Archive for December, 2011

Wearing My Words

By Kathy NickersonDecember 27th, 2011family2 Comments

I have eaten my words a few times, but this year I shall be wearing them thanks to a sweet Christmas gift from our daughter-of-the-heart, Molly Rose. We started to do a handmade gift exchange this year and then kind of let the idea wane. A few hearty souls stayed with the theme, though, and Molly was among them.

She fashioned this necklace for me. Each charm is made from actual words written on my blog. And not just random words. Each phrase says something about my heritage or my hope or the life I aspire to live. They are words I need to remember. Often.

So, now I can wear them on a day when I have trouble remembering I’m a writer. Or when I need the comfort of my father’s quiet strength or the nudge of my mother’s positive attitude. This is a wonderful way to go into the New Year. Wearing words of inspiration.

If you could wear some words today, what would they be?

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All is Bright

By Kathy NickersonDecember 21st, 2011Uncategorized2 Comments

Christmas lights are magical. They turn ordinary street corners and bare tree limbs into a dazzling display that evokes joy and wonder and wishes and hope. I think such moments are glimpses of Heaven. A preview of the new earth we’ll enjoy once Jesus comes again.

All the words in the Bible used to describe Heaven are sparkly. Pearls, jasper, gold, crystal. The writers couldn’t adequately translate what they saw in those Heavenly visions, so they used the only words they knew to express perfection. Priceless jewels.

I haven’t seen a lot of diamonds, rubies, or amethyst in my lifetime. But I’ve sat by the light of a Christmas tree many nights and felt my heart swell with the “thrill of hope” as a “weary world rejoices.”

For yonder does break a new and glorious morning. It will be here one of these days when He comes in the clouds of glory. And, we will all fall on our knees.

Can you hear the angels singing?

 

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Wonderful Words

By Kathy NickersonDecember 15th, 2011happy endings7 Comments

I think I’ve mentioned before that we live in an intentional community. Sometimes it seems weird to people how connected we are. I go to church with the guy who sells me groceries, the man who changes my oil, the lady who waits on me at the cafe, and every coworker in my office. It’s a nice kind of weird.

We also have some traditions unique to such a town. Like Garage Words at Christmas. In my previous home, I might have taken exception if the neighbors plastered magnetic letters on my garage door spelling out random words. I might have called the police.

But here such behavior is one of the highlights of the season. The ladies from the recovery center are in charge of posting the letters. Each word signifies some trait of Christ, and they appear sometime after Thanksgiving. We never know when to expect them. And, we never know which word we will get. That is part of the fun.

This year, we got “Healer.” You’d think the local doctor would get that every time.But sometimes “Healer” goes to a family facing major illness. Because these words are both a prophecy and a prayer.

Provider. Shield. Worship. Truth. Silent Night. The Great I Am. You can drive around our town and almost hear the angels shouting out those words in Heaven.

It’s a lovely type of graffiti.

 

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The Nativity Crowd

By Kathy NickersonDecember 10th, 2011family, The Bible4 Comments

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) Luke 2:4

The opening phrase in that sentence grabs me: And Joseph also went up… Also? Who else went to Bethlehem?

If you don’t like your Nativity scene messed with (I certainly don’t!) you may want to skip this post. Because I have a theory. I’m not even sure I like the theory because it skews a zillion years of tradition and pageantry. On the other hand, it confirms a truth I embrace: God is a relational Being, and He loves families. He created them, and built His church with them.

I think, maybe, just maybe, He also invited them to the manger that night.

Here is my theory: Both Joseph and Mary were descendants of King David according the genealogies in the New Testament. That meant both of their fathers and all their uncles would have been required to register in Bethlehem, too. We don’t know, of course, which family members were even alive then. But surely someone was. Surely among the House of David were other members of the clan who journeyed from Nazareth to Bethlehem on that sacred night.

I love my Nativity scene, and there isn’t room on my mantle to add a couple of crooning grandmothers or a gaggle of little cousins. Even so, I’m wondering if the real Nativity looked something like that. I wonder if Mary’s mother was there to wrap the baby in swaddling clothes. If Joseph’s brothers slapped him on the back and forgot for a moment that this was a scandoulos birth.

I wonder if the Baby Jesus actually came to earth surrounded by a crowd of family members who also went.

I’m just wondering. And, I’m wondering what you think.

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Not Your Grandma’s Christmas Candy

By Kathy NickersonDecember 5th, 2011family, Friendship6 Comments

I have this great memory of handmade Christmas candy so exquisite it had to be stored in special containers in the guest bedroom of my grandmother’s house. (The room wasn’t heated, so the candy kept well.) Fondant pecan logs, date loaf, divinity that deserved a capital “D”, fudge made with actual cream and butter.

My grandchildren will not have these memories.

Unfortunately, I’m not passing down any handmade delicacies. Except one. I call it the “Leon Thurman Special” in honor of the man who developed it. Or at least it was discovered at his house one long winter’s evening of my childhood. Back in the days before video games or television with more than three channels, we had to make up our own fun. For our family, that meant playing cards with Leon, Maxine, and their kids.

We didn’t have any first cousins in our family, because our parents both grew up as only children. So the Thurman clan filled that gap. We shared vacations and sports teams, classrooms and church pews. And, we played cards.

One night, we added a game called, “Who can create the most gross snack?” I really think Leon came up with this sandwich made from two saltine crackers, some spicy mustard, and a squished candy cream drop. I’m sure I ate it on a dare. And I probably kept eating it just to prove I was as tough as the boys.

But, for some reason, I’ve loved this strange concoction ever since. Maybe because it has only three ingredients and doesn’t require a candy thermometer. Or maybe because it is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and tangy in one perfect bite.

Or, maybe, just because it reminds me of Leon. And Maxine. And winter nights of fun with lots of people I love.

You should try it.

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Inside Out

By Kathy NickersonDecember 1st, 2011mercy1 Comment

Back in the days when the Bible was being written they used to send all the unrighteous people outside the city. A man with a blemish was sent outside until the sore healed. A woman who angered her father stayed outside for at least seven days. Lepers were sent out and never let back in again. Loose women were taken outside the city gates and stoned. To death.

When Joseph found out his virgin bride was pregnant, and he heard this wild tale about the Holy Ghost, he could have ordered Mary to be drug outside the city and pelted with rocks.

Instead, he showed her mercy. Tremendous, amazing, breathed-on-by God kind of mercy.

Then, Jesus was born. When He grew up and became a man, He showed that same kind of mercy. He always made a point of inviting the unrighteous people to come in. Tax-collectors, lepers, prostitutes, best-friends-who-turned-on-him-in-his-darkest-hour. Jesus opened the city gates and told them all to come in and get to know Him.

In this season, we celebrate the fact that Jesus came at Christmastime. And, He not only turned the world upside down, He turned it inside out.

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