Habitat for Humanity

I have wanted to help participate in a Habitat for Humanity home build for several years now and once again my procrastination or just plain laziness has gotten the best of me. I have plenty of reasons why I have not done this yet. Things like I have kids to deal with before and after school, I don’t want to do this alone and I don’t have anyone to do it with, I don’t really know anything about construction, and I don’t know where I am going all rank top of the list. Since I started this bucket list thing I am trying to break through my normal litany of excuses and start “doing” not just talk about “doing.”

Here is what I did to get here. I started talking about what I wanted to do with family and friends. Much to my surprise a relative of mine has participated in several of these builds and was more than willing to answer my questions. He has participated through work and has really enjoyed his experience. I told him my concerns. He very honestly and sincerely addressed each of them. He told me that I did not have to have any construction experience. They would find me a job that I was comfortable doing, it might even be as simple as carrying boards or handing out nails. That sounded reassuring. I could do that! Maybe I could even do more.

Encouraged, I next asked him if this was something I could go do all on my own because I really wanted to do this with someone but at this point I did not have anyone else who could or wanted to go do this with me. “Would I be safe all by myself?” I tentatively asked almost embarrassed to express one of my real concerns.

“Absolutely,” he stated without hesitation. Now remember this is a relative I was talking to so he knows me. He knows I live out in the suburbs and barely stand 5 foot tall. He knows that if I were to get myself into a sticky situation regarding my safety I would be hard pressed to deal with it on my own! “Oh ya, these work sites are extremely safe and well staffed with volunteers and people from the organization. I think you should do it!” He sweetly encouraged me.

Now that I have been honest about my fears, both with myself and another human being I can decide if this is something I can do. I guess in my silly head I had it scripted out that if I wanted to do something like this I would need to be well versed in all aspects of the construction field,and be able to run various assorted power tools like a pro. I also felt like my size might not allow me to be very helpful. At just over 5 feet tall and not all that strong I am basically the size of an average 6th grader, probably not the most helpful member of a construction crew. The other issue I have is that I am fairly brave if I have someone to do things with, especially if that person has done it before and knows where to go and what will be expected of us. When I am “on my own” so to speak it gets quite a bit more intimidating for me.

Armed with some information and encouragement I am determined to get brave and I get online and register. Just like that! I am now a member of a Women Build Day and set to go help build a house for someone who really needs help. It feels good.

I feel brave, courageous, even a bit daring as I plan out my week. The funny part is that after I finally got brave enough to sign up I mentioned it to my good friend Susan and without hesitation she asked, “Oh can I go with you! I really want to do this too!”

Well all be darned. Here I was not doing something I really wanted to do just because I couldn’t find someone to do it with me and yet the minute I got brave enough to do it on my own suddenly I have someone willing to join me. I think the good Lord might be at work here. That is just a bit of a coincidence for me, but I am thankful and appreciative that I have a friend to join me on this adventure, which is sure to help me grow as a person.

I am really looking forward to Thursday. Maybe I can ask my husband for a few power tool lessons before then?? Who knows maybe they will let me really hammer away on a few nails! Wouldn’t it be cool if they were roofing and I got to go up and help lay shingles? I can’t wait to see what I get to do!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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