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Thursday, February 28, 2008

First I'd like to say welcome to my new friends who are visiting my blog after reading my devotion about the illusion of control. Being a somewhat-recovering-control freak, (Okay - I'm really still a control freak) I often get stressed out when things are out of control. Lately that seems to be the majority of the time. Because of my nature, when things are out of control my initial response is to worry/panic, go to Starbucks, then try to handle things myself. Not the most godly approach - and hence not the most effective.

Maybe I should step back and consider the reality of what I can and can't control. There are some things I have some authority over, although at times it feels otherwise. Here are a few of those things:
  • What I put in my mouth (hmmm ... but I thought I needed a third piece of pizza!)
  • And what comes out of it.
  • I really can control my thoughts, though I often feel like a victim to fear and worry.
  • What I let fear keep me from doing
  • How much I pray
  • How much I read the Bible
Here's what I can't seem to control:

  • My 13-month-old Husky from wanting to run like she's pulling a sled on every walk. (Can someone please call the dog whisperer for me? This will be the one case he CAN'T crack.)
  • My intense dislike of exercise (Let's just say I was designed to wobble and not fall over)
  • My frustration at kids bickering (I know if I wasn't so annoyed, I'd think of some smart way to deal with this)
  • My need for a Mocha Frappuccino with malt (and my delusion that the calcium in it outweighs its unhealthy components)

Here's what I definitely can't control:

  • Other people's choices
  • Other people's words
  • Every situation
  • God ("Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Psalm 115:3 NIV)

Learning to live with the first three things I can't control, means relying on the fourth thing I can't control. It truly is magnificent that we can't control God. It means He can't be swayed from the truth; He never changes; He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Which also means He loves me, is for me and is willing to work on my behalf.

Every frustration I deal with - whether it is with myself or others - is an opportunity to look to God for help. Every time I choose to solve things on my own is a missed opportunity to see God work a miracle ... in my heart or in the situation.

The control freak in me needs to stop trying so hard to control what I can't, and focus on what I can. After all, God's track record of solving problems is much better than mine! I pretty sure that's something I'll need to remember over and over - based on my past history of forgetting it over and over. Hmmm ... maybe a Mocha Frappuccino would help. (ooooo ... there goes that control/delusion thing again.)

In His Love,



Jennifer said...

Glynnis, I am just visiting your blog for the first time but BOY! can I relate to your devotional. My 8yo son Sam started wrestling this year and so the picture you described was easily understood for me.

Between your devotion and Lysa's blog post from Wed., I often feel like the shaken coke can that she mentioned. (Sorry I do not know how to link to it for all of you, maybe this will work: http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/ )

I struggle with wrestling control from God to me. Or not even giving Him the chance in the first place! And then b/c I am trying to keep control when I can't and shouldn't, shake, shake and then the next person pops the top on my can!

Thank you for putting it in words, it may help me to better understand myself.


Anonymous said...

Glynnis, thanks for putting the thoughts of my heart on paper. Half the time I want to be in control, the other half I ask, "If I have control, am I willing to accept the responsibility that is sure to go along with it?"

Am I "whimping out" by just saying, "I think for now I'll just keep trying to leave it with Jesus"?

Celly B said...

What a great reminder of Who is in control!

Anonymous said...

I am learning that the more control I try to hold on to or think I have, the more I worry or become anxious. There is a peace in knowing it's not all up to me and that God can handle everything. God is responsible for outcomes, not me. It's up to me to trust and obey and take all thoughts captive to Christ! Thanks for the reminder, I need all the reminding I can get!

Digging for Pearls said...

Thanks for the reminder Glynnis. I guess we all have areas where we struggle with control.

Michelle said...

Your post and devotional definitely spoke to me. I just wrote a post about changing my perspective on trying to plan every step to fulfilling my purpose and just let God take me there. I certainly struggle with letting go of my need to control. Thank you for the wonderful illustration and insights.

Anonymous said...

I can certainly relate to everything you said as I too am a person of order who needs control.
I get so anxious when things are not in order and why is it that I forget to go to my Savior when I feel this way? Because I think I can fix it myself? I get so frustrated with myself when I finally get it and the light bulb goes on and give it all to Jesus and let Him do the leading.

I am so glad there are supportative Sisters in Christ like you who have ministries for women.
God Bless you for all your devotion and work that do supporting and bringing others to Christ!

Anonymous said...


Glynnis Whitwer said...

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray right now for my sister who needs help. Lord You know her pain, frustration, or anger. Only You can step in and bring peace and hope to this situation. You are not surprised by her need, nor overwhelmed by it. But you are able and willing to help Your precious daughter. Father, in the precious name of Jesus, I ask You to intervene in her life.

In Jesus name - Amen.

Carol said...

This was great Glynnis. I definitely struggle in the control area as well. Oh my I was stopped in my tracks by the poor soul who cried out Help me. I was touched by your prayer and stopped and said a prayer for her myself. Thanks for being such a Godly influence.

Charlene Kidd said...

I can relate. I am also frustrated by sibling fighting. I pray that one day soon they will learn to cherish each other.
Thanks for the inspiration.

1mikenna said...

I get Prov 31 everyday. I am visiting your blog for the first time and to tell you your devational really spoke to me.
My heart is heavy today for as much as parents we wanted the best for our kids they do not always make the right decisions. Our son who is 22 was stopped for speeding Sunday morning and he had been drinking. Not a pretty situation. We have always taught our kids they have to be responsible for their actions and reminded them to watch whom they chose as friends. In these situations we as parents what to take control and make things right but in this case we can't. My heart aches knowing he spent 6 hours in the jail before they let him call us. I know that there is nothing I could possible say that I have not already said to him that he did not learn that morning in jail. The situation speaks louder than my words could ever. At first I was really angry but than God brought to my mind that I have been praying for my son to get back into church. I was reminded by God Psalm 46:10 "Be Still and know that I am God." Maybe this was Gods way of getting my sons attention. So my prayer today is to not try and take control but to sit back and watch Gods hand at work. I ask for your prayers for our family as we stuggle through this situation.


Amanda said...

I have always struggled with trying to control others and I have always suffered the consequences. My husband just recently started chewing again due to a stressful home environment and I allow it to consume me daily by trying to convince him to stop. This is a reminder to me that I cannot control his decisions and I must turn it over to the ONE who is truly in control even if this means daily (or 3 times a day) saying to God, oops here I go again trying to handle it myself.

Martha said...

I have just visited your blog today. I can really relate to this topic. Control. Also your devotion today,Dealing with Unresolved Disappointment, That is something else I can REALLY relate to.
It seems as though everything I pray for goes wrong. I have even stopped and considered my reasons for praying, as that seems to be everyones idea of why it goes wrong.
I cannot seem to get it right. Thanks for your devotion maybe I can find my way.
Have a blessed day