Sunday, May 12, 2013



May 11, 2014

I wrote this last year on mother's day and it was the last thing that I wrote on the blog all year. The article still reflects my thoughts and so I am offering it up once again.  Time is always much shorter than we ever imagine.  
Back in 2004 I saw for the first time someone without a face.  She had a scarf across her face and as she walked past me the scarf was swept to one side by an air conditioning vent.  The only feature left on her face were two beautiful brown eyes.  Her deep suffering went far beyond the physical pains she must have endured.  My heart ached for her.
Now in 2013 we are blessed to have surgeons able to do complete face transplants.  I can't help but think of the 2004 woman without a face and wonder if she is one of those blessed recipients of a face transplant.  Every time I see or hear about face transplants I rejoice for the people.  Recently  I read an article about a transplant and a picture was included with the story.  The donor's daughter was kissing the recipient on the cheek and commented that she could now kiss the face of her mother once again.

The article made me think of my own dear mother who died in 1996.  Oh how I would love to kiss her cheek just one more time.  My mother was not a kisser.  I am sure she did when we were young but as we grew up I don't remember my mother kissing me or my siblings.  But I know she loved to be around babies and would sit for hours cuddling them. And I know that she loved us. When she was stricken with Alzheimer Disease she would at times insist that she was pregnant.  There was no way to dissuade her.  She would insist that we needed to get busy and purchase a crib. As her dementia progressed I took every opportunity to kiss her sweet little face knowing the time would come when she would be gone.  I miss you Mom. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Let Me Be Clear

This morning I listened to the President expound about the sequester and observed him once again playing the blame game. A reporter asked him if he at all thought he might be at least partially to blame for the sequester road block. He never really aswered the question.  He once again went on and on about how he had a wide majority of the American people choose the policies that he is attempting to implement.  I have never felt that 52% of anything to be a wide endorsement.  It is a situation where one side managed to squeak by and gain control often to the determent of many. After 15 minutes she asked the question once again.  Still no direct answer.   
I have arrived at the place where I recognize his left-wing ideals, candy coated in such jargon as  "protect the middle class".  Sometimes I find it difficult to listen to what he calls a press conference or a message to the American people.  Whenever he says, "Let me be clear", I know it is a statement in a grey area that he has said before.  In the case of the sequester it has finally been admitted that the original idea came from the White House. Just like bargaining with the devil, you have to be careful how you negotiate.  Tax revenues have been levied and yet the President will not honor his agreement to reduce spending.  He wants another tax levied with no cuts in spending. He makes hollow references to cutting entitlements and other budget items. 
So the statement,  "Let me be clear", does not provide clarity or even the truth.  It is veiled rhetoric at the most dangerous fork in the road possible. In the last few weeks I have heard that term untold number of times and shudder every time I have to listen to it again.   Mr. President, if you are being truthful it will come through loud and clear.  If you are not being truthful you can tell me all day that you are making things clear, but it won't matter.  Did I make myself clear? 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


He just appeared one day at the Mission as so many had done before him.  In some ways you could have compared him to a lost puppy that shows up at your back door, hungry, tired and a little dirty.  He might as well have been a puppy considering how little information about himself that he wanted to provide.  I did find out that he had jumped the train down the street from the Mission and just wanted lunch.

Lunch we could do.  We led him to a table where 2 other men were already devouring their lunch.  The server brought him a plate and placed it in front of our guest.  He said, "Welcome brother."  "No", he replied, "I am a stranger to this place and no brother."  The server smiled and replied, "Well, welcome anyway."  He was quiet as he ate.  The other two men chattered between bites like a pair of birds.  They were regulars with us and comfortable in the environment.  Not that the environment was anything unusual other than we had made every effort for the dinning room to be meticulously clean and homey.


Only a few people know that I am working on two books, one about rescue ministry and the second being a cookbook.  The cookbook is a road map for cutting the cost of your groceries to the bone while improving the quality and in some instances the quantity.

A journey of my food values and concepts began long before the 1970's and today in 2012 I know that the journey is not over.  I have experienced abundance and as early as age 12, I understood what financial reverses could do to the family food budget.  But in my 20's there was a dramatic switch in my thinking about food, not just on my plate but the plates of others around the world.  I don't think I ever heard my mother tell me to eat everything on my plate because there were starving children in Africa.  But, I became acutely aware that waste existed as did starvation.

Today I hold in my hands a stained and in some places torn book called "More-with-Less Cookbook".  It was commissioned by the Mennonite Central Committee and written by Doris Janzen Longacre in 1976.  It was more than just a cookbook and I have read every page over and over again. The book is filled with statements, poems, quotations and wisdom regarding the shameful act of food wastefulness. The author went on to pen a second book, "Living more with less".  She passed away before it went to publication but her family got the book in stores in 1980.  This second book has few recipes for meals but many recipes for living life without senseless waste. I owe Doris Longarcre a gratitude of thanks for helping me form ideas and habits that have served me well. 

Over the years I have developed my own systems which I have shared with friends, family and those I met at the missions where God placed me.  Pray with me that I will be able to complete both of my books this year.  At age 70, time is ticking by quickly.    

Friday, March 30, 2012


Mother Teresa said, "God doesn't call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful".  I know that to be true intellectually, but sometimes I waiver emotionally.  The people in our world are fine tuned to expect success.  And at times, they want to and do decide what is to be considered success.  We get a value assigned to us based on our occupation, our wealth and sometimes based on factors that we can't comprehend.  I would not hide the fact that I would want to be known as a productive writer. 

During my years in rescue ministry I came to know that people in the throe of their addiction assumed the identity of their addiction.  They were John the heroin addict, Alice the alcoholic, or simply Patty the homeless woman.  They had lost their identity.  I shared with them that successful or not our true identity must first and foremost be a person that belongs to Jesus.  I must remember that I am first Marty of Jesus Christ and secondly a person that is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and a wife.  Also I am a person that wants to write and share thoughts with others.  But, none of those things define who I am, or my success in the eyes of God because I am first to be faithful. 

Dear Lord protect us from ourselves and help us rest in you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


     Completing ones Bucket List most often is accompanied by sacrifice.  We must be cognizant however, that what is a sacrifice for one person may just be "business as usual" for someone else.  What one person may conclude as abysmally failing the quest, another may be able to move forward, leaving that item to evolve into something else or perhaps to fade in the memory all together.
     I have to ask myself about my sacrifices for the items on the list. If I have made sacrifices, no one would recognize  them.  For most of us our Bucket List is usually a very private list, a protection against failure.  More common is a bucket list that has been produced without prayer or deep enough contemplation.  When I looked this week at my list I was unable to decide if I had made adequate sacrifices or not enough serious introspection before adding some things to the list. 
     My sister has been ill recently and she confided that she has nothing to regret or change about her life.  For me,. there are many things I would do differently.  I am not sure if those things should include regret or not. One point that I am unwavering about  is the fact that my Lord is always present, always compensating for my stupidity, always loving me even when I am wrong.  I am reminded of the scripture:  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8.     

Saturday, March 17, 2012


     Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  And I am jubilant as I realized that I wrote 1200 words of my book over the past few days.  The past year has been filled with some troubling health issues that have side tracked me as far as getting much writing completed.  My most troubling issue was vertigo which made it almost impossible to concentrate on writing anything of any quality or quantity.  In fact, when I started this blog last year on occasion I was already needing to hang onto the wall for stability.  And so, I put my quest of words aside for a time, but now I am back and the words are flowing. 
     Probably 40 years ago I started a bucket list, simply called my "Things To Do Before I Die".  That title is not as civil as the "Bucket List", but just as accurate.  Some items on the list are still there and will be there until I physically can not satisfy that item. Two years ago I was able to check one item off.  I had always wanted to ride a camel and was able to do that.  My dream had been to ride one across the desert some place, some time, with my hair flowing in the wind.  Well,  I rode a camel but it was in a corral.  So that item evolved into what is possible in my life at this time.  But, let me tell you if I ever have an opportunity to ride the back of a camel across the desert, I will make 2 checks by that item on my list.
     I have always had a love affair with Alaska and wanted to move there.  I should have gone when I was 18 years old but was frozen with fear. But alas, I married and had babies and Alaska was put on the back burner. And then, my family and I were actually moving there and my husband suffered a broken leg and we were not able to go.  But, it still is on my list but it has evolved.  I will make a check on my list when I can fly into Alaska, rent a 4-wheeler and take off for the woods.  You see my dream and the response to it has evolved. 
     Back to the conversation about my writing.  There may not be anyway for that passion to be satisfied other than write the book.  Is it more important than a trip to Alaska?  You bet.  In this instance, the process of evolving can not include failure to write the book.  But it may involve some stumbling blocks as I navigate through these years as a senior citizen.