Ready or Not . . .

                          – Ready or Not . . . –ec58bf0d437da63dd1fd40ab41a4c229

My new life as an unwed mother was just a hop, skip, and a jump – and a push – away.  It was to be any day now that I’d be experiencing what giving birth would actually be like, and what having the name ‘Mom’ would feel like. Was I ready? Do dogs meow? Of course not!  Having that feeling that God, family, and friends were right next to me was why I was the most ready I could be. 

Days before the due date, 99.99% of my thoughts were centered around that due date. Thankfully, that .01% left was taken up by something I was extra excited to be part of.  I’ll let my book, God and Your Pillow, explains what took place March 8th, 1987.


God and Your Pillow – Chapter 11

You’ve heard the old saying ‘Never go to an energetic concert a few nights before your due date,’ right? Okay, I made that up, but I can’t help but give advice to you all. Don’t go to an energetic concert a few nights before your due date. Even if it’s a Christian concert. If my pillow could scream, I’m sure it would have told me what a crazy idea that was. 

In a few days my life would change majorly, so this concert was a perfect distraction. What a great time, just hanging out with Willma, surrounded by tons of other people, listening to music we loved, knowing every word of every song. 

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I sure noticed people looking at me, most likely thinking I was a bit crazy being there with my stomach sticking ‘out to here,’ but oh well, I didn’t mind. After all, I felt great. We had a ball just singing right along with people crammed all around us. One of those concerts where everyone stood up the entire time, swaying back and forth.

Concert done. Willma and I totally enjoyed it. Darn it, back to real life. 

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I’ll never forget that night. Since weeks had been going by with major discomfort when ever I went to bed, going to that concert was perfect to distract me from all that pain. God knew it was best for me to simply go have some fun and escape life for a spell before my next chapter in life would begin. 

 

imagesCan you think of any time He’s done that for you? Try. Try to think of some larger than normal ordeal you were waiting for. Or, maybe it was something you had no idea was going to take place. Can you then think of something that may have happened shortly before that occurred, where God was just letting you know He wanted you to enjoy your surroundings a bit more than normal being, perhaps, something difficult was soon to follow. Could He have done that to remind you He is your Father who just wanted to pass onto you that little Fatherly love reminder?  There are a few other times throughout my story God showed that to me, proving again and again He cared. He cares for you, too. 

Now, back to my story.  

If you listen to one of the many songs my friend and I heard that night, you’ll understand how it was impossible to just sit down and relax. You’ll also understand why I like to blame that concert for what happened early that next morning. (Get ready to dance.)

 

 To be continued.

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.

How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’

             – How I Picture That Word ‘Pregnant’ –  

 

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‘Pregnant’ – As soon as I hear that word, I instantly picture someone’s tummy sticking out. I then think of the discomfort that goes along with that tummy sticking out. Next, I think of my first pregnancy thirty years ago and how it still seems like last week. Before that thought is even over, ‘Thank you, Lord’ comes next, since He held me though my first pregnancy’s soap opera. (1*)

As I shared in past writings, my pregnancy was physically going smoothly. That sure helped me carry comfort and peace inside my heart during those confusing months. (read a few examples here 2* –  3* of past writings)

But my pillow felt the extra mental weight of my worries night after night. And I’m not talking about worries of the delivery. (Believe me, those came a few months later.) I’m talking about the worries of what life would hold for me in the near future as a mom. Doubt, uncertainty, regret, and uneasiness, along with many questions. Continue college? When? Do I need to work? Government help? Babysitters? Can I ever move out?

‘What if’ questions were super-glued to my thoughts as well. What if people don’t want to be around me? What if there’s no Mr. Right on the horizon? What if all I get is some boring minimum-wage job? And, of course, losing weight was sure ‘heavy’ on my mind as well.

Another worry was what people would think of me: a nineteen-year-old mom, living with her parents, no job, and with no real plan to do anything. I thought I was to be an example to the world around me. So I’m sure you can see how this cloud over my life seemed like it was getting noticeably darker as time went by.

I knew I was forgiven for that sin of letting my hormones take over months before, but I still had guilt I could not hide. It made these types of verses far from being encouraging.

Proverbs 3:11 – My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction (NKJV)

Deuteronomy 8:5You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.  (NKJV)

Sure, I knew no Christ-follower is given an easy life, and I knew my pregnancy thus far was going by smoothly, but I occasionally wanted to give up, wishing I could just wake up one morning and realize all this was just a dream. 

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I kept thinking, God did not want me to see any light at the end of this long tunnel.

 

 

 

 

Are you like I was, with similar thoughts running through your mind? Any trial you’re having or have had that brought extra-heavy thoughts on your pillow? If so, let me give you a speck of hope. In my next writing I’ll share what kept me going, hoping it might help you keep on keeping on. Until then, here’s a piece from a book called Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod that I feel fits perfectly here.

Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. 

To be continued

1* – One of many posts that explain why it was my soap-opera

2*   and  3*  –  two of many positive times of my pregnancy

 

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.

Doctor and patient are discussing

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, mariannesmemoirs.com.

 

 

Three Important Questions – Part 3

      – Three Important Questions – Part 3 –

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I was greatly encouraged a few weeks ago because of the answer I found to three questions. ‘Yes’ to all three is why ‘Yes’ is now the answer to a question I’ve been pondering about these last few years: should I give talks to encourage woman going through an unplanned pregnancy?

My last blog gave the first out of two things that I hope future speeches will accomplish. (1*) The second one I’m sharing now: to encourage pregnant women who have decided to let, not just an ‘It’, but a living he or she live.   

But first let me explain how the determination to finish my book got me where I am. When I discovered a few years back that Planned Parenthood was selling aborted babies, steam began coming out of my ears BIG time, making me more determined to finish my book. As months passed, it finally was presidential election day. Hour after hour slowly went by. Late that night, as it became clear Trump was winning, my face demonstrated what ‘smiling ear-to-ear’ meant. I’ll be honest, his promise to stop the government from supporting Planned Parenthood was the main reason I began praying even more he would win. Eagerness to get my book done ignited big time.

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Now that my book is out, hoping my own personal story can be found and read to help many, I’m now eager to talk to those whom this book is meant for. I’m hoping that my speech will decrease worry, guilt, sadness, and confusion for those going through an unplanned pregnancy, while it increases hope, joy, willingness, peace, and prayer.

 

 

So there you have it: my sharing of how and why the peace I felt speaking to that large group meant so much to me. It encouraged me to boldly tell others that, as a certain song says, ‘Love will stand in the place of the one who’s guilty’ (the mother) and ‘Give a voice to those who can’t speak.’ (the baby)

I also want to encourage those reading right now. Has a certain person said that perfect sentence or two you needed to hear at the perfect time?  Thank them. Or let’s turn it around. Ask yourself if you could take an opportunity to give a sentence or two to help someone through their tough time.  If so, pray about it. God just might be wanting to use you to help break the dark, making you to shine and bring radiate light?

 

1* – Press here to read part 2.

2* – Press here to read what got me thinking more about speaking to groups.

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.