Archive for February, 2016

Happy Extra Day

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 29th, 2016happy endings, mercy, The BibleNo Comments

Balloons_www.kathynick.com

I have been guilty of asking for extra hours in a day sometimes. We do have precedence for that. God stop the sun once. But, of course, that had something to do with a battle, and the enemies of God, and a hero who had bigger issues than a crowded to-do list.

But today, we actually have extra hours in our year. Leap Year does have something to do with the sun. And, it’s a math word problem. But you have to Google it, because we are not discussing math on our precious extra day!

I wish I had planned a party. Or scheduled a day-trip. Or at least purchased some flowers in honor of the day. I mean, extra hours, people!

Instead, I intend to pay attention to every hour today and be grateful. For the people who share my space. For the work I’ve been allowed to do. For the home I get to come back to later, and the man I get to snuggle on my sofa. And maybe, today will help me remember to be grateful for these things every day of the year. Not just the extra ones.

Happy Extra Day, Dear Reader.

P.S. – a bit of fun for Leap Day: We are giving away a couple of free copies of The Secret of Serendipity over on Goodreads. Check it out here.

 

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Waking up is Hard to Do

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 22nd, 2016happy endings, mercy, The Bible3 Comments
Another generation hears from Narnia.

Another generation hears from Narnia.

 

When something hard is happening in life (and, really, something usually is) I find that moment between sleeping and waking to be the hardest one of all. I know Tinker Bell told Peter Pan in the movie Hook that it was a dreamy place, and he could always find her there, but you can’t trust fairies. Especially when they might be home-wreckers.

For me, that transition is almost painful some mornings. Not just the warm-bed-to-chilly-shower transition. It is the oblivion of sleep to the reality of daytime. The problems of the world have not gone away. The grief or the trauma or the illness or the dread was not just a bad dream. It is the truth that will walk with me all day long today. Again.

I. Must. Face. It.

Fortunately, I have ways to cope. Usually, I find the strength shortly after breakfast when I’ve had my prayer and Bible time, my exercise, my shower, and a bit of conversation with my wise and wonderful husband. But sometimes the turn is rather slow in coming. The other morning when I was suffering, he looked up from the news site on his iPad and said, “All right! They are making a movie of The Silver Chair!”

You may not understand how this suddenly righted the world for me. But that would be because you have not sat through untold hours of bedtime rituals while he read Narnia stories to our children. Therefore, you wouldn’t know that Puddleglum the Marshwiggle is one of our favorite C.S. Lewis characters. And you couldn’t possibly know that Puddleglum’s philosophy has carried us through many a dark day and scary night. In one voice, we quoted to each other:

“Life isn’t all fricassed frogs and eel pie, you know”

And there you have it, Dear Reader. A philosophy that will get you through the day. But maybe only if you get to know Puddleglum, of course, and understand that his love for Aslan is a love for Jesus. And that his determination to remain loyal to the Lion even if the Lion doesn’t exist is beautiful. And it probably works best if you already understand that “in this world we will have trouble, but fear not, because He has overcome the world.” (my paraphrase, of course.)

I knew my husband wasn’t all that excited about a movie that probably wouldn’t live up to the book anyway. The news had simply reminded him of a truth. And without having to go into a long conversation, he reminded me that God had been faithful to us for more than forty years of better and worse. He certainly wasn’t going to stop now.

And that woke me up.

 

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We Were Young Once

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 11th, 2016happy endings, Marriage, mercy1 Comment

Wewereyoun

 

On our first Valentine’s Day together, my future-husband, Wendell, and I were eighteen and nineteen years old. We had been dating five months. And, we had been engaged since November. Thus, the foolish part.

I blame Viet Nam. I tell people often that in those days we were all trying to grab life before it marched off in a green uniform and possibly never came home again. If you’ve seen Hunger Games, you know how we felt the day they drew draft numbers by lottery. At my high school, the results played over the loudspeaker in the cafeteria, and news spread through hallways as the numbers were drawn one birthdate at a time.

Wendell’s number was 54. Out of 365.

But, actually, I didn’t even know him then. We didn’t meet until a year later. The draft had ended just a few months before he could have been called up. He would never have gone. So, even though I would like to blame Viet Nam or the whole crazy 1960’s. We really were just foolish.

Fortunately, God looked after us. In the forty-plus years since then, we’ve stumbled into love over and over again. It’s a choice we’ve made every day. It is also an emotion and passion we’ve experienced. Because love requires both things. Some days or weeks the choice has to carry us because the emotion is impossible to find.

This Valentine’s season, we were privileged to speak to couples in our local church at a marriage renewal evening. We hope we’ve learned a few things along the way, so we gave them our Top Ten Tips for a good marriage. One of those is a quote we recently picked up from an old rerun on PBS. We think it is a great key to letting go of those foolish days that could haunt us from the past. Even if they only happened yesterday. Here we are, having a blast:

Yesterday is another country: The borders are closed.

Happy Valentine’s Day from us!

 

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Going for the Gold

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 3rd, 2016happy endings, Marriage5 Comments

Gallery display - vintage gold frames on an old timber wall and red sofa

I read recently about a famous neurologist who became fascinated by the periodic table at a young age. He started correlating his birthdays with it. At the age of eleven he could say he was sodium, and at 79 he became gold.

I love that. I’ve always believed we could find the positive aspects in aging if we look for them. Heaven knows the negative points are obvious.

I enjoyed growing up with a rich cast of real-life characters around me. Grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, church folks, and quirky neighbors. I gleaned so much from them and loved having them in my life. I think that’s why I always include older characters in my stories.

This weekend, my husband will celebrate another birthday. Our actual ages on the calendar kind of astonish me, to be honest. Because, sometimes I still think of him as the heart-throb college guy who made me swoon in high school. But, I love the handsome grandfather a zillion times more than I loved the guy in platform shoes and bell bottoms.

We have a ways to go before we reach 79. And I have no idea which elements stand between here and there on the periodic table. I’m sure some of them will be fairly unpleasant. But, I’m confident in this: Every year, we are getting a little better together at this thing called life. And we are definitely going for the gold.

Happy birthday, Love.

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