Archive for October, 2010

Page Twelve

By Kathy NickersonOctober 30th, 2010family, happy endings, mercy9 Comments

In 2005, 800 people in the United States were diagnosed with Synovial Cell Sarcoma, a rare and aggresive cancer. 799 of them were not my daughter.

So begins the story I wrote for this latest book in the Guideposts Extraordinary Answers to Prayer series. I am honored to be included in a book that features such renowned writers as John and Elizabeth Sherrill. And, I’ve always wanted to write something for Guideposts. It was one of those “I’ll know I’m a writer when…” markers in my high-maintenance moments.

But, the thrill of being in the book was surpassed by the message the book itself sent me. Serenity’s cancer story had a happy ending. In the summer of 2010 she was declared Cancer Free!!!! For about two weeks. Then the doctors started talking about watching “these little blips in your lungs which are probably nothing.”

We went ahead and celebrated at our family reunion this summer as if no one had seen any blips. Yet, they lingered in our minds. And, then, they grew. Or they seemed to grow. How can you really tell with something so tiny it is still below the miniscule margin of error?

Last week we learned that Serenity will have to go through a lung biopsy soon. Everyone, including her doctors, believe these blips will turn out to be harmless scar tissue that most people carry around all their lives with no problem. We’ve heard such things before.

And, that is when my book arrived. I was thrilled to hold it in my hands, and overwhelmed to see Serenity’s story highlighted on the back cover. Then, I looked inside. In the back index, prayer needs are listed by topic. And here is what I found: If you need a miracle, turn to Page 12.

That’s us. Page 12. The story of how God met our needs, surpassed our expectations, carried us through terror, comforted us in grief, and sheltered us from fear — even when we didn’t know how things would turn out in the end.

And, I know He can do it again.

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The Count Down

By Kathy NickersonOctober 24th, 2010family4 Comments

I might have to put up my Christmas tree next week. Yes. In October. I just read a sensible article about making a count-down calendar of “things to do before the holidays” to create a stress-free season. Following the author’s guidelines, I should be making pans of sage stuffing and yeasty rolls this week to pop into my freezer for The Big Day.

Since I’ve never made either of those things, and I’m not expecting guests for Christmas dinner, I opted for making my own list. It included things like finishing the move at our office, digging out the presents I bought after Christmas last year, updating the websites I edit, attending various grandchildren’s football games or dance recitals, and writing five book p roposals before the writer’s conference I plan to attend in two weeks.

Each of these events is subject, of course, to the impending birth of Grandchild #11. At any moment, I may dash out the door with my suitcase in hand. Even then, chances are good I won’t arrive in Omaha before this baby appears. I certainly plan to introduce myself sometime in the first few hours, though.

The baby isn’t actually due until after Thanksgiving. But, babies tend to set their own schedules with no regard whatsoever to our count-down lists or holiday agendas. And as much as I hate to rush past any holiday in order to reach the next one, the sage stuffing in the freezer makes a lot of sense this year.

Maybe I’ll put up the tree but not plug in the lights…

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Not My Best Moment

By Kathy NickersonOctober 15th, 2010happy endings, work1 Comment

The "new" temporary clinic we are remodeling.

Do you think the Proverbs 31 lady ever found herself in the plumbing aisle of Wal Mart at 9:00 on a Friday night and suddenly remembered she was wearing no make-up and had a ketchup blob on her shirt from eating supper in the car? I didn’t mind looking like a slob at Home Depot half and hour earlier. People wearing sawdust in their hair often shop at Home Depot. Not so much at other stores, though.

I was trying to sneak out through the check-out line without embarssing myself further when someone waved across the aisle. Three lovely young ladies from church came strolling my way, looking freshly combed and fully put together. And do you know what happened next? The girls took one look at my weary-old-self and strolled right out t0 the car with me and hefted my new file cabinet into the back of the van.

After a long-week of “buying fields and planting vineyards”, that simple act of kindness refreshed my soul.

Thank you Savannah, Gabrianna, and Melissa.

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Remember Who You Are

By Kathy NickersonOctober 9th, 2010family, The Bible5 Comments

I’ve been reading the Book of Chronicles this week. It is easy to get bogged down in that one. (The two books were originally one.) All those lists of names I can’t pronounce! So, I stopped reading and asked God, “Why did you include this in the Bible.”

God doesn’t usually answer my “why” questions with an actual answer. But this one wasn’t a whiny, why-did-this-happen-to-me?. It was a real question. I’m not sure He answered. I’m careful about tagging a “God said” onto anything. I know how easy it is to deceive oneself into believing God really did say it would be okay to do something that I want to do. Like, “God told me I could quit my hateful job and sponge off my parents till I find something that’s a better fit.” (None of my real-life children ever pulled that card, so I’m safe using it as an example.)

Anyway, I turned to my study Bible and read the background of the Book of Chronicles. I probably knew this once, but it has slipped into the mist along with the names of people I should know but can’t recall when I meet them on the street. The chronicler wrote down all those lists while his people were in exile.

That makes a difference.

He was living in a foreign land, far removed from the Holy City and the rituals of worship that made God’s people a people. And, he didn’t want anyone to forget. He wrote for future generations, “You are not a child of the foreign gods. You are the daughter of Felicity (or Serenity or Charity) who is the daughter of Kathy, who is the daughter of Virginia, who is the daughter of Viola, and so forth.

In other words, “Even though we live in this crazy world with all its influences and pressures, don’t forget who you are.”

I love the Book of Chronicles.

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A Few More Words

By Kathy NickersonOctober 3rd, 2010happy endings, writing9 Comments

In our family, if we don’t hear from one another often enough, we send out an email asking, “are you trapped under something heavy?”

I have been. I was trapped under 75,680 words of a novel I’d love to find sitting on all your bedside tables this time next year. I doubt that is going to happen. But, I did finish the thing and made the deadline for the Christian Writer’s Guild Contest. Now, I kind of worry that I might not have any words left.

I’m not worried about having enough words for the next novel. I’m still not sure I’m a novelist. But, in case I am, words for the next three books are already tumbling around in my head. Instead, I worry that I won’t have any more words for the weekly neighborhood news column in our local paper. And one of my faithful old, farmer readers once told me, “We hate it when you miss a week.”

Or maybe I won’t have any more words for the front page of the church bulletin. Which people actually read in our church instead of throwing it on the floor. Then they are kind enough to tell me later in the week how something I said drew them closer to Jesus. I don’t ever want to run out of those words.

And, I even worry that I’ll run out of words for this blog and you kind, invisible readers who evidently log on now and then to see if I have anything more to say. So, I worry. But, like I told my friend, Cheri, the other day, the most miraculous thing keeps happening. I’m certain I’ve reached the ultimate limit of my words. That I’ve used up every good word God every invented and have put them together in all the ways my tiny brain can imagine.

Then, I sit down to write to you, Dear Reader, and to tell you  farewell, because I’m all out of words. Instead, I find I’ve written you an entire essay. Evidently, God has and endless supply of words, and He shares them.

They just keep coming out my fingertips…

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