Friday, January 29, 2010


So, here it is, Friday January 29th and as of right now I am in mid air! That's right, this morning I took my giant leap of faith and walked out of work for the last tyme! I didn't even stay the day and say goodbye to everyone, I simply tied up all the loose ends I could think of, bid my farewells to those that were there and left the building with a spring in my stride!

I cannot help but be ecstatic when I consider all the horrible things I will no longer be forced to endure. I cannot help but smile when I think that never again will I be made to create something only to see it destroyed days later. No more can someone step all over me, forcing me to do things that others refuse to do! Indeed, the freedom I currently feel is of an unmeasurable magnitude!

Still, freedom aside, I cannot help but be sad when I think that the last three years and nine months, that's 1,365 days (roughly) of my life were all for naught, at least in the career aspect of them. To work tirelessly for a company for years only to have them state frankly that they do not care about your physical, emotional or mental well-being is something of a rude awakening, the proverbial 'punch in the gut' if you will. However, like all injuries of such nature, this too shall heal and I will do best to keep the lesson in the back of my mind as I hang here, airborne.

As for the other aspects of the last 1,365 days (roughly), I cannot help but feel thankful. In that tyme the, albeit smaller than it should have been, paycheck from the fist-wheeling company has helped me in pursuing other avenues of interest, such as my music and my photography. Above all, my tyme there also gave me the blessing of a good friend, a kindred spirit, something we Christians know is worth far more than anything money can procure.

Sitting here, analyzing the situation, I cannot believe the array of emotions I have at present nor can I believe the energy that my leap has so far required. Considering it's been merely hours since I sprung, I am certain that I am going to need all the prayers and support I can receive to land safely on the other side of the deep, black abyss I now have to cross.

In my quest for clarity I am reminded of a man named Jesus. I can scarcely begin to imagine how Jesus must have felt when He had to carry His cross into His deep, black abyss for ME! Whereas my wounds are merely surface scratches and will heal in tyme, His were deep beyond words and their scars will remain.

Unlike myself, Jesus, as the Son of God, knew exactly what was to happen to Him, something that makes His sacrifice go even father beyond my comprehension. He was willing to die a horrible death on the cross so that I could sit here and write about the unknown factors of my life! Even then, He loved me that much that He died, was buried and rose again so that one day He could take care of me!

It is with this in mind that I will attempt to seek that which He has in store for me, knowing fully that as I hang in the balance, it is His hand to which I cling. I pray that you will be there with me, holding His hand as you venture through every day, whether you know your path or not. For at the foot of the cross there is room for our burdens and in the palm God's hand there is room for us all.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Even I don't have words for it...

Okay, so I reckon that's a rather comical title for a blog post, considering blogging is basically about words, but if you knew how my day started you would understand and I suppose, if you choose to read on, you will!

It was about 6:20 a.m. when the door flew open and I heard my mother's frantic voice call my name. Now, I cannot say I was in a deep sleep, but I wasn't awake by any means either, still, I had the presence of mind to think the situation through.

Okay, mom told me she was going into work early because she was leaving work early and she needed to make up the tyme. Did she forget something? Why does she sound so frazzled?

These were the thoughts and questions I had flowing through my sleepy mind. Now, understand that this process of thought occurred in mere seconds as I jumped out of bed and raced to the door only to see my mother standing in the kitchen soaking wet and tracking mud and sediment everywhere she stepped. Then, the words I heard her say seemed as foreign to me as a the word no to a two-year old child and even as she said them they hung in the air like the words of a comic strip character.

"My car is in Silver Lake!"

As I said in my title, I had no words to offer in return to her frantic statement, all I could do was hug her and try to formulate my thoughts. Thinking back now I seem to recall my initial reply, after a moment's thought, to be something like...

"At the bottom?"

It seems laughable now, but at the tyme I had no idea what was going on and had no subsequent information to decipher the situation. As the moments passed and the story unfolded in bits and pieces I could not believe the true grace of God that happened in Dayton, Virginia this morning.

Days ago we had torrential downpours that flooded many places throughout ours and the surrounding counties. The past few days have proven helpful for nature to get its ducks back in a row, if you will, and the water, in most places, back where it belongs; most being the operative word.

My mother's route to work is something of a straight shot, ironically, if you know about the few twists and turns. It ambles along some beautiful country side, across one of Harrisonburg's major roadways and again offers a wide open view of some of the Shenandoah Valley's stunning qualities. If traveling this route you would then notice that a town was coming into view and, with a few sharp and few slight turns here and there you would come to a large lake on your right hand side. It is here we have proof that God spent part of His morning!

It seems that along the last curve, just before the lake comes into view some of that water from days ago had yet to find its way back into the atmosphere and, with the cold overnight temperatures, froze solid across the road. It was this that my mother encountered at 5:45 this morning and it was this that sent her spinning out of control, landing her car backwards in the lake.

As her car slid back in the water, the trunk covered and the water crept up to her window. Then, the motion ceased as her tires sunk in the deep sediment at the edge of the lake, a blessing beyond compare as it stopped the car from going completely under the water. Stuck and frantic, my mother accounts that it was only her desperate prayers to the Lord that let her force the door open through the mud and sediment and ultimately walk out of the lake without injury.

With mom clean and dry we went back to the scene to find the tow truck, Dayton police, state police, fire and rescue personnel there doing their duties to help the situation. As I watch the tow truck pull the car out of the lake I couldn't help but be grateful. A few more feet and today would have turned out very differently.

The rest of the day was spent dealing with the insurance company [and I have to say that like a good neighbor, StateFarm was there], the rental car place and the towing company, all highly satisfactory in their service.

As I dropped off some coffee, toe warmers and long johns at my mom's shop [yes, she insisted on going in to work] I realized that today was just another lesson in my current leap of faith. As I listened to my mom account the story over and over to the many friends and family that called to check on her, I knew that God was telling me yet again that He is the reason we are here and nothing is worth anything if we cannot honestly say we are doing it for Him.

Thank you Lord for the blessings of today!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project "New Path"

It's no secret that the economy is not the best right now, which means that quitting your job is probably not the best thing to do right now, but that is precisely what I find myself doing!

Now, in the words of Thomas Magnum, P.I., "I know what you're thinking and you right". It's CRAZY! However, in the words of radio personality Paul Harvey, "And now, the rest of the story". (Seriously??? I need to start using my own words!)

Here's a question for you... What do you do when your manager calls you into his office and tells you flat out that he knows you cannot do your job by yourself, but he's taking away your assistant and you have to just deal with it? Seriously, he sat there and told me that I was going to have to do the work of at least two people and he offered me no compensation for it. "It's just the way it is", he said very matter-of-factly.

Now, I tried everything I could to save my assistant's job, I even offered to go part tyme so we could at least both have a small income while she tried to find something else. Every scenario I offered he quickly shot down, forcing me to leave his office and tell my assistant that she was out of a job. Oh, I guess I should say that he, this jaded, calloused man, did offer to tell her for me. What a guy!

Now, some of you might not see this as that awful, the laying off your assistant part anyway, but for me, it was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do, seeing as how my assistant is one of my dearest friends. It was awful. I offered her my job on the spot, but the good friend she is, she wouldn't even hear of such a thing. I'll never forget the feeling in that room as we sat there trying to comprehend what just happened. It was a combination of shock, fear and despair. I would be typing falsehoods if I said I kept a dry eye as we sat in that office.

This all happened on a Wednesday, in the morning nonetheless and we, being the good, loyal people we try to be, had to work the rest of the day, the rest of the week, knowing we would soon be parted and my friend, who has major student loans to pay, would, in two weeks, be without a job.

Let me just tell you that it isn't easy to give 110% under such circumstances, oh, let's get real, it isn't easy to give ANY percent under such circumstances!

As if this wasn't enough, we had started back to school that week, something neither of us had done in years and there we were, forced to focus on web design when all we really wanted to do was, well, to be honest, freak out!

I have to admit, I was mad. How dare he take away my excitement in going back to school by messing up my life, my friend's life that way. There had to be something he could do to help her, to help me! The nerve of him and that company! My friend and I worked so tirelessly and diligently for them, staying late, going in early, making something from nothing because they wanted it done, but didn't want to give us the tools with which to accomplish the tasks!

I cannot tell you how many tymes we did "the plane is coming" 'dance' and worked our tails off getting the store beyond perfect so the corporate goons would be happy and give the store manager a gold star! It vexed me to no end when I thought about how many tasks we did that were so far beyond our job description, but we did them because we tried to be team players and good people and help when and where we could. In truth, we put our lives on hold for that place, going out of town to help other stores in our region because that blasted plane was coming, carrying, yes, you guessed it, the corporate goons! Weeks spent out of town, working long hours and living out of a suitcase so a buch of people could try and fit their heads through the doors and criticize what we worked so hard to accomplish.

"Well, this does not look like it works here, but I think if you move it to this wall [that is literally six feet away] then the product will sell."

"I think you need to put the blue shirts on the left and the red shirts on the right and THAT will help you sell the 2% more product you need to beat the division for the month." [never mind the fact that the actual product is worthless and no one wants to buy it!!!]

But, I digress. The more I thought about the whole situation, the madder I got until something dawned on me and I felt really bad. I never once considered what the Lord was trying to tell me through it all. So, after a quick prayer of apology, I started to look at everything with a different perspective.

The truth was, I didn't like my job. I only stayed there because I enjoyed working with my friend and I settled for the fun we had together rather than look for a job I liked. So, what was God trying to tell me through it all? Was I doing His work by staying there? Had I been a good witness lately to those around me? Was I living for Him in my job or was it just a paycheck?

Honestly, when I asked myself those questions, it became really clear. God had stopped telling me and was now SHOWING me that it was tyme for me to move on. I was not doing His work in my job anymore. The politics and ill points of the job had jaded my heart and I was not able to be a good witness to those around me. In my mind, each day was a paycheck instead of a gift from God and that was a miserable realization.

I knew, deep down, that God blessed me with talents that I was not using and that the ones I was using, well, I wasn't using them to glorify Him; that had to change. So, after much prayer and discernment, I typed up my resignation that following Monday morning and told the store manager that I needed to talk to him. I cited the reasons behind my decision and he was forced to accept my letter of intent.

As it stands now, my two week notice ends on January, 29th. I will, along with my friend/assistant, be without a job in a terrible economy. I will have my faith and the sincere knowledge that God will take care of me. He will show me the way in which He wants me to go and I will do my best to follow! He will be my comfort and my strength and I will come out of this bleak situation better than I ever was in my settled for safety net.

So, I plan to write about my adventures in following the path that God puts before me and hope that you will read along and be inspired to seek the path that He has for you, so that He may one day tell us, 'Well done my good and faithful servant'!