I’ve done it! I lived it — my life that you have set out for me since I was born.

It was such a glorious life, too, filled with joy and beauty, sprinkled with love and laughter. Oh, we’ve had our struggles, like all families, but my prayer is that I’ve at least shown You in my life; given glory to You in my small way. There’s nothing more for me to say!

Therefore, I lay my life on the Altar of Sacrifice. You give and take away. My heart will choose to say “blessed be Your name!”

Children: As I write this, I’m very much alive and the thought of leaving you is more than I can bear at times, but then I cry so hard that I can’t breathe and that stops me! I’m sure it’s all been said by now….and if it hasn’t, I’ll see you all again. Love each other. Hold strong. Have fun and be good! And make Zak do the dishes!

laughing beczes




Today, I asked for a reprieve from dying. And God answered me. He said “You don’t know what you’re asking. I am capable, maybe even willing…..but, think! (tapping his head as I do) You do not know my plans, my schedule, the pain and heartache that may be up ahead. Is your life more precious here on earth than life in heaven? Eternity with me?”

Everyone goes through death. Sometimes, it’s peaceful. Other times, not. I’m not afraid of being dead, but of the process of dying. No one wants to suffer. We all fear it.

Make me brave!

Give me a sweet spirit.

Let it be quick.

Let there be music.

Let there be soft praying

And not too many people — I’m claustrophobic

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Therefore, I lay my death (it’s a heavy stone) — the ugliest — on my pile. There’s one more to come after this — a rock — and then my Altar of Remembrance will be complete.

Children: We are walking enchanted territory. So, we go together….grab on tight! Love me, even if it gets ugly.


Kathy Hull Becze slipped peacefully into the arms of Jesus today, March 12. She is free from disease and can breathe deeply, savoring the smell of earth, flowers, spring and freedom.

Kathy originally titled this post “Death” but “Freedom” seemed  a more fitting title. I hope she’ll forgive the editor.

Kathy and Steve

The photo above was taken on March 8 as Kathy received the gift of a golf cart. She took a spin around her garden on that beautiful spring day and she laughed, lifting her hands in gratitude. Today, she’s celebrating with Jesus.


Communication is difficult, but definitely possible with my trusty white board and marker.

I’ve noticed some weakness and cramping in my hand this week, which means the menace that resides in my body is stealthily creeping forward. It means to take out every muscle in my body. But my hands? How can I live without hands? How will I write my additions to the conversion, express my opinion.. yes, I have one. If I can’t hold things who will feed me? Bathe me? My hands have been strong and functional.

They have: diapered babies, delivered babies, soothed fevered children, comforted my lover, planted food to feed my family, kneaded bread, driven oh-so-many miles… you know. You have your own list.

And now, I watch them slowly die. Please make it s-l-o-w. I still have a list of things I want to accomplish; words I need to write. Babies that have to be held. Dishes to wash.2 hands

A word search of the bible revealed that hands were used for:

blessing and cursing

toil and labor

ministering to the sick

commissioning for great work


and many more

phoneAnd, one reason I’m late with this blog is my hands and eyes…can’t type. It’s hard to see. So how to praise GOD in this storm???

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows you’re going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing

I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

You turn the curse into blessing! Help me on this! I know that I’ve lacked nothing and You, my Lord, are giving me rest from my toils. I want to wrap my mind around this, but at times it’s hard… much more than hard…

Surrender don’t come natural to me 
I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want 
Than to take what You give that I need 
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls 
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees.

(lyric by Rich Mullins)

Therefore, as my altar grows taller I raise my hands to the top and leave them there for you to take at your will… just leave me enough strength to hold on to You.

Children everywhere: Clap your hands and shout for joy! Use your hands as instruments of love. To teach, work ,praise, encourage… the list is long, Hold my hands as I move through the next phase. Guide me.



You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel

I always liked this Carole King song, and there’s some truth in it. The part about “ feeling beautiful... well that’s the part that escapes me lately.

Every spring like clock-work, a plain dull brown bird appears at my feeder. He draws no attention to himself and it may be a few days before I even notice he’s back from his winter forays. This morning as day was lighting, I stepped onto the porch to stretch, and I heard his song. Well, if you want to call it a song. It’s more like a metallic, hoarse, scratch. But, happily Mr. Grackle joins in the chorus of others at the feeder awaiting breakfast.unnamed (4)

There is nothing beautiful about him. His coat is dull, devoid of color, unlike the cardinal. He’s not bossy like Mr. Jay. He doesn’t put on a brilliant spring frock as the goldfinch. He nests in the same black locust tree each spring, and hatches out clones that carry on the traditions of last year’s adults. Boring. But, faithful. Definitely not beautiful.

This morning as I glanced in the mirror, I saw a reflection that reminded me of my friend the grackle. Don’t get me wrong. I have never been a beauty queen and never aspired to be one. But, I had a pleasant face. Now as I gaze into the glass, I see an old, stooped, gray woman. I don’t look beautiful, and I don’t feel beautiful as I salivate and gag.

There’s a passage in Isaiah that talks about Jesus having no extra ordinary beauty or majesty and that comforts me. God loves me just as I am. He sees me, he knows what I was and what I am to be. Beauty is temporal. God looks at the heart.

For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

So next time I see my friend at the feeder, I will remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and he’s beautiful to me.

Therefore, I lay down my beauty on your altar, knowing that You are changing me from the inside out. I purpose to smile at myself in the mirror as long as I have breath.

Children: Thank-you for showing me unconditional love no matter how my body looks and acts. I am so blessed to have you in my life.

unnamed (5)


Here’s an honest topic to talk about. It’s not one that I dwell on, but this week it kept popping up, which means I need to address it. Maybe someone else can relate.

I was just getting to the “good” years. My boys had finished homeschooling. I had sold all the curriculum, making room for other projects. I had caught a fresh vision for a small home business growing seedlings. I had a beautiful chunk of land and I believed Psalm 16:5-6:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;  indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

I was healthy, strong,and spent my days mostly in bliss. I had a supportive church, hard-working husband, precious friends. Then, to make it even better, God blessed me with 2 grand-babies in one year! God was so good to me!


Today in my daily reading, I again stumbled upon Psalm 16:5,6 and when I read “the lines have fallen for me in beautiful places…” I looked out the window and said:

I doubt it”

Why would God take it all away?

Does anyone know?

Are you even out there, God?

Can I trust you?

Do you really LOVE me?

You promised that you would never leave or forsake me. You promised.

I want to see the babies grow up, see the boys marry, grow old with Steve.

I feel cheated.

As I stared out the window God spoke to my heart.

Be still and know that I am God.”

Thats ALL I need to know!

unnamed (1)

Know what? It’s OK to feel like this. God understands our doubts, fears, rants and raves. He’s not offended.

Faith is not the absence of doubt. The two exist side by side. Another day my faith will be stronger. The sun will shine. I’ll be blessed,

But, today…

I cast my doubt on the altar of sacrifice and KNOW You are God.

Children: It’s OK to wrestle with your faith. It will become real to you that way. Just don’t allow yourself to camp in the valley of despair. Always look up to see the promises of God.




Even though it’s the coldest week of the winter and the world outside my window lays blanketed with snow, my radar detects spring. There’s a subtle red hue enveloping the trees which shows the buds are swelling…the sun is getting warmer….I hear a bird song now and then….and I sent in my seed order!

I really debated whether to plant this year. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to grow. Nothing brings me joy like planting tiny seeds and watching them sprout, grow, and turn into sturdy plants. But, having this blasted disease changes my focus. So I sat and stewed and debated with myself. Should I do it? COULD I do it? What if I started and couldn’t take care of all the seedlings? I can’t stand the thought of abandoning my charges. Poor, helpless, babies.

Then, a friend stopped by and I was expressing this to her, and she said “Of course you will start your plants! Why wouldn’t you?” I explained to her my doubts and fears, like who will pull out the hose for me (no stamina). What if I can’t walk to the greenhouse? Then it dawned on me.

If I don’t keep going forward I choose death.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curse. Therefore Choose life, that you and your offspring may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19

I had been reading about the children of Israel and the crossing of the Red Sea. They were standing on the banks of the sea being pursued by Pharaoh’s army. They were muttering and fussing, standing still with no hope. And God told Moses: “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.”

I’m like them. I want to stand still and see God miraculously intervene on my behalf. I want God to do what only He can do — heal me, make it easy for me. But He says ”take the next step.  Move forward in the face of the impossible. And when you do, I will be there to divide the sea in front of you.”

Even though I may not be around much longer, I choose to go forward! Plant a garden, invest in the future.

Therefore, I offer up my fear of moving, my indifference, my doubts and I move in your strength.

Children: Come pull the hose for me! And, come one and all, friends far and near, come help with transplanting all my baby seedlings.




The old English meaning of the word midwife is “with woman”. I always liked that definition because it sums up what we as midwives do. It is a calling which I have faithfully fulfilled, being awakened many nights, in all weather, driving down dirt roads, plowing my car through snow-filled lanes, entering houses illuminated by lantern light. I’ve spent endless hours with sweat dripping off my body mingling with the mother’s tears. Over 2,000 newborn lives have been entrusted to my hands; crying helpless lives given as gifts to mankind. How many backs have I rubbed? Pails of water have I filled? Cups of coffee have I consumed? I loved it! It was my calling.

I was faithful

Lately I’ve been wrestling with this calling. I believe if God calls you to something, you are to be faithful to it until death. But, my physical body is not capable of fulfilling my duties. This was sealed in stone for me a few weeks back when I attended (just as a back-rubber, support person) the birth of a precious friend. All I could do was sit in the rocker, half-way rub her back and pray. I had to watch the other midwife perform all the duties that I would have done. So this chapter in my life is finished, kaput.

But “ with women” is still part of who I am…. only the tables are turning. The way I see it, there are no specifications in the calling to be “with woman.” I don’t have to only be on one side of the equation.

This week I had lots of time to think as I was blessed to be able to go to a Moody Bible Institute Conference in Chicago. I have enjoyed this conference every year for the last 6 years. It’s a highlight for me. A time of challenging speakers, renewing worship, and exploring Chicago.

Of course, I didn’t think I could go this year, until one of my good friends encouraged me “we can do it together… we’ll help you.” Did they realize how much help I needed?? Could I walk where I needed to go? What about eating? Sleeping? I was boring company, unable to talk and party. I was afraid.

I prayed about it, swallowed my pride and agreed.


Over the past days, I saw how the meaning of “with women” is changing for me. I am not the care-giver, but the care-receiver. These lovely, wise ladies, had to carry all my bags for me, walk slowly, talk for me. They selflessly gave up having fun on the town to be “with me”. They prayed for me, read to me, sang for me and I leaned into them for support. Strong, beautiful ladies being my midwives, not unto birth but transitioning me to the new world that awaits me.

There really is very little difference between birth and death. They are both God-ordained passages between worlds. We enter both with faith as a little child. At one end, our eyes are opened and the other, they close. In birth, we take our first breath, in death our last. It takes hands of love to usher us through the transitions. That’s what I saw in my friends this week.

Therefore: I lay on the altar of sacrifice my mantle as midwife and reach out my hands to those woman who are called to be “with me”. And, to the One that called me into midwifery “Thank-you for 35 years of serving that I was able to have and for all the lives that I was able to be a part of. It was an honor”

Children: Life is sacred. Death is sacred. Don’t go alone through the passages of life.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!


I used to be strong. Now, weakness invades every corner of my body.

Yesterday, I decided to go to my shop/ greenhouse to see if I could work a bit. It was a beautiful day for the end of January, and I had a l-o-n-g list of things I wanted to do… I always do. First thing was to make a fire in my wood stove so I could heat water for tea. I arranged all the kindling and sat on a bucket in front of the stove to build my fire. Drat! I forgot the matches. No problem. They’re just up there on the shelf. … But, I couldn’t get off of the bucket! I tried and tried. Not enough strength to get up. ARGH!! Why didn’t I think before I sat down?? I had to roll off the bucket on to the dirt floor and crawl on hands and knees to the chair where I finally got enough leverage to pry myself off of the floor.

That exhausted me for a good 15 minutes. So, I had to sit and dream of things I wanted to do. So went the afternoon. I got done a small token of what I could have done, even last year.

A simple joy turned into a challenge. Where’s the fun in that?

Then the scripture came to me:

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ ” 2 Cor. 12:9

How does that work?

For me the first part of the verse holds the key. “ My grace is sufficient for you”

Grace is defined as the free and unmerited favor of God

When I get the blues, and I do, I think of God’s great grace and the thought makes me lift my head to see the gift of God’s grace. When my head is lifted my weakness is abated.

Most people are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac in the bible, in Genesis 22.

At the end of the story when I’m sure Abraham felt so weak because he was going to kill his son, God provided grace in the form of a ram caught in the thickets.

strengthMy struggle is not the same as Abraham’s. I am not asked to sacrifice my son, my ONLY son. That would be heart-wrenching. But I am weak and getting weaker so I need to look up and notice that the ram is already coming up the other side of the mountain. God’s grace is already on the way. And, He will provide that grace at the right moment, even if it the last moment.

Therefore: I lay down my weakness and pick up Your strength and grace. Remind me of this in the days to come.

Children: If you see me on the ground … have a good laugh, but please pick me up!



I was sick and you visited me….”

Independence runs strong in my family. I come from a long line of hearty women with more than a fair share of chutzpah. We love family, love life, love learning and need very little from anyone else, thank-you very much! ( for my Doermann relatives…remembering Aunt Anita )

The Doermann family, 7 daughters and 2 sons. My mom’s father was the oldest son.


Me with Aunt Anita and a friend on a trip out West. Ah, the memories!
Me with Aunt Anita and a friend on a trip out West. Ah, the memories!

Being independent tends to make one unapproachable at times, leading to the “ I am an Island “ syndrome. Lately I’ve been noticing how much I really do need people. Not just my family, I’ve always needed them, but others. People whom I don’t even know.

It’s a diminishing practice, but over the years, people have always visited the sick and dying. This is ministry in it’s purest form.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ” Matthew 25:35-40

Building relationships takes time. Time to sit and talk. No screens, no agenda, just visiting. And, yes, it does mean a lot to people like me who are languishing. Why? When it never mattered before?

Being terminal brings a new perspective of life, one that we should all have no matter what our state of health. I care more about people. I want to bless them in whatever way I can. I want to love, be loved, make new friends. I yet have lots to offer and lots to learn.

I’ve been blessed to have many good friends visit me this fall and winter. At first, I was impatient with it. Why do they need to come and see” me? They never visited before. I’m an introvert. I don’t really need people. I had a real attitude.

Good thing my God is long-suffering! He has changed me over the weeks, so now I pray for my visitors that they will be touched from our visit. I am humbled too, and I enjoy it. Everyone benefits. Relationships are built that otherwise wouldn’t be. I want the practice of visiting to be renewed. It’s something anyone can do to make a difference.

So, again, God the master stone-builder is chipping away at my character one piece at a time. While I pray for God to remove the burden of ALS from me, I also see His hand at work every day shaping me as only He can.

Therefore, I surrender my independence… well maybe not all of it. I’ll have to do more of that later on.

Children: Oh, ye who are independent and a chip off the old block. Build relationships with others outside of the family. Learn to minister to others. You will be blessed.

No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man’s joy is joy to me,
Each man’s grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.
I saw the people gather,
I heard the music start,
The song that they were singing,
Is ringing in my heart.
No man is an island,
Way out in the blue,
We all look to the one above,
For our strength to renew.
When I help my brother,
Then I know that I,
Plant the seed of friendship,
That will never die.
                                ~ Joan Baez


“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger”

Today, I’m craving fresh, warm, homemade bread slathered with butter. I bet I could eat a whole loaf…if I could eat!

Three weeks ago I took the plunge and had surgery to insert a feeding tube. This is tube that goes directly into the stomach so you can bypass all chewing, swallowing…

and tasting.

I knew this was a decision that I would have to make in the future, so I decided to go ahead with the procedure before I lost more weight. And, besides, eating was getting to be a chore, I reasoned with myself. It took a bit to recover from surgery, but now that I’m back on my feet I’m trying to figure out what “feeding myself” looks like.

I decided not to buy the ready-made formulas that most tube feeders are familiar with, but set off on an adventure equipped with my Nutri- Bullet to make healthy, nutritious “food” loaded with greens and other healthy whole foods. I’m making the most exciting dishes, loaded with nuts, veggies, and grains, the only problem is I can’t taste them. I’m not really hungry because I’m getting all that I need… but I crave the taste of food. It’s an odd paradox.

My mother who ate via her tube for five years used to tell me “when I get to heaven, I’m having a steak.” I’m sure she’s eating to her hearts content now!

Lately, I’ve been praying “Lord, give me my daily bread” Today, not tomorrow or the next day, but today, I need not only my food, but other provisions as well. Patience, stamina, wisdom, perseverance. But, only one day at a time lest I forget to pause and reflect that You are the bread of my life and I want to hunger for you.

Matthew 5:6 says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Therefore I lay down my hunger for temporal things, especially fresh baked bread and my mom’s curry and rice. I want to be satisfied with the bread that is my Savior.

Children: Eat, drink, be merry! Have many family dinners. Enjoy all the food God has given you to enjoy. Pass on recipes, always have Aunt Bonnie’s Pink Jello for holidays. Above all, sink your teeth into the true bread of life.