Archive for September, 2015

Wooly Worms and Emoticons

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 29th, 2015mercy2 Comments

Key to my heart

(Disclaimer: We do not recommend our grandchildren follow in any of our foolish footsteps and do things like marry as teenagers or decide their futures in a shorter time than it takes to play a World Series.)

My future husband and I decided to get married and grow old together when we were still too young to vote. I started to write that we “fell in love,” but that is such a poor description of what actually happened. I probably leaped into love, because marriage and motherhood were the only goals I had in life.

Wendell stuck his platform heels into the ground and tried to slow me down. Briefly. But, eventually he gave up and came along for the ride. It took about two weeks before we were both decided this would be “till death do us part.”

We remember reaching that conclusion during Wooly Worm Season as we drove down country roads in the fall of ’73. Therefore, wooly worms have always made us feel terribly romantic. We are so famous for it that an old friend sent us a photo of one on her sidewalk this year with a message that said, “thought of you.”

But longtime love does not equal boring love, in case you wonder. Growing older together does not mean growing stale. Since we didn’t fall in love in the first place, we’ve just kept deciding to stay in love every day for a very long time. And, that seems to work.

Let me give you a recent example. One of the things my husband dislikes most in life is an electronic device that refuses to obey him. Which, most of them do. His response is usually to hit the keys harder.

Then he calls me over and asks me why the phone/computer/ipad won’t do what he is asking. I’m no techie, so my response is usually, “I don’t know. I guess it hates you.” He frowns. I shrug. Then, we call one of the kids.

So, imagine my surprise last week when I got a text message from him that said, “The wooly worms are out.” Texting is no big deal. We’ve both conquered that. He was out running errands, and I was at work, and we often text little details to one another. It was a sweet gesture and would have made me grin all by itself.

But, the sentence was followed by an emoticon of a smiley face blowing a kiss! Blowing a kiss, I tell you! How on earth did the man who yells at his iPhone find a smiley face blowing a kiss?

Dear Reader, I giggled like the girl in bell bottoms on our first date. That emoji was better than a dozen roses, and I shall never delete the text.

Score another one for longtime love. May you be so blessed to find it. Or to be it.


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Sometimes I Get Homesick

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 20th, 2015mercy7 Comments



Sometimes, autumn makes me homesick. Which is strange, since it is my favorite season outside of Christmas. All cozy and cuddly and gathering-in. I love the wooly worms and candy pumpkins and gorgeous leaves. I occasionally become somewhat giddy in the middle of the afternoon just thinking about going home to snuggle in front of the fake fire in the evening.

But when the air cools and the first leaves turn, I sometimes catch myself looking up from the kitchen sink expecting to see our teenagers walking in from school. I can almost hear them laughing and chatting as they step onto the big, front porch that runs the width of the house.

The thought shocks me, because we don’t live there anymore. Those teenagers are adults now, with their own children walking home from school and stepping up on porches in other cities.

Even crazier than those thoughts, though, are the moments when afternoon sunshine hits just right, and suddenly I feel like I’m the teenager coming home from school! My mom is driving, and I’m in the front seat, and I simply can’t talk fast enough to tell her everything I want to say about the day.

This is what autumn does to me. It makes me want to get everyone I love together in a room (or, preferably on a porch) and just talk to our hearts’ content. No distance or time or trouble between us.

I think this happens to me because autumn reminds me of the great Gathering-In at the end of the age. All the saints who have ever lived will gather with Jesus for the great wedding feast of the Lamb on that day. Everyone will be there. The Apostle Paul and my Grandpa Adair. The great women of faith from the Bible and sweet Ellery Blythe who only lived nine hours in earth time.

We will all sit down together as the Church Redeemed, and we will talk and sing and celebrate and hug and talk some more. And no one will ever, ever, ever have to leave. We will be together with one another and with God our Father forever. (I expect my grandmother will make the fried chicken.)

And that, Dear Reader, is the real reason I get a little homesick each Autumn. It’s because I’m so looking forward to getting Home.

In the meantime, we snuggle.

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Taking Care of Each Other

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 13th, 2015mercy11 Comments



Have you ever noticed a pair of horses standing head-to-tail in a summer pasture? They will stand that way for hours, each using their long tail to swish flies from the other’s face. It is an elegant duet. And this summer it has often reminded me how dependent we are on one another for such mercies.

Sometimes, I simply cannot swat the buzzing flies from my own face. The little worries. The nagging thoughts. The nasty what-ifs. But someone else can come along with one gentle swipe, and they are gone.

It might be a prayer.

Or a picture on Facebook.

Or an encouraging word.

It might be a snippet of song. Or something silly that brings a laugh, something sweet that brings a tear, or something delicious that brings a sigh.

Any number of things can chase the flies from my face, so to speak.

Lately, my mother has been closing her emails to the extended family group with something of a benediction. After listening to our busy lives and our various struggles, she tells us to be sure and “take care of each other.”

I think she means that same thing. It’s as if she is stopping us in our mad rush of work and ball games and passions and dreams and technology and education and reminding us what’s important in life.

It’s still people, of course. Relationships with people and relationship with God. Those are the only things that last forever.

I’d like to put out a challenge to all of us this week. I think it is easy to find a worthwhile cause or to befriend a struggling coworker. But, this week, let’s take care of the real one-anothers in our lives. Our spouses, our children, our siblings, our parents. Let’s look for ways to make life a little easier for someone we actually share space with every day.

Let’s take care of Each Other.


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Happy Labor Day

By Kathy NickersonSeptember 7th, 2015mercy1 Comment

bootsDeathtoStock_NotStockI am one of those strange people who likes to look for the original meaning in a holiday and do something to mark the occasion in it’s traditional spirit. Sometimes, the roots are far removed from today’s fruit. (The first Memorial Day had nothing to do with barbecues and door-busting-sales.)

But, do you know why we have Labor Day? To celebrate labor. You can look up the history, which is rather bloody to tell you the truth, and highly political. But, in the end, it is still simply a celebration of men and women who work.

In honor of America’s great work force, I’d like to suggest a couple of things for your reading pleasure:

The first is a book. You won’t have time for the whole thing today, but I suggest you check it out from your local library or buy it wherever fine books are sold. You will want time to digest it. I’ve mentioned it before on this blog. God at Work by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

If you’ve ever struggled between your “spiritual calling” and your “earthly vocation”, this book will set you free. The author shows us how the Creator who planted the Garden of Eden means for every job  to be part of the works He created beforehand for us to do. He proves that changing diapers is just as holy as leading crusades in Africa. Maybe more so.

And then, if you missed Ryan Long’s post this week on becoming a Lion Tamer, please take time to read it right now. You will be empowered. I promise you, this essay will prepare you to face the work week like a boss. Even if you are one.

Now, here’s to all the farmers, doctors, nurses, firemen, police officers, retail clerks, waitstaff, housekeepers, mothers, fathers, bus drivers, ticket-takers, entertainers, artists, shopkeepers, and workers in a zillion other places who didn’t get the day off today.

Thanks for keeping the world running for the rest of us.

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