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, February 26, 2012

Homeless Hospitality


It was noon on a Saturday.  The air was frigid, in the 20’s.  We came up underneath the bridge.  There was no doorbell to ring or door to knock on.  But we were at somebody’s home.  We yelled hello.  It was Tony and Melanie.  We had met them before on several occasions.  We had been here before.  They were happy to see us and invited us in.  For the first time I crawled all the way in, stepping over mattresses and logs that took up most of the four foot width of floor.


  I was worried about freezing when we set out to visit them. I am not a cold weather person. I did not want to pull them away from their fire and the fire looked very inviting.  I sat on a chair at first and then scooted over onto a log, so my friend could have the chair.


They had hung tarps that blocked them from the icy winds. So thankful for tarps on strings! 


They offered us donuts.  They smiled asking how I had been, saying they were wondering were I was, not having seen me for weeks. I was afraid if I had come around too much, well. . .I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.  I didn’t want them to frown as they saw me coming up the path, thinking, “There’s THAT women again.”  But they don’t.  They were genuinely happy to see me, my husband and friend. 

They were drinking coffee. 

I saw their pantry was stocked with some canned goods
They had water in jugs as there are no faucets in this home. 

 I saw their refrigerator. . .bags hanging on string on the other side of the tarps, so the food inside would stay cold. 

 I bet by night time, that refrigerator becomes a freezer!

I asked about security systems for this home.  Were they worried about someone coming in and stealing their stuff or hurting them?  Melanie said without missing a beat,  “I’ve got a machete here that says, ‘No!’ We all busted out laughing, not ever quite hearing a comeback like that one before.

We had such a lovely visit, talking about their life, what they want, telling me more about homelessness. Tony and Melanie are not a couple.  They are just two who met at the bridge.  They find friendship and companionship with one another.  I'm sure it takes away some of the lonliness they would feel otherwise. When I met Tony last summer, he had gotten away from the Bible.  He tells me this day he is reading it again.  Melanie has her own Bible too and she tells me she knows for sure she knows where her eternal home is. She has Jesus in her heart.  Melanie laughed saying they were probably the happiest homeless people we would ever meet.  It’s not that they are happy being homeless, but for the time being, until things work out the way they want, this is the best home for them and they make the most of it.  They are sweet, they have good attitudes.  We talked, we laughed, we had a good time with each other.

When I got up to leave, I gave Tony a hug, and then Melanie.  They both hugged me back hard, genuine.  My husband said after we left, they needed that visit.  They needed the company from ones who show unconditional love, who is willing to step into their home and visit as if nothing is out of the ordinary.  They know it is, but there is no need to talk about it.  Because home is not so much the interior as it is the people living there.

So what if there is no door, no window, no electricity, no amenities we take for granted.  I realized after I left, that the whole time I was there, I was not once thinking about being cold.  I had become rather warm.  Part of it was because of the fire in front of me.  But I think mostly it was because I was warmed by these precious people who allowed me to come into their home and gave them the opportunity to feel like regular folks, giving hospitality to guests. 

We left a hospitality gift. . .two big boxes full of firewood for their "fireplace".
Tony said as I was crawling back out into the world on that little 4 foot wide concrete slab with the raging river below, "I'm so proud of you for coming all the way in."

Our host, Tony. . .
and our hostess, Melanie


I'm glad I went all the way in. It was truely a lovely visit . . .a vist I needed!

Good-bye for now but we'll be back

********************************************************************

As I came back into my house, a home filled with furniture that collects dust, carpets that need vaccuming, hardwood floors that need sweeping, I pondered about the "home" that I had just come from, a place that have none of the things we take for granted.  Things like furniture, indoor plumbing, appliances, heating and air.  And yet, if Jesus were to walk into that home, would he be comfortable and welcomed?  Yes, I believe He would.  Because the occupants in that home would not have been worrying about dust and a meal to cook.  Jesus would have had a donut to eat and coffee to drink and warm conversation.  These people, people who others say are crazy, are not crazy at all.  With all they have been through, they are people who are inviting, they smile and laugh and are welcoming, not once complaining and whining. We who have so much, can complain over the simplest of things.

I wonder if Jesus came to my door, would I quickly look around to see if my house was presentable?  Would I worry about the dust on the coffee table or just offer him a warm cup of coffee?  Would I worry the whole time about the carpet needing swept or would I just sit at his feet taking all of Him in? Would I find myself whining and complaining about small stuff or would I concentrate on warm and holy converstion with my guest?  We know what He would want because He gave us the story of Mary and Martha.  I have tended to be a Martha most of my life, always thinking things had to be be perfect, look perfect. I think I was the crazy one! Oh, I desired and tried to always make my guests feel welcomed, but I would always eye the cobweb hanging in the corner of my ceiling or see the dust on something. It's great getting older because now if I see the cobweb in my home as I'm visiting with someone, I think, "Who cares!"  I've learned as I've matured that being Mary is more important and after leaving the bridge, I had to smile as I thought of the residents there.  They were definetly a Mary and the home was not perfect in any way athestically, yet I felt welcomed and loved.  Isn't that what Jesus would want?

Next time someone comes to my door,  I will invite them in without looking around first. I will look at them and give them my whole attention, not sharing that attention with the cobweb. I'll enjoy their presence, their entire being.  How about you?  Let's leave our dust rag in the cabinet.  And OH. . . we might want to leave our machetes under the bed.








17 comments:

Denise said...

Wow, such an awe inspiring post, bless you.

Jedidja said...

What an intriguing blog! This visit was very special. I love the pictures but at the same time feel a bit hypocritical. What I would like that these two had a small shelter. A two-room house. So they would have warmer. I wish them that Jesus will protect them.
Kind regards.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow. This made me realize how blessed I am to have a home, and how I need to reach out more to "the least of these."

You inspired me today! Thanks.

Lori Dupes said...

My sweet cousin, my how this blessed me this morning. Your writing is getting better and better, if that could even be possible! After 20 years we have decided to redecorate our living room. It's so easy to get caught up in things that simply do not matter. Thank you for bringing me back to my senses! May I post this on my blog PLEEASE?

Jennie Morgan said...

Kris, this is so heart warming and convicting all at the same time! I just love the way you have impacted the lives of the homeless in your area and the way THEY have impacted your's! And then.....you continue to impact my life through your writings and our conversations. God is taking this life story full circle!

Love you!

Mary said...

Thank you for visiting my blog today, I came by to return the visit and I'm so glad I did, I will look around a little and come back to visit again soon...

Alicia said...

Thanks for the poignant reminder. God loves us all. Your pictures are gifts today- vivid reminders for me to be grateful for the blessing of a home. And a reminder that the "least of these" can often gift us the most.

ells said...

wow...they noticed you came all the way in...and that speaks to me too...to let people who come to my "door" to invite them all the way in...
thanks...i love hearing your voice...the voice of the homeless...
blessings~

Tara said...

so glad you went all the way in, too...thank you.

Mary B said...

I saw a comment you left somewhere (I can't remember where) and came over here. Such an inspiring post. You gave me a reason to reflect on some things I probably needed to reflect on, but had been avoiding. Thank you.

Shari said...

Thank you for sharing. This was a beautiful, well written post. I felt as if I was right there with you.

Kandi said...

Kristin,

Thank you for stopping by. This is such a wonderful post, we could learn a lot from your homeless friends, that even when materially we have nothing we have everything if we have Jesus, I asked myself if I could be as happy as they are in their circumstances, I don't know the answer to that but it is something to ponder on.

Blessings to you.

Jenn said...

WOW! As always the glimpses into these people lives leave me speechless and absolutely convicted. Thank you so much for serving our Lord by reaching out and loving those who so need it.

Positively Alene said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. But thank you more for actually going out and serving them. I am in south Texas at a church in the inner city. We serve the homeless, drugged, battered, and abused daily. It warms my heart when I see others with such a heart for the same. I've even had a homeless friend post on my blog before. I'd love to have you share you story in a guest post.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you all for coming by! And Alene, I would love for you to share the story. Anytime we can share about those who need love and can do something about it, that's great! And it ususally is very simple to show love. . .it mainly just takes a little time, a listening ear, and giving some unconditional love. And always, the blessings come back at ya. Isn't that just like God :)
Blessings everyone!

Sweet Tea said...

Kristin, so glad you stopped by my blog, so now I can FOLLOW you! Your words are lovely and your story touched my heart. I'm gonna learn from you, and I'm gonna enjoy it!

Divinely Acquitted said...

Oh my goodness! This was a blessing to my heart. Thanks for sharing your experience. We need to see other people's lives so we can have a grip of our own. We lose sight of God's blessings & kindness in our live when we complain a lot, until we see how other people who have much less than we have but are happy & grateful. God bless you always...