Archive for March, 2016

A Perfector of My Faith

By Kathy NickersonMarch 26th, 2016happy endings, mercy, Parenting2 Comments
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Felicity is pictured here with her youngest daughter, Macy, and the first flowers of spring.

 

I was nineteen years old when our first baby was born. It was the Thursday before Easter, and this weekend is the anniversary of that marvelous event. (Happy Birthday, Felicity.)

As you can imagine, I was about as mature as most teenagers at that stage. Much more interested in getting my own way than in looking out for someone else. My desire to be a mother had more to do with baby cuddles than with helping to form another human being who would impact the world for good. (Fortunately, she is doing that anyway.)

Three weeks before my due date, I decided I was done. I’d been in some kind of light labor for a while, and I was tired. Plus, I’d been depressed to the point of despair most of the pregnancy. We didn’t have ultrasounds in those days, so we couldn’t even be sure the baby was ready. But, the doctor finally agreed that my body seemed to be calling the shots.

So many crazy-pants issues in that decision! Why didn’t somebody slap me and tell me to toughen up? Why didn’t my doctor warn me the baby’s lungs might not be ready or that the last month in the womb was vital for growth?

Why didn’t someone tell me to stop being selfish?

Because I wouldn’t have listened, of course. When we are so focused on our own lives, our own comfort, our own desires we are just one more person in the crowd shouting “Crucify Him.” We can’t hear anything else.

So, sweet Felicity was born on that Easter weekend. And, she almost died. For two weeks, she lost weight, didn’t have the strength to eat, and survived thanks to an IV attached to her tiny, blond head. And, it was my fault.

 

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You can say all kinds of nice words to me about how some things just happen. But I know the truth. I own this one. I could have prevented her suffering, and I didn’t. #Motherhoodfail on Day One.

But, that is also the beauty of Easter morning. We all stand before the cross condemned. Yet, we can be forgiven. In His mercy, the Father of Lights intervened and slowly returned Felicity to life. (I credit the prayers of her grandparents and a faithful nurse named Fern.)

And slowly, I began to learn what it means to pick up my own cross and follow Him. To put other’s needs before my own. Motherhood is such a great perfector of our faith. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m closer every day. And among the rewards for that very tiny, not-even-worth-mentioning, barely-a-memory-now effort is this beautiful woman who grew up to be one of my very best friends.

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Happy Birthday, Felicity. Happy Easter, Everyone.

 

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In Praise of Easter Bonnets

By Kathy NickersonMarch 22nd, 2016happy endings, The Bible1 Comment

Pink-Hats

 

I realize picking out Easter clothes is a first world privilege. I know the socially conscious among us would prefer we all be under a bridge on Easter morning feeding the poor instead of parading around the church building in our finery. And the devout among us wonder what a new hat has to do with the sacrifice of Jesus on a bloody cross.

I get all that.

But, I promise you, I am following Jesus in His passion all this week. I am with him in the Temple as He preaches His last message. I’m sitting at the edge of the crowd while the priests and scribes examine him the same way they inspect the sacrificial lambs.

On Maundy Thursday, I will replay in my soul His last conversations with His friends. On the Friday that was only good for us, I will sit during a Night of Remembrance at our church and think of Him washing feet before He washed away sins.

Saturday, I’ll feel the awful grief of the world without Him while the soldiers guard His grave.

But, Sunday.

On Sunday, I will feel the whole earth tremble. The sun will rise with new glory, and the world will explode with the promise of rebirth. The power that raised Jesus from the dead will reverberate through time to touch every life that yields to Him from that moment and forevermore. I am dancing at my desk just thinking about it!

And that, Dear Reader, is why I shall wear a new dress on Easter. Not to be a show-off. Not to put more emphasis on the eggs and the bunny and the pastels than on the Savior. But because Easter is all about new beginnings. Rebirth. The promise of Eternal spring in the life of the believer. And I’m going to celebrate that with new clothes.

I think the God who told Moses what color thread to use when He designed the panels for the tabernacle will be perfectly fine with that.

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Somebody Has to Make Breakfast

By Kathy NickersonMarch 14th, 2016Marriage, mercy, writing2 Comments

breakfast

 

It is Book Release Week at our house. In my make-believe-world, that means I float about town in gracious author-mode doing only book-related things all day. In reality, I still have to do the laundry.

I sat down with my long-suffering husband a few days ago and drew his attention to the coming change in my schedule. “I’m about to publish another book,” I said. He nodded. “That means I might be distracted for several weeks and not that available for things like cooking supper and cleaning the house and stuff.” He nodded again.

That’s when I realized I wasn’t describing anything new. I’m like that when I write books, too. Or when I think about writing books. Or when I procrastinate about writing books. Or when I finish writing books. In other words, my husband knew Book Launch Week wouldn’t be any different than our normal life.

And, I made a decision that it would be, because I remembered Margaret Thatcher. Years ago, I read a story about the prime minister attending an important meeting with several people. I’m paraphrasing now:

Suddenly, Mrs. Thatcher stood up. “I”m sorry,” she said, “but look at the time. I must get to the market and buy some rashers for my husband’s breakfast.” And she left.

I remember being proud that I knew rashers were bacon, thanks to Father Mike and his Irish housekeeper. And, I remember vowing that my husband’s breakfast would always take priority over world peace or anything else in my life. Metaphorically speaking. I wanted to remember forever that no matter how important other things felt, the people closest to me would always be what really mattered most.

My point isn’t that women should stay home and cook breakfast. My husband makes a better omelet than I do, anyway. But I never want the stuff I do to become more important than the people I love.

I’m not sure what the equivalent of Book Launch Week is for you today, Dear Reader, but please don’t let it crowd out the people who share your table. While you are doing all the Big Important Stuff in life, please remember to buy the rashers.

 

 

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