October 1, 2016
I started working at Exodus when I was nineteen. I bought the bookstore five months later, just after I’d reached twenty. I’m nearly thirty-eight now, so I’ve spent half of my life at Exodus. I love it here and can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
That has become a problem.
During the last two years, personal issues have made it difficult for me to focus on building a better Exodus and it has been especially hard for me to be an encouragement to new home school parents. My family has growing needs, but lower sales have made it impossible for me to take a wage increase. We've reached a point as a family where changes have to happen.
On the positive side, the Exodus staff is in good shape. Rhiannon, Lauren, Maddie, and Emily are collaborating well together. They understand the economy and clientele of the store; they have positive attitudes and are hard-working; they are well-read and have fantastic ideas of books to recommend both for adults and kids. I've come to rely on their suggestions a great deal (I believe you can too!), and I think it’s a good chance for me to take a break.
So, starting October 8th, I am taking a six-month (or so) sabbatical. I have been hired for a graveyard shift with the "MET" team at the Oregon City Home Depot, and during that time I'll be working around my house, doing some in-state traveling, perhaps reading more, and dabbling in a couple of other projects I've had in the back of my mind for a while. I want to work with my hands and learn to use some power tools, NOT work with a computer and telephone. I want to feel like a student again—at least for a while—and not an expert. I also want to spend more time with my family, thinking of myself as a husband and father rather than just owner of Exodus.
I'll still be at Exodus occasionally, directing behind the scenes and filling in if someone gets sick, and if you really need to talk to me, I'll be offering occasional for-a-fee consulting. The Exodus staff will have more details if you want them. In the meantime, this will be a great chance for Rhiannon and Lauren to shine. They're smart, friendly women—both formerly homeschooled and very knowledgeable.
While my plan is for this sabbatical to last about six months, it's very fluid at this point. Though this page is not a blog per se, I plan to occasionally update it with things I'm doing. Please pray for me and my family as we make this adjustment. And thank you all for your support, in the past, now, and going into the future!
Eli Evans, owner