Archive for November, 2016

Macy Gets It

By Kathy NickersonNovember 14th, 2016mercyNo Comments

macy_www-kathynick-com

I cleaned out a drawer last week and found a sweet Thanksgiving drawing from Granddaugher Macy when she was first learning the art of story. (I love this girl. Can’t you tell from this picture that she rocks life?)

On the story I found, she had written,

“Dear Granpa and Granma, Thank you for raising my mother. She is just like you. Love, Macy.”

Such a beautiful sentiment. But, it isn’t true, thank the Lord. Felicity isn’t just like me. Neither are Serenity or Charity. And Joe isn’t exactly like their father. Oh, we share a lot of similarities.  We speak in Princess Bride, cry at Hallmark commercials, and know how to breathe through the fear. But we are wildly different.

After the recent election, I sent a text to one of our teenage granddaughters to tell her I knew she might be feeling sad and unsettled. And, I was sorry about that. We hadn’t exactly discussed politics (because we treasure our relationship too much) but I knew we would have filled out different circles on the paper ballot if we’d voted in adjacent booths in our little county. And I wanted to validate her feelings. I wanted to connect and care.

That is how we try to handle all the differences in our family. Among the clan of cousins, we have families who do home school and big church, but others do public school and home church. One is a starting quarterback. Another is in the marching band. One wasn’t allowed to watch Jurassic Park until she turned eight. Another quotes hip hop lyrics. Some of them are Huskers. (Serious. Huskers.) Others are wise enough to cheer for Mizzou.

We have been amazed and delighted to watch our children grow up and divide off into their own units. They are building beautiful nests, but they do not look like ours. They don’t even look exactly like one another’s.

And that has helped me adopt the attitude that I have carried through this election season. I am taking it into the upcoming holidays. And I hope to make it a way of life. I might get it tatooed on my forehead. You are welcome to borrow it if I didn’t offend you with that last statement, Dear Reader. Here it is:

“I am determined to care more about the people around the table than about the opinion I brought into the room.”

Actually, I suppose Macy does have things figured out after all. Her mother and the siblings are just like us in the most basic, fundamental way that matters most of all. It’s in the love.

Thanks, Macy. You are just like your mom.

felicwww-gmail-cm1

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Thankful in Advance

By Kathy NickersonNovember 11th, 2016mercyNo Comments
by Becky West

by Becky West

When a neurosurgeon told artist Becky West her right hand was in critical condition from carpal tunnel syndrome, she did the obvious thing. She created this drawing to thank him in advance for saving her hands. (The left one is scheduled for surgery next.)

Becky is the artist who painted the gorgeous cover for my novel, Rose Hill Cottage. Her drawings and paintings amaze me, and I can’t imagine the physical pain nor the emotions she has endured. But, I can understand a little about her faith. She describes what the surgeon told her about the recent surgery:

“When he cut the tendons and saw the nerve he said it was compressed flat like a ribbon instead of being round, but when he cut and made room for the nerve it immediately began to heal! It became round and he even saw new capillaries beginning to form! Isn’t God good? Surgeons can use use their skill and do amazing things but it only takes God seconds to start the healing process and make new capillaries!”

One of the most amazing things about miracles, though, is when people cooperate with them and turn them into something even grander. I told Becky how much I loved her “Hands” picture and asked if I could share it with my readers. She is a generous soul and immediately gave me permission. Then, as Paul Harvey used to say, she told me the rest of the story.

“Most of my drawings are done by using multiple layers of flat tones that are gradually blended together. I decided to try to fill in some backround areas of a drawing with my left hand the day after my surgery. I was amazed that by the end of the 1st day I actually had a lot of control and I could do some detail. Then I decided to tackle a left-handed drawing, so I did most of the “pianist hand” drawing with my left hand. By the end of the week my right hand was feeling better, and I could do some of the detail (like my signature) with my right hand.”

Here is the pianist hand Becky did with her left hand. The one she doesn’t use to draw with on a normal basis.

pianst-hands

I know! If it makes you feel any better artistically-challenged-Reader-friends, Becky admits she could not brush her hair or her teeth with her left hand after surgery. I was glad to hear she is human.

So, here’s to art and all its healing powers, and to surgeons who know which nerves to cut and which ones to leave. And here’s to the Creator of the Universe who can create new capillaries in seconds. May He do so in all the places where you feel the lifeblood being sucked out of you today!

(Note: if you are interested in purchasing or comissioning art from Becky, I’ll put you in touch.)

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Some Things I’m Not Thankful For

By Kathy NickersonNovember 6th, 2016mercyNo Comments

 

(Selected grandchildren are displaying my attitude about some issues in life here.)

(Selected grandchildren are displaying the attitude I sometimes have about life issues.)

Warning: this post may contain heresy. We already know it breaks the grammar rules with a dangling preposition.

When Corrie Ten Boom and her sister were living in a concentration camp, they learned to be thankful for the fleas that assaulted them day and night. The fleas kept the guards away and allowed the ladies to lead a Bible study on their bunks.

Such a beautiful illustration of “giving thanks for all things.” But, I simply cannot apply it to root canals. Or tornados. Or cancer. Or divorce.

I’m grateful for dentists with the skill to fix bad teeth. But I am not grateful for teeth that wear out when I’m not even halfway done with them and cost me $2000.00 in repairs. Not even.

I’m grateful for lessons learned through cancer. Grateful for victories won, prayers prayed, and people who loved beyond measure. But cancer is a six-letter word with a four-letter attitude and I will never, ever feel grateful for it.

I’m grateful for the heros who help after a disaster, and I’m grateful for the miracles God does for broken hearts. But, I’ll be a lot more grateful for that day when storms and striving cease. When God really does make all things new and nobody gets broken anymore.

So , while I struggle with these issues, I comfort myself by reading the King James version of this verse:

“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” First Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV.

“In” everything give thanks. Not “for” everything give thanks. Yes, I know, some versions say “for.” I’m sticking with King James to make my point. I’m not a Bible Scholar, but I know enough to understand the original language might not help us out here. Paul’s sentence structure didn’t use prepositions the same way we do. So, it is hard to know which way he and the Holy Spirit actually meant these words.

Except we do know this: God meant us to be thankful. If not for the storm, if not for the disease, certainly for the One who could hold us and help us and heal us.  Or receive us if we aren’t healed. Thankful for the journey when it leads us to Him. Thankful for the helpers along the way. Thankful for the solace of the Holy Spirit. Thankful for the promise of resurrection when the struggle is even unto death.

Thankful: In. For. Above. Beyond.

Just, thankful.

And, really, I am.

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