Archive for November, 2014

Even On the Hard Days

By Kathy NickersonNovember 27th, 2014family, happy endings, mercy6 Comments


This is one of those Thanksgivings when things didn’t go according to Hallmark at our house. Or Norman Rockwell, if you are from that era. We’ve had other years when the holiday season was interrupted by illness, of course. I remember the year my dad had  a terrible case of real influenza. His absence definitely took some merry from our Christmas.

And one year our family ate Christmas dinner at the Shell gas station in a neighboring town because my husband needed to make a house call after church for a friend who was having kidney stones.

The hardest year of all was the Thanksgiving when our micro-preemie granddaughters were born. Ellery Blythe had already gone home to Glory, taking pieces of all our hearts with her. But Claire Felicity was fighting with all her little one-pound, nine-ounce might in the NICU. More than twenty of us gathered at the hospital that day and then ate Thanksgiving dinner at a near-by Cracker Barrel.

All those non-traditional days have some sweet memories attached. And the recurring theme, of course, is the ever-present, all-sufficient grace of God. We believe in His power to heal. (Claire Felicity is proof.) We trust in His mercy to rescue. (We all testify) And we thank Him for His goodness. Even on the hard days.

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How Parker Answered Prayer

By Kathy NickersonNovember 20th, 2014mercy7 Comments

SCAN0009I had approximately thirty minutes Tuesday evening to lock the office, get the mail, give the dog a run plus some food and water, and then dream up something for supper. That would leave ten minutes to inhale the food before my evening appointment. As I made the short drive to the mail box, I prayed one of those, “Dear God, help me handle all this,” prayers.

My husband was still recovering from back surgery, and life felt just a bit stretched for both of us. I decided to dash in at the Solid Rock Cafe and get take-out from the salad bar. My poor husband probably needed something more balanced than peanut butter. Fortunately, I checked my purse for cash before I filled the take-out container.

Back to Plan B. Which would probably be peanut butter.

It was dark and cold by the time I pulled into the garage, so I went straight to the backyard with our dog. Suddenly, we were joined by Parker, the dog from across the street, and he was wearing half of a broken leash.

By the time I got our dog put away and had coaxed Parker across the street with me, our friend, Dave, was just coming out his front door. “Oh, man,” he said, “am I glad to see you! I just discovered Parker was missing, and I was going to be in deep trouble with the ladies of this house if I didn’t find him fast.” He let Parker inside and then said, “Hey, I’ve got a big pot of vegetable soup that’s been cooking all day. I was actually thinking of bringing some over to you guys but I just hadn’t done it. Have you had supper yet?”

You can call all those events coincidence if you believe in that sort of thing. I prefer to think of Parker and Dave as God’s answer to prayer.

And the soup was delicious.

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Let Us Have Cake

By Kathy NickersonNovember 17th, 2014mercy4 Comments

birthday cake

It’s my birthday week. Wahoooo! And, here is a little family secret. I don’t know how old I am. I mean, I could figure it out. I know what year I was born. And I know how to use the calculator app on my iphone.

I have a general idea of my age, of course. I know the decade and even what side of the hill I’m on in that decade. I just keep forgetting the exact numeral. This is not because I’m trying to ignore the creeping up of old age. It is simply because I don’t care very much.

Years ago, I heard a pastor who was turning forty talk about how he had been obsessing about the milestone. He turned to writer and church leader Arthur Wallis and asked if he had felt stressed when he was turning forty. Basically, Arthur said, “No, I was too busy watching for revival to break out.”

I’ve tried to adopt that attitude. Not that age doesn’t matter. I plan to have a bash of some sort when I cross the next decade. But I want to be preoccupied with things more important than the number of candles on my cake.

I do, however, plan to have some cake! Please feel free to join me.

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

By Kathy NickersonNovember 9th, 2014mercy2 Comments


I think I hear Maureen McGovern singing. If you didn’t live through the seventies, just Google that and watch her croon, “There’s Got to be a Morning After, if we can hold on through the night.”

Poor grammar aside, the song spoke to us. It was both a sound track for the original Poseiden Adventure and the anthem for our lives during the tumultuous era of Viet Nam, Civil Rights, and three assassinations in a row. Sometimes, we really did feel like the years from 1968 to the mid-seventies were one long night of trouble. But, we knew there would be a morning after. At, least we hoped so.

The last two weeks have been a little retro for me. No assassinations, thank the Good Lord. But in our personal lives we’ve felt like two people trapped in the bottom of a sinking ship. Every time we think we’ve found an escape hatch, another seam bursts. (Hiccups, for goodness sake! 24 hours of Hiccups!)

It is all just earth-stuff and will right itself with some time and healing from surgical scars and complications that followed. I’m perfectly healthy and am simply nursing the invalid. But you know how that goes. Sometimes the “in sickness and health” part is also the “two have become one” part.

Our nation is in a similar state, I think. The mid-term elections are over (hallelujah) just in time for the presidential race to gear up. (heavy sigh) It would be easy to get discouraged about the state of our affairs in a national way.

But this morning, my ailing hubby helped me put fresh sheets on the bed we had fought all night. Between hiccups, he quoted lines from one of our favorite comediennes. And I could hear Maureen McGovern singing in my head.

I’m not sure how many dark nights our nation or our house on Mercy Street will still have to endure. But I am thoroughly, completely, unashamedly convinced there will be a Morning After.

And, it will be glorious.


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