Archive for November, 2018

Open in Case of a Blue Christmas

By Kathy NickersonNovember 26th, 2018mercy2 Comments

Fair warning: I’ll be posting a whole lot of happy in the next twenty-some days. I love Christmas.

However, I’m aware that this is the most dismal time of the year for many folks. I’m not trying to rub happy in your face. Depression is real. It is mean. It behaves as if it is the boss.

It is not.

I also understand that whether you are feeling a bit blue or are clinically depressed, the trappings of Christmas can simply be too much. I’m sorry. I apologize in advance for the decking of the halls and the ringing of the bells. I’m sorry if all the joy in the world simply accentuates your sorrow. I’m truly, truly sorry. 

If your sorrow is from grief, or illness, or poverty, please know we are not making light of those things when we scatter tinsel everywhere. People have real problems in this world, and none of us will escape that.

So, what are we to do, then? The Bible says to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. I suppose the only thing we can do is tell one another. If you are mourning, or depressed, or sick, or poor- tell someone. Maybe your neighbor or the preacher down the street. Maybe a counselor or your doctor. Maybe your mom or your spouse. Keep telling until someone listens long enough to get you help. Of course, the only help may be the passage of time. But, it is good to pass time with people.

And Christmas? With great compassion and deep care for your pain, I’m going to celebrate. All the lights, all the trimmings, all the fal-la-la-la-la I can find. Because the story of Christmas starts in darkness. 

But, the Light always comes.

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Of Turkey, Tables, and Thanking the Universe

By Kathy NickersonNovember 21st, 2018mercy1 Comment

I love women’s magazines. I loved them more back in the day when they included a good short story and some actual articles instead of ten pages of beauty tips. But, I still like looking at the pretty pictures. And, some of my favorites still include a few articles sprinkled between the fashion news and recipes that call for ingredients I’ve never owned.

This month, every magazine is filled with gorgeous Thanksgiving tables and perfect turkeys. Just looking at those photos makes me feel warm and fuzzy. My table will never look that way, and I don’t even aspire to become a master baker. But, I appreciate the craft.

And, there is one other thing … 

Every magazine includes a brief article or photo heading about “Being Thankful.” Even television news programs are talking about gratitude this week. As an eternal optimist, I do appreciate all these thankful vibes going out into the universe.

But, here is the problem. We aren’t thanking the universe. If I attend a great party, I don’t walk back into the empty dining room the next morning and announce, “Thanks for a great night.” No. I send a card or text or email and thank the host and hostess.

Gratitude requires a recipient.

So, let’s be grateful. This week and always. And, when we count our blessings, let’s remember we are thanking the Host who created the universe.

👋

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A Grateful Nation

By Kathy NickersonNovember 10th, 2018mercyNo Comments

My little brother was born on Veteran’s Day a few decades ago.We called it Armistice Day back then, in honor of the signing of the armistice, or truce, that stopped the fighting in World War I. (100 years ago this weekend)

I remember my grandfather being especially excited that Kenny was born on such an auspicious day. I must not have shown the proper enthusiasm, because my grandfather said,

“It might not mean much to others. But I’ll tell you it meant something if you had a brother over there on a ship in the ocean that day.”

Yes, it did. I think those of us who live in a global culture can’t imagine what it meant for those boys to be taken off the farm and marched away to another world. It would have been traumatic and disorienting even without shells, bayonets, and bullets.

My dad in WWII. His quiet nature inspired a bit of the character named Elmer Grigsby in my novel,
Thirty Days to Glory.

My grandfather’s brother came home from the war. And, my father came home from the next one. We are fortunate. Too many wars have scarred our world. Too many sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and brothers have not come home. The Bible tells us it will be that way until Jesus comes back to make all things new.

So, for today, we pause to remember. And, we join millions of other people  around the world who say, 

“On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you for your sacrifice.”

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We’re Still Chasing Dreams

By Kathy NickersonNovember 2nd, 2018mercy1 Comment

The children blame me. They claim that my constant encouragement to “be anything you want to be” caused them to actually believe they could. The girls say they began to doubt me just a smidge when they were in high school. They were watching Olympic synchronized swimming, and I said, “You could do that.”

The magic didn’t completely evaporate, though. We all continued to believe there weren’t many things out of our reach. So, when a national television show came to the Midwest looking for the next Amazingly Famous Singer, we took note. (We evidently signed disclosure forms that keep us from naming the show.)

Felicity, Serenity, Charity

Felicity, Serenity, and I gathered around Charity to cheer her on as she chased the dream. She made it all the way to Round Two, which was one of the most fun experiences we’ve ever had together. At least, I thought so.When she got knocked out on that round, a producer with a cameraman chased her down in the hall and said, “So, what will you do now?”

All around her other contestants were talking about following the tryouts to the next city and giving it their all once again.Charity shrugged and said, “I think I’ll go home and start a family with my husband.”And she did.

Photo cred to Ryan Long – the Papa.

You might think this is a post about giving up on unrealistic dreams. That would not be true. This is a post about chasing dreams AND recognizing the ones we have already achieved. Serenity is still writing novels even though none have been published yet. However, she already has a world-class literary agent in her corner. And, she married Michael Bohon, the boy of her dreams since fifth grade. They have made three amazing young men.

Felicity is writing beautiful poetry that the world has not discovered yet. She’s also working on a novel. In the meantime, She married a handsome musician, and they have given the world four musical kids who are going to blow us all away.

Charity did continue to sing. She is a worship pastor at her local church and has cut a couple of albums. She once did a guest appearance in Latin America and sang before 10,000 people. Yeah. That was fun. This year, she told her growing daughters that despite all those successes, being their mom is still her Best Thing.

Photo cred to the amazing Tricia Harvey

So, here’s to chasing the dreams God puts in our hearts. And, to having lots of fun along the way. Here’s to recognizing the dream we are living right now. And to hugging the people who got us here – every day. 

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