Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts

                     – 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.

A Little Child Who Molded My Thoughts

                  – A Little Child Who Molded My Thoughts –

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How many of you have had a simple thing happen that stood out. Not a huge, mind-boggling experience, just something you witnessed day after day that glued to your heart, soul, and mind. Perhaps the reason it stuck to you was because something else you were dealing with connected some how to what you were witnessing. To see how this happened to me, read this short piece from God and Your Pillow, a book I wrote which opens up my life during my unplanned pregnancy.

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      A part-time job I got at the YMCA was enjoyable and filled up some of my empty hours. Looking after little kindergarten-aged children did a few things for me. It helped me pass the time; helped me make a little money; and helped me realize I’m going to have a child this age really soon.

       Kind of weird thinking the third one, that’s for sure. But I didn’t mind, for I was learning important things. Being the youngest of seven, I had never really been around younger kids on a daily basis. Sure, I did have a little time with Kelly’s two boys around, two years and four years old. But that didn’t count. I knew they were cute, crazy little boys, and I had fun being an aunt once every few weeks for a few hours. But seeing different kids at this daycare every day was profitable for me, realizing how parents play a big role in their child’s life.

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       I sensed something in one little boy, that his home life wasn’t that positive, and I can, to this day, still picture how his face was either sad or mad, with words to match his look. He caused me to think how I wanted my own baby to grow up instead, with sweet smiles to pass around.

 


 

I sure did my best to make that boy smile. I will be honest. It wasn’t easy being he was a bit tough to deal with. I kept to heart it was most likely because of what life was like in his home, cherishing every time I saw a smile on his little face. As those few months went by, day after day spending time with that boy, I made a vow to myself to make sure my baby would have love, joy, and peace while growing up.

And of course a few verses on this subject began standing out a bit more. Here’s a few.
Psalm 127:3-4  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

Mark 9:36-37 – Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

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“Oh, my goodness, ” I began thinking when eight months pregnant. “I’m already starting to think like a mom.”

 

 

Is there something that you witnessed that shaped you in who you are now? It’s often things we witness outside of our home that molds how we think and who we are. My next story will show something else that stuck to my heart while pregnant. However, It’s a bit different being it’s something I learned from inside my home.

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.

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’ –  

 

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‘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.

First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal

          – First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal –

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As some of you know, I have a book out  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.

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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.

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.

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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. 

 

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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’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.

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 6)

 

             Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 6)

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“I love all the weight I’m gaining in this unplanned pregnancy I’m somehow enduring as a nineteen year old,” said no one ever. Or at least I for sure was not thinking that thirty years ago during the pregnancy I endured at that tender age. So why am I bringing that up now? To share one more way God showed He was helping me though that pregnancy.

After sharing why I was thankful for my doctor, (1*) I’ll say here how all my visits to her were going fine as my tummy was noticeability growing. As months had gone by, all had been going a heck of a lot better than I had expected.  But the visit during my seventh month with her caused my mouth to drop as she told me some unexpected news. Let my soon published book – God and Your Pillow – explain.

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A bit overweight, big sweatshirts were my normal attire. And, of course, we all know the weight gained during pregnancy isn’t such an enjoyable fact to accept. But out of the blue, after I got my routine weight checked, she said, “No real worry, but I must say you are not the weight you should be by now.”
“Oh, great. I need to watch my weight? I’m gaining too much?” I asked.
“No. Actually, you haven’t gained the amount of weight that is normal. You need to eat a bit more for that baby. Are you dieting at all?” she asked.
“No. I’m not eating tons of junk, but not dieting.”
“Well, just eat more good food. More than you have been,” she instructed. “From now on, each time you come in, I want to see a few more pounds than the normal gain you should be showing. Understand?”
Understand? With the biggest grin, I understood.

Subway-Turkey-Italiano-Melt-620x345On the way to each doctor’s visit from then on, I stopped and grabbed a good old foot-long Subway sandwich across the street from the doctor’s office. After all, I had to make sure I would show the most weight gain possible, right? Since I currently live in the same area, I still giggle inside every time I drive past that Subway.


 

I’ll never forget that talk. Now sure, many may not instantly feel like giving God credit for being told they need to eat more, but I couldn’t help it. I felt He wanted to take that extra weight off my back (pun intended) of feeling fat during those last few months. I was already a bit over weight when I first got pregnant, so that visit was one of many other ways I felt God used to keep me hanging onto Him during the entire pregnancy.

I encourage you to ask yourself if it’s hard to find any joy in anything. Try to think of, as soon as you can, anything that brings a smile to your face. Thank God for it! Let me encourage you not to delay thanking God when you find any simple unexpected joy-filled news. Or how about those little things you unexpectedly come in contact with – even if it’s just that simple Subway sandwich.

Ephesians 5:20 – giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Can’t help but share one simple thing that would sure cause one huge  🙂  to show on my face today, as it did with what my doctor told me that day. To get new followers ! Follow me now to read more stories of how God carried me though this ordeal along with another savior trial I’ve gone through.  (3*) Thanks.

 

1* – Click here and read my last post about a perfect doctor.

2* – Click here for my first post about a another trial God carried me through
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.

 

 

 

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 5)

           – Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 5) –

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These last posts I’ve shared how God showed me true Fatherly love once I discovered I was pregnant, trusting Him more as those first few months went by. (1*2*3*  4*)

The next time He showed that to me was my first visit to my new doctor. Yep, time I see an OB/GYN. But being this took place thirty yeas ago, unable to just jump on the internet to see a long list of doctors to choose from, I just followed who our family doctor suggested.

Driving up to that hospital still feels like last week. I can picture what that building looked like, where I parked, and how it all looked at I walked in. But most of all I remember how nervous I was. How much of my story do I tell? Will she just consider me as one of those teens that messed up? Will I like her? Will she like me?

Thankfully, as soon as I walked in I was impressed. It was spacious and well kept. I had an instant comfort in a place I was uncomfortable to be in, if that makes any sense. After filling out the paper work and waiting a few minutes at this one table, in walked the Obstetrician. I realized right then she was the first stranger I had to tell my story to. A total stranger told me I was pregnant a few months before (5*) but this is the first stranger I had to share why and how I got to know I was pregnant.

Do I tell her more than she asks? Do I act all nonchalant and come across all happy-go-lucky, casually hearing all the pregnancy facts she passes my way? For all I know, I might cause her to dread each time I’d need to come in for a check-up, let alone the day of giving birth.

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Once meeting her, looking to be in her early thirties, I was relieved to tell she had a nice, warm, personality. After I simplified my story as to why I was pregnant, and after her giving a little pregnancy information, she began telling me a bit about her plan to serve as an OB/GYN in a third-world country.

 

‘Wow!’ I replied.

That then began us sharing bits and pieces of our faith, seeing that we were both Christians. Talk about instant peace! Talk about instantly thanking God, feeling again that He gave me just what I needed.

“But being I’m still here, Marianne,” she said, “I’m glad I’m now here to help you.” 

God knew it best I go through this soap opera pregnancy with a doctor who I’d have support-filled encouraging conversations with as months went by. From then on, each time I left that office, God heard me say the same six words: Thank you, Lord, for my Doctor.  Even today, that’s my first thought as I drive by that building.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Numbers 6:24-25  – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Why these verses? Because they are a few of many that describe how God cares, and if you need comfort, He’s there. It was obvious He was gracious, letting me feel He was carrying me on that road I was on. This time, His tool that let me know He was right there was a total stranger.

To be continued.

click 1* 2*  3*  & 4* to read past posts on different occasions God showed He was with me during my pregnancy.

click here – 5* to read when I was told I was pregnant.

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.