Two of The Best Words Ever Said

 – Two of The Best words Ever Said –

 

hearts_311771Being I post my stories
In the middle of each week
I have to say today’s is extra special
Why? Here, I’ll let you take a peek

Ever since Chris and I met
I knew he was for me
I don’t even want to imagine
How living without him would be

Thirty years ago today I said
Two words still solid and true
What are those two words, you wonder
Those two simple words, ‘I Do’

 

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June 12, 1988

 

(This poem will now continue with one of our favorite wedding gifts that’s still on our wall.)

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Yes, thirty years does stand out just a hair, but that’s not the reason I’m sharing this. My main purpose is to show others that if Christ is your guidepost in your marriage, through thick and thin, good chance your anniversary number will get bigger.  Just remember . . . Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Cor: 13:4-7 (NKJV) –

I’m sure not saying it’s easy, but as Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26

 

Hard to imagine, yes
that Marianne is now a poet
It’s not just you that thinks that way
It’s even been hard for her to realize it

(Okay, so maybe I’m not that great of a poet.)

 

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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.

Attitude of Gratitude

                  – Attitude of Gratitude – 

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There is a sentences I often find myself thinking. It is that spark I need to lift me up.

Keep that attitude of gratitude.  

Attitude of gratitude: making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things in life.

Sometimes it may seem like being grateful is almost impossible. Yet the truth is, no matter your situation, you do have something to be grateful for. How in the world can I find gratitude in the two stories I’ve been sharing that I’ve had to endure? (1* 2*) One is that I’m grateful my two ordeals went by much more positive than others who have had to go through trials similar to mine.  The main reason, however, is what I have glued to my heart: God knows what He’s doing.

As our heaimagesrt and mind go through health or relationship trials, we have to believe that God knows what He’s doing. He’s never failed us before. His ways are higher than our ways. His love and goodness will endure. The timing of it all is perfect. Keeping these thoughts can sure help us going through those ups and downs in life.

 

So why don’t you right now reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want, but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have. Just role these thoughts. 1- Accept the fact tough times do show up. 2- Know you are not alone. 3- Realize that not every thing is the worst it ever could be.

If you concentrate on what you do have, knowing God knows just what you need, you’ll start to believe you really do have it made.

John 14:1 – Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

1* – Opening up the trial of my unplanned pregnancy.

2* – Opening up the trial of my brain illness I endured. 

 

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.

Three Important Questions – Part 1

 – Three Important Questions – Part 1

 

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Have you ever been to a conference? Have you ever spoken at a conference? Have you ever had a deep-down inside question finally answered after a conference? Why do I ask these three questions? Because after this last weekend, I can say ‘yes’ to all three. Let me explain the first two.

Sure, I’ve been to conferences before, but this was my first time going to one in my area for people who have suffered from a brain illness call encephalitis. This was my first time I got to meet many who, like me, look fine & dandy on the outside, but who’s brains sure don’t work fine & dandy on the inside. No way was I going to miss this conference, especially since it would be given by that encephalitis website I found years before. (1*)

Being I’m one who lives here, six or so weeks before, I was asked to be the opening speaker, sharing whatever I felt is best about my illness. As I pondered and prayed, a few days later I said yes.

I had what I was going to say all figured out before I drove to the hotel. Peace with how it was going to end, however, was not totally there. I planned to share what I went through with my illness, ending it with how I was determined to work ten times harder than most people need to in order to meet a few big goals I’ve had.  I wanted to encourage them by having them see that if I could do it, they could too. All I was thinking about while driving to the conference was how I wish I had a little extra spark to end my speech with. Then this song came on.

 

 

“That’s it! This song has encouraged me this last year. The words are perfect! ”

I pulled over, pulled my phone out, and pulled out the words of that song. (I love google.)

songFrom start to finish, I was finally at peace with what I was going to say.   The wording of that song, I felt, was the perfect spark needed to explain my main point of telling my story. And when someone the next day told me how that song was perfect to hear, I grinned ear to ear.

 

 

God sure heard my thanks to Him for, again, timing things perfectly. This time it was the timing that perfect song came on.

But before I end, I want this song to encourage you as well. Do you feel like you are on empty? Do you feel like all your efforts just don’t mean anything, and that nothing good is coming out of all your attempts? do you find that question “When God?” forming? If you know what you are doing is truly worth it, pray for God’s guidance and perseverance as you keep giving it your all.

Galatians 6:9 — And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Romans 5: 3-4 — And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

1* – Click here to read how I found that encephalitic support group.

 

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.

God Knows What He’s Doing

           – God Knows What He’s Doing –

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I bet we all know people whose lives have been dramatically affected by health issues, a financial crisis, or marital/family problems. I also bet many of you can say you yourself have gone through major trials such as these.  The important thing to remember in the midst of each and every crisis is that God is in control.

My favorite way of putting it is that God knows what He’s doing. He really does. He is not surprised by the events, and He is not unsure how He is going to take care of His children. Sure, it’s easier to put our trust in Him when things are going great. We must, however,  remember to think that way when it looks like everything is falling apart.

The words of this song explain it well.

 

He’s shown me through the two storms I’ve endured that He never left my side. (1*) (2*) The Lord telling me “I’m with you,” I may not have heard with my ears, but sure heard in my heart. Tears were there, as I’m sure most of you have had, but, as the song says, every tear you’ve cried He holds in His hand.

Proverbs 3: 5-6  — Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Phil 4:19  —  And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ

Notice in both verses we read the word “ALL.” It doesn’t say “some” or “most,” but it says that He will meet all of our needs. It doesn’t say how He will meet our needs, and I have found from experience the way He does it is often not what I expected. But the bottom line is that we all must cling to the fact that God is faithful.  He does what He promises and what is best for us.

1* – Click here to read the first posting of my first trial that my book is about.

2* – Click here to read about the second life affected trial

 

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.

 

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

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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.

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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.  

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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’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.

 

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

                     – 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.

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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 Wanna Forget’ Summer

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

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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 . . .

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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’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.