Welcome

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

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just Plain Tired!




Mathew 11:28-30:
Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my  yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.


I am tired! And I feel guilty for saying that. There are people all around me who do so much more than I do and they deserve to be tired. But I just can't help it. . .I'm tired. . .physically, emotionally, mentally.

I don't think there is anything wrong physically. I just feel worn out. It's hard to get out of bed sometimes. I do hurt in the joints, the muscles, headaches here and there, but I think that is just normal aging going on. I also am just worn out in the brain.

It shows up in my writing, or the lack of writing would be a better way to say it. I have ideas, I have a good start to a second book, but it all just sits there. I stare at it every day and all I can do is think. . .I'm just so tired!

Someone said to me awhile back, "You've shown such compassion to others for so long, maybe it's time for you to show some compassion to yourself." HHmmmm. . . . it sounded funny at first, but then when I find myself out in the back yard sitting on the swing and crying for no reason at all, I begin to think maybe those words need to sink down deeper into myself and be taken seriously. I've been pondering a lot lately and I think about how even Jesus needed to get away for a little while. I am by no means comparing myself to Jesus, whew, how absurd! But it does go to show that the earthly body needs to rest, needs solitude, needs time for reflection, for regrouping.

I have this ongoing conversation with the Lord. I even talk out loud some times and my son has caught me mumbling and he smirks at me. I think he thinks I'm getting old. Maybe THAT'S why I'm tired!

Anyway, I told the Lord I need rest and I need it in Him. So I'm taking a break from the Homeless Outreach at the bridge this week, a place that I absolutely love, from the people I love, because right now. . .I just need to rest, rest my heart, and I'm going to have a little of compassion for myself. And I am so sorry if that sounds selfish. I don't mean to be, but I think the Lord is calling me to rest, to rest in Him, and for this week, I need to rest in Him away from the norm.

I'm so thankful that I serve a Lord who understands my heart, understands this body of mine, understands this mind he gave me. I don't always understand it myself and that is why it is so refreshing to know I can go somewhere where it will be understood.

I'm going to go rest now, rest in His arms and listen to whatever He wants to say to me. I know I'll be back out there next week because I know from these last five years, it's when we open our arms to love that healing comes back, even if it's just for tired bones and mind. But for now these arms need to rest.

Have you ever been so tired mentally, emotionally, you just wanted to go somewhere and cry?
I hope you have a place you can go and remember that He is always near with open
arms waiting for you to come in, to lay down and rest.
Ya know what I'm say'n

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Operation Bundle Up




Hey guys,

I've really let my blog go for this past year, not keeping it up like I have for the past 4 years. I've been kinda busy. But I wanted to stop in and catch you all up. If you have been following me at all, you know that I started a Blanket Ministry for the Homeless in my Kentucky community back in 2009. It was just going to be a one time thing and God took it and grew it and now after 5 winters, we have given away over 4500 blankets. Then I spent 2 1/2 years writing a book and again, God took hold of it and it became published by a traditional publisher! And for the last 1 1/2 years I've been involved in a Homeless Outreach Bridge Ministry which will be the foundation for my second book.

But here is what I really wanted to share with you at this time. From the beginning of my blog, God led me to so many wonderful people out in blog land and one of them is Deidra. She is from my home state of Oklahoma but I have never met her. We began following each other's blogs. Then one day just a couple of months ago, she wrote me and said her twin, 13 year old daughters wanted to spend their summer break crocheting hats, scarves and make blankets for the homeless and they wanted to donate to my Blanket Ministry. There is so much to tell about this. These girls have taken this on so seriously. They have done fund raisers, their community newspaper did a front page story on them. . .oh my!  I will just let them tell you through their own links and FB page.

AND, here is another exciting part. Their family is going to drive the 8 hour drive to come here to Kentucky to deliver their handmade goods at the Homeless Outreach Ministry we have here each Tuesday evening. I am so excited to meet them and give them a great big hug for sharing their great big hearts with our community. Our newspaper and Christian radio Station has already said they want to do a story on them when they get here. This precious family will be coming on their Fall Break, the middle of October.

There is SO much to say about stepping out of comfort zones. I stepped out of one to start the Blanket Ministry and to step out into the homeless community. I stepped out of a comfort zone to share my words and thoughts to the world, first through blogging and then through a book. But folks, here is the great thing. I stepped out holding onto that Righteous Right Hand of God asking Him to lead the way and I would follow, even though I was shaking in my boots. And you know what? He blessed me BIG time with new friends, new and faithful prayer partners and old alike, a new community of people God gave me such a love for, and God has grown me in so many ways. God has surprised me so many times I can't even begin to tell you. Well. . .if you really want to know, you can read my book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n. You can click the book to the right of this blog and it will take you to Amazon.com to order one. If you live in Bowling Green, KY, you can find it on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and Lifeway. I would like to encourage you if you are sitting in your comfort zone but you are wanting to step out. . .Take His Hand and go. There will be blessing right around the corner. This family has been such a blessing to me and I haven't even met them yet!

There will be more to this story of Operation Bundle Up, but for now, please go to these sweet, loving, selfless girls sites to meet them and see what all they have been up to. It is SO inspiring!!!

https://www.facebook.com/bundleupclub

http://deidramanning.net




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Parenting

Parenting. . .It's all I ever wanted to do. When all the little girls and I back in the 60's and early 70's would sit in the grass on a summer day making jewelry out of clover, we would talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I always said I wanted to be a wife and mother.

Then I was blessed with those roles. Mothering. . .such a joy to hold your baby in your arms to feed, to rock, to sing to.

Then you begin to teach them. Being a homeschool mom, I taught many things. . .besides reading, arithmetic, and all those other academics, I taught manners, character traits, we studied turtles and tornadoes and the human body and SO much more.

Then they become bigger than you and you teach them how to drive a 2 ton machine, how to fill out a job application and to go shopping on their own. And you trust.

Then they are sitting by themselves, filling out college applications, deciding what classes to take that you're not teaching anymore. You sit and pray for the professors to have the character and morals you taught your own. And then you trust.

You watch as choices are being made and some make you wince and you pray and trust the foundation that was built will not crumble but that all their choices will be learning tools to make them better in the end. And you trust.

We trust our Savior. When we let go of our children, we can trust He has then in the palm of His hand. If we're not liking the picture we see, we have to trust that our God sees the bigger picture and He is in control. We trust.

When the picture is looking good, we can praise our God for all good things are from Him. We praise.

I praise in the good times and in the bad times, because my Savior is always worthy of praise, no matter what! He is good all the time and all the time He is good and worthy of all praise and honor.

He is my Father and I am His child. He understands all about this parenting business. He knows our hearts, our joys, our griefs, our dreams for our children. We trust.

When our child takes off in that car, goes off to college, takes a wrong turn, takes a right turn, we can say "Lord, he/she is Your child. . .and I will trust You.

We come to that place where we have to let go of them, with our hands, but we never let go with our hearts.

And the day may come when we are old and gray and our children will be holding us, maybe rocking and singing to us, maybe feeding us, and the parenting roles reverse. . . . .may they trust.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Grace on the Back Roads


I live out in the country in a “bedroom community”, a small town about 10-12 miles outside of Bowling Green. It’s called a bedroom community because it’s mainly just a town of homes. Everyone who is not a farmer works and shops in Bowling Green. When driving to the Homeless Outreach Ministry at the bridge, I can either go one way and end up in town on the main roads and either drive on or next to the highway or I can go the back way and drive the curvy back roads with the tilled farm land on either side holding fresh sown seeds in the spring and in the fall either tall corn stalks or thick tobacco or soy beans filling the scenery.
 
Along these roads come the smell of fresh rolled hay bales and sometimes you can get a whiff from the chicken houses.
 
These back roads are my favorite way to travel to the bridge.
 
I’m a country girl at heart and I love the smells of country land and the sights of many barns sitting here and there amongst the trees, wildflowers, horses and cows. And sometimes a barn sits out there all by its lonesome dressed in either new wood and fresh barn red paint or dressed in worn, dilapidated boards missing most of its color, even missing some it’s planks where the sunlight streams in and out.
 
 
 
 


 Driving the back roads is peaceful to me and the 30 minute drive gives me time to think and pray for our bridge guests and volunteers. My jeep tires have driven these roads many times and they must know the route by now all by themselves as there have been many times I have arrived at the bridge not really remembering the drive at all because I was engrossed in my thought and in my prayers. I guess driving safely and pondering at the same time comes with age, thank goodness. Or the good Lord is watching over me.

I don’t take my visits to the bridge lightly. There are people coming each week that need to see a smile, need to be welcomed with a friendly hello, need to be ministered to in some way; some want prayer. They need to hear an uplifting word. They need to see that someone cares. And so I spend those 30 minutes in the car praying for myself and the other volunteers who many are coming from their 8-9 hour jobs. I pray for us to be refreshed, feeling good, and ready to step outside of ourselves and filled with the Holy Spirit, ready to graciously welcome our guests. And I pray for our guests to feel welcomed and to receive whatever it is they need at that time, whether that be a hug, a word, a prayer, or just want to tell someone about their day.

God fills me out there on the back roads and I lap it up eagerly. As I and the others receive, we are able to give, thank goodness as there are always those who come who are thirsting for grace. God always supplies. This has become home away from home and my second family. I am always ready to see them. And there is always someone if not a few who offer me the hug, the encouraging word, asking me about my day, offering grace.

As I drive back down those country roads going home for the evening, I am grateful and thanking God for His abundant provisions of so many things. As I pass the fields and the barns, I realize how invigorated I feel by being at the bridge with my friends and second family. And I think the back roads have something to do with it also. I may be driving, but I’m also smiling as I see the images of grace playing out that evening in my mind. Thank goodness there isn’t much traffic on the back roads! Occasionally I come upon a farmer inching his way down the road on this tractor. He is easy to pass and he always waves with a smile and I wave back.

God supplies so many gifts on those back roads. His beautiful creatures that nay and bray and honk and bark and meow and bellow; colorful wildflowers growing up a fence post, the sweet smell of hay, the friendly farmer. As I pull into my driveway, I thank my Lord for the blessings of these gifts and once again for grace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
As the sun goes down over the Kentucky hills of my home I think to myself, "I can’t wait to go again the next week to do it all over again."


 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grace in the Back Seat


 
The man in the back seat was a homeless man we had met at the bridge. Twelve days earlier, at same bridge, he was wild eyed, eyes red as blood and filled with tears, anger and anguish pouring out of him like sweat. He was suicidal and homicidal. He was crying out for help. Later that evening he cried out to God and made Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior.

Twelve days later we all had just left church. We were on our way to get lunch. His eyes were not red anymore but white as snow, white as snow was his soul, forgiven and redeemed because of the red that flowed from Jesus. There was peace and a smile on his face. His eyes sparkled and still wet at times, but now it was because of gratefulness.

I know people wonder, “What  do you talk about in the car.” This day we talked about hair, yes, hair. He noticed my hair was puffier than normal. My husband laughed telling him my hair was natural curly and when wet, it springs up like tight little springs.  I’m always fighting those springs with the blow dryer, big rollers and a flat iron. When there is humidity in the air as was the case this day, my hair puffs.

The man in the backseat laughed telling us in a loving way about his momma having had natural curly hair. This momma, who had to give him up when he was four because she and the dad were alcoholics and could not take care of him. Because of this, he ended up in foster homes that were not loving and bad memories he carried out of there with him.

But this day, we talk about curly hair and I sat in the front seat thinking of grace and how truly amazing it really is. The man in the backseat, because of Jesus, was able to forgive his parents and could reminisce of something lovely, such as his momma’s natural curly hair. Of all the turmoil he went through for years, God blessed him with a sweet memory who in turn shared it with us.

I silently sat in the front seat and asked God to forgive me for all the times I complained about my thick head of natural curly hair. Maybe someday, it will be a lovely memory to someone down the road.