Book Review: It's All Under Control

The irony of writing this book review in the midst of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence is not lost on me.

It’s been a really long week. Actually, the last few weeks have been really hard.

We had to make a sudden decision to put our rescue dog of 9 years to sleep and it about broke my heart. Our son is home indefinitely from UNC-Wilmington with no news yet as to when they might be able to return. Friends are still waiting to return to the North Carolina coast to see what may remain of their homes.

Everything feels out of control right now.

Maybe you feel the same way.

Or maybe you’re holding on so tight to all the things that you’re starting to fray trying to keep everything under control.

I’ve just finished a book I believe will help us both. It’s called It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting God, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible.

As a fellow sojourner, Jennifer Dukes Lee walks through the process of identifying areas of struggle and offers encouragement that points to God’s Word and God’s best.

Jennifer is a fellow control-freak.

She gets us. Really gets us. She admits that she too would rather do it herself than risk asking someone else to complete the task (goodness knows they won’t do it as well as we can). Like me, she struggles with when to hold on and when to let go. But the good news is, she teaches us how to decide what’s God’s best and whether that means holding on or letting go.

Each chapter includes “Cracking the Control Code” to help us make better decisions and set healthier boundaries. You’ll also find several helpful resources in the book of the book, and online at https://jenniferdukeslee.com/itsallundercontrol/resources/

I’m well aware of my control issues and have even made some progress in a couple of areas in the past, but this book was like a fast-pass at Disney World. Instead of being stuck slowly, slowly weaving my way through the handrails, I was suddenly given tools that would catapult me forward – allowing me to more quickly and easily determine God’s best in a situation. These are tools I know I’ll use!

I’m tired of fighting for control. If you are too, there is hope.

This is who we are: We are women who are tired of trying. Trying to hold it together for the sake of family. Trying to give our best to our churches and jobs. Trying to be there emotionally and physically for the people we love. – Jennifer Dukes Lee

This book is an invitation to “Stop playing God, and start becoming a partner with him in the life he’s set before us.” To “let go of what God has not asked used to do, so we can shine as what he has.”

As I read, I thought often of the discouraged women’s ministry leader. If that’s you, I give you permission to jump head-first into chapter 5 “Hang On”. Jennifer has some truth to share that you need to hear.

God sees you. He sees how you’ve been pouring into the people you love and what you’ve been pouring into your everyday work. And he wants you to know that your dedication is not in vain. ‘At the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ Don’t give up. – Jennifer Dukes Lee

Sometimes, as Jennifer acknowledges, God calls us to hang on, but other times He calls us to let go.

I know how hard it can be to let go especially to ministry-related things. There’s the valid fear that it won’t get done or it won’t get done well. Jennifer encourages us to “let go of your need to control what happens at church, and give someone else the opportunity to lead.”

When we hold on tight, we’re taking the very opportunity God ordained for someone else. Ouch…

And if you struggle to ask for help, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to it. “When you ask someone to help, you might be setting someone up to shine.” Some of us are missing that perspective. The control we’re holding onto so tightly is choking the members on our team and women in our church.

You could win a copy!

I’ve got an extra copy of It’s All Under Control that I’ll be sending to one women’s ministry leader.

To enter to win, please comment below by Tuesday, September 25, 2018, at 10:00 AM EST. Winner must reside in the US. Winner will be contacted via email and must respond within 24 hours.

I’d love to hear how you struggle with control!

Disclosure: I received a copy of It’s All Under Control as a member of the launch team. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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