A light at the end of the tunnel and a very special announcement

Hello Blogging World, IMG_0087

I’m back… well almost.  I am nearing the end of my 6 month stint of working 2 jobs and I’m beginning to see a glimmer of hope that I will return to writing more consistently here soon.  [smile]  In the meantime in case you hadn’t heard via Facebook or in person, Caleb and I are very pleased to announce we’ll be welcoming our first child in early August!  We are half-way through the pregnancy, but still can’t believe how blessed we are!  We’ve chosen not to find out the gender so right now he or she goes by the cool moniker- Baby Fraz.

Look forward to getting back in the writing mode in earnest very soon.  Until then, thanks for sticking with me even during this season of silence!




Day 4: West Virginia


Journeyed through Hatfield-McCoy territory to my last stop- Guyan Valley! Great day with a lot of fun people. Happily surprised to find I share mutual friends with several new acquaintances. Home at last.

– Margaret

Day 3: Kentucky


Have driven thru three states already today and have arrived safely at ASP Chavies. I am enjoying discovering something special at each site (other than the fellows who are all great!). At Chavies, I love that thoughtful quotes and the pictures of literary spiritual guides decorate the walls. One more trip tomorrow and I’ll have visited everyone.


Nada te turbe

In October 2009 just after completing my archaeology Masters coursework and right before headed back to the states, I retreated to Taize– a special spiritual center nestled in the Burgundy region of France.  Sometimes I have trouble believing I was actually there.  Looking back on the solo journey from Bristol to Paris where I boarded a train at the Gare du Nord then got off at a small station in the middle of the countryside where I was just hoping a bus that would take me Taize would show up, I am amazed I had the courage to take so many risks and just trust that everything would work out.

At Taize, the day is broken into periods of rest, prayer, work, and table fellowship.  Prayer happens corporately three times a day and is characterized by silence and song.  The unique music of Taize (sparsely accompanied, simple chanting) is what initially drew me to explore the prospect of retreating there.  It’s simplicity provides a spiritual connection that I find myself falling back into at the most random times.

Tonight as I am laying down to rest, this chant adapted from a prayer of St. Teresa of Avila drifted into my mind.

Nada te turbe, nada te espante;
todo se pasa, Dios no se muda.

In English:
Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing distress you;
While all things fade away, God is unchanging.

I’ve felt distressed over the last few days– not by anything super serious, but just by the everyday struggles of adjusting to a new life phase in which I’m/we’re no longer students.  Learning to adapt to new routines, schedules, and budgets as well as the continuing search for a job is overwhelming.  Add to the mix that my little sisters just turned 25 and I am now less than a month away from a big birthday myself (the big 3-0), I feel a bit like the world is spinning and I’m trying to keep up. Yet God’s love/presence/grace in my life is steadfast and ultimately I know having the courage to trust that all will be well is what I am called to.

Tonight this chant feels like a place to rest for a while.


Sick day

Went to bed and woke up this morning with a sore throat and general sick feeling.  Ugh.  I hate colds, especially almost end of the summer colds.  A bright sunny day always somehow makes feeling sick so much worse.  When I get a cold, I want the weather to reflect how I’m feeling– gloomy, dark, rainy.  If the day is rainy, I can pretend that the fire in my throat isn’t the real reason I’m forced to take it slow and hang out on the couch.  Perhaps I’m being a bit selfish, but I have a cold so I’m allowed.  [smile]

I am allowing myself only one day to wallow in Sickland and hope that my plan to take it easy and regularly dose myself with ColdEeze will have me feeling better sooner rather than later.  Good thing I stocked up on books and DVDs at the library last week.  If you have an other sure-fire home remedies for getting rid of this cold, I’d love to hear them.