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.



Friday, November 30, 2012

Day #30~I am thankful for my God because. . .

1) He forgives
2) He is caring and compassionate
3) He fights for me
4) He will pass through the waters for me
5) His words are trustworthy
6) He shows unfailing kindness
7) He continues to love me when I am unlovable
8) He is the same yesterday, today, and forever
9) He is faithful to His promises
10) He watches over my loved ones when I cannot
11) He will wipe away every tear
12) His right hand sustains me
13) He is my rock and my redeemer
14) He restores my soul
15) He drives out fear
16) He lifted me out of a slimy pit
17) He gives a peace that passes all understanding
18) He lights my path
19) His judgments are true and just
20) He heals the brokenhearted
21) His grace is sufficient for me
22) He teaches me to be content whatever the circumstances
23) He gives me rest when I am weary
24) He gave His Son as a ransom to set me free
25) He raised His Son from death to conquer and gain the victory
26) He is bigger than the storms
27) His love is based on His character and not my performance
28) He is a reconciler
29) He is a friend giver
30) He and only He offers eternal life.

I did the 30 days of thankfulness for the month of November, but I have been journaling my thankfulness, my blessings, Eucharisteo for the last two years and it has become a way of life.  Yes, I have been thankful all my life, but after reading Ann Voskamp's book "one thousand gifts", it has taken on a whole other dimension.  It has sharpened my focus and God has been brought in even closer than I could have imagined. Counting has become a way of life for me and I will continue on. . .from the scent of new spring blossoms, to the tiny spots on a ladybug's back. . .from the wildflower bouquet smelling of maple to the husband who brought the bouquet to me. . .the gift of letting go to the gift of finding joy in sorrow.

Ann says it best, so I will let her words speak to you now. 
"Is eucharisteo (thanksgiving) opening the eyes wider, the heart deeper? Is this paradox-that giving thanks for what is, creates an appetite for more-not for more things, but for seeking more of God to give more glory? Looking is love."
"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world."
"naming offers the gift of recognition-the naming of moments is truly a holy work"
"When I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me. This makes me full, and I "magnify Him with thanksgiving."
"Dare to live fully right where you are. . .opening the hand to recieve the moments."

From Jesus Calling Devotional. . .

"Every time you thank Me, you acknowledge that I am your Lord and Provider. This is the proper stance for a child of God: receiving with thanksgiving.  Bring Me the sacrifice of gratitude and watch to see how much I bless you."

At all times and for everything always giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Ephesians 5:20

and to all my friends who come here. . .I am thankful for each one of you!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Good News

When you look at the news, it can be really depressing!  So much bad news, sad news, and news that shouldn't even be in the news.  Some have said, "Is there anything good left in the world?  Good people are a dying breed." 
I say, "NOT!"  These people just don't get in the news most of the time.  I would like to share
good things and good people with you just from the backyard of my community.  And I know of communities like this all over. But you won't here it much on the 6:00 news. Come peek inside my little backyard and let me introduce you to some wonderful people I know who want no recognition but I am taking the liberty to recognize them, because I want to spread good news and cheer and put those sad questions above to rest.
3 year old who gave a coat, cap and gloves to homeless man and has been praying for this man and has showed literally the world about compassion and seeing with no judgements.
teenagers who were excited to serve at the bridge, leaving all their electronic gadgets for awhile. Smiling, cheerful, serving teens. . .yep, they're still out there:)
a young man offering his talents to bring music to the bridge
I can't even list all this couple does, they do so much. I will tell you though that this lady suffers with much back pain and yet still stands at the bridge every week for over 1 1/2 hours to serve and as you can see, does it with a smile:) 
nurses offering their nursing skills . . .checked one man's blood pressure which was sky high and he made it to the hospital in time before his stroke level kicked in
an anonomous lady hand knitted all these and many more for whoever needed them
oh my goodness, this lady has done SO much, the list would go on forever!
You can always count on her to get a job done and with a smile
She has a full time job and still makes it to the bridge with a sweet spirit, a servant's heart, hands out encouragement and a prayer on her lips whenever it is needed.
a retired nurse who is giving of her time and talents in her retirement years
another sweet friend who came back from a mission trip to Africa and said to me she didn't want to waste what she had received and became a part of the bridge ministry
two women with busy lives, but give of their time to the needy. . .
the one in red has been giving jobs to one of the homeless men and is making him feel a part of the family. . .her husband is pretty remarkable too:) The other lady is crocheting a plarn sleeping mat for the homeless
and this lady. . .director of HOTEL, INC and a friend of mine.  She has a LOT on her plate and a lot in her heart for the needy, the down and out, the unloved, and forgotten.  It is her job to help the people, but the people are in her heart. I am honored to have been brought in at her side to help with the Homeless Outreach. 
This is just a little part of the group, I'm sorry I don't have everyone.
But you get the idea. Good, loving people entering a cold, lonely, sometimes messy place.
hhmmm. . .
kinda like someone else I know. . .
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, entered into a messy place, into a messy, smelly stable, to become a servant in a messy world.  He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills relates to a homeless person. Jesus was homeless those last three years, no place to rest his head.  He relates to the homeless person. . .and he relates to you wherever you are. . .and to me. . .in all my mess and dirt and sin. . .and he cleansed me white as snow.  He loved you and me while we were still in our mess and these ones above show love to those who are in their own kind of mess. 
Good news! 
This past Tuesday was another day of rejoicing.  Gary, one of our bridge guests, prayed the sinners prayer and became cleansed white as snow too. 
Good news!
Being a servant is messy and can be hurtful and painful.  It can also be such a blessing.  Usually the greatest blessings come out of the messiest mess. The people above don't bail out.  Jesus didn't bail out.  Aren't you glad?  I sure am! He is here, He is here for you, He is here to comfort, guide, provide, and love you like no other can. He is here to wash you white as snow.
Isn't that good news?!?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The VERY Beginning of Christmas

Have you ever wondered like me, how it was in Heaven just before Christ left to come to Earth as a babe in the manger. Max Lucado obviously has too, for he wrote a book about it called Cosmic Christmas. Here is what the inside cover says . . .

. . .do we know the whole story? What about the hidden happenings that might have led up to the Savior's birth? Was the arrival of Jesus a quietly profound event? Or could it have been the result of heavenly battles, angel armies, and a scheming Satan? Envision a confrontation in heaven between the King of creation and the rebellious Satan. Threats. Challenges. A gauntlet laid on the floor of the sky. And then the passage from heaven to earth. "There was a war in heaven" the Bible states in Rev. 12:7. Angels battling Satan's armies as they transport the essence of heaven itself.

The back cover reads. . .

The two stood facing each other, God robed in light, each thread glowing. Satan canopied in evil, the very fabric of his robe seeming to crawl. Satan rose slowly off his haunches. Like a wary wolf, he walked a wide circle toward the desk until he stood before the volume and read the word: Immanuel.
Immanuel? He muttered to himself. "God with us?" The hooded head truned squarely toward the face of the Father. "No. Not even you would do that. Not even you would go so far. The plan is bizarre! You don't know how dark I've made the Earth. It's putrid. It's evil, It's. . .
"It is mine," proclaimed the King. "And I will reclaim what is mine."
"Why?" Satan asked. "Why would you do this?"
The Father's voice was deep and soft. "Because I love them."

Wow! This gives me goose bumps. And you know what I think? Anyone out there who is wondering if they are worthy, please just let me shout a great big "Yes!" The angels and Satan battled in Heaven for you. God let a part of himself leave the comfort of a holy home to come to this Earth for you and for me. Why? Because He loves us. Yes, you are worthy. You are special. You are loved. Let's live our lives showing Him that we think He is worthy, that He is special, that He is loved by us.

As a new month begins, let's prepare our hearts by thanking Him, our Heavenly Father, for the battle that was won on our behalf, the battle that was fought before that very first Christmas tree went up, before there were wreaths on the doors and bells ringing from the churches.

Thank you Father for loving us so!
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Four is a Beautiful Number

The number 4. . .

In my house the number four is a beautiful number because it causes me to count blessings on this Thanksgiving night. . .

All four dinner seats filled
All four plates full of food
Four forks and knives to wash

Why is 4 so special here at my house tonight?  Because for the last six years it has been missing many times. Last Thanksgiving the chair was empty. But tonight it wasn't.  It may go missing again, I don't know, but for today my heart sang. And now my arthritic knees will bend and head bowed and voice raising this one to the Shepherd who I know watches over him and all the others out there who are finding their way. I will once again ask Him to lead and I will patiently wait for I know God's timing is better than my own, althought it doesn't always feel that way, I will and do trust Him.  I don't know what the future holds, but I know the One who holds the future.

"We shouldn’t be praying for outcomes, but instead, simply praying for God’s will.”
(I can't remember where I saw this quote or I would give credit)
BUT. . .
This is something I have tried to practice for a long time now.  Sometimes I still tell the Lord the outcome I would like, (He knows it anyway), but ultimately, I want His will be done.
 I have learned that praying for His will gives me more peace than praying for the outcomes I want. I can rest in His will better than I can in my expectations.
This is why I can watch the door close, not knowing when it will open again.
I rest in Him, not the circumstances, and I am at peace.
Time to go lay down now after a blessed Thanksgiving day and continue to count my blessings.
I'll leave you with pictures of my day. . .







~good night~





Monday, November 19, 2012

The Story of Thanksgiving

I'm glad I'm not eating at their tables. . .no brussel sprouts for me or potatoe chips in my stuffing.

I pray your table is full of tasty treats and your chairs are full of family and your hearts are full of gratitude. And I'm sure your bellies will be full so remember to wear elastic waistband pants. . .you'll be sorry if you don't ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Sanctuary

 I believe when most think of a sanctuary, they probably think of stained glass windows and pews to sit on.  For some it could be a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of a busy, loud day.  For me, that would be the pond or in my prayer closet.
But I have discovered another sanctuary over the last eight weeks and there are no stained glass windows or pews here. This one has a starry sky, round lights on poles and iron benches to rest on.

I'm talking about at the mouth of the walking bridge where the Homeless Outreach meets with their guests. Just before that first week of the Outreach taking place, I prayed, 'O Father, are we doing the right thing?" and I heard Him clearly, "Yes, and I will be right there." I have seen friendships forming, hands clasped and head bowed with prayers raising to the Father. I have seen smiles and tears and scaredness and hope. I have seen the nourishment given of food, love, and grace.
God stories are pouring from this sanctuary every week, like these. . .
the couple living out their car moving into their own apartment
the giant receiving a gift from a munchkin
the homeless man who made it to the big church all on his own
the man under the bridge who after trying for over a year, finally getting a full -time job and realizing it was in God's timing, saying God had to bring him to the bridge for his eyes to open all the way to see that Jesus was right there by his side the whole time.
a life rededicated. . .
the other man under the bridge receiving day jobs left and right and feeling satisfaction from working with his hands and receiving kindness from a little lady with a great big heart and he taking his daily wages and giving half of it away to a couple who was needing help that week and then that couple turning around and offering the man a home and the veterans from the Veterans Association finding out about this same man and setting up an appointment to meet with him because they are excited about getting him a full time job.
like the alcoholic who became ready to enter a rehab and an opening became available and he is ready to move forward with his life.
No, this is not a church sanctuary with mortar and bricks, this is God's sanctuary filled with his church.  There are no windows here, this one is open to crisp air along with the scent of love and grace being breathed in. God is at work here and I stand back and smile because you just can't help it when you see the Hand of God moving.
Yes, the last eight weeks I have stood in a sanctuary and I believe it is filled with with one of the most beautiful sights. . .flawed, fragile, vulnerable human beings coming into contact with love, and I'm not just talking about the guests.
"The greatest gift we have to offer others is ourselves, because it's in our fragile and vulnerable humaness that people see the unconditional love and redeeming power of God most clearly."
Adam McHugh
Introverts in the Church
What sanctuaries have you found yourself in that you didn't expect?
Or did expect but just wasn't built with mortar and brick.
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