Archive for April, 2013

Stand Your Ground

By Kathy NickersonApril 25th, 2013mercy7 Comments

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Our son used to be convinced he had sung on stage with Sandi Patty. He would argue the point all day long. We did take his sisters to a Sandi Patty concert once. And, they did go on stage and stand right beside the dazzling lady. But I personally hired the babysitter who stayed home with our four-year-old son and his baby sister that night. He was not there.

Yet, for most of a decade, Joe stood firm. We insisted he was only remembering our descriptions of the event, but he disagreed. He could describe the stage, the lights, and even the blue sequins on her dress. He said they were so close he could touch them. Now, when your name is Joe and your sisters are Felicity, Serenity, and Charity, you learn to stand your ground on things. (Some people think we should have named him Masculinity to keep the theme.)

So, when it came up again years later, the way things do between brothers and sisters, Joe mentioned the singing cowboys. Now, you probably know Sandy Patti does not have a backup band of singing cowboys.

We all laughed at Joe. Until he began adding other details. Suddenly, the mystery was solved. (and we all had to repent to Joe.) He was describing a musical we saw on vacation that same year. Joseph had gone on that stage with the singing cowboys, and he stood beside a lady in a blue-sequined dress.

And what is the lesson I learned from this saga? Never let anyone steal your experience. They may argue it wasn’t real. They may tell you it didn’t happen that way or it couldn’t mean what you think it means. But they don’t know. If you touched the blue sequins, stand firm. The singing cowboys may prove you right some day.

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The Story Connection

By Kathy NickersonApril 19th, 2013mercy10 Comments

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My dad has always been a man of few words. But conversations have become even harder for him these days. His hearing has worn out right along with his body. Of course, he used both his hearing and his body pretty hard the past eighty-six years.

He still loves to connect with people, though. So, instead of trying to carry on a conversation, sometimes he just tells us stories. Stories about growing up on the farm, about going away to the army, about carrying the mail or working at the factory or raising four children with Mama.

I know we should be recording these tales. But I never want to interrupt the moment long enough to grab a phone or even punch a button. These stories are not something to file away for future publication. They are conversations.

And we will never forget the good parts.

 

 

 

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Still a Gift

By Kathy NickersonApril 14th, 2013mercy6 Comments

Gift from the seaIf you aren’t going to make it to the beach this summer, read this little book. You’ll feel as if you’ve been there collecting shells and insights right along with Anne Morrow Lindberg. Of course, Gift from the Sea was written the year I was born. It isn’t a new revelation. Instead, it is timeless beauty.

The author escapes her busy life with a famous husband and five children for a few days at a beach cottage all alone. While there, she examines the seasons of life, love, and relationships. All from the shape of sea shells.

When I first started reading it at a hospital bedside, I felt the worry and the weight fall away. Something in the cadence of her writing simply felt like waves against the shore. I’m not even a big fan of the beach. I’ve not been there enough times to know whether or not I even enjoy it.

But I love the idea of a retreat. Of simplicity. And of looking at life from a fresh perspective every now and then.

Don’t you?

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Audrey Ann

By Kathy NickersonApril 12th, 2013mercy4 Comments

Tea cupsMore than thirty years ago, I attended the Mark Twain Writer’s Conference in Hannibal, Missouri, for the second or third time. An editor whose name and publishing house I’ve forgotten, gave us a writing prompt. From that exercise, a character named Audrey Ann was born.

She plays a bit role in my current novel, where she isn’t even given a name. But I expect she will show up again in a book of her own someday. For now, she is starring in my online fiction debut.

If you would like to read her short story, hop on over to the blog of fellow CrossRiver Media author, Linnette Mullin. Audrey Ann is appearing there in Linnette’s Friday with Friends segment.

Thanks, Linnette!

 

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Kindergarten Theology

By Kathy NickersonApril 8th, 2013mercy4 Comments

MacyOur granddaughter, Macy, is in that delicious stage where she is learning to express ideas, concepts, and, as it turns out, theology. We snuggled in my chair during the final episode of the History Channel’s The Bible. Macy had been in children’s church that morning, and she knew what was coming next with every scene. “Now the veil will rip.”

I was impressed. She even explained to me that sending Jesus to die on the cross was God’s idea, and that Jesus was good with it. But, then we got to the scene where Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?”

“Hey, wait a minute!” Macy said.  “Why is He sayin’ that? I thought they had this all worked out.”

Ah, yes. That’s the thing about theology. It gets shaky in the face of real life sometimes. Fortunately, it is only our understanding of God that shakes. It is never Him.

Macy will figure that out someday. And, hopefully, I will, too.

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The Makeover

By Kathy NickersonApril 4th, 2013mercy6 Comments

Supreme courtOur Supreme Court Building is fake. Well, not the whole building. Just the front. If you watch a news report in front of the building these days, you may notice the pillars billowing in the wind. Yes. Billowing.

That is because the entire facade is getting a face lift. The marble is being restored with delicate laser treatments like a lady having her age spots removed at a spa. But here is the interesting part: While this treatment is going on, workmen have unfurled a piece of gigantic fabric, called a scrim. Printed on this fabric is a high-definition photo of the actual building.

So, when you are touring Washington D.C. and looking at landmarks, you won’t see ugly scaffolding around one of our most impressive buildings. In fact, from the tour bus, you might not even realize it is fake. Unless there is a breeze. Then the pillars billow.

The illusion is amazing. You can see pictures of it on the website of the photographer who took the original picture.

I am fascinated by this project and all the effort that has gone into it. And I’m struck by how much the process resembles life. I am constantly undergoing some shoring up, tearing down, or scaling away in my life. But the Architect is kind and compassionate. He rarely exposes the bare bones of scaffolds, tools, and debris as He works.

Instead, He spreads a scrim of mercy around my life. He puts His own image on the fabric and convinces people that the picture they see is what I will become. One day. When the renovations are all done and He has finally made all things new.

 

 

 

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