How to Deal With Layoffs

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Tomorrow is my son David’s birthday. He quietly works behind the scenes here on our website troubleshooting and saving the day in so many ways. I just want to thank him and let him know how proud I am of him and how much I love him. Happy Birthday!!!!!


How to Deal With Layoffs- Lessons from My Son

You spend years teaching and training your children and most of that time you watch them and wonder, “Have they listened and will they remember anything I have taught them?” Last Friday was one of those times when you think, “They did hear what I was saying” or more importantly, what God was saying. Let me back track a little first.

A week or so ago Tawra saw several couples on TV who were dealing with layoffs. They were on the news because their families were being torn apart. One husband had had his pay cut. Another couple hadn’t lost their jobs. They were just so worried that it might happen to them, the stress was tearing their family apart and their home was filled with arguing and tension. I thought, “How sad that these people were allowing the fact they were losing some of their “stuff and things” to tear their families apart. Worrying about the stuff they were losing was more important than peace and love in their homes.

Most of them still had money coming in–It just wasn’t as much as they wanted or were used to having. I thought, What a difference it makes when you go through a crisis in your life if you have a good frame of mind and have your priorities straight. My son was the perfect example of this last Friday, when he called and said, “I just got laid off.”

My first thought was about how different his reaction was compared to the reaction of those people on TV and others we so often hear about. We spent almost two hours on and off the phone talking and laughing. He said it was so funny because the HR people at work and the job counselor they sent him to see didn’t quite know what to make of him. He wasn’t angry or even really upset. They don’t often see someone as calm as he was so they didn’t know what to say.

He had a choice. He could react in faith or in fear. He chose to react in faith. Because he didn’t sink into a “funk” or let fear paralyze him, he was able to think straight and he immediately started making plans to look for another job. He isn’t wasting days or weeks feeling sorry for himself.

We had to go through very hard times when he was young. All those years, I worried that the hard times might have a bad effect on him, but now I think they had just the opposite effect. He learned at a young age that God really does take care of you so as an adult it is second nature for him to believe that. Don’t always think the bad things you go through will be bad for your children. The only thing that will be bad for them is if their parents react in a bad way to the circumstances.

Kids watch how the parents react with each other. When you find yourself dealing with a layoff or in another situation like this, don’t play the blame game. This is the time to get your mind off of yourself and try to think of your spouse. Since my son’s wife works part time, he wanted to make sure that she would have no reason to get upset and resentful that he was home all day while she worked. He immediately started doing things like cleaning, making dinner and doing things around the house more than he normally would. Be sure to think about your spouse’s feelings at times like these and work together instead of separately.

As Christians, we often get really good at walking the walk and talking the talk when we are only dealing with life’s little irritations, but when a real crisis hits, we often forget to practice what we preach. Do we really believe those verses we piously read in the good times? God will take care of us and He is in control.

When life slaps you in the face, acknowledge the hurt, have a moment of anger, frustration and a good cry if you need it. Then take a deep breath, pray like crazy and start practicing what you preach for your own good and the good of your family.


Update: This first posted in May 2009 on our old site. My brother was laid off for 18 months and has now found a temporary/contract job. During that 18 months his new home was hit by hail the size of grapefruit going all the way through the roof and into the attic – you can just imagine the damage. At the time he was recovering from major knee surgery and was on crutches. He also had 4 surgeries on his toe and several serious procedures done on his teeth. He  suffers from CFS but keeps working full time.



photo by: pmo


  1. rose says

    jill… i am so sorry to hear your son lost his job … but i must say, he is taking this rather well… and yes, faith will help lead and guide him…
    your blog is very inspirational!…
    and its a shame those other couples cant seem to settle down and take a deep breath…
    it is very stressful when one spouse loses an income or gets cut back in hours… my nephew, who is a mechanic, his boss cut everyone’s hours to 20 a week … well, some quit and most stayed… he didnt hire any new mechanics but if there were any hours that could be given, each has to take turns to get them… well, my nephew stressed about it the first day when he came home (which was a friday) and all weekend long, him and my niece (his wife) worked out a strict budget and a plan to bring in extra money… she sells on ebay… and bc we have a large family (most live down in the area where they are, i live 2 hrs away), and bc he has made alot of acquaintances, he decided to contact friends adn family and well, between the little bit of work the friends adn family give him and plus, the garage sales they go to, to pick up items to sell on ebay, they are struggling but still making it…
    so, you are so right jill, with lots of pray and working together and making a budget, goals and plans, and keeping a level head on your shoulders, you can go thru something like this … just look at what the people who lived thru the depression, how they worked together and got thru it…
    again jill… awesome blog and advice!…
    rose 😀

  2. Billie says

    The lord has a wonderful plan for your life… i had to keep telling myself that when i got laid off. At the time my kids were 3 and 2 so i took my 6 months off collected my unemployment and enjoyed every bit of it, i also got really lazy around the house..hehe.. but i don’t regret it for a minute, of course i can look back and say i never want to do that again..hehe, i have to have that constant schedule of something to do i have learned that in my experience…lol.. but i did end up getting a better job then the one i had before so in turn it was an awesome experience for me!! The lord knew i would have never left the other job, in search for something new, i had been there for 12 years… so keep your head up and keep trudging forward and what don’t kill us only makes us stronger!!! god bless for the wonderful blogs and site!!! faithful reader…

  3. jill says

    My son was so funny. He had a new manager for his job and things had gotten really bad for everyone. My son has been dealing with her as patiently as he could for quite awhile now. He was laughing the night he got fired and said he had been praying that God would help them with 2 things; first with his job and second with what to do for a babysitter.

    His wife has always had a job where she could be at home when the kids were and this year it wasn’t going to work. He said God took care of all of his prayer requests in one fell swoop. :) :)


  4. Tracy Phillips says

    Your response was such an inspiration. Sometimes we fail to remember who is actually in control. I’m proud I had a mom like you, as I am sure your son does too. Money is NOT all that is important in life:)

  5. charlene says

    Thank you for being real through this blog. I just found out I have been “downsized”…but I’m really okay with it. I will be sad to leave a job and people I have grown to love, but I know God is in control and I can trust Him. Here is a quote that I have been sharing “generously” with my fellow coworkers (some laid off, some left behind)

    “So, in a day when everything that can be shaken is being shaken before our eyes and even beneath our feet, let us in our turn give thanks for the unshakable kingdom which we have inherited, which endures forever when everything else to which men may pin their hopes disappears and leaves not [even wreckage]* behind.”

    F.F. Bruce – The Epistle to the Hebrews p. 417

    * my husband’s words added. Original term is “wrack”

  6. Carol Cripps says

    While not a Christian, I do have things in priority. Years ago, while caring for my terminally ill father, I also babysat my nephew and several other children in our home. That was my only income. One day, my nephew asked why I was so poor, and why I didn’t get a job for more money.

    I turned around, totally surprised. “But I’m not poor!” I asserted. “I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear, people who love me, and work that is important to me. Whatever more could I want?”

    He didn’t get it; at twenty three, I’m not sure he does even now.

    I’m on disability now, and help my sister with her twelve year old, so I still don’t have much money, but I am still rich beyond all measure.


  7. jill says

    You are so right Carol. I just recently found a quote that I think fits a little to what you are saying. It goes “Discontent is the penalty that we pay when we are not grateful for what God has given us”. (things like you said people to love you, clothes to wear etc.)

    I was sitting drinking my coffee this morning so enjoying it and just being so grateful for it. It wasn’t starbucks or any thing special just a plain old cup of coffee but it tasted like manna from heaven to me because I have had times when I didn’t have the money for it so I appreciate it so much more now.

    True contentment happens when we learn to enjoy and be grateful for what we do have and discontentment happens when we think what we have is never enough and we deserve more.

    Oh dear I had better stop before I get to preaching. :) :)

  8. rose says

    jill, i was telling my son that your son just lost his job (he was on his way to an interview, he has been looking for a job for about a yr now; altho, he does have a part time job but that is only 1 day/week and he is still looking for a full time job) and he tells me: “mom, i am sure ms jill’s son will find something … maybe even something with more pay and less hours”…
    i just wanted to share this with you… 😀

  9. Amy Berry says

    Sorry to hear about your son. My husbands work was been bad this year. He has only went out 5 weeks this year. He owns his owne semi and does long hauls.
    I to beleve that your family should stick togeter in hard times not tear apart. I was raised up with my parents all ways fighting over money. My DM liked to keep up with the jones. Me I could care less. As long as we have are needs meet that is enough for me. For me I don’t see the point in fighting over money and things that you don’t have. And look at what you do have and be greatfull for it. Things are really hard for us right now. We never know what is comeing in if it is coming in. I to keep in good faith that God will take care he knows are needs.

  10. Denise says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve started to be concered about the potential cuts in education jobs in the area where we live, as my husband works in that field. I needed a good reminder that I should not allow myself to be worried, but keep a positive attitude remembering who is truly in control. I enjoy your website and get encouraged whenever I read your articles.

  11. Lisa Eldridge says

    Wow, this was so timely! Just last week, my husband found out that he will most likely be getting laid off within the next couple of months. After I cried a little bit (nothing like this has ever happened to us before; we just hear about it happening to other people), I realized that we have never been without our necessities, but not only that, we have been through difficult financial situations before, but God has provided for us even above what we could ask or think. My husband has basically done what your son did and is looking for other potential jobs. In fact, there is one that looks like it will pan out very nicely! Thank you for this timely article. I really appreciate where your focus is!


  12. Karen says

    I just wanted to agree with you. We have gone through downsizing and being self employed, and this year we do not have what we normally would for Christmas. But I am thankful, because it is really causing us to remember what this season is about. And instead of focusing on what I don’t have I am focusing on what I do have the things that are eternal, love of my family, faith in God that He will bring us through.

  13. says

    Dear Tawra, If people would relize how much money they spend on junk, they would have more money for what they need. My husband had the best job ever before Katrina hit. We woke up yhe next day and his job was washed away,my sons job was gone and so was hundreds of others. You start wondering what you are going to do,how are you going to pay the bills. When we got out to look around, I felt blessed,we suffered alot of damage,but others didn’t even know were thier homes were. There were no stores,the banks weren’t open.How were we going to buy food? When we finally were able to go to a place were food was brought in,we were waiting in line and I was talking to this 80 year old women and like us, she was grateful for food,but she had nothing to cook it in, her home was washed away. She was so grateful to be alive,to be able to stand in line for food. We need so little to live,we just think we need alot of things to be happy. Celebrate everyday as a blessing from God and he will bless you. We have been through lay-offs,illness,hurricanes and GOd has blessed us. He knows your needs, He will answer them,just keep praising Him. But remember God answers in His time and in His way. Just be still and listen and He will answer. Have a blessed Christmas and celebrate the best gift of all,our Savior.

  14. Jennifer L Dahl says

    I just really wanted to thank you for sharing this today. We’ve been slammed by a lot of pretty heavy things lately, not just work related, and I needed that reminder about responding in Faith and not fear. How easy it is to forget sometimes. Thank you!!!

  15. Shawnda K says

    Thank you for this posting and for your ministry! I wanted to share another family in whose lives you have made a difference.

    My husband lost his upper managment, suit and tie job in January. We were sad but not panicked since we had started the habit of living below our income and not accumulating debit. My husband now works part time from home and is able to spend more time with the family. He also has the opportunity to go help friends and family members with repairs and projects they have trouble getting done because they are tied to full time jobs.
    We have seen God’s blessing in the situation and realize how rich our lives are. We are thankful for counsel, like yours, that encouraged us to stop and take a look at our previous choices. I can only imagine the mess our marriage and family would be in now had we not listened and learned!!

  16. Tammy says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story – it was exactly what I needed right now. My husband was laid off – which took us by great suprise. We have had to make some adjustments and he seemed fine with it right away but after the realization hit that he was out of work the flood gates opened up with various emotions and it has been very hard on our marriage. He has decided to use this time to finish school and head into a different career – which is also very stressful on our marriage. I support him completely but there are still issues as a result of all of this. I pray for him and us and our family daily and it’s great to hear how how your son took his childhood experience positively. It gives me hope that our kids will our situation in the same light. I am praying God helps us through this situation and makes us all stronger.
    Thanks again.

  17. Carolyn Showalter says

    I just want to say thank you so much for what you wrote. It’s gentle
    and so true. It feels nurturing. We are not in that situation at this
    time, although we were in a situation of wondering if my husband would
    be laid off, though, he did not get laid off and is pretty safe.
    I do know what it’s like though when people do get laid off. The husband
    feels like a failure even if it’s not his fault, he gets depressed and the
    family falls apart. It’s really necessary to have the advice out there that
    you have given. It’s so important to let God be in control. He will take care
    of us but we just need to have the attitude that your son had or has in order to
    be able to see the work that God is doing in our lives and in these situations.
    Thank you again and God Bless!

    Carolyn Showalter

  18. Sandra says

    I grew up on subsistance dairy farms, complete with getting up at 3 am to hand milk cows, Pitching hay and canning veggies on a wood stove when it was 95 degrees, carrying water from a spring, using an outhouse, and heating a drafty house with wood heaters and fireplaces that we sawed and split wood so that we could blister on one side and freeze on the other in freezing weather.

    My mother always had a saying that I take with me till today. When the subject of us being poor came up, usually from someone else, as I don’t remember her ever saying those words. Her response always was ” We are not poor! We are rich in everything but money.”

  19. lele says

    We are dealing with this right now, as clergy you are ineligible for unemployment benefits in all but 2 states, we had warning that this was coming but being unemployed with unemployment is is always shocking. I thank God that we listened to Dave Ramsey’s advice and saved money for living expenses knowing if it ever came to this we wouldn’t have the government to fall back on.

  20. says

    My husband just got laid off too. My faith is tried as I type, but thank God that my hubby has more faith than me. Honestly, I really think the way of the farm is the way to go – just like Sandra! :-)

  21. JenW says

    My hubby lost his job in Sept. I could have been angry at him and showed him my stress but I prayed and reacted with as much support for him as I could. He, like your son, did some cleaning around the house while he was home. I work part time as well so I was nice to have the help and he went to pick the kids up after school…when he wasn’t as an interview. He is working now, for less pay. So we have adjusted our budget. I have to say that at first it was hard to give up the fun things we were doing but now I feel like we are closer as a family. Sometimes God does show you His plan. :-)

  22. Marilyn says

    One of the many reason that I love this site. Your articles are so inspiring and with perfect timing. God is good and He will see all of us that are hurting financially through it. Family is such a blessing in itself, more important and enduring than things that money can buy.

  23. Mary says

    Thank you for your post. I’ve had a really bad year and had taken a layoff from my job because of illness. The business was then sold so when the unemployment ran out I had no chance of being called back. The week my unemployment ran out my husband of 24 years left me and filed for a divorce. The first few days I was sick with worry but then I pulled myself up and reminded myself that I’m my own worse enemy. I can survive as long as I stay positive and put my trust in God. Yes I still feel the pain of my husband being gone but I know that if I dwell on it I will only feel worse. It helps to know that there are others out there that are so much worse off than I am and they are surviving. I just keep following all the good and helpful post/books that I have received from you and everyday things get a little bit better. I may not have a lot of money but what I have I know I got from hard work and my trust in God to provide what I need.

  24. says

    our first lay off was the day after our first son was born. We ended up moving during the storms of Nov. snow and rain both with a 3 week old baby. Not fun but we laughed about it. I have a strange sense of humour and I think it has saved us many times over the years from insanity and divorce.
    The 2nd time was when our 2nd son was 4 months old. We went out and bought a canoe. The baby bonus cheque would cover the payments. I know it sounds like a foolish thing to do but we would take off and go canoeing for a day just to get out of the apartment. It has been our main sport the entire time the boys were growing up. So many people we knew laid off the same time we were ended up divorcing or fighting almost constantly.
    30 years later we have gone through 4 canoes we still have 1 and last year gave the other to our eldest son.
    The reason we were able to use the money to buy the canoe was because we had been expecting the lay off so I stocked up on flour, rice, oatmeal and the freezer was full of all sorts of meats. We lived almost entirely from that food for 5 months. I always cook from scratch and my parents were children of the depression so I learned how to economize.
    Cut back as much as you can but make sure you have an outlet for anger, depression, and just plain boredom. It doesn’t have to be a big expensive thing but do something fun each week. Do something random and try to see the funny things that happen.
    A sense of humour will help greatly in times of trouble.

  25. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    I think back to Larry Burkett telling Christians to get out of debt. I’m glad I listened.

    For those working, please remember those who are not and think of those who you can pay to fix your car, wire your house; and well as those who need a handout.

  26. mary says

    When their second child was only a few months old, my son-in-law’s job,which depended on the conpany’s getting contracts, continued but without the usual commissions. They had saved for hard times and continued to live carefully and managed to hold on. They got a shared part time job and started to get a small paycheck. This carried them the last month or two of an eight month period of no other paycheck. Then the regular job picked up. They kept the part time job for two years, just in case. They keep a good stock of non-perishable food on hand, just as we do. I learned that from my parents, as did my sister. She and her family (six people in all) lived out of their pantry for three months after a bankruptcy left them without any cash.

  27. chantelle says

    Hi, I’m new to this, but I just wanted to thank you for putting your brother’s job loss situation up on line. You see, I’m dealing with the same situation with a twist as I’m losing my house at the same time. It made me feel that I’m not the only person on this planet dealing with the currant sad situation so I can look ahead with the idea that things will get better and that it truly may be a “blessing in disguise” as many of my friends have said.

  28. barb~ says

    How wonderfully inspirational to read all of these messages of Grace under fire. Hope and faith have sustained me through very tough seasons. But, Love IS the greatest of all-the love of family, friends, your church. Self love is vital! We are not perfect, but we are gifted in unique ways. Finding my special gifts has blessed me incredibly, and now I am able to extend a hand to others. It’s a great feeling:)

  29. aisa says

    I’ve been reading your website for awhile after reading about you in Woman’s World. I love your site! I’ve always lived below my means and have always had a good life. This year my job hours were reduced which I was able to deal with. but I’m having a problem with health benefits. My son has NJ Family Care and my husband has disability health benefits but I have nothing. I’m a bit worried because one major health issue and we could be wiped out. Does anyone have any suggestions or how do they handle this situation? I make $2600 before taxes a month and the least expensive health plan I found was $390 which really didn’t cover much. I’m also supporting my daughter and her family since her fiance hasn’t been able to find a steady job yet and she’s home with the 2 little ones. I’m not complaining as I am happy with my life. I love working as a Special Education aide, I get to spend lots of time with my grandkids, I have a roof over my head, live close to work, I really do have so many things to be grateful for and I am. I just would love some suggestions about the health issue. Thanks.

  30. pam says

    Just wanted to tell you your article are always an inspiration. Keep up your great work. I look forward to your emails.

  31. Sharon K. says

    Simply, Thank you for sharing this. I needed to read it and remember that God always has us in the palm of His hand. He never leaves or forsakes us and always provides. I have been blessed, abundantly. Thank you again!

  32. Rachel says

    In the early 90’s my husband was laid off for about 10 months. I was working part time and with his unemployment check, we were able to make it. But it was also during this time that we grew so close to God. And it was during this time we also began to tithe. On the day my husband went back to work, we were down to only $50.00, no idea how to pay rent, utilities, buy groceries. Have you ever heard the saying, “God is three days late and right on time”? That’s exactly how it was. But it could have been much, much worse. My son-in-law was laid off two days ago. My daughter was really upset at first, but she seems more optimistic now. I always tell my kids “Seek God first, and everything else falls into place.”f

  33. says

    Thank you for your inspiring story. I’ve been informed that my main contract will not be renewed this coming March 2011. Though sadened by this, I’m out looking for a new job. I’ve had a number of interviews. It’s not easy, but I’m grateful that I have a couple months’ warning and will hopefully find a new position for March. I think it’s important to be grateful for all that we have been given. I have other work that I do so that is very encouraging.

    My wife is a lovely frugal woman, and between her and all of you and your great advice, I’ve been learning over the years that a penny saved is a penny earned. Keep up the great work!

    • says

      Harpoinse, we love hearing from our guys out there. I am so sorry about your job loss but I really do like your attitude. Saving is a team effort and sounds like you have a special wife and she has a great husband because any man who compliments his wife and gives her credit for things deserves applause. We will be thinking about you on your interviews and let us know how it goes.

  34. Michele says

    Hi Jill,

    Thank-you!! You are very inspiring to me. Although I am still working, it’s a very hard place to be. I know this from experience.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that I stumbled on your website a couple of years ago – if I hadn’t, I would not be reading your words of encouragement and wisdom.

    After reading some of the stories you’ve written, I often wonder if God put you in my path for that reason. I thank Him every time I see an inspiring piece you’ve written. And I just wanted to thank YOU as well! :)

    Don’t ever stop writing to us Jill….


    • says

      Thank you Michele. I have said it before but I really mean it you guys encourage me too more then you realize. About the time I am ready to quit because I am worn out or dealing with an unkind reader I read a post like yours. So Thank Youfor your kind words.

  35. Jeanne T. says

    “As Christians, we often get really good at walking the walk and talking the talk when we are only dealing with life’s little irritations, but when a real crisis hits, we often forget to practice what we preach. Do we really believe those verses we piously read in the good times? God will take care of us and He is in control.”

    Remember the song “God will Take Care of You?” If you will permit me here is a link to one of the most precious videos I have ever seen. The lyrics are also posted as well. If the doesn’t make you weep, well then, I don’t know what will.

    Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
    God will take care of you;
    Beneath His wings of love abide,
    God will take care of you.

    God will take care of you,
    Through every day, o’er all the way;
    He will take care of you,
    God will take care of you.

    Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
    God will take care of you;
    When dangers fierce your path assail,
    God will take care of you.

    All you may need He will provide,
    God will take care of you;
    Nothing you ask will be denied,
    God will take care of you.

    No matter what may be the test,
    God will take care of you;
    Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
    God will take care of you.

  36. nward says

    Thank you so much for keeping me on track. I had a moment of anger last night. My husband’s job has been very bad for the last four years, but the last two (another company took over) have been a nightmare. We have late paychecks and bounced paychecks all the time. I feel like I cannot take it anymore. I never know when I can buy anything even food because we have to play this game of him running to the bank everyday to see if his paycheck is good yet to cash. I keep telling myself the day my husband brings home a regular good paycheck we will be so wealthy because I have learned to live as simple as I possibly can. I also believe God helps us. Whenever, we wait several weeks to sometimes a month somehow money comes in, in strange ways. We are currently waiting for money from my husband’s job and strangely a new business opportunity presented itself that would be a good thing for my husband. So, I finally see a job change coming soon. Also, thank you so much for your newsletter, recipes, and words of encouragement. You have truly kept my head on straight and keep me going. Thank you!

  37. Jan C says

    thank you for such inspiring posts. I have gone through most of what you and others have written about, the layoffs, the illnesses. The most devasting was in 2011 when my husband of 47 years was in and out of the hospital and I needed quick surgery. My surgery wasn’t quick, and I wound up in ICU for 2 months and then went to a nursing home. In the meantime, my husband passed away. I was unable to even attend his funeral because I was so sick. God helped me through all this and I can now finally write about it.

    • says

      My Jan I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have been like for you. You are an encouragement to me to have gone through all of that an even though I know you may have felt like it at times there is no self pity in your words and I do so admire that. I hope people understand that like you said only God could bring a person through something like that and they have the attitude you have. Thank you for your encouragement.

  38. deb says

    It is so encouraging to read all these posting.
    I wasn’t needed at my job 10 years go.
    I became depressed I’ll n not great to live with
    And quit listening to God.
    I continued to pray and Finally started listening again.
    I had a major health crisis and had the opportunity to
    talk with God. Who told me I had work to do.
    I was able begin healing.
    My life is SO much better.
    I got to look after my grandson while his mom went to work
    and now I have two part-time jobs that I really like.
    I changed my attitude and life is so much better!

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