Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seven years ago, my mother planted a lilac bush in our backyard, from a cutting we'd been given.  For seven years, we've watched it grow taller and produce leaves, but not much in the way of flowers.

This is the first year we've had it where we've had a good amount of buds.  This week, they began to bloom.  If you step close to the lilac bush now and bend a branch, you can smell that incomparable, unreproducible, scent of a lilac flower.  Next week, when the blooms are fully sprouted, you will be able to smell them from anywhere in the back yard.

It's often this way in life.  We plant seeds and then have to walk away and have patience, knowing that someday something beautiful may follow.  My sister planted lilacs at the same time as we did, and moved away from that house before they started to bloom. We may never see the end result of our actions.  That doesn't mean they aren't worth doing.

This year, with YASC, I will be lucky to plant some seeds.  I will probably never go back to the Philippines  after my year of service there.  For the most part, I won't see the final blooms.  The seeds are still worth sowing.

Tomorrow I talk to the bishop, and then begin my fundraising drive in earnest.  When I have things set up, I will post a link to donate here on this blog.  I am grateful for the lesson of the lilacs, because I will need it in the months ahead.  Will you come and plant with me?

Monday, April 1, 2013



I'm new here, but you'll be seeing more of me as the next year and a bit unfolds.  For today, I thought I'd post a brief introduction:

Who am I?

I am Margaret, a twenty-seven year old who spends most of her time currently taking care of small children and reading.  Give me a few months, and some of that will be changing.

What am I doing here?

Getting ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime!  I've been called to spend a year as part of Young Adult Service Corps, a mission/service opportunity with the Episcopal Church.  As of now, I've been assigned to serve in the Diocese of the Southern Philippines.  What I'll be doing is still somewhat in the air, though we're hoping I'll be working in a parochial school as a teacher.

The where and when have just been answered, so let's just skip on to why.  Why am I doing this?

Because how else would I get a chance to go halfway across the world, meet new people and hear their stories, and get a chance to help them and walk along with them on their road for a whole year?  I've had a chance to do service and teach in America, as part of Americorps, but this is a chance to see a part of the world I'd never get to see otherwise, and to not be just another tourist.

And that's also the reason for the title of this blog.  It's not just about the services I will do while I'm there, or what I will get back for going.  It's about the stories we will share in the process, as we learn from and listen to one another.