I retreated to my beach chair, blocking the Lake Tahoe view with my floppy, pink-striped sun-hat, and continued reading Jennifer Dukes Lee’s latest book, It’s All Under Control.
I had lost my “chill,” as Jennifer describes in her book.
My dad had brought his river kayak to the lake so he could practice rolling. These one-person boats are made to roll over easily in whitewater rapids.
“Please, Grandpa can I try!” One by one, their pleading assured them a turn.
Although my 4 kids can swim, I envisioned each one getting stuck upside down when the kayak rolled. That or, as they escaped underwater, the wind pushing the boat out of reach, leaving them too exhausted to swim back to shore.
When I saw my son paddling way out by the buoys, I grabbed a green noodle floatie, fully prepared to jump in the freezing water and come to his rescue—mad that nobody else was as concerned as I was.
Then I realized I had to stop trying to control the situation. After all, my parents and husband were watching the kids.
I just…couldn’t watch.
So I got back to reading. I slouched down, hiding the title like a fraud. I had just posted this picture on Instagram—the same picture the author used in her blog—sharing how it was hard for me to give up staking out the best spot on the beach.
But I felt better when she shared that she, too, was struggling with being “all under control ish.”
“We are all trying to be there emotionally and physically for the people we love. Trying to have it all under control, but finding ourselves sitting squarely in the ish.”
From the very first chapter, I related to every word she wrote.
“My preference was a tidy, predictable, safe life where no one got hurt, where my kids remained in one piece, where there was no pain for anyone ever again, amen.”
“But make no mistake: There are times when he’s going to ask you to do some driving. Don’t think of Jesus as your chauffeur; he is more like your driver’s ed coach. He’s there to teach you his rules of the road. Friend, do not fear the wheel. You have been equipped to drive—and Jesus is beside you when you steer the wrong way.”
In chapter 4, Jennifer Dukes Lee introduces us to three control characters—the Driver, the Devoter, and the Darling. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses.
It was no surprise when the quiz described me to a T—the Darling “who fears what you’ll think of her if you see her flaws.” Her strengths include seeing the best in others and readily offering praise to motivate those around her.
Each character has a kryptonite; mine is criticism.
“Her inability to meet all of the unrealistic expectations she sets for herself can lead to feelings of worthlessness.”
Seriously, why do I feel like crying when I read that?
Knowing our control character will help us make better choices and course-correct when our inner control freak is triggered. You can take the quiz here and discover which control character drives you the most.
When I sense I’m losing my grip on life—
It’s then I realize, I’ve got to get “my control under control.”
And instead say, “God’s got this!”
This is an excellent book, full of humor and practical application for the woman who struggles to get everything right.
I received a free copy from Tyndale Publishing for participating in the launch team.
I’m so excited to be a part of a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control. Jennifer and her publisher, Tyndale, are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Enter below to win. Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers. Email subscribers can click here to enter.
BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible and It’s All Under Control Bible Study: A 6-Week Guided Journey are releasing today! This 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.