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.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hope Through the Storms

As we are all thinking about the east coast storms and praying for those in it's path, we at the bridge stand with ones who have been weathering their own kind of storm and we take hands and pray for them too.
This one had just gotten out of the hospital this morning and had no where to go.
The temps were cold and the winds were blowing and the noses were red!
he was hungry
his stark, blue eyes had a sadness to them. . .no telling what wounds this one had.
Two souls walking the same journey on the streets, sharing tales and information

These two are not homeless, but live in extreme poverty and have lived in hard worlds.  I believe they come, not just for the hot food and coffee, but for the good feelings of love.  Do they know they are feeling the love of Christ? This one below is a ham and sometimes we have to say no to his requests, but he'll be back. He's a happy fellow but if you look deep into his eyes, you see something. . .a sadness maybe. . . it gets me every time. He told me he makes wreaths out of wire coat hangers, spruce and mistletoe.  He promised me one.  I'll be waiting for it.

The guy on the right in one of our wonderful volunteers. . .he has a heart of gold and probably is giving golden wisdom here to this young one. . .or the latest game scores :)
These two have been back in the church for the last 8 months.  The one leaning just found out he is going to have a job in the next couple of weeks and the other is hopeful to be getting one the next day. These two are such gentlemen, and always giving God the glory for all things.
This one gave us the thumbs up for the Homeless Outreach Ministry. . .I love it when they smile!

You see them take it all in, the food, the kindness, the physical needs being met, the love. . .and then they wander off to take it all in, to ponder. . .
As the temperatures dropped and sun was setting and the dark was rising, the volunteers begin to pack up things
and I look over at ol blue eyes and see him with his head bowed.  I go over. . .
he had received gloves for his red, raw, freezing hands, warm food for this stomach, a crocheted sleeping mat to soften the ground, blankets to help keep him warm, and the beginning of friendships.
He looked at me with tears and said, "I can't get over how kind you all are.  You've all given me hope."
This sappy one then once again had tears.
That's what it's all about!
And he is told where Hope comes from. . .Jesus.
I prayed quickly for him and then we all left.
I ponder. . .these precious ones walk their own kind of storms and yet they get up every day and put one foot in front of the other, they keep going on, finding the strength to make it another day.
I pray as they come to the bridge on Tuesdays, if they don't all ready know, that the hope they feel is from the One who rides the storms with them.  As the man on the bridge said to me once, "Jesus was always with me, I just didn't see him before.  But my eyes are open now, and I see him every day." He helps us to share that word.
May they all see Him in their storm and may hope abound in all their hearts!
I pray for the homeless:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

We don't have to be homeless to be walking through storms.  We all have at one time or another and will probably have more in the future. May we all apply Romans 12:12 to ourselves. . .I know I will!

~For our Hope is in Him. . .there is none greater~

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Ponderings Anniversary

October 30, 2010, I hit the publish button on my blog for the first time, I might add with a shaky finger!  But everyone who has come to my pond has been so gracious. . .except for that one anonymous person way back when. I prayed for them.

I stutter to say I'm a writer, but I have upgraded to the name "blogger":)  It has been so much fun to put down my thoughts, taking the pictures, joining with others on linky parties, and hearing from so many wonderful people. 

My heart has gone through the screen so many times to so many different states and countries.  I just love technology and I love how God uses it to join people and their hearts to one another. 

People have connected with me to the prodigal stories and many to the homeless stories.  I have received money from other states to put towards the Blanket Ministry.  I thank you all for every cent you have given towards this ministry. It has helped to warm people in more ways than you know. . .and you have warmed me by your thoughtfulness!

All the homeless posts have been very popular.  Some of the more popular posts next were of me stepping outside of myself. . .or you could say the real me came out in Glamour Shots ;)
So many sympathized with me when my special place was changing on me.  Even more sympathy came from SO many of you when I lost my dear friend Greg this year.

I have researched and read, read, read on the writing process. One of the lessons I learned was to use a catchy title to grab the readers into the story.  My most catchiest one that made some of you drop on the floor was I'M PREGNANT! That was pretty funny because I'm 50:)  (Sorry Carolyn!)

I don't know what my 3rd year will bring, but I'm ready for whatever God has for me in this writing adventure.  As always and as I stated at the very beginning of this journey that my prayer for this place would bring glory and honor to the One who started this whole process, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May all glory go to Him. 
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

and if I can make you giggle every once in awhile. . .that would be fun too.
ya'll keep coming back now, ya here ;)

God bless you my friends!

PS~I'm working on something that all my writer friends say I must do.
Maybe in the next post. . .or the one after that. . .or. . .

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Night I Peed in the Woods

My neighbor, alias Lucy, she calls me Ethal, came over to get me after work for a short, 2 mile walk.  HA!  I should have know better.

I grabbed my tennis shoes, put them on quickly and off we went.  We made it down to the corner, rounded the bend and up the next street to the golf course.  I thought we were going to turn around and come back home.  But NOOOO, Lucy wanted to walk into the golf course.  I was ok with that.  Then she remembered that there was a pond with a bridge and so we took down a path that we thought led to it.  As we were walking it was getting darker.  As it's getting darker, I told her I had to pee.  So did she.  She is used to doing this sort of thing outdoors as she is a kayaker and is always out in places where one has to squat by trees and such.  I am not a kayaker or a camper or anything else where this activity is normal outdoors.  But I didn't have a choice this night.  The evening was getting later and darker and we had walked way off the road.  Woods were to our right and when I spotted just the right tree in just the right spot, I stepped off the path and Lucy went up ahead to her own tree. 

I prayed as I squatted for there to be no snakes slithering around and I prayed for there to be no poison ivy or anything else poison in said spot.  I nervously looked around and squatted quickly and rose faster on my aged, weak knees than I had ever before!  Well, I told Lucy, that was quite an adventure!  Off we went to make our way to the bridge.  But the more we walked, the further we were getting from the destination we wanted.  It was getting darker and all Lucy had was a little headlight on her forhead that was I thought was getting dimmer and dimmer.  Thank goodness the moon was out and bright enough to light our path.  The woods continued to be to my right and in the dark, we could hear the crunch of leaves beneath our feet.  It was SO loud and now I'm wondering if there really is such a thing as a boogie man and that he could be in those woods.  We were calling him with the crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves beneath our feet.  I couldn't help but think how he could jump out at any minute and grab us and pull us into the woods and no one would ever know.  I didn't think to tell my husband where I was going, because I thought I would be back soon.  I should have known with Lucy, you just never know.

After about 3 miles, and noticing we were gettting further and further into the dark and away from civilization, I must have sounded nervous because Lucy asked if I wanted to turn  and back track up the path we just came down.  "Oh, let me see, YES!" I said.  Now it is dark with only the moon to guide us.  The moon was beautiful, by the way, out there in the country over an open field, with the pond that we never could find our way to.

I raised up my arms to the glorious moon shining against the dark sky.  I wanted to show Lucy, as if she couldn't already see it.  It was majestic out there in the open sky with no telephone poles and wires and buildings and city lights to take away the glory of it.  It was beautiful!  And I knew out there in the open field, in the dark, with the woods now to our left, that we were being watched. . .not by the boogie man, but by our Savior, our Lord and I suddenly felt giddy. I felt such joy!  And then I noticed my 50 year old legs were screaming that they had enough of walking and it was time to get home.

But the moment, out in the field, in the dark, with the woods to our left. . . was glorious!  It was worth peeing in the woods.

This was not our first Lucy and Ethal moment. And I'm sure it won't be our last.  I love my Lucy!
Do you have a Lucy in your life?  Or are you the Lucy?
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Still Counting While Watching the Horizon

When the silence drags on and on and on and you don't know what's going on. . .on the other side. . .the other side of the horizon, the mind begins to wander from here to there to yonder.  And then in slumber, the mind takes on stories you would rather not see.  It creates fitful nights.  The only blessing in the dark is in the time spent talking with the Lord about these dream stories and the quiet that never seems to end. A mother with circles underneathe the eyes tell of a lost one whose gone down a road she never saw coming and the sadness that never really goes away.

BUT. . .the joy of the Lord does not go away either, Praise God!  Amongst the yearning and missing and hurt is a Savior who loves and redeems and restores. . .in His time.  And a mother who holds the Righteous Right Hand of her Savior can hold on to the days and go on because she puts her trust in Him.  There is no better place for a mother of a prodigal to be than in the palm of His Hand. . .and because the lost one took this Hand at one time, she knows he will not be gone forever. . .for he really is never lost. . .because the Savior has him in His Hand. . .the lost one has maybe just forgotten for a time. He will remember.

And so this tired one goes on to count her blessings, because there really are so many surrounding her, and maybe in the counting, the dream stories will become lighter and the dark circles will fade beneathe the eyes and restoration will be just over the horizon. . .in His time. . .and the mother is ok with that. . .because she trusts, and she is blessed, and she still has joy. . .despite the empty horizon for now.  She goes on living and serving with confidence knowing that no matter what, all will be well, because her hope is in the One she serves, Jesus Christ. And this night she will just whisper, Jesus. . .Jesus. . .Jesus. . .and instead of counting sheep, she will count her blessings. . .

1301. . .my Savior's Hand
1302. . .hope
1303. . .good memories
1304. . .His Word in my heart
1305. . .speaking the name of Jesus
1306. . .silliness shared with 2nd born
1307. . .secure love from husband
1308. . .joy no matter what
1309. . .finally a night with no bad dreams
1310. . .concealer for dark circles
1311. . .free therapy in writing
1312. . .total understanding from my Lord
1313. . .enveloped in His love
1314. . .peace


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hungry Souls Feeding On. . .

Another beautiful night of the Homeless Outreach Ministry at the bridge.  Volunteers and homeless together, just being friends, grace falling all around.  The hungry were fed physical food and spiritual food, but what I think they take in more than anything is Grace.

They know they are undeserving, as we all are, and yet they are moved by this feeding.  Some tear up, some let the tears fall, some tell me they are in awe of the kindness and sincerity of all who are out there helping and feeding.  Some hug and one yelled out as he left on his bicycle, "I love you all".
One shared that he had just been baptized the night before.
Then I teared up.

People have asked, "How can you love such people, people who are dirty and felons, with issues galore?

I stand at the foot of the bridge every Tuesday night and see all our volunteers doing just that. . .loving and issuing grace through the muck and mire. . .and I see it softening and changing the hardness of ones heart, and we can do this because Jesus did this for us.

From What's So Amazing About Grace. . .

Jesus gained the power to love harlots, bullies, and ruffians. . .he was able to do this only because he saw through the filth and crust of degeneration, because his eye caught the divine original which is hidden in every way-in every man!  First and foremost he gives us new eyes. . .
When Jesus loved a guilt-laden person and helped him, he saw in him an erring child of God. He saw in him a human being whom his Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong.  He saw him as God originally designed and meant him to be, and therefore he saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath. Jesus did not identify the person with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something that merely chained and mastered him and from which he would free him and bring him back to his real self. Jesus was able to love men because he loved them right through the layer of mud.

The volunteers at the bridge have had grace-healed eyes. . .they see the potential in others for the same grace that God has so lavishly bestowed on us.

"To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be."

I am so happy and honored to stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ who have been blessed with grace and to turn it around on to our guests.  What a privelege to take a gift we did not deserve and be able to hand it on to others. 
I heard one of our guests say tonight, "I don't like having to take, I was always the giver."
He was told this was just for a season and when his next season arrived, he could pay it forward.
He promised he would.

"Man is born broken, He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue."
Eugene O'Neill

I'm seeing the glue and I've witnessed the mending and when one is healed and redeemed, oh what a joy!

I'm asked how I can love these people?

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

People are thirsting for grace.  Let's give them a drink.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

It is time!

"There is a time for everything. . ."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

It's that time for sweaters, socks, scarves around the neck, hot tea and blazing colors outdoors.
I'm so glad God blessed us with four unique seasons.
Winter is a wonderland.
Spring is beautiful.
Summer is wonderful.
And Fall is GLORIOUS!
"He has made everything beautiful in it's time. . ."
Ecclesiastes 3:11
and it is time for GLORIOUS!

Let me share with you a little of God's glory in Kenucky
one of our cheerleaders cheering for the season. . .
path leading into Fall. . .

at the bridge


on my street, just up the road
I just stand and gaze at His glorious creation in brilliant color and my cup is full of gratitude!
Now I'm going to go fill my tea cup with hot tea.
Should it be Chamomile, Cinnamon Apple Spice, or Mulling spice tea bags. . .hhmmm,
I think the Mulling spice will do just fine right now.
Are you enjoying this season of glorious colors?  Does it just make you want to raise your hands and shout to the Lord, "YOU ARE MARVELOUS!" ?
Go ahead. . .DO IT!  :)
"Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds."
Psalm 71:17
(all pics above are mine except the last one, that is my husband's.  You can see more of his wonderful photography here. . . 



Friday, October 19, 2012

Grace in the Mess

"I'm not helping good people or bad people. I'm just helping human beings."  anonoymous
A group of ladies wanted to help by giving men under the bridge winter clothes and other such stuff.  But when they heard some were drinking and the older one chose to stay there, they pulled their things back and didn't want to help. . .and they didn't.
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." Mother Teresa
My insides cringed at this.  Do we only help and share the love of Christ with only those who have their "act together".  How many of those are out there even in the church?  Do we only help and love those who have all their issues fixed and addictions cured and sins forgiven.  Are not these the ones who need it most?
"By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just entitiled to as we are."  Bonhoeffer
I am friends with a registered sex offender. . .a one time felony long ago that he paid for and repented of.  When I met him he was newly homeless and scared and didn't want to tell me for awhile.  We talked for about an hour and then he shared his past.  I didn't react with horror.  I just asked questions and I listened.  I shared about the love of God and forgiveness.  He wasn't sure.  Over the next several months, God began dealing with him and brought a few others to him that began a bible study and then began taking him to church.  I continued to be his friend along with my husband.
Love me most when I deserve it least~Swedish proverb
Last March my friend rededicated his life to the Lord and has been very faithful ever since.  My husband and I can even see a change in his body language, his demeanor, his face. 
What if people had left the minute they knew about him.  Most of them do.  But the few who stayed, God worked through to reach our friend and now he and we know for sure the address of his permanent home. And he is now sharing the good news and love of Christ with others.
Grace was shown on a cross on a hill.  Don't you know it was messy? Messy with blood and thorns and the ugliness and mess of sins of the whole world. But our Savior, our Jesus, our Christ, our Lord, stepped into the mess and poured out grace and love.  He didn't turn his back on me and I for one, have been changed. Have you? Are you grateful?  Enough to step into the mess? 

"Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work."
Mother Teresa

Dear Lord,
I pray for all who step into the messes whether that be in Africa, under the bridge, or in our own homes. All places are filled with people who need your love and encouragement.  Fill the steppers with strength and courage and love that looks past the mess and sees the beauty of your creation. May you give all these precious ones the discernment and wisdom to know the what, the where and the how and that we may not always know the why but we know the One who does. . . You, and that is enough. May we all just trust and obey and love and leave the rest up to you.
Thank you Father for stepping into the messes.
Thank you for bringing beauty out of the messes.
Thank you for not leaving me in the mess.
In Jesus Name,

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grace and Communion at the Bridge

The beautiful Fall colors were the backdrop on October 16, 2012, a beautiful night at the bridge with the Homeless Outreach Ministry.  We have friends there, some with roofs over their head and some without.  Tonight there were no labels, just these precious ones all around and sharing the love of Christ. Here there were no judgements, no dirty looks, no condemnations. . .just love and laughter. . .food and fellowship. . .singing, sad stories to hear, praying for one another, communion, and grace floating all around.

"Grace throws parties for returning prodigals without saying a word about their sins.  Grace pays everybody the same regardless of what time of day they began to work.  Grace restores dignity to whores that everybody else wants to stone.  Grace hugs the diseased leper that nobody else wants to touch.  Grace looks past a person's behavior and sees the person for who they are in the eyes of God.  Grace is irrational to the thinker.  It is unfair to the judge.  Grace is foolishness to the achiever.  It is a shame to the religionist.  But it is a stream of water to the thirsty.  It's freedom to the imprisoned.  It is life to the dead.  Grace is rest for the tired.  It is another chance to the failed.  It is hope to the despondent.  It is a way out for the lost and a way in for those who can see the door.  Grace.  It's not a theological premise. It's not a doctrine.  It's not a philosophy. It's not something to be balance with anything else.  It's not even the most important thing.  It is the ONE THING~THE ONLY THING.  It's a Person, a Person who has held you in His heart before the first molecule existed and One who willl never let you go."
I'm not going to point out who is who because we are all the same in God's eyes, beloved children, some who are walking with him, and some He is waiting for, but all are loved.  But I will tell you this first picture is some of our fine city officials who came to the party with the director of Hotel, Inc. in the middle.  She is the one who got the Homeless Outreach off the ground. . .I'm just her sidekick:)
We have wonderful volunteers with great big hearts.
We had more "guests" show up this week and we were honored to serve them.
"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet"
Frederick Buechner

"I'm not suggesting that we have the power to heal physical conditions with our human fingers. But I do believe there's a healing of the spirit that takes place when we touch others.  There's a comfort that can't be found anywhere else, but in a touch or a hug.  Somehow, God's love and power is shared with others through the simplicity of our physical touch."
Ann Nappa



"Who are your friends? Have you chosen them carefully or have you let God choose them for you? Can you count among your friends, homeless, disabled, prisoner, homesexuals. . .The range and depth of friendships accurately reflcts your knowledge of the love of God".
Mike Mason

"All of us are people walking throught a living graveyard.  Everywhere we go, among everyone we meet every day, there are the walking dead. There are people so radically impacted by death in one way or another that they are candidates not only for healing but also for resurrecton. Death of relationships, death of dreams, death of business, death of loved ones. And you and I have been prepared to bring a living answer."
Pastor Jack Hayford
"To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be"
"Showing mercy is different from having pity. . .pity connotes distance. . .even looking down upon. . .mercy comes from a compassionate heart. . .it comes from a desire to be an equal."
Henry Nouwen

"It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters."
Mother Teresa



and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
I Corinthians 11:24
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26:27-28  

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do."
Edward Everett Hale
A beautiful evening, indeed!
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