did, until last week. 🙁 I have been a stay at home mom for seven years because he travels so much and now find myself having to go back to work. Unfortunately I don’t have much to go back to, I’m not very marketable. We’ve been on this ride before as well during the recession, yet still managed to find ourselves blindsided by this. I’m not sure where this will all take us. I’m trying really hard to relax and trust God. I’ll be thinking of your family as we all weather these times.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry you guys are having to go through this. Believe me when I say I know exactly how you feel. I will be praying for new, exciting and fulfilling directions for you guys. Hugs, friend!

      ~Abby =)

  28. Pia Larsen says:

    Thank for sharing your thoughts with us. You have a wonderfull blog. Life is like the waves on the ocean. I wish you and your family the best from Denmark.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Pia! <3

      ~Abby =)

  29. Emily, Our house now a home says:

    I am so sorry you are going through this. Even though you have a wonderful plan B happening it is still hard to handle the sudden job loss. It happened to us two years ago. Husband was laid off, came home that afternoon with his stuff. It was the worst feeling ever. Luckily for us he is highly skilled and by the end of the week had 4 job offers, all with higher pay and more benefits. He started a new job the following Monday. It was still a terrifying week of what ifs I never want to feel again. You guys are so fortunate to be able to make this a full time thing, together. That is one of our dreams as well. Think of all of the things we could create if hubby did not have to work a 9-5?!!!!! I hop we will get there one day. Enjoy the together time, can’t wait to see how this plays out with the blog. I think if another dude is writing and sharing none pretty stuff, and more business my husband will tune in too!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol! Thank you, Emily! I hear ya– we used to joke about hoping that he would get fired so we could do this thing, but it was a little scarier when it actually happened. 🙂 The longer we’re working together at home, though, the more I hope we can pull it off and he stays because we’re loving it! We’ll see what the future holds! Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Wish you both the best. You never know where HE may lead. .we only need to follow. Good luck

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Sherri! <3

      ~Abby =)

  31. Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says:

    Hi, Abby! Good luck to you and Donnie! I hope everything works out — I am sure it will. Sometimes things just happen for a reason! It would be wonderful if you two could blog full time together. I lost my full time writing job a few years ago when my kids were in kindergarten, and as a result, I’ve been able to start my blog and be a stay-at-home mom for them!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad things have worked out for you, Lauren, and I’m glad we have gotten to go on this wild blogging ride together! Thank you so much for your sweet words!

      ~Abby =)

  32. Kim@NewlyWoodwards says:

    Wow! I cannot imagine how frustrating this situation must have been for you all. But you are so positive and awesome to take it all in stride. Your hubby obviously has tons of talent (as do you), and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you. =)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, sweet friend! That means so much! <3

      ~Abby =)

  33. Mandy Hank says:

    Wishing you all the best of luck in your new adventure! ! God will provide for you all no matter what job he has! Hugs to you all 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, friend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  34. Ashleigh Hall says:

    Abby, Thank you for your honesty and openness in writing this post. I am praying for you and your precious family! God is so GOOD all of the time and His plan is perfect (though it’s often not in line with our plans).

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Ashleigh!! <3

      ~Abby =)

  35. I’m so glad you shared this, guys! You’re right, the Lord’s plans are PERFECT! I love you both and cherish your friendships! We’ll be praying for your family!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Laura! Hope you guys are doing well! Hugs!!

      ~Abby =)

  36. Charlotte says:

    My husband works in the oil industry and I’m scared every day he will be laid off. We’re not spring chickens and the thought of him having to pound the pavement looking for a job is super scary..I sure hope all things good come your way. As I’ve been told several times by my friend….”Let go, Let God”.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, oil and gas, why do you have to be so fickle? 😉 I hope that everything stays secure for your hubby’s job! And love your friend’s advice! Have a great weekend, Charlotte!

      ~Abby =)

  37. Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    Sounds to me like you are being pushed in a direction that you were meant to go. I’m sure it is scary, but with your blog’s recent success, it seems like there isn’t a better time to give it a go! It will be great for your boys to have the benefit of having you both home too. Stay positive, you got this! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! We are really enjoying it so far! We’ll see how it goes! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  38. Abby I am thinking of you and your family. I can’t imagine how you feel but you seem to have a plan and I look forward to your blogging adventures together. I will keep you in my prayers . I am a strong believer things happen for a reason , even if we don’t understand the reason immediately , eventually it all comes together 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Alicia! It really means a lot! <3 Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  39. Tiffany-A Touch of Grace says:

    I’m so sorry you guys are in limbo right now. And having to experience layoffs twice is so hard! But like you said, God will provide and what is meant to be will happen. Lots of good thoughts and prayers coming your way!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Tiffany! <3

      ~Abby =)

  40. Marjorie @ A Pinch of Healthy says:

    I am sorry for all the stress, but I think this maaaay turn out to be one of those blessings in disguise. I look forward to seeing more of Donnie around the blog! I like the business-y posts. Fist bump to Donnie for his work on those. 🙂

    In the mean time, though, you have my prayers for peace and provision. XO

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Marjorie! You are the sweetest!!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy says:

        Abby & Donnie – You want to hear some real irony?! I got laid off from MY job on Friday. 🙁

        So I guess I am officially (and accidentally) a full-time blogger too, at least for the immediate future. Although I haven’t made near the income you and Donnie have with yours. I will still be looking for other work too, while simultaneously trying to figure out how to (1) grow and (2) monetize my blog better.

  41. Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction says:

    Abby,
    So sorry about your hubby’s job. I hope he finds something new soon.
    Annamaria

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Annamaria!

      ~Abby =)

  42. Karen Esquivel says:

    Abby, Stay focused on Christ and continue praising Him for all He does for you. That horrible enemy Satan does not like to hear any positive praises to Christ. Do not be frightened about your life. Keep your head up and lay all your troubles at the foot of the cross. He promises to carry all the burdens you are faced with. I am 60 years old and faced daily to overcome adversity. Many of my friends and others I meet tell me that they cannot believe I have any illness at all. At 47 I began having many physical problems, pain to even move at all. I had a great career with Ford Motor Co. A 6 figure income, company car, a new one every 6 months, benefits that helped me get through all the testing and hospitalizations with very little out of my income hit. Well 13 years later, I have outlived the 3 mos. to live, and am going on 13 years. I am still smiling and trusting Christ. My life has changed my income is now SSI, what a change. My son acquired a disability, his wife left him because of it, and also left their 3 sons too. We had to have them move in with us. Prior to my illness attaching itself to my life we had decided to sell our very large home. 3 story, 4K sq. ft.(a real beauty) We now have a mobile home. 4 bdrm. 1600 sq. ft. . I do crafts more for fun than anything else. I live on oxygen, 24/7. I now have 5 diff. diseases. In pain most of the time. Guess what, I laugh and smile all the time. Christ is using me for something that will enhance His Kingdom. I keep my focus on Him. Sorry this is so long, but I want you to understand that you must stay focused on Christ, He will use you to grow His Kingdom with love and joy. And how blessed you are with 2 precious children, a husband that loves you. “Keep your eyes upon Jesus” God Bless and Keep You, Always, Karen Esquivel

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your story, Karen! God is good.

      ~Abby =)

  43. I am really sorry to read the news, you guys are definitely in my thoughts and prayers!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Mel! <3

      ~Abby =)

  44. Jessica Burgess says:

    Oh guys, I’m so sorry to hear of the sudden change in your lives.
    I will definitely be praying for guidance and peace for you all!
    I couldn’t be more than excited to hear that you’re tackling this blog together right now! I love your content Abby, and Donnie’s tips!
    There’s always a blessing in everything that is thrown at us in life… Maybe going full time bloggers, for both of you is it.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Jessica! It really means a lot! <3 Have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  45. Abby,
    You and your family are in my prayers! But I am confident God has big plans for you all! Thank you for opening your hearts to all of us!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Michelle! <3

      ~Abby =)

  46. Sheridan Anne says:

    Maybe this was exactly what you needed?! For you both and the little C’s.
    I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing your dreams and support you 100% xox

    1. justagirlabby says:

      After the scary factor wore off, it really has been so great! We’ll see what happens! Thanks, Sheridan Anne!

      ~Abby =)

  47. Amy @thelittlefarmdiary says:

    You know Abby, I’m going to be a little weird here and say ‘CONGRATULATIONS”! God closes doors for a reason and y’all are about to step right into His new plan for your life and I know that it will be all kinds of awesome. So congratulations, and enjoy this new journey! God is good!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Amy! He certainly is. We are excited to see what is to come! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  48. Lindsey Medlen says:

    That is some tough news! But I can honestly say that after reading your blog for the last couple of months, you are going to OWN this time. It will most certainly be challenging, but it seems to me that there is nothing that you and your family can’t handle! Best of Luck Abby!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Lindsey! Your encouragement means the world! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  49. Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says:

    So sorry to hear about Donnie’s job!! But, like you said, God IS faithful. He provides, and knows what we need and has a reason for everything; especially when we don’t even see it! Praying for you and your family! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, my friend! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  50. Hi Abby! Im Monica from Mexico!
    I started reading your blog about 3 months ago and it has been a pleasure and I have had really a great time! (sorry if my english is not perfect).
    This post encourage me and is an example to always trust in the Lord 🙂
    Best regards!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Monica! You are the sweetest! God is good. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  51. Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio says:

    God is faithful! I am so sorry to hear that your husband lost his job, but God always has a plan. I’m so thrilled for you and all I hope that you see lots of fruit from your hard work! — Ashley

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! <3

      ~Abby =)

  52. Abby, I have a friend who always tells me that God uses trials to” strengthen our spiritual muscles” so we will be ready for anything. I am so glad you have a positive outlook. My husband was in a business that changed management a few times , leaving us without an income, but God was always faithful to provide. It is nice seeing all the supporters you have on the blog as well. Blessings to you both…

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and for sharing your story, Kathy! God is good. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  53. Amber Slocum says:

    Abby,

    I am so sorry to read this. How awful for you guys. God works in mysterious ways and maybe this was just the nudge yall needed to make both of your dreams come true! I am saying prayers for you and your family. We are about to be in a similar situation. Mike will be going back to school and I’m just praying we will be able to figure it all out. Again prayers for yall.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Amber! Will be praying for you guys as you start down a new path too! <3 Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  54. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com says:

    So sorry Abby, but it’s amazing when we look back and can see God’s hand in all of it! So thankful for your trust in Him, who knows how to take care of you perfectly! Hugs, friend!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Absolutely! Thank you so much for the encouragement, friend! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! <3

      ~Abby =)

  55. I’m so sorry this didn’t happen ‘as planned’ for you, but I’m really excited to see how things work out for your sweet little family because of this change! I know your faith will be rewarded, and there’s great things in store for you 🙂 Wishing you tons of luck! Hugs my friend!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Danielle! <3

      ~Abby =)

  56. You and your family will get through this. Something tells me things will be better than ever! Prayers being said right now. 🙂
    P.S. Love the focus on the business side of the blog. Bring on more of “The Donnie”. 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Lol! Thank you so much, Michelle! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  57. Joretta Windham says:

    Abby,
    Like you, I believe that many of life’s difficulties result from our prayers. God is always listening and working in the background of our lives – and He knows our heart even better than we do! So, it’s no surprise that this door has OPENED for you. It is so refreshing to hear a young woman declare that God will be faithful- as He cannot do otherwise. You are his Beloved. He is working all things together for your good. I rejoice with you in the outcome of this trial, knowing that you’ll come out higher up on the other side!
    Love in Christ,
    Joretta

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Joretta! <3

      ~Abby =)

  58. Catherine says:

    How exciting! Only just discovered your blog, but I love a good positive attitude and you’ve certainly got that! Best of luck for your new adventure 🙂

  59. Ramona Richards says:

    God is Good. I found your blog and signed up for your emails. At first it was just for the helpful information, but I stayed for the person behind the blog. It is wonderful to know this is your passion, and you give God the credit. The best to your beautiful family. God will provide and carry you through, you have faith.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You are the sweetest, Ramona! Thank you so much for your encouraging words! <3 Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  60. Therese @ Fresh Idea Studio says:

    Oh Abby, I can only imagine how it must feel yet I am certain your faith, devotion to one another and both of your Incredible talents will take you to new heights you couldn’t have imagined before this fork in the road. God speed.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Therese! <3

      ~Abby =)

  61. Hi Abby… I think you are so courageous to put your heart out on your sleeve and share your personal life and fears with us! Although i will certainly have your family in my thoughts and prayers, i think this is God giving you the nudge (or shove!) in the direction that you were hoping to head anyway…. even if you didn’t think you were ready! You have inspired me to start my own blog, I’ve purchased your book, etc. and although I feel I’m never going to figure this stuff out, I will continue to move along and get it done. Anyway,.. i only say this to point out that, if you encouraged ME to Just Do It you have surely encouraged (and will continue to do so) many, many more!
    God will provide for you (and will undoubtedly throw in a few life lessons while doing so) and you’ll both come out stronger and happier than ever!
    Take Care…
    Brandy

  62. Hi Abby,
    I’m just now reading this post. God sure has a way of stretching us, doesn’t He? And I sure don’t like it…just to be real with ya’. I have to remember to keep my focus on Him and not be overwhelmed by the problems…a TOUGH lesson…and a daily letting go, in my case. Trusting Him is a whole other story when you’re right there in the “thick of it”, huh? One of my ongoing lessons seems to be learning to encourage myself in the Lord as David did. I will probably be blogging about it. 😉
    Prayers and Blessings to your family!
    Tammy

  63. Jackie Ryan Masek says:

    I was checking my Google+ feed, saw your article on MoneySavingMom about being able to watch TV without a cable bill, saw that you live in Pittsburgh, too, and then found this article. My husband recently broke his leg and will be home for quite some time recuperating. He will most likely lose his job over it as his job requires he be standing the whole time. That won’t happen for a good year. So, I guess that means I must think of my blog as a business and really monetize. If you ever want to meet and talk Blogese and working with your husband let me know! We would love to meet you two. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Hugs!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So nice to “meet” you, Jackie! It’s always fun to run into other ‘Burgh-ers! I hope your husband is healing well. Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

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