Archive for June, 2010

A Soundtrack for Life

By Kathy NickersonJune 30th, 2010happy endings2 Comments

I’ve always thought life would be better with a soundtrack. (I think I stole the idea from our daughters, but I own it now.) This morning, I came across this verse in Psalms 119:54:

Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. (NLT)

So true. I suddenly realized I hear a soundtrack in my head all the time. I hear snatches of song and hymns that illustrate the principle I’m experiencing at the moment. Yesterday, when my car broke down and I was stranded on the side of a sweltering road, it was “be not dismayed whate’ere betide. God will take care of you.”

And He did.

This evening, when we walked out of church into a perfectly gorgeous summer evening, it was “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh, how He loves us…” (My sister was singing that one as we strolled to the parking lot, which is really way better than just hearing it in my head.)

I’m deeply comforted by this thought of God’s principles being the music of my life. That is how I learned the most fundamental things, after all. I’m still tempted to sing the alphabet song when I’m filing charts at work. So, maybe, if I keep hearing and singing God’s truth, my soul will learn these things, too.

Maybe.

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Back Where I Belong

By Kathy NickersonJune 20th, 2010happy endings, writing7 Comments

This is my office. Isn’t it beautiful and inspiring? Notice how the legs of the desk sit exactly on the edge of the rug? That is The Line. Anything beyond the rug is no longer an office. It is the dining room. On Sundays, I shove this elegant writing desk against the wall and pull out the dining table from the opposite side of the room. Approximately ten grandchildren crowd around that table and glom their dessert on the chairs.

On Sunday evenings, (after I scrub the table and chairs) I reverse the process. A few weeks ago, I decided I needed a real office. So, I hired our friend, Darin, to pack up my entire office, including the rug, and move it to an extra space at my day job. Suddenly I had a dedicated office space with no more fear of mashed potatoes being smeared on a manuscript. The plan was to slip away from my Day Job for a few hours each week to write undisturbed.

But I didn’t. I slipped away, but I was always distracted by the sounds of phones ringing and patients talking just outside my door. I kept feeling like someone might need me. And, they did. An insurance rep on line one. A problem with an account in room two.

Last week, we decided to consolidate our office space at work to make way for another exam room. So, we packed up my entire office, including the rug, and brought it all home to the corner of the dining room again. I was deeply disappointed by this evident step in the wrong direction. Until the next morning…

I was in the shower when it started. Ideas for plots, scenes, and bits of dialogue began bouncing off the walls with the soap bubbles. It was as if I could hear the characters from my novels pushing open the file drawers and calling, “We’re here! We’re waiting! Come talk to us.”

So, I did. Suddenly I found all kinds of spare minutes to write before and after work. I got lost for entire hours while the laundry tumbled or the supper baked. Something about the ambience of my home, the place where I do the things I do best for the people I love most, inspires me. Today, when I gently slid the desk against the wall to protect it from the mashed potatoes, I whispered, “Take a break, gang. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

And, I will.

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Riding with Serenity

By Kathy NickersonJune 15th, 2010family, happy endings2 Comments

When we climbed Independence Rock a couple of weeks ago, we were struck again by our need as a people to connect, or as Joseph put it, “to say we were here.” Some of the etchings on that rock have survived since the early 1800’s when pioneers struck out across the vast unknown to establish a new life. Although they left everything behind, they still felt the need to pause for a few hours and chisel their names into a stone. Some of them even left a message for family or friends coming along behind them.

We don’t live in that world anymore. But our desire to connect has remained. This week, Serenity, is visiting New York City for the first time in her life. It has been her dream for decades, and our entire family is thrilled. In fact, we feel as if we are riding with her today on the bus from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan.

My mother watches the national weather several times a day to find out if the day is good for touring. It is.

I listen for the little beep on my phone to say Serenity has sent another update on her trip. She has.

Molly pulls up Google Earth and takes a virtual walk on the street where Serenity will soon unload her luggage to make sure the city will live up to her expectations. It will.

And, we all remain connected. Spread across four generations, several states, and thousands of miles we are all riding with Serenity today. We are feeling her excitement, anticipating her thrill, and sharing her journey.

What a life.

Serenity pictured here sharing Felicity's journey

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Faithful Friends

By Kathy NickersonJune 8th, 2010family, mercy, The Bible4 Comments

True friends always show you the way.

Here is something I love. David and Bathsheba named their third son Nathan. These are not people I know on Facebook. I’m talking about David the ancient King of Israel and his wife, Bathsheba. If you have never read their story, flip to the book of Second Samuel in the Old Testament and start reading in chapter eleven.  They don’t start out very promising, and things get way worse before they get better.

Now, back to Nathan. He is a prophet in Israel and a loyal friend to David. But one day, he walks into the throne room, looks at the king and says, “Dude, do you realize you murdered one of your best friends (Uriah) so you could have his wife (Bathsheba) with whom you’d already had an affair and conceived a child?

He did it much smoother and more middle-eastern than that. But here is what the king must have heard: You are a wretch, and I’m a good enough friend to tell you so. Because I love you, and I love the Kingdom, and I want to see both of you rescued from this mess.

If you want to know how David felt after this conversation with a friend, read Psalm 51. If you want to understand what such friendship can accomplish, read the rest of the story. David repents. Then he revives. He becomes an amazing king who brings peace to Israel and worship to the world.

His first son with Bathsheba dies as a baby. Their fourth son, Solomon, becomes the next king and carries on an amazing legacy. But their third son, Nathan, interests me. I wonder about the details of their friendship. I wonder how David, Bathsheba, and Nathan the Prophet overcame the tension, embarrassment, anger, misunderstandings, and basic differences of opinion that must have gone on in those years.

But, I know they did. Because at the end of the king’s life, Bathsheba and Nathan stood together at his deathbed. They stood the way old friends can stand after years of trials and treasures. They stood determined to see God’s plans succeed and the enemy’s schemes defeated.

And the younger Nathan? He obviously grew up, got married, and reared children. He and his son are both listed as forefathers in the family tree of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Not bad for a middle child from a dysfunctional home.

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