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Changes Abound

Unknown Creek feeding into Taku Inlet near Juneau, Alaska

Much like a stream forced to change its course to the ocean, the last couple of years of life have been filled with plenty of adjustments on our journey. This past week was yet another change in course. The company I work for, Rose Publishing, was acquired by Hendrickson Publishing. So what does that mean? On April 10th this year Rose will close its California offices and move to Massachusetts and I–as well as many others–will be laid off. However, I will continue to work as an independent contractor to assist in the integration of Rose’s data and web systems with Hendrickson’s systems and complete any other pending projects.

It’s not how I envisioned returning to work after caring for Heidi the last seven months, but I am at peace with the situation. In some ways this will be a blessing in disguise. Yes, working a salaried job with benefits does give you a sense of security and consistency, but as this past week proves not even that is certain. Doing contract work will give me the flexibility to be more available for the girls as I adjust to being a single parent. At the same time I can also seek out other clients and take on web and video production projects I didn’t have time to do while at Rose. I will also be able set aside more time to promote my photography and art. One of the first things I want to do is finish migrating my website to a more robust platform which will enable visitors to purchase prints or license images directly from the website.

I know some would call this a tough situation, but it could be worse. I just have to think back to eight years ago. I was coming off the mountain-top experience of helping rebuild a college library in Liberia on a short-term mission trips when I learned that the company I was working for was downsizing and I was losing my job just as Heidi and I were welcoming our firstborn into the world. At the height of the recession I ended up unemployed for 10 months and under-employed for another eight months. We were forced to sell our condo at the time in a short-sale, and yet we made it through. I wouldn’t even consider that season of my life a time of hardship. During my time in Liberia I met people who had been through true hardship. People who had lived 20-plus years in the shadow of warlords, civil war, malaria and other diseases. My present circumstances pale in comparison.

In these moments it’s calming to reflect on one of my favorite psalms: Psalm 139:1-6.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.  You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;   it is high; I cannot attain it.

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