Archive for May, 2011

Seizing the Moment

By Kathy NickersonMay 31st, 2011family, happy endings7 Comments

I know the saying is actually, “Seize the Day.” But, I don’t seem able to focus on an entire day right now. When Wendell and I shared our first ham sandwich at Pizza Hut 38 years ago, he told me about the country doctor he wanted to become. I started dreaming then about working with him in our little mom and pop clinic.

My seventeen-year-old self never imagined the dream would finally come true when I was fifty. And I certainly couldn’t imagine how all-consuming it would be. But, we love it. Our nest is otherwise empty, so we are pretty much fine with long hours, frequent interruptions, and having just enough money to make payroll each week.

The only thing suffering right now is baseball. Neither of us are fans of the game. But we are great fans of the eight little grandchildren who are playing this year. We haven’t managed to make a single game so far. Sometimes, I start feeling really badly about that.

Then, I suddenly discover a way to seize the moment. Like this evening. I knew the girls didn’t have enough players to run the bases while they practiced fielding. And I had half an hour. So, I joined the mommy volunteers. I hit the ball every time! (right off that tee!) And I ran the bases at a speed just perfect for grandmothers and five-year-old rookies. And for fifteen glorious moments, Claire trash-talked me from her position as catcher. And Ada jumped up and down squealing when I passed her and rounded second base.

It was hot and sweaty, silly and wonderful. And my contribution didn’t last long.

But then again, maybe it will.

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Things I Don’t Know

By Kathy NickersonMay 25th, 2011happy endings, The Bible6 Comments

When the world will end. Evidently, it was not last week.

What it will look like when that happens. My husband¬† likes to point out that religious scholars for centuries got the First Coming of Jesus completely wrong. They were expecting a kingly king on an earthly throne. Not a baby in a manger. Not a death on a cross. Wendell figures if we were that wrong about the First Coming, we shouldn’t count on having the Second Coming all figured out.

Where we will actually end up. Harps are mentioned in one verse in the Book of Revelation, but that doesn’t seem to be the ultimate job description for every saint in Heaven. I think those of us who go with God will live, love, work, worship, and learn in ways we can’t even imagine now. And those of us who don’t go with God? I don’t know if fire and brimstone are imagery or reality, but I know eternity without God will be torture.

Who will be there. Ultimately, salvation belongs to God. It is up to Him who goes where in the final judgment. And, I’ll probably be surprised by some of that since He judges hearts and motives more than church attendance. Most days I feel ready to reach the next chapter of this story. But I’d like to do whatever I can to make sure everyone I love is ready for it, too. I don’t want our Author to write The End before everyone figures out the plot and gets into their role. So, I’m kind of glad we didn’t go last week.

What part I play. At least, I don’t know exactly. I have some general direction about spreading the Good News. And I sometimes get a specific assignment. I’m always listening. And looking. And reaching. I’m not above stepping into the road and stopping someone’s car if I think they are headed for destruction. But, I don’t have any grand plan. Any epic scheme for winning the world. I think it will just be done one person at a time. Life to life. Heart to heart. In ways we might not expect.

But, just like the famous woman at the well, this one thing I do know: I know that Messiah is coming ( He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. John 4:25

So be it.








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Getting Sappy

By Kathy NickersonMay 18th, 2011mercy, The Bible5 Comments

I think it started with the new Jane Fonda work-out. I’m no fan of her politics, but her work-out videos had me crunching, stretching, and sweating with a smile for a couple of decades. So, I was excited to discover a new routine.

It was in Arthritis Magazine.

Right after that, I caught a new television add for the trendy sunglasses of my youth. I expected to see the glamorous model strolling down the boardwalk while the voice-over said, “Who is that behind those Foster Grants?”

Instead, the announcer bragged that Foster Grant now offers designer reading glasses. With magnification and head lights!

Then, I came home from the cardiologist where I’d been tested and scanned, (I’m fine.) and I flipped on my laptop. You know those adds that scroll down the side of the screen? They say things like, “Hey, here’s a website where you can buy a sterling bracelet to match that smashing necklace you are wearing today.”

After the cardiologist visit, my top add was from The Scooter Store.

It all seemed like something of a conspiracy there for a while. I felt a bit of despair. But then, this morning, I read this:

The righteous will flourish like the palm tree,
They will grow like cedars in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:12-14

Oh, yeah! I’m feeling sappy.



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Folding My Wings

By Kathy NickersonMay 10th, 2011happy endings, The Bible2 Comments

I’ve been flapping my wings too much lately. I’ve flapped over totally unimportant things¬†from “how will we pay the taxes this year?” to “What if I can’t figure out how to convert our office to ICD-10 in 2014?”

When I get like this, my husband stands back and shakes his head. It doesn’t happen often, but when I get my worry on, I can work that thing.

Fortunately, my husband is also good at perspective. And, he is willing to share his when mine gets all cock-eyed from the wing-flapping. Then, I remember this lesson God taught me years ago from the Book of Ezekial.

It is from the famous passage where “Ezekial saw a wheel, way up in the middle of the air…” Or something like that. I’ve never understood the imagery of the wheels with eyes. But I get this part:

As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them. Ezekial 1:24-25 NLT

When they lowered their wings, God spoke.

What He said to Ezekial wasn’t easy to hear, but the words carried destiny and purpose. For a guy standing on a river with his fellow exiles, destiny and purpose was pretty good news.

So, I’m determined this week to lower my own wings and hear whatever God wants to say. (I doubt He is worried about that ICD-10 thing.)

How about you? Been doing any wing-flapping lately?

picture courtesy of these folks.

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Daughters Becoming Mothers

By Kathy NickersonMay 6th, 2011family4 Comments

In honor of Mother’s Day, I am posting some of my favorite pictures of our daughters becoming mothers. Possibly the grandest moments of my life. These aren’t all shots of their first babies. But we become mothers all over again each time another child is born.

















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The Twitter Version

By Kathy NickersonMay 3rd, 2011mercy5 Comments

The road gets rocky sometimes

This week, Wendell and I told our story to one-hundred and fifty second year medical students as part of a presentation by our state Physician Wellness Program. We sort of gave the Twitter version. Seven years of drama condensed into slightly more than 140 characters each. Okay, quite a few more characters than that on my part.

The experience was both powerful and humbling. Humbling because we could so easily be among the sad statistics of divorce, destruction, and death associated with alcoholism and addiction. Yet powerful, because we saw how our story could give hope and help to others. Maybe some of those students will remember us. And, someday, when an upstanding, honorable, respected member of their community stumbles into the office with an unknown illness, the doctor will decide to run a drug screen. Just in case.

Or maybe some members of the audience will become spouses who finally stop pretending nothing is wrong. Maybe they will get humble enough to repent for their part in the problems and brave enough to speak up for the one they love.

And, maybe, some of those students will look in the mirror tonight and see the signs of addiction staring back at them. Maybe they will ask for help.


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