Archive for February, 2018

A Life Hack from Billy Graham

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 26th, 2018mercyNo Comments

 

Even in his death, Billy Graham has elevated the national conversation. It was refreshing to turn on the news last week and hear stories of love and sacrifice instead of political shouting. I felt as if Mr. Graham had given us one, final blessing. Then, I realized he will continue to bless us for generations.

I am one of countless people who have been influenced by the writings of both Billy and Ruth Graham. And, last week, I read something that will probably change my life again. In this interview, Mr. Graham mentioned that he liked to keep an open Bible lying around. At home, at work, in a hotel room. That way, when he passed by, he might pause and read a bit.

The idea captured me. My life is chopped up with running two businesses, writing books, keeping house, loving people, running errands, serving in our church and community. You know, all the normal stuff.

What if I kept an open Bible lying around so I could stop and read for a moment in any of those places? 

Already, this practice has revived me. The Bible pictured here is right beside our refrigerator. Do you know how many times a day I pause at the refrigerator? Now, every time, I also read a phrase from the Psalms. And those words stay in my mind and my soul. I also keep my Bible open on the desk at work. And I’m looking around for other places to plant one.

Of course, I’m almost ashamed of the fact that we have so many Bibles when Christians around the world are starving for them. But, I’m going to focus right now on putting the ones we have to good use. Just the sight of one calms me. Settles me. Gives me hope in this turbulent world.

Want to join me in this adventure? If so, let me know how it’s going. Where did you put your open Bible?

Read More

One Simple Tip for a Happy Marriage

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 17th, 2018mercy1 Comment

A few months ago, my husband made a comment at breakfast, and I immediately felt hurt. Belittled. Misunderstood. I pouted for a good while, if you must know. I also wondered how on earth he could say such a thing. The comment festered, and I started adding up other remarks he had made here and there. I soon had a good case for why I thought my husband didn’t like me anymore. He was stuck with me, but he wasn’t happy about it.

Eventually, of course, these thoughts came out of my mouth.

My ever-patient husband, Wendell, turned to me with a bewildered gaze. “What are you talking about?”

“That thing you just said,” I told him. “It hurt my feelings.”

“What thing I just said?”

We then spent fifteen minutes hashing out the he-said-she-saids of our one-sided argument. Eventually, he convinced me I had misinterpreted his meaning. (I would tell you what he said, but, of course, I can’t even remember the subject, let alone the comment.) When we finally reached safe ground, Wendell gave me this profound moment:

“Why would we not believe the best about each other?” he said. “We try to always believe the best about other people, why not one another?”

He had me.

I’m not sure why it took me all these years to apply the concept to our marriage. Once I did, all kinds of things got better.

Now, if he is quiet during the evening, I don’t assume he is mad at me over something. I assume he is pondering deep truths. Or, that it really is a fact men can sit and think about nothing. (Hard to imagine, but they all claim it is true.)

If I ask a question, and he answers in a less-than-enthusiastic voice, I don’t assume my question was stupid. I assume the poor guy has a cold. Or just woke up. Or has lost his voice from answering other people’s questions all day long.

If I ask what he wants for supper, and he says, “Anything is fine,” I don’t assume he wants to put all the weight of our nutrition and survival on my shoulders. I assume he Does Not Care what we eat for supper, and he will be happy to open a can of cold beans. (Seriously. I’ve seen him do this.)

So, Dear Reader, I dare you to try this tip. Believe the best about your spouse in every possible situation. (Don’t be an idiot and overlook things like lipstick on his collar or Vicodin without a prescription. Those things are another story.) I’m talking about the little everyday irritations where we build a case against one another instead of joining hands and standing on the same side.

Let’s all start believing the best and see what happens. We might change the world.

Read More

How to Fall in Love and Stay that Way

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 4th, 2018mercyNo Comments

 

Falling in love sounds like something we do totally by accident. Something we have no control over. That is the romantic view, of course. But, if you have ever seen the “Do You Love Me?” scene from Fiddler on the Roof, you know that staying in love is a whole other thing.

Of course, if you would prefer to know he loves you more frequently than every twenty-five years, I have a few suggestions.

  1. Say so. Before you leave the house in the mornings and again when you get home at night. Look straight into your spouse’s face and Say. The. Words.
  2. Remember why you fell in love. If kids and bills and jobs and life have distracted your romance, take a few minutes to remember when you first met. Appreciate the traits you loved in the beginning. Be grateful for how they have matured. (If you can’t accomplish this one, consider counseling. I’m serious.)
  3. Choose. My husband always tells people that he chooses me again every day. (I hope it isn’t a chore.) He chooses to make me his definition of beauty and the love of his life. The emotions follow. Here is a sweet song from Longitude Studios that will help you get into the mood for the choosing.

Read More

How Turning Your Head can Save Your Marriage

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 1st, 2018mercyNo Comments

 

 

 

Here we are in the Month of Love, and over the next three weeks, I plan to share a few of the deepest secrets I’ve learned in almost forty-four years of marriage. A zinger like this, for instance:

Don’t mumble.

My handsome husband and I have become People of a Certain Age. We may not have the stamina and physique of you young lovers, but we get into the movies cheaper. Plus, seasoning brings lots of other advantages we shan’t discuss in this forum.

Hearing, however, is not one of them.

Our conversations are sprinkled these days with one of the most irritating words in the English language.

Huh?

Seriously, a woman could lose her religion if she hears that word one more time while she is fixing breakfast, packing her bag for work, throwing in a load of laundry, and checking the fridge for supper ingredients.

I found myself in just such a tense moment recently. I had asked an important question. (Don’t ask me what it was. I have no idea.) My husband had answered with the usual response. Before I yelled the question back at him a second or third or fifth time, I stopped.

Huh. I thought. He can’t actually hear me. I should pull my head out of the fridge.

And there it was. The miracle of marital bliss. Instead of getting irritated, I simply needed to move my head. Or turn toward him in the car. Or lower the volume on the music. Maybe step away from the crowd. I needed to:

Stop and Focus

And do you know the best part, Dear Reader? Focusing is wonderful fun. The day starts so much better when you talk to the face you love instead of to the leftovers on the second shelf.

Note: This method also works with parents, children, roommates, co-workers, and pets.

Now it is your turn. Tell us what you are doing for relational bliss this month.

 

 

 

 

Read More