What Name To Leave For Yourself

     – What Name To Leave For Yourself –

 

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What is your middle name? You may not have heard by now but I was not given a middle name. Don’t worry, it’s never bothered me. As a matter of fact, I’ve had fun making my own to fit with how I feel at the time. More often than not, I just relax and enjoy calling myself Marianne No-Middle-Name Petersen.

My name this time last year went from Marianne Me-and-My-Book Petersen to Marianne Only-Jesus Petersen. Let me explain.

A few months before this last January 1st showed up, there was a deeper need to make a deeper commitment in how I was going to publish my book.

“I have to decide. I have to decide if I need to find a publisher or self publish my book,” I kept telling myself. I needed to choose the best way to get the book, along with me, myself, and I out into the world. “I know. Instead of making a new-years resolution to decide, I’ll sort of twist a new-years resolution around, and make myself decide by the last day of 2017. Perfect!”

Now sure, I could share all the reading, studying, and website devouring I had done those last few months, but I won’t. Instead, I just want to share what my heart learned as those last few months of last year went by. But first, start the song below. The words can explain better than I can why I changed my name.

(Ignore little commercial that might show first.)

As I was getting lost in the light of thinking how to make a mark, how to get my book out into the world, I felt too much it was my job. It was up to me  how to make me and my book something the world would remember. But something happened. I began realizing that I was focusing too much for my own legacy. I was getting a little lost in trying to get the world to remember my name. A few things popped inside my heart, having me see I was focusing a bit too much on Marianne Get-Known Petersen.

Slowly but surely I began to decide, by God opening my eyes even more, that not my name, but His name is who the reader is to remember. I soaked in more of the fact I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me, but rather Jesus. Those few months I began thanking God how He was having me see even more what the true reason for my story was for: to get others to see Him instead of me. I want my life to prove there is only one, and that one is not me.

Now sure, I still do have hope, followed by much prayer, that many do read my book and pass along a ‘thank you’, but my goal is for them to remember Jesus far more than myself. I want my efforts to point to Him.

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Back to why ‘Only-Jesus‘ became my new middle name? Because His name is the only name in my book to remember.

 

 

 

What’s your middle name? I promise, if you change it in your heart to Only-Jesus, you get the best trophy of all.

 

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.

If interested, Click here to read a past post sharing a bit what my book is about.  

Thankfulness In The Future

          – Thankfulness In The Future –

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Okay everyone, time to make that list. Time to make that list of a few things you’re thankful for. Just in case you are wondering the latest thing on my list, it would be how thankful I am this year to be daring. For the first time ever, I’m venturing to make this years Thanksgiving stuffing FROM SCRATCH !  But instead, I think I’ll share how thankful I am that my immediate and extended family truly enjoy getting together, with or without homemade stuffing.

I’ve talked recently here about thankfulness; past and present. But what about the future? Of course we all hope for peace and health, right along with prosperity. But what about that little rolled up pile of fear many carry in their back pocket.

We’re all aware of the craziness along the Mexico border. And how about that huge fire that’s been going on in California. I think I’m safe to say that not one person affected by that fire is flooding with thankfulness in what the future hold these next few days or weeks. But what about problems that could be directly hitting you? Not fun to ponder on.

One important thing I learned that helps me plan and accept my future came from my past. Difficult at the time, yes, but sometimes God puts us through larger than normal trials to strengthen us for our future.

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Twenty-Eight years ago I didn’t really plan to have an out-of-the-blue seizure which caused a major change in life to follow. (Click here to read a bit about that.)

Man, was that hard.  I’m sure it sounds crazy, but that ordeal in the past helps me know that, what ever trial will hit me in the future, God will know what He’s doing. That one fact wasn’t proven in the most relaxing, stress-free style way back then, but still proven. That one fact proven back then helps me think of my future with a bit more joy, peace, and comfort. His love cannot always be explained, but just remember . . . He knows what He’s doing.  (Click here to read my post to explain how He proved that to me.)

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I end now wishing you a great Thanksgiving, and to encourage you all to be giving thanks continually for your past, present, and future. Ponder on how much you’ve been given, do have, and will have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier as days, weeks, months, and years go by.

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Well, off I go, making sure I have all the ingredients needed for my very first stuffing from scratch.

(Come on, Marianne. You can do it.)

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.

 

Thankfulness From Your Past

           – Thankfulness From Your Past-

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With it being Thanksgiving season, no way could I not have thankfulness as my subject for a few weeks. Something I read recently caused me to think how whats taken place in the past can affect how thankful we are at life today. I totally agree.

Even though my upbringing in the past wasn’t picture perfect, and even though my past unplanned pregnancy wasn’t exactly what I dreamed of, (1*) and since I can easily say I would have preferred not to have gone through my past brain illness ordeal, (2*) a big part of me is still thankful for each trial. God covered me with the strongest umbrella of love, obviously keeping more difficult hardships from falling on me that could have occurred. Every little spot Christ proved He was there has me ready for what ever comes my way from now on. Yes, tears from sorrow still show. And yes, many times I do wish that certain things wouldn’t have happened. We all do. Yet looking at my past has sure helped keep me going through life, not worrying too much on what lies ahead.

Regarding past trials you’ve endured, can you see how God’s strong hands were carrying you? Give it some thought and I bet you can. And if so, then try to keep it floating in your mind a bit more than before. Don’t let those thoughts get pushed under the rug. Instead, allow your ‘past’ to encourage your ‘now’.

There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future.  – Eleanor Brown

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1* – Click here to read a bit about my pregnancy.

2* – Click here to read ab it about my 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.