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.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Green Paint and Piano Keys

*There has been no editing so far, this is just my heart sharing. . .
(I've been working on a memoir about our prodigalism days over the last six years.  SO much has happened and I feel to be able to process everything and to heal, God led me to write it all down.  This is just a small story from the middle of that book.  Much happened before and after this small chapter. For many of you not knowing the story, some of this may seem eratic, but I think you will get the point of this small chapter. . .and just a tiny inkling of what life has been like. . .and I hope you see that God is always there with us to help us through the trying times. . .I also print this because I know there are a lot of you out there going through this same kind of storm and many have told me that the sharing of the stories helps. . .so, take my hand and let's walk together. . .

It was a wonderful Sunday morning; good worship time in church, good friends invited us out to lunch at one of my favorite eating spots and a good visit.  As I was driving home, I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s by Whitney Phipps.  He was singing a song titled “He”, a piece I played on the piano while I was growing up.  When I got home, I found the “He” sheet music so I could play it again. I wanted to play it on Tim's electric piano so I could have the orchestra in the background.  It was going to be so pretty!

            I asked Tim to help me set it up as it was too heavy for me and I was nursing a bad shoulder at the time.  He looked at me sheepishly as he was taking it out and said, “You haven’t seen it in awhile have you?”  My heart sunk. We had already gone through so much, I thought  “OH NO, Now what!”  He sat the piano on its stand and I took one look at it and was horrified!  Thick, green, acrylic paint was all over ALL the keys.  I cried, “WHAT HAPPENED?”

            Apparently, when he and Elena were still married and living in the tiny bedroom of her parent’s mobile home, Elena was painting a picture using the piano sheet holder as an easel.  Her paints rested on the keyboard.  She bumped into the piano and paint spilled all over it.  I didn’t understand why she was painting on the piano!?  They had a table in the kitchen she could have used. But, what was odd was that every key was evenly covered in paint.

Tim explained that so much paint had spilled, that they couldn’t remove it all and didn’t know how to clean it up, so they decided it would look better if they just spread it out all over the keys, I guess so they would all look the same.  How, I thought, could there be so much immaturity in my once such mature son!

            I felt like coming unglued but I held my cool.  Tim took the piano apart, took the keys off and then left for work.  I told him I would try to clean them.  This was not an easy job.  You couldn’t just wash it off.  Paint thinner wouldn’t do the trick.  Nail polish remover didn’t work.  I tried sanding it with fine grain sandpaper and that didn’t work.  I had a sink full of hot, soapy water from trying to wash the paint off.  By this time, I was so disgusted, I threw all the keys in the water and walked away to cool down.  About 20 minutes later, I came to the sink to let the water out, and noticed the paint was feeling soft.  I took one of Keith’s sharp pocket knives and tried carefully shaving and wallaah,  the paint was coming off.  I stood there at the sink for 1 ½ hours, shaving paint off of 45 white keys and 31 black keys under running, hot water.  That’s 76 keys total!  My fingers were turning a deathly white, fingers pruning, and skin was peeling off of my fingers by the time I was done.  The more I worked on these keys, the more worked up I became.  I thought Elena should have never been painting on the piano.  Tim should not have allowed anything on the piano.  And when there was a mess, why didn’t they try to figure out how to clean it and then do it?  All that happened over 8 months ago before Tim and Elena divorced, so it sat there in its bag wearing green paint for all that time.

            When I was done cleaning, I had a big ole, cry baby cry.   I kept thinking of all the kind, loving acts I had done for Tim and former roomate Will who had moved in with us and what had I gotten for it? I had also tried to do the same when Elena was in our lives.  Tim chewed me out for getting into his car and leaving him a couple of scriptures and an “I love you” note. 

Tim and Will have complained it’s too cold, or it’s too quiet in our house.  Will is always saying to me he appreciates us putting him up and maybe he means it, but it doesn’t have a genuine sound to it.  
Will hardly has any money, no car, and doesn’t work a lot of hours.  I offered him a job of cleaning the back of our house for fifty dollars to help him out.  He stood there pouring his coffee in my kitchen and said to me, “I think I’m just a little too lazy for that.”  My jaw almost hit the counter.  I was floored, but I kept my mouth shut.  Christopher asked if he could have the job, so he could earn some extra money. As a result Will stood there with fifty dollars less than he might have had.  I grew up being taught if you wanted anything you had to work for it, work hard, and if somebody needed something, you helped them.  I could not understand this except that maybe he had not been taught the same thing, but you would think by 21 years of age, you would figure that out for yourself.

            I had only showed love and kindness to these boys, have done their laundry, washed their towels, cooked for them.  My extended family said to quit making life so easy for them, make them leave.  But I wanted Tim to remember and Will to see what it is like to have a mother who did kind things for them, was helpful and loving, too feel a peaceful, quiet, loving home environment.  I wanted to build a relationship with both of them, praying at some God appointed time, I could share the gospel with Will, and maybe they would both come to church with us at some time, and see that there is a better way to live. Tim knew, Tim had the close family relationships, teachings and guidance, love and church home all his life, but after becoming a high school graduate, he let his new group of friends take him away.

            Christopher witnessed my cry-baby, pity party and showed a maturity well beyond his years.  He said I should quit listening to the family and others, and listen to what God has laid on my heart.  He mentioned that we are to love our enemies so I should surely love them with a Christ like love.  He said I was the only good thing in their lives at the time and he thought I should keep doing what I’m doing to show them God’s love, that it is not about me getting appreciation and thanks back but doing the right and godly thing.  I thought this was very mature and profound coming from a 16 years old boy.  I was proud of him!

            This reminded me when God met me in my dad’s hospital room and told me to be the daughter He (God) expected me to be, whether Dad deserved it or not was not the point.  God was growing and teaching me to step out of myself, to die to self, pick up my cross and follow him.  It’s not always easy but blessings do eventually follow.

           When Tim came home and saw the keys white again, I still expected something from him.  He said nothing.  I kiddingly remarked, "I think this deserves a thank you or something like, “Wow, mom, these look great!”  He glared at me with his tired eyes and said, “I didn’t ask you to do it”.
I had to decide what’s more important, to show Christ’s love through my demeanor and actions and not receiving much in return from the boys, praying this will eventually win them over, OR say, “No more” to everything and make them leave, leaving them angry and resentful, even though some would say, “Too bad.”  My heart says to show Christ’s love but not to tolerate disrespect, which Keith and I both emphasized with Tim when he was younger.  Although he is better in that department,   the immaturity still gets me.   For the time being, I just keep on praying for wisdom, discernment, and guidance. I was learning to lay down my expectations at that time.  Did I mention the cigarette burns on the white keys?  I guess they didn’t believe in ash trays.  No soap or scraping would take those off, but at least the keys became white again.

That evening, I picked up my sheet music “He”, the item that started this whole thing.  I looked at the words.  The first line says, “He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea.”  He used Christopher that day to help calm my “angry sea”.  He listened to me with sympathetic eyes and ears and then in his beyond 16 year old maturity talked to me with insight that brought me back down to earth.  I admire my Christopher, what a guy! 

I sit in church and read on Face Book, women who have children the same age as Tim, go on about how great their kids are, how mature and grown up they are, all the wonderful things they are accomplishing and how happy they are. I truly am happy for them. I would never wish troubles on any family. The devil tries to put a shade of green on me…you know…the color of envy, but I won’t let him.  I was proud of my son for 18 years and I will be again.  I love him with all my heart and I believe he is trying in some small way.  But he needs to lay down his pride and humble himself, totally surrendering himself to the Lord. My husband and I fall to our knees many nights beseeching help and we will continue to support our son in the ways the Lord leads us to. We also remain quiet when He instructs us to.  And we are more at peace now than ever before.   The green is gone, in more ways than one.

Another line in the song of “He” says, “He can paint the clouds, and turn the sky to blue. He alone knows where to find the rainbows end.  He alone can see what lies beyond the bend.”  I believe there is a happy, well-adjusted Tim around the bend, and I just have to keep being patient, trusting the Lord is working on him.  The last line of the song is this, “Though it makes him sad to see the way we live, He’ll always say, “I forgive.”  If He can forgive all that he does, who am I not to forgive the silly, immature ways of the son I love so much.  I’m so glad God will forgive the paint spills, the emotional spills, and colors my life with beautiful colors.  Green really is a pretty color…just not on piano keys.

*My son knows about this book and that I blog. I would never do anything to hurt him. He said he knew this was my way of healing and he's ok with it. . .this, I believe is a piece of that maturity he had coming out.  A piece of hope for me*



I am glad you are telling your story.

Thoughts for the day said...

I am glad you mentioned your son knowing you were going to write this, if not it would have been a surprise for him and perhaps hurtful. There is alot packed into this writing... good job.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Glenda, thank you! Those 8 words mean a lot to me :)

And yes, my son has seen lots of my writings. I told him I would never print anything without his permission.

Denise said...

God bless you for telling your story, appreciate you.

Reformed rebel said...

Kris I think it's awesome you are writing your story and sharing it. GOD does use our writing to heal us and to help others. It's kind of like GOD therapy! Thank you for sharing with us.

ells said...

kris...I am glad you are telling your story...I love your honesty...you struggles but also...your willingness to let God set the boundaries and not emotions or others opinions. He is still on my list...I continue to hold him and others before the throne...that they will see God’s love...and know His Love is true and safe. blessings to you~

Deidra said...

Thanks for sharing so honestly your struggles, hang-ups, and heart. Telling your story truly makes a difference in the lives of others. You are a blessing!

Lisa Maria said...

Dearest friend

My heart aches for what you've been through and what you're going through now. I know all about those pity parties...struggling right now not to give in to them. I know how hard it is to keep on pouring out your love and extending grace and feeling taken for granted. i really needed to read this today. Thank you for the encouragement...as always your words bless me.

Love & Blessings

Noeline Clare-Talbot said...

Kristin thank you for your honesty, and your showing of the raw hurt that our children sometimes expose us to. I too have seen and heard people "boast" about their children and the great wonderful beings they are....I have 4 wonderful children....but we have hurt each other many many times. Being able to write as you have is a healing process, I pray that your son is soon restored to his full potential of having unimaginable joy in his life. I had a feeling that the green keys were maybe a connection with his past, and seeing them white maybe erased parts of his memory that he was holding onto. I could be wrong...bless you as you continue to write, and thank you again for your wisdom. God Bless

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

My son, also knows I talk about our situation. He is very open and encouraging. He knows it will help others to not have to go through the pain that we are going through now.

I sometimes am appalled by the selfish choices my son made. I hope that he will grow in this area. I have seen some positive changes so far.

The Lord bless you as you continue to share your journey with us.