Sunday, July 18, 2010


PWM (and Rosie Girl and her friend and Wild Man) painted my dining room yesterday.  All I did was paint a little section of trim work.  I spent the rest of the day knitting my mom’s sweater and NOT telling everyone else how to paint.  It was hard work.

I may have mentioned once or twice (or a million times) that I’m a recovering control freak.  It’s shown up in lots of ways: I wanted to have “trophy children” – kids that were well-behaved so that people would talk about what a great mom I was; I worked and tried to make sure that PWM was doing the homeschooling “right”; I needed to have a completely clean house along with a flourishing career (and perfect children).

The migraines have made me completely re-evaluate my control freak status.  I think this is one of the (many millions of) things God has been changing in me.  I am not physically able to run the world anymore (was I ever really?).  Now I have to trust my family to be OK without me when I have the migraines.  So, I’ve learned that a messy house isn’t the end of the world.  The children are still educated, even when we don’t check off every activity in the curriculum.  And the dining room looks great, even if I wasn’t looking over their shoulders to make sure they did it all right.

Basically, I’m not the center of the universe!!  Yep, God still holds that honor!!  Being a control freak is really a rather selfish thing.  I believe that I’m the only one that knows the way to make life work.  And it’s usually due to some underlying fear.  In my case, it was fear of not looking good enough.  I needed to control every aspect of life so that the rest of the world knew that I was doing OK.

Well, folks, I am doing OK, but it’s only by the grace of God.  My dining room is a beautiful blue (pictures coming after the kitchen is done and everything is clean), but the world wouldn’t end even if it didn’t turn out perfect.  I can trust other people to manage what they need to (like painting) and I can trust God to always be there, even if I get let down somewhere else.

And my current version of “OK” is – I hope – closer to what God expects than to what I was aiming for a few years ago.  God is teaching me that “godliness with contentment is great gain” and other wonderful pearls – things that don’t have to do with a successful career, perfect children, and balancing all the spinning plates.

So, this week, it was the dining room painting where God helped me to let go and unwind some.  Bit by bit, I’m learning to work hard at what God has given ME to do, not what He has given someone else to do, or at some ideal that He has no intention for me to try to meet.

How do you relinquish control to God?  To whom else do you need to give over control at times?

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