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.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Editing the Tongue

*One of my homeless friends that I care about, fell into the "stuck foot in mouth" syndrome with another one of my friends. Hurt happened.  He has much to learn. . .don't we all?  I thought I would take this story to him and read it.  I pray it speaks to him. I also heard the other day in a store a mother berating her small child.  There was hurt.  I hurt and I didn't even know them. Oh how destructive a tongue can be!   To spew hurt or to sing praise, to give wisdom, or to be silent?  Something we answer every day.  May we give God more control of this tiny instrument in our mouths than we give ourselves.  May we think before we speak. . .(talking to myself here too). . .*


 When I write stories, they become edited before I feel the words are just right. Oh, if only we could edit the words that come out of our mouths. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Open mouth, insert foot.”  What a terrible feeling!  For the person with the foot in their mouth and the other who was the recipient of the words that put it there. 

            About a month after giving birth to my second child, I was walking down an isle of a grocery store, when a sweet, older lady walked up to me, smiling, and asked when my baby was due.  I envisioned one of those cartoon balloons over my head that said, “Well, the first one about 5 years ago, and the second 4 weeks ago.”  But the lady was so sweet I couldn’t bring myself to be sarcastic, so I let the balloon pop.  I told her the truth that I had just recently had the baby and I just hadn’t got back in shape yet.  OOPS!  Awkward moment!  She didn’t mean any harm, she was a grandmotherly type who thought she had eyed a young pregnant girl and came to me with that grandmotherly twinkle in her eye. 
            What about words spoken in anger?  I bet a lot of us have regretted words that we’ve said in anger, hurt feelings, with our impatience.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was an edit machine in our brain that engaged before our mouth did?
            In Matthew 12:36, Jesus says to us, “But I tell you that men (and women) will have to give an account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”  He’s telling us what we say reveals what’s in our hearts.  If we are believers, the Holy Spirit will convict us when we have used wrong words (in one way or another) and we can repent and be forgiven because of that incredible gift Jesus Christ gave us. 
            I think the “open mouth, insert foot” syndrome is not a deliberate act of sin, just carelessness.  Since we don’t have an editing machine in our brain, I think we just need to be slower in our speech and sometimes it’s best to remain quiet.  We are told in Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”  Proverbs 15:4 says, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”  Such power in our mouths!  I’m so glad God forgives the repentant sinner and will give us the strength to be self-controlled with our tongue. 
            There is a difference between a deceitful mouth and a careless one but both can hurt.  If we are on the receiving end of a deceitful mouth, I find the best weapons of defense are prayer and forgiveness.  If we are on the receiving line of a careless, foot in mouth that caused hurt, praying and forgiveness as well. If a  comment is given as the sweet lady above gave, I find laughter is the best medicine.  If we can laugh at ourselves, the world is so much brighter! 
            Proverbs tells us that the controlled tongue will think before speaking, knows when silence is best, and gives wise wisdom.  I think in order to have this kind of tongue, a silent dialogue has to be going on continually with our Lord and being open to Him guiding us. 
            I believe we have an editor in our self after all.  Will we use it (Him)?
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:16

*the stuck foot in mouth man and friend are ok. One said the wonderful words, "I'm sorry" and the other offered the wonderful words of forgiveness.*

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Stacie said...

Oh, Kristin, how the Lord is dealing with me in this area. Because I'm a mom of lots of kids, and because we homeschool, I have the priveledge of being asked so many prying questions about my family size. And of course, these questions and comments come rolling out in front of my children. {{Why do you have so many children? Are you having more? Are they all yours? Mmmm, your hands are full! How do you do it, my children drive me craz!, etc., etc.}}
So, the flesh in me wants to sting that other person just the way they've stung me. But God keeps showing me that I am called to holy conversation, even when I'm hurting. And, that my children are watching my response. And, that I never know what that person's experiences have been and why they think the way they do about children. So the Holy Spirit urges me, show them something different.

Sorry to write a book, but this is where the Lord is dealing with me right now!
God bless you, Kristin!

Kristin Bridgman said...

Oh Stacie, I'm so sorry for the stings! I believe God has blessed you so with children and being able to homeschool. You can use that as a testimony to those who complain and do their stinging. You can remind them that we can all do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us. And what a blessing children are. You have so much to share. I will pray for you to have patience with the stingers and that the Holy Spirit would guide your speech. I'm not worried about you at all! :) And you come here anytime and write a book if you want, I'll be glad to read and you just never know how you might speak to others. Love you sweet sister!

Stacie said...

Thanks for your prayers, Kristin. I need them more than you know! Also, thank you for the suggestions on things I can share with others. I'm encouraged to keep trying.

Hazel Moon said...

I am guilty as many of us are, and yes, we need to set a watch over our mouth

Hazel Moon said...

Our first born had dark "angel kisses" on his forhead. It is an inherited birthmark that grows fainter as the child matures. I was often stopped as people gasped and asked what happened to your baby. I was young and usually snapped back. "He was born that way." I wanted to hurt them back and I suppose it worked, as they often would say, I am so sorry. I should have explained that it would grow fainter in time. Our son's first born had a faint mark and our son, said,"I know he is mine." He had no doubt the child was his, but anyway it was a cute remark. Thank you for sharing here with us at Tell me a Story."


Ah ... the pesky tongue.


Pamela said...

Ugh...My youthful self was so quick to speak whatever came to mind. I hope I am learning to think then speak. When my first baby girl was born I dressed her in smocking, pink and lace with bows in her dark hair. I always had people who asked if she was was a boy or girl. I never let the words came out but they pressed against my lips--"A boy--that's why I have her dressed in pink."

Janis Van Keuren said...

Hi Kristen,
Guarding the mouth is so important but it's true that what comes out of our mouths has been brewing in our hearts. I find myself, too often, nursing a grudge that eventually leads to a flood of words that were not guarded or edited before coming out.
The heart is where I need the work~and the thoughts of my mind!

jviola79 said...

A Scripture that I learned years ago to pray was this..."Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips." (Ps. 141:3) Very good post! I visited from Tell Me A Story this morning. Blessings!

thefisherlady said...

"He" indeed is the best editor~ great thoughts about the life or death we allow to come from our tongues... Thank you Kristen May our words always flow from a pure heart. It makes editing so much easier.