Ready or Not, Her New Life Soon Begins

         – Ready or Not, Her New Life Soon Begins –

 

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How was your break from any routine life this last month or so? Have you gotten life all back to normal? A few months back, I took a break from sharing bits and pieces of my book called God and Your Pillow.  With projects, the holidays, visitors, plus more, I wasn’t able to keep up with sharing more about my book. Finally, with things slowing down, I’m now back to sharing more about the trial I went through, hoping to encourage others going though an unplanned pregnancy. But I also want to touch the hearts of all, showing that God is there with His perfect plans at His perfect time.

For those of you who have not read my last posting on this subject, or need a fresh reminder of my last, I’ll have you read it now before going on next week.                     Click  here to read. –  I’ll wait till you’re done.

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Glad you’re back. As you wait till next week when I continue, here is a bit more I want to share.

I grinned big time when something dawned on me during this break. My last story I wrote months ago, the story you just read, shared my last day I needed to only think of me, myself, and I. The first new writing after this long brake explains when my new life began. Perfect timing ! Perfect time to end my old me, and perfect time to start the new me.

Do you ever think how even something simple as that, like the perfect break between my writing, is in God’s hand. I know I didn’t plan that. I’d much rather think of something as simple as that to be in His hand than to just think ‘oh, that’s cool,’ and leave it at that. Are you like that? Do you find that the simplest things that bring you a smile are still a part of God’s plans? Try to remember in all times that God uses all circumstances, sweet and simple or, yes, even tough and terrible, to move His perfect plan forward.

Let’s just try to recognize that whenever you focus on your small or big plan, keep your thoughts focused on the planner. Like it says in Ephesians 1:1 – All things are done according to God’s plan and decision.

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Make sure you catch next week’s writing as my  next posting shows . . . ‘Ready or Not . . . Her New Life Began.’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With – Five Minute Friday

              – With – Five Minute Friday –

A perfect word to think about: With.

The first thing that popped to mind when I thought of that word this morning was how to start each new day with, hopefully, a bit more peace. How? Before getting up, have time with God.

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Why? Along with your pillow, He’s the very first one with you and your thoughts each and every morning. He already knows those first thoughts you are having about the day ahead. Many times we wake up with worries or joys, fears, stress, and concerns for others and/or yourself. Often we may wake up with a list of things to do that seem to have no end in sight. Let Him know your concerns, even if it’s just a few of these, before facing your day. Or maybe  just a simple time thanking Him for the new day ahead.

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Now sure, it’s not like every morning before your foot hits the floor you have all the time and energy in the world. Maybe you are one who’s mornings find it hard to even find your brain until that coffee cup is in your hand.

 

 

But think about it,  what better way to begin the day than to spend at least a little bit of your time with God before your feet touches that floor, and before you face the word.

I just know that sometimes thanking God for this cozy bed I’m on, the worm house I’m in, before asking Him, “Lord, please help me know what I’m doing today,” can sure make that very first step start as a bit more noticeable peace-filled day. And we all can use that more often than not.

So let’s all remember that, even before that sun comes up, that God’s right there, along with your pillow, and knows all your thoughts. Have time with Him.

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.

 

 

 

 

Even If – Song #17

                      – Even If – Song #17 –

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Do you ever have times you want to give up? Do you ever have times when the question “Why, God?” forms inside your heart, soul, and mind? We’ve all had hours, days, weeks, months, perhaps even years we’d love to shove under the rug. My life holds two times that stand out for me, along with other issues as more years have gone by. (1*) (2*)

This song is about those times, showing us how God feels it’s best for all involved in any trials we go through. This song is a bit different than others I’ve shown being I want you to hear what he says before he begins singing. As you hear his story, replace it with one of yours. Then, as you hear the song, let’s see if a bit more peace can be found inside your heart.

 

 

Life, as he said, can suck. What I have to deal with, I too can say can suck. But you know what? If God has decided to have my memory problem continue on for another twenty eight years, that’s okay. He has reasons. Still, songs like this I crave for that needed reminder that my Father still cares.

Even though God decided to have me go through what I have, and you go through what you have, let us both keep our hope in Him more than anyone or anything else. God may decide to make our mountain of trials feel unmovable, but our days can go by with more peace if we keep Him by our side. And if it’s needed, He’ll even hold us.

1* – My first posting of my first trial (unplanned pregnancy) 

2* – My first posting of my second trial (how/when brain illness decided to show up) 

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.

 

I Live Here? (Part 1)

                  –  I Live Here?  (Part 1) –

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What do you think it would be like for a twenty-three-year old to forget what Christmas is all about? Go back a few years, and that’s exactly what happened to me the Christmas of 1990.

A severe brain injury called encephalitis hit me hard December 20 that year, causing me to forget a majority of everything. (1*)  Working on getting my brain to move toward normality was taking place in the second hospital about three weeks after that brain injury hit. Thankfully, while in that hospital, a special afternoon outing took place about four weeks after Christmas. I got to visit my home for, what felt like to me, the first time.

Now I don’t recall who was with me besides my husband, who, of course, did the driving. No way could I drive, being I still had to get used to understanding how cars even worked.

My family of four lived in a six-plex apartment with two levels: the main level had the kitchen and living room, while the bottom level had two bedrooms and one bathroom. I can describe it now, but when getting out of the car that day, I hadn’t the faintest idea what to expect.

“Well, here it is,” Chris said as we pulled up right in front of our door. “Here’s the place we’ve been living for about two-and-a-half years.”

“This is where I live?” I quietly asked myself as the car came to a stop.

What do you think I did? Jump out all happy, smiling ear to ear while skipping to the door? Far from it. Instead, I slowly stepped out.

“This . . . is our place?” I calmly asked while insecurely folding my arms as I began walking toward our apartment I didn’t recall ever seeing. I stared up and down that front door and its surroundings. “I live here?”

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As Chris began to open the door, I asked again, but this time just whispering to myself,  “I live here?”

 

 

 

 

– To be continued.

 

1*  – Click here and read what took place just a few weeks before. 

Unforgettable Forgettable Pictures

 

   – Unforgettable Forgettable Pictures –

There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.

—Marie Antoinette

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Memories. Memories can be tough sometimes. Sure, everyone has things here and there they don’t remember. But for me, I only had things here and there I DID remember when I walked into that new hospital to help me recuperate after being hit with encephalitis. (*1)

My stay at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington, was much different than the first one I had stayed in close to a full three weeks before. Since I was now physically fine – or for the most part anyway – the goal now was, before going home, to work of my ability to remember. Different types of therapists had well-structured class times in different rooms, covering different subjects, day after day. Much of my time was still spent in my room resting, because the more I had to work so hard to think caused me to get worn out. Believe me, I really appreciated my room.

Here’s a sample of what one of my many classes was like.

“Marianne, for starters, I’m going to hold up little pictures of things that are very common to most people,” my speech therapist said while holding up a photo taken from newspaper ads. “Let’s see if you can tell me what it’s called.” 

Looks easy, right? Wrong.

Of course, I don’t remember that exact first picture I was shown, but I’ll never forget how I felt: dumb.

Here’s one of my common responses. 

“I think I know what it is, but I’m not sure. What’s it called?”

The first time seeing each card was almost impossible. Usually, though, after being told what it was called, along with what it was for, it would finally click! I remembered the name . . . for a few seconds, anyway. I’d say it a few times over and over. Next, a new card. Once again, she told me the name and explained what it’s for. Then, oh, darn it, that first one again. Great. Back to square one.

“Don’t worry, Marianne,” she said, “This is very normal. Trust me, it will get better.”

Slowly but surely, as minutes went by, I remembered the names of the items. Then she added a third picture. Then a fourth. Not too hard anymore to swiftly see one, say its name, do the next, and then the next. 

I felt so much better at the end of that first class.

Don’t get your hopes up like I did, because the next day I came close to starting from scratch. I remember how sad I felt after seeing that first picture. But thankfully, that day I got them all down a lot faster, even adding more. It put the day before to shame, making me one happy camper.

“Soon you’ll have no problem remembering what it’s called the first time you see it!”

YIPPIE!

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These are actually a few of those original pictures I was given to take home. They probably assumed that years later I’d like to reminisce on how sweet and simple my thinking was. Why the names of each with the photo? Days later, once it had become easy for me to say the name of each, then the hard part – writing down what they were called. Not fun.

But my speech therapist  wasn’t done, and continued. “I do need to warn you that often, you’ll know what something is called but as soon as you try to say some words out loud in your sentence, that word may suddenly seem to disappear,” She told me that is an effect because of what happened to my brain. Thankfully, she then taught me how to describe things in such a way that would hide my new problem.

As an example, she showed me a picture of a dog. Now, in 2018, I can say dog without any thought, but back then, dream on. (Just don’t ask me now what KIND of dog.)

“So instead of telling your friend ‘I love your new… oh, sorry, I can’t remember what that type of animal is called,’ say something like ‘I love your adorable new family member.’ Does that make sense?”

“You mean, I can still sound like I know what I’m talking about even though I don’t know the right word?”

I never forgot how relieved I felt. There was hope. That was the best advice I think I got the entire two weeks I was there. Seriously, at least once a day, all these years later, I still hide the fact I can’t pop that word out I had just thought. I am proud to say, I have mastered that skill. 😉
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I saved this one picture for last being I still have to think about this here batch of cool threads often used for knitting.

 

I could go on and give many more examples how it is for me now, twenty-eight years later. Thankfully it’s not so much what something generically is called, like ‘store’ or ‘cereal’ or ‘Movie’. Just don’t ask me the specific name of a store unless it’s one I go to the most. Don’t ask me to give the exact name of my cereal I usually buy. I can’t tell you for the life of me the name of the movie I saw a few weeks ago, either. All I know is those pictures I still have will forever hold a spot in that box in my basement . . . and a place in my heart.

 

1* Click here to read how all this started 

Tired of Thinking?

          – Tired of Thinking? – 

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It’s sort of funny how our brains work. Raise your hand if you have things you have to think about day after day. Yep. I bet you all raised your hands. How many of you, as the hours of your days go by, can sense your brain is loading a few too many thoughts? Well, of course we all do.  Thoughts about family, friends, work, sports, that grocery list, paying bills, solving irritating computer problems, who you needed to text, whatever, et cetera, et cetera. You know what I’m talking about. And what do all those thoughts make you by the end of the day? TIRED OF THINKING.

What I went through twenty-eight years ago, December 20, 1990, at the age of twenty-three, caused me, a married mother of two, to lose the ability to do that type thinking. Go back a few posts here if you need to read what happened when I was hit by a terrible brain-affected illness called Herpes Simplex Encephalitic. Man, was I messed up.

Like those doctors who cared for me learned, I thankfully didn’t lose memory of everything. Much of it, yes, but not all, and the doctors needed to learn ways on how to get my brain back to working as close to normal as possible. Not easy.

“Marianne, we are so glad we can tell that you are better, but we want to see how much you can remember. I am going to ask you a few questions. Can you tell us what a car is?”

“No. That word sort of sounds familiar, though.”

“Can you tell us what this is?” as one held up a picture.

“Isn’t it some type of animal? I grew up with one, I think.”

“Yes. It’s an animal. It’s called a dog.”

That’s an example of what my brain was like. Many things looked familiar, but I didn’t know what they were called. Or if I recognized what something was called, I still may not have any idea what it was or what it looked like.

Many times they actually held something up. One time the doctor held up his tie, asking what it was called. I didn’t say a word, but acted just like a baby, reaching out to take hold of it, pulling it toward my mouth. Glad I can giggle thinking what that must have looked like. Once they showed me a bar of soap. Thankfully they got hold of it before I tried to put that in my mouth, too. Sounds like something a little baby might do, doesn’t it?

Now all this may sound terrible and, well, it was, but compared to those  eight or so days in that hospital before I ‘woke-up’, it was refreshing.  Most of those days before I was silent or speaking gibberish. (1*)

From the Medical Doctor’s notes it was written how I was those first days: Over the past several days she has had diminished level of function in her speech. She has continued to have a high fever. I cannot get her to talk to me.  She nods her head ‘yes’ in response to every question, including nonsensical questions.  She frequently repeats the same questions she asks on several occasions within a few minutes. Complains of severe back pain with movement in bed.

Of course all notes from the hospital have tons of other technical wordings of what was going on, but I thought I’d do us all a favor and just leave those out. The last sentence from this one of many sources I now have stored for keep-sake ended with . . . Thank you for allowing me to share in the care of this very challenging patient.

So if you think about it, those first few days after ‘waking up’ were actually great! Talking somewhat normal was refreshing and hopeful for all those doctors. I was like a curious little kid, noticing lots of interesting things around me, with the doctors all glad there was now hope. So what if I did try to put candy in my mouth before taking the wrapper off? At least I finally showed a sign I was daring and wanted to see what something was. And big deal if I didn’t know what that thing was that the doctors often held: a pen. All were just happy that there was finally a sign I might one day be using a pen myself.

Little did they know, a pen to write my story.

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1* – Click here to read about the day I ‘woke up’.