Welcome

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

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

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


Ponderings

Ponderings

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Ponderings!

WOW!  I can't believe it's been one year since the birth of Ponderings.  I could not believe anyone would really be interested in what I had to say.  But I heard "Write" in my head  until I thought I would explode, and so I did.

I asked the Lord to bless this blog and use it to be a blessing to whoever came by.  I wanted it to bring Him glory and honor.  The blog took off more than I could have ever imagined.  In one year the blog has received 118 followers with many more readers who just have not hit that "follow" button.  Ponderings has almost 20,000 hits.  I have made good friends and have been blessed with faithful prayer warriors from all over the United States and the World; the Carribean, Africa, the Netherlands, Phillipines, and India.

I know that it is not my writings that bring people here, cause I ain't no writer, but I believe it has everything to do with God and how he works in all our lives and that is the connection.  He is connecting us through blog land where we might not otherwise have connected.  Many have identified with my prodigal issues, we present and past homeschoolers identify with each other, we all identify with our walk with the Lord, and many have shown such an interest in the homeless stories.  Because of the plarn post, many have started plarn where they live.  People are considering starting their own blanket ministries.  I have seen people pray for each other through blog land; sorrowing with one another over the death of a fellow blogger, praying earnestly for those with cancer and other life threatning illnesses, praying for ones who cannot sleep, suffering with pain and many other causes and rejoicing to anwered prayer whether that answer was a yes or no. I have seen many of you in your acts of service to the Lord and it has encouraged me and others.

We may never meet each other in person, but the love is just as real.  One day we will meet whether on this side of Heaven or the other.  I asked the Lord to use this blog as a blessing to others.  I had no idea how the blessings would flow through the computer back to me.  I want to say "Thank You" to each follower and for each one that has come to visit me here at the pond.  Thank you to each one that has left a comment and to each one that has prayed for me and my loved ones.

If I could, I would reach through the screen and give everyone of you a great big hug.  How about closing your eyes right now.  I'm hugging you with my heart. . .feel it?

I can't wait to see what God has in store for this next year. . .for you and me both.  So ya all come back now ya hear?  And let's keep sharing, keep loving, keep serving.

I love you guys!
Kristin  (Kris)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Just Wanna Be a Big Kid Now...Part 2

*************************************************************
In honor of the ol' beloved footie pj's and pulling them out of the dresser drawer for the first time this Fall season, I'm reposting this story to celebrate.  While you read this, I'll probably be sipping my hot chocolate and feeling so happy my feet are warm!
                                   *****************************

There have been many, many things that have brought healing to our sad hearts from the storm that we have gone through.  And it is so interesting to see what God will use on a daily basis for that healing.  His Word says that laughter brings healing, and I can attest to that. 

Our household for about 4 years became very serious, very sad, very hurtful, with no fun, no laughter of any kind.  This way of living can make a person sick, and it did for our family.  After about three years, the three of us left behind from a prodigal, were on the mend, good things were happening, and we were moving on, but still not much laughter had taken place.  Then God stepped in in such an unlikely way.

Jena, a facebook friend who I have never met, posted pictures of herself and her little boy in footie pajamas.  They looked like they were having so much fun.  I didn’t think too much of it until not long after viewing those pictures, I was at Target and saw footie pajamas that would fit me.  On a whim, I bought them.

I came home and put them on. I was all alone in my closet, looking at myself through the full length mirror in those silly pajamas with space ships and stars all over them. I busted out laughing.  Here I was a grown woman in her mid 40’s wearing these ridiculous pajamas, although they are very comfortable!  I decided to have some fun and went and found my teen-age son and husband who is always carrying a camera.  I asked him to do a photo shoot.  I told my younger son to look like he was disgusted but I noticed he had a hard time keeping the grin off his face.  I could not, and neither could my husband.  This is the first time I remember the three of us having such a good time together since our first born had left.  It was a good evening!  But it got even better later!

It was late when my husband and I got ready for bed.  Yes, I went to bed with these pajamas on, my husband actually likes them!  I had gotten ready first and climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to my neck as it was December and a very cold night.  My husband came in about 15 minutes later, turned the lights out to where it became totally dark.  He yanked the covers back to climb into bed exposing my new pajamas, and WOW, what a surprise we had.  I did not know when I bought them, that when exposed to the darkness of being under the covers what would happen.  It had activated something.   He pulled those covers back in the pure darkness, and all the stars on my new duds from neck all the way down to my toes, were glowing brightly.  It was such a sight, and caught us both off guard so that we busted out laughing, laughing hysterically, the kind that brings tears down your face. Oh my, that kind of laughing hurts, and yet it felt so good.
 
Our home had been so serious for so long. But all because a girl hundreds of miles away decides in her good humored nature, to wear footie pajamas and post those pictures on facebook, God allowing me to see those pictures, leading me to Target, a place I don’t go to very often, leading me to those silly pajamas, leading me to buy them, something I wouldn’t have normally done, kept me from seeing the truth of those delightful stars at the time, gave my husband, younger son and I a fun evening filled with laughter.  Just what the doctor ordered; no, just what God ordered and filled; SO much better than prescriptions from the pharmacy.

The depression has lifted, life is good, not perfect, but getting better, and I will always be grateful to Jena, to God, for laughter, and soft, warm footie pajamas with space ships and glow in the dark stars.

You just never know who, what or how God will choose to work around and within you, so always keep your chin up, your eyes open, and be ready to go anywhere he leads. . .even if it’s to Target.

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy and they said. . .The Lord has done great things for them.”
Psalm126:2








Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love Purely

A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a 27 year old woman . She is homeless and staying at the Salvation Army.   I won't print her story here but wanted you to meet her.  This is Nicole. 

Later I intervied a 32 year old man.  He is homeless and staying at the Salvation Army. I won't print his story either at this time. This is Mike.



Nicole and Mike became homeless and entered the Salvation Army alone.  They met there and now are a couple wanting to get married next year.

Love story from the Salvation Army. . .

Childhood abuse, poverty, bad relationships, no real godly training growing up, and then teen-age rebellion on top of that with poor health added in and some poor choices has led these two to homelessness.  I think there has been a lot of hurts and without a relationship with the Lord, did not know how to handle difficult situations.

Between the two of them, there has been 4 relationships, three marriages, three divorces, and four children.  They do not have custody of any of the children. 

These two seem very sweet and I think they were lonely and feeling desperate and depressed, found each other, understanding how the other was feeling.  They hold on to each other.  My prayer is that they will learn to lean onto the Lord, asking Him into their hearts soon and bring Him into this relationship, so the cycle of broken relationships can stop here. 

This past week, I met an older couple at the hospital when I was doing the hospital ministry.  I wish I had their picture, but it's kinda frowned upon to bring the camera in and take pictures of patients!  The husband happily told me that he and his bride had been married for 69 years.  He teared up as he told me about his special lady.  He still sounded so in love with her.  I asked him what was the secret to such a long marriage.  He immediately answered,  "Love purely." 

That phrase has been rolling around in my head ever since.  I guess you could say I've been pondering.  This week my husband and I have celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  I love him with all my heart and I know he loves me the same.  But we are certainly not perfect and I'm sure this older couple is not either.  I'm sure they have had their arguments, the little irritations that come with living with someone day after day.  So how do you love someone so purely?

It has to come from the Father above.  He is the only One who has pure love.  And when we invite Him into our hearts and our lives, His pure love rains down on us.  When we invite Him into our marriage and live by His ways, we are blessed with pure love.  We may mess up, we may argue, selfishness may creep in, but when our foundation is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is always available, grace and mercy are showered upon us, cleanses us, renews us, then we can offer these same gifts to our spouse.
Pure love.
Loving Purely.
So simple.
And yet, without Him, so hard.

My heart goes out to Nicole, Mike, and their children. I pray for them.  They need guidance in so many ways.  If they would just open up their heart to the pure love of the Lord, I know they can make it.  I pray for those 4 children involved and that the cycle will be broken soon or they may just end up in this same situation some day. . .or worse.

 "...dearly loved ones, clothes yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
Colossians 3:12-14

"The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5

Love purely.

Do you know couples who are not loving purely?
Let's pray for them.
Let's get on our knees for them and enter the battlefield with the armor God gives us and help fight this battle in prayer before our Heavenly Father.

Do you have children in your life who will be entering into a relationship some day?
Let's pray for them and their future spouse.

Let's claim victory over broken relationships.
Let's pray God's blessings over new relationships that will be sprouting up some day.
I want there to be more couples saying, "We've been married for 69 years" and tearing up sweetly over their love.

Love purely.



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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Abiding and Abodes


He will be homeless no more from November 3 on!
He's giving God all the glory!


I think I am just as excited as he is. . .well. . .he might be a little more excited  :)

As Greg is learning to abide in the Father, the Father has led him to an abode to live in right now on this earth.  I'm thinking how fun it would be for Greg to receive cards in the mail, at his own address, from all who have been praying for him.  What do you think?  Good idea?
If you would like to mail him a card or note, let me know and when I find out the address, I will let you know.

Praising God for all He has done and will do in this precious man's life!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Editing

*One of my homeless friends that I care about, fell into the "stuck foot in mouth" syndrome with another one of my friends. Hurt happened.  He has much to learn. . .don't we all?  I thought I would take this story to him and read it.  I pray it speaks to him. I also heard the other day in a store a mother berating her small child.  There was hurt.  I hurt and I didn't even know them. Oh how destructive a tongue can be!   To spew hurt or to sing praise, to give wisdom, or to be silent?  Something we answer every day.  May we give God more control of this tiny instrument in our mouths than we give ourselves.  May we think before we speak. . .(talking to myself here too). . .*

Editing

 When I write stories, they become edited before I feel the words are just right. Oh, if only we could edit the words that come out of our mouths. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Open mouth, insert foot.”  What a terrible feeling!  For the person with the foot in their mouth and the other who was the recipient of the words that put it there. 
            About a month after giving birth to my second child, I was walking down an isle of a grocery store, when a sweet, older lady walked up to me, smiling, and asked when my baby was due.  I envisioned one of those cartoon balloons over my head that said, “Well, the first one about 5 years ago, and the second 4 weeks ago.”  But the lady was so sweet I couldn’t bring myself to be sarcastic, so I let the balloon pop.  I told her the truth that I had just recently had the baby and I just hadn’t got back in shape yet.  OOPS!  Awkward moment!  She didn’t mean any harm, she was a grandmotherly type who thought she had eyed a young pregnant girl and came to me with that grandmotherly twinkle in her eye. 
            What about words spoken in anger?  I bet a lot of us have regretted words that we’ve said in anger, hurt feelings, with our impatience.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was an edit machine in our brain that engaged before our mouth did?
            In Matthew 12:36, Jesus says to us, “But I tell you that men (and women) will have to give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”  He’s telling us what we say reveals what’s in our hearts.  If we are believers, the Holy Spirit will convict us when we have used wrong words (in one way or another) and we can repent and be forgiven because of that incredible gift Jesus Christ gave us. 
            I think the “open mouth, insert foot” syndrome is not a deliberate act of sin, just carelessness.  Since we don’t have an editing machine in our brain, I think we just need to be slower in our speech and sometimes it’s best to remain quiet.  We are told in Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”  Proverbs 15:4 says, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”  Such power in our mouths!  I’m so glad God forgives the repentant sinner and will give us the strength to be self-controlled with our tongue. 
            There is a difference between a deceitful mouth and a careless one but both can hurt.  If we are on the receiving end of a deceitful mouth, I find the best weapons of defense are prayer and forgiveness.  If we are on the receiving line of a careless, foot in mouth that caused hurt, praying and forgiveness as well. If a  comment is given as the sweet lady above gave, I find laughter is the best medicine.  If we can laugh at ourselves, the world is so much brighter! 
            Proverbs tells us that the controlled tongue will think before speaking, knows when silence is best, and gives wise wisdom.  I think in order to have this kind of tongue, a silent dialogue has to be going on continually with our Lord and being open to Him guiding us. 
            I believe we have an editor in our self after all.  Will we use it?
           
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:16


Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy 30th Anniversary to Us!

My husband surprised me last year with this video he made for me for our 29th wedding
anniversary.  It was so special I thought I would watch it again as we celebrate our 30th on October 16.
You're invited to sit down and watch with me. . .
ain't love grand! :)

video



Happy 30th Anniversary to us! And we're still smiling :)
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)

And she who finds a good husband, finds a good thing. (KLB)

so many gifts to count as I ponder about my husband. . .

835.  his gentleness
836.  his patience
837.  his handyman's abilities
838.  his loyalty
839.  his support of anything I do
840. his caring heart
841.  his willingness to teach me over and over
842.  his dependability
843.  the way he takes care of me when I hurt or am sick
844.  his being such a good father to our boys
845.  his photogenic eye
846.  his writing ability
847.  his arms that go around me
848.  his ability to fix cars
849.  his ability to build fires
850.  his quiet nature
851.  his ability to make awesome french toast
852.  his willingness to step out of comfort zones with me
853.  his ability to put up with me for 30 years
854.  he loves me :)

Thank you Father for this man you gave me.  I love him so!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

A Good Read

I am a reader.  I have been ever since I was a little girl.  I’m one of those that read the entire Nancy Drew Series way back then. 

I’ve read many books that have inspired me.  You can see a list of some of those to the right of my blog. 
But none has moved me out of my seat and out into the public quite like this one. . .


Within months of reading this book, which I did in one sitting, the blanket ministry was started.  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but God did.  After two winters, over a 1000 blankets were handed out to the homeless and needy and my husband and I ended up on the front page of the newspaper. After two years of seeing and talking with the homeless, I saw that there was a soul beneath the hardened exterior that was not any different from mine.  These people are a creation of God just like me and have gone through the pain from others, poverty, and bad choices.  They also need to know love and experience grace and mercy as I have experienced.  And so I am now involved in a book project interviewing the homeless, giving them a voice, sharing with the world that there is a somebody inside that tired shell of theirs, a real beating heart that longs to be heard.  I don’t have a clue what I’m doing here either, but God does, and I am following the best I know how as He leads.

And one of those ways is through another good read, this one. . .

When I open this book, I feel the Holy Spirit draw me in.  Reading this one gives me courage and boldness this quiet girl never had as a young one.  Reading this one fills me up with love and compassion for my fellow Bowling Greeners.  Reading this one puts my mind back into perspective when the enemy tries to thwart my direction. Reading this one gives me comfort, strength, direction, solid footing, peace, and joy. 

Let me clarify this.  The books are good reads, but it is the authors who do the inspiring.  Ron Hall, his wife, and Denver and their story is what inspired me.  And it is the author of this second book that gives me the abundant life He promised me. And I’m not talking about things that can and will rust away eventually, but the things I listed above that never have to go away.

Sometimes I don’t know what direction to go in.  Five years ago, when I felt life was spiraling out of control, I started to hear His whisper saying, “Write it down.”  As you see at the top of my blog, I kept hearing this for two weeks.  Then one morning I let my Bible just freely open up on my lap and these are the words my eyes fell on. . . “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.”  I gave in.  I wrote my first book which contains over 75,000 words.  I put it away to begin another and then another and now I have this project with the homeless.  He never said to me anything would be published, He just said to “Write”.  I don’t know where all of this is going, and that’s ok.  I might be scared out of my mind if I knew.  I’m just trusting God with each step.  And I will continue to open up the best book ever because not only is it a good read, it is my LIFE. 

God gave me the opportunity to thank Ron Hall from the book, Same Kind of Different As Me.  I had been wanting to do this but did not know how.  He got a hold of my story through someone else and I received an e-mail from the lady who works with him telling me he read my story and wanted to thank me for what I was doing with the homeless.  I in turn, got to send my “Thank You” back to him.  How awesome is our God to allow me the privilege to say Thank You to these authors?!

And to the Author of the best read ever and the Author of my life. . .I say “Thank You!”  for everything you have done in my life, most importantly sending your Son to die on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and giving me this life that you have and walking through it every step of the way with me. 

Next time you pick up a book to read, make it a good read.  You just never know how God will use it to move you on to that next step in your life.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oh My Soul, Be Refreshed

If you've been following me for long, you'll remember my post about the land my sanctuary pond is on was sold and is going to have cattle brought in. 

On this day, I was feeling very weary and tired and needed to get away.  My husband, dog and I set out to check out the pond, to see if the paths were still walkable, if cows were there yet, and if the pond looked the same.

The paths were still there
some of the land was cleared but no cows yet
my beautiful pond. . .ahhh

the beauty is still there






even my dog was enjoying this day
as well as my husband
my favorite husband and my favorite dog
and my favorite pond. . .just what I needed this day
the 23 psalm comes to mind. . .
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul

we just sit awhile and breathe it all in

time to walk back up the path
husband decides to build a fire in the pit for dinner

guess what we had
my dog is hoping. . .
she's waiting patiently. . .
she got the last bite
 
air became chilly and the fire was warm
it smelled so good
the fire died out and a perfect day was ending, but my spirit was refreshed, there was joy in my heart, my hubby and I walking back to the home hand in hand with dog behind us. . . . .and we all smelling like smoke :)
What a great day!
To You oh Lord, I lifted up my soul and you refreshed me once again
My cup overflows
Thank you Father!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chris Bridgman: A Story

Prodigalism hurts a family.
   God heals this precious younger son of mine who was left behind along with mom and dad.   
       Trusting in God's timing for another testimony to come. . .

For now. . .Praising God for this precious testimony.




I am so proud of him! Christopher is now 18 years old and attending Western Kentucky University.  He is declaring Religious Studies as his major.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Am Weary;God Speaks

Last week I was let down by several people; I became weary
Last week I was really missing my son; I became weary
Last week after hearing so many homeless people telling me their stories filled with such         
      sadness, seeing the despair on their faces, bodies drooping, tears streaming down 
         their cheeks; I became weary.

I felt guilty for being so weary because my weariness can be nothing compared to theirs, and yet. . . 
I came home thinking maybe I would just quit, just do my own thing ~ and then God spoke.

Through my devotional calendar:

“God does a complete work, and He will see it through to the end.  So don’t give up because it’s taking longer than you hoped.  Be confident that ‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.’

Then I opened up a friend’s blog the same day.  An excerpt from Lynn Mosher: http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com/2011/09/alone-time-with-god.html

“My child, you are doing well.  Keep aiming at the goal I have set for you.  This has been a wearisome time, but keep your aim and your eye on the goal, that is, to do my will.  Obedience is of the utmost importance.  All my trust is placed in one of my children who places all their trust in Me.  I trust them to do my work, that work which is so important for the lost world.  There are those who desperately need your obedience, for without it, their pathway is hindered.  There are many who depend on my obedient children even though they do not know it.  I will help you rule your time.  Give all your time into my Hands.  I will see to it that there is time enough for everything you need, and I need you to do.  I will bring about my will in your life.  But you must be willing as a little child to follow Me and do so obediently.”

No one can tell me God does not speak to us.  So then I went to His Word and my eyes fell to this verse:
“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me with Your Word”
Psalm 119:28

Isn’t God good?!  So I kept turning pages and looking up scriptures to feed me and with each word, I became less weary and more at peace, and feeling the confidence returning.  Are you weary?  Let me share His Word with you to jump start you, ok?

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:29

“The Lord gives strength to His people, the Lord blesses His people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Jeremiah 31:25

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:2-3

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Phillipians 4:13

Are you feeling better?  I am!  I am so thankful God does not abandon us and leave us in our weariness.  I’m ready to go do another interview.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Counting the gifts. . .

825.  24 hours after newspaper article came out about the blanket ministry, I received my first cash donations
826.  blankets and plastic bags rolling in for blanket ministry
827.  devotions and blogs and the Word that ministered to my weary heart
828.  serving a God who understands our emotions
829.  serving a God who does not leave us there in the emotional puddle
830.  sitting out in the swing with my hubby on a chilly evening wrapped together in a blanket
831.  reminiscing and laughing about old cartoons (hey, after almost 30 years of marriage, you talk about anything)
832.  celebrating a birthday with a dear friend and another friend
833.  cracking up, side splitting, tear stained face laughter...I'm not sharing what that conversation was about!
834.  good times

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