Friday, April 20, 2012

Being Nice

I filled out a personal inventory for a friend today. It was just lists of adjectives that I came up with to describe him.

But it started me thinking. How would others describe me?

Of all the adjectives available, I think most people in my life would describe me as "nice".

Such a sterile and dimensionless word. Even at its greatest, it only becomes "so nice". It's like saying a dinner roll is round. Goshdarnit, it's a very round dinner roll.

I guess this concerns me, because I don't even know what adjectives describe myself. I've actually spent a good part of my life trying very hard to be a nice person. And look, here I am!

"Nice" is also upsetting, because it's really not a descriptor at all. It's the attitude I put on to cover up frustration. It's the congeniality I portray when I actually just want to be left alone. It's the stuff that passive-aggressive, overwhelmed introverts like me exude.

Being "nice" means I don't trust others to be genuinely interested in who I really am. But it also allows me to politely greet and dismiss others, without being interested in who they are either.

I'm reminded of a movement that began in the Catholic Church during World War II called Focolare (hearth or fireplace). Its members have a remarkable charism for living present in each moment, and their warmth and attentiveness is striking.

I'll pray for this same grace, as I try to shake off my "niceness."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday

I'm stirring at 4 am, restless with anticipation, unsettled with the status quo, seeing the world more clearly in the dim light of pre-dawn; this is what Holy Week feels like.

And the promise of Easter runs through it all, even as we've yet to celebrate, He is risen, He is risen indeed; we know, unlike that first Good Friday so long ago, we know He is victorious. And even in sorrow, we hope.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our Dream Home

I've been designing dream homes with friends for years and years.

And now that we're actually in the home-buying process, I'm as happy about having the kids' rooms directly adjacent to the master bedroom and a covered porch to play outside in the rain as I would be about the trampoline room and indoor roller coaster of my grade-school dreams!

(Joe discovering the fun of sliding closet doors is worth the lack of a walk-in closet!)

Monday, April 2, 2012


I pull up my blog and feel a reminder of hope with Sunrise Breaking

Cynicism's always standing by, raising an eyebrow, logically surveying the situation, challenging the hope.

Lately it's felt more like deep night than daybreak, so many long days into long nights, all sleeplessly strung together.

But even the night has bright stars shining with the hope of more light to come. 

Holy Week holds so much anticipation for me, the culmination of Lent, bursting with the promise of answers as Easter approaches.