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Hi. I’m Marcie.

A writer, speaker and storyteller. And what a story I have to tell!

We all have secrets.

The truths we can’t face. The wounds too painful to examine.

We tuck them inside a box and promise ourselves that later, when we’re strong enough, we’ll open the box. But that day of reckoning rarely comes. Sometimes, though, life gives the box a needed nudge and all the rawest parts of our past come spilling out at our feet. It’s at that moment when the walls we’ve built to create the illusion of a normal, successful life come crumbling down.

Sound familiar?

If you need encouragement or have the desire to heal your past and don’t know where to start; well, you’ve come to the right place. I blog weekly about my experiences of loss and grief and the power of love and forgiveness when we proudly stand in our stories. I also discuss topics such as healing through memoir writing, adoption and reunion and family legacies.


The ShoeBox Effect is more than a memoir….It’s a Movement.

Ready to take that first step? If you trust me with your email address, I promise I won’t spam you.

My story has generated quite a buzz online.

In November my story was featured in the Indy Star. We’ve also been featured in USA Today, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, Louisville Courier Journal, and many others!

“The key to the present is in the past.
That’s why we keep going back there.”

Darlene Ouimet

Wondering why “The Shoebox Effect”?

“The Shoebox Effect” is real and comes from the insurance industry. It’s where then plan member pays the usual price for services rendered and saves the receipts for submission to the insurer for reimbursement. These receipts were often stored in a shoebox and forgotten. This reduction in claims for the provider-a substantial financial windfall-was termed “The Shoebox Effect.” As you might imagine, this greatly benefited the insurance companies.

“The Shoebox Effect” applies to humans in another, very real way. We may store keepsakes and mementos in a physical shoebox in our closet, sorting through them from time to time reliving happy moments. Not so with the truly painful memories. We hide those emotional triggers away-shoving that shoebox to the very back of the highest shelf so we don’t have to deal with the feelings of guilt or shame.




But just as the insured bears the cost of lost reimbursements, there is a price to pay for what we don’t face in our past. The guilt that emanates from the box is toxic…eating away at us. As I’ve found through my own tragedies, I had to face my past in order to find freedom.

God doesn’t promise us all a Hallmark happy ending, but He does promise that He won’t abandon us as we face our demons and fight for the freedom that is already ours. I pray that my story will cause you to find your own version of a happy ending. I deserved it, and so do you.


The Shoebox Effect ~ coming in 2018


I’ve spoken to various groups and organizations. I’d love to talk with you about sharing my story at your event.

Frequently Requested Topics


–Reunion and Reality


Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Healing and Loss:

“Good Grief!”

“In The SHOEBOX EFFECT Marcie J. Keithley reminds us that what we hide may be the secret to self-realization and ultimately, joy.”

Anne Heffron

Award Winning Screenwriter, Writing Coach and Author of You Don’t Look Adopted.

“The Shoebox Effect is an amazing story of love, sorrow, loss, redemption and triumph. Through Marcie’s beautiful and heartfelt writing, she takes you on a journey that tugs at your heartstrings. This engaging story keeps you turning the page, wondering what will happen next. What’s makes it even more incredible is that this powerful story isn’t the product of some great fiction writer. It’s a true, unembellished story that continues to unfold. This is a must read.”

Vanessa Collins

Author, Publisher, Writing and Publishing Coach

“THE SHOEBOX EFFECT explores the question of whether or not behavior, like an heirloom, can be passed from one generation to another.  Marcie J. Keithley uncovers a multi-generational family pathology of mothers leaving their daughters in her family memoir, THE SHOEBOX EFFECT.  The secrets found inside the family shoebox is where the typical adoption story begins….and ends.”

Patti Hawn

Entertainment Publicist, Author of Good Girls Don’t, sister of legendary film actress, Goldie Hawn.

“We all love a story about ordinary, everyday people that when faced with challenges or extraordinary circumstances, hang on and find the way to fight…and win the day.  They become heroes.  Marcie is one; the kind our world needs to hear about.”

Dennis Lowery

President Adducent Inc., Author, Writer, International Speaker.

“Until you’re broken, you don’t know what you’re made of. It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again,
but stronger than ever.”

Author Unknown

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what's in YOUR shoebox?

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