Day 2: “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately....”

Our second day was a mix of environmental exploration and fifteen-seat passenger van-induced group bonding. Our group split up and either attended the sermon at the Baptist church where we are staying, or a Catholic service a short drive away. I personally enjoyed having a Sunday before we start the actual building project to drive home the theme of service that surrounds our entire trip.

After our respective services we piled into the “big van” and were on our way to Cades Cove, part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (see photo above).

The park was breathtaking. Being from Toledo, the sight and feel of a mountain range is a completely new experience, and being able to run up a mountain was awesome. As I wandered through the forest in our sixty-eight degree weather (be jealous), I felt incredible to be outside again, and I was beyond excited to explore an area that was completely unfamiliar to me.

This is where Katie brought up the above quote, which I will officially declare the theme of our trip. Living life “on purpose” is one of the biggest goals I have in my life, and service is a choice that not only makes me feel good, but leads me to a more authentic version of myself.

While we may not be setting up a permanent residence in Cades Cove, Tennessee is the “woods” in the context of our quote, as it is unfamiliar to us. We are here to put other people before ourselves, and our choice to be here throughout the week will be our “living deliberately”. That relationship is the reason I appreciate that quote so much (plus quoting literature makes me sound like a learned scholar).

I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity to represent Lourdes, and am excited to get this project underway tomorrow. Stay tuned for more inspiring quotes and such from your friendly Tennessee Habitat Team!

Lourdes habitat trip