Two Special Sayings

                   – Two Special Sayings – 

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Do you have a few words or a saying you like to use? Maybe they are ones that either you created yourself or got else where. I know I do. For many years, these two have been my favorites: God knows what He’s doing and God’s Timing is Perfect.

I use these off and on, to fit into this and that, here and there, day in and day out. I’m bringing this up now because this time each year a tear forms as I remember God’s timing was perfect when He showed me He knew what He was doing.

Most are reading this on December 19th, 2018. This certain event, however, occurred on December 20th, 1990, and that’s why it’s on my heart now. Here is a past blog that explains what took place back then. If you haven’t read it before, then please do, for it will explain to you how God plans when and where things take place. After all . . . God knows what He’s doing,

      Click here to read story that proves how God’s Timing is Perfect.             

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How about you? Does something specific come to mind where God showed to you His hands were right there? Was there a time it was obvious He knew the right time and right place for you to be? Think about it, and I bet something will come to mind. Ponder on it. Keep it in your heart. Believe me, it will give you a bit more peace when the next big thing unexpectedly pops up. After all . . . His plans are perfect.

Why don’t you now briefly share how God let you know His hands where carrying you. I love hearing other’s stories.

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.

 

 

Because You Love Me – Song #4

         – Because You Love Me – Song #4 –

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Have you ever cried the first time you heard a song, or as that saying goes ‘balled your head off’?  I sure have. One certain song called Because You Loved Me, by Celine Dion, sure did that to me. Still to this day it dampens my eyes. 

It has me think of the brain illness called Encephalitis I went through years ago. Not so much about me but my husband who went through it all right along side me. I couldn’t have made it through it without him. So as you listen to every word, you’ll see how it shares bits and pieces of just how he was my eye when I couldn’t see and lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. If you know my story, (click here for part of my story.) then I suggest you get a hanky. 

I could have chosen many different videos for this song but, as you begin to watch, you’ll see why I had to choose this one. Sure, it is opposite of who’s who, being I was the one laying down. I’m sure you’ll see why I wanted to use this version of this song.

 

 

It’s not just about my husband and the love he showed me, but also about God and the love He showed me. Now being close to twenty-nine years since, I still ponder on just how God carried me from the day it hit me to now. As the song says, He was my strength when I was weak. 

I want you to listen carefully, seeing if a person comes to your mind that was holding you tight through a tough trial? Or better yet, how God showed you much love, carrying you even tighter.  If this song words if perfectly for you as it does me, please let me know. 

#1- Click here if you haven’t yet read that part of 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.

 

Crowd – Five Minute Friday

          – Crowd – Five Minute Friday –

 

brainpuzzleillo-workedSometimes I don’t make sense to myself. I take that back. Quite often I don’t make sense to myself. For instance, one day I can’t wait to be with a crowd of people from church, some party, and the like. But other times, sorry but I’d rather be by myself.

What is it about crowds and me that sometimes don’t click? My memory problem is what I blame. Let me explain. God saw fit to have me endure a brain damaging illness years ago called Encephalitis  (‘E’ for short) Thankfully I am, I like to say, 90% recovered from it all but that 10% can sure be a pill: remembering names of people, places and things. I like to call it my ‘noun ailment’

Being around others, hearing most all popping up names, places and even sometimes things, I have to do a lot of extra thinking. Including myself in these talks is sure not easy. I give my ‘oh, really?’, my ‘Ya.. I know’, or just give that nodding-head look making it seem like I know all that’s being said. But deep inside I’m often thinking ‘I wish I could remember which person it is they keep talking about.’ or ‘I think that’s the same movie I saw last week. Not sure. I’ll just be quiet.’ 

What makes dealing with all of this bearable after all these years (notice I said bearable, not tearless-able) is knowing God saw it best I went though this back then as He still holds my hand though it now.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses,  (and even in a big crowd) for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

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I’ve shared bit’s and pieces of my story on my website but here is a different way to explain it. Click here to read. 

 

 

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 Third Birthday and a Blank Spot

      – 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                                                         

I Live Here? (Part 2)

            – I live here?  (Part 2) –

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As Chris began opening that door, I asked again, but this time just to myself, “I live here?”

 

 

 

That was the last sentence of my last post about the first time visiting my home while staying in the hospital. That illness called encephalitis affected my memory big time, keeping me from remembering anything about that sweet little apartment my husband, myself, and our two young daughters called home. (1*)

As I felt uncertainty about all that was around me, my husband opened the door. There I was, standing in my home that, to me, felt like the first time. Pretend it was your first time visiting your friend’s new place. You go in, begin looking around, curious at what you see. Even though I had lived there a few years, that is exactly how I felt.

Once inside, one of the first things I noticed was my mom, who was standing in the living room with my two daughters. She held our six-month-old, Trina, as our three-year-old, Cassie, was standing there glued to her Grandma’s leg. I did recognize the girls, since they had visited me a few times in the hospital, but not instantly. After all, that was my first time seeing them outside the home I was used to: the hospital. Sad to say, but having a Mommy-type feeling toward them was still hard to find.

“This is where all four of us live,” Chris said, as he and my mom sensed a cloud of questions floating over my head while looking around.  They knew not to overflow me with information about the things I was looking at. Slowly I began asking questions about those things that stood out.

 

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“Who gave this to me?” “How long have we had this?” “Do we use this a lot?” “This is a paper towel, right?”

 

 

I’m sure I more than once asked, ‘What is this?’ After all, things like a microwave, rocking chair, or changing table, were things I didn’t recall seeing before.   

“It’s time we now go downstairs,” my husband said, finally sensing I was enjoying looking around.

“Oh, cool! More neat stuff to look at,” and down we all went.

“You mean all these clothes are just mine? This shower is a lot bigger than that one at the hospital. I know what those are,” I said with a grin. “Toothbrushes! Is this one mine? It’s  yellow, right?”

And now the one thing I can perfectly picture me saying. “So this is where I sleep?” feeling all around while sitting on it. “This bed is huge!”

Remember, I was only familiar with twin-sized beds from both hospitals.

I stayed on my bed most of the time in the hospitals, so of course seeing that bigger bed stood out.

The things I saw that, to this day, stand out the most:

“What are those little boxes? They sort of look funny?” I asked while looking under my bed.

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Looking under my bed? Yep. By this point I was having fun looking above and below, inside and out of almost everything. 

“I don’t know,” Chris answered. “but they do have a certain look that gives me a clue what they are. Let’s pull them out.”

Chris and my mom must have giggled inside, knowing that was the best time for them to explain what wrapped Christmas gifts were all about.  My face must have had the same look of excitement as a little kid who is about to unwrap Christmas presents.

“I wanna see what I got for people,” I said, grinning from ear to ear.

Of course I forget what they were, but I do know I’ll never forget sitting on my huge bed, my three-year-old-daughter, Cassie, who was now a bit more comfortable standing closer to me, hoping she would get to see a gift that was meant for her. 

Christmastime, ever since, is very special to me when watching little kids open up gifts. And I believe it’s because I got to experience opening up Christmas presents as a twenty-three-year-old little kid.

1* – Click here to read I Live Here? (Part 1)

 

Marianne Petersen is a member of Northwest Christian Writers Association and author of a forthcoming memoir about her experience with encephalitisYou can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more at her blog, MariMemiors.com.

God’s Puzzle Began Making Sense

       – God’s Puzzle Began Making Sense –

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God’s plans and timing are perfect, as my first blog about my encephalitis shows.

What started as one crazy puzzle seemed to have many pieces thrown all around. Thankfully, however, a few important pieces were obviously put together by God that first day. He knew when and where it was best to place me when I had my seizure, and who was best to have right there with me. –

That day I left the hospital, eighteen days later, was also perfectly planned.  

If you are assuming that God’s plan for me was to be going home that day, with a quick stop at McDonald’s on the way, you are wrong. That stop was on my way to another hospital.

The first hospital I went to was the closest for the ambulance to take me to on that snow-filled day in December. It was there that it was discovered I was, for the most part, physically fine. Much worry still, for they realized that my brain was far from being fine and needed more care.  1* 

They knew a hospital that specialized in brain damage was a must. The car ride that day—shared in my last blog—was to my next new home, the next hospital where I had to spend a few more weeks. -2* 

This part of the story shows, again, how God went the extra mile in planning, with love, this entire ordeal He knew I needed. That second hospital, a forty-five-minute drive from the first hospital, wasn’t even two miles away from Chris’s parents’ home. But that’s not it. They both WORKED at that hospital! Yes, you read it right. Both his parents worked there. Their hours were very flexible, and both were able to help immensely. I can’t write enough how thankful I am for that simple fact. Dorothy, Chris’s mother, was able to adjust her hours to help watch one or both of our two girls from the start. Their home was the perfect spot for Chris and the girls to spend many nights while I was in that hospital – literally – just down the street.

Having been sent to that second hospital showed us that God was putting a few more puzzle pieces together.  It sure felt like it was one huge puzzle, but we were comforted knowing God was the one who made it. 

As I started my next chapter of recovery, God kept His fatherly love right there. Even though the ‘why, God?’ question was still floating around, knowing my brain wasn’t affected nearly as much as it could have been sure helped. And, knowing that God was there helped the most. brainpuzzleillo-worked

We all just hoped He would put that puzzle—me—back together very soon, and that no pieces would be missing.

 

 

 

 

 

1*  – Click here to read a bit what it was like for me in that first hospital

2*  – Click here to go to my last blog

Treadmill + Math = Hope

            Treadmill + Math = Hope

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I’ve shared before now what went on inside that hospital when it was discovered I had brain damage from what’s called encephalitis. Twenty-eight years ago is when the hospital had become my new home, since I was not remembering much of anything before the illness hit me. But what about my family and friends?  Something about having their own friend, daughter, sister, mom, or wife in the hospital, with brain damage, put a big dent in their Christmas joy. A few even told me it was the toughest Christmas season they had ever had.

Cassie, our three-year-old daughter, however, was actually having a ball. A few families from church who had children her age graciously let her stay at their homes. That sure helped to keep her mind off of what wasn’t making sense to her: me.  My mother, mother-in-law, and a dear family from church helped immensely with watching our six-month-old baby. All this comfort and support took a load off of Chris, as his heaviest problem was taking in all the information he was obtaining from the doctors. Everything he was finding out about me was shadowing him with fear and tears, since he didn’t know if I would remember what being married even meant.

I, however, had no idea what was going on outside that room. I just stayed in my bed, listening to the doctors as they tried to get my body and brain functioning as close to normal as possible. 

Happy to say, there was noticeable improvement as each day went by, showing them more and more what I could remember. For example, my dearest friend, whom I had a small inclination of who she was, came by to visit one of my last days there. She came holding one thing that made my day: a Diet Coke. I was excited when I saw that because I recognized it! I gazed up and down the can as I read everything on it. Not sure what diet meant, or what pop even was, but man, oh, man, was I glad I remembered something about that can.

Were those days difficult? Yes. Sad? Yes. Worrisome for many? Yes. But thankfully, the doctors could tell that physically I was getting back to normal, so they allowed me to begin jogging on a treadmill a few times each day. I loved it! They then added one thing to that.

“As you’re jogging, look at this screen. Tell us what these things called numbers make you think.”

 

Up on a screen I saw . . .math facts

2+2 =

5+3 =

6+1 =

9+3 =

 

I was a little confused at first, but it was only a few minutes until it clicked.

“4; 8; 7; 12.”

“Good job!” I then did more with longer lists. “Wow! You answer those fast.” I’ll never forget how overjoyed I felt. Giving the correct answers gave them more proof that my brain was holding memory from my past.  There was hope!

This illness could have caused many physical problems. One main factor of what effects would show was where in the brain the illness hit. Thankfully, the area it hit me did not cause any permanent physical damage. To this day, God hears me thank Him for keeping me from most of the physical problems it could have caused.

I can’t help but think how, in the Bible, Paul, himself, had a physical ailment. It shows how he was at the same time “sorrowful” yet still “rejoicing.” And that’s how I am to this day about what hit me. My brain suffered much, yes, but I do find thankfulness wrapped up in it all with the fact I stayed physically intact. But more so because God has used it to confirm I am one of His. Even though it wasn’t understandable to me at the start, I knew there was something special between me and this man named Jesus. 

We all need to recognize, like Paul, that peace can exist somehow, somewhere, during a trial. It may take a while to find, but it’s there. We just need to keep our focus on Christ and what’s right in order to have joy in our ‘Why, God?’ trials.

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Can you share any story of your own about how a speck of peace was felt during a tough time? We all need to be reminded that peace and trial can go hand-in-hand.