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When Life Gets Chaotic, Distract Yourself with Personality Tests ~ Life: Unmasked

I mentioned on Twitter this morning that life has been crazy. A few friends have commented on cryptic tweets and Facebook updates, wondering what’s going on and how they can help. I appreciate the concern so much. I won’t deny it – the pressure is really high right now. I will be at our children’s hospital for six out of the next seven days. Tonight we were invited to a special event recognizing people who made a difference last year, but the rest of the visits are for our youngest. He has a procedure on Friday that will determine whether he will need surgery this summer. Oh how I pray that he does not need more surgery because if he does, it sets the stage for many more surgeries later. But we want the doctors to make the best decision for him, and if the best thing for him is surgery, then so be it.

All of this hospital time (we have to get him to the hospital at 6am Friday and then I will spend the night with him there) has required me to ask for and accept help. This has never come naturally, though with twelve years of practice, I’m getting better at it. We have friends and family who are helping get the other kids where they need to go, bringing meals, and keeping us company while we wait for the test results on Friday. We feel very loved and supported.

Life never slows down for things like this, though. Many other facets of our life are in a state of flux, putting extraordinary strain on Scott and I as we try to hold things together at home. We’re both so thankful that home is the one place where things are relatively stable. This wasn’t the case 18 months ago.

All that is going on is wreaking havoc on my less-than-stellar-under-normal-circumstances capacity to do what needs to be done. True confession: I took these photos this morning.



I’ll be spending the next 36 hours vacuuming and tidying and purging paper. Or maybe not. I’ve been reading about personality functions and Myers-Briggs types this morning while carefully ignoring all the grass and Legos sprinkled all over my floors.  (My husband and I have an ongoing debate over whether I’m ENTP, “The Visionary,” or INFP, “The Idealist.” He says, “You can’t be INFP; there is nothing laid-back about you, Joy.” I say, “It says INFPs are intensely loyal, pursue ’causes’ with devotion, and are great starters but horrible finishers. That’s totally me! Being adaptable and intense are not mutually exclusive.”)

What’s going on with you? How do you function when everything in your life begins to change? Does it show in the state of your home or somewhere else?


Life: unmasked buttonOn Wednesdays, I host a link-up for anyone willing to step away from the pretense that all is well, take off their mask, and write naked. We have tremendous capacity to encourage one another in our weaknesses by sharing our lives from the trenches, acknowledging how hard it can be, and telling each other, “You’re not alone, I’ve been there (or I’m there now), and together we can get through it.”

If you’ve written anything unmasked, link up below! Please link back to this post so your readers can find others willing to bare it all, and then make sure to visit at least two others and leave them encouraging comments.

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  1. I hear you. I am the mom that cuts and pastes my photos that are taken inside my house before I post them because of all the clutter in the background.

  2. Our dysfunction always shows in housekeeping too – thank you so much for sharing this today. I needed to know I’m not alone. I received the kindest, nicest compliment this past week about how we manage our busy lives, and all I could think was, “you can’t see my house right now.”
    Also: we have that Pfaltzgraff dinnerware as well! 🙂

  3. when life becomes stressful, then the house gets into more disarray, dinner might be omelets again (for the third night in a row), and so forth and so on. I’m finding that when it’s expected stress (like I know the storm is coming), then I clear my plate & my expectations on myself. I do bare minimum (feed kids, take shower, interact with kids & husband, make dinner). If I can have dinner on the table at the end of the day, I feel successful (we won’t talk about the toy strewn basement, heap of laundry or disgusting bathroom).

  4. i think the date of my last blog post says it all (*sigh*), but i’m thankful b/c although i’m so anxious to breathe life into it again, God has protected me from getting sucked into any performance lies in the meantime. and even better, i have whole-heartedly enjoyed breathing life into my two guys instead right now.

  5. thinking of you and lifting you up during these times of intense stress. i so understand. xoxo

  6. so sorry for your stress. i’m in the upper echelons of stress levels right now myself. old demons come to haunt during these times. i have to fight not to listen to the eating disorder tell me that everything would feel better if i cut calories. but i’m able to fight. honesty with my husband helps IMMENSELY. sounds weird i guess.

  7. Housework goes out of the window when I am under pressure too. My hubby hasn’t quite learnt the art of doing housework on a regular basis despite being around more, but in his defence he does at least wash the dishes and tidy the kitchen after I have covered every surface whilst cooking.

    If I am getting under too much pressure then I have to sit down and make a list, but I have to make that list with a proper sense of priorities. I can’t just jot down everything that needs to be done at those times, tempting though they are. Once I have a list in hand, I start to work through it one at a time. It keeps me focussed on what’s important anyway.

  8. Just as I had surrendered to the idea that I was serious about finishing my memoir and attempting to get published I discovered how much has changed (is changing) in the publishing industry since my attempts years ago to get a children’s book published. I had only just figured out how to get ‘everything done’ (well, most of it….well, enough of it that I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by it, haha) AND make myself set aside “work time” to write when I learned that before I can even consider publication I needed to start a blog and a twitter account. I still haven’t found balance, but I’ll get there. Then again, maybe I won’t, maybe my house will always be a mess and they’ll always be that pesky stack of mail I haven’t gone through and the laundry will never be completely caught up……oh well, it’s just nice to know I’m not alone in the struggle. Thanks for reminding me!!

  9. Joy, I’ve never linked up here before but the post I just published seemed to fit. Happy to join you 🙂

    And I’m an INFP, miscategorized as an INTJ for years because I answered the questions based on what I’d LIKE to be like, and not on what I actually am!

    • Everyone does that! I’m a life coach and I have to remind people to answer as they ACTUALLY are and not 1) how they think they should be or 2) with the “right answers” to outsmart the test. What do you see as the main difference since you got the more realistic feedback?

  10. Oh crap, Joy. I am just so sorry that you all must go through this kind of intensity again. Holding you in prayer as the week unfolds. And the mess? Who the heck cares? It does not matter. No, it does not. If you can get the basics covered, your are doing GREAT. Let the details fall willy-nilly – there will be time for those later.

  11. Joy: Thank you so much for your blog. I love to read it and it truly inspires me. Thank you for sharing your life with with us. I am praying for you and your family. I think as moms we all can feel compassion for one another.

  12. I’m an INFJ, myself. And a 4 according to the Enneagram.

  13. You know you are in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend.

    (The frittering away of time further deepens my theory that you might be an ENFP. Maybe I just WANT you to join me in this camp?! We’ll get you figured out, sister.)

  14. Sweet Joy! I’m sorry about your hospital time and the waiting for insights about your kiddo. 🙁 Praying for each of us to have endurance to run this race with our high-needs kids. I totally do what you do – dig in to something that plays to my strengths (which seem to be pretty similar to yours). I read, learn, do things to inspire others who are slogging through a tough patch in life, get stuff done around the house. Things that don’t, strictly speaking look like the grief and stress that’s going on inside my head…. Grateful for your honesty here. Praying for you even now….


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