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.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sticky Notes and Spare Keys

(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 another small story from the middle of that book...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. . .*all stories written about others are written with permission*

"Life isn't like a book.  Life isn't logical or sensible or orderly.  Life is a mess most of the time.  And the theology must be lived in the midst of that mess"  Charles Colson

When Tim and his friend Will moved in with us, they had come from an uncomfortable place, Will's parents apartment.  It was tiny; Tim slept in a chair and Will on the sofa.  His parents apparently got the bedroom.  The parents did meth.  I was told they fought a lot, were loud, could be very paranoid, and be accusing of very undesirable things.  I wanted Tim to remember and Will to experience here at our home, a quiet, relaxing, comfortable, peaceful, and loving environment, a place to rest their heads and souls.  I bent over backwards to make Will feel comfortable in his new place without being pushy. I wanted Will to feel the Christ like love he had never experienced. My constant prayer was, "Lord, let Will see you and help Tim remember." 

 Several days after being here, my heart broke for Tim, he looked so tired and discouraged.  I wanted to help, so I turned to my bible.  I found a couple of Psalms that talked about turning your troubles over to the Lord and you will find rest for your soul.  I thought these were perfect for Tim.  So I wrote two, yellow sticky notes with a Psalm on each one and a third that said, “Dad and I love you, let us help however we can.”  His car was locked so I got the spare key from my room.  This car had been ours first and we gave it to him.  His car was still filled with his stuff and I thought, out of respect for him, that I did not look, so I just opened the door, put the sticky notes on his dashboard and steering wheel, locked the door and went back inside.  I smiled, thinking he would find these as he left for work and would be encouraged by them and being lifted up as he went down the road.

A few minutes later, he left for work.  I stood in my kitchen praying for him, when my cell phone rang.  I saw it was Tim and smiled, thinking he was going to thank me for the notes.  Instead, I heard this dark, menacing voice say, “How did you get into my car?”  I said I used the spare we had.  He said, “How dare you break into my car and leave sticky notes like I’m some little kid.”  I was stunned!  “Well, I replied, don’t worry, you’ll never get another one again and I hung up.  I was so hurt I went to the bathroom and started scrubbing the shower and tub. (Something constructive to do while having a pity party)  The more I scrubbed, the more furious I became.  I kept hearing him emphasize HIS car.  I couldn’t help but think Keith and I spent five years paying for that car and then when Tim needed one, we gave it to him.  He was mad we had a spare key.  I reminded him that when he got the car, he kept either losing the key or locking it inside, so Keith and I kept a spare for such a purpose.  We were being responsible because of Tim’s lack of responsibility at the time.

Like I said, the more I scrubbed, the more furious I became, so I called him back and said he had no right to be disrespectful to me, after all I had done for him and his friend, and the notes were given in love to encourage him.  All he could say was I had no right to be in his car and he wanted the spares.  I was so hurt, I hung up.

Tim called back but I didn’t answer, I had enough.  He left a voice mail that said, “When you can quit hanging up on me, then maybe we can talk like two mature adults.”
“Huh” I said to myself as I threw the phone across the room. (ok, THAT might have been a bit immature.)
I wish God had warned us parents that being hurt by the ones you love so much, your children, was part of this role.  Oh wait!  Maybe he did…let’s look.

Do you suppose Adam and Eve were hurt when Cain killed his brother, their younger son, Abel?  Do you think Samson’s parents were hurt when he said with disrespect in his tone and words, demanding they get him a woman out of their faith for his wife?  This would have disgraced the family during this time and went against God’s law which the family followed.  You think these parents were hurt when they saw such great potential in their son and he was given such great strength only to see him use it in a wrong and selfish way.  Do you think the father was hurt when he learned his son Jacob deceived him and took his brother’s birthright and blessing.  What about the other son Esau, who was willing to give this up for a bowl of soup?  And how about David, when his son Absalom killed his brother for revenge or for plotting against him to take away the throne and watching his son always listening to wrong advice.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not picking on the children.  These parents, in their own way, sinned also.  I’m saying sin and hurt from the ones we love go all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  Don’t you think God was hurt when his first two children decided to go against Him?  And what about all his children today?  Do we still not hurt and disappoint him in one way or another?

This is sounding pretty grim isn’t it?  But we know the good news.  Because of the awesome sacrifice made on the cross from our Lord Jesus Christ, we believers have been given grace, mercy and forgiveness and we have that same supply to give to others.  Do we hand it out to the ones who hurt us?  We have a choice to make.  Don’t worry about it running out.  There is plenty to spare, just like our spare keys to the car.  And if God gave you a sticky note on this subject, I think it would say, “Remember what I gave you. I love you and I’m here to help.”  Put that sticky note on your fridge, (or steering wheel), and keep your heart full of spares…spares of grace, mercy and love.

With God, the mess can be redeemed.  There is the hope, the hope is in Him, and that is why six years later, my soul can rest.

"When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces.  But He doesn't put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves.  Instead, He sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project - a mosiac that tells the story of redemption."
Ken Gire

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"
Lamentations 3:22-24

Are you resting in all His hope, His love, His mercy and grace?
Take it all in and have spares ready for when you need it.


Anonymous said...

Wow Kristin, that would be a really hard situation to be in. To have done so much and tried to encourage, and still get such disrespect~ I agree...we have to have 'spare' grace within us, and that comes only from God...not from our human nature that would want to throw it back at them the way they threw it in our face! God bless you! I hope your son has learned his lessons by now! ♥♥♥

Kristin Bridgman said...

Sometimes baby steps forward, sometimes giant steps forward, sometimes, they go backwards. I'm so thankful for those spares God gives us!

Betsy Madison said...

All I can say is that I love you, prayed for you during that time, continue to pray for you now, and am so very proud of you. You have no idea how many parents need to hear your words and see that you are alive and thriving on the other side.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Oh Betsy, I love you too. I made it to the other side because of the prayers like yours! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Denise said...

Praying for you daily.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Denise, thank you!!!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thank you for this encouragement...much of it too close to home, yet so full of truth that my spirit is lifted

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I LOVE that Ken Gire quote! It is so true.

Thank you for sharing your heart. I just love you.

Our kids can shatter our hearts, praise God He can put the pieces back together again in the pattern He wants.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin Bridgman said...

Thank you Janette for coming by. I'm so glad your spirit was lifted by HIS truth! And you've encouraged me to keep going with my sharing, thank you!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Dear Stacie,
I feel a love and connection to you too, even though we've never met. You and your family are always in my prayers.
Praising God with you for the redemptive beauty He is creating!