Archive for September, 2013

A Letter to My Children

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 30th, 2013mercy10 Comments

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When I am old, and I forget which children belong to you, don’t take it personally. Just repeat their names in conversation every time we meet. Consider it a prayer.

If I forget all the details of the day you were married and can’t recall the vacation we took to Idaho, don’t be sad. Just remind me I have also forgotten the flu, chicken pox, and various temper tantrums. Yours and mine.

If you come for a visit, and I am surprised to see you when I come back from a bathroom break minutes later, just greet me all over again. We can never have enough hello-hugs.

When I slow down your fast-paced life with my wheeled walker and my oxygen hose, just thank me. You need the break.

And someday, when I’ve gone ahead to dance in Glory and to wait for you there, celebrate. Then give this list to your children.

 

 

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Visiting Kimberly

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 26th, 2013mercyNo Comments

Hello Dear Reader,

You can catch up with me today over at the blog of my writer-friend, Kimberly Wright at Believing Out Loud. Please stop by and say, “hello.” She is a darling lady.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Calling Dr. Barton

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 23rd, 2013mercy13 Comments

At Serenity's bedside when she had cancer. (Along with several other faithful friends.)

Sometimes, on a crazy Monday, our friend, Dave Barton, stops in at the clinic just to see how we are doing. He just checks in, assures us he needs nothing, and then asks if he can do anything to help. He generally turns to the crowded waiting room then and says, “I’ll be glad to see some patients for you if it would help.”

That usually gets a laugh. Or an offer. Occasionally someone is sick enough they don’t care who gives them a shot! But we all know it is Dave’s way of saying he cares. I love the comedic relief of those visit. Even more, I love the real heart behind them.

Because Dave has shown up at lots of other times in our lives. The night Felicity went into premature labor and hovered at the edge of disaster along with her twin girls. I fell asleep on a hard couch at some point in the night. Every time the pressure on my back or the terror in my heart roused me back to wakefulness, Dave was there. He literally stood in the doorway of the waiting room all night and prayed. I could almost see the sword in his hands as he dared death or demons to come near.

A couple of years later, after my husband had checked himself into a recovery center for doctors with addictions, Dave appeared in my office and said, “Well, it’s been two weeks. How are you doing? You told me the first day that you didn’t know how you were, but that you thought you’d be better when we got down the road a couple of weeks. We’re there now. How are you?”

I was much better, in fact. And friends like Dave were one of the reasons. He also showed up at Serenity’s bedside when she had cancer and at Charity’s 16th birthday party with the entire youth group. I believe he was there when Joseph dumped baked beans on our pastor’s lap at a men’s retreat. I could go on, of course. With a guy like Dave, the stories of friendship never end. Instead, I decided to give him a secret tribute. (Although now I’m telling all of you. I hope he won’t mind.) In honor of his Monday visits to the clinic and his lifetime of friendship and support, I named a character in my novel after Dave.

You will find him in chapter twenty-one of Thirty Days to Glory. Approximately page 163, I believe.  Calling Dr. Barton…

 

 

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Let There Be Color

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 19th, 2013mercy2 Comments

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Years ago, I read a theory that the color of trees in Autumn is actually their natural state. That God planted trees of gold, amber, and flaming red in the Garden of Eden. But, when sin entered in, the trees had to go to work just like Adam did. The writer equated the food-making process of a tree to Adam’s curse of toiling against thistles and thorns to produce a crop. I bought into that theory for a while. Certainly the colors of fall are glorious enough to be the state of creation at rest.

However, that would mean work is a curse. Which isn’t true. God gave Adam a vocation before sin every slithered into the Garden. The curse just made it harder for Adam to fulfill his destiny as a Keeper of the Trees. (If you struggle with this concept, read Gene Edward Veith’s excellent book on vocation, God at Work. In fact, read it anyway.)

Instead, I think God gave us Autumn just to teach us about seasons. And cycles of life. And to give us a reason to stop along the road and give a round of applause like our friend Mike Herron once did.

The truth is, I don’t know why God stood back at one point in creation and said, “Now, let there be color!” I’m just so glad He did.

 

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For Love and Money

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 16th, 2013mercyNo Comments

thirtydaystoglorysliderThose are two of the reasons I write. For love, first of all, and most of all. I would write even if no one ever paid me for it. I’d probably write even if no one ever read my words. Blogging is a little like that. We bloggers just fill the screen with words, push “send”, and then move on to the next project, hoping someone will read the words and be touched. Or encouraged. Or challenged. Or amazed.

Many types of writing should be done purely for love. Letters to family. Emails to friends. Christmas cards. (Does anyone do those anymore?) I write a column for our church bulletin for love. And a couple of newspaper columns for our community.

However, I also write to get paid. And wonder of wonders, sometimes that works! An editor buys an article. A publisher buys a book. And suddenly I have enough money to buy more Christmas cards!

It took me years to work up the courage to admit I wanted to be the kind of writer who got published and paid. But, there it is. I do. And, I am.

If you have a similar interest, I’d love to hear from you. We writers area  needy lot, and I’d be glad to encourage you!

Just speak up in the comments section or email me through the Contact form on my website or my facebook page.

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I just wanted to write a book!

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 11th, 2013mercy4 Comments

Angela M.

 

Fellow CrossRiver author, Angela Meyer, guest posts today about her journey to becoming an author. Do you know one of the things I love most about Angela? She’s from one of my favorite cities – Omaha, Nebraska!

Almost four years ago I started Where Hope Starts and am now in the middle of my blog tour!

Dreams do come true.

But little did I know when I signed on to be an author, I also signed on to be an editor, a web designer, graphic artist, a publicist, a speaker and any other position required to get my book into the hands of the public.

In a life already filled with family, homeschooling, teaching Bible class, raising kids, running a household and friends I quickly learned I needed to prioritize. I’m still learning.

But God is faithful and teaching me along the way. I have a wonderful family who is patient and supportive and I have the best publisher possible, coming alongside to help me be successful in my new role as author.

Whether you aspire to be a published author or have another dream you are working toward, prepare now. Lay groundwork for the day your dream becomes reality before the doors are thrown wide open.

Authors, build platforms.

Moms to be, hang out with experienced moms.

Teachers, study.

Learn what you need to know before you’ll be called on to use it. You’ll be glad you did!

And through all of the pursuing dreams, coming true dreams, and upturning of expectations, the most important thing I can encourage you to do is to keep close to God. He is the strength and comfort and encouragement you need whatever season you’re in.

Have your expectations ever been turned topsy-turvy? How did you adjust?

 

Hope Starts book jacket 3d sized

About Where Hope Starts:

Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both. She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.

 

Still in New York, Barry fights his own demons. He knows he messed up, but is powerless to stop his rage and addictions. A fistfight on the streets of the city lands him in jail on possible murder charges and forces him to face a future behind bars.

Karen knows holding onto her bitterness won’t repair her marriage. But how do you forgive someone when you don’t feel like it? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers the family secret that threatens to tear them all apart? Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?

Connect with Angela D. Meyer at

www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaDMeyer

www.angeladmeyer.com

 

 

 

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The 88 Cent Answer

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 8th, 2013mercy8 Comments

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Last week at dinner, my husband and our daughter, Serenity, mentioned that I seem kind of stressed about life right now. I stopped munching on my crab rangoon and shook my head. “Oh, I’m going to be fine now. I just spent 88 cents at Wal-Mart for a magnetic to-do list.”

They both burst out laughing, but I just raised my eyebrows. “It’s true,” I said. “This is going to change my life.”

And, it has. Serenity understood, of course. It is simply the grown-up version of the hoola-hoop method I taught her in childhood. She used to go upstairs to clean her room and then decide it would be easier if she moved furniture first. An hour later, we would find her weeping on her bed – which was now in the middle of the room – surrounded by mounds of stuffed animals, old school papers, and a dresser skewed sideways.

Eventually, I taught Serenity to throw her hula-hoop on the floor. Then I told her to clean up or put away everything within its circumference. Don’t worry about the mess in the corner. Don’t wonder if the bed would look better against the other wall. Just focus on the hoola-hoop. When that is done, toss it again.

So, now, I’m corralling my three computers, two electronic calendars, one supposed-to-be-smart telephone and a few zillion details that exist only in the shadows of my mind. Every night before bed, I consult them. Then, I take my 88 cent pad from the front of the fridge, and I list the five things I absolutely must do the next day. That’s all. Just those five. I rip off the page after breakfast the next day and stick it in my purse.

Then, when phones start ringing and reminders start buzzing and emails begin screaming, I just look at my list. If those five things aren’t crossed off yet, I simply say, “Sorry, I’m not moving the bed today.”

It’s been worth every one of those 88 cents.

 

 

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Happy Anniversary of Our First Date

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 5th, 2013mercy5 Comments

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Forty years ago this Saturday, Wendell and I sat down at Pizza Hut together and shared our first ham sandwich. Well, we didn’t actually eat any of it. But we ordered one, along with a Coke (me) and a glass of milk (him.) We both had long hair, although mine was longer, thank goodness. And hip-hugging bell-bottoms and platform shoes. (His were taller.)

People of our generation were still in Viet Nam, so everyone was trying to grab life before it marched off in a uniform never to return. I was a starry-eyed high-school senior and Wendell was a college man I’d met a couple of times before. Needless to say, I swooned.

But what really happened that night is that Wendell told me the future. “I want to be a doctor,” he said. “Not some kind of specialist who goes for a city practice where he can make loads of money. I want to be a family doctor who helps bring babies into the world, sets their broken bones in childhood, helps them grow up, and then delivers their own babies someday.”

I signed on right there over the ham sandwich.

Neither of us have long hair anymore, and we don’t birth any babies in our clinic. But, other than that, we are doing pretty much what Wendell described when he was nineteen. He just left out the part where we steal a kiss in the hallway several times a day…

 

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Doing My Part

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 2nd, 2013mercy2 Comments

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Labor Day is 100 years old. I don’t think we’ve given enough recognition to this fact. Maybe because we have no idea why anyone even celebrates Labor Day. I decided to do a little research and discover what this day means beyond big parades, barbecues, and community festivals.

Guess what! Nothing. This day was deliberately set aside to give workers and their families a break. The original decree called for big parades and festival events that would provide entertainment for workers and their families. That’s it. Labor Day is officially a national Day Off.

Of course, when leaders created this holiday, workers spent their lives mostly in factories from dawn to dusk. Automation didn’t exist. Neither did workmen’s compensation for injuries or safety inspectors from OSHA. Work was hard.

I feel just a bit decadent taking a day off from my desk job.

But, I’m doing it, of course. I want to do my part for national spirit.

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