Harvey in Review: God Connections

Again, we were so lucky to come through Hurricane Harvey with no flooding or water damage in our home...unlike sooo many of our friends & neighbors. As soon as the bayou blocking us in went down enough for us to get out of our neighborhood section on Tuesday, we began volunteering. Continuing on...

•Friday, September 1st: Just now left to beat our midnight curfew! Day 4 of volunteering at church was more of my fave: heavy lifting! Unloaded a 5 ton U-Haul full of out-of-state donations with two of my BFFs & our kids, rocked several human chains to transport countless pallets of water, and helped move the ENTIRE free "shopping" & food relief operation from our main building into our student building, so that we can hold services this weekend & allow others to use our space, as well. Still overwhelmingly proud to get to serve alongside some of the best people ever!!! #katystrong #hoUSton #godblesstexas

Sooooo, get this: that U-Haul & water were driven here 22 hours straight from CONCORD, NC - my hometown!!! We have mutual friends!!!!! I know the exact grocery store where they collected all these donations – my cousin even had a post talking about it on FB earlier in the week. How to *EVER* imagine it would come RIGHT TO *MY* CHURCH, of ALL places in Houston, and actually touch my physical hands?!?!? Talk about God connections... I was reeling...

I seriously can't believe I never made it up to the front of the truck to chat in person. I was in the back of the water line, and then I was inside of the U-Haul pulling out the donation boxes.

I wanted to talk to them, because the word was that they were from Charlotte; it wasn't until I got home that night that I found out they were actually from Concord. If I would've known it was Concord while I was there, I would've dropped everything to find them. (Fear not: we still got connected on FB the next day. :-) That's where I got the actual U-Haul video above!) More craziness: we haven't had hardly any out-of-state donation trucks come in here - it's not like this was one of TONS from all over the country. Almost all our physical donations received have been local...and then CONCORD!!! Crazy.

•Saturday, September 2nd: I've been asked to take a short Katy break to come share ZUMBA LOVE this afternoon!!! ALL are welcome, including nonmembers! Enjoy the hot showers. Take this tiny mental break, if you are able, to let go, let it all out, and be able to come back into our recovery efforts refreshed.

Saturday night: Breaking from church today to go back to work felt...strange. I don't usually teach Zumba on Saturdays or afternoons, but it was VERY restorative & productive to be there with & for our members on a specially-scheduled first day back, post-Harvey. ❤️ Even getting back a slice of normal, though, feels different... I still felt a longing to be with my church fam all day... I also got to take a blessed Yin class while at the gym, and I was stunned at how long it took in holding the poses for me to actually, physically let my muscles go. We're all holding such an insane amount of tension in our bodies... Nothing is normal, new normal is on edge, and getting a taste of old normal feels odd & - if I'm being honest - guilty.

Who am I that I got to go to work & yoga today, instead of having to work on salvaging our home? I am feeling the survivor guilt...

•Sunday, September 3rd: We went to church. It was odd to be in our completely usual Sunday morning setting...when just 36 hours before, it had been a bustling relief supply distribution center. The kids & I helped relocate the entire operation into our next door Student Building Friday night after unloading the NC donations, so that our worship space would be open not only for us, but also then for three other churches to use to hold their services later in the day, as well. Our pastor shared this video of our week. I cried...

•Monday, September 4th: I spent today at church registering people for appointments with FEMA. We are now Katy's FEMA headquarters. It felt *AMAZING* to be able to truly help our neighbors at their most vulnerable...but coming alongside that extreme vulnerability was heartbreaking... It was a privilege to hug precious people while they cried... I'm honored to go back tomorrow! My coworker for part of the day was actually waiting in the FEMA line, herself. She just wanted to volunteer while waiting. THAT is NORMAL here. ❤️ Annelise was a blessing - the wait for appointments was *hours* long, so she took two girls (with permission) out to the playground & held their hands while they got free haircuts onsite, donated by a community hairdresser while people waited, so the girls' mom didn't have to entertain them. So proud of her!!!

I left from there to teach PiYo at 6, and I stayed for candlelight yoga after my class: PERFECTION. Exactly what my body craved. Then I sang "It's Quiet Uptown" & "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" from Hamilton on the ride home and bawled my head off (not unique to today – I weep every time I sing those!!! :-P) to complete the day's catharsis. :-D ❤️ Polishing off cookie dough & ready to space out for a bit now...


  1. Love the story about the truck from Concord!!! I know you've seen God at work through all of the heartache . Glad people there have you, your family, and those in your church and community to help them through this very difficult time!

  2. I enjoyed the way you journaled about each day! And what a neat "coincidence" that God orchestrated for you!


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