– My Fourth-of-July Thought That Didn’t Finish –

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         A fun-filled family-and-friends Fourth of July. Say that ten times fast! That would be easier to do than for me to forget a certain day that changed my life. Time I go back a few years and tell you about one certain Fourth of July thirty years ago was great, or at least I thought it would be.  But that one night of fireworks was sure different from all the ones before and all the ones after. As people were having a blast, literally, with fireworks, I asked myself this one certain question that certainly changed my life.

      Why is my period a few days late? Hmmm. That couldn’t mean I might be preg. . .

         That question stopped halfway through the last word—pregnant. My heart began to pound a bit faster. My thoughts continued. No, I can’t. Pregnant? Could I? No. Please, no. I have plans. I have goals. I can’t be pregnant.

          I wasn’t only thinking I might be pregnant, but instantly felt that if I was, I’d then be stereotyped as someone who just doesn’t know what she’s doing, and might be looked down upon by many.

          But I’m a Christian. I can’t. 

         Yep, being a Christian made me feel even worse with the possibility. Twenty-million questions were forming as I faked a smile while watching everyone else having fun. 

         “Marianne, you want to light this firework?” I was occasionally asked as I sat on one of the picnic chairs.

         “No, thanks. You guys are better at that. I’ll just sit here and watch,” while wishing I wasn’t thinking about what I was thinking about.

         Even though I was surrounded that Fourth of July night with dear family and friends, those thoughts I was having made me feel totally alone.

         The worry I felt that night placed me in the shoes which, sad to say, many go through. But back then, in 1986, I knew very few who had. That night, however, made me begin to realize how even God-fearing Christians can mess up, being that I was, at age nineteen, one of them. An instant new perspective on life began that Fourth of July.

         So why am I opening up with this story? To share what God did for and to me through this ordeal, in the hope to encourage others, no matter whats going on.  I want my story to help others realize that clinging to Him can help wipe those tears, even while perhaps bringing the best surprises their way.  Or even if the tears keep coming, He’s at least holding you, helping you get through it. 

         My memoir, Titled God and My Pillow, will, Lord willing, be out this spring to show how God carried me in His arms through it all.  No easy walk, mind you, but He held me tight throughout.

 

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 Fourth-of-July Thought That Didn’t Finish

             – Way – Five Minute Friday –

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We often hear the same word placed in a few different sentences.

She does things her way. — He does things his way. — I’m going to do all this my way.

Can you see what word is in all three sentences?  Way – This word has stood out to me for years, sort of the theme of my very own book I wrote to help others think the right way. It’s a book about how I once thought, years ago,  I could walk on the road in life my way. Man, was I wrong. 

God had me see through a tougher than normal trial that God’s way is what we should be following. But knowing we still mess up, and still have certain sins tucked deep inside, we may need to take a rough road to discover we can’t follow His way if we put ourselves first. My story shows that God does forgive, and if He sees us working our tail off getting back on that right road, HIS road, He’ll then get up back on the right way – HIS way. 

 

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.

 

Way – Five Minute Friday

      – My Third Birthday and a Blank Spot –

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We all naturally think a birthday marks that special day a person was born. But I like to say I’m one who had three birthdays. The first of all three was when I popped out of my mommies tummy fifty years ago. (1*) Yep. Good ol’ April Fools day.

My second birth, September 10, 1985, was when God graciously had me start a new life with a new heart, soul, and mind, letting me know I was one of His children. (2*) One word – AMEN to being born again!

That 3rd Birthday, on December 20th, is what I’m talking about now being it’s this date another new life for me began. Twenty-seven years ago God knew it best for me to endure a certain type of brain damage. One that, in a way, had me start a new life. He knew it best that day start a total of five weeks at two different hospitals. Not much made sense to me during those weeks. Speaking of sense, God knew it best for me to even loose two of my five senses for a while. To top it off, God felt I, along with family and friends, needed to go through months of worry, fear and uncertainty. And even to this day, He sees it best to keep it difficult for me to remember who or what many people, places, and things are and/or called. You’re right, not fun. Not much fun at all. (3*)

But when every December is here, I can’t help but thank God for that day. What, Marianne? Are you crazy? Thanking God for December 20th, when that traumatic brain injury you were forced to endured began?

Yes, and I’ll do my darnedest to explain why.

Life was almost back to normal as years went by. Noticed I said almost.  Much was still difficult because my brain had been perminatley damaged. Things going on all around me were – and still are – hard to keep track of.  Pulling out many historical facts or even current affairs that many can just relax while thinking about were (are) darn-right difficult for me. Pursuing things that took much thinking to do was almost impossible as well. Just doing the necessities of being the mother of two, and later four, even with the most helpful husband in the world, was all I could grasp. What did I focus on aside from getting through day by day? The best thing possible: God.

empty-headIt’s like my brain had tons of open space back then, being so many facts and information were now gone. If I wasn’t able to fill it with all the other facts surrounding me, then I just got my simple mind loading up with Christ centered thoughts instead. Details and facts about Jesus sure weren’t picture perfect right after being hit with my illness, but I knew He was my support – who ever He was. The more I was remembering about Him, via reading or hearing, the more I appreciated His presence inside my heart. As years went by I found myself grasping onto Him more than before, feeling He was holding me more tight than before my illness. To this day I still feel that way being the fact my mind just can’t pop up different people, places, and things to just start thinking about. (I jokingly say I have a noun problem.)

I’ve learned that the best way to fight emptiness is to fill it with the best thoughts possible, and I can’t help but encourage you to do that as well.  How? 1- Get in the habit of thinking of our Lord . . . often.

Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in peace whose mind is stayed on You.

And 2- look at what’s good, not bad, with the trial you have or might be going through.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.

Remember, I love songs. This one stands out being it has those words I’m with you. They are words I often feel God tells me. As this song describes, sometimes God calms the storms in our lives, and sometimes He just rides them with us. If you remember how that very tear we cry He holds in His hands and never leaves our side, you will still praise Him in the storm . . . and even years later.

Even though a few tears of sadness from what took place may still show up as years go by, as they still occasionally show up for me right around this time each year, let your thoughts of God replace any negative thoughts that may have formed. Or perhaps you’re more like me, letting thoughts of Him, for the rest of your life, fill in that little blank spot.

 

1* – Birthday One  2* – Birthday Two     3* – Birthday Three                                                         

My Third Birthday and a Blank Spot

            – Ready Or Not . . . Here She Comes: Part 1 –

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So there I was, home from that extra energetic concert where not swaying back and forth with every song, along with thousands of other fans, was impossible. (1*) I admit, I might have been a bit crazy going to that concert knowing the due date of my baby was only a few days away. But I’ll be honest. I had to. I was just days away from giving birth and being an unwed mother with at least fifty new things in life I’d have to get use to. Until then, I had to take any opportunity I could to think of just me, myself, and I.

Going to bed that night was the best it had been in weeks. Any comfort laying down in bed was still lacking, sure, but thinking of that amazing concert and all that my best friend and I gabbed about made those aches and pains not as miserable. Difficulty moving around on my bed with my future daughter in my tummy just didn’t irritate me as much. I’m sure my pillow even sensed more enjoyable thoughts I was having that night before it heard me thank God for that evening.

 

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Falling asleep was so much easier then many nights before.

 

 

 

I just wish I could have felt the same way that next morning. Waking up quite a bit earlier than normal, moving around in bed with a lot more uncomfort, I sensed something was up. You’d think I’d just go back to thinking how great the evening before was, but no. What ever that extra odd feeling was took over.

Okay, what’s up? Am I just extra soar from going to the concert? I know, even though it’s only six o’clock, I’ll just get up in a few minutes and eat something. 

Suddenly I learned something. That very minute I finally found out what those three words – your water broke – meant.

To be continued.

1* – click here to read about going to the concert. 

 

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.

 

 

 

Ready Or Not . . . Here She Comes : Part 1

                          – Ready or Not . . . –ec58bf0d437da63dd1fd40ab41a4c229

My new life as an unwed mother was just a hop, skip, and a jump – and a push – away.  It was to be any day now that I’d be experiencing what giving birth would actually be like, and what having the name ‘Mom’ would feel like. Was I ready? Do dogs meow? Of course not!  Having that feeling that God, family, and friends were right next to me was why I was the most ready I could be. 

Days before the due date, 99.99% of my thoughts were centered around that due date. Thankfully, that .01% left was taken up by something I was extra excited to be part of.  I’ll let my book, God and Your Pillow, explains what took place March 8th, 1987.


God and Your Pillow – Chapter 11

You’ve heard the old saying ‘Never go to an energetic concert a few nights before your due date,’ right? Okay, I made that up, but I can’t help but give advice to you all. Don’t go to an energetic concert a few nights before your due date. Even if it’s a Christian concert. If my pillow could scream, I’m sure it would have told me what a crazy idea that was. 

In a few days my life would change majorly, so this concert was a perfect distraction. What a great time, just hanging out with Willma, surrounded by tons of other people, listening to music we loved, knowing every word of every song. 

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I sure noticed people looking at me, most likely thinking I was a bit crazy being there with my stomach sticking ‘out to here,’ but oh well, I didn’t mind. After all, I felt great. We had a ball just singing right along with people crammed all around us. One of those concerts where everyone stood up the entire time, swaying back and forth.

Concert done. Willma and I totally enjoyed it. Darn it, back to real life. 

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I’ll never forget that night. Since weeks had been going by with major discomfort when ever I went to bed, going to that concert was perfect to distract me from all that pain. God knew it was best for me to simply go have some fun and escape life for a spell before my next chapter in life would begin. 

 

imagesCan you think of any time He’s done that for you? Try. Try to think of some larger than normal ordeal you were waiting for. Or, maybe it was something you had no idea was going to take place. Can you then think of something that may have happened shortly before that occurred, where God was just letting you know He wanted you to enjoy your surroundings a bit more than normal being, perhaps, something difficult was soon to follow. Could He have done that to remind you He is your Father who just wanted to pass onto you that little Fatherly love reminder?  There are a few other times throughout my story God showed that to me, proving again and again He cared. He cares for you, too. 

Now, back to my story.  

If you listen to one of the many songs my friend and I heard that night, you’ll understand how it was impossible to just sit down and relax. You’ll also understand why I like to blame that concert for what happened early that next morning.

 

 To be continued.

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.

Ready or Not . . .

                                – Vacation –


Vacation

“Be patient. Be patient, Marianne. You and the man I gave you may have to wait until all your kids I blessed you with are all out before you two can really go out on one cool and relaxing vacation. Remember. Patience is a virtue.”

 

Now sure, God didn’t say those exact words to me years ago, but it sure feels like it now. Having four kids, homeschooling many of those years, being pretty much a one-income family, we just couldn’t do much vacationing aside from camping off and on in life. (Which were all awesome, by the way.) Or, if we did stay in a hotel, it wasn’t the most relaxing atmosphere. No real planned, day after day hotel stays of just him and I. No real ’Heck, since it’s only you and I here, we’ll do this and, heck, get this thing as well.”

 

None of that until – drum roll please – when my husband and I got our first taste of that a few years ago.

What? Just my husband and I? Really?  Yep. And those hotels even come with a hot tub ! We’ve even been able to do a few more afterwards. 

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I thank God, and take being able to do this now as His way of saying – “Marianne, you and your hubby have worked your tails off raising your kids. You deserve a vacation. Maybe you did have to wait until all the kids I gave you were moved out, but as you can see . . .it was well worth the wait. 

 

 

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.

 

Vacation – FMF