I’m Always Dragging That Horse Around

Florence’s performance last weekend at the infamous Austin City Limits embodied the past couple of weeks. She wrapped up an amazing weekend full of live music, budding friendships, and hanging with Sewanee and camp friends. There’s a verse in Shake it Out that pegs some things going on in life right now. Let’s break it down:

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind

I am new to the work world. I am no expert. I worked so hard on the first event Habitat Texas hosted since I started: an Interfaith Networking Training Meeting for affiliates of Texas. Our workshop was held on Tuesday at the Capitol in downtown Austin. Amy and I thought of every event detail, planned a dynamic panel, had food ordered, and made sure we were all ready for the big day. The event was flawless…

…except no one came. Out of 83 affiliates in Texas, we had four affiliates represented. Amy even mentioned the old question, ‘if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?’ If we offer an awesome workshop, does it do any good if no one comes? Now, we did have four affiliates there. So, the answer, in this case, is yes. The workshop was worth it because the people that were there had an extraordinary day full of robust learning opportunities. However, I was brought back to reality and reminded of my newbie status in the event planning world. Step 1: Get people to come.

I can never leave the past behind

In a lab led by Dr. Jerry Smith last year, we were on a Grundy County loop stopping in various churches across rural Tennessee. Smith was in a tiny Mormon church when he said, “I feel completely at home here.” The church was one of many that we went to that afternoon. Smith’s love of visiting churches with his students is his home. I’ve been anxious to find my home here in Austin.

This week has shifted due to unexpected phone calls from home. No matter how far we go, our pasts are still with us. Life has unexpected changes that affect us even if we believe too far away to be impacted. As I learned in a few of my Sewanee classes, the best way to understand people is to listen. Right now, I’ve listened to others about these changes. It’s time for me to listen to myself. I plan on taking some time this weekend to journal, run, and pray about how to move forward. Habitat has a huge focus on what ‘home’ means to different people, cultures, and religions. It’s time for me to stop asking and to start defining this word for myself.

I can see no way, I can see no way

I don’t think I will ever understand Mortgage Policies and Regulations. Sorry, Amy.

Habitat is going through a series of workshops on recent policy changes that affect the mortgage origination process that affiliates conduct with homeowners. I attended my first workshop in Houston yesterday and was totally clueless. Not only have I never studied mortgage laws, also, I’m uneducated on Habitat’s mortgage policies. It may take seven more of those meetings before I break the surface on becoming fluent in the mortgage language.

I’m always dragging that horse around

Every person comes with a tangible suitcase and an invisible one (shout out to Laura Hollowell). There’s the one full of stuff we take places. The other one is full of experiences, stories, and emotions we carry with us. I am learning a lot about the ten other people in my community through Wednesday and Sunday night meetings, outings with roommates, and late night hangouts. The thing I’ve discovered is that we all have our own stories. I don’t know the half of it; however, I’m finally starting to connect with individuals and hear more intricate aspects to their stories. I look forward to continue getting to know each of them and developing further relationships.

I have my own horse. We all do. How do we choose to carry that horse? How will we handle ourselves when the horse starts to buck? These are the thoughts that I’ve been wrestling with this week. Luckily, I’ve had overwhelming amounts of support. I have so many people to rely on. Now, it’s time for me to wrestle my own horse and understand how we can walk alongside one another in harmony.

Overall, it’s been a tough week. Big and little things have constantly seemed to go in the wrong direction. I know there is a plan. I trust the plan. We have a good, good God. He is working in my life. I trust that. I pray the next week will be more positive. I know even in the most broken moments that I can have hope for a better understanding of how this all fits into the journey.