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, April 30, 2013

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

Love…the word is used in so many ways…I love my husband, I love my children, I love chocolate, I love thunderstorms, I love to write. There is parental love, brotherly love, true love, puppy love, and unconditional love. If I wanted to get a little theological, I could mention that agape, eros, and phileo are the three kinds of love mentioned in the Bible. But I’m not much of a theological kind of gal. I would be more into poetry. When I ponder on this subject, I can’t help but think of a line from one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems…”How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” If God expressed this line, here is how He might answer…
“I loved thee enough to create a beautiful world for you to live in.”
“I loved thee enough to make you an individual with your own mind, not a robot, but one with free will to make your own choices.”
“I loved thee enough to give you My Word to guide you in this world, to give you direction in making wise choices, to show you grace and mercy when you make bad choices, and to show my love through these pages.”
“I loved thee enough to give you beautiful sunrises and sunsets, beautiful sounds, fragrant flowers, and people to love and be loved by.
“I loved thee enough to give you unconditional love, not a love based on feelings or emotions, or works by you.”
“I loved thee enough to not give you all the answers on the earth, so you would learn about trust, to have faith, so we could have a lifetime of building a relationship, to have the fun of learning, so you could experience blessings each day, and learn to be a blessing to others.”
“I loved thee enough to allow my Son to leave our kingdom to come be born on earth, to grow, to teach, and then to be mocked, tortured, and hung on the cross to die so your sins could be forgiven once and for all.”
“I loved thee enough to raise him from the grave to show victory over death, to show you that you can claim victory over death if you so choose.”
If we were to answer this toward God, how would it sound? It could sound like this…
“How do I love thee?
I’ll let you know when my television shows are over, when my work is done, when I get some time off, when the vacation is over, after I’ve lived my life my way for awhile. I’ll let you know tomorrow, next week, next year, or…

OR, it could sound like this…
“I love thee enough to serve others in Christ name.”
“I love thee enough to love the unlovable, to show your mercy and grace because you’ve shown me the same.”
“I love thee enough to build a relationship with you continually.”
“I love thee enough to have an ongoing dialogue with you and yet be still also to listen for your voice.”
“I love thee enough to stop and smell your fragrant flowers, to stop and take in the beauty of your sunrises and sunsets, and to reach out and form friendships, sharing your love with them and my family.”
“I love thee enough to accept your Son as my Lord and Savior, loving Him also for wiping my sins away, making me new, because of His sacrifice.”
“I love thee enough to not forsake you when I’m around others, not to forsake you in my day to day living, to not forsake you in my thoughts or words.”
“I love thee enough to model things that are true, noble, just, pure, and lovely.”
“I love thee enough to forgive others, because you forgave me.”
“I love thee enough to care about what you care about, to grieve over the things you grieve over, and rejoice over the things you rejoice over.”
“I love thee enough to let love be my greatest aim.”
When love comes from God and we can learn to love with this same kind of love…it is “a many splendored thing.”

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Christian Guy or Man of God?

I wish I had written this, but I didn't. I saw it one evening on facebook and thought it was too good not to share.  This is for all you parents who have young daughters. . .I believe it was written for them.  But this is also for all the young men out there too, so don't forget your sons. 

Christian guy or Man of God?

Let's get this straight. There is a BIG difference between a Christian guy and a Man of God. The Christian guy might say that he l
oves you; but a Man of God will love God more than you.

 A Christian guy might text you Bible verses or have a tattoo of them; but a Man of god will live out those verses and have them written on his heart.

 A Christian guy might go to church; but a Man of God will see that his highest calling is to give Christ glory.

A Christian guy might "accidentally" compromise your virtue or purity; but a Man of God will protect it above all else.

 A Christian guy might be super attractive, fun, or handsome; but a Man of God will have a beautiful heart, regardless of his looks.

A Christian guy might be content to take you out, but a Man of God will go beyond the superficial and hold you up before God in his prayers continually.

So don't settle for just a Christian guy but for a Man of God. And long to be the kind of woman of God who will attract a man like that.

 I have found that a lot of people will say they are Christians but not really know what that means or entails. But one will not say they are a man of God or Woman of God without meaning it.
Let's pray the young gals and guys will turn to the Lord seeking guidance when it comes to staying pure. . .when it comes to choosing their spouse. May they allow God to lead them to their best, His best for them.
Let us pray for them all!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers,(and sisters) by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time, on a glorious spring day, nine little chicks met for lunch. Eight of the nine knew each other as they had attended the same church at one time or another. The ninth little chickie only knew them through the blog they shared. How fun it was for little chickie, who had been blogging with these chickens for a year and only knew their names, to finally meet them face to face and witness each wonderful, individual personality. There was the baby chick (although already very mature and wise), the momma chicks, and some grandma chicks. All were interesting, wise, humble, funny and very much in love with the Lord. What an awesome gift to have met eight wonderful new chicks all in one day!

In this world where so much hen-pecking goes on, it was refreshing to meet these lovely chicks, who discussed favorite scriptures, songs, and good advice handed down through the years. These were not hen-pecking chicks, these were praising the Father kind of chicks. Because they were obviously mature, outstanding, wise women, this little chickie about lost her feathers when she sat at this table and also heard stories about Viagra, bras, and slurpie drinks. She laughed so hard she thought she was going to lay an egg!

There are some funny creatures out in the world who think “the believers” are boring, have no fun, and are just plain ol’ fuddy duddies. Well, they certainly have not met little chickies eight new friends…nothing boring or stodgy there!

Although little chickie had just met these chicks face to face this day, she felt loved and protected within this flock. It reminded her of someone else she knew who loves her and protects her with His wings. She read in her Bible Psalm 17:8 which says, “Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” This verse is talking about the wings of her God, her Savior. She doesn’t think He literally has wings, but believes His all encompassing holy power and love covers her as a momma bird’s wings cover her children and protects them. This makes little chickie feel protected and loved, and feels like she will always be ok, because her God will always be there for her. And how awesome that He sends little flocks with real wings, (arms), to come around to praise with you, to hug you, and give a little piece of himself to you through those with skin on.

Little chickie observed the head chick at the table give a book titled, “Whispers of Encouragement for Moms” to their waitress. She was very good at her job, but chickie noticed she looked tired and thought she saw a sadness in her eyes. When asked if she was a mom, she replied yes, but that it can be really hard at times. She did not look joyful. Little Chickie felt for this woman and wished she had got up and given her a hug. Why didn’t she? Little chickie prayed for this waitress later, praying she would find encouragement through the book given to her, and also from our smiles and politeness to her during their lunch. And if she doesn’t know about the abundant life offered, someone would share with her. It also made little chickie realize to be more ready when opportunities arise. She was so thankful that the head chick was more on the ball!
This little chickie clucked all the way home praising and thanking her Heavenly Father for these real feathered friends. That evening as she fluffed up her feathers and settled into her nest for the night and said her prayers, she saw a yellow sticky note pad on her nightstand and cackled herself to sleep. (You had to be there)

If there is any moral to this story, it might be to step out and always be willing to make new friends. You just never know who God wants you to meet. The other is more a reminder that as long as you stay under God’s protective covering, we need never be afraid, life never need be boring, and to go out and share His love with others; especially the unbelievers. Introduce them to this Savior who saves and protects, teaches and grows and loves with a love like they have never known. Tell them about the abundant life He offers. You just might need to take them to lunch and have a cackling session. Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness a new bird entering into the flock!

OH…and if the ol’ rooster at home asks what chicks talk about over lunch, just casually mention Viagra, bras, and slurpy drinking. You’ll fall over with laughter from the puzzled look he gives you. (Who says believer chicks don’t know how to have fun?! J )
The End

This bed-time tale is dedicated to…Teresa, Ruth , Lynnmarie, Becky, Amy, Betty, Molly, and Amanda.

PS ~ I feel led here to say the Viagra story was G rated and had to do with a sweet, little girl sitting in church. She was given a sticky note pad and pen to keep her quiet and occupied in big church.  On the pen was an ad for Viagra.  She didn't know in her young mind what that was. Unbeknowst to her grandparents sitting next to her, she began to write the word on each sticky note and when everyone stood up to sing, the little girl stuck a note down on everyones seat to find.  Surprise!!!  :) 
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weaknesses and Virtues

"I know now that true charity consists in bearing all our neighbors defects - not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues."
Therese de Lisieux
the bridge ministry 
One of the things I love out at the bridge is the way we are all neighbors. Some would say we bear our neighbors defects and weaknesses out there. . .and we do. But they also bear with us in our weaknessess. We are Christians, but we are not perfect. Just forgiven. And in that forgiveness, we reach out to share the love of Christ with these neighbors at the bridge, who in turn, love us back.
We are amazed at the resiliance, the good nature, the continueing smiles. I asked one man who by the worlds standards, has nothing, how I could pray for him. He thought for a minute and then smiled at me saying all was good, that he was blessed, and did not need anything.  I wonder sometimes if their virtues are not bigger than we first think. Many do not complain, many do not ask for anything. They just come down for the meal and fellowship.
A couple of men came to us this past Tuesday evening somewhat tipsy, but still smiling, still friendly. Yes, they have a weakness and we are there to pray for them. They know at the bridge on Tuesday nights, they have a family there who cares, and who will lift them up to the Lord. We have the chance to share about the Lord and His Word. I think it seeps in. This night as I shared, one of the men began to cry. I'm not sure why. I don't know if he knew. But something was working inside of him. So we just continue to pray for this neighbor of ours.
We are not surprised at their weaknesses because we have our own we deal with. It may not be the same, but a weakness is a weakness whether that be alcohol, eating too much, smoking, or exagerating, or laziness.
And their virtues?   We celebrate their virtues, their goodness, their good news, their smiles despite the hardness of life. I believe their small virtues are not so small. . .and we rejoice and celebrate the good and we will continue to pray them through their weaknesses and they say they will pray for us too.
Maybe true charity goes in both directions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

sqeak or ROAR!

What I heard one Sunday. . .

Becoming a Lion Chaser. . .yeah! I've been asking for the Lord to fill me with boldness for years and He gives it to me when I need it. Over the years I have felt more like a little mouse, peeking out from a little hole before venturing out.
Yeah, kind of like that.

And when I do get my boldness, I'm kind of like this. . .

still a mouse, but with my armor on. . .which is good!

But after listening to a lesson on becoming a lion chaser like David, writing down the characteristics such as these. . .

standing firm
defying the odds
facing fear
reframe the problems
takes risks
seizes opportunities
willing to look foolish
knows that God is bigger than any problem
not afraid to do what looks ridiculous to others because with God anything is possible
learn how to see problems in a new way~God's way
not focusing on what's wrong but what is right with God . . .

there is something better. . . I don't want to be the little mouse anymore, even in the little armor suit. . .

What is it that keeps me from being bold at times? Fear and insecurity, weapons of the enemy. Yes, there have been times I have stepped out of the comfort zones but as the little mouse with the suit on. God was with me but I let the enemy still be on my heels. I leaned into God and took strength from that. But God is behind me, beside me, in front of me, and in me, so there is no need to fear. I don't just need to hide in my God, I can face down the enemy with my God, and this is how that will look. . .

Oh yeah! That's gonna be me! To the enemy.
I am woman, hear me roar!
My God is with me, off I'll soar!

Do you squeak or do you roar?
If you are still squeakin', let God fill you up so much with Himself, with His Word, that when the enemy comes nippin' at your heels, you can turn around with the boldness of a lion and ROAR in the name of Jesus!
Then you can become a lion chaser, chasing down your own giants. You probably won't need a stone like David, but God will equip you with whatever you need. Rely on Him and stand strong.
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Breathing It In!

I am not a winter gal.  I don't like to be cold. 50 degrees and below, just put me in front of a fireplace and I'll daydream of the Spring coming around the corner. 
Well, my friends, it came the other day!  I was SO excited I could hardly contain myself.  I went to lunch with a sweet friend, and then the rest of the day I took pictures to capture the beauty of this Spring day. The warm air and sunshine just soaked into my skin, my spirits just soar on a day like this, and I breathe it all in as deeply as I can. I know it won't last forever so I wanted to capture the loveliness before it falls away. . .the delicate blossoms of cherry trees, the soft fuzzy leaves of lamb ears, inside of tulips, inside of a tulip tree blossom, tiny purple flowers (weeds) and the grand show stopper in my back yard, the peach tree with it's hundreds of full branches of pink.  
Here are just a few of the shots I took this absolutely, breathtaking day, and all I could do as I looked through my camera is whisper, "Lord, what a GRAND job You have done. Thank you, thank you , thank you!  And my numbered blessing for my journal this day. . .pink!  I love pink.  I thanked God for making the color pink.
Oh yes, a couple of guys got into the shots as well. . .




Ahhh, can you see how I just breathed it all in?!
All from the Master Designer.
Thank you Father. . .all I can say right now is just. . .Thank You!
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cherry Pie and Blessings

I hadn't been feeling well at all for a few days, my husband was out of town for a week and I was feeling low. Lonely for him, my body was rebelling for some unknown reason and I was tired, really, really tired! I was even too tired to read my bible or devotionals. I cried out to God to help me feel better. I made myself get up the 3rd day of not feeling well to go to the small IGA up the road for some milk and bananas.  I don't know how I happened to pass the frozen section, but I did and as I was rolling along slowly. . .so I could gaze at all the goodies in their boxes. . . I spotted this. . .

and I it was all I could do to not cry.  I might have let the tears fall but there was a young stock boy just up from me loading merchandise and I didn't want to freak him out. Why did I want to cry?  I saw the cherry pie and immediately my mind went to my grandma who made the best homemade cherry pies on earth!  My mother and grandmother were the best bakers I ever knew.  My grandmother has been gone for years now and my mom lives 750 miles away.

Can a grown woman still cry out "I want my mommy!"  or "I want my grandma!"  Don't worry, I only cried in my soul, not out loud. Remember, the stock boy up ahead;)  Feeling lonely and sick did a number on me for just a little while.  I bought the pie in the box and brought it home.  While not like my grandmothers, Marie Callenders is pretty good!  I wonder if she's a grandmother?

As I was eating this warm, delicious cherry goodness, I suddenly felt at peace and smiling inside once again.  Isn't it just like God to lead me to a pie in a store to bring me just what I needed.  Yes, cherry pie brought me good memories but it also gave me comfort.  Not just in the pie, but from my Lord who sees and hears all my thoughts and feelings and comes to my rescue. He did it with a heart in a tree one Spring day at the pond. . .and on this day He rescued me with a cherry pie in a cardboard box.

And so, in my gratitude journal for that evening, I wrote. . .
#1713 ~ all the simple, little ways God speaks and touches me
#1714 ~ all the senses God gave so I can sense more of Him
#1715 ~ cherry pie in a box

By the end of the third evening, I felt like opening up my bible again and look what I came across. . .

O taste, and see that the Lord is good!
Psalm 34:8

How has God comforted you, blessed you today or any day besides with His Word?
Oh, there are SO many ways if we just look and listen and smell and feel and taste
~Please do share~

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Church Outside the Walls

My husband Keith and I had just experienced a wonderful morning at church full of fellowshipping, praising and teaching one Sunday morning recently. But it was as we were heading out the doors to go home that another sort of church began. We were introduced to a homeless man who had come to our church for the second week in a row.  He said he was walking by and loved the name...Living Hope...and he was needing hope.

Keith and I talked with him for just a few minutes and he grabbed my heart as quickly as Greg had. We invited him out to lunch. Over food, the three of us shared about our lives and the goosebumps began to raise on the back of my neck.  I kept invisioning God and Greg high fivin'. 

The man was so ariticulate, so humble.  He was not your typical homeless person, as if there were a typical homeless person.  As he said and I believe to be so true, homelessness could happen to any one of us just by two or three bad decisions. He had a good job at one time. Things happened and he began traveling looking for another when he became stuck here in my town. He was not angry. He was not upset. He talked about his eyes being opened since being on the streets to what was really important in life and it was not about things. I couldn't help but smile big as did my husband because I was on day 38 of a 40 day give away of our own things. My eyes had been opened too. . .to how unimportant things were.  "People are what is important.  People need to be loved. . . not things", said this humble man next to me. I nodded in agreement. I asked him if he would share his whole story for my book. He teared up saying he would be honored. No mister, I would be honored.

As we were finishing up our lunch, it began to rain hard with heavy hail. Our lunch guests eyes became huge with worry about his shopping cart that he had left back at the church parking lot with all of his belongings.  We rushed back to the church and put his things into the back of our car.  Then Keith and I did something we have never done before.  We paid for a room for two nights at a motel for our new friend.  I didn't hesitate at all to spend the money and neither did my husband.  We are not rich people. We live very frugal so as to be able to put our son through college and to not be in debt.  Years ago, even though we never had a lot of money, I would spend it on clothes and shoes and other pretty things.  But being in this ministry, it has done something to my soul and those material items are not that important anymore.  It's the souls of those walking out there just trying to survive. The money we spent on that room was more gratifying to me than any other money I have ever spent. 

This whole experience of the Blanket Ministry has made me be much more aware of the people around me. It has made me even more sensitive to the people around me than ever before. It has made me listen more intently to that whisper than comes my way from the Lord and to the touch of His pushing me when He is leading in a certain direction.  Nothing is more rewarding than to follow that push and that whisper and to say "Yes, Lord, Yes."

Church outside the walls of the building with a cross. . .the cross is out there, everywhere. . .do you hear?  Do you feel the push?  What do you say? If I wasn't out right ignoring Him, I used to say, "I can't Lord, I'm too scared, I'm too weak, I'm too unqualified, I'm too this, too that." And then I read in a book...I can't do it. . .but with God all things are possible and I've learned over the years with God, things are exciting and life is much more rewarding when we let Him take control and we just become obedient.

Yes, the church experience is not just for inside the walls where it is safe. . .it's there on the outside as well where you might feel vulnerable. . .but you have One walking with you who will guide, whisper and maybe even push, but it will always be in the right direction.

Our new friend was hired at Panera this past week.

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