Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14


My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Comforts and Comfort Zones

"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."

A couple of things that comfort me are right on my front porch; my rocking chair and swing.  An old quilt and pillows are also comforting.  I love the way rocking or swinging can slow me down. It's been know to take a racing heartbeat and bring it down to a normal level. If I’m uptight, there is just something soothing about the movement and motion of these moving seats.  Maybe it goes all the way back to babyhood when my mom would rock to soothe me.  That sounds like something a phychologist would say, doesn't it?
            And then there is comfort food.  Mine is wonderfully, delicious warm potato soup served in a bread bowl. And chocolate is good for just about anything!  I wonder what a phychologist would have to say about that?
            To go deeper, it is the Holy Spirit that can give real comfort.  We read in the Bible the Holy Spirit comforted the disciples after Jesus’ physical presence left them and returned to Heaven.  He has comforted me many times.  Who needs a phychologist when you have the Holy Spirit?! There is comfort in knowing God keeps his promises.
            The Bible warns us though, not to settle for comfort without commitments.  We are called to win people to Christ and glorify God with our lives.   That is not going to happen if we always stay in our comfort zone.  Sometimes we have to sacrifice to achieve results.  We are told to endure rigorous discipline and train hard.
            Sometimes we have to get up and leave our comfort zone to do what we are called to do, to be a blessing to others and to God.  In the end we become blessed ourselves.
            We could always stay in our comfort zone but what does that accomplish?  We would not grow and mature.  It would become boring after awhile.  We risk not meeting interesting people.  We risk not being able to help anyone.  We wouldn’t feel fulfilled.  And how does God get glory from our life when we're always sitting in our comfort zone?
            I stayed in my comfort zone for many years because of fear and feeling inadequate. I was being more a fear thinker than a faith believer.  But one year I finally took the plunge and  ventured out of mine. I joined a large evangelism team from my former church.   It took a year for a friend to convince me to join.  The Holy Spirit was working on me also.  I finally jumped right into the most uncomfortable place I could be; having to memorize scriptures and then the really big one, visiting people I didn’t know in their homes, sharing the gospel message and praying out loud with them.
            But you know what?  The Holy Spirit was with me every time, bringing words to my mind and out of my mouth.  This time of my life became one of many, big blessings and the biggest spiritual growth spurt I have ever experienced. My heart may have been thumping and up in my throat but after awhile it became like riding a bike.  After some practice, it became easy and fun. My heart rate became normal again. I met so many interesting people, had wonderful conversations with them, saw some join our church; some joined other churches for the first time.  I had meaningful, tearful prayer times with some.  They were all very appreciative of our visits and I received many hugs.  I would have missed all of this had I stayed in my comfort zone. 
            I left that time of my life, stronger; knowing I could venture anywhere God led me because He would be with me all the way.
            Little did I know, years later, He would send me into hospitals to offer lunch bags and prayers
to strangers in the ICU waiting rooms and in the patients rooms.
            Little did I know, years later, he would send me over and under bridges to offer God’s Word, His love, and  blankets to homeless men.
      Little did I know, years later, He would tell me to write. 

 I didn’t want to.  I believed I had no talent for this. I argued with Him, can you believe that?!  I told him I didn’t know how. I didn't even want to.  He reminded me how he put words into Moses’ mouth when he thought he could not speak eloquently.  He reminded me of how he put the words into me when I was evangelizing.  I don't know if I wanted His voice to stop or I decided to step out in obedience, but I did  step out yet again, out of a comfort zone and began to write.  The words have been coming ever since.  If God ever hounds you to do something, I suggest you do it!  Writing has been a form of therapy for me, (I suspect God knew that) and I have been loving it ever since. I have become part of a community that is faithful, dependable, and oh, so loving!  I am meeting people from all over the world. I have new prayer partners as well as becoming one for them.  This community has blessed me and if it were not for me stepping out of a comfort zone, it would have never happened.
  God’s love is the biggest comfort I know of.    It is unfailing; it is dependable; His love will never leave or forsake me.  I can always count on it no matter what. And because of his comfort and unfailing love, I now have new precious people in my life.
            So yes, God brings things and people to comfort us, but I don’t believe He wants us to stay in a comfort zone for too long,  I think once we’ve been comforted, then it is time for us to get out there and comfort others.  Let’s take His unfailing love and go share it.
            I need to get out of this swing now.  I have a friend I need to go visit.

. . .through Christ our comfort overflows.
Second Corinthians 1:5

Where has God taken you where you thought you would never go?
How has He comforted you?
What comforts you?
Is He calling you to do something?


Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Kristin, you know I've been waiting for days to read this. Thank you for taking the time to put so much thought and personal feelings here. It was hard for me last week to be confronted and slammed up against the walls of my comfort zones. The thing is, you would have thought by now that I would be well on my way OUT of them. There have been times in the past that I was brave enough to venture out and came back excited and joyful that I had found a new niche. But during the past few years, I've crawled back in --- way in -- to the point of becoming a loner with no one at all in my life. It was safe there. I've taken a lot of steps OUT during the past year. To most, those steps would seem like normal, every day life that everyone does. But for me, they were biggies. And I was so happy and glad that I did. To the point, I wanted to move further. I knew that in my heart. That's why I was so surprised and disappointed when I said no when asked. After putting myself out there and bearing my heart, the comments and emails have been so helpful, yours included. All of this has made me search my heart, where I am, where I'm going, how far I'm will to go for Him, etc., with some accountability thrown in. Your post today is such a good push for me in the right direction. Thank you for that. I can truly say that our paths crossed "for such a time as this."

Lisa Maria said...

Kristin, what an amazing journey you've been on! God has really been preparing you and taking you to greater heights. I understand completely about comfort zones and fear. Like you, though, I hear Him saying to let go of my safety belt, He wont let me fall if I lean over the edge just a little bit more. Our God is awesome!

(Swinging and rocking.. rocking and swinging, it IS therapeutic in some way and just like you I thought it had something to do with babyhood and being rocked for comfort.)

God bless your special time with Him today! Praying for you.

Love & Blessings

Kristin Bridgman said...

Dear Cora,
Thank you for pouring out your heart and thoughts to me. I so understand. I wanted to stay within my comfort walls and I did for a long time. But good friends would not let me stay there. I still sometimes have to remind myself when something comes up to not let the devil get a hold of me with fear and I tell myself with God I can do anything.
I will be praying for you that if God is calling you to do something that would pull you out of your comfort zone, that he would deliver you from the fears and infuse you with boldness and courage. If he is calling you, you will be blessed as well as others. I'm excited to hear what that will be :)
And like I said before, you have been such a blessing to me in just the short time we have known each other. I know how vulnerable it can be to put your words and thoughts out there for everyone to read. Thank you so much for doing just that!
I'm praying for you.

Tiffany said...

God took me to Ethiopia to adopt a boy who we were told was blind. I NEVER thought that would be in my future, but now I cannot imagine my life being any different! I am just beginning to really grasp the idea of getting out of my comfort zone. I have a lot of fear, but I am learning it is scarier to not take the leap of faith!
Your blog is lovely. You certainly are a writer!
Be Blessed.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Lisa Maria~thank you for your prayers, I love you for being so faithful to me:)

Tiffany~how awesome God led you to your little boy all the way across the ocean. That would really be leaving a comfort zone! But look how the blessings come when we do leave. May we always remember that when that fear tries to creep in. And when it does, I say we just need to put on our running shoes, take hold of God's hand and GO!

Lisa said...

Kristin, thanks for leaving the comment directing me to this post. This is exactly how I have been feeling. I'm not quite sure where God is going to take me, but I'm willing to go. Many blessings!
PS - I continue to pray for your prodigal. :)

Jedidja said...

I love this blog. Because it gives me courage. I never thought I would ever blog about imperfection and self-acceptance. Step by step God helps me out of my comfort zone!

( I have write today a blog about your blog - quilts of love, and the old story your mother sent you )