Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It's My Birthday...

Hello, World.

I was going to wait until tonight before I go to bed to say thank you, but I decided to say it now to all you who made my birthday special (including those on PM) by wishing me a happy birthday!

You guys have really made my day.

Well, I think my day was made this morning, on top of that...

I got to work and all the staff came out with cupcakes and a card and sang Happy Birthday to me. And, then, a nice gentleman who frequents the establishment brought donuts for the staff, and a bag of chocolate for me.

I had a really great (and busy) day at work today. I learned some new things, and I got my schedule for next week.

And, I made a few tips.

I am home now. When the guys come out of their rooms, I'll share a cupcake with them, and maybe some chocolate.

Ya'll have a blessed day! (The day isn't over for me, though. :-) )

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A New Attitude for a New Year

Hello, World.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I've decided that I am going into my 51st year with a new attitude.

I deserve nothing. It's only by God's grace and mercy that I have all the good things I have. And, though I still pray for what I want, I think it is high time I stop focusing on what I want and start being happy with what He has already given me.

Being a high achiever who beats myself up unmercifully for not being who I want to be at times, it is hard for me to accept the here and now a lot of times. But, here is where I am, and now is the only time that truly matters, because then is gone and life is too short to hope "maybe tomorrow".

I have always been one to want it all "right now". THAT is where I have gone wrong, I think. I should never "want it all". I should be content with what I have.

If God doesn't think I deserve to have it all, then who am I to argue with Him?

So, here's to the start of the second half of my life. Hopefully I'll have as many years to live as I have the first half. I know that is unlikely, which makes this decision so important.

But, right about now, I wish I could just skip it and have it all right now.

Have a blessed night!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Celebrating My Birthday with Jesus!

Source: Ponder America's Homeless
October 27, 2019
After church, I decided to "step out in faith" and spend some of my money on celebrating my new job and my birthday, with Jesus. I would have taken the guys, but I couldn't afford both of them, and it wouldn't have been fair to only take one of them. So, I went to Randy Sam's Homeless Shelter and picked up Miss Wanda.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

God Bless The Broken Road

When someone that you truly love breaks your heart, you don't stop loving them. You love them anyway, if you truly loved them to begin with.

Most of the time, when people get their hearts broken, they lash out at the person who broke their heart. They get mean and nasty. They hurl insults, or they just cut them off and write them out of their lives.

I look back at some of my heartbreaks and I see people who are not perfect. Some of them are even more imperfect than others. But all of us are imperfect.

I have decided, I love them all, anyway. And because of that, even though it didn't work out, I have some really great friends.

You see, when you truly love somebody, you carry them with you for the rest of your life. You might give them, and yourself, time for the dust to settle down, but truly loving someone means that you also accept that what you want from them, you just can't have, or what they want from you, you just can't give.

That's when you Love like Jesus does, and you give them the opportunity to also love you. You should never close the door on an opportunity to Love like Jesus does, because only Jesus can repair burned bridges; and, only Jesus can decide which ones to restore.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Help Pay for Shonda's Birthday Dinner!

My birthday is in 7 days, October 30. I will work that day, but that night, I would like to celebrate by going to a local buffet.

It will be on a Wednesday night, so I'm pretty sure no one will be available to take me due to having jobs, kids to be in school the next day, etc., so here is your chance to say Happy Birthday!


About Online Dating

Let me tell you something about the internet: Sometimes people become so dependent on it that they don't realize but there is another person on the other end that is just as real as they are.

It's just so easy to turn off a computer when things get rough. And this is why when it comes to relationships reality should be the norm.

You can't turn off life. And you can't just pretend that the person that you're talking to doesn't have feelings or a heart that can be broken.

What the internet does is offer distance. It offers time. It facilitates in healing because of this. It should be used like the message machines on a telephone, not as a way to party with friends. It doesn't offer memorable moments that can only be gotten by 2 people who are sitting face-to-face talking to one another and spending time in conversation and laughter. Touch is an integral part of building relationships.

Studies have proven that babies are more likely to die when they are not touched lovingly by their parents. So the internet does not offer pats on the back or hugs when you need it. Emoticons just don't do the trick.And if you can't look someone in the eye and tell them what you want to say, then even the most friendly relationships are superficial at best--something you can just turn off when you're tired.

As for me, I want real. I want to be able to reach out and touch someone's hand. I want to say hello with a hug. I want to look you in the eye when I tell you I love you. And, I want to spend time with my friend and build memories. I want more than just a message that says, 'Hello, I think you're special!"

Long distance relationships of any kind are difficult to maintain.

I do not do computer dating. And I'm not going to do deep friendships over the computer either. Because if you only live 5 or 10 miles away, there is no excuse for not making time for somebody you say you care about.

As always, it is a choice, and it is yours. And, I love you, anyway!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Relationship Discussion: Dealing with Heartbreak

Relationship discussion: almost everyone has gotten their heart broke at some point in time. What do you all do to deal with it?

When I was working, I would try to work all the hours I could so I wouldn't have to think about it. I used to go to the bars a lot so I wouldn't have to sit at home all by myself. Now, going to church is only two days a week what would I do with the other five?

Oh yeah, that's after the initial crying in my pillow for several days routine. Then when I get in the angry stage I just want to get over it.

This last relationship I had was so bad that I was glad to be out of it but I was afraid to be alone. I did manage though because I had a great job that allowed me to work awesome hours and I had plenty of things to do when I was at home to occupy my time, and being on the computer really helped--a lot.

I'm just curious how others spend their time getting over heartbreak... And how long does it usually last with you?

I've had relationships in the past in which the heartbreak was so bad it took me months to be able to look at another guy again. I've also had relationships that I went straight from the grieving stage to the angry stage and jumped into another relationship. And, I've had relationships where I just carried the pain over and learn to live with it. And this last relationship, I just decided I was done with all of it.

If there is one thing I have gotten good at it's letting go. Yeah there were times when I didn't want to... And I tried everything I knew how to not have to, but when I realized that my dignity was at stake, I finally moved on. After all, you can't make somebody love you, or it isn't Love. But, I've also learned that it's not so easy to let go of something you're still hanging onto.

Regardless of how it happened or what my reaction was, there was always one common denominator for me getting over heartbreak, and that was getting somewhere where I was alone and away from the world mentally and sometimes physically. It's like starting over again, and it's hard to do when the world around you is crashing down on you. I needed time to let the dust settle. If it was a bad heartbreak, the last thing I needed was some guy trying to flirt with me.

I'd love to hear your take on all this!

Margaret Annette Pennel I threw myself into my faith, kids and work. I tried to put on a hard hearted, mean face, but people saw right through me.

Shonda Ponder It took me a long time to be able to look at men again without being angry at them. Especially this last time.

Tami Morgan I've had a void in my heart and that's when I took it to God. He told me that humans can not give me what I need, they can't fill the void only He can do that. I was tired of dead end relationships and the minute that I gave Him all of me I got peace, joy and love. He became my everything.

Shonda Ponder God never took the feelings away from me. Having peace and being heartbroken are two different things in my world. God always gave me peace knowing that I did everything I could. If anything, it was always that still small voice that said, "I told you so." LOL And, "Now, let's see what we can do together." I never listened, really, until five years ago.

Tami Morgan I've had heartbreaks and heartaches too I had peace too but it wasn't the peace that God gives us, it was only temporary. When I gave God everything in my life I'm happier now than ever before. I found that being in a relationship with Jesus is more satisfying than I can get from any where else. That's why I'm still single and waiting on God. He knows the plans He has for me and He knows best.

Shonda Ponder I understand that feeling well. When I finally decided, "Okay, let's do this together...", you have no idea the joy he brought to me in spite of what I've been through. And yeah, peace in abundance. It's like, I don't NEED a man to fulfill me. God has already done that. And I don't think it's so much that he took the heartache away. He just made it easier to live with. And he made me stronger to deal with it. But, we also have to keep in mind that once the healing process is complete, God will put us through a test to see how we deal with it. And believe me when I say it is a wake-up call and a reminder of where you came from.

Tami Morgan has anyone told you what a blessing you are?

Tami Morgan No. No one has told me that, and yes He does test us. I've been tested and I keep my eyes on Jesus cause I've been hurt too many times and I don't trust man cause I haven't found one who will love me like Jesus does

Shonda Ponder I think it starts with being able to love like Jesus does. Until we can give that, there isn't any way we are ever going to get it.

Nicole Cody
I spend my time researching the truth t the source and sharing it with others

Shonda Ponder I did that with The Ponder News for a long time

Nicole Cody keeps me occupied and I'm doing something positive with my time.

Shonda Ponder It really does, but be careful that it doesn't take ALL of your time. You still need to reserve some time for serving God. And, that will eventually require you to have contact with other people off-line.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Start of Something Good

I had a great day yesterday. I cooked some Northern Beans and Ham and we had Honey Ham Sandwiches to eat.

Me and Fred watched some weird movies.

I chased the cat off the tables and counters a few times.

I collect $40 in Avon sales, and tried to collect 40 more, but they didn't have the money today.

And, I had a wonderful conversation with a great friend.

As far as dating, I've realized that I'd rather have friends than take a chance at having enemies. And, until I can find that one friend that I can enjoy being with in the good times and the bad who loves me, anyway, I just don't think dating anyone exclusively is meant for me.

I also learned today that how I react to any situation I don't like determines how well the situation turns out. And, sometimes it hurts your back to water a flower, but when it grows it's beautiful and worth the pain.

God never said life would be easy. He just said He'd walk through it with me. Today, I did the right thing and, though my heart is bruised, I know it's worth the blessing.

As I said, yesterday I was nursing a bruised heart. But, I've come to realize, that doing the right thing even when it hurts will end up making me happier.

And, I've also learned that my decision to be single and chaste is going to bring in a series of tests before I ever get what I want.

I've been wondering where the men are that liked having a good woman. The truth is that the man who finally does come along is probably also wondering the same thing. And he's going to do everything in his power to see if you are the kind of woman that he is looking at.

A good man may not even follow through. He may just want to know what you would do. So, ladies, be careful about the decisions you make while dating. And even if it hurts, do the right thing. Because, a good man is going to want you to be able to make some hard decisions if you are going to be with him.

A man who is looking to eventually commit is going to want to know what kind of woman he is committing to. He is going to want to know not only what your character is but what your personality is like. Are you going to nag him all the time? Are you going to fail to give him necessary space to make decisions for himself? Are you going to stiffle his manhood? are you going to be the kind of person who will shame him in front of his friends?

Men and women have different ways of finding things out about each other before they get involved. And how you handle your chastity is a big step in the process.

I can be honest at this point and tell you I still have a lot of work to be done on myself before I can think about being with someone else. And right now I can only say that eventually, I always do the right thing.

Though I am probably more patient than I've ever been in my life, I still need to learn to have patience even more. And, I need to value myself a whole lot more than even I thought I was doing.

I have learned so much just in the past couple of months. And today, I am on my knees praying that God keeps giving me the clarity He is beginning to give me in more abundance. And that He allows me the time to learn the lessons I need to learn well before I take a step into a relationship that He has planned for me.

Growing pains hurt. They hurt bad. But no one ever truly stops growing when they are a child of God.

And the blessings are enormous!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Sufficient Grace

If there is anything I've learned in the past few months on Facebook, it's that there are some battles that should be fought silently. To publicize it complicates it.

I have been one to post about my days and all my battles for the world to see, because I felt I had nothing to hide. But, what I have learned about myself is that everyone has things to hide from the world that belong to you and God alone. After all, only God can get you straightened up.

And, only God knows what He is doing in any situation; And, good or bad, it is not for the world to judge your character. All you can do is be the best YOU you can be in front of them, and let God have the worst that is in you to do as He wills.

I have learned that I am more than the good days, weeks and years. I am the bad ones, too. And, as much as I'd like to be, I am certainly not perfect and not worthy of being called a "Saint" in the traditional, worldly, sense of the word.

I do know that no matter how much I pray, some battles are meant to be lost. God has a way of humbling those who think they are mighty in any situation.

I think Paul, in the Bible, knew how I feel.

And, I praise God that His Grace is sufficient, even for me.

2 Corinthians 12

6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Who Should Lead?

When dating someone, should the man shoulder all the responsibility for showing you a great time?

Most people expect that the man should pay for dinner. But, should the man be responsible for planning other things? Like, going to a concert, or seeing a movie....and should he be expected to pay the whole way if he is the initiator of the date?

Is it proper for him NOT to be the initiator at any time? and if so, should he still be expected to pay for it? I mean, after you have been dating for a while, is it okay for HER to say, "You know what, I'd like to go (here or there) and do (this or that). Why don't we do that next Saturday!" How much is he expected to shoulder at that suggestion?

I was brought up that the guy was supposed to take care of the lady. There are lots of ways to have fun when you don't have the money. On the other hand that depends on who you are with, too. If you are with someone who is boring, going to the lake for a picnic might not be fun.

I really think it is depending on who you are with, and what you are both looking for in a relationship. I was brought up to be the help-meet, not the bread-winner. But, more often than not I ended up supporting losers. I don't think I'm going to be doing that again. I don't mind paying for what's MINE, but if he is making a house payment before we get together and I move in with him, then he should continue making the house payment. I have never "not worked". So, I don't mind buying groceries and paying for my clothes, and whatever else I consume. But if I don't have it, He should WANT to take care of me. And if he loses his job and needs my help, he shouldn't be too proud to take it but at the same time, he shouldn't be dependent on me forever. He should be working to provide.

My mom and stepdad had it worked out so that they had 3 bank accounts. His, hers, and theirs. Both of them worked. Mom didn't make as much as Benny did, but come payday, HALF of her paycheck went in the "Theirs" account, to pay the bills. If anything was left over, they TALKED about how to spend it TOGETHER. If both didn't agree, it didn't get spent. Same with Benny, HALF went in the "Theirs" account. The other half was his to spend however he wanted. I think that worked out well. But, when she couldn't work anymore, that "half" wasn't so much...and Benny picked up the tab. But, the accounts are still in effect.

On the other hand, Grand-daddy and Grandma split the bills right down the middle. Even if Grandma didn't make as much, she was expected to pay for her half. That didnt work out too well. They fought a lot about that.

I like the way my mom and stepdad handled their finances better.

To be honest, I don't have a lot of respect at all for a man who doesn't take the lead. Women, most of the time, like to feel "secure". If a man doesn't make her feel like he WANTS to take care of her, I can see how that would cause stress for a woman. On the other hand, I, myself, am pretty independent -- so, while I like a man that "leads", I don't like a man who "overpowers". I have personal dreams and wants and needs too that I only feel fulfilled if I work for it. And to care for a man who is dependent takes away from that.

Respect goes a long way. If a man respects you enough as a woman to make the effort, then you should be willing to do whatever it takes to make it easier.

Monday, October 14, 2019

When is it okay to be selfish?

I asked this question on my FaceBook page. Here are a few of the answers I got:


I disagree

When whoever you are dealing with refuses to be unselfish -- if that makes sense!

Good answer

When your health depends on it...sometimes you gotta take care of yourself first.

That's true. And a lot of times people don't take into account that MENTAL health is just as important as PHYSICAL.

I think the word "selfish" is relative. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That means that you take into account someone's situation before you decide to not be selfish or hold back. For instance, if someone wants my time, I should spend it with them...UNLESS I have to work. If that person wants to call me selfish for making a living, then they are the ones being selfish. Does that make sense? I'm not going to put my livelihood in jeapordy.

I don't think God intends for me to give up my livelihood for someone else any more than He intended for the Israelites to give up their land just because someone else wanted it.

THEREFORE, I shouldn't be judgmental when someone else doesn't have time for me due to their job always calling them in at the last minute

Selfish is married to greed and that is a fact!

Which is more greedy? wanting someone to give up their livelihood to spend time with you or taking the opportunity to not get fired and have a better future to provide for someone, therefore sacrificing the time someone asks you to have?

In the end, I came to an understanding that everyone has different ideas of what "selfishness" is. So, in order to have a "healthy" relationship, it might be wise to decide what selfishness is to you, and whether you fit the bill enough to change, or whether you are enabling someone else's "selfishness"; and in any situation I should put myself in their place before I pass judgment and decide whether or not to be selfish in kind.

How to Control Frizzy Hair

I figured out how to keep my hair from frizzing out when it dries.

I have the type of hair that no matter how short I cut it or thin it out, it's going to friz out when it dries because it is so thick, course, and heavy.

My mom's is the same way. My sister's kids have nicknamed her "Gizmo" because of it, and are constantly offering to spray it down with a garden hose. Sometimes, like mine, it looks like a clown's hair the way it sticks out....LOL

So, I'm going to have to tell my mom about this:

When you wash your hair, after you rinse, take a Skin So Soft Bath oil spray and pump some of it onto your hair, as if you are doing a light hairspray.

Then, Rinse again.

When your hair dries it will be shiny, bouncy and not frizzy at all! (and if your hair is not oily already, it won't be oily...but it will be very soft!)

Get some Skin-So-Soft and try it yourself!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Friendship as a Base

Friendship is built over time. Friends go through a lot together and their relationship stands the test of time.

Over time, you learn who's loyal, who you can depend on when you're in a sticky situation, who will stand beside you and love you even when you're not perfect, and who understands you the most. You learn who is fun, who is sensitive, and what each other's triggers are.

You become extended members of each other's family. And you learn to be understanding when you're in a bind and a friend just doesn't have it to help at that time. You see each other's best and you see each other's worst, and you still love each other.

Most people jump into relationships and they just don't know the person that they're with. Their lust takes over, and by the time they learn that the person that they're with is not who they want it is usually too late. I don't want that.

I am not looking for a Prince charming. I don't need someone to rescue me from myself. I have spent the last five years getting to know who I am. I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. And I know what I want out of life. I know more today than I knew in 2014, when I started this journey into being single and chaste.

I don't want someone who is going to try to change me. I like who I have become. I know what part of me needs to be changed and I doubt anyone else can make that judgment. I want someone who loves me like Jesus does: just as I am. Whatever changes need to be made is something we should be able to do together.

I want a best friend. Someone I know I can call on at a moment's notice, or in the middle of the night without reprisal and with utmost understanding. I want someone to be impulsive with, and have fun doing it! I want someone who will hug me when I need a hug and who will just hold my hand when I just need someone to be there. I want to be able to say what comes off the top of my head without thinking about it and feel comfortable that my friend is someone I can say it to. I want the freedom to be me all the way without reservation.

I want someone who wants to know every part of my life, someone that I can get to know, too!

I don't want to be somebody's second choice -- someone they're with because they can't be with the one they want to be. I want to be first in their heart. I want to be the one they think about when they're alone at night and it's just dragging by. I want to be the one they think about no matter what they do, because they just don't feel the same doing it with anyone else.

You can't have any of that without a good friendship as a base. It's impossible. I'm not a mail order bride, so relationships over the computer do not work for me and I'm not even going to try it. I want something tangible that I can touch, see, feel, hear their voice, smell their scent. I want real.

I want someone who's willing to sacrifice a part of their day just to call and say, "Hey, I'm thinking about you!" Or come by, even if it's only for 5 minutes, just to give me a hug. I want someone who, even when they don't have the time, thinks I'm worth making the time for.

I think in today's world of internet and technology, we have forgotten what friendship really is. It's not who you have on your friends list on Facebook. It's who you have in your life when the internet goes down.

In this day and age, all of that is nearly impossible; but I refuse to settle for less.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

I will gladly strive...

Hello, World!

I guess since I already messed up today by sleeping late, I might as well make the best of the rest of my day.

I may not be able to go to church, but I can still spend my time in prayer and with Jesus and in reflection.

Speaking of reflection:

This year really hasn't been a bad year. It's probably not one of the best years I've had (that was last year), but I really can't complain too much.

I started out the year learning a new job that I never thought I would be working or even that I would like doing. For the first time in my life I was proud of where I was and who I had become.

At times, it wore on me as I fought to stay the person that God had led me to become. It was mentally taxing and I wasn't really sure if it was a fight that was meant for me.

So, God used my imperfect judgement to take it all away, and He opened doors that I thought had been closed in order for me to have hope and survive.

I've seen so many doors opened for me that I thought had been closed this year for good. And if God can open a closed door, then maybe all hope is not lost and I'll find myself back where I was at the beginning of the year next year.

Because as I said in yesterday's post, I have learned that nothing is final.

This year I have come into contact with people that I thought was a permanent part of my past and had no place in my future. But God has shown me that relationships are as much His to build as they are my responsibility to maintain.

Life is a struggle. Living it and embracing the struggle with all your might is what makes the American dream come alive! And, it's what makes me proud to be who I am.

I don't know where I'm going to end up next year but I know God has blessed me this year. I know He blessed me this morning to be able to wake up and look at the beautiful day ahead. He has open the doors of heaven and looked down from his throne and told me, "Shonda, my child, I love you!"

And, looking back, I can almost hear Him whisper, "Just wait. The best is yet to come! Watch what I can do!"

So, no matter what troubles I have today, and no matter how uncertain my future seems right now, I know that God is in control and everything's going to be alright. And I know He has a reason for everything. So, if my struggles are meant to give me a life more abundant then I will gladly strive.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

What I learned in 2019...

My birthday is October 30, 2019.

Every year, during my birth month, I always reflect on the past year and list the top ten things I learned.

This year is no different.

Here is my list:

1. Nothing lasts forever.

2. Nothing is ever final.

3. The difference between 15 and 50 is a lifetime.

4. Some people are meant to always be a part of your life, even when they aren't.

5. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you are going to fail.

6. It's okay to not be perfect. It's not okay to like being imperfect.

7. Relationships require presence in order to grow.

8. Sometimes you gotta just take a risk and hope for the best.

9. Never be comfortable with where you are -- in a matter of hours it could all change.

and finally

10. Life is surprising.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Chastity Vs. Lust

Jesus said that if you lust after someone then you've already committed adultery with them in your heart.

If that is true (which, if Jesus said it, I believe it, that settles it) then how do you keep from sinning? I don't believe it's possible.

I know for sure that if that is true, then it doesn't matter how many times I say "I haven't had sex in 5 years", I've had sex, never-the-less. LOL

So, I can't see how I am any better than I was before, when I was having sex -- I only feel "safer" now that I am not having sex physically.

But, even so, I realize that my vision has cleared up a lot. I'm able to see people for what's in their heart when sex is taken out of the equation. I can smell someone who wants to take advantage of me a mile away.

However, lust has it's own "blinders". It makes you want what you know you can't have. It makes you almost willing to do anything and compromise anything to get it.

I realize how really weak I am when I approach that animal. That cute furry critter who's name is "Lust" is most likely to bite me if I reach my hand out to pet him; but the temptation is so strong...

I know, at some point, I'm going to fall.

All I can do is ask for forgiveness for being human.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Clumsy and Mesmerized

Today I went out to spend some time with my family at the lake. We had BBQ sandwiches for dinner and a nice visit. Me and my step-dad talked politics while mom cooked in her brand new camper.

My nephew came from work and sat with us to eat.

As I was leaving, he decided he wanted me to order him some Avon Soap-on-a-rope for men, but didn't know which kind he wanted: Wild Country or Mesmerize.

I went to the car and got a vial sample of both and opened the Mesmerize one and spilled it all over me. He laughed and said, "Yeah! That smells good! Order me two of them!"

Then, on the way home, I decided to stop at every mail box that had a newspaper box attached and place an Avon Catalog in each on. It took me an hour and a half to get home.

I'm tired. But, I got a lot of books distributed that really needed to be distributed.