When You Allow Your Own Control to Control You

Many of my frustrations lie within my inability to control most situations. I like things to be planned and predictable. When something upsets that, it gets to me. It shouldn't, but it does.

Out of {My} Control

I cannot control how my kids will react when I tell them what I'm making for dinner, or when it's time to pull out lessons, or when I tell them they cannot watch any more TV. Their reactions are out of my control. I can discipline them and teach them, but ultimately the decision is up to them to change their heart.

It's exhausting to constantly hold on to what I think I can control because when I'm unable to control it, I become angry. I take it personally. I don't understand why things can't go the way I expect them to.

Sounds kind of like a toddler having a temper tantrum, doesn't it?

The only thing I have in my control is what I choose to believe about where God has me in this season and how I choose to act (or react) as a result. Will I choose to believe that He has my best interest at heart? Even if I don't get what I want when I want it, so to speak?

My best interest may not be what God thinks it is. Or, maybe it isn't about my interests at all.

There are so many circumstances that are just out of my control, yet I continue to hold on and try to navigate things I don't even have access to. It's like trying to drive a car from the passenger seat. I don't even have a steering wheel, but somehow I think my ranting, complaining, whining, and woe-is-me attitude will move the car in the direction I want to go. And quite frankly, it's exhausting.

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am in the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

Not Our Burdens

I see a pattern of this behavior when I've allowed myself to try to do things on my own. Like I've allowed myself to become disconnected from God and believe that I need to do everything and control every situation. But that's not how God designed us. We have to remain in Him or we cannot do anything. That's not to say that we'll be able to control circumstances, quite the contrary. We'll learn to give up that control and be OK with it.

He never meant for us to carry such a burden and trying to control everything is a burden. Most of what we want to control really isn't in our power to control anyways. The illusion of control does nothing but drain us of energy and joy.

When the wind picks up or changes direction, God still holds on to us, directing us to fall in with the wind. We can choose to follow His leading, or be crazily blown about trying to gain control of what we cannot control. When God calls us into the air, He's the one controlling the wind, not us.

The illusion of control does nothing but drain us of energy and joy. ~Christin Slade

 

Mommy Control

This is no different in motherhood. In fact, I think in some aspects it's amplified. And because we may have this illusion of control, when things don't go our way, it can cause some major frustrations, leading to mommy anger that gets vented on our children.

I have been doing a lot of reflection on my own mommy anger and its root cause and I have a feeling I'm not alone. I also know that I'm tired of constantly trying to control things I really have no control over. There is a big difference between influence and control. We lose control through anger when we feel like we've lost control of people or circumstances.

We cannot control when our children lie to us, only how we respond. We cannot control their decision to make a bad choice. But we can control how we respond.

How we respond is such a vital act of love that we must practice. It could determine the path our children take next. Control isn't always the answer.

Please tell me I'm not alone. It's not that I am eager to have an epidemic of angry moms, but rather a movement of moms who recognize the root of their anger and want to eliminate it. I think for many of us, it starts with control.

Gaining the Right Control

The control we really need to get a hold of here is self-control.

We need to control our anger, control our tongue, control our actions and re-actions to what happens around us.

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