Spring 2013 was a pretty stressful time for us. We only had a few months before our wedding, and our income wasn't looking so good. My hours were being cut at work, and Alex was desperately looking for employment but nothing was coming up. Then within a few weeks of each other we both found work. I was able to get a full time job at Target, while Alex was hired at A&W. The next few months were interesting. I would come home absolutely raving about my job, while Alex couldn't stand working in fast food (who'd blame him?).
In November 2013 I get a text completely out of the blue from a good from of mine, asking if Alex was still looking for employment. I replied that he had a job, but that he is still open to job opportunities. A couple weeks later, Alex went to job interview to be a supervisor for Shoppers Drugmart, and was offered the job on the spot. Not only was this job a whole $3/hr more pay, but it was also super close to our apartment. Because of this new job, and our budget, we were able to grow our savings by quite a lot over the next year.
When we first found out we were pregnant, I had a mental plan of how my maternity benefits would work. I planned on working until February/March, take my maternity leave, then quit while I was on leave so I would still receive my benefits, but would not have to return to work. But things didn't exactly work out according to plan. Target were not allowing anyone to book off from December 21-28, and since we had already had our plane tickets booked to Winnipeg for Christmas, I had to quit my job 3 months earlier. It was quite a blow, and I quickly became worried about financing and how would survive without dipping too much into our savings. We were still in a great situation financially because of our savings, but I was terrified to watch our savings slowly fad away instead of grow.
Then something incredible happened. A friend of mine who is also pregnant mentioned that if I had worked more than 600 hours in the year 2014, I would qualify for maternity benefits through Employment Insurance. So I got all my paperwork together and applied. After a month of waiting, Alex logged into our online banking account and notice quite a large sum from EI. Not only will I be receiving the benefits for a full year (as opposed to 17 weeks with just regular maternity benefits), but my monthly pay will allow us to continue to add to our savings.
Now I am not sharing this experience to boast, or make it sound like we are rolling around in money. I am just completely shocked and grateful to such a huge blessing. Heavenly Father really has been looking after us, and is aware of our individual needs. This whole experience has really humbled me. Sometimes all it takes is a small little action on our part, and He makes up all the difference.