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How to Be Awesome at Everything

BY Jen Hatmaker

It’s a dog eat dog world, good readers (or as Gloria says on Modern Family: “doggy dog world”). We’re all just slogging forward, working on the chain gang, paying The Man. Folks, we all simply need an edge, small advantages to survive this cruel, cold world.  If we could only do everything better, emerge as ever-so-slightly superior to everyone else, I believe we’d reach nirvana. So I’m here for you, friends. I care about your success and fame and fortune. I believe I’ve discovered some secrets to impressive achievement and because I love my neighbor like Jesus said, I shan’t hoard them for my own personal triumph. Without further ado, I serve up to you piping hot:


How to be awesome at blogging:

Let the experts say what they will about blogging three times a week to “increase traffic” and “gain readership” and “increase your Klout Google analytics Top Ten Mrs. Popular score.” Take it from me: if you want to be awesome, blog sporadically. Confuse your readers by posting twice in one week one month then go radio silent for three solid months. People love this. Regularity is overrated; readers want inconsistency in their blogs. It’s a little fun to waste time pulling up a blog only to find the last entry is still dated April 10th. That’s hilarious and whimsical! It makes everyone chuckle and resolve to check back every single day.

Specifically, spend concentrated energy focused on difficult and controversial subjects like white privilege and Trayvon Martin and Christian consumerism, tricking your readers into thinking you’re a heavy hitter, then totally disappear. People find this mysterious and endearing. It makes them want to come back for more. Or not. (See how exciting and unpredictable this is? So winning.)

How to be awesome at summer parenting:

First, ensure that you have a major deadline to meet in June. If you can, miss that deadline and push it back by two weeks, pushing into the next deadline, which includes a week of filming in your house complete with nine scripts and fourteen location changes. To make things adventurous, don’t really plan anything for your kids to do during this week. Talk about a hoot! You and your husband decide to “kind of wing it”… I mean, kids can stay upstairs without food and water with the TV off and the air conditioner turned to 80° so it won’t click on and mess up audio for way longer than you think. This is how to raise survivors instead of mamby pambies. Plus, your husband will love this! It’s like camping but right upstairs and with total silence! This promotes bonding between dads and kids, and let’s be honest, in this fatherless generation, you’ll just be keeping your children off the therapist’s couch. You’re welcome, kids.

Second, if you have any children who are still learning English, sign them up for three weeks of summer school and package it as “Language Camp.” Tell them aaaaall the kids want to go, but only special, privileged children get the nod. Whisper in their ears that we should pray for their poor siblings who have to stay home all summer and play Xbox, for theirs is a sorry lot. This provides you an opportunity to instruct them in intercessory prayer, making this particular parenting move a two-for. Three hours into the first day when they catch on that this is, in fact, school, in a classroom, with instruction and teachers and learning and work and they call bull butter, don’t despair, because in addition to aiding your children in English as a second language, evidently they will also pick up a fair amount of Spanish in Language Camp. Now your kids are trilingual and nipping at the heels of the students in Japan. Get ready to sign your book deal, for you are a parenting marvel.

Language Camp es muy mal! No me gusto!

How to be awesome at gardening:

If possible, plant your garden six to ten weeks late. This tells those plants who is boss. You won’t be ruled by the environment; The Lord is your only Commander in Chief. Jesus Juke your own produce. I believe this is what God meant when He said “subdue the earth.” Sure, you’ve shortened the lifespan of your bounty, but getting five squash out of your plant before the bores destroy it is a good return on the $2.50 you spent on the cut, the compost you’ve been tending for six months, and the $240 monthly water bill.

It’s also a great idea to let the weeds get out of control rather than pulling them daily. This way, you spend three hours weeding with sweat pouring off your face, waging war against the hostile takeover, and in addition to neutralizing the weeds that have been stealing your soil’s nutrients and moisture for two weeks too long, you are getting skinny. Sweating means weight loss, so this is basically a diet plan. (Free tip: Do this without gloves, because you’ll develop blisters and callouses that communicate a Protestant work ethic and make you seem trustworthy. Be sure to casually display your callouses during job interviews, specifically after the interviewer asks about your personal weaknesses…just humbly hold out your hands and say quietly: “I work too hard.” This is essentially your ticket out of the recession.)

This was pre-summer planting. Instead of raising produce last winter, I raised FIVE CHILDREN. Thank you for understanding and for not asking why Remy is shirtless.
How to be awesome at PR:

First of all, and this really cannot be duplicated, when hosting six men from Lifeway in your home for a week to film DVDs for your Bible study, make the clever suggestion to film one session in your closet, showing how many clothes you gave away during your little project. Go ahead and get nervous and anxious about ushering all these men through your bedroom and bathroom to set up their cameras and boom mikes and cables in your actual closet. Let your anxiety simmer, even boil, because that’s when the fun happens! For instance, as they are all walking into your bedroom, if your nerves get the better of you, tell these Baptist professional men: “Well…this is where the magic happens!” (Don’t despair if they all pretend like they didn’t hear you. They will definitely not be talking about this for the rest of their lives behind your back. Your purple face and sweaty armpits will not be a dead giveaway, in any case. Carry on with the Lord’s work.)

That fancy folded towel is pure folly. ACTING, THANK YOU!

Additionally, if you want to be taken seriously as an agent of the kingdom, invite your closest friends over, your Council perhaps, to take part in this filming. Mind you, be sure to include people who could give a crap about your “Christian job” and really just want to know if they will get rich and/or famous from this. If you’re lucky, one of them will fancy herself a funny type and bring over a GALLON of margarita mix at 9:00am in the morning when the Council is scheduled for hair and makeup. Everyone will be in stitches! Because it will appear that you and your friends are nothing but lushes! Oh, the hijinks! Between the “magic” and the margaritas, you’ll ensure a nice, long career in public ministry.

The Council, from left: Trina, Molly a.k.a. Margarita Girl, Jenny, Becky, Shonna, Susana

So there you have it, good readers…how to be awesome at everything. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be the talk of the town in no time. Listen to me, and I’ll have you swimming in success…guaranteed.

So glad to see you back here! How have you been “awesome” lately?