Mama's Funeral

A Tribute to My Mother, Betty J. Morton

betty jean whiteEulogy for Betty Jean Morton

By Marnie L. Marcus
Delivered 3/21/2017

Audio version: Eulogy for Betty Morton

My mother, Betty Jean Morton was born Betty Jean White on February 10, 1933 in Chattanooga, TN. She was the first child of five born to Thelma Brown White and Eugene R. White.  They lived in Athens, Tennessee at the time. This was a long trip by car back in those days and Betty was delivered by C-section with no anesthesia for her mother.

Mama graduated from Pekin High School in Pekin, Illinois. She has always been very intelligent and has been quite savvy with technology. After graduation she worked for an architect, lawyers, at TVA and assisted my dad in his dental office. She sang in the acapella choir in high school and loved to read.  In her younger years she read serious works like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky and Ayn Rand. I remember her telling me she read “War and Peace” and loved the “Fountainhead.”

Growing up, one of the visuals I have of Mama is her lying on her bed with her ankles crossed and an Agatha Christie paperback in her hand. She spent hours reading. I believe she read every Agatha Christie mystery multiple times. In her later years, she was an MC Beaten fan. She loved British Comedies and British Mysteries.

The Quintessential Southern Lady

Mama was always classy and refined. The quintessential southern lady, and always dressed stylishly and had her makeup on. The last time I saw her in the rehab center, she asked me for her purse so she could put on her eyebrows and lipstick. I had been in a rush that morning to take my boys to school and get up to Soddy-Daisy, I hadn’t even remembered to run a comb through my hair, much less put on makeup. I told her, “Mama, you have more makeup on than me. I completely forgot it.”

Music

Music always filled our home. Mama had me taking piano lessons at five, and she was always playing music. Music was something she and Daddy particularly shared in their later years. They often went to community concerts with Hayden and Ianna Poe.

I remember Mama taking Thad and me to the Red Bank pool for swimming lessons in the summer. We’d swim for hours, and then she’d buy us a hotdog and a sprite from the hot dog stand. Those always tasted so heavenly after we’d worked up an appetite. After we got home, it usually seemed to thunderstorm in Daisy on summer afternoons. She’d put on her Johnny Mathis or some Percy Faith and we’d take an afternoon nap in the thunderstorm.

Keen Sense of Observation that Bordered on Psychic

Lisa and Karen tell a story of when they were little and they lived in Brainerd. They had come home from school on a winter day and had gone down to a cul-de-sac near where they lived. There was a puddle there that was iced over, and Lisa pretended to be ice skating on it. When they got home, Mama said, “Now y’all better not have been sliding on any ice out there.”

When Mama left the room, Lisa looked at Karen and said, “She’s a witch.” To this day, neither of them knows how Mama was aware of the fact that Lisa had been sliding on the ice. The cul-de-sac wasn’t anywhere they normally drove, and Mama couldn’t have seen them from any window.

While Lisa might have thought Mama was a witch, Karen always referred to her as The Burning Bush – so let it be written, so let it be done. If Mama said something was going to happen, it happened. Once she’d promised them ice-cream but her VW bug broke down on the way home with groceries. She managed to get them home with the groceries and then took them back out for ice-cream. If she promised it, it would happen.

betty and jack morton

Betty and Jack Morton, April 1966. 1 month before I was born.

Mama had a sixth sense about things, and it went really well with her giving nature. I remember one time when I was a young married mother with two children. I had been doing some laundry in our Ooltewah home, and realized I was out of fabric softener. Within an hour or so, who appeared at my door? Mama, bringing in a new bottle of fabric softener.

Mama would give you her last $20 bill. And she always paid you whatever she owed you down to the penny. She knew how to give, but she had trouble receiving. She wouldn’t let you give her anything without putting up a big fuss.

Generosity

When my older three children were little, my husband and I were struggling financially and Mama bought my children’s clothes. She kept them well dressed. It seemed like every time she came over she brought some clothes for the kids or some grocery item for me. And every time she came, she helped me clean or do laundry. She loved to do laundry and iron. She had Lisa and Karen ironing pillow cases when they were little. She joked that she hoped when she went to heaven they’d let her work in the laundry.

At Christmas, she always wanted things to be fair – or at least look fair. Even if they really weren’t. She bought almost all of my kids’ Christmas for several years. She would only put hers and daddy’s names on a couple gifts – the same number as what she’d given other grandchildren. And then she’d put Santa or even my name on the other gifts so it looked like the gifts were not all coming from her.

Work Ethic

Mama had a work ethic that would not stop. Last summer, when their riding lawn mower broke, Mama weed eated her entire front lawn herself. She did it in little bits and pieces of time. And it looked immaculate. Not bad for an 83-year-old.

She taught her children to work, and being a hard worker covered a lot of other ills in her mind. Didn’t much matter what else a person did, if they were a hard worker and cared about other people, they were okay in Mama’s book. She wasn’t one to judge, but being lazy was not something she admired.

Her father taught her how to work, and she often lamented in her later years that she made her children work too much. But I really don’t think any one of us would agree with that. Yes, we had to work, but that work ethic has served us well and has passed down to our own children.

I remember Mama teaching me how to vacuum. She’d let me do it for a minute or two and then she’d stop me and say, “Let me show you.” Then she’d have me stand there and watch her do the job. You didn’t dare walk away. You were expected to watch and learn the proper way to do a task. To this day, I can’t stand by while other people are working, and I not be doing something myself.

About 8-10 years ago, I went to one of the Days of Service the church held in downtown Chattanooga. We were cleaning up yards in a rundown neighborhood. When everyone piled out of the cars and into the yard of this particularly disheveled home, everyone stood there, a bit overwhelmed about how to begin. It was bad.

I assessed the situation and started assigning people to do what I saw needed to be done. Later, the son of the woman who lived there asked if I was in charge. I said I wasn’t. He said, “Oh, I thought you were since you seemed to know what you were doing.”

I think this was the first time I realized how valuable my mother’s instruction had been growing up. I instinctively knew how to take an overwhelming task, break into pieces and get it done. Mama taught me that. When I got home, I called her and thanked her because I knew that was from her.

Discernment

Mama had a keen sense of discernment. It sliced through error and left only clarity and truth. My dad said she could size up a political candidate faster than he could.  And anybody who knows Daddy, knows how sharp he is in that regard.

I remember in my youth, times when she warned my dad not to do business with certain people. Sure enough, those were the people who took advantage of his easy going nature and trust. Mama never got it wrong.

Not only did she discern the evil, but she saw the good. She saw the good in her children and cheered us on. My sister Karen once gave Mama a jewelry box that played, “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” Mama was the wind beneath all our wings. And the words are so fitting:

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
But I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Family History

Mama carried within her heart a great love of family history. She did mounds and mounds of family history and documented it thoroughly. She not only did her own family history, she also did daddy’s and Chris’ and Glenn’s. She loved the temple and she saw that temple work was done for more people than I could possibly count.

The departed were not simply names on a pedigree chart to Mama. They were real people with stories. She knew all the family history stories of her family and my dad’s family. I often went to her when I was writing my historical fiction novels because she was such a treasure trove. Her mind was sharp and she remembered details.

Here’s another example of how her sixth sense went to work in combination with her other gifts. When I was writing An Uncertain Justice, which was about my 2nd great grandfather’s murder that occurred during the same period as my paternal grandparents met and married, I was digging into a lot of family history. My dad had mentioned to me that he was at the family history library working with Mama when he found some record of a grandfather on his Springfield line who had fought for the Confederacy  during the Civil War and was a deserter at Shiloh.

Since the novel I was writing was about how the Morton’s and the Springfields came together through the union of Sherman Morton and Edna Springfield, and since the Morton’s where Union veterans, I crafted this fun scene. It was about how the Union and Confederate backgrounds would clash alongside some of the other contrasts of these two families. I wrote a scene which I was very proud of. It was rather comical, and I had no intention of ever cutting it from the book.

I told no one about this scene. Not a soul. The same week I’d written it, I went to a Church Stake Conference and Mama sat down next to me and handed me a purple 3-pronged folder and said, “Here, you might need this.” I opened it up and there inside were the enlistment papers of this Springfield grandfather in the Union Army alongside his honorable discharge papers.

It was as if this grandfather had been reading my manuscript over my shoulder and said, “You do not make me a Confederate, and you do NOT make me a deserter.” Mama was so in tune, she rounded up those papers for him and delivered them into my hands.

Freedom

Mama wrote recently,

“I am very old and in spite of wars and trouble (we are never going to be free of trouble) it was a good life and good people.

I’d like my grandchildren and gg children to know life in the past wasn’t all bad. I’ve had an interesting and exciting life at times. I lived in Germany 8 years after WW2 and saw places that weren’t free, saw burned out buildings from the war still there.”

Mama and Daddy both shared a love for freedom. She was a strong advocate of the US Constitution and was very vocal in her sphere of influence. She loved her country, and she was always concerned that her children and grandchildren live in freedom.

Faith

Probably what stands out most about Mama was her faith. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints back in 1970 along with my two older sisters, Lisa and Karen. Mama was the first in our immediate family to join the Church and we all owe our faith to her. She rarely ever missed a Sunday. She often said if she felt a little bad, she’d go anyway because by the time church was over, she’d be feeling good again.

Mama loved Relief Society and served in many capacities including Relief Society President, Meetinghouse Librarian and Family History Consultant. Back in the old days she made fudge with the Relief Society sisters, and they’d sell it as a fund raiser. She’d drive her old VW bug up to Knoxville for church meetings, even though the thing would break down on the way almost every time.

Mama had an amazing understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She taught me the mysteries of God and we shared many long conversations about life, and faith. She was my sounding board and my confidant. Mama exposed me to good books. I used to love to rummage through her bookshelf and find gospel treasures.

Prayer

I remember her praying with us each morning before school. She’d listen to Luther on the radio, turn it down for a minute, say a prayer over our orange juice, toast and eggs and then turn Luther back up.  If I had a test that day, she’d say, “Say a little prayer.” In fact, before anything I was anxious about Mama would tell me to, “Say a little prayer.” That advice has served me well throughout my life. I did not doubt that Mama knew that prayer worked.

If any one of her family, friends, children or grandchildren were struggling in any shape or form, Mama would put their names on the temple prayer rolls.

Throughout everything I have done in my life, my mother has been my cheerleader, my greatest fan. I believe there is nothing more priceless in life than to have someone who believes in you, who will acknowledge the heavy burdens you carry, show sympathy, but have the faith that somehow, someway you’re going to pull through.

Mama was a person I knew I could go to and ask her to pray for me. I knew her mother’s love would cut through the clouds like a beacon of light and call down the blessings of heaven upon my head. I am so blessed to have had a mother who let me know in a million ways that I am loved, that I matter to her and that I matter to God.

betty mortonMother’s Love

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I feel and know that the same goes for mothers. Height, nor depth, nor any creature can separate me from my mother’s love. It is pure and holy, timeless and eternal as the love of my Savior. Her love IS my Savior’s love.

Nothing could ever restrain Mama’s love for us or her tender loving care. She has always been our angel mother, and she will ever be… now with more power and glory and even more access to the Savior’s grace.

I feel her near. She is with me in my thoughts. She is forever in my heart. Forever in my soul.

I am overcome with joy that she is in a beautiful place, in the arms of her Savior, her Heavenly Father, who she adored and served ever faithfully. I’m sure she has been greeted by throngs of loved ones and ancestors.

Not many people on this earth are blessed to have the kind of love we have enjoyed from our mother, grandmother and friend. Our hearts break now because it feels we have lost a huge piece of ourselves. She was so much a fabric of the foundation of our lives. But I know she is not lost to us. She will never be forgotten, and she is ever with us. She’s in heaven, preparing a place for us with Granny and Papaw White and Sherman and Edna, Aunt Thadda, and her old lunch bunch friends like Katie and Al Adamz and Marvin and Sarah May.

We teach in this church that families are forever. But Christ-like friends are forever too. Joseph Smith taught that the same sociality that exists here will exist with us there.

Mama left this earth on the afternoon of March 15, 2017, in her own home, in her own bed, and was greeted by a heavenly throng of family, friends, and ancestors who honored and cheered for her as she met her Savior.

Mama can say as the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8

May we all remain faithful and join her in those eternal realms of glory, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

new year's theme

New Year’s Theme: Selecting a Theme for 2017

Each New Year, I don’t create resolutions. I select a New Year’s theme. I normally select a New Year’s theme based on an idea that strikes me… generally something to support my goals. But this year, nothing was coming, so I decided to approach my theme selection from a different angle.

Back in 2012, a good friend taught me about the 9 year cycles we go through in our lives. Each year has a specific purpose in our development, and we cycle through these 9 years from a fresh start in a year 1 to a point of completion in a 9 year.

I’m heading into a 7 personal year which is all about planning, self-discovery, and diving deeper within. Generally, it’s not a year of making great strides in the physical world, but more exploring the depths of your inner world. It’s preparation for the 8 year which is about abundance, magnification and going big. If I do my inner work of the 7 year right, I should be ready to roll with big things in 2018.

This fits with how I’ve been feeling … that there is a “big idea” out there for me but not yet. There is preparation to do … something to learn and or be clarified first.

As far as goals go…

I’m currently writing my Restoring Liberty book and hope to release it this year. That’s not necessarily any “big thing” for me. I’ve written over 25 books. Writing a book is my norm. The only thing big about it is that it aligns with my mission. I believe I’m here to stand for freedom and to educate people around freedom. I honestly don’t anticipate that the book will be a big best seller. It’s more for me — fine tuning my ability to articulate the principles of freedom.

I’d really like to write a fantasy novel or some kind of fiction novel around the principles next.  I anticipate that will start to take shape in my mind as I come to the end of my 7 year (2017). It should come out in 2018… or at least get written then. That’s my guess anyway. It’s percolating at a conceptual level — not at a story line level really. I’ve had some thoughts, but nothing that propels me forward.

Looking Back on Where I’ve Been

A 7 year is about taking things easy, working on your inner game. I’ve shifted dramatically in the last 3 years. I put my systems in place in 2014 (year 4), headed into a roller coaster adventure year traveling and exploring my freedom in 2015 (year 5), and settled into creating a new home life in 2016 (year 6).

I’m not the same person I was. Adventurous, roller coaster 2015 took me to some lost places, but somehow God reached down, snatched me up, and put me on a better path.

I feel different. I’m not certain the spiritual trail I followed pre-2015 works for me anymore. Maybe I had started to form wrong perceptions of the spiritual world. I don’t know. I just know I’m skeptical of a lot of the things I used to buy into. I’ve gone through a major reboot, and I feel like God wants me to adjust my spiritual perspectives.

Even though I don’t feel as “on my spiritual game” as I was prior to 2015, there are some good things that have come with the spiritual reboot of that year. I’m not as black and white about things. But the more I keep going to church, keep studying, and keep teaching at church, the more I feel the Spirit tuning my spirit to its frequency.

Tears come more readily than they used to. I rarely, if ever, cried — even when I needed to. I’m more compassionate, less judgmental, more forgiving, more willing to give people room to make mistakes and grow. More patient with people’s progress and my own.

Selecting a New Year’s Theme

Setting the numbers aside, even if I wasn’t in a “let it be” 7 year, I don’t feel like being pushed. I’m not feeling ambitious and don’t feel the need to force myself to be so.

I’ve been in observation mode with my own spirituality since 2015. I’ve observed how the Spirit has been shaping me, changing me. In a very subtle, gentle way the Spirit has been tweaking my desires so that I have less desire for sin, more desire for good. It’s been a very organic process. I have not had to “pull myself up by my bootstraps and make myself be good.”

This is why I believe the primary thing I need in 2017 is the Spirit.

Every small interaction with the Spirit adds a drop of oil to my lamp so I can shine brighter.

  • It cleanses and purifies me just a little bit more,
  • Aligns my desires and will with God’s will,
  • Clarifies my purpose and life mission,
  • Liberates me from internal and external bondage,
  • Teaches me who I am,
  • Helps me feel the love of God,
  • Enables me to love others more,
  • Brings me joy, peace, hope and faith, and
  • Propels me to act when the timing and ideas are right.

Degree by degree with every encounter, the Spirit transforms me. It’s not a “muster the willpower” to be more, better or greater.  Seeking the Spirit daily facilitates a kind, gentle, and organic transformation which is in alignment with a 7 year.

So, my theme for this year is simple:

Experience the Spirit Daily

That’s it. I can do that by watching inspirational materials, reading scriptures, listening to uplifting music, reading inspirational books and articles, journaling, studying, sharing/teaching what I’m learning.

Plan to Feel the Spirit More

As far as my business goes, I’m calendaring my year with my key offerings, and then I’m developing a daily action plan for marketing those offerings. Each day I’ll know what I’m supposed to be doing. By knowing what I need to do each day for my business, I can save lots of indecision and floundering time, get the job done, and then have the rest of the time for experiencing the Spirit and following what it guides me to do.

That’s what I’m working on this week — planning my year and creating my marketing calendar. I’ll be sharing how I do this in my next Marnie’s Marketing Mondays if you’d like to join me.

How To Calendar Your Year for Success
Monday, January 9, 2016
at 2pm ET / 1pm CT / noon MT / 11am PT.

Just fill out the form on the upper right of this page to get details on how to join in.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

I'm neither an ist nor a phobe. I'm just someone with values

Society’s New Unwritten Rule

The new unwritten law of society:

Political correctness and “tolerance” of every viewpoint, no matter how depraved it may be, is the new “self righteousness.” Popular opinion says that to be truly righteous one must accept every choice anyone wishes to make as completely acceptable and viable (except one later to be explained).

If you do not agree with a choice, if it violates your moral boundaries, and you speak out against the behavior, you have committed the unpardonable sin of “hate speech” or are possessed of some horrific phobia or are some kind of “ist.”

The concept of separating the action from the individual is considered impossible. One must not only allow everyone to choose to enact any violation against traditional Judaeo-Christian values, but also one must celebrate the choice and champion the violator’s “courage” for stepping out into some new aberrant lifestyle. Otherwise one is evil and not truly “righteous.”

If you are caught in the act of this “judgmental” unrighteousness, your rights and opinions are decried, ridiculed and publicly slandered. In many cases you could lose your job or even your property. Tolerance is demanded for everyone BUT those who hold fast to and verbalized their Judaeo-Christian beliefs and/or conservative values. These individuals forfeit the respect of society. They may not speak of their beliefs because they are offensive. Anyone else’s beliefs cannot be offensive.

There you have it… You are welcome to like or share this, but be aware that doing so could categorize you as an “ist” or a “phobe.” 🙂

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

The One Thing That Will Protect Us from Terrorism

heal their landPeople are scared, rightly so. Our government doesn’t seem to have the ability to protect us, yet people continue to cry to political leaders for aid. I do not believe this is the answer. There IS an answer and I will share it freely with you in this post. But first a little explanation …

After 9/11 people turned to God, cried for help, and many Americans had a renewed sense of their need for God’s guidance. In the following years, through the hand of Providence, there were very few attacks on US soil…

Until recently … Everything is escalating as if someone lifted a hand of protection. (One might ask what has changed? But I’ll leave that for you to ponder.)

How are people responding to increased terrorism? After Paris, verbal attacks on people posting social media comments about “praying for Paris” have gone viral. After San Bernardino, headlines read “God isn’t fixing this.” People’s hearts have hardened alongside their enemies.

Rather than turning to God like they did before, people are turning from Him. This is typical human nature. We think “God isn’t listening” or doesn’t exist because He doesn’t instantly respond to our cries or make everything a rosy ride.

But I’m going to ask a few hard questions:

  • Did our cries to God in our time of crisis after 9/11 create an internal change of heart?
  • Did our actions change for the better?
  • Did we turn, as a nation, from our wicked ways?
  • Did we transmit that change of heart to our children?

Many individuals did, but as a nation we have become increasingly perverse.

Our wake up call to repentance didn’t make a deep enough, lasting impact on our hearts and actions as a nation. (Yes, God uses our enemies’ choices to wake us up. He turns them to our blessing when we turn to Him. It’s not me saying this. Read the Bible. It’s all over the place.)

God Deals with Nations Differently Than With Individuals

There is an important distinction we need to be aware of in how God deals with individuals versus nations.

“As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.” (George Mason, summarizing discussions on the floor of the Constitutional Convention)

National calamities are not discriminatory about who they touch. The sweet, kind and innocent alongside the perverse and corrupt are affected.

We don’t like this concept, but nevertheless it is true. Truth isn’t always palatable. Bottom line…We pay a price as a nation for national sins.

What About the Innocent Victims?

It’s my belief that God has a way of setting things straight for those individuals who, through no fault of their own, are caught in the fall out.

We are eternal beings traveling a microscopic mortal portion of our existence. There is a sweeping canvass of eternity and an unfathomable, infinite atonement that will set everything straight in the end.

In the here and now, rejecting God and denouncing prayer is not the answer. It’s like sinking the only life-raft sent to save you.

Our Only Protection Against Terrorism

As a nation, we must not only cry to God more than ever, but we must also experience a might change of heart through our Creator — a change so sweeping we would give away all our sins to KNOW Him, a change so poignant that we have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

Then we may claim His promise, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

With God on our side we have this promise:

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17)

I testify to you that THIS is the ONE and ONLY answer to what we are facing.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Regardless Of Appearances, I Choose to Believe

It was such a gorgeous day, I decided to go for a walk. I feel so blessed to live in this beautiful place.

It’s the first time I’ve been out here since our neighbor planted sod. I sat down to enjoy it and was so overcome with the beauty of it that I started to cry. To think 2.5 years ago this field was overgrown with briers, bushes and trees.

I stood out here and spoke aloud the new life I chose. In prayer I co-created the lifchoose to believee I envisioned with God —

  • That this field would be cleared and beautiful,
  • that I’d be out of the painful marriage I was in and married to a man I could connect with, love and respect deeply, and
  • that together we could turn this place into what I envisioned in my mind.

As I sat here looking at this field that’s been entirely cleared and beautified by our neighbor, Mr Sims, I thought of my husband whom I adore and realized if God can do this much, He most certainly can do the rest. Why stop now? I choose to keep on believing, regardless of appearances!

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

avoid the temptation to put your own interpretation on visions, inspiration or insights

Quest for Love: Visions and Impressions

I work with a lot of visionaries, spiritually-adept teachers, consultants, speakers, coaches and other self-help professionals. I often say these folks are “hardwired for inspiration.” This is a great thing. They’re forward thinking, inspirational, innovative and positive for the most part. This makes my work fun.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to this spiritual, visionary intensity. Being a visionary myself, I’m learning a lot about the downsides to this spiritual strength. Over the next few blog entries, I’d like to share what I’m gleaning — mostly through experience as a single mom.

To say the world of online dating is a test of discernment would be an understatement! It’s been a great laboratory for learning to sift through inspiration, imagination, emotion, seeing patterns, and even chemicals in the brain.

Beware of Interpretations

Visionaries are hardwired for inspiration. Each of us have our own way of getting answers or receiving insight. Some of us have words or phrases come to us, others see things in our mind’s eye, others get a strong emotional sense about a situation, while others “just know.” Some people even receive inspiration through touching something, taste or smell. Experiencing a combination of these is common.

The interesting thing about visions, impressions or insights is that when we receive them, we have a tendency to interpret them through the lens of our current perceived reality. Most of the time events NEVER happen the way we see or imagine they will.

avoid the temptation to put your own interpretation on visions, inspiration or insightsToday’s tip for visionaries is to avoid the tendency to interpret what an insight means. Just document it. Journal, Journal, Journal! Then, let it go.

For example, when I was dating a man right after the divorce, I prayed about him and got the answer, “He is a man among men. You can’t go wrong with him.”  I interpreted this to mean he was the man I would marry.

The real interpretation was that this gentleman was “a man among men.” He was a very good man, a perfect gentleman. I could not have gone wrong with him morally. Also, going wrong with him would have been marrying him! He was the first to realize and admit that we were not a good match. He didn’t let us make a stupid mistake.

Since this experience, I’ve tried to be cautious about how I interpret an answer I perceive as coming from God. Even something that seems straight-forward doesn’t always mean what you think it does.

In my next posts, I talk about distinguishing inspiration from imagination. This post is part of a series. If you missed the others, you can start at the beginning here.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Numb

Where are You?
Once so near
Now far away.
Once beloved
Now lost.

Numb inside.
Callous and cold.
Going through motions
Habit
Lifeless and dull.
Will enough motion create life?

campfireRenew the flame.
Spark my hope.
Quicken my understanding.
Enlighten my mind.
Infuse my heart.
Help me trust You again.

Where is the keeper of the flame?
Can He, will He
Fan it anew?
Or will it die
In dark night’s slumber?

Tears of loss.
Broken heart
Cracked wide open.
Dark and bleeding
Damaged beyond repair.

Through the cracks
The sun seeps.
Healing in its rays,
Slowly, gently
Making everything new.

At last
I cry out and
You are there
Again.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

No Scars

I find great comfort and hope in this quote by Boyd K Packer:

“Repentance is the supreme manifestation of God’s mercy and generosity. Our spirits are damaged when we make mistakes and commit sins. But unlike the case with our mortal bodies, when the repentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

Ironically, the Savior chose to keep His scars. Or are they His scars at all? I think perhaps they are mine.

As we celebrate this Easter morning, I am grateful for the price that was paid for me, the blood that was shed, the anguish in Gethsemane over my sins, and the hope of a glorious resurrection made possible by the Lamb of God. How merciful and kind for One so holy and pure to take my mistakes, iniquities and illnesses upon Himself so that I may walk away clean and scar free.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Have You Lost Hope?

When life has slammed you with one disappointment after another, it’s easy to lose faith that anything can be different. Sliding into a state of hopelessness often occurs.

sadwoman-morguefileI know how this feels. I’ve been there, done that. It’s a lonely and powerless place to be. But, in time I discovered a secret for maintaining hope without letting every disappointment crush it.

The secret is in knowing what part you control and what part God controls.

  • You control WHAT you want and WHY you want it.
  • The only WHO you control is you. Let go of trying to control who else is involved or what they choose to do with their lives.
  • Let go of WHEN it will happen, and WHERE.
  • You have a little control over HOW it happens, but mainly God controls that too.
  • Listen and act on inspiration as soon as it comes.
  • In the meantime, hold your vision and live in gratitude. Let whatever comes be enough in that moment.
  • If something doesn’t work out, it just means something better is around the corner. Hold your faith in what you want and why you want it.

This is the essence of what I’ve tried to teach for the last decade. Where did it come from?  How did I gain this insight? I was reading in the Bible where it says Jesus is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.” Every good author covers Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. As an author myself and a bit of a control-freak, I looked at that verse and asked myself what part I control and what part He controls.

I developed this formula and have tested it with time.  It works. When I live by it, I am happier and things work out.

Whenever I get antsy, disappointed, or irritated that my life is out of control, I check to see if I’m trying to control one of the elements that aren’t mine to control. If I am, I give that to God and let it go.

What If You Don’t Trust God Anymore?

But what if you’ve been slammed so many times you’ve lost your trust in God. You may gain no comfort from my formula. You may be wondering, “Is God there? Does He even care about me? I’m all on my own. The only person I can count on is me.”

I can understand feeling like you can’t count on God. I can relate to not feeling trust or hope or faith. I’ve been there. A lot of my clients have experienced the same thing.

The energy therapy I do has been an immense part of my journey. It has helped me process the trauma and disappointments of the past and let them go. It’s reconnected me to hope, faith and trust in God.

That’s one of the most common results I see in my clients from the beginning of a session to the end. They move from overwhelm and hopelessness to a feeling of peace, hope and gratitude by the end.

That’s why I love my work. It’s so rewarding to assist people in regaining their hope, faith and trust in God and in themselves.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

My 5am Shift In Perspective

I’ve had an immense amount of work, stress and challenges on my plate lately. I’ve found myself doing more whining and griping to God than usual. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit my prayers probably sound more like the demanding rants of an ungrateful child.

Very similar to the image in my dream. From Reflections of Christ. Click the photo for more images from this collection.

Very similar to the image in my dream.
From Reflections of Christ. Click the image for more photos in this collection.

After acknowledging and apologizing for this last night, I slipped into bed and fell asleep listening to Sara Bareilles’ “The Light.” At about 5am I had a dream that Jesus took my hand in His and led me to a better, more illuminated place. I had this overwhelming feeling that everything was going to be all right. A warm feeling of peace and trust settled over me. I haven’t felt that way in some time.

I opened my eyes and realized the song had continued to play over and over all night long. It not only shifted, but also may have reprogrammed something in me. I’m still walking around with that feeling of peaceful trust.

I had always viewed this song as a romantic one, but in the night, my mind set to work on it and reframed it as my relationship with God. Perhaps my thoughts and prayers acknowledging that I needed to adjust my attitude toward God had allowed the song to take on new meaning.

I’ve changed only one word in the song lyrics below. Now it’s become a wonderful way to express trust in my Savior.


“The Light”
Sara Bareilles

In the morning it comes, heaven sent a hurricane
Not a trace of the sun but I don’t even run from rain
Beating out of my chest, my heart is holding on to you
From the moment I knew
From the moment I knew

You are the air in my breath filling up my love soaked lungs
Such a beautiful mess intertwined and overrun
Nothing better than this, oh, and then the storm can come
You feel just like the sun
Just like the sun

And if you say we’ll be alright
I’m gonna trust you, [LORD]
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be alright
I’ll follow you into the light

Never mind what I knew, nothing seems to matter now
Ooh, who I was without you, I can do without
No one knows where it ends, how it may come tumbling down
But I’m here with you now
I’m with you now

And if you say we’ll be alright
I’m gonna trust you, [LORD}
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be alright
I’ll follow you into the light

Let the world come rush in
Come down hard, come crushing
All I need is right here beside me
I’m not enough, I swear it
But take my love and wear it over your shoulders

And if you say we’ll be alright
I’m gonna trust you, [LORD]
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be alright
I’ll follow you into the light

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.