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, March 14, 2013

The Power of Touch


As I began 1 1/2 years ago interviewing the homeless for a book I'm writing, I quickly realized how important touch was for them. Many were not touched because of their 'dirtiness' (their words) or they had not experienced good touch , only bad in their lives. I made it a point to always touch them, whether a pat on the back, touch their arm as I talked with them, always putting my arm around them as I prayed at the end of our visits, and giving a hug when I knew it would be received well. Many, men and women, would crumple in my arms and cry because the touch was so wonderful to them and the unconditonal love that came with it. I believe touch, good touch, is so vital to us as human beings.

I interviewed Bruce, a burned out homeless, alcoholic man for a couple of hours one day.  He didn't want to talk at first, but after I tried to chit-chat with him for a few minutes, he warmed up and off we went talking about his life, starting at his childhood and working our way up to present day. He had no emotion except for the couple of minutes while he remembered a good time as a teen where he and a youth group from a small church went out to help a neighbor with his delapadated home.  When that story was over, the emotionaless face came back. When we were done with the interview, God pushed me to touch him.  His hands were literally black with grease and what looked like oil. It was not pleasant but I grabbed them and told him Jesus loved him. His bright blue eyes immediately glistened. Then I put my arms around him, pulled him in close to me and prayed for him. When I was done, he continued to bow and prayed himself. He looked up at me with more tears, smiled and silently walked off. He seemed choked up. I certainly was with that lump in my throat. What brought the tears on in him I wondered. I sat back down on the bench as I watched him fade into the distance. I wondered how long it had been since someone had prayed with him, how long had it been since someone touched him.

An article I read the other day said this:
The majority of nursing home residents suffering from dementia like Alzheimer’s disease develop behavioural symptoms of dementia, such as restlessness, searching and wandering, tapping and banging, pacing and walking, and vocalization. Current treatment involves drugs, but a recent study showed that intervention consisting of therapeutic touch significantly reduces these behavioural symptoms. Impressive is that the therapeutic touch employed in the study was only provided twice per day, for three days. Each therapeutic intervention lasted only 5-7 minutes.

I've also read an article about two newborn babies in a hospital. One was touched daily while the other one wasn't.  The touched one thrived and the other one didn't. . .until that one began to be touched. They both left the hospital healthy and happy.

I ponder. . .if we were to reach out to our homeless neighbors and touch them as we talked, listened to them unconditionally, and hold them as we pray, could healing begin in their souls?

this volunteer knows:)

I know when someone hugs me, it makes me feel special and loved in that moment and it carries on with me into the day. I think not only for our homeless neighbors, but for the tired, cranky mother in the store, the older man or woman who is sitting by themselves in church, the tattooed teen sitting alone on a mall bench. . .even once, if it makes them feel special and loved in that moment. . .it's a memory they can carry with them and maybe God will use that memory for good. I believe God does not waste anything done with the love of Christ. What do you say, is it worth a try?

I have a feeling Bruce would say "Yes."


Debbie Petras said...

Oh yes, I totally believe touch is so very important. I remember one time our pastor shared how a man came up to him after the service and thanked him for asking the congregation to welcome people. He said those were the first hugs he received in a long time.

Blessings and love,

Nancy said...

Touch has been proven to make a difference all the way from babies to the aged...Then why don't we?..We touch our families and our friends why would we pull back from giving anyone something they need so badly?....If Jesus is our example then how can we not fulfill His mission of touch? All these questions are simple answered by He is not our focus.. For when He is our focus, we are obedient and reach out just as He did and as you did and do everyday..Thank you for having Jesus as your focus and fulfilling the ministry He has created for you....

Denise said...

So very important.

Betty said...

Beautiful reminder Denise. I love to be hugged, especially by those who I know care for me. I am sure that gentleman felt the love of God in your hug. God bless you for reaching out to him and others.

A Joyful Noise said...

Thank you for your beautiful story about touch as you minister to others. Yes, a hug is important and a touch can do wonders. Thank you for sharing at "Tell me a Story."