A few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have said I struggled with control.
Do I like to plan out my life down to every hour of every day? Sure. But an organized life is a productive life, right? Do I tend toward perfectionism? In many areas, yes. But that’s just because I like to do things well. Do I do everything I can to keep myself and my loved ones out of any possible (or imagined) danger? Well, yeah. But there’s nothing wrong with being safe, right?
Those things certainly don’t make me a control freak, do they?
Ok … so, maybe they do.
And nothing made my penchant for control more apparent than the newest book from Jennifer Dukes Lee, It’s All Under Control. This book was like a mirror to my soul, revealing issues I thought I was managing, some I didn’t know existed, and others that I didn’t even realize were issues at all.
And once I came to terms with the fact that maybe I do, in fact, struggle with control, it was right there beside me, ready to lead me down the road to recovery.
Whether you know you struggle with control or you don’t think you do at all, I would highly recommend this book for each and every Christian believer.
Because whether you’re a textbook “control freak” or you prefer to go-with-the-flow, there are times in everyone’s life when surrendering to God’s plan feels a little too risky, a little too weird, or a little too hands-off. And when it does, this book will teach you to trust that God has it all under control.
**Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click that link and purchase the product, I may receive a small compensation. I am, however, committed to honestly assessing the products mentioned. Please read my disclosure policy for more details. **
From the back cover:
“It’s time to get our control under control.
Jennifer Dukes Lee never thought she struggled with control. As long as everything went exactly the way she wanted it to, she was totally flexible.
But then Jennifer discovered what happens when you try to wrap your arms around everything, thinking it’s all on you: You get burned out on hustle. You toss and turn more at night, and you laugh less during the day. You’re so busy―caring, serving, working, and trying so hard―that you can’t even hear God’s voice anymore.
It’s All Under Control is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic. Join Jennifer on the journey of learning how to:
- Overcome the anxieties and worries that burden your heart
- Prioritize your busy life so you can make choices that align with God’s best for you
- Find freedom through a new “Do, Delegate, or Dismiss” approach to your daily tasks
- Let go of what God has not asked you to do, so you can shine at what he has
Discover a new way of living that will free you to be you, and finally experience the peace of knowing a God who truly has it all under control.”
When I think of the phrase “control freak,” a certain kind of person comes to mind. The “my way or the highway” kind of person. The person who loves being in charge and making all the decisions. The person who refuses to delegate, and when he/she does, he/she micromanages everyone.
That’s not me.
For example, there is a fun list in the book called “Biggest Pet Peeves of Control Freaks.” One of them is “When your husband cleans the bathroom wrong.” Umm. Yeah, no. If my husband cleaned the bathroom, I wouldn’t give two hoots about how he did it!
That’s the kind of control freak that I don’t relate to. There are a lot of things I can let slide, even if they’re not done exactly how I would like them to be done.
But I did relate to the next pet peeve in a BIG way: “When you plan the day, and no one follows your script.” Oh my, she got me there.
In fact, every time planning was mentioned in the book, it was spot-on me.
I love having a plan. I actually plan in my planner when I’m going to sit down and make plans. I’m not even kidding.
And changes to my plans make me uncomfortable, at best, and a raving lunatic at worst. I’m working on being more flexible, but I have a history of not reacting very well when my plans get upended. (Proof God has a sense of humor: he paired me with a very spontaneous husband.)
Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a planner. God made me this way for a reason, and I have put this skill to very good use, both personally and for my family. So I’m not saying I need to give up my planning ways completely.
But this book showed me that my need to plan, and my compulsion to stick to those plans, actually reveals a hidden need for control. And not only can that cause damage to my relationships with the people in my life, but it can also cause damage to my relationship with God.
Because it can cause me to rely on my own plans and self-sufficiency rather than trusting in His plan and His ways.
WHAT I GOT FROM THE BOOK
In a nutshell, here are just a few of the benefits I gained from reading It’s All Under Control.
- brought to light some issues I didn’t even know I had
- showed me where my penchant for planning (while a good thing, and one of the gifts God purposely gave me) can at times hinder my trust and obedient surrender to God’s plan
- helped me learn when to hang on and when to let go
- reassured me that God is always working behind the scenes on my behalf and for His glory, even when it looks like he’s left me high-and-dry.
- convinced me that I need to take God off my to-do list and put Him at the forefront of my entire day
- and much more!
As I’ve said several times, I didn’t think I struggled with control. Honestly, I agreed to review the book because I knew it had the potential to help a lot of people. Other people. Control freak people.
But I learned that control looks different for different people. And I would venture to say that, in fact, we all have a desire for some control in this life that so often feels out of control and chaotic. I’m not sure I know of anyone who could say that they have no problem surrendering their life 100% to God. Not honestly, anyway.
So if anything I’ve said here today has struck a chord with you — whether you’d call yourself a “control freak” or not — I urge you to get your hands on a copy of this book and read it as soon as you can.
Or, you know, you could always read it just to help those “other” people who struggle with control. *wink*
**I received a copy of the book from the publisher to review. All opinions are my own. **
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