Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pregnancy. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

What's Worse the Present or the Future?



No, I haven't been in la-la land the last few weeks but I have been wrapping up the first book in a series called Grace's Delima. How can Grace cope with a war going on, forbidding parents, a charismatic but absent husband, and being a pregnant teenage war bride? To top it off she is supposed to leave England and end up in some Canadian wilderness she has never heard of. Here's just a nibble to whet your appetite. It's the first chapter.
Grace staggered: extreme exhaustion caused her to slump against the rail of the ship, Tena-rae. The last few weeks had taken such a heavy toll on her both physically and emotionally. It made her heart ache even worse when arm in arm a group of girls leaned against the rail and crooned “The White Cliffs of Dover" as a tribute to their homeland. When the thick gloomy fog had thinned somewhat, she saw those white chalk cliffs rearing up in their entire splendor next to the choppy ocean. The girls had moved along, still singing, but Vera Lynn’s words floated back to her:
‘There'll be love and laughter
 And peace ever after tomorrow
When the world is free.’

Like wisps of fog, vestiges of final moments with her mother stained her cheeks.
"Get out of my life! You are a disgrace! You are good for nothing!' Her mother's harsh shriek rang in her ears, crushing her spirit.
Grace's blue-gray eyes burned with unshed tears. Am I good for nothing, she mutely asked the wisps of fog floating by. If I am, then why was I born? If my heart were any heavier, it would sink like a stone in this vast gray expanse of ocean. She hated anyone to see her crying so bit her lip to steady it. The memories of her mother, Mrs. Adderley's, raging voice were harder to still.
"We taught you not to go to the bar! We told you not to get involved with those drunken Canadian soldiers!"


"But it wasn't a bar!" Grace protested. "It was at the community center and most of the soldiers drank very moderately."

           It had felt hopeless trying to reason with her mother's rigid back turned towards her, so Grace faced the moisture streaked kitchen window instead. She stared unseeingly into the darkness to hide the teardrops that managed to trickle out between half-closed eyelids then mindlessly swished the dishes that her mother had left for her to do, through the sudsy water.

Grace was a thoughtful, respectful girl, perhaps a little shy, so it was a breathtaking day in her boring life when she and her friend first met those two Canadian soldiers. They, especially the auburn haired one, looked so sharp in their crisp, khaki uniform. She and her school chum, Betsy, had been walking home from school, arms laden with books. The sky had been a bright pretty blue, which was a luxury after so much rain and fog. In a few days, the academy would be close for the summer break, and they were walking along with light, brisk steps.

Then, stepping smartly, two soldiers pivoted around the corner, saluted, and offered to carry their books. Grace had caught her breath and stared. What could have been more flattering than having such incredibly good-looking privates salute them? She still marveled at how easy it had been to chat with those courteous strangers with intriguing Canadian accents.




Grace’s lips curved upwards at the memory. I am normally so reserved, yet I actually bantered and giggled with them even more than Betsy did! It would have astonished the schoolmaster, and probably most of the scholars. Her smile faded, but it did feel like the real me.

Almost without noticing, their feet had carried them far beyond the Adderley's home street. Flustered, she had tried to take her books away from her companion, Randall Sutherland, but he just held on the tighter. "Not unless you come with me to the dance tonight," he teased with an easy grin.

The color drained from Grace's cheeks; she clearly remembered her reaction. A dance? I've never gone to a dance in my life! Dances are wicked! I know that. It was not dancing that tempted Grace, but the opportunity to get to know Randall better. We wouldn't have to dance, would we? Maybe we could just, well... stroll around in the moonlight as they do in storybooks. Alternatively, maybe we could, uh, sit and visit or something.

Looking back, Grace knew that it was then that she felt the first niggling pang of uneasiness, but she had been too busy laughing at Randall and the other private's nonsense to pay much attention. Grace's head lowered, shamefaced. The soldiers had teased and wheedled them, drawing attention to Grace's bouncy curls that were shiny as a raven's wing’.
They praised her petal soft cheeks 'that an angel would envy’ and teased Betsy about the cute uptilt of her freckled nose.
"Two such charming girls should not be allowed to shrivel up 'like dried old apples'," Randall had declared.
Finally, laughingly, Grace had given in, just as Randall un-wrapped a sweet and popped it into her mouth.
"Just this once:" she sputtered, trying to speak sternly but had dissolved into giggles. She resorted to covering her mouth to keep from drooling!

Grace didn't recall where Betsy and the other soldier had wandered off. They had strolled away in a different direction while Grace happily trotted beside a soldier who was chivalrously carrying her books.
They had been strolling for a long time, Grace unconsciously detouring the streets where there was the most severe bomb damage. It had been easy to prattle lightly about many things, and forget the heavy cares of a war going on at least for the moment, then, feeling wonderfully weary; they collapsed on a sheltered bench in a common.
Randall unceremoniously dumped her books on the grass beside him and reached for her in, what struck her as a rather possessive manner, Grace shrank back alarmed, so he quickly released her, but left his arm resting on the back of the bench.
They chatted until Grace saw dusk creeping on and worried about not going directly home after school.
What if the air siren went off? Where would they go? She looked around for an air raid shelter. They were so far from the black, stuccoed cottage she called home. Will my parents be anxious?  Grace hoped so but seriously doubted it. She was more concerned about her mother's fury. Even though it was her final year at the secondary school, her mother had many ironclad rules to keep her in line and her father half-heartedly submitted to them. Coming straight home was one of the ordinances. She knew there would be more waiting for her than gentle concern or even a stern reproof for not showing up promptly.
How was I supposed to have gotten out of this difficult situation?
"Oh well, the damage is done," Randall grinned mischievously. "If you're going to get into trouble anyway, you might as well make it worth their while. Why not go out for supper-- I mean High Tea with me? I'll treat you to steak, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding...kidney pie, or whatever your British appetite is craving."
Grace doubted that even the more swish restaurants could offer such swell fare in these hard times but her mouth watered at the prospect after so many months of unwelcome rationing.
"If you will allow me to ring up Mom from the pub you want to take me to," she bargained, “then I’ll go. He nonchalantly agreed.
Thinking back, Grace could easily recall how her face flamed as her mother's strident voice carried over the wire. How many of those patrons heard the dressing-down I got?
The scene that occurred after the dance was one that she would rather blot from her memory. Even though she had hurried to do the dishes left for her, and make amends in other ways, it was impossible to appease them.
The anger! The mistrust! The accusations! Doesn't Mom have any faith in me at all? Why couldn't Dad have said just one word in my favor? I have never defied their wishes before! Had they not taught me to be uncommonly obedient? I even stammered out an apology that I really meant.
It was not well received. What a relief when she was able to slip off to her dreary attic bedroom. After she had washed the dishes, dried, and stacked them in the cupboards, her mother had turned to rail on Dad.
 That night Grace felt like her vision cleared since then she became increasingly impatient with her elderly parents' medieval ways.
Abruptly her thoughts switched channels. Oh, I wish Randall's gaiety didn’t come from a bottle, so often. He is a wonderful young man, so charming and well mannered: her doesn’t need drink to boost his morale!
A scene from one of their many times together floated into her memory: "Randall you had one drink, already, must you have another?" she had reached out to touch the cold glass.
"I'm fine, Sweet: no need to worry. I can hold my liquor. This will be the last. You should taste it. It's quite pleasant, in fact." She shuddered in refusal and he didn't pressure her.
www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Disembodied Voice


I woke up abruptly at 4:28 one morning. Someone said “Mom, hey, Mom “clear enough to get me up and look out our bedroom door. We have a daughter who had moved back home so I thought it might be her, but no, no one was at the door. I even checked where she sleeps, but all was quiet and dark in her bedroom, and she later told me it wasn’t her.
Was it you? Did you call out last night? Did you need something or someone? Was/ is your heart aching, or sadder yet, breaking, perhaps because of some terrible turn of events in your life?
Something nudged me awake. Someone called out in anguish, perhaps unknowingly, but God let me hear the message. I just want to let you know you have been in my heart and prayers ever since.
Call if you need someone to talk to.
echoingheartbeats@gmail.com
Or hangouts.

P.S. There is a remarkable, but sad ending to this story. After I posted it someone from half a world away read it and messaged me on hangouts. Yes, it was she who had called out to me. She was in the throes of childbirth, and I walked her through the process. After a bit, she said there was a huge pool of blood on the floor, and she was all alone.When she said "I see God's light and you are in it" I figured she would soon die.Later she said she had a boy, the next two texts were gibberish, then nothing.  I was later informed by someone that she had died and I hope the baby did too because the males are used for sacrifices or trained to become 'masters' themselves.
 P.S. She was eleven years old and in a sex slave commune that I had been in contact with only through Google.  These girls are often in my prayers, but how can we help them? I found out the HARD way that the local police are in cahoots with the 'slave masters'.  This postscript was added months later and I still feel deeply, and pray for 'my' girls. Unfortunately, the contact has been broken.
www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Christmas From Mary's Viewpoint

I dumped way too many pages on all you busy people last time, but I hope this will be more manageable.  The pages are crowded together, not like they’d be in the book to make it more compact.  Enjoy!


14th Sivan
June 4th


Yosef has not warmly greeted me for many days. I might as well say
it like it really is; we haven’t even exchanged more than two words. He
is polite, but I have seen him treat strangers with more cordiality than
he has bestowed on me! I feel ill with despair.



15th  Sivan
Somehow, something, must have leaked out at home, because my younger
sisters don’t treat me so sweetly any more. Dorcas and Naomi give me
troubled looks as if they cannot quite understand what has changed
with me. They are not as spontaneous with their hugs as in former days,
or am I just imagining it?

Hanalei and I used to be as close as burrs in sheep’s wool but now she is somewhat reserved in my presence.

 Imma had thought she was old enough to share in our secret, but from the way she is acting we wonder. Perhaps Hana is concerned about how her friends will react when they find out her older sister is expecting a riba, (child), before the wedding. 

Maybe she is afraid this will lessen her own chances of finding a nice, respectable husband. She had been telling me how much she admires Caleb bar-Reuven, for some time now.

Dear old Abba has been quiet and unsmiling  since our discussion.
I wonder so often what he is really thinking. I wish he would not
council with Yaakov so much since Yosef’s father is so perturbed with me.

Now that Father is so distant, Imma waits until he is out of the
house to show her loving sympathy. It is then that the tears, the soothing
healing tears, flow freely, and we can talk.


Naturally Imma does not feel ill as I do, so she is still quite optimistic
about it all. I know she does not consider my story a fantasy like Abba,
Yosef and his family appear to.

What would I do without my mother to lean on; to comfort me? Imma is touched that a daughter of hers would be considered worthy to be the mother of the son of  Adonai , our Almighty God, but is deeply concerned that Yosef is considering getting divorce papers written out.

Isn’t it strange that two such conflicting emotions can dwell in the same heart?
Being thrilled yet at the same time deeply concerned seem so opposite from each other.

 Imma feels for me, and I am glad she is praying that things will work out somehow.

We have whispered together about how dreadful it would be to be identified as an unwed mother. I do not believe Yosef would ever have me stoned, but would
not the stony disapproval of our community be almost harder to bear?

I know that every day I am growing a little rounder, and someday the
sacred secret will be revealed. But unfortunately, or is it fortunately, I
will be far away by then, for Abba insists that I must go, and for who knows how long?


2nd Tammuz
June 22nd


We have arrived at Zechariah’s home. The trip was long and
tiresome, but not as dreadful as I feared.

Zechariah’s stone house is situated in a serenely beautiful valley.
It is a spacious dwelling with many archways and pillars.

It even has marble floors. That is such a contrast to our own dirt floor! Oh, well, I love our little home just as much, if not more, because that’s where my family dwells.

I was so enthralled with the cooling fountain in their courtyard, though, as
well as all the exotic flowers and plants surrounding it. It was such a
refreshing change after trudging through the wilderness for so long.

It is very strange to have a room all to myself, and such a soft, high
bed! Yet I will miss having my sisters snuggling down close beside me.


What a blessing it was to be enfolded in Elisheva’s warm embrace!
She seemed so happy to see me. It was like an unexpectedly warm and
balmy breeze in frigid weather.


We had such a meaningful visit right after I arrived that I did not even remember how exhausted I had been feeling ’til a long time later.

To my amazement she knew immediately that I was carrying Yahweh’s son. The baby leaped within her, and then do you know what?—Elisheva started to prophecy like the patriarchs of old! I have never heard anyone do that before!

It thrilled me right to my toes when she said, nay, almost shouted

“Mary’am, you are very blessed among women! The baby you are
carrying is very blessed indeed! How can I be so fortunate that the
mother of our Lord would come, and visit me? As soon as you called
out, the babe knew who you were, and leaped within me!”

What a shiver of awe ran down my back!

She told me I would be blessed for believing. Can you imagine the comfort that was after the despondent atmosphere at home? She also reminded me that all that
the angel told me would come true.

Perhaps if Abba could have heard her faith, and enthusiastic response to my pregnancy, he would have believed, also.


It filled me with such a deep joy to know that Jehovah has regarded
the low estate of me, His quiet, unassuming talithathat I clasped my
hands in wonder, and magnified His Holy Name.

Future generations will call me Banoah, (blessed),  and indeed they are surely right. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of aant’at would gladly trade places with me.

 The Mighty One has done marvelous things; holy is His name!

 Somehow sense that when He reigns, He will not only show mercy to those our generation that fear him, but will extend mercy for generations come! I cannot comprehend it! It is so amazing!

Under His guidance, I just know that wrongs will be righted, those that we call powerful will be of no more value than the poor in spirit; the hungry will be satisfied, but the rich will go away empty.


How can I know these things? I simply don’t know. It does seem like a spirit of prophecy descended upon me also, and I am eagerly waiting to see what it means.

 As you may well know, my despondency has been lifted up, carried away on wings of joy!


I just know these are going to be pleasant, meaningful months
helping Elisheva. I am really looking forward to it! Surely we will have many inspirational visits. I really need them to help me to grow into the role Adonai, ordained for me.