Make it Nice

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Yesterday I was busy plugging along, trying eagerly to finish a writing project I was working on, when I saw it.

A ‘tweet’.

You know, a little status update thingy of 140 characters or less on Twitter.

It was from my friend and North Carolina resident Marybeth Here is what it declared:

Not a cloud in the blue sky. Writing outside with the sun warming me. The iPod playing a private concert. Perfect Sunday afternoon.

A sweet, innocent ‘tweet’ from my sweet, not-so-innocent friend (she and I get ourselves into all sorts of shenanigans, but that’s a post for another day!)

I quickly got in touch with my inner sarcastic side and replied to my friend:

Hey @MarybethWhalen: & I’m trying to write inside on a hail-snowing gray freezing day in MI complete w/ wind & thunder. Shut it already!

That’ll teach her!

Then, still another Southern friend ‘tweeted’ about her 80 degree weather.

Then my own daughter, who too calls NC home, mentioned in her Facebook status that she was driving with her windows down, listening to country music and enjoying the warm weather.

Upon seeing these happy words dance across my laptop screen, myย  mind immediately migrated to , “Gee….must be nice”

Must be nice….

You must understand, at the time… Well,ย  I was sitting in in my home office, in the middle of Michigan, in the middle of nasty, barely 30 degree weather, a gloomy mix of snow and mini- icy hail, gray skies and thunder!!!

I was not sipping sweet tea.

I was trying to warm up by drinking coffee.

I was not contemplating taking a blanket outside to sit in the sunshine and work.

I was pondering the fact that my son’s homeschool varsity baseball double header will most likely be canceled today.

That would mean that for the third time in a row, ‘opening day’ has been pushed back due to weather.

Must be nice…

How many times do we look at someone else’s life, home, situation, car, handy (or handsome) hubby, publicly-behaved kids, or assumed pants size and declare.

Must be nice….

It is Satan’s oldest trick in the book.

Hello? Anyone else remember a chick named Eve?

She had a gorgeous garden she never had to sprinkle with miracle grow.

Had a hubby who’d never even seen another woman, let alone the airbrushed images of perfection Hollywood cranks out.

No babies yet….so no stretch marks!!!

Nor had she had her heart stretched waiting for that final call to come from the adoption agency.


Miss Eve’s life emotionally and physically was a beautiful, blessed breeze.

But still, she wanted the one item she didn’t have.

I think you know the rest of the story.

So yesterday, even though my situation was a minor one, I decided to shift my thinking from “must be nice” to ‘make it nice’.

I can ‘make nice’ the fact that I live in a home with heat, even though I must run the furnace in April.

I must remember that Iย  could be out in the cold due to an earthquake-ravaged home.

I ‘made it nice’ by not looking around at what I didn’t have, but being thankful for what I do.

Did you know it can be a blast to play ping pong with a 16 year old son on a gloomy gray day?

I have a healthy son who has a mean serve and, although I may not get to see him strut his stuff on the ball field today, I can enjoy his laughter as he returns my pitiful serves in our basement game room.

I can make hot cocoa to serve to my kids and their friends who too are trying to hide from April’s wrath.

It makes for a nice afternoon despite the deal I’m dealt.

What about you? Anyone else need to stop muttering, “Must be nice” and instead put their big girl bloomers on and ‘make it nice’ instead?

Maybe we don’t need a different set of circumstances.

Perhaps all we need is a little shift of perspective.

And if you want a ‘hands-on” lovely way to be visually thankful, visit with Ann Voskamp today at You’ll be grounded and centered on God gracious gifts by doing so.

Grateful Blessings,

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  • I would say my envy comes in because I pray for our finaces to change. It has been really hard on us this year.Then I look at others who God seems to bless them with an answer to there needs. I also Pray for my son to come back to God because he has moved awy from his beliefs he is now 30 and I have been praying since he was 18. I have an 18 year old who is following in his brothers foot steps. Listening to you has given me a new outlook and I am going to ask my self these questions. I am so thankful God led me to read your story today. Thanks Miranda

  • I so enjoyed your message today, Karen. Especially the part of as a little girl, folding your hands and praying but Dad didn’t come home. That immediately infused a dose of the Lord’s compassion as I pictured my friend in that word picture.
    I constantly need to remember to count my blessings. God is so good to us.
    Thanks, L

  • We moved to Northeast Ohio from middle Georgia right after Christmas. While the snow was fun for a while, I surely miss the warm sunshine, trees leafing out and kids playing outside. Friends back South were planting in their yards this past week and weekend while we were bundled up during our spring break in the snow. I am told that the summers will be nice -compared to the South which are pretty hard with a ton of humidity and scorching temps- here supposedly very low humidity and the temps will allow the kids to play outside a lot longer. I guess it is a trade off. I think we are blessed with this adventure for now. Learning to be content in all circumstances and choosing to find the joy.

  • Hmmm, this is so true. I found myself thinking similar things as I thought about some of my friends who work in the home rather than outside the home. Envy is not a good feeling though…

  • Karen – Great post. I can usually “pollyanna” myself into seeing the good, but the weather this year (central Indiana) has me saying “must be nice” more than ever. Grrrr. And Treva – great saying. Thanks!

  • WoW. I sat here laughing out loud, nodding in agreement and generally feeling that tug in my heart that says– let’s change–. Thank you for such a great great perspective!! I want to share it with my teen girls group– oh my, what a lesson! I love the way you express yourself!