December 27th, 2009
When we went to the Bahamas for Nick’s Make A Wish trip (thank you MSU’s Chi Omegas for raising the funds!) , I soaked in every minute knowing that this trip was special for so many different reasons. Seeing Nick have such a great time on the water slides at Atlantis, hearing him laugh as we made our way through the lazy river that ended up being anything but lazy, swimming with the dolphins, and so much more….it was the vacation of a lifetime! This is a family photo from June 2008.
I really didn’t get much of a chance to reflect on this wonderful trip because within just two weeks of coming home Nick began to show symptoms that worried us greatly. He was tired. His back was hurting. His legs were even hurting.
From that moment on life was never the same.
Now here I sit at 3:09 a.m. just two days after Christmas determined to take a minute to ask you to lift our family in prayer as we venture back to this very spot where we enjoyed our last family vacation with Nick.
See, my aunt and uncle are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and their four daughters decided that it would be fun for the whole family to go on a cruise! So Dad bought our cruise tickets (for which I am forever thankful), and we head out in less than an hour for a week-long family reunion at sea.
My husband, kids, and I have never been on a cruise, so I’m really not sure what to expect. The last time we just flew to the Bahamas and stayed in one place for a week.
I’m just praying for a safe trip to Florida (our van has been in the shop several times in the past couple weeks so a 15 hour trip makes me a little anxious) and special memories with our family.
And if I have to have some tears (which I probably will), I’m just praying I can find a good place to have them alone.
I’ll miss this guy that’s for sure.
Thank you for praying us through this family reunion and for sharing a few memories of Nick’s trip to the Bahamas with me.
Thankful to forever be Nick’s mom,
December 25th, 2009
People were sleeping! I was finally alone!
I’ve wrapped and I’ve cooked and I’ve tried to be sweet,
I’ve had to “let go” of the house looking neat.
Turkey’s in the oven and breakfast’s in a big pot,
But Betty Crocker is someone I’m definitely NOT!
So, I’ll be relieved when the meal is all done,
And pray from the table my kids do not run.
Then off to the hospital to deliver baskets we’ll go.
We want the kids who are sick (and their parents) to know-
That Christmas is all about sharing God’s love.
The only true Hope comes from looking above.
Above all our problems. Above all our fears.
There’s a Father Who sees and Who counts all our tears.
Above all our worries. Above all our pain.
There’s a Savior Who promises to come back again!
So, good night my dear friends! The sleep I can’t fight.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Loving all of you!
December 24th, 2009
Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas Eve……
Much love from my family to yours.
May your day be filled with laughter and special memories.
If there are some tears along the way, remember God’s Word promises this…..
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
Clinging to this promise,
December 23rd, 2009
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
It’s almost here.
The birth of our Savior.
The birth of our King.
Help me, Lord, to refocus.
Help me, Lord, to shhhhhhhhhhhh.
I don’t want to miss it, like I have so many years before.
I slip so often, though, when I look at my long list of things to do.
I slip into a stressful spirit and disappoint myself.
Oh, Lord, I long to be still and simply KNOW THAT YOU ARE GOD.
I love you, Lord.
Without You my life has no purpose.
Without You Christmas has no meaning.
Without You my grief has no hope.
Without You being still would frighten me, because it would awaken me to the reality that something is missing.
But with You, Lord, I can “be still” and feel peace. Perfect, wonderful peace.
Because You are my Father, my Lord, my Savior, my King, my Comforter, my Provider, my Redeemer, my Everything.
So, Lord, I close my eyes and softly whisper,
And in this blissful moment of total awareness of You I ask that You keep my heart right here in this state of peace even when the world calls me to wrap gifts, attend parties, cook meals, clean bathrooms, run errands, pack suitcases, and much, much more.
I want to hear You, Lord.
December 20th, 2009
Christmas just doesn’t get easier. But Heaven does get closer!!
Thankful that Nick has precious friends to share Heaven with like Zach, Andrew, Natalie, Tyler, Mallory, Adrienne, Colby, and so, so many more…….)
Christmas in Heaven. I simply can’t imagine the beauty they are beholding!
December 18th, 2009
Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this
rest, God would not have spoken about another
day of rest still to come. So there is a special
reststill waiting for the people of God.
As I was reading this morning in the book of Hebrews, this passage jumped out at me and gave me the biggest smile.
See, I think the devil loves to distract us from our final destination as often as he can. I think he tries to wear us out, get us stressed, preoccupy us with “earthly things,” and use any other possible scheme to cause us to feel tired and weary.
Especially around Christmastime.
What a perfect plan he thinks he has devised- turning the simple birth of Jesus into a commercialized holiday.
I just love how God slips in, though, and offers a peaceful manger scene to pull us back to what’s important.
Maybe that’s why He chose this kind of entry for His Son.
A huge hospital would have distracted from the beauty of the Savior’s birth.
No, God knew exactly what He was doing when He sent Jesus to us in the way He did.
And the devil has tried ever since to glamorize the Nativity experience to a point that can easily pull us way from everything God longs for us to have.
A quiet heart.
Open arms to give rather than to receive.
Maybe that’s why people love snow so much at Christmastime.
It’s God’s way of getting our attention and slowing down our pace.
I think we all want to rest, but it’s almost as if we have to be forced to or we feel guilty.
I’m thankful that God promises that a day of rest will come for all of His people!
Until that day, I want to have a heart that is able to rest in Him in the midst of the life that surrounds me.
My prayer for you today is that you can take a minute and simply,
“Be still and know that He is God.”
Loving you all.
Praying especially today for the family of sweet Andrew who went home to be with the Lord yesterday after a fight with brain cancer. He was 12. Please keep praying for Brandon too.
Thankful for all of you,
December 18th, 2009
I was a little late (of course), but I added our house to The Nester’s Christmas Tour of Homes.
After looking at many of the homes, I have learned a couple of things.
First, I have a very simple home.
Second, I am NOT an interior decorator.
The beauty of the homes on the tour literally took my breath away at times! WOW! was about all I could say as I saw picture after picture of beautiful spiral staircases and gorgeous Christmas trees!
And yet God somehow gently reminded me of the children in India who sleep on the street and the women in India who walk miles for water with large bowls on their precious heads and I realized how blessed I am in my simple home with my simple Christmas.
And I discovered that when I took pictures at just the right angle, I could create somewhat beautiful displays of the blessings God has given my family, and I could whisper, “Thank you, Lord.”
Isn’t life like this?????
If we look at life from a different angle, we are often more likely to see God’s view of things. And His view is always a better one! So, with a thankful heart and a spirit of humility I share with you the Nischan’s House…..Simply Christmas.
Hanging stockings was difficult for me this year. Thinking that there was no stocking for Nick was more than my heart could bear, so I decided to hang stockings to fill the entire mantle…….There’s ten hanging all together..the last hook is holding two!! The more the merrier, right????
Nick would grin, I just know it!
Notice the “thumbs up” sign below the lamp? This was part of the gingerbread village tour that Olivia and her friends did in memory of Nick!!! My friend Ginger brought me this perfect sign last Christmas! I just love it!
My friend Susan from Forever His sent me this precious Nativity Set last Christmas not long before Nick passed away. I just love it!!!!!!!!!! HOPE…it’s how I keep on keeping on!!!! Thank you, Susan!! This is floral display that we received last year at Nick’s funeral. I have it in our living room on the coffee table, and it makes me smile.
Ok, so our living tree does have three ornaments on it! Two of these little white ornaments Olivia decorated at a sleepover and a pair of mittens from a dear friend! This pillow below was from her too!!!! Thank you, Cindy!
December 17th, 2009
About two weeks ago just before church on Wednesday evening, Todd came upstairs and said, “Mom, look at the sky.” I immediately noticed a yellowish glow through all of our windows and ran to the door to look. As we stepped out on the porch, we noticed that the sun was trying to shine through a strange combination of clouds and was literally making everything look yellow.
I told Todd, “Maybe Jesus is coming back. If He is, we’ll all be on our knees.”
I ran to get my camera (I’ll add the pictures later), and Tim grinned when he heard that I was thinking I might get pictures of Jesus coming through the clouds on His white horse. He said, “What were you going to do with those???”
This question really got me thinking.
When Jesus comes back, there will be no time to report the news. There’ll be no time to call friends. There’ll be no time to post a message on Facebook or even share how it made me feel right here on my blog.
When Jesus comes back, that’s it.
The end of pain, suffering, sadness, disappointment, anger, grief, loneliness, depression……and all the other negative parts of this world.
And then the beginning!!!!
The beginning of perfect joy, happiness, peace, fellowship, healing……..and all the other wonderful aspects of Heaven.
So, as I sat here this morning during my planning period having my quiet time, I thought,
“Jesus could come back today and if He did what have I done on my blog to help someone who might not be ready???”
We just never know!
So, I wanted to write this post just to let you know that I love you all so much and I want you all in Heaven. But I won’t be able to write to you on the day He returns.
I’ll be busy!!!
Worshipping, praising, and thanking Him for His faithfulness, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, patience, and on and on and on………….
It was amazing on that Wednesday when the sky was yellow. As I stood on the porch, I have to admit that I wasn’t thinking, “Where’s Olivia? Is my family all ready for Jesus? Do my friends all know Him?” No. On that day when I thought maybe, just maybe, I was going to meet My Savior, all I could think of was this: Am I ready????????? I think that’s how it will be for all of us on that day.
It will just be “little us” facing “amazing Him.” And all that will matter from that moment on is what we did with Him while we were here.
Take a minute to think about what you’ll be doing on that day.
A friend told me recently that people will either be rejoicing on that day or trembling in fear……
My prayer is that your hearts are ready to rejoice when you see Him come.
If you still aren’t sure where you stand with Him, please talk to a minister or friend or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to visit with you about this most important aspect of your life……………..eternity.
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
December 17th, 2009
My 16-year old son Todd (in blue jacket with red stripes on sleeves) has been sick for about a week.
I took him to the doctor yesterday and then back again today to find out the results of his x-rays. He’s doing breathing treatments at home and taking a couple of medicines until he goes back to the doctor AGAIN on Friday. Shew! His Christmas break started a little early. 🙁
As we sat in the waiting room today, his friend Nolan walked in (on far right) for an appointment. Just a few minutes later, in walked the principal (in center) from their high school. He was bringing his son for an appointment as well!!!
Nolan’s mom and I both had our cameras, so we had to take a picture! It was so funny to have that many people from Grayson in an Ashland doctor’s office at the same time!
Moral of this story: If you miss school, be careful where you go…….you never know when you might run into your principal! And if you’re going to run into him, it’s always great to be sitting in a doctor’s office!
Makes me think about all of the places we go and all the things we do in a normal day and how we’d feel if Jesus walked in.
If we could simply remember, He’s already wherever we are. He already knows what we’re saying, where we’re going, how we’re acting, and what we’re doing…………..
…..And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
December 15th, 2009
When Jennifer Burch from Lovell Fairchild Communications contacted me about reviewing DaySpring‘s new family Christmas product called “The Happy Birthday, Jesus Kit,” I thought it sounded very interesting and fun!
After receiving my sample kit and reading through the little program booklet, I decided that rather than simply writing a little about how wonderful the party idea sounded I would throw a little birthday party for a few kids from the neighborhood and experience the
“Really Woolly Birthday Bash for Jesus” firsthand!
Thank you, Lela, for making our birthday cake!!! It was perfect!
And I just loved the candles that came in the supply kit, too!
This is Lela!! I love you!!
This is me with Lela’s mom, Martha, and also with sweet little Ian….my friend Brooke’s little brown-eyed boy!! Ian has been like a little gift to me since having to give Nick back to Heaven.
Nick was my only brown-eyed little baby. It’s amazing how God gives us children to love when our arms are aching for a hug. And it’s amazing how He gave me something as simple as a birthday party for His Son to free my mind temporarily from thoughts of the parties my son is missing.
The “Happy Birthday, Jesus” supply kit included some cute decorations and balloons that I hung up around the house!
I ran to our church choir room and borrowed some shepherd costumes for the kids to wear! It was so fun to welcome each child into our home and then watch each of them transform into a little Bible character!!
One of the craft ideas was a little tambourine to play while singing along with the Christmas music online at the interactive website.
“Have a happy birthday, Jesus,
Fa la la la la..la la la la”
We watched the Really Woolly video online during the party so that the kids could learn a little about what it means to give gifts to The Shepherd. I was amazed at all of the games and fun activity sheets that are available online! Kids can spend hours learning about Jesus from a sweet little cartoon lamb named Really Woolly!
I bought an eight-pack set of play-doh for one dollar at The Dollar Tree, so each child was able to go home with a little gift and I wasn’t out a lot of money!!!!
I love how even a simple coloring sheet of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus can have such meaning! Only God could take an ordinary carpenter, a teenage girl, a stable, some farm animals,and a little baby lying in a manger filled with hay and create the greatest story ever told!
I highly recommend this birthday supply kit to anyone who wants to create a special Christmas memory with their children or with their Sunday school class or neighborhood!
What a great tradition to start on your street!!!
If you’d like to know more about DaySpring’s “Happy Birthday, Jesus Kit” simply click on this link.
Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me the opportunity to create a special memory in my home. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and a period of extremely painful grief in my personal life, it blessed my heart greatly to focus on some of God’s very special little children and on His One and Only Son…..Our Savior!
He is the Reason for the Season!
Happy Birthday, Jesus!