Just Another Birthday – Song 13

                    – Just Another Birthday – Song #13 –

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A song really stands out when you remember exactly where you were when you heard it for the first time. Has that ever happened to you? This song I sure do, but I won’t tell you where as much as why.

Being in a Christian book store a few years back to grab a new CD on my ‘Must Get’ list, I saw an older CD from the same group.

Oh, why not. I’m sure I’ll love their older songs, too.

Out of curiosity, I popped that one in as soon as I got in the car  (Okay, you now know where I heard it.)

I like this song. This other one’s COOL, too!  And this one. Glad I got this CD.

Then the one you are about to hear came on. It sure hit me. As you listen, and if you know the story behind my book, you’ll know why.  (#1)

 

This song described my entire story almost to the ‘T’. Aside from two small details, it’s as if I wrote it. My eyes still get tears occasionally while I listen to this song. During my teen years, my relationship with my father was much like this song shares. Plus, the age was exact during my pregnancy, along with my stay in the hospital to deliver. I melted even more when it shared she had a daughter, being I too had a daughter. Another reason it’s perfect for me is that it centers around a birthday. My daughter was born a few weeks before my birthday. My best gift.

Yep, this song causes me to picture my soap opera all over again. It’s as if I’m that one singing. But the most important part about this song is how it perfectly describes how my heavenly Father carried me through my ordeal as well. And man, did He hold me tight.

Can you think of a song that describes something you’ve been through? There’s got to be at least something close. I’d love to hear what song you hold in your heart, making you feel you should be the one singing it.

1* – Read here when I discovered I was regnant

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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.

 

 

 

Unplanned Pregnancies – Then vs. Now

 – Unplanned Pregnancies Then vs. Now –

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What was a typical day like for your average nineteen-year-old thirty years ago? When you woke up, you were glad there was nothing electronic close at hand to open up the world to you. You, alone, away from it all . . . perfect. Once awake, you’d turn on your favorite radio station or you’d rewind your cassette to hear your favorite Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, or Lionel Richie song again.

You were thrilled your parents got that extra-long phone cord so you could finally leave the kitchen and walk into the bathroom to talk to your friends.

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“Well, then call me as soon as you get back home. I have to tell you something,” or “If no one answers, I’ll call later. Just make sure you are by a phone when home,” were statements often said.

“I’ll text you later” was nowhere to be found.

It was hard to decide which one of those six stations to watch on that big, boxy TV.

You loved grabbing the daily delivered newspaper your parents had on the kitchen counter to check movie times.

Later on, it was time to put eighty-nine-cents-per-gallon gas in your stick shift before picking up a few friends, grabbing ninety-nine-cent double cheeseburgers at McD’s before watching the movie called Star Trek lV, or The Voyage Home, that cost a whopping $2.75 to see. That’s what life was like for me when I was nineteen.

Until, that is, I found out I was pregnant. (1*) Life was so different back then, and I felt so alone. I’m certain many women feel like that even today, but because of the way we now have such easy access to helpful information, I think it’s safe to say that not quite so many feel as alone as I did.

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There was no cell phone back in 1986 so, when sitting in my car, away from the world, I couldn’t secretly look up information on where to get a pregnancy test. No laptops, I-pads, or cell phones to tweet #unplannedpregnancies. No opening up your laptop to type in NoWayCanIBePregnant.com, either. No putting in ‘first trimester’ to get a long list of websites covering the subject.

I would have loved to have found a Facebook group for Christians going through an unplanned pregnancy, or Twitter to find encouraging verses and quotes. But no. I felt like I was in my own little world, not able to connect with any Christians who had been, or were, going through what I was experiencing. I now know that if I did not have my church family during that time, I would have gone bonkers. But still, there was no one to Skype with who could look at me, face-to-face, and say, “Believe me, I know what it’s like and how you’re feeling.”

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Unplanned pregnancies can be dealt with quite a bit differently now than thirty years ago. Now, you can get info on anything from anywhere. Heck, you can even get your best help or support from total strangers all around the world!

I’m sure I would have been getting information and insight from my I-phone, I-pad, or I-mac. (Yes, you can call me an I-fan!) There are also many organizations that have opened their doors for needed tests, information, and support.

For years, I put off writing my story being as so much had changed since I was pregnant. Then it hit me. Unplanned pregnancies are still that: un . . . planned . . . pregnancies. They were the same back then as they are now: an unexpected shock to women, followed by overwhelming emotions and stress for all involved. Once realizing this, I then decided—with encouragement from others—to write my book, showing what I went through. Yes, the means of getting helpful information about this type of pregnancy is now different. Also, the number of people you can connect with going through the same thing can sure help one feel less alone. But overall, we’re still the same. Our feelings and thoughts were stored in the same place back then as they are now: in our hearts and souls.

And God’s the same, as well! That’s the best fact. He has not changed how He carries those who follow Him. He sure carried me then and He sure carries His children now.

Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Sure, He might now use that perfect website to guide you in what help or information to get.  I just know I’d never change what He used to guide me to what was best for me.

The good old yellow pages. (2*)

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1* Click here to find out how about a certain phone call. Yep. God had plans.

2* Click here to find out how the yellow pages fit into 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.

 

 

My Pregnancy Story Continues

      – My Pregnancy Story Continues –

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One of my past posts showed a small portion of an extra special journal writing I did  thirty-three years ago. Click here to read because what’s below is what directly came next on that page. My book, God and Your Pillow, is available now that covers my entire story behind me and that journal.  

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Journal Time. Yep, it’s time to share more of my journal and what was going from my heart to the paper at this time in my pregnancy. I wish I hadn’t allowed there to be a huge gap between writings. You need to know that . . . oh, my journal will tell you. See if you can notice a few things I leave out.

                                                                                                January 2, 1987

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Okay, let’s see. A lot has gone on since I last wrote over a year ago. April of ‘86 I drove down to Santa Maria, CA and lived with Debbie for three months, worked at the Hilton Hotel in room service. On my return home I was faced with my niece’s tumor and seeing her die. She died in September. So sad.

In the mean time God showed me the direction my life was to take. He gave me a baby. As of this writing, I am seven-and-a-half months along in my pregnancy. Things are fine as long as Jesus is close by. If it wasn’t for His will for my life, I’d go crazy! I’m making it through use fine. Praise God.

I’m sort of surprised I didn’t write for almost two years. What? Quick update: I started my journal when I was twelve. Every day for a while, then every other day, then every other week, then every other month, then maybe half a year and, at this point, a few years’ break. You mean I didn’t write at all during this entire time?  . . . Oh, and the space shuttle blew up since I last wrote. It’s been a very tough year.

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I’m still surprised I didn’t write in my journal once during that entire ordeal. One reason must be because all the pens in my room, heck, in the entire house for that matter, would not have had enough ink to put my overflowing thoughts down on paper.

But finally, as more peace was growing inside my heart, along with this baby growing inside my tummy, the more I was sensing that strong arm of God carrying us both. I could have been storing up all the negative this-and-thats that were here-and-there, but I didn’t. God helped keep the thoughts flowing to do what I felt was right as I kept prayer wrapped around it all as best I could. I knew whatever circumstances I faced didn’t have the power to dictate my attitude unless I let them. Now sure, towards the beginning I did allow negative thoughts to dictate my attitude. I’m ever-so thankful to this day that God saw fit to use my family, friends, my church, my bible, and yes, even my doctor (1*) to allow positive thoughts to dictate my attitude.

When life gets hard, it’s difficult to avoid letting a bad attitude rule our life and take over our mind. It’s true, life can sure stink sometimes when people hurt us, the past haunts us, those we work with mistreat us, family or friends don’t love us, spouses don’t honor us, children don’t appreciate or respect us, finances don’t support us, and our health doesn’t sustain us.

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Yep, enduring problems never really seen to be absent.  They make pure joy in our hearts difficult. But trying to hold at least a little smile not only helps us become stronger believers, it opens the door for an attitude transformation. Those of you reading, just keep in mind that when our heart, soul, and mind focus on the good that seems to be hiding, our attitudes will get better. The good is then easier to find, our attitudes improve even more, causing good things to seem to be showing up all over the place.

Just keep in mind that the only thing we have to lose, by choosing a positive attitude, is a negative one. And one of the many good things you just might gain by choosing a positive attitude is . . .

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. . . realizing you just might feel like sharing what’s been going on in your life in your journal.

 

 

 

1* – Click here to read how God spoiled me with my doctor. 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Pregnancy Facts During That Eighth Month

           – 5 Pregnancy Facts During That Eighth Month –

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My due date was getting close. My new life as a single mom was right around the corner, and before I knew it I would be holding my very own daughter in my very own arms. I can’t help but share a list of a few pros and cons surrounding me that last month.

1- Sleep – Sleeping at night was getting ridiculously uncomfortable. I flat-out did not look forward to going to bed. I’m sure my pillow could sense the un-comfort I was feeling, and if it could talk, would probably holler  ‘STOP MOVING!’

2- Clothes – Not wearing maternity clothes in some near future was my little dream. By no means was I going to miss wearing them. I couldn’t wait till they all went back to the thrift store that I most likely got then from.

3- Weight – Being a bit over weight before I was pregnant, I really did not like my size at eight months. Any mirror close by that last month was not my best friend.

4- Information – Learning all I could about labor, delivery and nursing was a must. I’m sure if websites were available back in 1987, Childbirth.com would have been my best friend.

Time now for the last yet most important fact

5- Church family – Let a few paragraphs from my book explain.

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       I was so thankful that my church was a true family of believers. Great messages, great fellowship. As my tummy was slowly but surely getting bigger, my love for all I was learning was growing as well. My church family helped me hang on with my family situation at home. Friction that had been going on for years between my parents was growing. Thankfully, I knew my soap-opera life wasn’t making it worse. I actually think it might have been helping, as it got them thinking of other things instead of what was wrong between them.
       My siblings’ lives, too, were all going in different directions. It seemed most were all hoping they could find greener grass elsewhere. Christ wasn’t included on their road in life. It was good that I could escape not only on Sundays, but at the Wednesday evening prayer meetings too. Sort of a mid-week refreshment. It’s scary to think how less peaceful I would have felt during that time if I didn’t have a great source for spiritual support and friends.

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Picture1-1Of course the first and far most reason for church is the gathering of believers to worship our Lord.  But the group I was honoring God with was also a must for me during my pregnancy.

Let me encourage those who do not attend church on a routine basis to do that. One of the many reasons is that when trials come, a support system that’s crucial could be right there. When in need, you will want your brothers and sisters in Christ to uphold you in prayer and assist with practical needs as well.

 

Galatians 6:2 encourages us to do just what my church family did for me.

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Click here if you are curious how this entire story 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.

Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts

                     – Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts – 

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This post, similar to my last, shares another important lesson I learned during my unplanned pregnancy. (1*) But this one is a bit different. I take that back. It’s a lot different. My previous story was about one young boy I was around for a couple months who taught me a few things about me becoming a mother soon. This one is about two adults in my family I’d been around all my life that applied to me becoming a wife someday. Those two people? My parents.

Notice I said “applied to” being married, not an example to being married.

When I was a younger teen, my parents’ relationship wasn’t that positive. Yes, they showed love to me and my siblings, but displaying their love to one another was not so apparent. Having one or more of us kids around helped them find more to talk about than just the weather, what’s for breakfast, or where’s the mail. But, as year after year went by, joy, peace, and love between them was hard to witness.

“I’m sure not going to bring up little pet-peeve issues with the man I someday marry,” I began thinking in my young teen years. “Whoever he will be, him and I will not do any useless complaining or whispering a negative comment just loud enough for the other to hear. No huge arguments or even simple useless bickering back and forth. Nope. I refuse.” 

These thoughts formed before I became a Christian, so after my heart did a 180-degree turn at age eighteen, that thought grew even more each time I felt tension between them. Feeling sorry for them grew as well, knowing my parents did not understand what true peace in a Christ-centered marriage was about. They were a couple who kept God on that back burner, turned off.

Being pregnant, knowing I’d become a parent in just a few months, had me thanking God even more that He kept me from marrying Mr. Wrong, (2*) and having me see the importance of marrying a God-fearing Mr. Right.

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My thoughts about the importance of love between parents and their children, love between a husband and wife, and love between God and the family, were growing. I’m not saying I had everything figured out with my plans ahead as a mom and wife. Far from it. But my thoughts were slowly and surely molding in that direction. He had me start putting a puzzle together of my future by having me witness what was not going well outside and inside my home.

The point of sharing all this, along with last week’s story, is to have us see that we learn some important truths from ordinary day-to-day situations. None of us can foresee what He uses to teach us. He doesn’t reveal the entire path as we step into the unknown, but He slowly strengthens our faith through our experiences. Walking in God’s will is asking Him to show us what He wants us to learn and what He wants for our lives. Our responsibility is simply to obey and seek Him today, knowing that He holds tomorrow.

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Matthew 6:33:  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (like a bit more of a peace-filled family) shall be added to you. 

 

 

1* – click here to read my last post

2* – click here to read a bit how the father is not included in 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.

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 6)

 

             Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 6)

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“I love all the weight I’m gaining in this unplanned pregnancy I’m somehow enduring as a nineteen year old,” said no one ever. Or at least I for sure was not thinking that thirty years ago during the pregnancy I endured at that tender age. So why am I bringing that up now? To share one more way God showed He was helping me though that pregnancy.

After sharing why I was thankful for my doctor, (1*) I’ll say here how all my visits to her were going fine as my tummy was noticeability growing. As months had gone by, all had been going a heck of a lot better than I had expected.  But the visit during my seventh month with her caused my mouth to drop as she told me some unexpected news. Let my soon published book – God and Your Pillow – explain.

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A bit overweight, big sweatshirts were my normal attire. And, of course, we all know the weight gained during pregnancy isn’t such an enjoyable fact to accept. But out of the blue, after I got my routine weight checked, she said, “No real worry, but I must say you are not the weight you should be by now.”
“Oh, great. I need to watch my weight? I’m gaining too much?” I asked.
“No. Actually, you haven’t gained the amount of weight that is normal. You need to eat a bit more for that baby. Are you dieting at all?” she asked.
“No. I’m not eating tons of junk, but not dieting.”
“Well, just eat more good food. More than you have been,” she instructed. “From now on, each time you come in, I want to see a few more pounds than the normal gain you should be showing. Understand?”
Understand? With the biggest grin, I understood.

Subway-Turkey-Italiano-Melt-620x345On the way to each doctor’s visit from then on, I stopped and grabbed a good old foot-long Subway sandwich across the street from the doctor’s office. After all, I had to make sure I would show the most weight gain possible, right? Since I currently live in the same area, I still giggle inside every time I drive past that Subway.


 

I’ll never forget that talk. Now sure, many may not instantly feel like giving God credit for being told they need to eat more, but I couldn’t help it. I felt He wanted to take that extra weight off my back (pun intended) of feeling fat during those last few months. I was already a bit over weight when I first got pregnant, so that visit was one of many other ways I felt God used to keep me hanging onto Him during the entire pregnancy.

I encourage you to ask yourself if it’s hard to find any joy in anything. Try to think of, as soon as you can, anything that brings a smile to your face. Thank God for it! Let me encourage you not to delay thanking God when you find any simple unexpected joy-filled news. Or how about those little things you unexpectedly come in contact with – even if it’s just that simple Subway sandwich.

Ephesians 5:20 – giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

Can’t help but share one simple thing that would sure cause one huge  🙂  to show on my face today, as it did with what my doctor told me that day. To get new followers ! Follow me now to read more stories of how God carried me though this ordeal along with another savior trial I’ve gone through.  (3*) Thanks.

 

1* – Click here and read my last post about a perfect doctor.

2* – Click here for my first post about a another trial God carried me through
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.

 

 

 

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 5)

           – Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 5) –

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These last posts I’ve shared how God showed me true Fatherly love once I discovered I was pregnant, trusting Him more as those first few months went by. (1*2*3*  4*)

The next time He showed that to me was my first visit to my new doctor. Yep, time I see an OB/GYN. But being this took place thirty yeas ago, unable to just jump on the internet to see a long list of doctors to choose from, I just followed who our family doctor suggested.

Driving up to that hospital still feels like last week. I can picture what that building looked like, where I parked, and how it all looked at I walked in. But most of all I remember how nervous I was. How much of my story do I tell? Will she just consider me as one of those teens that messed up? Will I like her? Will she like me?

Thankfully, as soon as I walked in I was impressed. It was spacious and well kept. I had an instant comfort in a place I was uncomfortable to be in, if that makes any sense. After filling out the paper work and waiting a few minutes at this one table, in walked the Obstetrician. I realized right then she was the first stranger I had to tell my story to. A total stranger told me I was pregnant a few months before (5*) but this is the first stranger I had to share why and how I got to know I was pregnant.

Do I tell her more than she asks? Do I act all nonchalant and come across all happy-go-lucky, casually hearing all the pregnancy facts she passes my way? For all I know, I might cause her to dread each time I’d need to come in for a check-up, let alone the day of giving birth.

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Once meeting her, looking to be in her early thirties, I was relieved to tell she had a nice, warm, personality. After I simplified my story as to why I was pregnant, and after her giving a little pregnancy information, she began telling me a bit about her plan to serve as an OB/GYN in a third-world country.

 

‘Wow!’ I replied.

That then began us sharing bits and pieces of our faith, seeing that we were both Christians. Talk about instant peace! Talk about instantly thanking God, feeling again that He gave me just what I needed.

“But being I’m still here, Marianne,” she said, “I’m glad I’m now here to help you.” 

God knew it best I go through this soap opera pregnancy with a doctor who I’d have support-filled encouraging conversations with as months went by. From then on, each time I left that office, God heard me say the same six words: Thank you, Lord, for my Doctor.  Even today, that’s my first thought as I drive by that building.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Numbers 6:24-25  – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. 

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Why these verses? Because they are a few of many that describe how God cares, and if you need comfort, He’s there. It was obvious He was gracious, letting me feel He was carrying me on that road I was on. This time, His tool that let me know He was right there was a total stranger.

To be continued.

click 1* 2*  3*  & 4* to read past posts on different occasions God showed He was with me during my pregnancy.

click here – 5* to read when I was told I was pregnant.

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.