Running With My Book – Part 2

      – Running With My Book – Part 2 – 

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My last writing (1*) explained how, during a two-mile run I did every few days, most of my thoughts were about the book I was writing during that time. After a few years of writing went by, my thoughts began to run in an entirely different direction. “I’m almost done with my book. Wow! But now what?”

Run after run, thoughts turned into who, what, where, when, why, and how questions:

“Who should be my editor? What words, sentences, or paragraphs need to be fixed or taken out before I even try to find an editor? Where do I learn all the pros and cons about the different ways you can publish a book? When should I decide how to publish? Why can’t I keep 100 percent of the dollars my book sells for? (Man, was I dumb.)  How in the world do I decide all this without going bonkers?” 

These thoughts were just a fraction of how many I had. ‘Lord, please help me know what I’m writing,’ turned into ‘Lord, please help me know what I’m doing.’ 

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When not running, I was glued to Google, soaking in anything I could find on the internet to help answer these question.

 

 

Thankfully, my biggest step during all these months took place: I found my editor. “Thanks God, for spoiling me,” found a comfortable spot in the middle of all those other things pestering me as I ran.

My thoughts, however, still questioned if this was all going to work.

“Am I crazy? What have I gotten myself into? I might feel it’s totally my thing to self-publish, but does that just mean I’m totally crazy?” Thankfully, God’s sparks of encouragement kept me going, whether it was having me meet certain people, read the right website, or just keep me hearing that perfect song as I ran.

Speaking of perfect songs, it’s time I share another one. I already knew this song, but during a certain run it suddenly felt like it was written specifically for me. “Why is that lady who’s running wiping her eyes?” I’m sure people were questioning while driving by. Listen and see if you can tell why.

– Title- Already There by Casting Crowns.

This song is worded perfectly, being it was so hard for me to see where by book was going and where God was leading me. I just wish I knew how all my fears and all my questions were going to play out in a book-selling world that I have no way of controlling. Thankfully, I was reminded and assured that God is and was already there, knowing just how my book would turn out.

We all need to keep that fact in our minds. God is already ahead. His plans are perfect for His children. If you are one of His, then one day you too will stand before Him and look back at the life you’ve lived, enjoying the view, and seeing just how all the pieces fit. They may not seem to fit now, but be patient, for the time will come when they will.

Isaiah 40:31  – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Finally, my book was – drumroll please – DONE!

To be continued.

1* – Click here to read my last posting. 

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.

Running With My Book – Part 1

        – Running With My Book – Part 1 –     jog

Something’s going on with the book I’m publishing that I want to share. But first I thought it best I tell you about my entire jogging history. What? A jogging story? What in the world does that have to do with the story of my unplanned pregnancy? Here, let me explain.

No, I’m not one who runs mile after mile, one who doesn’t allow rain nor sleet nor snow to stop me. And I’m far from being one who partakes in those long fifteen-k runs. Nope, far from it. It’s more like two miles, a few times a week, and only if the weather isn’t too crazy. The main reason I run is to help keep my cholesterol level down and my energy level up. I will also go only, I repeat, ONLY, if my iPod or cell phone, filled with fast-paced songs, jogs right along with me. (I refuse t to hear my feet pounding on the pavement.)

For many years I only ran in the summer. (I’m an official wimp to coldness.) But, about five years ago I decided to try running all year. (Grow up, Marianne. Be tough.) Gloves, thick sweaters, and hoodies close by when needed. The pros that far outweighed the cons have kept me going. Something about running had me feeling that I was escaping life, allowing me to not only listen to my favorite music, but think of things I couldn’t so easily think about when in the house.

After those first six months ‘ran’ by, I realized one main thought always came along with me: my book.

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Thinking about God and Your Pillow encouraged me to keep writing. I mostly thought about what had taken place and where I was in my book. “I for sure have to include that,” or “No way will I put that in,” were common thoughts as my feet pounded down that sidewalk. Thoughts of how God showed He was with me in those parts of my life stood out as well

 

 

The question if all these thoughts were truly going to turn into a real book also ran along, causing praying to take part during those runs.

‘God, I need your help. I cannot, in any way, shape, or form, do any of this without Your guidance.”

And, of course, I couldn’t help but make words from the songs apply to my writing as my feet pounded to the beat.

Here’s an example – “All Things Possible,” by Mark Schultz.

Even when it feels like the light is fading (in my book writing) and I’ve lost my way,

Still I’m holding on to the one who’s making all things (my writing a book) possible.

And even when it feels like my heart is breaking, hold on. There is strength. (man, I need it.)

Knowing I belong to the one who’s making all things (even writing a book) possible.

 

Giggle if you want, but somehow it helped keep me running and writing.

I’ll share a bit more of why I’m telling you all this next time, but for now, I encourage you to think of a time you have to escape life on a routine basis. Do you? If not, make one. Not when you’re giving that needed attention to your kids, or working on your computer, making those phone calls, or any other mind-working necessity, but a time you might be away from your normal surroundings, when your mind can routinely escape for a bit.  Because, just like the song says, that time might help you hold on and help you remember you belong to the one who’s making all things possible.

 

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.

   

Worry Turned into Peace

         – Worry Turned into Peace –

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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.

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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’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.

How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’

             – How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’ –  

 

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. 

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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’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.