My Mouth Dropped

                      – My Mouth Dropped – 

wow.jpg We all know that saying ‘My mouth dropped!’  Has your mouth dropped after seeing something unexpectedly pop up? I bet you have.

I like to think that God had fun planning this one particular way of surprising me.

A few weeks ago, I got email from a book writers competition organization called American Book Fest stating my book was chosen to be one of the Award Finalists. Did I read right? My book was chosen? I felt like I had – time for that quote – died and gone to Heaven. But before I went there, I had to see how my book showed on the list. Those two words ‘Click here’ whispered to me to click.

“This should be interesting,” I thought.  – CLICK

The website showed up. As I scrolled down, the ‘Award Winners’ showed up first. Of course I would have loved to have seen my book next to that title, but I was still floating high having been chosen as an Award Finalist. One by one I scrolled down, with the pictures of each ‘Award Winner’ showing along with its information.

When will the Award Finalist list begin? How many are there? When will mine show?   

After checking that first Award Winner, I scrolled down.

Second one down… Award Winnerscroll to the next.

Third one down… Award Winner keep going. 

Forth one down… Award Winneroh, come on. Stop this list of winners.

Fifth one down… Award Finalist.

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The look on my face began to change.

 

 

 

Ten thousand questions began floating around in my head at eighty miles a second as I just stared at my screen. My eyes began crawling to the left of ‘Award Finalist’.

Where will mine show? How far down the list is my book? If it’s far down, then no one will really see it. Watch it be after oodles of others. Oh, please don’t be too far down.

All I was hoping to see in some near future was the picture of my book, along with its title, God and Your Pillow. 

If you want to know why I almost fainted in the middle of my next thought, check out this photo.

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I’m sure God couldn’t wait to see what my face would look like when I saw my book was at the very top of that Award Finalist list.  You read that right: TOP ! There’s one thing He still hears me say to this day: Thank you Lord.

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You have my full permission to share this posting with whom ever you please, and let others know God is full of surprises.

 

 

 

 – Click here to see the full website I ever-so happily found my book.  

 

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.

When To Let ‘YES’ Win – Song #1

         – When To Let ‘YES’ Win – Song #1

 

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Have you ever had something you’ve been thinking of doing?

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“Should I? I don’t really have time. I shouldn’t. But . . . but I want to. No, I shouldn’t. But maybe I should force myself. No. Don’t. Time just isn’t there. BUT I REALY WANT TO!”

 

Have you then had something pop up that encouraged you to finally do what you’ve thought of doing? However, you still don’t have that full 100% ‘YES’ swimming around in your mind.

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That is until something finally hit you. The word YES is highlighted, underlined, with an exclamation point attached.

 

 

That is exactly what It’s been like for me. Something has caused me to finally do that one thing I’ve been pondering on. A song is what encouraged me to go ahead and underline that ‘YES’. What’s funny is that a song has encouraged me to talk about, well . . . SONGS!

I can’t explain it all right now but I plan to share a bit more tomorrow. Notice I said ‘tomorrow’ which is a clue to what this is about. But for now, listen to this song, and see if you can tell why I’ve decided to let ‘YES’ win. After all, we’re stronger than we think we are. There’s a thunder rolling in our hearts. Pushing up against the dark. Yes, we’re stronger than we think.

 

 

 

Do you ever ask yourself if you should do something you keep telling yourself you want to do? If you lean towards doing it, Just don’t do it alone. You might be surprised. God might be wanting to do it right along with you.

 

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 Book, a Song, God’s Timing & You

                 – My Book, a Song, God’s Timing & You –

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Have you ever had one huge thought rolling in your mind while driving, and right then and there a perfect song starts to play? That happened to me a few years back. My thought? I was close to being done with my book’s first draft, and being I love music, I wanted to put a song at the end that would somehow help describe my story.

“What song should I put in? This won’t be easy to choose.”

There I was, driving with a Christian radio station playing as those thoughts were rolling right along. All of a sudden – “Oh, I’ve never heard this song before.” After the first verse I was glued.
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“This song’s a must! It fits perfectly with my story,” I thought as more verses went by and a few tears began. Tears didn’t form because I felt I found a song, but how each word described me to the ‘T’ in how I felt during my pregnancy. (I sure was glad no one else was in the car.) God’s timing was perfect for that song to play. To this day I, more often than not, think of that song when ever I’m on that street.

As soon as I got home I went to my computer and downloaded that song.

Business woman typing on keyboard

While hearing it at least ten times, deciding that song tied for first place on my favorite song list, I found the lyrics and began typing those words in my book.

I’ve mentioned my book, a song, and God’s timing. It’s time now to bring up the last: You.

As you listen to this song, think about you. If you feel at all like giving up on some tough ordeal you’re going through, if you see no end in sight, and have done all that you can, then think about what this song is saying. If you find yourself on your knees and feel far away from God, you best remember He’s right there. You’re not along. Stop holding on, and, like the song says, just be held.

 

 

As my last post shared, my book is available now to share my tougher than normal trial of an unplanned pregnancy. If you, or you know anyone going through one themselves, then pass word along to them of my book, God and Your Pillow. It’s to encourage, letting them know that they are not along.

Note – I realized later that I did not have the legal okay to show the words from that song in my book. If I was determined to wait forever and a day, then maybe. But for now, I just described a bit about the song and how it fits in with 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.

 

Running With My Book – Part 3

 – Running With My Book – Part 3 – 

jog

Now, where did I leave off?  Oh, that’s right. My last post ended with . . . 

My book finally was – drumroll please – DONE!  (1*)

Done. I love that word. With the book finally finalized, the next phase of publishing began: getting my book out of my heart, soul, and mind, and into people’s hands. That phase began this last winter of 2017 –  the winter whose weather was 80 percent to blame for why I didn’t run as often as I had the last four winters. Too cold, too windy, too wet too often. I blame my book for the other 20 percent. No way could I pull my running shoes, gloves, and extra-thick sweatshirt out of my closet, since that would prolong getting my book in readers’ hands. ‘Determined’ became my new middle name. 

“Hmm. I’d like a reason for my deadline. I know!  My next birthday isn’t too far but not too soon.” That’s it. I decided to work my tail off to get God and Your Pillow ready by April 1, 2018. This plan of attack was the main reason I was unable to find time to run even if the weather was okay. 

At last, decent weather, one month ago in early March of this year, plus a little free time: running shoes on, check; iPod in hand, check. I took off. As soon as my feet hit the sidewalk, as soon as that two-mile escape from life began, I realized something.

“I’m no longer thinking about what to write, how to write, who to find to do whatever is needed. Weird.” I’m sure those driving by noticed a little bit of a stunned look on my face. “There are only a few last little things to do before it—gulp—gets printed!”

Memory Lane Road Sign

Reminiscing thoughts began of what got me to start my book, how many years it took me to write it, how many people I’ve met, how much I had learned, plus more. But most of all how God had clearly shown me so much encouragement from day one. To God be the glory.

 

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April first has now passed. And I am happy to announce that even a few days before my birthday my book found a home on Amazon. (Determination can sure speed things up.)

 

 

 

 

With so many thoughts floating around that day, I had to run. “I can’t believe it. My book is now on Amazon. I can’t believe it,” ran right along with me.

Once home, I walked into the front yard (notice I said ‘walked’) and sat down on the outside stairs to let my breathing slow down before going inside. No song stood out as much as the one that began as soon as I sat. God must have known to save that song for the few tears He knew I’d have in the privacy of my fenced-in front yard. Why? The song speaks to how God was my strength, always there for me in my writing experience and that tender wind that carried me.

 

Do you have a goal? Do you have a plan? Please, let me encourage you.

You can meet your goal either in an instant or, as it was for me, after years of hard work. Give it your all, accepting the fact you might work your tail off and lose some sleep, but only to find out you’ll be rewarded with excitement.

My favorite verse says it perfectly on what to do with your goal.  

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Matt 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (like your own book in your own hand) shall be added to you.

Now sure, I still have work to do. Making the book is now done, so getting it out into the hands of readers is my next adventure. But it’s an adventure in that I’ll just pull up my sleeves, thinking that God’s pulling up His as well, as we say together, “Here we come, book world. LOOK OUT!”

 

1* – Click here to read last post.

 

Marianne Petersen’s book God and Your Pillow is now available. (Amazon) – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, marimemoirs.com.

 

Running With My Book – Part 2

      – Running With My Book – Part 2 – 

jog

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.

What If Many Tell You To Do Something

– What If Many Tell You To Do Something –

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 Has anyone ever said to you, “You should make one” or “You really should do it”? Come on, be honest. Most likely you have heard those words.  And I bet “No. I’m not one to do that” was your answer.  Off-and-on for years I kept hearing, “You should write a book about what happened.”  Each time my response was sweet and simple. “No, I can’t write a book,” and left it at that. As years went by, I then used the excuse, “No. I can’t write. Plus, it happened so long ago.”
But something happened that changed my way of thinking. It started after I found that Encephalitis website sixteen years ago. (1*)  About nine years later I got connected with a certain woman from that website who said she had noticed from my writing that I am a Christian, thus felt comfortable telling me her illness is what God used to show her need for Him. Well, of course I couldn’t help but want to chat regularly with her, telling her more about how God carried me though my illness. We then swapped e-mails and gabbed back and forth a few times each day.
“Hey, Michelle, I have an idea,” I typed after a few weeks went by.  “I can’t really share in one writing how I met my husband, so instead I’ll share a little bit each day.” But that meant I needed to tell her about my unplanned pregnancy first, and so I began.
Imagine writing something short and sweet once a day. Not much detail but just enough to share a point or two of what happened. Then a bit more of your story the next day, then the next. That’s what I was doing. Each day I shared the next very simplified detail of what I went through that I couldn’t leave out. I found myself enjoying typing out what God did for me just as much as when I’d face to face tell my story.
Here, read my journal from September 2008
…We’ve been e-mailing back and forth at least once a day. I’m now putting together a story to show her how God carried me from when I got pregnant and what followed. I love doing this.
After receiving each one, she would e-mail me back saying she loved what I was sharing. Now, keep in mind, they were short and simple. I think liking my writing classes in high school is why I enjoyed putting together a couple new paragraphs every day.
About six or seven days into it, she replied back with, “Marianne, would you mind if I copied those you’ve done so far and give them to a few friends of mine?  They could really use your story.”

You should have seen my face as I read that.

Really? Wow, that’s kinda neat.  “I guess you can, if you think it’ll help.” After she explained a bit about their ordeals, I wanted to write even more. Hmm. I think I’ll put a little more effort into it now.
A few days later, seeing how I was enjoying explaining my story, thinking of good ways to share what God had been doing with me back then, I sort of looked up and thought, Okay, God, are You trying to tell me something?
Two weeks later I wrote:
I’m still e-mailing my story every day and God’s allowing me to feel very useful, and now I’m actually beginning to think all these chapters could go toward a real book. We’ll see. It makes me now want to read what I wrote in my older journal. Should be interesting.
And it’s there I took off in praying, writing, praying and writing. 

So, time for a toast.

To my dear friend Michelle, who was the inspiration behind my book.       

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           ! CHEERS !        

But, more importantly, I end by thanking God for using Michelle as His final tool in getting me to write God and My Pillow

1*- click here on how I found the best website support group in the world.  

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.