Monday, July 27, 2009

To be...or not to be...IN CONTROL!


Control is a funny thing. Some of us need it more than others. Some have to try very hard to gain it. For others, it comes naturally. I was raised in a family of controlling women. My Great-Grandmother exhibited great control. She had such control over things even down to being able to see when her drapery pleats were as much as a quarter of an inch out of place. She would sit on her divan (she was so in control that you did not dare call it a "sofa") and direct my grandmother, my auntie or my mother in the fine art of pleat straightening. She could eye which pleat needed a slight nudging with a yard stick to insure it was in it's proper place.

As you can imagine, my Grandmother in turn ran a household that was very much within HER control. My mother being raised as an only child, in a very controlling environment then carried on the tradition. She was a very "in control" mother. Her house was as neat as a pin. Her children were bathed, smartly dressed and did not act - well "out of control". We did not yell, holler or raise our voices in the house. We played outside - a LOT, and did not bring friends in to mess up the house. My mother has always handled herself with dignity, and taught us to take the high road. We were brought up not to stoop to the level of those who get satisfaction in causing unrest. We were raised in a God fearing, God trusting home. My mother still today wishes she could control all of our adult lives. Not in a bad way, but in a loving, compassionate way. She desires nothing more than happiness and peace for her kids and grand kids. Not being able to control the circumstances that life throws our way can be debilitating to her. She pulls away the more out of control she feels. She draws inward and feels like she is a failure.

I too know these feelings well. I am more of a free spirit than the women before me. I have never been one to micromanage my time, or my environment. I love things neat and tidy and can organize like an expert. I possess Martha Stewart qualities in a bohemian chic sort of way. I can get discouraged when things seem to be spinning out of control. MY control. I can quickly bury myself in the darkness that the loss of control can bring. Failure, despair, worry, stress. All very unkind emotions. Through the experiences that the Lord has brought me through I think I have learned how to "let go" of the control and "let God". I am human and this is a hard thing for us creatures of habit to do.

I like to know HOW my bills will be paid. HOW we will keep a roof overhead. I like to know WHEN I will be able to fill the tummies of my children with foods they like and desire. I have given up on entertainment, going out to eat and longing for a vacation. Basics. I will stick to those and be "in CONTROL" of these things. But how - when you run out of answers as to HOW the money will come, HOW the bills will be paid, HOW the food will fill the pantry - do you manage to keep "IN CONTROL?" You can't. I know this. It is ingrained in me. God lets me get to a point where I am so frazzled - so crazy - so "out of control" - that I have no other choice than to RELINQUISH the CONTROL and give it all to HIM.

I get there - one way or another. I finally give it up. I just plain stop worrying, stop stewing, and just say - "Okay God. You will provide. You always do." Just like a child -who has to trust that you, their parent, will hold them up when learning to ride a bike. They trust that you will keep a hand on the seat and when they start to wobble - you will right them. When they start to fall you will catch them. We are God's children. He will steady us, he will catch us when we fall.

I have been all too human lately. Wanting CONTROL. I have no answers. I just gave it up.

As soon as I did, I got an email. A woman I do not know has food for us. She has also gotten school supplies for my boys. WOW. I am sure God is just grinning ear to ear as his child learns yet another lesson.
Today I went to check the mail, in with the bills I can not pay was an envelope. No return address. Inside was a gift card to Ralph's for groceries - signed "With Love, Your Family in Christ." A chuckle - from God. I am a work in progress - His work in progress. I am being refined, and sharpened. In each of His lessons he humbles me. I am learning that to be confident in yourself you have to let go of the control. Sometimes being confident means being out of control, out of the drivers seat and letting go. You have to learn when to enjoy the ride. Pleasure is gained in this life's lesson.

In more ways than I can express I have gotten greater satisfaction when I have "let go" and given up the control. I thought when I was younger that the more control I exhibited the more confident I appeared. Not so. Control can be a good thing in the right application. As a 40 something year old woman, the light bulb has clicked on! I now know when to let go. What a freeing feeling!

I hope that you too can learn that you need to let go and let God. Not just words on a page - but a real application for life.

Go lose control and see what happens! (I mean this in a good way)