What Does Freedom Mean?

The following was written by Marisa Eve, when asked “What does freedom mean?” Marisa has given her life to working with orphaned children in Cambodia. The language is strong. It’s the truth.

“Being free means”
Free you see isn’t something I feel I can be
If I were free it would be so easy to leave
To ascend as a multidimensional being
To a higher state of consciousness
To return home
The realm where my soul was born
Wrapped in angelic arms
Before incarnating here
As a volunteer
This isn’t a vacation for me
I know my mission is to bring divine healing
To be the shift this world needs
The change society so desperately seeks
How lovely it would be
If love were the reason for everything
I’m dreamy
Dreaming of being free
Free from violence
Free from hate
If I were free I wouldn’t have to see
The world revolving around these two things
If I were free I wouldn’t have to be
Subjected to negativity
The degrading of innocent lives
Trafficked across border lines
To sacrifice their innocence in life
For some pedophile to fulfill a sexual fantasy
Children as slaves
Every single day
But this isn’t a problem the government sees
Just keep dropping bombs on innocent beings
Meanwhile modern day slavery is just down the street
We’re a sick society
Obsessed with followers and likes
All while a child of slavery’s life
Is spent looking into strangers eyes
Paying a cheap price to abuse them for life
Never knowing comfort and care
Night after night nightmares
Maybe they’re praying for someone like me
To crack down on society
To save them eventually
Prevent more victims from suffering
Oh how i’d love
To grab the government by the balls
Make them my bitch
So they know how it feels
To be forced to do something against their will
Get on your knees and surrender to me
Mouth taped shut unable to speak
Unable to scream
Unable to leave
Unable to be free
Let’s be the shift this world needs
Let’s stop making excuses for not doing
Where the hell are we all really going
When all is said and done
So freedom you see is different for me
I’ll never be free
Never truly see my dreams become reality
Because my dreams are seeing every innocent soul set free from slavery
Set free from wrongful convictions
Set free from persecution
So land of the free is a facade to me
And if the land of the free were home of the brave
We’d all be brave enough to be the change

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A Rainbow for Peggy

rainbow for peggyIn memory of, and in honor of, my dear sister Peggy, who lived with injustice and inequality from the day she found the courage to speak her truth.

Congratulations to all for this transcendent moment in our history!

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I’m A Lousy Christian

EASTER SUNSETI don’t understand. Each day, God gives us the most beautiful canvas on which to paint a new day. Each day, an opportunity to do His works. Yet over, and over again, someone paints it red.

I can’t forgive. I simply cannot forgive a man that walks into a church; sits down with brothers and sisters in Christ to share in a Bible study. And then methodically stands up, pulls out a gun, and kills nine of them. In their church. Beautiful, wonderful people trying to do what is right. And he kills them because of what? Because of the color of their skin.

I’m sick of mumbling among ourselves that parents are spending less and less time teaching their children about loving their neighbor and more time making sure they get enrolled in the Sunday soccer camp.

I’m tired of sitting in front of the television listening to our President admonish us once again for the lack of gun control. What the hell more needs to happen before we get off our lazy duffs and do something about it. We cannot go on assuming that someone else will take care of this. Why? Why won’t we wise up?

An elderly man, a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, was heard to say “I don’t want to see the day when we will have to install metal detectors at the church door.” Well, if we continue on the path we’re following, I’d say get the tool box out now!

Some days, it is so hard to keep my faith. I want to be strong. I want to understand. I want to forgive.  But I simply don’t understand how there can be so much evil in this world and how complacent we, as a society, can be.

My prayer, and yes, I’m still praying to my God — will be that parents will stop and take some time to talk to their children about this. Let their children know that this is wrong. This is not the norm. I pray that we as a nation will step forward, speak up, and do something about gun control. I pray that we will all try harder. I pray for peace.

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I Lost All Track of Time

I recently took an online writing course called Awareness to Creativity, offered by my daughter, Laura. She asked me to take the BETA version of the course, to get feedback and fine tune it for future students. One of the interesting components of the course involves a five-minute writing exercise. A question is posed and you have five minutes to answer it, pen and writing journal in hand. I thought I would hate this. I write appraisals for a living. My hands will fall off. I was wrong. Being “loyal to the timer”, I found the process fascinating. Please understand that in these exercises, we are to ignore all rules regarding grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. We are just to write what comes from our soul.

The prompt: What do you love so much that you lose all track of time when doing it?

childs feetMy five-minute response: The clock stood still on that first day at Kids Club in Cambodia as I sat on the edge of the stage waiting for the kids to arrive, nervously wiping sweat from my face. Suddenly, I heard some yelling and laughing three floors below me and then running feet; dozens of them, clamoring up the stairs.

I looked around at my team members and they were all smiling, watching the doorway. And there they were – 100 kids running into the room, searching for love, for hope, for escape from a life I could not imagine.

They ran up to us, grabbing our legs, hugging our waists, love pouring out from their little souls. They knew that the people here were good people. They were safe here. My heart broke as I stared into the eyes of a little one who was seeking my gaze, her eyes filled with a knowledge I could not fathom.

We sat them all down on the dusty floor and I started to speak. Forcing tears back, I smiled at them all and said, “Good morning! My name is Susan and we are so very happy to be here! These are my good friends and I named each one. We are so happy to get to know you this week! Let’s dance!”

(Five minutes are up. Put your pen down.)

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A Story for the Children of Cambodia – #2

Road_in_CambodiaRatanak had walked down that road 1,000 times before. It always looked the same. He kicked an empty can with his bare foot as he walked along, making dust fly with each kick. A rooster jumped out of his way but clucked at his feet as he passed by.

“Dumb rooster! Stupid road! I don’t like this road!” Ratanak thought. “Mama says this road makes her sad. Well, it makes me sad, too!” he mumbled to himself.

He gave the can a really good kick. It flew up in the air and landed with a thud, right on top of a big pile of garbage. “Ouch!” cried a little voice from somewhere deep in the pile. Ratanak jumped back and stared at the pile of junk. Suddenly, the pile started to move and out popped a little brown monkey! He was rubbing a big bump on his head where the can had landed on him!

MONKEY“What did you do that for?” he said, looking up at Ratanak. Ratanak bent down so he could see the monkey better. “I don’t like this road. It makes me sad”, he said.

“Why don’t you like this road?” the monkey asked, following behind Ratanak. “It never changes. It’s dusty and there are holes in it and the roosters cluck at me when I go by. It’s always the same.”

“Hmmm” thought the monkey. “Well, you need to change it then”, he said. “How do I do that?” Ratanak asked. “I can’t change the road! It’s always the same.”

“Sure you can!” said the monkey. “Look up! All you ever do is look down. Look up!”

Ratanak slowly lifted his head. Instead of dust and an old rusty can, he saw blue sky. Ratanak had been so busy looking down, he had never noticed how the sunlight made the leaves sparkle in the trees and how the trees shaded him from the hot sun as he walked home each day. He looked further down the road and there was his house and he could see his sister, Jasmine, waiting for him. This road was the way home.

“How do you feel about this road now, Ratanak?” asked the monkey.

“I feel better!” he said. He picked up the monkey and set him on his shoulder and he continued to walk down the road. “You see”, the monkey said, “You can change how you feel about things in your heart simply by thinking about them differently.”

Ratanak knew that from now on, that road would never make him sad again. The little monkey jumped off Ratanak’s shoulder and waved as he ran back down the road to his favorite pile of trash. Ratanak smiled and waved and then ran the rest of the way home, yelling at Jasmine: “Wait until you hear what happened on the way home!”


Note: Ratanak is a popular boy’s name in Cambodia. It means “Treasure”.

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Jasmine Finds Hope

I will be returning to Cambodia in January, to work alongside my church mission team with children who have been rescued from human trafficking and slavery. (See posts during October/November 2014) I am writing stories for the children in the safe house, or at least trying to. It is no easy feat to put your heart into the mind of a small child who has undergone such horrific abuse and has absolutely nothing. My plan is to have the stories translated into Khmer and to read them, with an interpreter, during my days with the kids. On our first trip to Svay Pak, we asked the pastor at the safe house, “What can we do? What do you want us to do for these children?” He said, “Give them a reason to hope. Love them.” Here is my first story. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. The average age of a child in the safe house is about five to six.


There once was a little girl named Jasmine. She lived in a little house in Svay Pak with her mother and father, her grandma, and her baby brother. Jasmine was only eight years old but she had to work very hard. Sometimes, Jasmine would help her mother wash the clothes. Sometimes she would help her grandmother cook the rice. Sometimes, she would give her brother a bath. Jasmine couldn’t go to school because it was too far away and this made Jasmine very sad.

One day, Jasmine was down by the river watching her father who was going fishing in a big boat. She watched the boat go chug, chug, chug down the river. Jasmine sat down on the grass and stared at the river. It was a hot day and she was tired.


And that’s when it happened! A giant, rainbow-colored fish jumped out of the water and sat down in front of Jasmine! He was very big! Bigger than Jasmine!

“What are you doing?” he asked, a big smile on his face.  “I am looking for a reason.” Jasmine said, in a sad voice. “A reason for what?” the fish asked.  “A reason to hope.” she said, staring up at the sky.

The giant fish jumped into the river and swam in one direction, and then the other! He flipped in the air and there was a HUGE splash as he fell back into the water. His beautiful, rainbow colors sparkled in the sunlight! The fish yelled at her from the middle of the river!


“God has given you the gift of hope. With hope you can begin each day brand new and you can find ways to make a better life.”

And with that, the big fish gave Jasmine a giant smile, and jumped back into the river. She watched as he swam down the river, until he was out of sight.

The next day, Jasmine finished her chores and sat in a chair in front of her house, watching the people go by. She wondered about that magical fish and if she would ever see him again.

Just then, she saw her mother walking up the path, towards their house. She waved and her mother waved back. She had a very big smile on her face. “Why are you so happy, mother?” Jasmine asked. Her mother said, “I have very exciting news! They are building a school right down the street! I think that you will be able to go to school now.”

Jasmine jumped up from her chair and spun around in a circle, clapping her hands! Her dream was coming true! She could go to school! She understood now what the big fish had told her — how important it was to have hope! And she remembered that she was worth it!


Note: The Khmer name for Jasmine is Malis (pronounced Marlees). This is a popular name for Cambodian girls.

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One Giant Step Forward

2010-01-01 00.00.00-105It has been three years since my husband passed away. Three of the most volatile years I’ve ever experienced. I’ve got stories, but dwelling on the past won’t heal this soul. The grieving goes on for quite some time; one has to just get used to the fact that he’s not coming back. Then there’s the question, “OK, what now?”

It has taken me about three years to figure out the “What now?” part. It’s a work in progress. I can honestly say I’m looking forward now – forward to each day, forward to just today, forward to how I can make the best of the rest of my life.

I’m going to start posting again. Not quite sure what direction it will take, but that’s something to look forward to!

I think that all I want to say today is thank you. Thank you to both of my daughters for walking this walk with me. Putting up with me. Listening to me. Guiding me. How funny to see the tables turn. The child teaches the parent. And we move forward…

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