Ready or Not . . . PUSH !

                – Ready or Not . . . PUSH ! –

images

Pick a word you’re pretty sure you know what it means but you really don’t. That is, you don’t until you experience it. The word I’m talking about is ‘contraction‘. Yep, I finally was learning what that word REALLY meant.

The morning of March 9, 1987  I, a pregnant nineteen year old, woke up early a bit more uncomfortable than normal. Then, pondering if I should get up . . .

. . . my water broke.

images.jpg

 

–  “EEK!”  –

 (1* Click to read what led up to this unforgettable moment) 

The saying ‘Scared silly’ fit’s perfectly right here, knowing my new life as a mother was about to begin.

As soon and my dad left for work, out popped “MOM! QUICK!” as my thoughts took over a mile a minute.

What’s all this going to be like? How long will this take? I can already tell this is not gonna be fun. NO! Not the next contraction already!

My mother, your typical 55 year old driver who normally took backroads to go anywhere, zoomed right along that freeway, by-passing all other cars.

I’m at the hospital now. It’s actually happening. I can’t believe it!

I don’t dare go into detail what took place. Having my older sister right by my side sure helped. I felt she was a ‘pro’ having had her youngest child just a few years before. Contraction after contraction went by. The increasing of the pain and frequency seemed to be far above what I expected.

clock2clock 1clock2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five hours felt like five years, but at the same time felt five minutes. I’ll never forget something I finally told my doctor. “I feel I need that epidural stuff now being I’m so young, and going to be a single mom. I don’t think I’m really mature enough to go through it all. If it’s this painful, and I most likely have hours still to go . . . ”

Please oh please oh please let that be a good enough excuse to TAKE THIS PAIN AWAY! 

For the life of me, I’ll never forget her reply.

“Too late. Time to push.”

To be continued.

_______________________________________________

If you want to read the entire story, grab it in book or kindle form through Amazon – You can follow Marianne on Twitter at @marimemoirs and read more on her blogs, mariannesmemoirs.com.

 

 

Unplanned Pregnancies – Then vs. Now

 – Unplanned Pregnancies Then vs. Now –

Pregnant
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.

il_570xN.728016205_8emf

“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.

cell phone

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.”

on computer

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*)

       yellow pagesjpg

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 –

Pregnant

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.  

————————————–

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

36257481_10213528784428390_7085672990074994688_n

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.

——————————————

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.

Joy-heart.jpg

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 . . .

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 7.59.56 PM

 

. . . 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts

                     – Two Adults Who Molded My Thoughts – 

brainpuzzleillo-worked

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.

download

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.

images-2

 

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.

Worry Turned into Peace

         – Worry Turned into Peace –

worried

At some point in life, we all need to learn that trials are going to occur somehow, some way, at some time. That is sure what I, when nineteen years old, began learning as more months of my pregnancy went by. As my last post stated, (1*) I shared how God was carrying me, but woe-is-me and what-if thoughts were tagging right along. As the baby inside was obviously getting bigger, worry had become my new middle name because of the uncertainty of my life ahead.

Not one person truly knew how I felt . . . that is, except God. And how did I know that? Because as worrisome thoughts began to take over, God sparked little pieces of hope my way with things that took place. (2* and 3* are a few examples)

Slowly but surely, I began feeling more peace as I was seeing more of my need for Him.

My time spent reading my Bible and praying increased, and my worries of being a mom decreased. The book of Psalms became a daily must, as many verses talk about having faith and building trust in God. As months went by, I began to see how this trial was peeling off my woes of losing what I wanted to be, but for the better by replacing them with what God wanted me to be: a mom.

journal-writing

 

I know that’s what got me back into writing in my journal. (4*)

 

 

 

Before all this took place, I often wondered how in the world people could say they had peace inside during an extra-tough time. During my pregnancy, I learned how, because I felt much more peace as the due date got closer.

So what is the main point of telling the inside, heartfelt part of my story? 

To show others that trials have a way of digging up the soil of your heart and pulling out those weeds. Trials provide opportunities for us to find one of the secrets to a full and blessed life: getting closer to Christ.

Another reason is to show that worrying does absolutely no good. Be concerned, yes, but worrying to the point where it secretly gets you down in the dumps, forget it. Now I’m not saying all my worries were one-hundred percent gone. Heck no. But my pillow sure noticed more peace was growing inside of me, just as that precious baby was growing too.

Philippians 4:6-7   

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

There was another thing my mind starting thinking about that caused many more smiles to form. Sorry. You’ll have to wait.

 

1* – Last post

2* and 3*  – two of many poofs God carried me.

4* –  When I got back into my journal

 

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.

First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal

          – First Time ‘Pregnant’ Goes In My Journal –

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 7.59.56 PM

As some of you know, I have a book out  called God and Your Pillow to help strengthen others going through an unplanned pregnancy. It’s almost ready to get in the hands of those needing a soap-opera type story for encouragement. Let me pass onto you a page from my book. This part shares the fact that I kept a journal while growing up. There were seasons of silence occasionally in my journal. This writing shows it was the first time in over a year I got back into writing being it was a must to start up again. Read as my book explains why.

_____________________

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.

Jan 2, 1987

How to even begin to explain the past year and a half? The best way to start is with the numero-uno step in my life, and that is being Born Again in Christ Jesus. Yes, I’m a new creature and will be rocking for Jesus for all eternity. September 10 of 1985 is when it happened. Now Eyde is no longer ‘religious’! She, Willma, and I are all sisters in Christ! Jesus is my life now, and not the things of this world.

Okay, let’s see. A lot has happened. April of ‘86 I drove down to Santa Maria 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 meantime, 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 just fine. Praise God!

. . .  Oh, and the space shuttle blew up since I last wrote. It’s been a very tough year.

_____________________________

No way did I feel a need to get into detail about what took place in California. My book proves that I sure didn’t need any reminder. It was all behind me, and God must have wanted me to just focus on what was on the road ahead. I felt such a sense of support from all around me and, as past blog writings share, God kept letting me know He was right there.  (1*) (2*)   are a few. I encourage all who seem to cling to that negative past that keeps tapping on your back to, yes, learn from the past and correct what’s needed, with God’s help, but still remember that good ol’ saying – Today’s the first day of the rest of your life. 

 

Woman Suffering From Cold Sitting On Bed With Tissue

I must be honest, however. I was far from overflowing with peace and joy day-in and day-out. Even though I had less than normal physical un-comforts, my thoughts still kept it hard to fall asleep many nights. God and my own pillow were really the only ones who knew all my worries, concerns, and woe-is-me thoughts.

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.

Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 3)

 

              Blessings of My Unplanned Pregnancy Unwrapped (Part 3)

preg.jpg

My unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of nineteen was thirty years ago, but the blessings I noticed back then I still hold tight to my heart today. These last few writings I’ve shared older posts to show how God was right there with me. (1* 2*) But this week I’m using a piece from my book titled God and Your Pillow, showing another obvious sign of His Fatherly love through that intense trial.


                                                     God and Your Pillow

 

cropped-cropped-writing1.jpg

Willma was the next one I had to tell.

“Sure you can come over,” Willma said after I called to see if we could get together. “It’s pretty much lunchtime, so I’ll start throwing a few sandwiches together.”

I pondered how to tell her as I walked down to her house, that last house on our dead-end street. I knew it was just her there, so when I came up to the door, I took a deep breath.

Okay, here I go. While knocking lightly, I slowly opened the front door.

“Hi, Willma. I’m here. Where are — ”

“Come on in. I’m back in the kitchen, right in the middle of making our lunch,” she said as I walked in. Willma was her normal, cheery self. I could tell she was ready to talk away. Out of all the things in the world to talk about, she started talking about, gulp, the future. Half joking but half serious, she said, “Hey Marianne, it’s time we think more about when you and I move out. Let’s figure out what college you or I’ll be going to. What if you go to the same one I already go to?” 

Breathe.

“We can try to get the same dormitory. Heck, the same room! Or maybe I’ll work while you go there and we’ll split the rent. I know, how about —.”

As she was talking, so full of energy, my mind began filling to the brim with thoughts. You know how you can think of twenty different things in three seconds? Well, that’s what I was doing. Sad to think how she and I wouldn’t really be able to make many spur-of-the-moment plans, as we had been doing for years. I was angry at myself for letting this happen, and a bit scared as to what this could do to our friendship. So much was being tossed around in my mind.

“Willma.” It was obvious this was the time to tell her. “I have something I need to tell you. We can’t really do that stuff you’re talking about because . . . I’m . . . I’m pregnant.”

There, I did it. Now what? What will she say? What will she do?

She stopped what she was doing, frozen for two seconds, realizing I wasn’t kidding.

“Oh. Uh, I guess we’ll, um, have to alter our plans just a bit,” she said calmly, a numb look on her face as she walked by with sandwich makings in her hands. Her look, however, instantly started changing, showing her mind forming different thoughts. I knew she would be shocked, and sure, I figured her emotions would be zig-zagging in all different directions. Thankfully, though, as I shared the entire story with her, I could tell her thoughts were getting straight once again.

While eating that lunch, I heard my best friend tell me she’d be there and how God would not let go of me. Not really hearing those types of words from my family, hearing it from her was priceless.

one teenage girl comforting another after break up

 

The more we discussed the pros and cons of keeping or adoption, we both leaned toward me keeping the baby. No decisions whatsoever on what to do regarding money, the baby’s father, work, and other matters. Just on whether I should be the mother of this baby.

 

As I was walking out that same door I came in, I felt God had used my friend as a means for guidance and a means to give me strength. My name was changed once again on my walk home. Marianne A-Bit-More-Peace-To-Keep-Baby Houstoun


 

I am one who strongly believes God has given us the Bible as our supreme guide in matters theological and practical. However, I did realize back then He will use a certain person to guide us while at the same time showing us He cares.

I’d sure love to read your testimony of how God showed He was there for you, right by your side, during a trial in your life.

1* – click here to read part 1

2* – click here to read part 2.

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.