Archive for July, 2013

Visit me at Serenity Now

By Kathy NickersonJuly 31st, 2013mercyNo Comments

Hello, Dear Reader,

I’m guest posting today over at the blog of should-be-world-famous author Serenity Bohon. (To whom I happen to be blessedly related.)


Come visit us. And then buy her book.


Kathy N.

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Thundering Silence

By Kathy NickersonJuly 29th, 2013mercyNo Comments


I’ve heard a zillion times that God never does things the same way twice. But, I’m not sure I always believed it. I mean, the Red Sea and the Jordan River were pretty similar. But, one of my favorite preachers brought it home again this week. (Thanks, Shabaka.)

The place: Mount Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses.

The players: Moses and Elijah,  a few hundred years apart.

The point: Both men approached a mountain to hear from God.

In the first case, God appeared to Moses in thunder, lightning, smoke, and fire. He put on a big display in other words. In the second case, the Bible makes a point of telling us that God was not in the earthquake, wind, or other visible demonstrations. Instead, He was in the still, small voice.

So, which is better? Hearing God through massive demonstrations or quiet whispers? Trick question. There is no better. Hearing God is awesome no matter how it happens.

I’ve probably grown up enough now to recognize God may speak to me differently today than he did last year. Or last week. I’m good with that. However, this message reminded me I’m not so good at remembering God might speak to you differently than He speaks to me.

Maybe I can learn that one now. Maybe I can be content with the still, small voice while you are getting an earthquake and thunder from Heaven. Or, the other way around, of course. Maybe I can embrace my process and trust you to walk in yours. That sounds like freedom to me.

Click to Tweet This: Still small voice or thunder and fire. How does God speak to you?

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In a Small World

By Kathy NickersonJuly 22nd, 2013mercy7 Comments



I recently spent a day with my 93-year-old mother-in-law, and it was lovely. Mother Mary, as my brother-in-law has named her, spends summers in the country with her only daughter and winters in Florida with her eldest son. The rest of us fill in for respite where we can.

Although she depends on us to get her meals, hand out her meds, and remind her which grandchild belongs to whom, she still has spunk. Each day, she grabs her wheeled walker and spins around the house for exercise. She closes each day with her Bible and prayer. On Fridays she rides to town to get her hair done. On Sundays, she attends her beloved Methodist Church, though she no longer sings in the choir.

Between those activities, though, Mother Mary sits quietly in her room. She admires the birds and flowers from her window. She works on word puzzles with a ferocious concentration. She reads, she writes letters, and she sometimes remembers to check Facebook and see what the great-grandchildren are doing all around the world.

The truth is, my mother-in-law’s world has shrunk right along with her petite frame. But she doesn’t seem to mind. She is mostly content with her birds, and her books, and her spot in the corner of the peach-colored room. Oh, she complains a little about aches and pains. And she is sorry to be losing the history she can no longer remember. But, she is not longing for her youth or wishing she could roam the world. She has finally even agreed that it was a good idea to give up her car.

Much of Mother Mary has probably crept into the character, Catherine, in my book Thirty Days to Glory. If she sees herself when she reads it this Christmas, I hope she knows I only used her good parts. Any of Catherine’s troublesome quirks are pure fiction!

And, I hope I’m living my own life today in way that will open doors of contentment for me when I am ninety-three.


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The Greatest Day

By Kathy NickersonJuly 14th, 2013mercy6 Comments

This weekend, my husband and I visited the campus where he graduated from medical school more-than-a-few years ago. We held hands under the same trees we had posed beneath with our young family. And we smiled and laughed and told stories about the olden days.

The occasion which drew us was the White Coat Ceremony for my nephew, Jordan. It was an august affair, welcoming the new students into their future profession as Osteopathic physicians. When the Dean smoothed Jordan’s white coat over his broad shoulders, we really could feel a mantle being passed. I looked down our row at Jordan’s wife, Courtney, and their sweet baby, and I remembered.

I remembered that the medical school years were so Dickensonian for us. The best of times and the worst of times all wrapped up together. Sometimes in the same day. I remembered how we struggled, and suffered, and celebrated, and survived. And I remembered that the day we stood under those oak trees with Wendell in his cap, gown, and hood felt like The Greatest Day of All.

It wasn’t, of course. It was just one of many. But I felt the thrill of that one all over again last weekend.  I believe it is the doing and growing and making your way together that builds a couple. (I learned that from John Wayne in McClintock.) But sometimes a moment captures all those things and holds them together — past, present, and future.

And, those moments all taken together build up to a lifetime of The Greatest Days Ever.

Here’s to many more to come. For all of us.


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Souls on Board

By Kathy NickersonJuly 8th, 2013mercy3 Comments


Airlines still classify people as souls in case of an emergency. “283 souls on board.” We obviously don’t know where this originated. Just Google the term if you want to read the various theories. I am going to subscribe to the vague explanation that the term dates back to days when people generally traveled by ship.

And, I like to think the idea of “souls on board” reminded captains they carried a precious cargo. That they weren’t just hauling cattle across an ocean. Each ticket represented something more valuable and eternal than black ink at the bottom of a ledger page.

That may not be true, of course. But, since nobody knows, I’m owning that one. I’m also wondering what would happen if I brought the concept to my day job. What would happen, for instance, if I looked at the daily schedule and instead of reading, “28 patients to see today” my computer printed, “28 souls will come through the door.)?

I think I’d grumble less when people are demanding. I’d probably be more gracious when they ran late, expected special service, or complained about the bill I’d already discounted by a large percent.

Maybe I’d be kinder to my husband, more patient with my children, and more aware of my neighbors if I saw them as souls sharing my space.

Maybe. Just maybe, I’d find myself growing to be more like Jesus and less like me. And maybe all the souls around me would benefit greatly from that transformation.

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It Matters

By Kathy NickersonJuly 3rd, 2013mercy2 Comments

fireworks over city

I wanted to write something fresh and brilliant for Independence Day. Something that sang of the rockets red glare and of faith, family, friends, and fried chicken with potato salad on a picnic cloth. But, while I wrote several variations in my mind, nothing seemed to fit.

Then, I saw a tweet from Dave Ramsey. He had been traveling and said he was so glad to be at home in the USA to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Because it matters.

And, that says it all.

So, regardless of where or how or with whom you celebrate this great Day of Our Independence, please do so. It matters.

Thanks, Mr. Ramsey.


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