Archive for January, 2015

Not the Boss of Me

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 29th, 2015happy endings, mercyNo Comments

Today, I’m telling depression who is boss over at Gateway of Hope. You might be surprised to learn that the Queen of Optimism was unable to crawl out of bed in the mornings at one stage of her life.

Come on over and hear the rest of the story:

http://www.gwhope.org/blog/depression-boss/

 

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Another Thing About Dreams

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 24th, 2015happy endings, Marriage, work, writing2 Comments

Disney castle

When dreams start coming true, life can get scary. You know, Cinderella dreamed all her life about dancing with the handsome prince at the ball. But when the pumpkin coach pulled up at the steps, she must have trembled in her glass slippers for just a moment.

Every year for the past twelve, we’ve been thinking that we might get a new clinic building. We’ve dreamed every inch of that place multiple times. And now, we are walking through the rooms. Paint is on most of the walls. Tile covers the exam room floors. The shape of the future is becoming very clear.

And, it is awesome in the literal sense of the word. We are in awe of the huge responsibility that comes with managing this dream. Of filling the rooms with equipment, furniture, and people who have lives, families, and needs. Not to mention eternal souls!

The dream is about to involve tremendous amounts of time, effort, and energy. And, we can’t wait! We tremble like Cinderella in her coach, but we also know destiny waits just beyond the double doors. (I’m sure my husband will appreciate being compared to a fairy tale. That’s what happens when you marry a writer.)

Which brings me to the other dream. The one where I sign a contract for a second novel with CrossRiver Media. Oh, yeah. That one is happening, too. Stay tuned, Dear Reader. Because both dreams are going to whirl us around the dance floor. You’re invited to come along.

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Why Dreaming Isn’t Enough

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 19th, 2015mercy4 Comments

Castle in the sky

I’m glad Martin Luther King had a dream. And, I’m glad he didn’t leave it there. Because lots of people are dreamers. We dream about the books we will write, the companies we will build, the trips we will take.

But we never do those things.

Details much smaller than water cannons, police dogs, and riot gear get in our way. Tuesdays. Tuesdays can completely undo our plans to write the Great American Novel. On Monday we can be fired up, write titles for ten chapters, and even figure out how many words we need to write per day. On Tuesday, the car breaks down on the way to work, and the school calls to say one child’s lunch account is overdrawn and the other child just threw up in the hallway. Tuesday wins.

Our pastor loves to tell the story of building the school in this intentional community where we live. Nothing was here then except a few houses and a cafe in the middle of the cornfield. But he had a dream for a church, a school, a business district, and a whole town where people could escape their troubles and get a fresh start in life.

On his way to the building site that day, though, all the forces of evil seemed to come against the plan. Every accusation you can imagine came to his mind, and the entire plan seemed like a crazy way to throw away a few million dollars. He was sorely tempted to give the whole thing up.

When Pastor Charlie pulled into the empty lot, the construction crew sat waiting with all their heavy equipment. “Well,” the foreman said, “What do you want to do?”

Pastor Charlie didn’t hesitate. “Dig,” he said.

And that is the secret, Dear Reader. It is wonderful to dream. Keep doing it every day of your life. Just remember, that eventually, you also have to dig.

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Some Things Just Don’t Matter

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 15th, 2015mercy6 Comments

Misty Bridge

Yesterday, we spent a couple of hours with people from several streams of relationship in our lives. The occasion was a memorial service, which was very sad on this side of eternity. But the reunion with all those folks was wonderful.

The interesting thing is that we have all walked through some pretty emotional issues with one another in the last dozen years. Unfortunately, life in the church-world can get messy, since it is populated by humans. And we were a group of messy people.

The issues are not all resolved. The differences are still real and possibly growing. But some of us have decided we don’t care. One of my friends and I decided several years ago that we were going to keep loving one another no matter what. Even if our choices, our decisions, and our lifestyles seemed to go in completely opposite directions – We. Will. Love.

That was in the room yesterday. When faced with death and eternity, some things just don’t matter any more.

Of course, some things do matter. I can love someone whose life is being destroyed by bad decisions. But I don’t have to pretend I think it’s a fine idea. I hope some of those conversations come out of yesterday’s reunion. Because that is love, too.

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Facing Monday

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 12th, 2015mercy5 Comments

shopping cart in snow

It’s Monday again, and I’m going to have to wrestle this one to the ground. We have head colds at our house. Nasty little things that make us just sick enough to be uncomfortable but not sick enough to stay home. A definite failing in our culture, if you ask me.

And, we have weather. A little ice. A little snow. Again, not enough to make us need to tie a rope from the house to the barn. Just enough to make falling on the sidewalk a real possibility. Something I think about more often now that I’m a woman of a certain age.

And, of course, we have troubles. Nothing immediately close to home. Not in or own living room. But much closer than Paris, France, which is sad enough in it’s own right.

So, as I sit here in the cold dark-before-daylight of Monday, how shall I stir my soul to take it on? Platitudes won’t do it. Self-talk is failing. I can’t visualize myself out of this one and into a better future.

The one thing I can rely upon is Truth. So, I take all my depressing thoughts, all my fears , and all my aching, stuffy head back to what I know to be true. For today, I settle on this:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright… Psalm 112:4

It may not dawn immediately today, but eventually, it will shine again. I know that from Truth and from experience. I’ll count on that today, and I’ll grab this Monday and give it my best shot. It will probably turn out to be a wonderful day. Things often happen that way, you know.

Pass the tissues, please.

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One Tip That Could Change Your Year

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 5th, 2015Marriage, MoneyNo Comments

This one actually changed my life, but I didn’t want to sound too grandiose in the title.

light bulb

Last week, I signed up for two, short, make-over courses. They were both free. (Although they led up to an advertisement for the paid version, of course.) One was from Jon Acuff and one was from Michael Hyatt. I just had a yearning to jump start 2015 with some clear goals, some better strategy, some “you-can-be-a-better-you” cheerleading. And, it worked.

But, while I was redefining my life, I thought about the one thing we changed a few years ago that really was revolutionary. It clarified goals. It eased stress. It opened up communication. It brought peace. It renewed intimacy.

And here it is, just for you, Dear Reader: Drum roll…

Use cash.

That’s it. We gave up writing checks or using debit cards for daily purchases. We still use our checking account for things like car insurance, but everything else comes out of our stash of the green stuff.

We started out using the envelope system made famous by Dave Ramsey. Eventually, though, we pretty much knew what we were spending. These days, we just divide up a set amount of cash from every pay check and each cover the things we are responsible for. (I buy groceries. He covers dog food.)

When the cash is gone. Guess what we do? Stop spending!

I’m telling you, this system has revolutionized our lives. We have completely different spending habits. One of us is a miser. The other one, not so much. I didn’t know how much stress that caused between us until it was gone. Now, the budget actually works. We are both secure in our little financial worlds. And there aren’t any bank statements lying between us in bed. (figuratively speaking).

You should try it this year. It might change your life, too.

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The Annual Report

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 1st, 2015mercy3 Comments

Most companies give an annual report to their stockholders indicating how the company did in the previous year. Since you, Dear Reader, are the stockholder of my writing career, I thought I’d do the same. I apologize in advance for the fact that your dividends will not be coming in cash.

 

neon sign copy MGD©

96 Newspaper columns (Apologies to my friend, Gene. I skipped a few.)

87 Blog Posts (It seemed like more, didn’t it?)

52 Columns for the church bulletin.

12 Newsletters

1  Hope-to-be-Published Novel

1 Very bad Christmas poem

Too many Tweets to count

More Facebook posts than anyone had time to read

And about a zillion words I threw away because none of them were the good ones.

If you stay with me through 2015, I promise that projections look much brighter for our future.

Thanks for your support.

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