Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dear Carnation (An excerpt from upcoming book, traded.)

Carnation and I at the United Pentecostal Church Youth Camp, 1980-something in Arizona.

Dearest Carnation, 
            If there were a picture in the dictionary for the word friend, yours would be there. We have known each other since Mr. Campbell’s class in the 4th grade. To be honest, I do not even remember the first time that we met. It seems like you have just always been there---always been there for me to lean on when I needed it. Even to this day.
            Do you remember all of those times we walked to school together? And when your family let me live with you for a while; your mom and dad let me share a room with you? You were old lace and I was soccer balls, but we managed to blend it and have fun. I can still remember coming to your home in the morning and sitting with your family for breakfast every morning; your mother's gravy is still the best. Your parents were so caring to adopt me in as one of their own. I knew that no matter what my issue was, I could go to them and have someone to hold me up when I needed it. 
           You were the first one to show me a path to God. Taking me to church with you literally changed my life. Not only did I have your family, but then I had the church family too. Do you remember going to church camp? Man those were great times!
            Growing up with you and your family is a huge and most enjoyable part of my childhood memories. Playing with your little sister and helping her back bends in the front yard, to your brother scaring the crap out of me at the window when he popped up wielding a knife like some kind of psycho-killer; the laughter and joy never ended. 
            But then we grew up, and life took us down two different paths. You remained steadfast in your faith, and I fell to the way side, time and time again---eventually losing my way altogether. I ended up marrying the wrong man and finding myself in an unbearable position. Sometimes I wish I had run back home to you and your family; but this was something that I had to figure out on my own.  My decisions ultimately took me even further away---this time to Pakistan. For years I longed to pick up the phone and call you to say hi, but knew that I could not. I didn’t want to put you in in harm’s way at all. I thought maybe the FBI would start harassing you about any contact with me; so I watched you from a distance. I found a picture of you and Pops online, and saved it to my computer. I looked in your eyes and longed for that best friend that I had so many years before. I would listen to the song ironically titled, Remember Me, by the Cruse Family, over and over; it supplied me with that same feeling of surrounded love that I felt so many years earlier. Thank you for playing that song a thousand times in your bedroom; you had no idea that one day it would be the only string of home that I would have to cling on to.
            Honestly Carnation, I thought that we would never see each other again. Life had literally taken us to two different ends of the planet. That is until 2014 when I finally returned to the States. And what did I find when I returned? You, with loving arms wide open welcoming me home as if I had never left. And then you brought me pictures that you had saved for me. You kept me safe withing your guarded heart. Thank you so much my beloved Carnation. 
             I see us together now, and cannot help but notice the differences between us. Years of stress and three failed marriages has taken its toll on me; I am aged and have lost all of my teeth, but you are so young and outgoing--just what I used to be when we were teenagers--but now I am the quiet withdrawn one. It is funny how life changes people, and moves them around the world like a game of chess. 
             And now again today, you are only a phone call away for me. You deserve all of the blessings in the world. In the hereafter, God will bless you with riches beyond belief. Your heart is kind and loving and it shows in your dedication to God and the children's' ministry. The world doesn’t deserve such a caring soul; and for sure I do not deserve you either. Thank you again! Thank you one million times over again for always being there to hold my heart and say, I love you Marsha.

Your best friend forever and a day,
Marsha

(Excerpt from upcoming book, traded.)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

If God Had a Flag

Hi All,

Today while driving down the freeway here in Phoenix, I once again gazed upon the most beautiful and massive American flag I have ever seen. I see it every day as I drive to work, and I never get tired of watching it wave so ever gracefully in the air.

American Flag, Patriot, Sunrise, Flag

But today a different thought crossed my mind: I wonder what God's flag would look like if he had one? I wonder if He already has one? What would be on it? Would it have clouds, or angel wings? Would it be colorful or totally white? Would it have Hell-fire and brimstone on it? Or maybe an algebraic equation of some kind? 

That has now got me wondering why flags are so important in the first place. What is it that brings me that warm fuzzy feeling when I see that same American flag flying so gracefully in the breeze every single day? It's so much more than a piece of fabric; it makes men stand at attention and invoke so many to tears. No matter what country, the flag is a meaningful cherished sense of belonging.

And oh yea, I'm still wondering about what God's flag would look like, and now, so will you. 😇


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Are They All Yours?!?? .....A blog worth sharing.

Mallard, Chicks, Pond, Swimming, Water

Hi All, 

Today I want to talk about big families. While I was living in the Middle East I ran upon myriads of families that put the size of minuscule family to shame. Once, one of my students told me he had 18 brothers and sisters. I was stunned at his declaration and asked him recite all of the names in front of the English class. One of my favorite English lessons is about the "titles" of family members. Inevitably I would have a contest in the class to see who could name the most cousins in their own family. (Just imagine how many cousins there could be with 18 brothers and sisters......lots!!!  hahaha) 

Myself? Well, I only have two sisters and one brother, and then we weren't even raised together; so my knowledge of big families and how they survive is limited; but I did have Aunt Ida and Uncle Ron as an exemplary example. They had 6 kids of their own, then they adopted another, and then added on a couple grand-kids to boot. I couldn't wait each weekend to get to their house and play with my cousins. Their home was always alive with people, animals, and food (no matter the time of day or night mind you) and the house was very well lived in. Mountains of dirty clothes and dirty dishes were always on the chores-to-do list. Let me tell you, I loved going to that house; quite the contract from my own. 

It seems that huge-sized families are really a fading fad here in the States. Birth control has definitely staked its claim. But just recently, I ran upon a pastor and his wife who are currently expecting their 10th child. Yea! Right here in Phoenix, Arizona. I was shocked. But I have to say that they are indeed a very handsome family. Simply adorable! And what's more is, the wife, Zsuzanna, has a lovely blog about raising a big family in this day and age. http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/aretheyallyours/ I am fascinated and just had to share it with everyone. 

I can't help but think how full of life and love her home must be, surely something similar to Aunt Ida's house. Zsuzanna honey, you go girl!!! Lord Bless!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A New Look into Empathy

Hi All,

This week I would like to share some thoughts on empathy. Empathy by definition means the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. I show empathy each single day at work. I answer at least 40 calls a day, and most of the time there is some type of issue that the customer is dealing with; thus calling me for some type of resolution. I listen carefully to case after case, plea after plea, desperate calls from customers begging for my mercy and favor in hopes that I will see their hardship through their eyes and do something that will ease their suffering (not an easy job, trust me).

It really shocks me how much effort they put into begging. Even without such pleas, I clearly understand and I feel their pain. Was I like this before the start of my mediation research for my It's Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches book? I think I was; but I can definitely feel a stronger draw and acceptance since my practicing of mediation and fervent prayers. So often, I tell the customers: "Yes! I do understand! I do know how you feel! I know how much you are suffering!" Some believe me. Some do not.


Today, I went to Walmart to do some weekly shopping, and my attention kept getting grabbed by the people around me. They were not trying to get my attention at all. They did not even know I existed; but I felt as if I was a fly on the wall, watching the scenes play out before me. I was especially interested in the actors of this play.

Hands, Compassion, Help, Old, Care

For instance, I saw an elderly Asian man sitting alone with his oxygen tank. I thought to myself, "Why is he alone? Is he doing his shopping? How can he shop with the oxygen tank; isn't it too heavy? It must be so difficult for him. Maybe he had to sit and rest before moving on. How long has he been in America? Is he homesick?"

Then I saw a woman with a huge burn scar on the back of her calf. I thought to myself, "Oh my, that must have been so painful. I wonder what happened? How long did it take to heal?" Then there was a lady in an embrace with a teenage girl. They held the embrace for at least two minutes. I thought the woman may have been crying but then she let go and touched the girls face as if they were sharing some amazingly emotional moment together. Again another thought, "Oh thank God, she seems to be okay. I wonder what is going on? I want to know why they are so happy."

So many people and so many lives being touched everyday. These thoughts play out everywhere I now go; it seems my heart has been cut in half and I want to know everything about everybody.


Empathy is the faculty to resonate with the feelings of others. When we meet someone who is joyful, we smile. When we witness someone in pain, we suffer in resonance with his or her suffering.
Matthieu Ricard

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Heavenly Message

Woman, Praying, Believing, God, Person

Lately, I have been reading up a lot about mediation and the after-life. So many stories are out there about people who have had near-death experiences---my own mother included. Many have actually gone to another realm that they call Heaven.

One of my favorite recollections is that of Dr. Eben Alexander (www.ebenalexander.com). In 2008, he said that he went to Heaven. His story is powerful and very believable.

But what I wanted to share with you today, was the message that he was given while he was there. A message that is worth sharing around the world.

You are deeply loved and cherished forever. You will be taken care of. You have nothing to fear. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chantel; Queen of Marsha's Home

Hi. Let me start by saying that I own the whole house. I mean, literally, there is no place in this house that I do not call my own space. And I deserve it; if only for the fact that I am so darn cute. I love pizza, beef heart, and I absolutely love tuna. Man, I don’t know where that tuna stuff comes from, but oh my god, give me some more of it

Yeah, I sleep a lot, but that’s because I really get tired from patrolling the rooms and playing tag with my friend Sierra. Sometimes when I'm feeling really playful, I just stand in the bathtub and play with the shower curtain; or sit in the sink and hope that someone will turn the faucet on. I really love watching Marsha do crazy stuff in mirror every morning. I don't understand what she does, but I really love watching her. 

I love Marsha. I remember the first time I met her. I remember looking at her thru the bars of my cage. Her face made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Then she reached in and touched my face. She had so much love and care in her hands that I could actually feel my heart growing right at that moment. She must have felt it too because her eyes started watering---she was crying. 

I think I am lucky to have such a person in my life. Yeah, Marsha acts a bit strange at times--especially when I play British bulldog in the house with Sierra—but I love her anyway; especially when she brings me snacks from the store. My favorite thing to do in the world is help her work on her computer. And actually, that is my favorite spot to wait for her when she is gone. 

You know what? Sometimes, when she is sleeping, I jump up on her bed and lie on her pillow with her. She never wakes up. I love to feel the warmth from her head, and I like to chew her hair too. Hey don’t judge me,,,,I am just being me.

Man, I love my family so much. I know as soon as my big brother comes home he is going to chase me down and scoop me up in his gigantic arms. My big sister gives me so many kisses, that I just close my eyes and think about how lucky I am to be part of such a loving home. I do not know where I would be without my family. I love them so much, and I know they love me.

Cat, It Lies, Kitten, Domestic Cat

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stillness So Loud



Lotus, Flower, Quiet, Pond, Water Plant

only 14 days 
not much more
why oh lord are things so noisy now? 

the quieter I get 
the louder the world around me
i close my eyes 
checking as I go
the light comes in 
making love to it's surroundings
is it for real? 

if they really cared 
they would show us the way
the way to inner peace and beauty
how could we stand so silent? 

awaken oh loved ones and see the way
to speak the loudest 
is to be the quietest

Sunday, July 2, 2017

"Ideas are pockets of energy that are floating around in space looking for a host that will nurture and develop it." 

At first, this idea kind of struck me as odd. But I have to admit that lately, I am starting to agree with it. You see, up til now, I honestly felt that once I completed the few major book ideas that I had, I would stop writing. I would have no more books to write. In all honesty, I do not consider myself a writer per say. I am simply a woman, that has traveled the world, and just wanted to share my stories.

But now, these ideas just keep coming to me. Where are they coming from? Why me? I guess I will never know. But here I currently stand with four unfinished projects. It seems that the more I write, the more ideas that is coming to me. Yep! I am a believer now people. So if an idea has chosen to visit you, invite it to stay and treat it well; you never know what magic it will bring.

Communication, Head, Balloons, Man

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's finally here: 75 Things You Should Know About Working in a Call Center


Hi All,

It is finally finished! My latest funny book, 75 Things You Should Know About Working in a Call Center, was officially published today.

It was great fun writing this not-so-official expose' about life inside call centers. Lots of shocking and humorous facts for anyone that has ever worked in one, or ever plans on working in one. I hope you enjoy and get a good laugh.

Feel free to share it with your friends and family. You can download your free copy from my website at http://www.marshamarie.com/view-library.html.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Meditative Prayer



Hi All,

This weekend, I have started a new book called, It's Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches: My Journey to Find Inner Peace. This book will take my reader along with me on my journey of learning and practicing meditation.

I have only meditated a few times, and here is what has happened thus far. The idea for this book came to me, and I have written a special prayer that I wanted to share on today's blog.

Dear God,
                I realize that you have created a spiritual canvas. Help me to create the masterpiece that you meant for me to be. Help me to spread the colors of joy and love and forgiveness in such a way that the fresco of your grace shines thru my eyes. 
.......................................... Acrylic, Painting, Inspiration, Love

I cannot believe that so much love and inspiration has flowed thru me with only a few meditative moments. I am really looking forward to what lies ahead for me. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Online Abuse and Amnesty International


Hi All, 

Yep. Been super busy at work. Working up to 56 hours a week....wow...that is too much---but hey, it's a job and it pays the bills. It has even inspired me to start work on another book. Look for it coming soon.....I hope. hahaha

Anyway, today I did some writing that I felt was important enough to put on the blog. I wrote about online abuse. I shared my story with Amnesty International. You all know that I am a member of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence right? Well this week they asked us for our story about online abuse, and how we handled it.

Here is some of what I said:

I was married to an Asian man. I lived in his country, while he lived here in the United States. Once he was deported and was forced to return his country; we divorced and he took custody of my 4-year-old son by force.
His abusive emails started while we were still married. He began sending me at least two vulgar emails a week, and then would call me afterwards to discuss and rationalize them. I felt trapped into accepting this behavior because he was my sole financial support at the time. Eventually, I started teaching English and making my own salary, which ultimately enabled me to leave him.
Once I did leave him, the emails continued, but because he had taken my young son from me by force, I had no choice but to screen the emails for details about my son (he would not allow me to speak to my son, and I had no means of fighting for his custody in the court---the emails were my only connection to my son and he knew it.)
At one point I had remarried, to another man, my new husband became to know of the ‘hate-emails’ confronted my ex-husband on the phone and asked him to stop; but the emails continued. The constant harassment and disgusting language of these emails had different effects on me. They were a constant reminder of my entrapment in my ex-husband’s psychological game. I felt degraded, helpless and cried many times.   
Even after yet another divorce, it took me an additional 3 years to finally have the courage to block his email address---knowing that this was my only connection with my growing son. I had to choose between updates on him and the constant vulgarity from the ‘hate-mail’. This now meant that I had lost my last connection with my son, at this point in time.
My ex-husband then began stalking me on Facebook. Once I discovered this was happening, I controlled more of what I was posting, and only posted very neutral items about the memoirs that I were writing (www.marshamarie.com). 
Just recently, I decided to unblock the email address and try sending an email asking about my son and if he could finally join me. It only took two emails and the abuse restarted. As suspected, he revealed details that he had become aware of from my Facebook postings about my book. 
Hacker, Cyber Crime, Internet, Security

Online abuse is a serious and very troubling thing for many men and women to face. It is easy for an abuse to hide in a dark corner and still be able to attack us right in the safety of our own home. I know that I am not alone. If  you are facing online abuse of any kind, you can find the help that you need. Here is an amazing rescource: techsafety.org .

If you have a story that you would like to share with Amnesty International, email me at marsha@marshamarie.com and I will send you the link for story submissions.

GET HELP NOW
If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you need to talk to someone about domestic violence, sexual assault, or trafficking abuse, call the following national hotlines.
National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673
National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888

Dear Carnation (An excerpt from upcoming book, traded.)

Carnation and I at the United Pentecostal Church Youth Camp, 1980-something in Arizona. Dearest Carnation,              If there we...