– Unplanned Pregnancies Then vs. Now –

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What was a typical day like for your average nineteen-year-old thirty years ago? When you woke up, you were glad there was nothing electronic close at hand to open up the world to you. You, alone, away from it all . . . perfect. Once awake, you’d turn on your favorite radio station or you’d rewind your cassette to hear your favorite Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, or Lionel Richie song again.

You were thrilled your parents got that extra-long phone cord so you could finally leave the kitchen and walk into the bathroom to talk to your friends.

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“Well, then call me as soon as you get back home. I have to tell you something,” or “If no one answers, I’ll call later. Just make sure you are by a phone when home,” were statements often said.

“I’ll text you later” was nowhere to be found.

It was hard to decide which one of those six stations to watch on that big, boxy TV.

You loved grabbing the daily delivered newspaper your parents had on the kitchen counter to check movie times.

Later on, it was time to put eighty-nine-cents-per-gallon gas in your stick shift before picking up a few friends, grabbing ninety-nine-cent double cheeseburgers at McD’s before watching the movie called Star Trek lV, or The Voyage Home, that cost a whopping $2.75 to see. That’s what life was like for me when I was nineteen.

Until, that is, I found out I was pregnant. (1*) Life was so different back then, and I felt so alone. I’m certain many women feel like that even today, but because of the way we now have such easy access to helpful information, I think it’s safe to say that not quite so many feel as alone as I did.

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There was no cell phone back in 1986 so, when sitting in my car, away from the world, I couldn’t secretly look up information on where to get a pregnancy test. No laptops, I-pads, or cell phones to tweet #unplannedpregnancies. No opening up your laptop to type in NoWayCanIBePregnant.com, either. No putting in ‘first trimester’ to get a long list of websites covering the subject.

I would have loved to have found a Facebook group for Christians going through an unplanned pregnancy, or Twitter to find encouraging verses and quotes. But no. I felt like I was in my own little world, not able to connect with any Christians who had been, or were, going through what I was experiencing. I now know that if I did not have my church family during that time, I would have gone bonkers. But still, there was no one to Skype with who could look at me, face-to-face, and say, “Believe me, I know what it’s like and how you’re feeling.”

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Unplanned pregnancies can be dealt with quite a bit differently now than thirty years ago. Now, you can get info on anything from anywhere. Heck, you can even get your best help or support from total strangers all around the world!

I’m sure I would have been getting information and insight from my I-phone, I-pad, or I-mac. (Yes, you can call me an I-fan!) There are also many organizations that have opened their doors for needed tests, information, and support.

For years, I put off writing my story being as so much had changed since I was pregnant. Then it hit me. Unplanned pregnancies are still that: un . . . planned . . . pregnancies. They were the same back then as they are now: an unexpected shock to women, followed by overwhelming emotions and stress for all involved. Once realizing this, I then decided—with encouragement from others—to write my book, showing what I went through. Yes, the means of getting helpful information about this type of pregnancy is now different. Also, the number of people you can connect with going through the same thing can sure help one feel less alone. But overall, we’re still the same. Our feelings and thoughts were stored in the same place back then as they are now: in our hearts and souls.

And God’s the same, as well! That’s the best fact. He has not changed how He carries those who follow Him. He sure carried me then and He sure carries His children now.

Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Sure, He might now use that perfect website to guide you in what help or information to get.  I just know I’d never change what He used to guide me to what was best for me.

The good old yellow pages. (2*)

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1* Click here to find out how about a certain phone call. Yep. God had plans.

2* Click here to find out how the yellow pages fit into my story

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

 

Unplanned Pregnancies – Then vs. Now

          – Crowd – Five Minute Friday –

 

brainpuzzleillo-workedSometimes I don’t make sense to myself. I take that back. Quite often I don’t make sense to myself. For instance, one day I can’t wait to be with a crowd of people from church, some party, and the like. But other times, sorry but I’d rather be by myself.

What is it about crowds and me that sometimes don’t click? My memory problem is what I blame. Let me explain. God saw fit to have me endure a brain damaging illness years ago called Encephalitis  (‘E’ for short) Thankfully I am, I like to say, 90% recovered from it all but that 10% can sure be a pill: remembering names of people, places and things. I like to call it my ‘noun ailment’

Being around others, hearing most all popping up names, places and even sometimes things, I have to do a lot of extra thinking. Including myself in these talks is sure not easy. I give my ‘oh, really?’, my ‘Ya.. I know’, or just give that nodding-head look making it seem like I know all that’s being said. But deep inside I’m often thinking ‘I wish I could remember which person it is they keep talking about.’ or ‘I think that’s the same movie I saw last week. Not sure. I’ll just be quiet.’ 

What makes dealing with all of this bearable after all these years (notice I said bearable, not tearless-able) is knowing God saw it best I went though this back then as He still holds my hand though it now.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses,  (and even in a big crowd) for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

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I’ve shared bit’s and pieces of my story on my website but here is a different way to explain it. Click here to read. 

 

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Crowd – Five Minute Friday

      – My Pregnancy Story Continues –

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One of my past posts showed a small portion of an extra special journal writing I did  thirty-three years ago. Click here to read because what’s below is what directly came next on that page. My book, God and Your Pillow, is available now that covers my entire story behind me and that journal.  

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Journal Time. Yep, it’s time to share more of my journal and what was going from my heart to the paper at this time in my pregnancy. I wish I hadn’t allowed there to be a huge gap between writings. You need to know that . . . oh, my journal will tell you. See if you can notice a few things I leave out.

                                                                                                January 2, 1987

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Okay, let’s see. A lot has gone on since I last wrote over a year ago. April of ‘86 I drove down to Santa Maria, CA and lived with Debbie for three months, worked at the Hilton Hotel in room service. On my return home I was faced with my niece’s tumor and seeing her die. She died in September. So sad.

In the mean time God showed me the direction my life was to take. He gave me a baby. As of this writing, I am seven-and-a-half months along in my pregnancy. Things are fine as long as Jesus is close by. If it wasn’t for His will for my life, I’d go crazy! I’m making it through use fine. Praise God.

I’m sort of surprised I didn’t write for almost two years. What? Quick update: I started my journal when I was twelve. Every day for a while, then every other day, then every other week, then every other month, then maybe half a year and, at this point, a few years’ break. You mean I didn’t write at all during this entire time?  . . . Oh, and the space shuttle blew up since I last wrote. It’s been a very tough year.

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I’m still surprised I didn’t write in my journal once during that entire ordeal. One reason must be because all the pens in my room, heck, in the entire house for that matter, would not have had enough ink to put my overflowing thoughts down on paper.

But finally, as more peace was growing inside my heart, along with this baby growing inside my tummy, the more I was sensing that strong arm of God carrying us both. I could have been storing up all the negative this-and-thats that were here-and-there, but I didn’t. God helped keep the thoughts flowing to do what I felt was right as I kept prayer wrapped around it all as best I could. I knew whatever circumstances I faced didn’t have the power to dictate my attitude unless I let them. Now sure, towards the beginning I did allow negative thoughts to dictate my attitude. I’m ever-so thankful to this day that God saw fit to use my family, friends, my church, my bible, and yes, even my doctor (1*) to allow positive thoughts to dictate my attitude.

When life gets hard, it’s difficult to avoid letting a bad attitude rule our life and take over our mind. It’s true, life can sure stink sometimes when people hurt us, the past haunts us, those we work with mistreat us, family or friends don’t love us, spouses don’t honor us, children don’t appreciate or respect us, finances don’t support us, and our health doesn’t sustain us.

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Yep, enduring problems never really seen to be absent.  They make pure joy in our hearts difficult. But trying to hold at least a little smile not only helps us become stronger believers, it opens the door for an attitude transformation. Those of you reading, just keep in mind that when our heart, soul, and mind focus on the good that seems to be hiding, our attitudes will get better. The good is then easier to find, our attitudes improve even more, causing good things to seem to be showing up all over the place.

Just keep in mind that the only thing we have to lose, by choosing a positive attitude, is a negative one. And one of the many good things you just might gain by choosing a positive attitude is . . .

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. . . realizing you just might feel like sharing what’s been going on in your life in your journal.

 

 

 

1* – Click here to read how God spoiled me with my doctor. 

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Pregnancy Story Continues

     – I Love the Rain – Five Minute Friday

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At first I thought I’d talk about rain, sharing that as long as I don’t have to go anywhere, it doesn’t bug me that much. I then grinned ear to ear, realizing that it’s best to explain when and why I actually love rain.

We all knew the little saying                                                                                                       Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.                                                                           

I’d like to add onto that 

…. but as long as you keep me from watering the grass, I love you.

Yep. Being summer means more sun. (which I love) It can also mean less rain, which then means I have to give thought to watering the grass. I know, no real mind-boggling issue, but still – Ug. Needing to water the grass means there is just more I have to think about. It’s really no problem, but I guess I have other things I’d rather be doing than go out, set the sprayer in one of two places, making sure, once on, the water is going where it needs to go. Then the need to come in, take my shoes off,  set a timer to make sure I don’t let it water too long, then get back to what I was doing.

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Once the buzzer goes off, hoping I don’t miss that sound, slip those shoes back on, go move the sprayer to another area, (I’m a pro. I can just leave the water on.) making sure, again, it sprays only where it needs to. Then, yep, repeat shoe-take-off and timer part of the plan. Once timer goes off, shoes back on, then – YAY ! – TURN OFF THE WATER !

I repeat- UG. 

I should be doing that every other day but, when that day comes, ‘Oh.. I’ll go do it tomorrow instead. It’ll be fine.’ usually wins. 

I know, I know. Nothing really to complain about. I guess it just explains why, after weeks and weeks of beautiful sunny days, when I see those deep, dark clouds forming all around, one thought instantly pops up.  I LOVE THE RAIN !

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

I Love the Rain – Five Minute Friday

                       – Rush – Five Minute Friday

 

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 “Come on. let’s get going.”

“Hurry up. We need to go now.”

“Speed up, guys. Let’s go!”

Just a few of many sentences we’ve all said throughout the years.

 

I know those were sure said when my kids were little. We’d be getting things together to go some where. Year after year was filled with many of those Hurry up’s

Then one day my eyes were opened up from an article I read. I don’t remember the exact words but it sure stuck to me ever since. It stated how kids are always surrounded with those rush-rush words. “Come on! Walk faster,” is one of many said on a routine basis.

Guilt hit me right then and there. I was one molding in my kids minds how life must have a rush-filled feeling 24/7. Not good. From then on I’ve always caught myself when those thoughts began to form. Do we really have to go so fast?  became my new question. I then began making it so we weren’t in such a rush so often.

I didn’t change over night, that’s for sure, but I did try my darnedest to get that rush-rush feeling to show up less and less. Slow down, Marianne. Slooooooow down.   

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How about we see if we all can replace that word ‘Rush’ with that one simple word: Relax.

 

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Rush – Five Minute Friday

           – 5 Pregnancy Facts During That Eighth Month –

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My due date was getting close. My new life as a single mom was right around the corner, and before I knew it I would be holding my very own daughter in my very own arms. I can’t help but share a list of a few pros and cons surrounding me that last month.

1- Sleep – Sleeping at night was getting ridiculously uncomfortable. I flat-out did not look forward to going to bed. I’m sure my pillow could sense the un-comfort I was feeling, and if it could talk, would probably holler  ‘STOP MOVING!’

2- Clothes – Not wearing maternity clothes in some near future was my little dream. By no means was I going to miss wearing them. I couldn’t wait till they all went back to the thrift store that I most likely got then from.

3- Weight – Being a bit over weight before I was pregnant, I really did not like my size at eight months. Any mirror close by that last month was not my best friend.

4- Information – Learning all I could about labor, delivery and nursing was a must. I’m sure if websites were available back in 1987, Childbirth.com would have been my best friend.

Time now for the last yet most important fact

5- Church family – Let a few paragraphs from my book explain.

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       I was so thankful that my church was a true family of believers. Great messages, great fellowship. As my tummy was slowly but surely getting bigger, my love for all I was learning was growing as well. My church family helped me hang on with my family situation at home. Friction that had been going on for years between my parents was growing. Thankfully, I knew my soap-opera life wasn’t making it worse. I actually think it might have been helping, as it got them thinking of other things instead of what was wrong between them.
       My siblings’ lives, too, were all going in different directions. It seemed most were all hoping they could find greener grass elsewhere. Christ wasn’t included on their road in life. It was good that I could escape not only on Sundays, but at the Wednesday evening prayer meetings too. Sort of a mid-week refreshment. It’s scary to think how less peaceful I would have felt during that time if I didn’t have a great source for spiritual support and friends.

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Picture1-1Of course the first and far most reason for church is the gathering of believers to worship our Lord.  But the group I was honoring God with was also a must for me during my pregnancy.

Let me encourage those who do not attend church on a routine basis to do that. One of the many reasons is that when trials come, a support system that’s crucial could be right there. When in need, you will want your brothers and sisters in Christ to uphold you in prayer and assist with practical needs as well.

 

Galatians 6:2 encourages us to do just what my church family did for me.

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Click here if you are curious how this entire story began.  

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

5 Pregnancy Facts During That Eighth Month

                     – Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts – 

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This post, similar to my last, shares another important lesson I learned during my unplanned pregnancy. (1*) But this one is a bit different. I take that back. It’s a lot different. My previous story was about one young boy I was around for a couple months who taught me a few things about me becoming a mother soon. This one is about two adults in my family I’d been around all my life that applied to me becoming a wife someday. Those two people? My parents.

Notice I said “applied to” being married, not an example to being married.

When I was a younger teen, my parents’ relationship wasn’t that positive. Yes, they showed love to me and my siblings, but displaying their love to one another was not so apparent. Having one or more of us kids around helped them find more to talk about than just the weather, what’s for breakfast, or where’s the mail. But, as year after year went by, joy, peace, and love between them was hard to witness.

“I’m sure not going to bring up little pet-peeve issues with the man I someday marry,” I began thinking in my young teen years. “Whoever he will be, him and I will not do any useless complaining or whispering a negative comment just loud enough for the other to hear. No huge arguments or even simple useless bickering back and forth. Nope. I refuse.” 

These thoughts formed before I became a Christian, so after my heart did a 180-degree turn at age eighteen, that thought grew even more each time I felt tension between them. Feeling sorry for them grew as well, knowing my parents did not understand what true peace in a Christ-centered marriage was about. They were a couple who kept God on that back burner, turned off.

Being pregnant, knowing I’d become a parent in just a few months, had me thanking God even more that He kept me from marrying Mr. Wrong, (2*) and having me see the importance of marrying a God-fearing Mr. Right.

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My thoughts about the importance of love between parents and their children, love between a husband and wife, and love between God and the family, were growing. I’m not saying I had everything figured out with my plans ahead as a mom and wife. Far from it. But my thoughts were slowly and surely molding in that direction. He had me start putting a puzzle together of my future by having me witness what was not going well outside and inside my home.

The point of sharing all this, along with last week’s story, is to have us see that we learn some important truths from ordinary day-to-day situations. None of us can foresee what He uses to teach us. He doesn’t reveal the entire path as we step into the unknown, but He slowly strengthens our faith through our experiences. Walking in God’s will is asking Him to show us what He wants us to learn and what He wants for our lives. Our responsibility is simply to obey and seek Him today, knowing that He holds tomorrow.

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Matthew 6:33:  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (like a bit more of a peace-filled family) shall be added to you. 

 

 

1* – click here to read my last post

2* – click here to read a bit how the father is not included in my story. 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts