Archive for December, 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little

By Kathy NickersonDecember 22nd, 2015Friendship, writing4 Comments

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Hello, Dear Reader.

You may think I hover over my desk every week dreaming up ways to lure you to my website so I can sell you more stuff. Like, you know, books. Here is the more realistic scenario:

I sit in my rocking chair in the corner of our living room before dawn and think, “What would help (insert your name) today?”

It’s true I may not think of each of you by name. But you’d be surprised how many of your faces actually go through my mind as I write. I think about your lives, the struggles I know and the ones I only suspect because we all share the human experience.

And, I pray. That somehow these simple words will reach into your world and make some slight difference. That the act of writing for me and reading for you will help all of us figure things out a bit more and gain the strength we need for the day.

That’s pretty much it. The why of what I do. It’s to help the both of us.  And, if I sell a few books to support my art along the way, that’s a lovely perk.

So, today, I wish you a Merry Little Christmas. And I do pray, fervently, that it won’t take a whole year for your troubles to be far away. (Even thought it’s a beautiful song in one of my favorite movies. )

Blessings.

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A Cure for Grinchiness

By Kathy NickersonDecember 15th, 2015happy endings7 Comments

Childrens Christmas

“Four events in one week is too much. This is killing my Christmas spirit.”

Those Grinchy words actually escaped from my mouth last night as I shoved a bowl of soup at my husband and grabbed my keys to dash out the door. I’d been home from work approximately eleven minutes, and I left both wrapping paper and dirty dishes cluttering the kitchen.

I slipped into a seat beside my friend, Anna, just seconds before the elementary school program started. But we had enough time to share a sigh and compare the busyness of our days.

Then … the magic happened.

The K4 class rang those jingle bells and every mother’s child stood up to sing their little hearts out. In our particular community, a few of those children are experiencing their first Christmas in a home that is no longer broken, with a parent or parents who are no longer lost in a world of drugs or prison or both.

And I’m complaining about a long day?

Some of the other children are second generation church kids. We watched their parents perform in these same shows from the time they were in K4. Standing on stage in their swirly skirts and sweater vests, ringing their bells and giggling with their friends, it is impossible to tell the churched-for-life kids from the we-just-got-here-kids. Because everyone is having fun.

In that glorious hour, I could not think of another place I’d rather be. Four events this week? Bring it on. Let’s do five or six. Christmas is a busy season? Well, of course it is. Busy with the most wonderful experiences of the whole year and full of people who make it that way.

I think my heart may have grown three sizes tonight. And I hope it stays that way all year.

 

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Going Toward the Light

By Kathy NickersonDecember 7th, 2015happy endings, The Bible1 Comment

www.kathynick.comChristmasforest

 

Light is one of the things I love about the Christmas season. Twinkling lights against dark skies. Shiny baubles on tabletops. Sparkly sweaters and sequined scarves. I love it all.

So, I’m intrigued by the whole account of the wise men who followed the star. I’m fascinated for many reasons, of course. One of the things I’ve wondered about is this: How did they know? I’ve read the theories that the wise men were astronomers or scientists of some kind. But even so. How did they know about the prophecies and the Messiah and the 400 years of waiting for Him to appear? How did they know about Bethlehem?

A few weeks ago, I read a fascinating theory about all that. Maybe Daniel told them. As in, Daniel of the lions’ den. In case you don’t remember the history, here is a paraphrase: Daniel and his peers were taken captive when they were young men and hauled off to a foreign country called Babylon. It was a pagan nation, where everyone and everything went against their faith.

Daniel decided to stay faithful to God and yet become an honorable servant to the king who had captured him. The prophet Jeremiah helped that cause by writing a letter saying, “Look guys, you are going to be there a while, so settle down, build houses, find wives, get a life.”

Daniel listened. As a result, he became a prominent man in the nation, an advisor to the king. (Pagan kings were touchy. Thus, the lions’ den when Daniel was an old man. But, that’s another story.)

With that background, it is easy to see Daniel sitting around the table with a group of Persian leaders, telling them about the prophetic writings. I can imagine him talking about Bethlehem, where King David once lived and where the Messiah would eventually be born.

Maybe, centuries later, threads of that conversation still showed up in Persian literature and led a group of wise men to a manger in Bethlehem.

I’m not sure the theory is true, but I love the possibility. Because it reminds me how God can take a horrible situation like captivity and use it to bring a whole new people group into the Kingdom of God.

It also gives me hope for the hard times in my own life. Maybe, someday, one of the trials I’m enduring now will become a shining star for someone else. Maybe it will rise up in their darkness and lead them all the way out of Babylon, across the Judean hills, and to a tiny, hopeful, promising revelation of Jesus Christ Messiah.

That’s my prayer.

 

 

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