I am inept. Thank you for understanding.
by Jen Hatmaker on March 4th, 2012

I spent last week at Verge 2012, teaching a teeny bit, but mostly listening to simpletons like David Platt and Alan Hirsch and Dr. John Perkins unpack Scriptures and exegete passages with such precision, I’ve decided it is a travesty people are ever subjected to my teaching and I am, in fact, a legitimate threat to the kingdom. Plus, half the other speakers had foreign accents, and I simply cannot compete with that. I simply cannot.

Because my mind is simmering with some bothersome little nuggets David Platt dropped on us, namely that I am in violation of the Great Commandment in terms of taking the gospel to all people groups, and every time I try to process it, my brain screeches in protest and says I DO NOT WANT TO FIGURE THIS OUT AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME LA LA LA LA, I’m going to write about something else instead.

Let’s talk about things I’m bad at, then you can tell me what you’re bad at.

Sound fun? Mkay.

I don’t mean things I possess no natural skill set for, like playing the pan flute or sticking the landing on a vault pass. I mean things I regularly fail at that I should be pulling off. Tasks that grown-up, mature, responsible people accomplish with ease, and my malfunctions suggest that perhaps I am a moron.

I cannot manage and maintain a chore schedule.

You don’t understand. I cannot do it. Please do not tell me your method. It doesn’t matter. I can’t keep up with it. I mean, I can, for like three to four-and-a-half weeks, and then it sinks under the weight of neglect. I find a way to sabotage the system every time. One inevitable Wednesday, I will let them play with their friends at the park instead of folding the laundry. Why? Because they are at the park instead of here. I don’t even know why I have to explain this to you.

Plus, after I get them all excited about scrubbing toilets because they are going to earn points or credits or Hatmaker Bucks™ to convert to cash, it turns out I never actually have cash, so I just tell them I’m “keeping track” of it all, which I may or may not actually be doing (not). So they may or may not actually ever get paid (not). I believe I owe my children approximately fourteen million dollars in defaulted allowance. This doesn’t bode well for team morale.

I am on par with those heinous fundraising abusers who come to the elementary schools, peddling their wares, working the kids into a frenzy over the junk they can earn if they sell $750 worth of processed cancer cookie dough, sending my spawn racing home screaming I CAN EARN A LIMO RIDE and I’M GOING TO WIN A LIGHT SABER MADE OF PLATINUM and I’m all, we’re not selling that crap and I throw their fundraising packets into the recycling bin and crush their little dreams.

I cannot answer my phone like a responsible grown up.

You might think answering your phone is not really a skill one needs to master, but you would be wrong. I don’t know how to defend my breakdown in this department, but this is simply how I am. I believe it has to do with my neurons or my atoms or the plasma science. My phone rings, and I think NO. I WILL NOT ANSWER IT. I just can’t. I just can’t answer the ringing phone. I just cannot talk. These irrational thoughts flood my brain and I think them. I listen to the thoughts tell me that answering my phone is just not doable, and I think, “Yes. My thoughts are correct.”

My friends – my friends, the ones I’m supposed to be friendly with – will tell you that I only answer my phone during one perfect storm: when I am driving somewhere. If I am doing absolutely anything else – sitting on the couch, doing important Facebook work, eating chips – I will let all calls go to voicemail.

Then, against all reason and explanation, I will not check the voicemails. My husband actually has nightmares about this. My thoughts have ideas here too; they tell me, “If you don’t listen to the message, then you don’t have to do anything about it. It’s like it doesn’t exist.” My thoughts are always looking out for me, helping me avoid the dark struggles of life, like talking and answering questions.

Right now, I have 17 unlistened to voicemails. I don’t know how I have any friends.

I have a small issue with planning ahead, meaning I don’t.

I mean well. I have good intentions here. My thoughts try to tell me three weeks or nine days or four hours in advance that I need to do some preliminary work, like arrange childcare or order books for an event or take a shower. They try their best, the thoughts.

But then I remember my thoughts also tell me that answering the phone could potentially ruin my life, so I don’t listen to them.

As I mentioned before here, I married a person who is exactly like me in this department. OPPOSITE DAY! This behavior actually makes Brandon hate me. I believe Mr. Planner wishes me physical harm for these transgressions. This is the man who can’t even handle a spontaneous invitation for lunch, because it messes with his “game plan.” (My dad also references his “game plan” approximately twelve times a day for the last 37 years of my entire life, so I frequently marvel that I married my father.)

I procrastinate, therefore, I scramble. I panic email. I pay double for expedited shipping. I beg and make promises and swear. I make my poor planning someone else’s problem, which is why I’m so popular. I create systems to check-and-balance myself, then I stage a mutiny against my own regulations. I am like Jim Carrey who beat the crap out of himself in the bathroom in Liar Liar. (“What are you doing??” “I’m kicking my own a**!”)

I’m super bad about getting ready. Worse than you think. Worse than you.

My high school BFF once wrote a paper on “contrasts.” She talked about how she was tailored pants and belts and I was jeans and a t-shirt; she was hot-rollers and I was ponytails. Yes, I was seventeen when she wrote this description, but I’m sorry to tell you I have not evolved in twenty years.

The universe is conspiring against me here. Listen, I have problem hair. You don’t understand. It is curly and course and it doesn’t ever feel like behaving. In order to be pretty, it must be round-brushed and smoothed with product then flat-ironed and coddled and baby-talked. Then my hair acts like Charlie Sheen and starts throwing punches and cussing innocent people out, getting all drunk and sloppy screaming, oh yeah? You think I’m goin’ down like this? I HATE YOU! I’ll do what the #!*$ I want!

And then I put it in a bun, because it is just so naughty.

And because I need to be somewhere in 20 minutes and it’s a 25-minute drive (see #3), I throw on jeans and a t-shirt and flip-flops and race out the door with my bun. This is how I look always. Also, I wear hats. In the winter, I wear a hoodie and TOMS. I barely wear make-up. I recently learned about the special spray that makes your filthy hair look not greasy, and I’m on my third can.

This is all well and good for a nineteen-year-old college student or a missionary in Kenya, but I’m a 37-year-old author and speaker with daily access to a shower and electricity. This is not okay. (Shut up, thoughts. You can’t shame me into caring.)



So until I’m ready to talk about taking the gospel to unreached people groups, this is where we are expending our emotional energy together, Reader. I know you’re not bad at anything other adults are perfectly capable of, but maybe you could share the deficiencies you see in other people?

What does everyone else manage that you could just perish over?


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198 Comments

Adrian W. - March 4th, 2012 at 8:59 PM
I suck on the highest level of sucktitude at sitting still. My wife loathes me for it when we're in classes together, but I'm always tapping, fiddling, or mumbling to myself if I have to sit in the same place for more than 20 minutes.
serah - March 4th, 2012 at 9:02 PM
I hate to make phone calls. Procrastination much? Sorry. I just don't want to spend my precious energy, thoughts or time on calling...or maybe its a fear of rejection. Like the doctors office is going to tell me no, we can't see you. Or the bill collector doesn't wanna take my credit card infor mation. Let the phone ring though and I cannot help but answer. I can't just let it go. Dysfunctional much? Nah, everythings great.
Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama - March 4th, 2012 at 9:04 PM
BFFs, we are DESTINED to be BFFs! My hair would like to meet your hair. And my phone promises never to talk to your phone. NEVER.nnMeal planning will never happen in my house. NEVER.nnOr Christmas cards on time - I have a stack I've hidden from the hubs because I'd gotten them all printed with the family pic and everything and NEVER MAILED THEM. I cannot deal with the mail or FedEx or UPS. Utterly beyond me. I currently have TWO Amazon packages I was supposed to return before Christmas.nnAnd don't even get me started on returning library books on time. It's way way WAY cheaper just to buy them.
Jen Hatmaker - March 4th, 2012 at 9:07 PM
Um. We are the same person. Don't make me talk about returns and library books and OMG Red Box movies.
Jill - March 19th, 2012 at 3:46 PM
I just finished 7 and loved it so I've been searching out your others stuff: website, blog, etc. It makes me sad that you use OMG. I've seen it several times on your blog, twitter, etc.
Kristen - March 19th, 2012 at 4:38 PM
I think she's saying "oh my gosh/goodness" with her OMG's...Or, at least that's the way I read them. Don't let them upset you! ~Blessings~
Kristi - March 4th, 2012 at 9:07 PM
We were separated at birth. :) I've lost count of how many cans. nLove you friend, :)
Kait - March 4th, 2012 at 9:09 PM
Menu planning and using a list at the grocery store. nnI try. I try SO.HARD. And then I decide I'm craving something not on the menu plan and oh, we'll just push everything off by one day and I'll make a quick trip to the store...$300 and two hours later I wonder exactly where my life went so far off track.
Lisa-Jo@thegypsymama - March 4th, 2012 at 9:11 PM
Oh my gosh I just had a mini panic attack when you said "Red Box" and then I remembered I did return the last one and that's why we only have Netflix streaming now because even though there's no time limit to returning them you are, in fact, expected to return them at some point and preferably in the little pouch and not just the Netflix envelope....
Dana - March 4th, 2012 at 9:13 PM
My hair is so unruly that when I straitened it this weekend and went to church, MY OWN HUSBAND DIDN'T RECOGNIZE ME. I caused such a stink that I finally just had to leave. :) I will sit my butt on the computer and waste time when I should be out painting beautiful furniture, that I love to do and I'm good at. And people are waiting for me to finish. (Oh I hope they don't read this blog). Planning? Why would I do that? My kids keep asking me what we are doing for spring break! So much pressure! I can't handle it! I will figure it out say next Monday when spring break starts! Ugh.
Amber Louthan - March 4th, 2012 at 9:14 PM
The phone thing (like ohmygosh). And the planning thing (and my husband is a calendar lover). And procrastinating work. And shipping. (I'm a photographer) Le sigh. You are pretty stinkin amazing though. Just fyi. So like, all this stuff seems totes adorbs and all that jazz when you say it.
Dana - March 4th, 2012 at 9:15 PM
Oh Lisa-Jo I had a panic attack too! Just remembered that I forgot to return it....3 days late. Again.
Shelley - March 4th, 2012 at 9:17 PM
I Refuse To Iron. I just throw it in the dryer.
Jennifer - March 4th, 2012 at 9:18 PM
ok...I consistently fall off the I will provide nutritious, balanced, meals for my family cart and resort to feeding them cold cereal, pb
Marti Williams - March 4th, 2012 at 9:19 PM
Who cares about that stuff??? You are great at being you. Not to mention, you brought a mean message at Verge 12 yourself and are one heck of an author!!! Totally looking forward to reading 7. Thanks for the freebie!
Laura Pearson - March 4th, 2012 at 9:19 PM
Ok...I'll leave the next comment so it won't get lost in your group of 2000 friends. :) I'm NOT a "jounal-er". You know, someone that writes down every single thing God tells them? Someone who has very insightful thoughts that someday their children's children will stumble upon and scream EUREKA-my grandmother was so wise; I wish I could be just like her!! Yeah---that's soooo not me. I try. Honestly, I do. I am looking over at my bookshelf and just counted 11 almost blank journals of varying sizes and cuteness. I start off very well. Turn the first page, take a deep breath, write the date at the top (with my new journaling pen) and...{crickets}. Then I close it and promise myself I'll try again tomorrow. Or maybe I won't waste anymore money on journals. We'll see. :)
Alisha - March 4th, 2012 at 9:19 PM
Calls? I don't answer them, and I don't make them. My phone is set to "alarm only" so that it never vibrates or rings. Text me all you want, I will text you back all day long. I will check my phone often to make sure no call has come through 23746876 times in the last 5 minutes (which would signify something important or dangerous had happened). But other than THAT, or texting, the phone is dead to me. Dead.nnI'm terrible at kitchen clean up. I can bake or cook all day long-- fantastically. But it looks like a 3 year old has done all the work- flour on the floor, the bar, the sink, the dishwasher...egg dripping from the cabinets....it's disastrous. And I am neat freak. But in the kitchen? I don't have time for that. I only have time to make greatness that you can eat.nnI can't handle sick-kid duty (or sick kid doodie, for that matter). I love my kids, dearly, but I am weak when it comes to run of the mill illness. My youngest has literally lived through a life threatening disease, that left us living in a hospital for a year , and I pretty much never left his side...I fought for him, cried for him, and yelled at medical personnel who didn't trust me when it came to him. But sore throat and fever and heaven forbid vomit...these are my kryptonite. Thank the good Lord that my husband is a fantastic nurse. Unfortunately for me, during the sick days (i.e. um...NOW in this house), he has a day job. Popsicles for everyone! All day long! As many as you want! I will throw caution to the wind with my cleanliness, even on the cream colored microfiber-- eat all the popsicles you want. I would carry lysol and germ-x in a tool belt if I had one. The shame....oh, the shame.
Lora - March 4th, 2012 at 9:22 PM
Here's what I suck at, since we are sharing and confessing gross things...http://www.momnistry.com/?m=1
Marla Taviano - March 4th, 2012 at 9:22 PM
I can't even talk about this right now. Too raw.
Jesslynwo - March 4th, 2012 at 9:25 PM
I am horrible at calling my friends back! Seriously my best friend has probably called me about 6 times now and I have yet to return her call (and this has been going on for at least two months). It's to the point now that I feel like we need like 5 hours to catch up and since I don't have 5 hours to spend on the phone I don't call! In fact I even wrote her a letter to catch her up on my life so that I could call her and maybe catch up in like 2 hours.....but unfortunately that letter has been sitting on my dresser waiting for a stamp for about three weeks now! Normal adults pick up the phone....I keep mine on silent, so that just incase she calls when I am in the midst of my 30 minutes of free time, I won't feel bad for not answering since it won't be enough time to catch up. I am a horrible friend....yet she still likes me! AMAZING!
AE - March 4th, 2012 at 9:26 PM
Oh my, I've finally met my people. As a rational, big-kid with a grown-up job, I still hide my bills in the freezer. I believe every time someone leaves me a voicemail, God kills a kitten, so I don't ever check them. And I'm a pro at the last minute. By pro I mean promising the clock I'll be never do it again if it will give me 10 more min. nnIt's good to know there are more of me.
Jen Myers - March 4th, 2012 at 9:26 PM
We own several redbox titles, and often they are in the car with me but still somehow elude that little red kiosk. Truly you are all helping me feel less worthless. My current BFF is that same adorable tailored girl with great hair and clothes.
Shawna - March 4th, 2012 at 9:27 PM
I am terrible...I repeat, TERRIBLE at taking my clothes out of the dryer when they are dry. I can't even stand to think about how much money we've spent on the electricity required to "fluff" the load one more, two more, three more times.
Angie - March 4th, 2012 at 9:27 PM
I wish clothes baskets could be my bedroom furniture because that is where all my family's clothes are. I don't have the "fold
Jennifer - March 4th, 2012 at 9:28 PM
* I HATE the phone and voicemail. I love visual voicemail more than any other feature of the iPhone because I can delete messages without listening AT ALL. I just click delete. I recently changed my work voicemail recording to one that discourages people from leaving a voicemail.n* I procrastinate on any and everything that won't result in someone I respect thinking less of me. As a single adult this means that everything in my personal life that only affects me (cleaning, financial stuff, errands, health, etc.) all fall into this category. Meanwhile, I am majorly Type A with my work. Multiple personalities.n* I hate to get gas. I don't think I've ever filled up my car when it wasn't on empty.n* And I can't for the life of me understand the difference between the usage of "bring" and "take."
Christy - March 4th, 2012 at 9:30 PM
Phone here too! I hate when it rings. I cannot organize to save my soul. And I am going to cut and paste your rant about school fund raisers on my FB the next time one comes out. Despise them.
Jennifer - March 4th, 2012 at 9:30 PM
One more-- nn* I hate to check my mail. Last month there was so much there that they returned it all and everyone and their brother was contacting me to find out if I was alive because it was returned as occupant's location unknown.
Bethany - March 4th, 2012 at 9:32 PM
I cannot do anything that is, in fact, actually written ON my to-do list. The best way to get anything done that must be done is to put even worse things on my list for the day, because I will then inevitably procrastinate those worser items and get done what had to be done in the first place. I'm needing to send a thank-you note? If I put 'clean out frig' or 'dust fan blades' on the list, the thank-you note might have a shot. But I will go back and write everything I did accomplish, after it's done, just to be able to mark it off!
Amy - March 4th, 2012 at 9:35 PM
What is a chore schedule? Who answers the phone anymore? Isn't that what texting
Annie - March 4th, 2012 at 9:36 PM
When we moved I found stacks of thank-you cards for wedding gifts, addressed, still waiting for stamps a decade later. {cringe} And then about a decade's worth of half-written, partially addressed Christmas cards to match. I'm late most of the time but also have this crazy compulsion to call and let people know I'll be late, which is probably really annoying to, say, the receptionist at our pediatrician's office who gets these calls all the time.
Carissa - March 4th, 2012 at 9:45 PM
I am your twin all of these things you do I do an honestly probably worse than you! I am also really bad at keeping track of my daughters homework. She is probably the only one in the class who turns in her signed homework packet two days late thanks to me. I am so bad at it. Mind you she is in kindergarten but still not teaching her the greatest of habits.
Faith - March 4th, 2012 at 9:46 PM
Oh wow! Thanks for that! I thought I was all alone! I was once told that I have the attention span of a flea...yeah, a flea! Nice! And, I am also married to a "planner". I frequently get "lectured" on time management. Ha! Oh, and the hair....THE HAIR! I hear you loud and clear Sister! It's a good 2 hour job to tame this mess, and it never fails. The second I start to straighten my hair, the weather somehow knows to go from 0 to 100% humidity to ruin my efforts! Why try??? I LOVE hats and messy buns! Oh, and my make-up has not left my purse for the last 8 years! That way it's always with me just in case I get 2 minutes to throw some on! It looks fab on days when I don't have to drive wherever it is that we're going! nnI so enjoy reading your blog, and I love it that you are so genuine! :o)
Spearle - March 4th, 2012 at 9:55 PM
ah yes. Phone phobia, I know it well. My solution is to only have a landline and never set up voicemail. Woohoo! the unanswered/unlistened to messages really DON'T exsist and technically I'm not a bad friend either!nThat said, my biggest problem is keeping my house halfway clean. Between the boys and the dog, it is hopeless. I've decided it is a weakness and I'm just going to let Christ shine His light through me--you know, in my weakness he is strong and all. Cop out sentence of the century.
Nina - March 4th, 2012 at 10:03 PM
The vacuum. I have little kids and I HATE to vacuum. The two do not mix well. I have a dog that takes care of the food, but I know it is so GROSS. It seems like someone is always screaming when I am trying to vacuum. Even when they are sound asleep (and I vacuum in spite of the worry of waking them) I hear cries. I turn it off. Silence. On - cries. This is the mommy curse. Maybe I will vacuum when they go to Kindergarden (5 years?). Then again, maybe I won't! Not to mention, WHAT IS THE POINT!? Do you know the mess that will happen 2 seconds after I am finished vacuuming? I am OCD about a lot of things, but apparently not dog hair, crumbs, dust bunnies, and little scraps of paper.
Laurie - March 4th, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I cannot pay my bills on time. Money's there waiting, but I just cannot sit down to pull out the bills and write the checks and fill out the return addresses and put on the stamps (because that will inevitably involve a trip to BUY stamps) and clip to my mailbox for the mailman. Yes, I hear it's way easier to do online bill paying, but that also would require time and focus and sitting down to SET UP said online bill paying. So instead I just pay all of my bills late every stinking month. I could have built a village of houses in a third world country with my accumulated late fees and electricity deposits. I waste hard-earned money. That feels good to admit.
Mariah - March 4th, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I don't answer my phone. Sometimes I think its a power struggle, almost (when I'm convincing myself it's not pure "won't"). I wait for the phone to stop ringing, and decide that I'll call the person back "on my time" which is when I'm done doing my chip/facebook thing. nnI don't dress well. I forget that other people can see me. I wear work out clothes to the grocery store, even when I haven't worked out. I shamelessly wear shirts that I've spilled on, even though I've had the chance to change them. nnI forget things. Things people tell me, things that have been said in the same conversation. I make promises and then look all innocent when they expect me to fulfill them I can't do something I don't remember ever hearing about! nnLike you, I wonder that I have friends, and that those friends allow me to go out in public. With them!
Erica - March 4th, 2012 at 10:17 PM
We end up owning most of the Red box rentals...cause we(I mean me) NEVER take them back! And I always pay for expedited shipping due to procrastination!
Andrea - March 4th, 2012 at 10:17 PM
YESSS!! Ditto. Someone staying with us for a couple of months had the ironing board out today. I had to wonder how she managed to dig and wriggle it out from everything I had piled in the closet in front of it. I didn't ask or give it a second look in case she wanted to know if she should leave it set up for me; I just headed out the front door onto something more fun.
Amy - March 4th, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I'll play- anything to avoid that other stuff. I rarely plan dinners, and those bad boys have to be GFCF. I don't even know what spray you're talking about, and I don't care. My children had a chore chart app once, but it was somehow connected to toys on amazon and I deleted the app the nanosecond someone earned a toy because we will NOT be slaves to consumerism and they haven't lifted a finger since. Once I had such a lovely garden it was written about in a book, but I have now neglected it for a full *seven* months. Such a massive, ironic fail I can barely speak of it. And clearly, your friends should know not to leave you messages. You have spoken of this defect before. Why do they set you up for failure? You cannot be blamed for their selfish, hateful behavior. Get new friends.
Jen Hatmaker - March 4th, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I believe that sad garden could be resurrected this spring. And I talked to you for a whole like 20 minutes this week on the phone. Yay, me. I returned a call.
Lindsay - March 4th, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I have your opposite phone problem, as in a phone-answering compulsion. Making dinner, freaking out children, and I'm picking up the phone call from the telemarketer. I have caller ID! I don't need to answer the phone, but when that thing rings... *sigh*nOh, and putting away laundry. HATE IT. With a fiery burning passion. So my clothes sit in baskets for far too long. And I am terrible, all kinds of terrible, at occasion cards: Christmas, thank you, birthday, etc. It's bad.nThanks for this...made me smile on a Sunday night. :)
Juanita - March 4th, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I am afraid of envelopes with my name or my husband's typed. Because ...it MIGHT be a bill I don't want to pay or someone asking for something I cannot give, or Lord forbid I might be in trouble with taxes or something.....paranoia much?? AND my van is a mess.....like, a garbage heap of food wrappers, partially used drink boxes, crums, crud and random socks and shoes from people in my house who shall remain nameless....and here's the thing: it doesn't bother me!! It drives my hubby insane though. I just don't acknowledge it and then I'm good. ;)
Kaci - March 4th, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Love your honesty, Jen. Helps keep Satan at bay when the evil comparison monster starts creeping in! What do I suck at? Well, lately it would be turning off whatever appliance I am using to cook with (namely the oven or toaster oven). It's a miracle my house hasn't caught fire yet. My husband would tell you I suck at finishing a sentence. Bless him for hanging with me almost 13 years now. Fortunately "I love you" and "I'm sorry" are short sentences! In all honesty at my core I'm probably more like Brandon, but that means I suck at going with the flow and being able adjust. More than one friend and certainly my family has gotten an earful of my external processing when they call to ask for a favor or change plans. I eventually get there, but I usually have to go to Antarctica and back before I can do so with some semblance of "it's no big deal". Unlike you, I have a hard time NOT answering my phone or checking my voicemail/texts/emails/FB. I'm doing better with 3 young kids, but I've been known to walk away from them to catch a call or send an email that just popped into my head. Bless my kids who ask me to do something while I'm doing one of those things...I'm sure they have no concept what a real minute is since Mommy's minute is anywhere from 5 minutes to NEVER. Great mom, huh? What's funny about my Type-Aness is that I often fail to complete projects (mainly of the creative kind like painting a room or such). Guess I don't complete that "sentence" either. I'm sure the list is longer, but that's about all the confession I can handle for one night.
Sarah Silvester - March 4th, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I feel like we may have been separated at birth. All of the above PLUS: I cannot seem to feed myself anything better than perhaps what the average 7 year old would choose for herself (Case in point = Breakfast: chocolate biscuits, Lunch: 1 year old boys leftover spaghetti from a can).nThe pretend grown-up in me is saying "No, no, I'm not like that". But the real me is saying "Admit it. You are."
Sarah M - March 4th, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Oh, the phone. I get twitchy and nervous if I have to answer it. For the love, people, TEXT ME. Tonight I was making dinner and my phone started ringing. It was on the counter right next to the stove where i was standing, and everyone kept looking expectantly from me to the phone and back again. I studiously avoided everyone's gaze and said, "Did anyone salt the hamburger?" My family doesnt understand me.
Casey - March 4th, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Filing! you know the bills you actually, at some point, remembered to pay. And then are required to keep for taxes. Yeah it starts as a neat little pile and morphs into a file folder, then basket, then laundry basket, then a BOX. I have the most organized filing system set up. But that implies I have to sit down and dig stuff back out of the HOLE and put it in the drawer. nnAnd window's, and ironing, and menu sticking-to-it, and dusting. nnYes those things...nnAnd I am married to Mr. Procrastinator who is always late and never has anything together....ahh bliss
Ashley - March 4th, 2012 at 11:14 PM
I can't follow through on anything. I try-ish. I can't form new habits because I can't do anything for 21 days straight. I make it 2 weeks max, and then PMS hits or whatever and I take off on another track. I can't get control of laundry. I buy new packs of socks rather than try to find matches. I don't read to my kids. My shower is disgusting. I hate answering the phone for fear I will have nothing to say. I haven't learned how to carry on normal conversation. I'd rather write back and forth. I plan to do crafty things, go buy the materials, and then Peter out. I guess that's the follow through thing, again. I can't remember to do anything if it isn't right in front of my face. I never have the cash to pay my daughter either. I keep a running tab in my head. Thankfully she got a checking account, so now I can write a check for several weeks all at once. My bedroom is a mess. All the time. I cannot get it cleared out for more than two days. My closet, until last night, was just a big pile of random crap clothes. There's so much I'm inept at, but I think it means I'm a genius. Pretty much.
Erin - March 4th, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Thanks Jen for always keepin in real! Maybe if I share this with my husband, he will finally leave me alone about not answering the phone! He seems to think it's a disease....maybe it is, but at least I'm not alone :)nAnd laundry is a beast! I catch up on it every few weeks and vow to myself that I will do a little every day or every other day so that it never piles up...yeah, that lasts about 2 hours!
Alanna - March 4th, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Thank you for writing my story. I had no idea we were neighbors. :) Can I add that my oldest son has actually had his presents arrive late because I waited until um... the very last second to order them and they didn't come even with expedited shipping? So, I showed him pictures online and told him how cool that will be when it arrives. Awesome. Mother of the Year Award right here, baby. Also, the kids have learned to feed themselves out of their sheer interest in survival b/c I REALLY hate grocery shopping, and I hate cooking after grocery shopping even more. So, they are becoming experts at "finding something to eat." My kids are the ones whose mother never remembers to send school snacks. I aspire to greatness and reside at "continual compromise." (BTW, Chores - dead ringer.) I presently have 14 unheard voicemails which I will erase without ever hearing them because my phone understands me and has a special little trashcan button for them. And although I'm a paralegal, I stand in my closet daily wondering who invented dress clothes. Is there a reason we can't all be COMFORTABLE and wear jeans, sweats, and t-shirts? Also, I wouldn't notice if the entire makeup
Lesley - March 5th, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Every Spring and every Fall when the weather changes, I have to relearn how to set the thermostat. I wish I was exaggerating, but when it got hot overnight here in Oklahoma about a month ago and I needed to turn the heater down (or is it up?), I stood in front of the thermostat for FIVE MINUTES trying to decide if I should push the arrows up or down to keep the heater from blowing all night. My husband was asleep and it was too late to call my Mom and Dad so I just stood there like an idiot wishing that I was the capable 30-year old woman that I imagined I would be by now. Just when I get it down again, it is time to switch from heater to air conditioning and I am as lost as ever! Drives me insane.nOh and I can never remember which side of our van the gas tank is on and I usually choose the wrong side when filling up. So then I have to start it up again and pull around to the right side.nOh and I can't remember my 3rd child's name...
jolynn miller - March 5th, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I have the Worst time mailing presents. I have at one time had a christmas present set for almost two Years before sending it. All boxed and everything. I made a blnket for my nephew that was born last fall (that's the other thing I caanot remember birthdays even when I write down all of the new baby info) - the blanket wasn't wrapped until Christmas and is still waiting to be mailed. Also hate talking on the phone now - another candidate for the bad friend award. I am so not into helping with homework. If u cant finish it in a reasonable amount of time don't come to me (this means under 2 hours). Especially if I know u have had homework of the same type for a week.
Melinda - March 5th, 2012 at 6:38 AM
I just wear wrinkles. Or it stays in the closet. My dryer is 2 floors down, dude.
anne - March 5th, 2012 at 7:10 AM
what is an iron?:)
Mollie - March 5th, 2012 at 7:34 AM
I am not allowed to rent Red Box movies. When the $1 rental costs you $17, just buy the DVD and let go of the guilt and self loathing.
Carmen D. - March 5th, 2012 at 7:34 AM
Laundry. I tell myself to do a load a day so I'm not spending an entire day doing all of it when we have run out of clothes, but no. There is always something else to do....like reading blogs, Facebooking, pinning, watching TV, etc. nnI also cannot do the chore chart. I also tried. The boys were so excited to get money and stickers and after a few weeks, it just hangs on the wall looking at me saying "When are you going to use me again?" nnMail: Our mailbox is right across the street. It is literally about 15 steps from our front door. Can I get anything in it to mail? No. I still have our Christmas cards that I NEVER MAILED. Maybe I'll send them for Christmas in July. That gives me 4 months to get them all addressed, stuffed in the envelopes, and stamps put on. What to place any bets whether that will happen or not? nnMenu calendar: I have a menu calendar on my refrigerator right now that I made so I could be organized and know what I was making for dinner that night. I have 5 boxes marked off and I put it up in January. Nuff said.nnThere are so many more things that I could comment on, but I don't want you to have to sit here and read for an hour just on me, so I'll stop. nnOh, I also NEED to know what that spray stuff is for your hair that makes it look not greasy.
kim - March 5th, 2012 at 7:44 AM
i can't return things. things that i could get MONEY back for. things that are still eligible for "full refund". things that were clearly purchsed in the wrong size or the wrong whatever and clearly need to go back. they live in my car. in the bag they were purchased in. with the receipt. between the driver's and passenger's seat. mocking me. they make me thingk thoughts like, "i wonder how many days before that store won't accept a return?", "i could always use it as a gift if i miss the date." "maybe i should check the receipt for the return policy." but i don't. sometimes i even GO to the store it needs to be retuned to. but i forget it in the car. until i come out and see it. but then i don't want to go all the way back in. when i finally do check the receipt the return date passed, ... yesterday. so then i march promptly to the store and go straight to the customer service desk where i ...make my husband ask them to refund it anyway.
Tessy - March 5th, 2012 at 8:00 AM
LOL - I almost feel after reading about the hair that we with that sort of hair need a support group of some kind. *pats bun
jana - March 5th, 2012 at 8:02 AM
Loved Verge 12, but DANG if my best Children's ministry volunteer (I mean lights-out, the best) is quiting to be more missional at work!!!! Love David Platt, but man!!! Whose gonna teach the children? Also, this was my first time to hear you speak and am now reading 7. Laughing and convicted all at once!! OH - and my mother and I need therapy because I refuse to answer the phone. LYLAS!
Libby - March 5th, 2012 at 8:13 AM
I cannot get places on time. My girls have been late to school 48 times this year. Maybe a few more. Whatever. I am married to a man who would rather be 3 hours early than 3 seconds late. I think God is awesome like that - all yin and yang-y.
shari - March 5th, 2012 at 8:16 AM
I know we haven't met, but I
Tessy - March 5th, 2012 at 8:18 AM
*Next thing I am inept at - leaving comments on Jen's blog - that was not my whole comment.. I have read about the transforming hair stuff but have not purchased it due to a book that I read about "excess" - ba ha ha -- Do I "need" it or "want" it. The phone, well umm, you should listen to my message when you reach my voice mail. It is actually a list of excuses why I am not answering my phone. I can not keep track of my personal belongings. I lose things I am using all the time. The biggest joke is usually my cup of coffee. I never know where I leave it as I rush around in the mornings. Sometimes in the microwave where it is being reheated for the 5th time, sometimes in the windowsill, on the sink in the bathroom, or on top of a dresser. I am really good at misplacing things and I can't find anything. I will throw a tantrum over the monsters that live in my house that eat our hairbrushes and shoes - and then as I am grieving on the couch that they are indeed gone forever my husband will spent .0002 seconds looking for said item and find it. Ohhh, don't forget about the issues this brings with the car keys... Talk about driving the husband batty. I'm proud to say that I have passed this dysfunctional DNA on to my oldest daughter (who is a mini-me of me) and yet I have the audacity to tell her to more responsible after getting note after note about this from her teacher. Also-- I hate lists. I know I need them but I despise them. I thought since I love to write and journal I could easily put lists into them of things I need to do. Every time I made them it really did help but I felt like some how I was violating a freedom of my soul. It is the commitment... to complete the tasks of that day that drives me to the point of hyperventilating. Before I went to Africa, I had two friends come over to help me with what I needed to do. I drove them nuts. I had no to do lists in sight and was in the middle of twelve different things that were going no where. Thank goodness for friends who know when you need an intervention.nn
AKH - March 5th, 2012 at 8:19 AM
Thanks for answering my first and only phone call to you. I liked when you asked me to evaluate it when we were finished. I'm going to forward this to my husband so he knows I'm not the only one with every single one of these diseases. But since I want to badmouth his mom and sister for trying to change my ways, should I not? Ok, I won't badmouth.
Rachel - March 5th, 2012 at 8:20 AM
Totally the same about the phone. Jimmy and I bought crappy pay monthly phones when we were in the states. I lost mine after a few weeks- so all those unchecked messages are eternally unchecked. Then we both shared that terrible, worst texting tool ever-of-a-phone and avoided it like the plague. I shouldn't drag Jimmy to my lower level here. I have a confession to make. Sometimes when I would hear it ring (I don't know why I'm saying 'would' as if this was in the past) I would run from it and hope Jimmy or my eager-to-answer children would answer. Or I would hope they wouldn't and someone would leave a text message. I don't know what lies beneath this issue b/c I love the people that are calling, usually. Just can't deal in any sort of adult way.
Konnie-with-a-K Robinson - March 5th, 2012 at 8:21 AM
My out-going message on my voice mail says: "I am terrible about voice mail, I NEVER check it. So, please, hang up
Andie - March 5th, 2012 at 8:22 AM
I'm right there with you ladies. I cannot even set foot in the San Marcos library for I'm sure they have a warrant out for my arrest due to the pathetic grand total I owe them in late fees. I found it was much easier to switch to the Buda library, who I might add is much more forgiving in their late fee policy.
Anne King - March 5th, 2012 at 8:28 AM
If I were to say all that about myself to you.. you would say it was negative self talk.. not self knowledge.. you may not feel you measure up to various Bible scholars, etc.. but you speak to the ones you were meant to speak too.. your stream of consciousness writing is great for my ADD brain.. and many other folks I know who are not ADD.. so carry on..
your long lost sister - March 5th, 2012 at 8:34 AM
I love you
George - March 5th, 2012 at 8:37 AM
Wow, good to know that I'm not alone. I am unemployed and thinking of changing careers at the young age of 53. This post and all the comments have inspired me to look at the possibility of becoming a "Life Coach". Or perhaps a, "It is what it is, and that's ok Life Coach".
Jen Hatmaker - March 5th, 2012 at 9:20 AM
I believe you could find gainful employment without ever leaving this blog thread. We need help.
Jennifer Ellis - March 5th, 2012 at 8:42 AM
Scrapbooking. I have friends who have libraries of them, documenting every poop and halloween of their childrens lives. I don't LIKE scrapbooking. It is a waste of time imo. I tried, I bought expensive tools and paper, nothing to show for it! I am fighting narcissism in my children, who needs 1 entire book dedicated to 3 short months of their lives? You think I'm kidding? Have you met scrapbookers? I have pictures on nice disks that my children can all have copies of when they are grown, we are saving trees!! nnI always have a late tab at the library and video store, one of my best friends is the librarian, we just laugh and say they all know who I am:)nnI am not good at remembering things. You need me to bring a cake to the fellowship, or show up to help with school lunch? You better call me the morning of. I have had so many mini heart attacks after remembering something I neglected to do. I try to be responsible for as little as possible. nnI also lose things. Phone, keys, $500 in ticket money for our ladies group, which was found:) I do not let myself ever be in charge of collecting money or keeping track of important papers or tickets.
Nancy - March 5th, 2012 at 8:43 AM
The phone thing? I won't even go to the store to get one. Anyone besides me NOT have a cell phone? That also might be related to my belief that if I ignore my checkbook/bank account it will eventually pay all those bills and reconcile itself.
Beth - March 5th, 2012 at 8:49 AM
Your blog is a breath of fresh air. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my weirdness. I hate answering the phone, too. I will avoid it at all costs. If people need me that bad, they will leave a message. I can choose to return their call. Or not. :) I hate going to the post office, even if it's a book of stamps. I will beg and plead for my husband to go get them. It's torture. If I'm in the grocery store doing weekly shopping, I am focused on my list, and if I get distracted by people who want to talk, I lose focus, and miss bargains. Or leave something off my list. That ticks me off. So, I avoid people I recognize at all costs. I will hide and skip aisles entirely to avoid them. And grocery lists are my only lists. I can't do a list for ANYthing else. I tried to be so Cleaverish (as in June) when my kids were young. Chore charts, points, bucks, whatever. Never lasted.They're overrated anyway. Right? I have never dusted the baseboards in my house. And I never will. Don't even ask how often I vacuum. It's a rebellious streak I must maintain. I cannot use cruise control. I've tried. It freaks me out. What if it sticks and I can't stop? Every now and then, I try it again, esp on a long trip. I just can't do it! It's a control issue, and it's bad. So glad God uses the weak and our messes. Amen, girlfriend? :)
Chantel - March 5th, 2012 at 8:51 AM
I have discovered the freedom that is accepting and admitting the things in life that you suck at! I'm no longer ashamed that I'm not a fashion diva (a friend of mine constantly says, "I live in Austin, I don't have to match here"), Martha Stewart (don't ask me to make something pretty) or Mary Poppins. I'm not the fancy/put together pastor's wife. If my kids have an art project, when I help, it still looks like they did the whole thing themselves. I do make attempts to not lose my keys in my purse. I fail. My husband is way more organized than I. I am on time for things and stress like a psychopath if I am running late. It's not pretty. I'm weird...and aren't we all :) This is called community! LOL!nSweet freedom!
Michelle - March 5th, 2012 at 8:56 AM
All I have to say is that WE ARE ALL THE NORM... not the inadequate exception to all the neat-nicks and got-it-togethers (they are just like us and won't admit it anyway)! So there!
Jen Hatmaker - March 5th, 2012 at 9:17 AM
I believe you could find gainful employment without ever leaving this blog thread. We need help.
Valerie Henry - March 5th, 2012 at 9:29 AM
I had no idea phone phobia was so common. I feel so much better about myself now. Thank you. Thank you all.
Jules - March 5th, 2012 at 10:06 AM
I'm glad there's finally a name to it...phone phobia. I definitely have that problem and my husband gets so irritated with me. My coworkers think I'm backwards because I don't carry a cell phone with me. Oh, I own one somewhere. I absolutely hate to talk on the phone!!!
Kirsten - March 5th, 2012 at 10:24 AM
don't make me balance my checkbook!! or clean the bathrooms too often...
Leslie - March 5th, 2012 at 10:34 AM
My hair is your hair's obnoxious older sister. I can not "fix" my hair. I wash it, throw in the anti-frizz creme du jour and pray for favor. And somedays the curls fall in pleasant places. But most days, not so much. Case in point: in January, I went to the siesta scripture memory celebration at Beth Moore's church. Beth. Stinkin. Moore. And when I got to speak briefly to her I was having the worst hair day of my life! It was a wonky, misshapen mess. I tried to jam a bobby pin in it at the last minute with disastrous results. I didn't know if it was spiritual warfare or the Lord working on a little humility lesson, but it was bad. (Beth, of course, looked adorable and managed to be sweet and ignore my obvious hair shortcomings.)
Heather B. - March 5th, 2012 at 10:35 AM
I love reading you -- it's like someone wrote out the dialogues I have with myself in my head. My bailywick is getting rid of stuff and keeping the house clean. I was raised by people who never threw ANYTHING away. For reals. However, my parents are also so neat and organized that they can locate anything they own in about 5 minutes no matter how long they've had it, and you could choose any day of the week and their floors would be clean enough to perform open-heart surgery on without undue risk of infection. So, it takes me forever to get rid of stuff and when I finally do, my mom will say "Really? The Lava Lamp? Are you sure you won't need that someday?" or my personal favorite -- "Worn out sheets make great rags, are you SURE you don't want to keep these?" When she does this, all I can think is, "yes, and they'd make great bandages IF THIS WERE WORLD WAR I." And it is quite obvious that the organization gene skips a generation (or, thinking about my own kids, 2 generations..) because I cannot lay my hands on things I bought last week, let alone something I've had in storage for a year or two -- or 15 -- whatever).nnSolidarity, sister!
Abby - March 5th, 2012 at 10:38 AM
No doubt in my mind that this "Kaci" is from my Gaggle. She sent the rest of us over to read this post and said she promised not to point our what reminded her of me. Hmm...I currently have 3 vms that I haven't listened to - at least one being from her! I love this woman and we love Jenn (Yes, we're on a 1st named basis even tho we've never met. Jenn is probably scared of us!) and all of your studies.nI have to admit, Kac, when I read "Type-Aness", I read it as "anus" and giggled. My Gaggle rocks and we are better Christian women thanks to Jenn Hatmaker!
Kelly Jarrell - March 5th, 2012 at 11:07 AM
You poor, pathetic, dsyfunctional souls! I excel at everything! I am a dynamic figure who wooed her husband by playing sensuous and godlike melodies on the harp while wearing a dress displaying a modest amout of cleavage. I feed my children organic food from our multi-tiered garden and have been known to make extraordinary four course meals using only a toaster oven. I can cook 30 minute brownies in twenty minutes. My children wake themselves up, get ready for school in matching outfits that I sewed myself, serve me breakfast and sing "You are the Wind Beneath My Wings" before they depart for school. On Wednesdays, I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am a ghostwriter for David Platt and compose skits for Saturday Night Live. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I know the exact location of every food in the supermarket. I can text telepathically. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and all my bills are paid. I have the ability to translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees. I only sleep once a week, and when I sleep, I sleep in a chair. The rules of physics do not apply to me--allowing me to pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed. I am an expert in stucco, an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and I do not perspire or suffer from PMS. I have even spoken with Elvis. One more thing you must know about me--I am a pathological liar:)
Monica - March 5th, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Cracking up because I have the same problems, and then some. The batteries in my home phone died in September. We only have the landline because it hooks to our alarm, but that is also the number that the I hand out b/c I am scared Big Brother will start tracking my cell. When I get around the checking the messages, a month or so late, I find out that a few things: (1) Elderly neighbor across the street requested salt to melt the ice in her driveway. (It is now Spring. She survived, praise God, though with no help from me. (2) Family called to see if they could visit...three weeks ago. I am NOT earning the brownie points. Speaking of earning, like you, I am in allowance default. So much so, that I have decided to foreclose and do away with that payment (think Office Space lines here). Charts, organization, schedules, etc. Haaaaa!!! I have to remind my husband at least once per week that he did not marry Martha Stewart...and that is a good thing, I tell him b/c my criminal background would have prevented us from adopting three children. Amen. Cheers. And Goodbye.
Flowerpatch Farmgirl - March 5th, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Well, I have taken to wearing a bright yellow Grandma-knit sock hat that I bought at a thrift store AS MY HAIRSTYLE. I sometimes feel close to tears when it's time to "get ready" and then I think, Jeez, if I hate it this much, maybe I should just quit! No make-up. None. And then I remember that I look like the killer from Scream w/o concealer, so I slap some on, but I hate EVERY minute of it. My friend showed up today at pre-school pick up in bling jeans that were scooched down over the tops of black high heels. I wanted to kick her in the teeth. I hate answering my phone and most emails. I add status updates but rarely check "the feed". Since moving into the rental I have fallen off the laundry wagon because I am required to go DOWN TO THE BASEMENT. But I do cook a mean dinner. Some nights.nnBut one more thing: Were you able to sleep after DPs message? Not me. We went in to bed and Cory was almost asleep and my eyes were saucer-wide then I woke him up to say, "I don't want to move to one of the 6,500 unreached people groups where one of our kids could die. Or us. Is that bad?? Plus, what about the language barrier? What about THAT?"
Jen Hatmaker - March 5th, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I cannot deal with that talk. Hence, this dumb blog in its place. I just don't know. I JUST DON'T KNOW. I needed some details or examples or a story to back it up. I left at a complete loss. Me and my girlfriends were like, ummmmmmmm.....uhhhhhhhhhh....
Halee - March 5th, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I wash my hair three times a week, maybe. The dry shampoo is my best friend. This means that I get to sleep later, like till 7:10 when I have an 8am class, I usually walk in 2-5 after; during the prayer. I graduate college in May and still don't know how to write a paper, or study for a test, most of my homework is bs. I do not have the self discipline to refrain from texting in class, although my teachers claim that it is very rude. Is this a maturity issue? (I really hope Dr. New doesn't read your blog; or these comments) I need spell check web browsers to survive.n I am a mean wife, which is exacerbated by lack of caffeine, I tried to do the 7 things food month, after one week my husband called the whole thing off, because I was being meaner. Pretty sure that was not the goal of the fast. nThe only way I am able to do a daily Bible study is because I discovered an audio Bible app and I can listen while I put on my makeup. Before this it had been years without regular Bible reading. nI have been married for four years but still panic when my parents call, like I am going to be in trouble or something. nI am obsessive compulsive about having a clean house but can't throw anything away, so I deal in stacks, I have stacks of things everywhere that I am as of yet unable to deal with. I am a hoarder... I consider it a great feat that I have uncovered 130 items to donate to the local women's shelter, many of which I am suffering physical pain over losing. So that means I am greedy. I am a greedy hoarder. nI have these thoughts and desires to be all Proverbs 31 Awesome, but she gets up before the rest of the house hold and cooks for the household... eh not happening. nShe works with willing hands, and is all super crafty, making clothes and food. I like to paint; but that doesn't really benefit anyone. She is wise, kind, dignified and strong. I am obviously foolish since I am admitting all this on the internet for all to see, an extremely clumsy so dignified doesn't really describe me either. Kind? Strong? Well at least I am working on it. nAnd yet somehow God has chosen to bless me with a husband who sees none of this. (mostly; unless I am without my Dr. Pepper) At least I can say that I am a fine example of grace, because I'm afraid that is all I have going for me right now.
Jen Hatmaker - March 5th, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Listen, "Dr. New" and me and his sister used to take baths together. If he gives you grief for texting, I'll call him.
Luciana - March 5th, 2012 at 12:25 PM
OMG did I write this post? lol
Jen - March 5th, 2012 at 12:31 PM
My new year's resolution this year was to fill up the gas tank before the gas light came on. Yay, me! I'm in march and still haven't broken the resolution. I do have a list of rules that negate my rule breaking under certain circumstances (like if I'm on my way to the gas station and it comes on or if we are supposed to be going to the gas station but the hubs asks to go by another store first).
Anne - March 5th, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I am shockingly relieved that I don't suck at this stuff. Call me. I can mentor you. ;)
Kathy Ripberger - March 5th, 2012 at 12:59 PM
oh that is funny
Sarah - March 5th, 2012 at 1:05 PM
Putting clothes away... my husband does and rather enjoys doing our laundry however he has a belief (one that sounds rational enough) that since he does the laundry and folds it i shoudl put it away... logical enough i guess, however here i Sit at work knowing that when i get home there are 4 baskets of clean folded laundry to be put away, and 2 of those baskets are in our kitchen. and 2 of the baskets have been sitting around for about 2 or so weeks. I suppose i should go home tonight and put those away......
Halee - March 5th, 2012 at 1:06 PM
haha! :D sounds good! I was so sad that I didn't get to take his classes in my last semester of college, he has really been a very big and good influence on my life.
Cheryl - March 5th, 2012 at 1:15 PM
so good to know I (and apparently dozens of others) are not alone in all this. and the phone thing? i know exactly why i don't answer it....i depend on body language to understand what is being said. plus i read somewhere that if you have good boundaries you won't always answer your phone, so i'm exercising EXCELLENT boundaries. that's my story and i'm stickin' to it.
Andie - March 5th, 2012 at 1:25 PM
Jen, what is your and your husband's myers briggs? just curious. nI am ENFP and husband is ISTJ. opposite in.every.category.. thankfully we have learned to peacefully coexist and compensate for the differences and dysfunctions. i am very inconsistent with all these things you mentioned. I am either really early or really late- never on time. I am either really put together with makeup and clothes or covered in spit up and wearing my slippers to carpool. really desperately disorganized unless it really matters (aka my amazingly organized files for both sons' adoptions). the list goes on....
A - March 5th, 2012 at 1:29 PM
why are you still TALKING ABOUT IT?!? For the love. Can you please just talk about platform shoes or zac efron or zombies?
Lisa - March 5th, 2012 at 1:44 PM
I am increasingly convinced that I must use both sides of my brain equally. I am two people...I am you AND I am Brandon. Therefore, I am constantly at war with myself. I refuse to menu plan because that would interfere with cravings, moods and that new recipe I'm dying to try NOW. On the other hand I get excited when I merely see the words Daily Planner or Weekly Planner. I will usually answer a call if I think it might be important (or listen to/answer voice mails)...but I hate to make phone calls! I think a small part of me is certain that whatever time I choose to dial will be incredibly inconvenient for the person on the other end. One part of me desperately wants a place for everything and everything in it's obnoxiously cute/functional place, but the other part of me doesn't have time because she's decorating/DIYing, or having a nerf war, cooking up a storm, reading a book...or racing to get somewhere because I, too, stink at getting ready :)
Lisa-Jo@thegypsymama - March 5th, 2012 at 2:03 PM
On the upside, I doubt many of those places will have issues with make up, rental returns, cell phones, blow drying or washers and dryers...who knows, you might feel right at home :)
Kathi - March 5th, 2012 at 2:22 PM
Oh my gosh Jen! You kill me. I totally stink at enforcing any sort of chore chart/rotation/assignments. Our kids will all end up in therapy, "I wanted to be responsible...but my Mom...." nnAlso, the phone. That was me. Guess what we did? Cancelled our land line. It is AWESOME every. single.day. No more ringing phone
michelle s - March 5th, 2012 at 2:33 PM
Sister?? Is that you?? We could be related. I have trained EVERYONE who knows me to email or if they must, text me. But I will not answer the phone if they call. We recently moved to a new house and lived a year without a landline but finally broke down and got one so we could call our kids when we leave them home alone. I only gave this number to 3 of my closest friends, who know better than to call it. My mom doesn't have this number. Nor any other relative, friend or neighbor. I also told my husband I would only agree to hook this line up if we disabled the voicemail capability. ;)
Casey - March 5th, 2012 at 2:35 PM
I should add I've hit IGNORE 4 times today...and just let three others go to voicemail...Nope not gonna do it today either. After all if I wanted to talk to them I would have called them.
chris - March 5th, 2012 at 2:45 PM
you are my new BFF. I am jealous that your hair is long enough for a bun. Mine is too short, so I do the "glasses on top of the head to look cool but it's really just to add some body to my hair" type of "do".
Angie - March 5th, 2012 at 3:03 PM
ok, seriously, I may have peed a little laughing at this post!!!! I have a twin sister, and she and I both agree that you simply must be our long-lost triplet. I've lost track at how many times I've been told to make a "to-do" list, or "chore charts" for my kids. No, it doesnt work. I have 4 small boys. The charts get torn down, the stickers to the charts end up on the floor, in the bathtub, in my hair. I figure if I dont make a to-do list, than I dont have to feel like an absolute failure at the end of the day for not getting my to-do list done.
d.l. mayfield - March 5th, 2012 at 3:06 PM
Sometimes I look at my toddler, face smeared with food and with her strange, wispy hair sticking straight up and think: "now, shouldn't someone be concerned with her appearance?" And then I remember that I am her mother. But it is just too much work. Ragamuffins we shall be.
Cyndi - March 5th, 2012 at 3:30 PM
Pretty sure you're my long lost twin sister. And I'm probably the one that lost you, since I can't keep track of anything. Or anyone. We have four children, and it is by the grace of God that I know where all of them are on a regular basis. I still panic occasionally and look around for my oldest son--he went away to college two years ago. And meal planning? PLEASE. It is 4:30, I just got home from work, all of the children (and the poor unsuspecting house guest that we have for the next three months) are going to be hungry in about an hour and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M MAKING FOR DINNER. And yes, I'm on Facebook and reading blogs, because Heaven forbid I not be completely caught up with my bloggy friends every moment of every day. I have three hours of homework to do (due at midnight) so that I can FINALLY finish my Masters, so that I will be qualified to teach small children to read (providing I don't lose them) and I'm on the computer. Oh. And my house looks like the Egyptian protests were held here. Yesterday.nnThe worst part of all of this? Being so disorganized and scatterbrained makes me nervous...hence the medication to calm my nerves that would probably be just fine if I could get my act together. nnThanks for making my day. Now. Any suggestions for what I can make for dinner?
Cate - March 5th, 2012 at 4:44 PM
Confession, I just deleted 25 unlistened to voicemails, 25. I am a planner in most departments, but I hate hate hate listening to voicemails. I also am incapable of taking out the trash. I am convinced that the reason I am an unmarried 31 yearold is that God is perfecting my husband's trash taking out skills, and making him practice it a lot. That is the truth.
Ashley - March 5th, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Okay, perfect example. I just looked out my kitchen window and discovered that our new-ish backyard neighbor is my 5-year-old's best friend from school, "Elizabuf" Kate. I, a. Hesitated to tell her, and b. hesitated to let her go out to play with her because I didn't want to have to talk to her mom, you know, because I'm awkward. My 14-year-old daughter wouldn't have allowed it, though. She makes me act like a big girl.
Katie Gonzalez - March 5th, 2012 at 5:00 PM
I'm not really good at anything except making my children cry (one's been goin' at it for about 2 hours now up in her room. I know, I know. The punishment for playing with daddy's POCKETKNIFE was totally unjustified). So I guess I'm bad at most things:n-I do everything in lists with bullet points. But if I make a To Do List of things to do I promptly lose it.n-My husband frequently says, when looking at all the dirty clothes, unfolded laundry, and dirty kitchen, "SO what did you do today?" And I often can't tell him what productive thing I did unless Facebook counts as productive!n-I found 2 birthday cards I wrote but never mailed last night. Birthdays were like 6 months ago. n-Out of me and my 4 children only 1 library card can be used because we owe too many fines.n-Went to return library books today only to realize I didn't bring any with me when I got there.n-Answered the door this morning to my friend's husband to babysit for them in my blue, flannel with geese on them jammies that my mother game me umpteen years ago because I forgot to get dressed before he got there. I momentarily contemplated putting on my husband's parka to cover up. Did I mention I'm 40 and wear jammies with geese all over them?n-I am on the ministry team of our Foster and Adotion Ministry, Promise 686, at our church and I am supposed to take care of certain things and they usually are communicated thru email and I frequently forget to check it. For days. And I'm the director of the Foster Care part. Thankfully that whole, "I'm just a volunteer" things gets me a lot of forgiveness!n-I usually plan dinner when my kids ask what we're having about 7:00. We eat lots of PBJ sandwiches. I made something in the crockpot the other day and they all looked at me like I'm an alien!nSisterhood of Ineptitude, UNITE!n
mandi@herbanhomestead - March 5th, 2012 at 5:18 PM
There- what you said- about getting ready and the hair and the flip-flops. Mmm-hmm. That's me. Right now I'm wearing a tank top and jeans that are 8 years old. And I can't remember when I washed my hair. And I'm 35. Sad, sad, sad.
Reva - March 5th, 2012 at 5:47 PM
I never mailed out the thank-you cards after my wedding (a year and a half ago). My husband and I should just get rid of our dressers because we NEVER take care of our clean clothes. I hate calling anyone. I am awful at RSVPing, but am completely irritated and hateful to others when they don't RSVP to MY events. I eat my feelings. And I refuse to establish a budget.
Melissa - March 5th, 2012 at 6:08 PM
I happen to have a huge phone issue as well. and when I do call my friends back and they ask if I listened to their message, I'm all like, duh? do I ever?...my kids know to text if it is important. I should get better about that but I.just.can't.nnRadical rocked our world, as a family and the way we live out the gospel, so I can't imagine hearing David Platt challenge me in person. Praying for you!!
Orenda Smith - March 5th, 2012 at 7:29 PM
love the post
Orenda Smith - March 5th, 2012 at 7:29 PM
Wow you all have brighten my day and made me laugh!!! It is nice to know there are other people like me. I have about ten books and Bible studies going right now and can't seem to get just one done. I can't stay focus for nothing. My memory forget it, it is so bad sometimes I lose myself half the time. I try to be organize as much as I possibly can, but it seems to never work out. I end up right back in the same mess that I started with. Writing I can only do when my writing spirit wants to write, other wise you will see blank pages. Sometimes I feel there many different people living in me, because some days I can be organize, on the straight and narrow, miss very clean and neat. Then there are other days I just say forget everything I am not do anything today. Then there are days I want to be the hero want to rescue every one and help everyone. I call those my I can do anything days. My husband he a truck driver, so I don't get to see much of him. When he here we pretty much on the same page with things. Where ever the day takes us that is where we going and what we doing. We don't ever plan anything,expect to pay the bills, tithe and food. My husband and I, I can say we mostly the type of people take things on the whim. No kids thank God, because it probably be a Tornado here. Oh like that other lady I probably lose my kids a lot, because I can't remember half the time what I am doing. All in all my life is great and God is changing me. God Bless to all Love Orenda
sheri - March 5th, 2012 at 7:49 PM
Just got your book. So happy I found your blog - it totally rocks! I LOVE it.
April - March 5th, 2012 at 8:03 PM
I can so relate! I'm glad I'm not the only person who is bad at normal life things. I stink at planning ahead. As in dinner sneaks up on me regularly. I rarely fold and put away the laundry. I tried to make allowance accounts since I never have cash, but soon none of us knew how much I owed them. I'm late for church almost every Sunday. Our small church plant. That my husband pastors! And which starts at 10:45. (Jen, I think your hair and mine are cousins.) I hate making phone calls. Even to friends. And I'm bad at keeping a clean house. And car. And purse.
Kristen - March 5th, 2012 at 8:14 PM
I'm the queen of good intentions
Angelia - March 5th, 2012 at 8:58 PM
ummm, ditto. Pretty much my life.... but now when my 8 year old asks about the allowance I've been talking about for years, I simply reply, "They're not chores. They are your payment for living in this wonderful home, wearing those clean clothes, and eating all those delicious meals I made you" :) And I'm glad to know I'm not the only 30 something that doesn't wear make-up. I actually bought my first blush since high school about a month ago because I had to borrow my 5 year old's blush for a special event! And, btw, I'm glad I'm not the only pastor's wife that feels it necessary to use %#@!* because we can't really say what we are thinking :)
Jenbunch Tompkins - March 5th, 2012 at 9:49 PM
Cleaning my master bathroom. It is frat-house dirty 97.4% of the time. If my mother saw it, she would exile herself in shame of our relation. If my friends saw it, they would smile and say they didn't care, but then I would see them nevermore. It is a disaster of dust, q-tips, hair of all nastiness, big and little boy urine, dripped toothpaste, concealer and hair product. I'm about to go cry myself to sleep just at the thought.
Becca - March 5th, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Seriously, these sound like I could have written them! Also, many more things on my "I should be grown-up and able to handle this by now" list . . . including (always always always) forgetting to put my laundry in the dryer before it sours and my whole family smells like poop because of nasty sour clothes. Oops. Oh and forget about actually folding and putting away laundry if I DO actually do it. Also, we are always making budgets and then losing our budgets . . . nice right?
andrea - July 3rd, 2013 at 4:40 PM
Use a drop of nilodor and rewash themm. It takes the smell away. (Its a small green bottle at the grocery store. I think only I did this! ;)

Jamie - March 5th, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I have never felt so understood! I still have unsent thank-you notes from my wedding.....17 years ago! I don't even deserve to have a phone. And having a good friend work at the library is a GOOD thing. Let's not even talk about meal planning. The question I hate most is "Mom, what's for dinner?" Your words are beautiful! The things that waste our brain power....while we should be focusing on spreading the gospel!nI can't wait to read your book!
Amy - March 6th, 2012 at 8:47 AM
I'm resisting the urge to share our 'chore charts' only because they are so pitiful. The kids tape a piece of paper on the fridge and whenever I need them to do something I say, "Can you (fill in the blank)?? I'll give you a star sticker." And after several dozen land on the paper, we hit the dollar spot at Target. It's totally tailor made to fit our crazy life... I need stuff done, I have kids, they want a reward for motivation... nnAfter trying a lot of methods, this is the only one that has stuck. For a whole six months now.
Melissa - March 6th, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Oh my gosh, there are so many comments! My guess after reading this is that you'll not likely get to mine, which because I am severely cursed with a lack of confidence of being liked, I'll plan ahead (he he!). I rarely answer the phone, which seems to be an extremely popular non-past time. I absolutely abhor making dinner every day. EVERY DAY! Don't people need to fast? I really get tired of it. And leftovers are just ridiculous. I don't even have kids - just 10 years with a really wonderful man who never complains about my lack of desire to cook. How backhanded is that?! What one of my absolute favorites, though, is when I have come up with such an incredibly clever thought, I share it, and no one gets it. Totally wasted. Then, when I find those who would have appreciated the quip, the moment is gone and trying to relive it is painful. Now then, I'll go off to my la-la land and think of all the things that I doubt I'll do today due to my general lack of self-discipline!
Ali - March 6th, 2012 at 10:06 AM
I'm terrible about making the "free" library system in my city extremely expensive! I was once again embarrassed yesterday when my hubby was with my at the public library and I was denied checking out 3 books for my son's research project on Mt. Rushmore because I had already checked out over the maximum number of books 50 book out limit. My husband came to the rescue and helped our son check out the books on his library card. My library card had yet another "surprised" late fees $8.90. I think every time I go I have a surprise late fee! What is FREE for everyone else in the city cost me nearly $30 a month membership fee! Haha! Seriously, I feel very ashamed at this waste of moola! But, I can't keep up with our library book inventory with out getting late fees!nnI can not spell and I'm always asking my husband and my 2nd grader how to spell very simple and obvious words! I just can't wait till my youngest two kids can spell so I can rotate asking every family member equally and get less of those "you seriously don't know how to spell that word" looks from my husband and my 2nd grade son! nnUnfortunately, I could relate to your cleaning systems / chore chart fall out and not being able to get myself ready and I have crazy hair and I blame it on the hair (I'm 37 years old for crying out loud)! Grown up? Not me! I actually get really discourage by these lackings of mine! :)nnSo I've decided I must be your cousin (not your sister) since I do love answering the phone...its a momentary distraction from what I'm suppose to be doing like cleaning and chore charts and meal planning! :)nn~ Ali
Anna - March 6th, 2012 at 10:28 AM
I am constantly late (a trait my husband is determined to change)! I always think I can fit one more thing in before I have to leave. My hair is unruly too, which is why it stays fairly short forcing me to fix it so I do not get any comments from the hubby. My brain swirls with jumping thoughts from I'm hungry (no you're not, you don't know what hungry is) to I don't want to do my work ( you need to work because you are fortunate to be able to work) to how do I reach all the unreached (thanks so much for the guilt David Platt) to I have the worst grammar in the world and need to go back to school (just 4 more years till my child hits Kindergarten, so I will relearn with her, right?). Anyway, read 7 with my bible study group and loved it!!! Great inspiration! Also, have read a few back blog entries...you might want to look up the term Misophonia. It has to do with noise. My sister-in-law has it for sure, and combined with her type-A personality and a law degree it brings out just the best side her! Needless to say, we all tiptoe around her at times. You might have it, but thankfully your personality is not so type-A!
Melissa - March 6th, 2012 at 4:46 PM
This made me laugh a big ole laugh that I much needed. And here I thought I was the only one. I put so much mental pressure on myself to at least try and to be a little more like my friends I admire so much. But bottom line is I can find great joy when my socks match and my t-shirt is not overly wrinkled. I tell myself to be thankful it is clean. I finally threw away last year the make up that I had purchased from the Denver CO SAKS after a big make-over in 1992 that I had been saving to where when I finally got around to wearing make-up. Most of the household-mom stuff I have a handle on because I have to and I am a Martha raising three girls and somewhat of a health nut. I dream big at having an organized pantry, meal planning and cooking ahead...I keep my house reasonably clean most of the time because deep down my mother or prince charming could stop by unannounced. I know I am weird and yet I find myself over-blessed with some amazing 'got it together' and Godly women friends. =)
Linda - March 7th, 2012 at 7:41 AM
Ya, what is it about that stupid alarm on the dryer that makes me runn the other way screaming? Throw in a wet washcloth and a little steam does wonders to fluff on times two or three, but I can certainly understand. Or, I get the socks out and man I do not want to match them up....why is that?
Chandra - March 7th, 2012 at 9:17 AM
I. Don't. Plan. Dinner. I mean, my husband is a carnivore and very much against leftovers. He gets home at 5. I stress all day long about what to cook, then look for the FIRST time AT 4:50 to try to get a game plan...oh geez...when will I learn? I mean, we've been married for almost 10 years?! When I DO (rarely) plan ahead, I feel so much better...and dinner is better...and everything in the world seems right...ugh...n
Joy - March 7th, 2012 at 10:20 AM
OMG! This made me laugh so hard! I don't know how to break this to you....but it gets worse with age...and menopause! Honestly, I used to have it all together. I was so organized, planned ahead, could buy groceries for the whole month except for produce and dairy. Now...at 50...it's all gone! Nothing, got nothing left! I try to blame it on the 6 year old (yes, 50 and have a kindergartener)...but I think it's all related to hormones. So....embrace it! Honestly, I'm finding it kind of freeing to not have it all together anymore. I used to talk on the phone for hours. Now I just hate talking on the phone. I don't answer my cell very often...except in the car. Which is why I hardly ever talk to my brother...because if he realizes I am driving he makes me hang up. Geez! When did he get so mature!? ANYWAY, I digress (see what I'm talking about). I'm going to ask the doctor tomorrow if menopausal women can take ADD medications...seriously!
KD - March 7th, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Potty training my child!
ruhama - March 7th, 2012 at 1:45 PM
Eek! ME, TOO! In fact, I sat down this past Sunday to plan out a week of meals, but we already were off by Tuesday. It doesn't help when hubby comes home announcing he felt like hamburgers tonight, so he stopped by the store...
Ericka Jackson - March 7th, 2012 at 7:43 PM
HELLOOOO #2, #3, and #4! Thank the LORD I am not the only one!nnAnd let's add to that a complete lack of time management (what do you mean I can't do all 17 of these things in an hour?! SURE I CAN?! Not.) and the inability to respond to email/fb msgs because they have gotten to an unanswerable number and I'd rather just scroll down my newsfeed. :|nnSo glad I am not alone in my slacker-ness!
Judy - March 7th, 2012 at 10:32 PM
my son was always afraid of loud noises, even vaccum and blender, the mixer etc. Not that I used any of them very much, but when he was about 8 I had to drag the IRON out of the back of the linen closet and when he seen it he had a panic look on his face..."how loud is that thing???" Yeah, I never iron. If I leave things in the dryer too long and there is no hope to fluff or revive them, I rewash them. We we used to camp I would bring all the dirty dishes home and run them through the dishwasher. i mean really, do dishes in a dishpan at the campsite!! could go on for hours
Jordyne - March 8th, 2012 at 4:28 AM
It feels so good to hear so many people are the same way about the phone. I am terrible at answering my phone. I never answer it, even though I always have it with me. And voice mail is worse! Jen, it's true. If you don't hear the message, then it doesn't exist, and you don't have to do anything about it. In college, I would come home and my roommates would make me get out my phone and they would make me check my voice mail (meaning they would call my voice mail, put it on speaker and make me sit in the same room while they listened to my messages.) One of my friends once told me that whenever he would call me he would leave a message, hang up and pray "Lord, in your good time..."
andie - March 8th, 2012 at 6:59 AM
I just wanted to let you know, I too, have this problem. oh it's horrible. I won't let my MIL near my room. ha ha.
Michelle - March 8th, 2012 at 8:02 AM
My husband has 9 dress shirts. I hate to iron. I will let you guess how many of said dress shirts haven't been laundered so I don't have to iron them. Do that algebra kids.nnAlso, I SUCK at algebra.
Candy - March 8th, 2012 at 9:45 AM
All of this. Everything. I have 33 unheard voicemails on my phone. Actually most of my friends have given up on calling me. Oh and chore charts...how many times i have tried and failed. so sad. My blog is neglected. Which is frustrating bc i love writing it. we would make great friends who would never hang out bc we'd never answer each others calls or plan coffee dates ahead of time. nPs my husband was at verge. He said you were great. :)
Sally - March 8th, 2012 at 12:11 PM
oh my goodness! you just reminded me that I have 2 red box movies from 2 weeks ago i have to return! friends wonder why we have so many kid movies and I just sheepishly smile. Don't even get me started on library books.
elizabeth - March 8th, 2012 at 1:26 PM
Oh, thank the Lord. Finally, a woman who gets me! I have curly hair, so the bun is kind of a mass of hair piled on the top of my head. But same difference...nnhttp://www.adoptiongoddess.com
Becky - March 8th, 2012 at 1:32 PM
I cannot launder socks and help them find their little sole mate. Can't. My kids are rarely wearing socks that are an actual pair. I'm not sure what it is about that process but it has me totally baffled. Appreciate your humor and candidness. And I would rather talk about this than some of the things lurking over my mind as well. Enjoyed 7, by the way.
Lasso the Moon - March 8th, 2012 at 4:52 PM
I married a type-A and he has a type-A mother, who loves to leave voicemails and then get her feelings hurt when I don't reply to them (ever. or even within the same day!) So, I took action. My voicemail says the usual, hi you've reached anna and I can't come to the phone...but then it changes and I flat out admit that I will not be checking the voicemail within the next 3 weeks or longer, and that it might be a better idea if you texted, emailed, or called back. I don't know what's wrong with me (or us, apparently!) but I thought it was just time to get real.nThanks for sharing this. So funny.nAnna
Mallory - March 9th, 2012 at 2:24 PM
Oh yes. I do well at life for a few weeks and then I spin out of control into this nasty downward spiral. C.i.P.: I'm wearing yoga pants today and I ate an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies. I NEVER fix my hair.
Amber - March 9th, 2012 at 4:29 PM
Okay, my friend just told me that she is reading your book and loves your writing style and I that I would too. I just came here, saw this post about my...er, YOUR ineptness and I have to say she is right!nnI am totally with you on every point up there, except for the planning one. I am a planner. My husband is a planner. We feel like we are the only ones in the world because anytime we want to set something up with someone in a few weeks time, they cannot commit. Stress!nnMy in-laws talk to me about how horrible I am about the phone. So horrible that I have gotten my MIL emailing! :D I love her for it. nnLooking forward to checking out your book, 7, and reading more of your blog too! nnHave a great weekend!
Anna - March 9th, 2012 at 6:57 PM
Before I was married, I had great plans of baking my own bread, having a "salsa garden", making lasagna from scratch, having meals in my freezer for at least 2 weeks at a time, doing laundry every Monday just like my mom did, and having housework caught up so that my Gram wouldn't be ashamed. I enjoy baking, so I planned on wonderful meals (I got 3 sets of pots and pans for wedding presents and NO bed sheets). Huh, weird. Instead, I sometimes make bread, its been 2 years since I made homemade lasagna, my weed-garden flourishes, and there is frozen pizza in my freezer. But on top of it all, my confession is that I forget to feed my husband. No, really, I totally forget. We have our own business, and frequently we just get rolling in the day and around 4pm we look at each other and think "why are my hands shaky, my knees weak, and why am I grumpy?" Oops, forgot to eat. Lunch? Oh, yeah. Good thing I'm not married to a Hobbit! Bad wife. :-) This will HAVE to change-- when my son comes home, he will keep me on task, I'm sure. After he comes home, I'll be making 3 meals a day, they will be nutritious, I'll be doing laundry daily I'm sure, he can play outside while I'm pulling weeds, he'll have the bread recipe memorized because I'll be super-patient when he's helping me in the kitchen, lasagna will be a bonding experience, and my Gram will be welcome over anytime because my house will be cleaner. Oh, wait....nMaybe my confession is unrealistic expectations.
Joye - March 9th, 2012 at 11:01 PM
I'm totally floored that there are others of "us" out there!! Wow. This is so freeing. lol. Kind of like group therapy for the organizationally challenged. Everyone knows now to either call seven times or leave a text telling me they'll be at my doorstep in five minutes. No voicemail. I can't remember the last time I checked it! I lose my phone alllll the time and I don't even realize I've lost it. I totally tried the whole chores and charts thing but it turned out to be IOU's and oops I ran out of candy to bribe with. I never plan a day in my life. It just happens and we make it fun :)
Jodi - March 9th, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Checking the mail. And mopping the floor. I hate those things! I went so long without checking my mail that my 11-year old daughter brought a backpack to go get it because it was too much for her little arms to carry! I felt lazy, but started the process over immediately!
Shelby - March 10th, 2012 at 9:24 AM
We MUST be related! I swear, down to the unruly hair and the planning husband!! It is crazy and I constantly beat myself up for it, but I have tried every "chore" plan in existence and there is NO choice between folding clothes or sending my kids to the park!!
Danielle - March 10th, 2012 at 3:11 PM
I can't do things that are repetitive. Dishes, thawing the concentrate and actually remembering to turn it into juice, putting more toilet paper in the bathroom, starting laundry...you know, most of motherhood? Luckily I've managed to override this malfunction in the area of changing diapers or that would get really smelly. But for most things my poor husband still has to give me a good shove in the right direction. If I can't put it on my to do list and cross it off ONCE, I'm not interested.
Rachel - March 10th, 2012 at 4:27 PM
I've been known to run the clothes in water and hang them in the shower.
Stephanie - March 10th, 2012 at 4:32 PM
Two glorious words for you: DRY SHAMPOO! Greatest invention EVER! LOL! On the shampoo aisle...I have see suave and treseme brand....not that I know from using it often!
Deanne Broscious - March 10th, 2012 at 4:56 PM
Dude!!!! I used to have upwards of like 37 un- listened to voicemails.....(yeah, that's right, I am a masters level educated adult that still makes up my own words.....pretty sure un-listened is grammatically incorrect). That is until I discovered message to text. It has definitely changed my life!!!!!! You have to be a creative reader.....but most of them I can kinda decode. For example my name comes through as dean brushes. And e-mails........I just ignore them and let them pile up into oblivion.....in my own little world that way they just don't exist......and BTW....need the name of the anti-grease ball hair stuff.
Ashley - March 10th, 2012 at 7:04 PM
Here is the real truth... I am Type A all the way, except for voicemails. I had my intern check them last month and they had not been checked since October 29, 2011... there were 70 (and I do outreach for a living - this is embarrassing). I also hate washing my hair, its a disaster when I do (red, thick, course, thicker than thick, wavy and disobedient), so I got a membership to the Dry Bar (saved my LIFE - there's one in dallas), where someone blows it out twice a month for me. I love you. Reading 7 is the most hilarious life changing situation I've had. I hope you are my long lost auntie :)
Carrie - March 10th, 2012 at 7:12 PM
glad to know I am not alone...and wonder how many of my friends would sigh a HUGE gasp of relief to read this post and this thread??? Most of them, probably. But that would mean I would have to remember which blog out of the 20 or so I read today it came from and exert the energy to copy and paste the link...
Anonymous - March 10th, 2012 at 8:30 PM
I hate, Hate, HATE returning library books. I extend them the maximum time EVERY time. EVERY. TIME. I was currently charged about $300 in late fees, well, actually replacement fees since the stuff was overdue for so long. So, I finally took the books and movies back. Since the books and movies went back in circulation, they removed the replacement fees. But, I still have the late fees which add up to 90-something dollars. The worse part is we are moving and I have NO intentions of paying the late fee. And everytime our daughter asks to go to the library, I have to make up some lame excuse on why we can't go. sigh...
Tanya R. - March 11th, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Personally, I suck at cleaning. I mean it. I have five kids and I am fairly certain that they don't have a clue what a clean house looks like. Picked up, sometimes, but clean? Never. I hate cleaning floors. We live in an Italian monstrosity with four freaking floors of tile. It would take me a lifetime to have all the floors clean. I should pay a cleaning lady, but I can't justify the money. Plus, everyone knows you have to at least pick up for the cleaning lady. Pshaw. Whatever.
Courtney - March 11th, 2012 at 8:14 AM
Umm...so I want to show my husband this so he knows I'm not the only one, but then I fear he'll get himself in a tizzy thinking I've joined some kind of support group that's just further perpetuating my behavior. I just had to take my house off the market because after a year and a half with three small children I was seriously becoming physically ill. The stress of taking calls from the realtors office, keeping my house clean, and knowing I'd have to commit to someone else's schedule for showings was more than my mind could take. And I'm not going to lie....I heard the not so so silent gasp that swept through my Bible study group the other night when I ridiculously announced I only wash my hair twice a week and that my kids have been known to sleep in the clothes they wore all day. But when people ask "How do you do it all?"....I'm honest, and let them know about all of my shortcuts and failures. It's not fair to make people think you have it all together as they flounder for some sense of sanity every day...I think we're all kind of floundering in our own ways... Thanks for sharing your flounderings.
Katrina - March 11th, 2012 at 1:58 PM
Another long lost twin here, I'm always late, rushing into the bathroom at my kids school to make sure my makeup that I put on in the car doesn't look like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. Plan ahead? Never. Christmas cards that I plan to make like the beautiful ones my friend Crystal made one year, never happens. The thing that does get to me is the crying teenager swearing I'm ruining her life by making her late, she hates to be late. Why don't I get this? I hated when my mom made us late too. :( Oh I need to work on this. We will definitely need to hang out in Heaven one day. Let's not be late.
Natalie - March 11th, 2012 at 7:11 PM
Firstly, I just finished 7 and I cannot tell you how many times my husband annoyingly glanced my way as I laughed out loud or lovingly tried to offer him educational 7 tidbits (he was reading his own book). Month 5 and the Sybil reference had me howling. A friend loaned me the book and said "it was my kinda humor." Yep-she was right, you're my kinda people. But, in our defense our hair type does not stand a chance in the Texas humidity! And if you plan too much ahead you really are not living in the moment... Right?
cynthia - March 11th, 2012 at 9:22 PM
I am sorry - this all sounds very real - and I get it - I had 5 kids - but you have written 10 books! so somewhere you get it "together"!! Glad it's working for you!
marcy priest jackson - March 11th, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Thank you for sharing your ineptness on your blog....i feel like we are closer than i realized in personality....yikes! and I'm married to a planner also who DAILY deep sighs in response to my chaos and lack of planning :) once again, thanks for listening to my loaded answers at the PostMarked event in okc. i feel like the sinus meds i was on may have clouded my judgement on how long i was rambling...but you seem like a pretty grace-filled listener, I mean you accepted a CD from my mother. :) you were a huge blessing at Postmarked. So hope we get to gather together again sometime.
Jen Hatmaker - March 14th, 2012 at 3:48 PM
HA! Loved our time together, Marcy...praying for you in this next phase, sister. It's going to be epic.
Carmen - March 12th, 2012 at 10:19 AM
I'm just wondering how you get anything done with all the comments you get on your blogs. I just spent an hour doing this and I'm not even half way done and I have to quit because my daycare kids are wanting my attention. (Shhh, don't tell their parents...I am in the same room as them at least). So, after wondering how you get anything done with all these comments, I thought I would write ANOTHER comment for you to read. :-)
Pat in Texas - March 12th, 2012 at 7:42 PM
I made my husband promise me that if I ever have an emergency and he has to call 911, that he will drag me into the front yard before the ambulance gets here so I won't be embarrassed. I'd really like to fix up my house, but have no decorating abilities and it gives me a headache to think about it. Besides, it has looked like this for so long . . . oh, yeah, I don't answer the phone either. Or plan anything. Sorry about your hair, that must be a bummer. My hair is the only "okay" thing about me. Thank you so much for being so open on your blog! I'm smiling now. :)
Rae - March 12th, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I consider my library fines donations toward increasing literacy. No guilt in that!
Tatuu - March 13th, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I had a good time reading your post until I came across this---->This is all well and good for a nineteen-year-old college student or a missionary in Kenya, but I’m a 37-year-old author and speaker with daily access to a shower and electricity.nnI am Kenyan, born and raised in Kenya. Kenyans are humans who live in houses and not the wild, nah we do not live in forests and that clearly says that we have electricity and water and missionaries do not go without showering because of lack of the things you mentioned thereof. We live in houses, not in trees or funny looking structures.nnQuestion, have you ever been to Kenya? If not can you stop making claims of the things you do not know?nnI am an avid reader of your blog but I am offended by that statement and I think I need an apology on behalf of my fellow Kenyans. Or is it one of the things you do not do?nnWhat do you take us for? Can you think twice before being disrespectful to my country in future?nnTatuu (Proud to be Kenyan)
Jen Hatmaker - March 14th, 2012 at 3:53 PM
Tatuu, thank you for commenting. This was clearly a satirical statement, as not all college students don't fix their hair either. I'm sorry I offended you.
Jennifer Wildey - March 13th, 2012 at 9:50 PM
omg! we have everything in common.
Grace - March 13th, 2012 at 10:33 PM
thank You for completely validating me and my insane ways :) We are long lost relatives....

know, seriously!!!
Rebecca - March 14th, 2012 at 9:11 AM
i am completely inept at doing my hair... especially the washing part. this is born mostly out of my inability to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. (Praise the Lord for baby powder, which can cover a multitude of non-hair washing sins). I also cannot at all... for the life of me... follow a recipe. It is just too hard.
LaShanda - March 14th, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Hi!! I love getting cards from people but am the worst at sending them. Often times, weeks will pass after a person (who I really care about) has a birthday, and I email them and tell them how I'm the worst at getting cards out and I hope they had a good birthday. Sometimes I even write in a card, address it and never mail it. I pick out great cards too but no one would know it.



Also, dishes that can't go in the dishwasher. Enough said.
Jill - March 15th, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Love this post and the comments. I'm not alone! I show up to my daughter's preschool (in a methodist church, which also happens to actually pay me to be their assoc. dir. of children's ministry) most every morning, running late, forgetting a "sharing item"or who knows what else, looking like I didn't shower (even though I actually did). I require lots of "finishing" these days... gray roots that I just can't keep up with, breakouts (at 39 for goodness sake!!!) and dark circles that require a trowel to cover. I'm never caught up with my laundry, so rummaging through my closet is a crap shoot for my wardrobe. I'm certain the other moms and even the preschool teacher think I'm the biggest flake in the blizzard. There's just so much STUFF to keep up with and it makes my brain hurt. Thank you for this post... it made me day.
Victoria Andrews - March 15th, 2012 at 1:10 PM
Oh my! Our hair could be bffs! I also have curly, crazy hair. I went through all of middle school with this horrible white girl fro. And then in high school I looked like I had a bad perm with too much product. I have attempted to burn or destroy all evidence of those years, but my mom keeps catching me and forcing me to leave her photo albums alone.



I read David Platt's book almost 2 years ago, and I am still uncomfortable. I don't think I want to hear him speak. But then, I am also still uncomfortable about "7". But I have started making progress with your ideas. It was my inspiration for Lent, I have given up or given away something different each week. I cleaned out my closet and was sad about what I was giving away, and then became so convicted that I was sad about giving away a skirt I hadn't work in AT LEAST 2 years. Seriously!? How messed up are we that we feel the need to keep things we don't use? And by we, I mean me. I also had to go through my books which was like giving away children to me.
Leah - March 15th, 2012 at 1:14 PM
Mwahahahaha. I am a No Planner but I am most definitely a Don't-Answer-My-Phone and then Never-Check-the-Voicemails-So-That-They-Won't-Exist kind of person. In fact, my husband and I just had an argument (er...discussion) about this two days ago.

I said if he (and my mom) hadn't made me activate my voicemail I wouldn't have to ignore people's voicemails.

He said I should use the voicemail message to tell people I don't listen to my voicemails. Does that sound ridiculous to anyone else?

And anyway then THEY WILL STILL LEAVE ME VOICEMAILS which will evilly smirk at me from the lower righthand corner of my cell phone screen.

I said that not having a cell phone would solve the problem.

From there we quickly deteriorated into the idea of getting me a PDA that only sends texts, no calls, when I'm near wifi.

Poor man (spends his free time on tech websites and reassembling computers) married a Luddite.

I am sending this to him right now.
Sarah - March 15th, 2012 at 8:19 PM
Not to be all high and mighty and try to "fix" you, but have you tried the "Deva Curl System?" I used to equate my thick, coarse and curly hair to Charlie Sheen too, but this stuff rocks. I don't sell it. I just love it. It's given me loooove for my hair. So, there.



http://www.mydevacurl.com/



Try a Deva Curl stylist too. They cut your curls dry and with the curl and it doesn't make your hair freak out which is what I'm SURE your hair currently does for a week or so after a haircut. :]
Michelle Skelton - March 15th, 2012 at 8:59 PM
I was JUST talking to my husband the other day about my phone phobia!! I will hold the phone in my hand, look at the name, be so happy that person cared enough to call me, and be scared out of my mind to answer it!! I was NEVER like that in high school....



And I never finish anything... I get bored way too easily and move on to the next thing. I try to look at it positively and say that I'm a "Starter" and the world needs people like me!! LOL!
RAM - March 16th, 2012 at 3:10 PM
Jen!! Jen!! Jen!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I seriously thought I might need to seek professional help for my inability to answer the phone and/or listen to Voicemails. The longer those voicemails sit there with that little blue dot next to them

The more freaked out I become and the less likely I'll listen to them. I keep trying to make

Myself pull a "George" and do the complete opposite of what I would

Normally do in this and every situation but I just ant seem to answer a call and the red circle

With the white number on my phone mocks me.
Kasey - March 16th, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I didn't realize I was even supposed to answer my phone until reading this post. Seriously? And I thought listening to voicemail was completely optional. Like it doesn't count if they didn't actually talk to me.

And I definitley need the name of that spay.
Jen - March 18th, 2012 at 1:06 PM
I think I might love you. Just started reading your book, 7, and now this post, and yes...YES! I am inept in so many 'adult' areas, it would be pointless to even try to list them. I'm a phone ignorer too, and now I feel myself strangely justified by reading this post. It's not just me! :) Raising my cup of coffee to my sister from another mister.
diabra - March 23rd, 2012 at 5:53 PM
Snap. Me too. I don't fill my car up with petrol. Somehow I have managed to convince my husband that he does this task to show his love for me. We don't even have a home phone. I hate talking on the phone. I enjoy people, but have to almost be forced to go out of the house. I'm really good at writing out all the life happenings on the calender, but when I'm honest, they are everyone else's appointments. I don't know how others do it. Thankyou for this post. It made me laugh, yet rang true. Nice to know I am not alone :)
June - March 25th, 2012 at 7:10 AM
You (and I) fall into the category of "Task Unstructured". It is a wonderful way to justify all of our procrastinations. You just say, "Oh, well, guess it's because I'm task unstructured." All of your structured friends may look down on you for this, but it's okay--they were never meant to understand our ways. And it works a lot, until you run out of gas.... (like we unstructureds tend to do.)
Emily - March 26th, 2012 at 6:14 PM
THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! You just validated me more than any person ever could. Everything you wrote about yourself is something I struggle with in myself. I know what to do to be better and more proficient at what I aim to get done....I just don't seem to do it. I was already planning on reading 7, but now I'm even more motivated.
Kim - March 27th, 2012 at 7:48 PM
Lots of deficiencies...I don't use anti-bacterial anything. Rarely dust and vaccuum. I counted 11 pairs of my own shoes by the door in from the garage. Can't decorate- my kids are both in high school and I still have their grade school artwork tacked up in the sun room. But the queen mother of my failures is Dinner. Food in general. Love to eat...hate to think about eating. And bummed that as the Mom, people assume I am thinking about what they will eat. And then the crowning touch: when we go out to eat- because I didn't get my act together- I feel guilty that I didn't cook. The bizarre irony is for several years when the boys were little I was the head of "meals for moms" at our church and took other new moms dinner about once every week or two. The classic case of not serving where you're gifted. Anyway- thanks for a truly good laugh!
Colleen - April 5th, 2012 at 12:56 PM
The comments here are as much fun as the post itself. THANK you for making this issue so much lighter! We are all a mess, it is just that some people are better at hiding it. My confessions mirror just about everyone else's - except that I'm okay with my hair (when its not dirty). I am a mother to six kids that I should pay more attention to, I have a work at home job that I should be doing NOW while I'm reading and commenting on blog posts, I will figure out dinner when I stop at the grocery store after picking up the kids from school. I don't know why, but every couple of years I feel the 'need' to go back to the library and pay my ginormous fines and renew everyone's cards and try to 'borrow' books again. . . it always is a bad idea.



I know not what "7" is that has several references, but I see that I must find out! Now, go take a shower - you'll feel better. ;-)
Diane - April 14th, 2012 at 7:08 AM
I love you blog its like you video tape my daily life! Thank you.


emily - May 2nd, 2012 at 9:23 AM
i HATE answering my phone. HATE IT -HATE IT-HATE IT!! thank you for understanding. it's a load off to know other people avoid phones
Leslie - June 29th, 2012 at 7:49 AM
I think you are my long lost twin sister... Thank you for posting!!
Nancy H - July 17th, 2012 at 1:12 PM
NEVER got the wedding photos ordered, never. Our 16 year old daughter finally put the best 3 x 5 proofs into the blank wedding album I bought 23 years ago and voila! we have a wedding album! And I'm not even kidding.
audra - July 23rd, 2012 at 3:24 PM
I feel as though you have this magical quality of making every woman in the world want to be your best friend. :) I live in Dallas, and since reading "7" have considered driving to Austin just to track you down and make you be one of my people.



I suffer from the same phone dysfunction. I avoid answering the phone at all costs, no matter who it is and how much I like them. I've mostly talked all the people who actually know me out of leaving voicemails; my mama's remarkably persistent, though. Working on that one.
Name - November 9th, 2012 at 9:06 PM
just buy some cocaine and fuck a nigger
Lindsey Arnold - February 8th, 2013 at 12:38 PM
I love your candor!!! You're ready for some Life Coaching? I'd love to work with you - first session's free to try out!!!
Stacy - June 28th, 2013 at 11:17 AM
I am so glad you linked this in today's blog because I too absolutely cannot answer my phone or listen to my voicemails. Oh the anxiety! I cannot. I will not. Accept it or find another friend. I can't believe there is another person on this planet like this!
Staci King - July 4th, 2013 at 2:24 AM
Once again, thanks for getting me through the 2 am feeding. I didn't die so that's progress.
I am pretty organized but also cannot maintain a chore chart/ allowance system. It's looking hopeless. I also cannot download updates to my laptop. My 100 year old Dell laptop takes approximately 17 hours to download an update and reboot so it's been a couple of years since I did it. There are so many update notifications popping up that I feel like I'm at the mall walking quickly by the kiosks and trying not to make eye contact.
Julia Goolia - September 9th, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Ummmm...i know that you posted this a bajillion years ago, but i'm gonna need to know about this magical can that makes my hair appear clean without having to actually clean it. Because i am bad at showering. Too early in the friendship to admit that? ;)
Steph - October 2nd, 2013 at 9:30 PM
Dry shampoo. Lots of different kinds. It.is.miraculous.
Missy Froeber - March 14th, 2014 at 4:34 PM
Just going thru all your older blogs for a laugh and a bit of inspiration today. I am sooo bad at Birthday greetings, Christmas cards, thank yous . . . If I have to write it and put it in an envelope with a stamp . . . it's not happening. My kids are growing up without ever sending thank you cards for a single gift. I remember birthdays after the fact so what is the point of buying a card then? It's too late. And don't even get me started on Valentine's Cards! I'm going with the Hallmark conspiracy to make us spend our money frivolously, but when I pointed this out to my husband on the occasion of not having gotten him a birthday card or a Valentine's Day card or an anniversary card . . . he just rolled his eyes. As for the phone thing, I have never set up my voice mail. no one can leave me messages so I don't have to worry about them at all. It's such a relief although that also drives my husband crazy :)
Amy E Patton - April 22nd, 2014 at 12:14 AM
All I can say is I thought I was the only one! My friends razz me for never answering my phone and why people see me and inform me that they left me a voice mail is beyond me because most of the other 99% of the time they are emailing me to say that my voice mail box is full. And of course, I have 99 MILLION unopened emails staring me in the face because it might ruin my life to find out what people actually want to talk to me about.... Oh, and the fact that I read this post about 2 months after my friend sent it to me probably also reveals a little bit about my procrastination issues... speaking of which, I better go. Laundry is sky high and I think I lost my kids somewhere in the mess. Good night, and thanks for making me forget all those awful horrible convicting things David Platt keeps telling me in his book and podcasts....
Ang :) - May 8th, 2014 at 4:24 PM
Yes! I'm not the only one who doesn't answer their phone. I have felt the same way. I'm a freakin adult I should know how to do this. My talk minutes at the end of the month:12 text: 8 million. Thanks for being hilariously real and authentic
Reuben - September 27th, 2014 at 12:48 PM
My life deficiency is that I can't wait to see who called in case it's my, I think, still girlfriend. I've been incarcerated, i've been stationed on the DMZ for a little over a year, know how to deal with people/relationships in prison, on the streets or even in a shady deal. But for the life of me I don't know how to have a civil loving relationship with my gf without arguing. It's always the case that the minute words leave my lips I wish I could erase them until my brain can catch up.
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