I’m tickled pink (can one be tickled pink? Why not blue?) to have Lindsey Bell here today. She is a non-fiction author, stay-at-home mother of two squirrely boys, and disciple of Jesus. Her parenting book, Searching for Sanity (great title!) will be out soon, God-willing. She blogs at www.lindsey-bell.com. She tweets here. She facebooks here.
I’m a control freak. Always have been. Up until recently, I thought being in control was a good thing.
What I failed to realize was that my need for control was actually a trap.
About two years ago, God started teaching me that I can’t control my life. At twelve weeks pregnant, my husband and I miscarried our second child. Then, three months later, we miscarried another baby and six months after that, we miscarried a third child.
Three miscarriages in one year led me to question everything I thought I knew about God. It also led me to recognize how elusive control can be.
We tell ourselves we can control our futures. If we work hard enough, we can control our livelihood. If we try at just the right time, we can time our children to be the perfect ages. If we send our children to the right schools, we can make sure they choose to follow Jesus.
Here’s the thing about control, though. It’s not ours to take.
We can’t control the future. We can’t control the actions of others. We can’t even control everything that happens to us. We’re kidding ourselves to even try.
How much more freeing it is to trust your life to the One who can control the future. To give Him control of your days instead of grasping for something you’ll never obtain. To allow Him into the driver’s seat of your life.
Over the last few months, God has been using Mary’s new book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain To Become Like Jesus, to help me give up control. I’m not there yet, but I have found a few things to help, and I wanted to share these tips with you today.
1. Remember that regardless of how hard you try, you can’t control the future.
2. Pray to the One who can. Giving up control is a major heart issue, one that you can’t do on your own. Ask him to help you give up control on a daily basis.
3. Every morning, wake up and say this prayer, “Father, what would you have me do today?” As you go throughout the day, be attentive to his leading.
4. Look for other areas in your life that you try to control. Do you try to control your children? Or your spouse? Or your church?
5. Practice giving up control. If you typically micro-manage your children as they clean their rooms, allow them to do it on their own this week.
6. Read Everything. There’s a chapter in the book about control that will challenge you to your core.
Q4u: When have you been a control freak? 🙂 What have you learned in giving up control? What do you gain from control? What does control take from you?