The Illusion of Control

by Andrea Cooley

coffee shopThere is a little voice in my head that says if I could just get on top of things, then everything would be OK.

I have learned that the root of this is that I desperately want to feel like I am in control.

The problem is, I know, I will never have everything under control.

Sure, I may finish folding all 6 loads of laundry and even get it all put away, but as soon as the kids go to bed, the dirty laundry will start piling up again.

I might have a detailed grocery list and have all our meals planned for a week, but as soon as the last bite is taken and the final dish put in the dishwasher, there will be yet another meal to prepare.

I might get the floors vacuumed and the sinks sparkling, but they don’t stay that way for long.

I meet one more deadline, finish one more project, complete one more task, but the to-do list still grows.

None of this is new, so why is it so hard to be content with the mess, the chaos, the disorder of every day life?

How can I learn to live in and embrace the undone?

Unfortunately I don’t have an easy answer. I wish I could give you a quote, make a pretty sign for you to hang and call it good, but I think we all know it’s not that easy.

Only when I learn to surrender my desire for control do I have a chance of breathing easy, enjoying the moment, finding true contentment.

Slowly, I’m learning that being in control, or “on top of things” won’t bring true happiness. Because even in that fleeting moment when I feel like I have things figured out, I know it won’t last. Soon one of the boys will be crying, a bag of cereal will get spilled on the floor, and the water for the macaroni will boil over on the stove.

But what I am learning is that it’s OK.

I don’t need to be in control because God is already in control and He is much bigger and much greater than l am. I just have to surrender to His will and let him take the reigns.

I started writing this post a few months ago, when it was the depths of winter, the boys had constant colds, and I felt like it was all I could do to survive my first trimester. Now that it’s spring, and I’m past the halfway mark of pregnancy, life seems a little easier! It’s good to reflect on where my heart and mind were just a few short months ago and to realize it was only a season.

Soon I will be feeding a baby at all hours while chasing two busy boys all day. I know there will be days when I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling very out of control. Even now I take comfort in knowing I don’t need to be in control.


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