Archive for June, 2012

Lessons from the Typewriter

By Kathy NickersonJune 28th, 2012The BibleNo Comments

I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for Adeline Corkran, my high school business teacher. I don’t think they even teach business in high school these days. But Mrs. Corkran taught me how to type, take shorthand, write a proper check, address a letter, and stuff an envelope. I bet you didn’t know there is a right way to stuff an envelope did you?

Every Friday, when we get ready to send out a stack of bills from our office (and thus become those people you hate on Monday when you get your mail) I think of her and the afternoon we spent learning how to fold, stuff, and seal with the least amount of moves. It was an amazing feat.

Typing, however, remains the most essential life-skill she taught, and the one with the largest lesson. No cutesy games or gimmicks for Mrs. C. We learned by pure rote and muscle memory. The first week we typed nothing but “f” and “j”. Our fingers were not allowed to move to any other point on the keyboard until our brains and our index fingers had connected on the truth that hasn’t changed in forty years. I can’t even tell you where the letter “w” is on a keyboard. But I ask me to type the word “water” and my ring finger hits the spot without thinking.

When Wendell and I got married at the end of my senior year, the Corkrans gave us a large family Bible as a wedding gift. It seemed a little strange to me at the time. But after all these years, I’m so grateful. Grateful I can still type 94 words per minute when I’m trying to write a novel. Grateful I can stuff an envelope in three  perfect moves. And grateful for the muscle memory that takes me back to the Bible for every issue in life.

I don’t always know what I need in the moment, but I know where to go as surely as my fingers know how to type the word “Help!”.

Thanks, Mrs. C.

 

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It’s Covered

By Kathy NickersonJune 24th, 2012family5 Comments
 Does the world feel a little less wobbly to you today? Well, it certainly should. I spent thirty-six hours with my daughters this weekend, and we pretty much solved all the problems of the world in that space of time. At least, that is how it always feels after we’ve had a good talk.

Thinking about the details of a move to a new city with four children and no jobs? We can offer you a million scenarios to solve that.

Want to know how to launch your music/writing/teaching/speaking career and still be home with your children by 3:00? We can help with that.

Concerned about the state of the Church in the world or the state of the world in general? We know The Answer.

Chin hairs, church wars, checkbooks, and children. We covered it all.

And we came home from our time together challenged, refreshed, comforted, and encouraged. The world in general may not really be more stable today. But as for me and my house and the houses related to me, we feel much better now, thank you very much.

Monday morning? Bring it on!

(p.s. We missed you, Rochelle)

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Happily Ever After So Far

By Kathy NickersonJune 21st, 2012happy endings5 Comments

I married this man when I was eighteen years old, which seems rather insane in this era. But we married at then end of the Viet Nam war, at a time when many people had watched their future march off in a uniform and never come home again. We were all about grabbing the moment when we found it.

Plus, getting married and having babies had always been my ambition. When a high school counselor tried to convince me how exciting college life could be or how many glamorous jobs were waiting for a girl like me, I just shook my head. If I had to go to college, it would be to kill time until I found a rich doctor to marry.

Yes, dear reader, that was my Life Plan. Go to college for one semester and find a rich doctor to marry. Then have ten children and live in a gracious, two-story home.

I never made it to college. The rest of the plan slid a little off track, too. I married the doctor long before he started medical school. And my ideas collided with his great Life Plan, which was to be a country doctor and never give a hoot about making money.

Our ten children got whittled down to four (although we borrowed a fifth in the form of a favorite nephew), and the gracious two-story home was an old farmhouse we remodeled for about fifteen years.

During all those hard years of child-rearing, budget-stretching, and practice-building we promised ourselves that we would enjoy the golden years of empty-nesting together someday. And, we do. The starry-eyed teenager with her great Life Plan could never have dreamed up something this good. She could never have imagined being this rich in all the things that really matter.

And what is my point in all this?

Sometimes, dreams don’t come true; they become better.

 

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Happy Birthday to You

By Kathy NickersonJune 17th, 2012family11 Comments

Charity, far left, with her sisters, Serenity and Felicity

This week, our youngest child hits another decade milestone. I’m not telling you which one. She and her husband are rearing two adorable daughters, have just gotten licensed as foster parents, and lead worship in their church. They are also about to release their first album together. (Do they still call them albums when no vinyl is involved?)You can check it out here.

When she was little, Charity used to complain how unfair it was that she had to go to bed while her three older siblings stayed up for an hour. Quoting a television show of the day, she used to say, “Don’t get out the Barbie dolls and ponies after I go to bed.”

As a young adult, she was the first of our children to move away. Five and a half hours away. Sometimes she would call home on a Sunday afternoon and hear all the siblings and cousins in the background. Then she would tell me how homesick she felt and how hard it was to be so far from everyone.

Marriage and children helped all that, of course. She has Barbies and ponies of her own these days. Even so, I’m thrilled to be sending her the best possible gift this birthday year. I’m sending her a sister. Plus a brother-in-law, three nieces, and a nephew.

Our first-born and her family have lived across the lawn from us for ten years now. Sharing daily life with them has been an amazing gift we never expected. But now it is time for them to go. Back to the city Dan came from. On to the call of God for their lives.

And I’m finding it much easier to let them go when I think of that little girl who peeked down the living room staircase, reminding us not to have any fun without her. Happy Birthday, Charity. We’re sending you some fun!

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Keeping Vows

By Kathy NickersonJune 11th, 2012family, happy endings1 Comment

We attended a wonderful family reunion this weekend where my husband’s big brother and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We are all much too young for such a milestone, of course. But, there it was. As part of the ceremony, Rees and Frankie renewed their wedding vows in the same church where they were married, surrounded by every member of the original bridal party.

The theme of our weekend was Great is His Faithfulness, and it was so true. Rees and Frankie are both cancer survivors. They have endured great trials like the early loss of Frankie’s parents and the sudden death of a young son-in-law. Some of their children and grandchildren were gravely injured during a terrorist bombing on the mission field. But nobody focused on the hard stuff.

Instead we talked about the blessings. The miracles. The memories. The souls saved, marriages made, children born, and songs sung.

And, I think one of the secrets to this attitude is the vows. Rees and Frankie didn’t renew their vows for the first time on their wedding anniversary. They have done it in their hearts every day for fifty years. They have kept their vows to one another, to God, and to the family and friends who count on them to set an example.

In sickness and in health, in wealth and in want, for better or worse, as long as they both shall live.

God’s power and mercy have carried them. His goodness and grace have surrounded them. His faithfulness has filled them.

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A Note to You

By Kathy NickersonJune 7th, 2012mercy2 Comments

Dear Faithful Reader,

I just wanted to say “good morning” to you today and thank you for stopping by. With all the zillions of blogs, books, bytes, and bits available to you today, I am honored that you took a detour to Mercy Street. My goal on this page is simple. I want to encourage you (and me) that He who began a good work in us will complete it.

And, that He will grant us grace and mercy while He is working!

When we visited Disney World decades ago, I admired a three-story ribbon of billowing, white fabric on the back of our hotel. I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to represent, but it looked so lovely swaying in the breeze. My husband pointed to one corner where the fabric had blown a little wide and revealed the truth. Hidden beneath the gauzy tent were a dozen construction workers in hard hats putting an addition on the hotel.

I think God works that way sometimes. Discreetly, gently, covering us with mercy while He chisels away the things that don’t belong in our lives.

Other times, He comes with a jackhammer, of course. But that is a post for another day!

Thanks again for stopping by. May God grant you mercy today and cover you with loveliness while He works on your life.

Blessings,

Kathy

 

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Changing Scenes

By Kathy NickersonJune 3rd, 2012happy endings1 Comment

When my grandfather prayed in public, he often asked God to, “Reconcile us to the changing scenes of this life.” He wasn’t a movie buff. He didn’t even watch much television. But he understood that life is a story unfolding all around us. And, the scenes must frequently change.

In the past three weeks, our church community has celebrated kindergarten, high school, and college graduations. This coming weekend, members of our extended family  will go in three different directions. Some will celebrate a wedding, others will applaud a fiftieth wedding anniversary, and others will mourn at a funeral.

Those are the big scene-changers. But the smaller ones add up, too. The scenes in our story shift all the time, always moving us forward like a well-developed plot toward the culmination of all things. And, if things work out right, a happy ending, of course.

Like my grandfather, I want to be fully reconciled to these changes. I don’t want to dash onto the stage, grab the scenery from yesterday, and try to drag it back into place. I want to be gracious and optimistic and brave.

I want to be reconciled. No matter how the scenes may change. And I’m trusting the Author to help me with that.

 

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