– Worry Turned into Peace –


At some point in life, we all need to learn that trials are going to occur somehow, some way, at some time. That is sure what I, when nineteen years old, began learning as more months of my pregnancy went by. As my last post stated, (1*) I shared how God was carrying me, but woe-is-me and what-if thoughts were tagging right along. As the baby inside was obviously getting bigger, worry had become my new middle name because of the uncertainty of my life ahead.

Not one person truly knew how I felt . . . that is, except God. And how did I know that? Because as worrisome thoughts began to take over, God sparked little pieces of hope my way with things that took place. (2* and 3* are a few examples)

Slowly but surely, I began feeling more peace as I was seeing more of my need for Him.

My time spent reading my Bible and praying increased, and my worries of being a mom decreased. The book of Psalms became a daily must, as many verses talk about having faith and building trust in God. As months went by, I began to see how this trial was peeling off my woes of losing what I wanted to be, but for the better by replacing them with what God wanted me to be: a mom.



I know that’s what got me back into writing in my journal. (4*)




Before all this took place, I often wondered how in the world people could say they had peace inside during an extra-tough time. During my pregnancy, I learned how, because I felt much more peace as the due date got closer.

So what is the main point of telling the inside, heartfelt part of my story? 

To show others that trials have a way of digging up the soil of your heart and pulling out those weeds. Trials provide opportunities for us to find one of the secrets to a full and blessed life: getting closer to Christ.

Another reason is to show that worrying does absolutely no good. Be concerned, yes, but worrying to the point where it secretly gets you down in the dumps, forget it. Now I’m not saying all my worries were one-hundred percent gone. Heck no. But my pillow sure noticed more peace was growing inside of me, just as that precious baby was growing too.

Philippians 4:6-7   

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

There was another thing my mind starting thinking about that caused many more smiles to form. Sorry. You’ll have to wait.


1* – Last post

2* and 3*  – two of many poofs God carried me.

4* –  When I got back into my journal


Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is actively involved in her local pro-life community. Her book God and Your Pillow is out in April. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.

Worry Turned into Peace

             – How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’ –  



‘Pregnant’ – As soon as I hear that word, I instantly picture someone’s tummy sticking out. I then think of the discomfort that goes along with that tummy sticking out. Next, I think of my first pregnancy thirty years ago and how it still seems like last week. Before that thought is even over, ‘Thank you, Lord’ comes next, since He held me though my first pregnancy’s soap opera. (1*)

As I shared in past writings, my pregnancy was physically going smoothly. That sure helped me carry comfort and peace inside my heart during those confusing months. (read a few examples here 2* –  3* of past writings)

But my pillow felt the extra mental weight of my worries night after night. And I’m not talking about worries of the delivery. (Believe me, those came a few months later.) I’m talking about the worries of what life would hold for me in the near future as a mom. Doubt, uncertainty, regret, and uneasiness, along with many questions. Continue college? When? Do I need to work? Government help? Babysitters? Can I ever move out?

‘What if’ questions were super-glued to my thoughts as well. What if people don’t want to be around me? What if there’s no Mr. Right on the horizon? What if all I get is some boring minimum-wage job? And, of course, losing weight was sure ‘heavy’ on my mind as well.

Another worry was what people would think of me: a nineteen-year-old mom, living with her parents, no job, and with no real plan to do anything. I thought I was to be an example to the world around me. So I’m sure you can see how this cloud over my life seemed like it was getting noticeably darker as time went by.

I knew I was forgiven for that sin of letting my hormones take over months before, but I still had guilt I could not hide. It made these types of verses far from being encouraging.

Proverbs 3:11 – My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 8:5You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.  (NKJV)

Sure, I knew no Christ-follower is given an easy life, and I knew my pregnancy thus far was going by smoothly, but I occasionally wanted to give up, wishing I could just wake up one morning and realize all this was just a dream. 



I kept thinking, God did not want me to see any light at the end of this long tunnel.





Are you like I was, with similar thoughts running through your mind? Any trial you’re having or have had that brought extra-heavy thoughts on your pillow? If so, let me give you a speck of hope. In my next writing I’ll share what kept me going, hoping it might help you keep on keeping on. Until then, here’s a piece from a book called Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod that I feel fits perfectly here.

Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. 

To be continued

1* – One of many posts that explain why it was my soap-opera

2*   and  3*  –  two of many positive times of my pregnancy


Marianne Petersen is the author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.

How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’

          – First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal –

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As some of you know, I have been putting a book together called God and Your Pillow to help strengthen others going through an unplanned pregnancy. It’s almost ready to get in the hands of those needing a soap-opera type story for encouragement. Let me pass onto you a page from my book. This part shares the fact that I kept a journal while growing up. There were seasons of silence occasionally in my journal. This writing shows it was the first time in over a year I got back into writing being it was a must to start up again. Read as my book explains why.


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.

Jan 2, 1987

How to even begin to explain the past year and a half? The best way to start is with the numero-uno step in my life, and that is being Born Again in Christ Jesus. Yes, I’m a new creature and will be rocking for Jesus for all eternity. September 10 of 1985 is when it happened. Now Eyde is no longer ‘religious’! She, Willma, and I are all sisters in Christ! Jesus is my life now, and not the things of this world.

Okay, let’s see. A lot has happened. April of ‘86 I drove down to Santa Maria 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 meantime, 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 just fine. Praise God!

. . .  Oh, and the space shuttle blew up since I last wrote. It’s been a very tough year.


No way did I feel a need to get into detail about what took place in California. My book proves that I sure didn’t need any reminder. It was all behind me, and God must have wanted me to just focus on what was on the road ahead. I felt such a sense of support from all around me and, as past blog writings share, God kept letting me know He was right there.  (1*) (2*)   are a few. I encourage all who seem to cling to that negative past that keeps tapping on your back to, yes, learn from the past and correct what’s needed, with God’s help, but still remember that good ol’ saying – Today’s the first day of the rest of your life. 


Woman Suffering From Cold Sitting On Bed With Tissue

I must be honest, however. I was far from overflowing with peace and joy day-in and day-out. Even though I had less than normal physical un-comforts, my thoughts still kept it hard to fall asleep many nights. God and my own pillow were really the only ones who knew all my worries, concerns, and woe-is-me thoughts.

To be continued.

Marianne Petersen is the author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more of her blog at marimemoirs.com.

First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal

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These last few blogs have sort of focused on a Me, Myself and I story.  Me, myself, and I Before (when my heart was empty), During (when questions were forming), and After (the outcome from Christ answering those questions).

God interrupted that emptiness and darkness of my life, giving me a new beginning. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26) made sense! Why? Because that’s what took place.

I hope I haven’t come across as some young, weak, young teen who would take on anything that brought peace to my front door. Nope. Almost the opposite. I had goals, was one who went that extra mile, daring to do whatever. Looking back, I see I was a bit too proud in who I was. I was just empty of how to have peace along with all I could do.

But that week, biblical truths were opened up to me for the first time. I understood the true meaning of sin, of repentance, and I got to feel a true sense of grace, forgiveness, mercy and love. Yes, it was thirty-three years ago, but it still feels like yesterday. I never get tired of pondering on all that took place.


Of course, sin was still hiding inside, but, with prayer, a new heart was formed to drown the sin with grace and forgiveness. Even when my ignorance and weakness were apparent, God guided me. Reading His word and learning much from the church I began attending did wonders.

My eyes still get a bit damp remembering how God held me even when I allowed sin to take over, causing my unplanned pregnancy, (1*) or when my brain-damaging illness occurred a few years later. (2*) The many ways He continually showed me ‘I love you’ were still strongly felt.

This is my first time in these thirty-four years that I’m sharing this for others to read. Why? To help people understand what it means to be ‘born again’ or, better wording, ‘born from above.’

Every Christian’s walk with God starts in different ways, at different times in life, but all show one thing: God planned it. He plans the best way to turn someones old-self into their new-self. He also plans what takes place afterwords for that person as well. A few dramatic events have caused me to learn much about how He is there at all times, giving me faith for tough times I’m assuming will still occur.  


God has put me here, in this place and time, with my life experiences, in order to tell others about what He has done and is doing in my life. My book will be out, Lord willing, in a month or two in hopes He uses my story to help others, showing them God is there for others though one trial or another. 


Psalm 62:8 – Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time.      

As some of you know, I’m one who listens to Christian music. This song means more lately being I feel it fits with—as the song title shares—“My Story.” I guess you can say I’m one of those people at the end. 


I hope my story has either made you think ‘I know what that feels like!’ I sure know that feels.  And what about those who think ‘I kinda wish I knew what that feels like.’  Believe me, I know just what those thoughts are like as well. Feel free to pass a note and share your thoughts.

1* – Unplanned pregnancy story can be found.

2* – Brain affected illness

Marianne Petersen is the author of a forthcoming early spring of 2018 book, God and Your PillowYou can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.


– That ‘No WAY Do I Want to Forget’ Summer Conclusion –

                     – That ‘No WAY Do I Want to Forget’ Summer Continues –

logo_Unforgettable Memories

My last post ended with ‘to be continued’, so here I go to continue that special time I’ll never forget. Click here and catch up on what that was all about.

As I ended in my last, I finally began understanding what this ‘new heart’ thing meant! No way did I want to forget when that took place.


Yep. I had to grab that old fashion camera of mine being this occurred years before cell phones were even thought about.

How could I not want a picture of when what I consider the most important time in my life took place: the time God graciously showed me I was one of His chosen. The time Christ opened my heart to see what my sin really was, along with my true need for His forgiveness and love.

  ‘CLICK’  goes my camera.

THE song

You should have seen the look on Willma’s face when I said, “I can’t explain it, but it felt like Jesus was sort of talking to me. I think I’m—if I understand right—saved!” Willma and me, sisters in the Lord; what could be better?

After telling her, I couldn’t wait to tell some of those who had asked me before if I was saved. 

“Forget what I said before. I’m pretty sure now I really am!”

I joyfully accepted the fact of how ignorant I was and felt a sudden hunger to learn. I hadn’t felt such peace inside since, well, forever!

As soon as I woke up that next morning, this thought instantly popped up.

What happened last night? Was it all real or did I let my emotions take over?

Those thoughts were quickly shoved aside as I felt a newness about myself instantly waking up as well. I could tell that what took place that evening before was real and how that morning was the first day of the rest of my new life.

A few hours later, as all of us campers were getting in the bus to head back home, I realized something. On my bus ride a week before, going to camp, I was filled with unclarity about religion. I had no real understanding about life, feeling rather empty inside. Real love? what’s that? But in that same bus leaving camp, I knew I was different. I wasn’t who I use to be. I was thrilled to be enlightened with what being ‘saved’ and ‘born again’ really meant. I was filled with peace, joy, contentment, and I was excited that I did find love: the love of Christ.

As we started driving away, I looked back at the campground.

Ezekiel 36:26   I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you — This became one of my first verses I loved.

So long, old self. So long, old heart. Farewell and good riddance. I’ve been set free, no longer who I use to be, and starting this new road ahead as a true child of God.

And I will give you a few songs that use the best words to explain it a bit more. This first one especially – So Long Self my Mercy Me.

And this one explains how, well… – You Love Me Anyway

And by the way, I love songs.

1* Click here to last weeks story

Does my story make you think of yours when Christ topped you on your shoulder? I’d love to hear how that special life changing tap for you went.

Marianne Petersen is the author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.

That ‘No WAY Do I Want to Forget’ Summer Continues

          – That ‘No Way Do I Wanna Forget’ Summer –


My last posting’s title was The ‘I’d Like To Forget’ Summer Continues.  Let me explain why that title had done a total turn around being it became one I never want to forget.

My last sentence from my last post begins to explain why –  God decided that evening, during that song, to unlock someone’s heart: mine  – Its best you read it and see what was up with this song.  (1*) –  Nothing great about that song but still no way will I ever forget those few minutes. It changed my way of thinking because it changed my heart. But the song wasn’t what changed my thinking. God did.

Shortly after she started singing, for some strange reason I began picturing in my mind a man’s somewhat generic-looking face looking at me right over my shoulder, quietly saying a few times, “I love you.” 

What in the world? It kind of looks like Jesus is saying that directly to me!

Hard to explain, but it was as if  He was giving me a little tap on the shoulder, getting my attention, letting me know He loved me. I repeat, hard to explain. 

Man, oh, man, something is totally happening!

Now, just for the record, I’m not at all one to encourage the world to let emotions take over. Our emotions can be so misleading. I wasn’t as aware of this fact back then as I am now, but I still knew enough to know that it wasn’t any overly exploding emotion that caused all this. I just know one thing: something of great value was taking place.

What’s happening? Nothing’s really great about this lady’s way of singing, and it’s not like the words of this song are really an emotion grabber. So WHAT’S GOING ON

So many Bible facts I grew up with, plus the things I had been hearing those last few days about Jesus dying for sinners, finally clicked. He died for MY sins. It was as if God put a key in the door that opened my heart, allowing me to see how undeserving I am of that love. Right then I felt like dirt. Right then I felt I needed His forgiveness for how sinful and selfish I had been those eighteen years. 

I then began feeling this full load of sin taken off my back, being replaced with forgiveness and love. I felt broken, but then repaired. Man, what a refreshing feeling. Sure, I had never killed anyone and was, for the most part, a clean-cut girl, but now I knew that wasn’t enough.

Finally, the few things I had heard from other believers and some of the messages given that week made sense. It was that night God chose to . . .


It was as if some light that I was trying to find finally sparked! I was face-to-face, looking at that light. 

I finally began understanding what this ‘new heart’ thing meant! Wow! When that song was almost over I leaned over and whispered, “Willma! Something special just happened! I feel different,” 

To be continued.

1* – Click here to read where I was when hearing that song.

2* – Click here and read why I originally  wanted to forget that summer.


Marianne Petersen is the author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.



That ‘No WAY Do I Wanna Forget’ Summer

              That ‘I’d Like to Forget’ Summer Continues



At eighteen, I was having a long, boring, fewer-friends summer right after graduation. (1*) That was the main reason I accepted the invite from my friend Willma to go to a Christian camp the first part of September. The second reason was to hopefully start understanding what all this ‘born again’ and ‘saved’ stuff meant.

A full-day bus drive from western Washington to Montana, filled with twenty or so college-aged folks.

camp bus

That bus load was meeting lots of other groups from other places at that campground for about a week. The drive was a bit uncomfortable for me, having never been around so many at one time who said things like ‘God did this’ or ‘God did that.’   – I’m so glad Willma can blend right in with them. I’ll just keep smiling and look like I understand what they’re talking about.

I met more people once we got to this beautiful retreat campsite. But one question kept popping up each time I met someone new. Most asked me, “When were you saved?” or “How long have you been a Christian?” I was a weeeeee bit uncomfortable being I was totally ignorant of what all that meant. Since I was baptized when I was an infant, I was already convinced I was going to heaven. Of course, the priest at St. Francis never used the words ‘saved’ or ‘Christian,’ so being around others who shared that vocabulary was all new to me.

“I’ve been Catholic all my life,” was my answer to the first few who asked.  —That doesn’t sound right. I’d better word it more like others here do.  — “I’ve been saved all my life.” (That sure felt weird to say.) That must be better. Now I sound like everyone else.

I was enjoying those first few days, meeting nice people and hearing many interesting messages about how God, Jesus, and the Spirit apply to our daily life, many things I had never heard before. And not only had I never heard these types of messages before, but never by a college aged man standing up in front, all kicked-back wearing jeans! I learned that first evening that “normal” people can know the Bible. And to top it off, that you don’t have to wear a robe like a priest to preach. “Learn something new every day” seemed to fit right in that first evening and each day that followed.

As days went by, I liked this camp even more. These people seem rather normal. I’m getting used to all this ‘saved’ stuff, and sort of understanding a few things about it now too.

The last night there, serious yet fun speeches, skits, and songs were performed by a few groups of individual campers, along with the final message. My friend Willma an I were in one group of six, singing a humorous song with a biblical theme. (Willma is the farthest right and I’m next to her with that beautiful fluffed up hair.)


I’ll never forget watching all the people laugh as we sang.

Our song came to an end; time to sit down.

A little bit later, another lady about my age went up to sing a Christian song. Being I was unaware of any Christian radio stations, I never had heard that song she sang, and nothing outstanding stood out about it. I even thought her voice wasn’t that wonderful, but boy, I’ll still never forget it. God decided that evening, during that song, to unlock someone’s heart: mine.

To be continued.

1* – Press here to read what had taken place before this event.   

Marianne Petersen is a former volunteer at a local pregnancy help organization and is actively involved in her local pro-life community. She is also the author of a forthcoming memoir, God and Your Pillow. You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.

That ‘I’d Like to Forget’ Summer Continues