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.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hitting the Wall~Guest Post

Today's post is written by a wonderful, articulate, sweet, loving guy that I adore and love with all my heart. . . my husband.  God led me 3 winters ago to start a blanket ministry for the homeless in our community and since then over 1500 blankets have been handed out. This started out as my calling, my conviction and did it mostly by myself the first year.  Then my husband came on board to help with a few things and he began to meet the homeless and talk with them and they captured his heart just like they had mine.  Please read on and see what he's been pondering about. . .

A homeless woman's hands

Back in the early 1990’s, while still in my relatively young 40’s, for some crazy reason I thought I needed to get involved in competing in Triathlons. Seemed like a good idea at the time and indeed there was a measure of fun and accomplishment associated with it…it was also a lot of hard work. Compete is hardly the correct word to use in my case…simply to finish was accomplishment enough for me and to do that required a lot of training in three athletic disciplines…swimming, bicycling, and running. The running part I knew better than the other two as up until then, I had been involved in running activities off and on since junior high school …bicycling I took up somewhat later in life…well after college and well into my 30’s, mostly for recreation, but found it enjoyable and valuable as a fitness tool. Swimming on the other hand I knew would be the most difficult activity to deal with. Oh…I could swim pretty well having been a lifeguard back in my college days, but I was never a competitive swimmer and had to learn how to train for that event the hard way through trial and error…plus…half way into an open water one kilometer swim you can’t simply stop and pull off the road…so I had to place a major emphasis on that training aspect to avoid voiding my warranty by drowning. Turns out, I really enjoyed swimming as a fitness sport more than the other two and continue doing so even today.

There was one particular race…actually it was a team event, where we had a swimmer, biker, and runner…I did the bike…where I learned what it meant to ‘hit the wall’. The bike portion of the race was 60+ miles on a hilly course…5 laps around a 12 mile loop, plus an out and back connecting portion from the staging area to the course loop that added 2 or 3 extra miles.

Seems I came down with a bad case of bronchitis a few days before the event that really took the wind out of my sails. I managed to make the race and did ok for the first 50 miles or so averaging around 20mph…then…wham! I hit the wall hard…nothing left in the tank physically, even less desire to continue…and I still had about 15 more miles to go. That was the longest and hardest 15 miles I’ve ever endured on a bike in my life. My average speed dropped from around 20 to below 15 and it was all I could do to finish. Each hill climb became a test of wills…me against gravity…and gravity won most of the time. The main reason for the wall slamming me in the face the way it did was caused by a number of factors…over-training and lack of rest, which broke me down physically and so I got sick…and lack of proper hydration and fuel replacement during the race. Although I finished my portion of the race…it was not pretty…but, I did finish…I didn’t quit even though I felt like it. The one thing that kept me going was the encouraging words of others who lined the course..and when I climbed that last hill, to hear the cheers of the fans and friends helped to push me over the top.

Oh well…the point I want to make has nothing to do really with triathlons, but about hitting the wall and how it relates to life. Sooner or later we all face circumstances that push us to the limit of our endurance…emotional, and in many cases even physical. Many times, self inflicted wounds push us to that limit, but other times circumstances beyond our control just catch up with us. Those are often the more difficult ones to deal with…you just feel disconnected and frustrated because of that lack of control. The people I’ve admired the most over the years are the ones I’ve known who have endured through very trying and difficult circumstances. None of us know for sure how we will react to adversity until we actually face that circumstance. Bravado spoken from the confines of a cushioned life carries little weight…yet humble perseverance when times are tough, speak loudly to those who witness it. It’s been said, it’s not how many times you get knocked down that mattersit how many times you get back up that counts. Facing hardship is a part of life…how you face it depends on your character.

My wife Kris and I have spent a lot of time talking to homeless people in our community…often providing donated blankets during the colder months to those who need them. We’ve seen where self-inflicted or even worse, family inflicted wounds have all but destroyed some of them…they for the most part have given up and turn to alcohol and/or drugs. You can see it in their eyes. Many are victims of circumstances. Even so, we have also seen a great deal of resilience in many of them. Even under difficult circumstances, they have retained their sense of humor and dignity. Many of them keep hitting the wall over and over… continually getting knocked down…but more importantly,  they get up again and again and carry on. I’ve learned a lot about character and facing difficulties by simply listening to these people. They amaze me with their stories. Not so oddly, the one thing they crave most is to be touched…to shake someone’s hand…to receive and give back a hug…have someone acknowledge that their life has meaning and they are still relevant and important...not just in God’s eyes, but in our eyes.

Most of us have never really known what it’s like to hit the wall in real life…to run out of options…to have nothing left in the tank. Taking the time to listen to someone who truly has…well, it can’t help but make me wonder how I would react if I truly found myself in that circumstance. My meaningless ordeal of hitting the wall during that race was nothing more than a bad case of planning and fatigue...I knew all I had to do was stop, and it would all end. Not so, for many of these homeless people...they can't just stop and expect it all to go away.

The winter season is not all that far away and I challenge you who read this to step away from your comfort zone for a while...talk to someone who may be down and out...homeless or otherwise. Reach out your hand...offer a hug...give them a blanket or a meal...but most of all, give them part of yourself, because that is what they need as much as anything else...It is amazing how a simple act of kindness will lift the spirits of someone whose spirit may have hit the wall...doing so will not only help to carry them a little further, you just may discover that your own spirit is lifted as well.

Keith is an outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman, owner of a green canoe, photographer and has put up with his squirrly wife for 30 years.  A computer programmer by day, photographer all the rest of the hours of the day and week-ends, and handy man extraordinaire around the house. He is the father of our two sons and the most wonderful helper, protector and provider this woman could ever have.  I am blessed!

Keith has a wonderful photography blog, please go check him out.  You won't be disappointed.

linking with


Denise said...

Awesome post, bless you dear Keith.

Vicky said...

So insightful and blesses me immensely. When I was 17 I went to New York City for the first time with a youth group and was utterly shocked by the plight of the homeless. But the bigger lesson was discovering there were homeless here in my town that I had never given a second thought to...

Kristin, I'd love to hear some time if you ever feel unsafe and how you have not let that stop you :)

Blessings to you Keith and Kristin...

Kristin Bridgman said...

Vicky, I should write a post about that;) But for now I'll tell you , NO, I have never felt in danger. The homeless here have been nothing but polite and treat me like a lady. I do go to the downtown square by myself, but I do not go to the islolated places alone, like the bridge and the abandoned barns. My husband goes there with me. As for not letting it stop me....I believe God has just infused me with boldness and courage when it comes to this, and after being with the homeless for several years, they have just captured my heart and the passion is stronger than any fear there would be. You DO have to go in with caution, but just not show it:)

Jen Ferguson said...

Amazing to meet you! As a marathoner, I totally get the hit the wall thing. While I haven't encountered it in a race, I have during a training run and it is no fun. I love your challenge to view others in their circumstances as them hitting their wall. It is our calling to help them make it to the end.

A Joyful Noise said...

Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a Story, about hitting the wall, but getting up again. I would have probably laid there until someone picked me up. That is what Jesus does, He picks up us when we fall.
Great post and please come back again to tell me a story

Noeline Clare-Talbot said...

Thank you for this post. What a blessing to read your words of understanding of these folk and your words saying a simple hug is what some of them want. Too often the world looks at these homeless people with disdain and disgust. We are the hands and feet of Jesus - He touched folk who were the untouchables - lepers ... I pray that your ministry grows and more folk join you on the streets reaching out to the less fortunate. God bless you both.

caryjo said...

That's really neat. One of the favorite things I ever did with a friend was similar. Christmas, '84, Ken and I wrapped piles of gloves and caps, drove around in our downtown area, and when we saw a homeless person, we just hollered out the car window and tossed a couple of the items to them. To see them laugh and be obviously thankful... it was the best Christmas I could have experienced. Helping and touching the homeless or impoverished can warm hearts and take them closer to our Lord. Thanks so much for doing what you do. If I'm ever in your area, I'll bring a few blankets. We can never have too many, doncha think??

Good story, too. Appreciate the post.

Susan Stilwell said...

Kristen, I'm so glad you linked up with me on Monday. What a wonderful post! You're blessed to have such a godly husband. Can't wait to check out his photography.

Blessings to you!

Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaunie @ Up the Sunbeam said...

Greetings, Kristin and Keith, I found you through Jen's Soli Deo Gloria linkup and am now happily following both your blogs. I look forward to more from both of you!

Lorretta said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder of our need to always be ready to give an answer to the hope we have within us..and to be Jesus with skin on. Nothing preaches louder about the love of God than a hug. If you find yourself in the Savannah Georgia area, go look up the Savannah Baptist Center. Our family has helped there a few times and have learned a great deal about these lessons you teach in your blanket ministry. God Bless you!

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