Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: Mary Kay Tuberty

Main Character Monday – Anne Carty

keeper of coinWelcome to Main Character Monday. It’s a little different than my regular blog posts, a little more lighthearted. But stick with it, and you just might find some characters you’d like to read more about. And even though it isn’t my usual devotional style, you may still come away with an encouraging word from the Word. I hope you enjoy MainCharacter Monday!


Today’s Guest is Anne Carty from Keeper of Coin by Mary Kay Tuberty. Thank you for joining me.


It is a pleasure to come to know you Heather.

What is your favorite book of the Bible from both the Old and New Testament?

Genesis, for sure.  Each evening back home in Ireland, my father read to us from the bible. He began with the first chapter of Genesis. We children heard the words so many times that as he began with ‘In the beginning…’ we recited the rest along with him. Ah my, that is one of my dearest memories of home. I can hear their sweet voices now.

In the New Testament, there is no question: the story of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke. Father held it so special, he read it only on Christmas Eve, and we all treasured the words.

 Those sound like wonderful family memories. If you could meet anyone from scripture, not including Jesus, who would it be?

Jesus’ mother. I have always wondered about her. She was so young. Did her mother help her with the baby? Could she cook? And how did she bear the heartbreak of her sons’ death?

You know, I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about Mary that way. What kind of mother was she on a day to day basis? That’s a great idea to think about. Jesus had twelve disciples. Which one do you feel you are most like?

I suppose it would be Thomas. Like him, I am forever questioning. When my father said go to America, bring your brothers and sisters out to join you, I doubted I could accomplish the task. Unlike Thomas, though, I was afraid to ask too many questions and simply did his bidding. I am not sure which of us Jesus would prefer.

I’m so thankful Jesus understands both the questioner and the one who sometimes fears bringing the questions to him. And it’s wonderful when he answers the questions we’re afraid to ask.

Jesus says we are to be His light in the world. What does this mean to you?

In my position as shop girl in Dempseys Bakery, I endeavor to treat each customer who comes through the door as a child of God. I must say it is not always an easy task. Thank you for reminding me Heather, I will begin early tomorrow morning, attempting to be Jesus’ light.

If you could give one message to those reading this interview, what would you tell them?

Leaving my brothers and sisters behind in Ireland and sailing off to America felt like ripping away parts of my skin, surely it was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I work hard to fill every moment of my day or else I would be in a constant state of weeping for missing them all.

Sounds like you really have a heart for your family. I wish you well in your efforts to bring them to you in America.

Just for Fun:

Dark or Milk Chocolate?  I had never tasted chocolate until I came to America, but Mary Dempsey’s dark chocolate frosting is a wonderful thing to behold. When I have an opportunity to taste milk chocolate, I’ll let you know my favorite.

Roses or Daisies?  Daisies bloom in profusion everywhere in St. Louis. They are so cheerful and colorful I just love them. Though my customers tell me many ladies in the city grow roses and some compete to cultivate new varieties, I have seen but few of them.

Salad or Soup? Soup. Thanks to our wonderful cook, Mary, we often enjoy tasty soup here at Dempseys. Salad is another new taste I am only now beginning to appreciate.

If you, Anne Carty, could describe Mary Kay Tuberty in three words, what would those words be?

Serious and hard-working, like her great-grandmother. However, I do believe she is more accustomed to idleness and frivolous pursuits than I’ve ever had an opportunity to experience. (Sorry I’ve replied with more than three words. I am an Irish girl, you know.)

I want to thank Anne Carty for joining me today. If you would like to find out more about Anne’s story, Keeper of Coin by Mary Kay Tuberty is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book forms. While you’re there, you can also pick up the other two books in the Carty sisters trilogy, Keeper of Trust and Keeper of Flame.


Looking for Direction

glassesToday was filled with the stress of making choices. It started with ordering new glasses. Sounds simple enough, but it’s not. Do you know how many choices there are? Metal frames or plastic? Type of lens? Scratch resistance? Anti-glare? Bi-focal or regular? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Those choices are easy, coming down to how much I want to pay. But choosing frames? That’s a different story.

I decided to go bold, at least for me. My frames are thin and non-descript, almost invisible. I wanted a change. So, instead of being in and out in minutes, I stood for over forty minutes in front of the displays taking awkward looking selfies in anything that didn’t make me immediately snarl and pull the frames from my face. Then, I sent the best ones (frames, not selfies, I’m horrible at taking selfies) to six trusted family members and friends for their feedback. Thank goodness they all pretty much agreed, with the exception of my daughter who tried to steer me in the direction of the boldest frame I had tried on. I assured her I wasn’t quite to that stage yet, and I went with the consensus.

I placed my order and went on with my day. Imagine my horror as I stood in the aisle of Wal-Mart looking at dry erase boards, realizing I faced another choice. The board I wanted came with the option of white, black, or wood trim. After another fifteen agonizing minutes, the wood framed one ended up in my cart. Two choices in an hour? I was exhausted.

Choices are hard sometimes. I tend to be laid back about most things, not really caring about what to have for dinner or what my husband and I should do on date night. But choosing the glasses I have to wear for the next several years or the dry erase board that will either bring together everything or look mismatched in the office I’ll set up once my oldest son moves out in five months? That’s a different story. I have to make the right decision or I might regret it. At least in the grand scheme of things the decisions I faced today are minor.  Anne Carty isn’t so lucky in Keeper of Coin by Mary Kay Tuberty.

Anne leaves her family in Ireland at her father’s insistence. As the most frugal daughter, John believes she is the best option for making the trip, finding employment, and sending for the rest of the children. Anne believes her older sister should make the trip first, but she bows to her father’s wishes out of respect for his authority. She arrives in America and makes her way to St. Louis where things don’t go exactly as planned. Her father has hired a man to oversee her funds and help arrange passage to her uncle in Oregon. Anne has reservations about the man’s integrity, but again, she defers to her father’s decision.

When plans go awry, Anne has to choose whether or not to stay in St. Louis or keep trying to reach Oregon. Anne likes her life in St. Louis. She has friends, an adopted family, and a man who is quickly winning her heart. But her loyalty is to the promise she made her father, and she pushes aside her desires to fulfill his wishes.

After her older sister joins her in St. Louis, both girls believe saving for the other children to join them will go quickly, allowing Anne to fulfill her promise and choose the life she desires. It isn’t to be. A thief steals the fare for the next child’s trip. Their uncle in Oregon is surprisingly silent on bringing them from St. Louis. And to top it off, their parents aren’t taking care with the money the girls work so hard to send due to famine conditions in Ireland. Though Anne receives wise advice from many encouraging her to consider that her father cannot know what’s best since he’s not in America and has no idea what life is like for her, she still chooses time and again to honor her pledge. It leaves her and those she loves wondering if she will ever feel free to choose the life and love she desires.

I can understand Anne’s struggle to honor her parents and still make choices that work with her new life. I wouldn’t want to face the same decisions. She could’ve used a neon sign directing her path. I know I’ve wished for one. I desire so much to make right choices, godly choices. Sometimes my paths are clear, but not always. I’m sure we’ve all been there. We wait for God to tell us clearly what to choose, but He doesn’t give us a burning bush or even an audible voice. What are we supposed to do? How are we to decide?

Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us a starting point. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Trust. It is  a simple word with huge implications. Trust is when what we believe about God turns into action. Do we believe He has a plan for us? Do we believe He loves us? Do we believe He wants us to live inside His will? Do we believe God is a big enough, powerful enough to let us know if the choice we’re considering is definitely not in His plan for us? If so, then we can proceed. It may be that God’s plan can be accomplished in many ways, and the right thing for us to do may be to simply choose.

But what if it’s not? That’s where the rest of the verses come in. Lean not on your understanding. Don’t trust in yourself, that you know best. Turn to God. Go to Him. Know scripture to gain understanding of what is and isn’t inside God’s will. If your plan includes anything contrary to scripture, it can’t be what God wants. God doesn’t want any of us living in sin.

In all your ways acknowledge Him. Are you praying about your decision? Are you asking for His guidance and wanting in your heart to do things the way God wants them done? Are you remaining open to His leading, even if it is contrary to your desire? Do you end each prayer with the same desire that Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane? Not my will, but Your will be done.

He will direct your paths. It’s right there in the Bible. If you’re going in a way contrary to His plans for you, God will show you. If we do our part to seek His will and His way, He will direct us. It may not be as clearly spoken as the plan Moses received. But we will hear His quiet voice speaking to our spirit if we are going the right way. If we are open to His plans, He will close and open doors for us as we go. He will nudge us away from choices that would be detrimental. And He will work through our choices to accomplish His will when the specifics of those choices are left to us to decide. And if we make a choice God doesn’t want us to make? When I’ve seen my error and sought His forgiveness for going in a direction He told me not to go, my God is big enough to redeem even those choices and put me on the right path once again.

By the Book: If you’ve been struggling to make a choice, have you given it over to God? Do you trust Him? Are you open to seeking His will, His way? If so, listen for that small voice and look for the opened and closed doors.

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