Almost every day I get a promo in my inbox that is for yet another book on being overwhelmed, overwrought, over busy, and not living the overcoming life. It’s a hot topic, and I just read an article on why time management strategies don’t work for most people over a long period of time. The short answer is that we don’t change the things we do, we just keep trying to manage the way we do them. In conclusion-we’re doing too many unnecessary things that keep us from being productive in the necessary things.
And it’s making us crazy.
Even if you aren’t a control freak, type A person, this emphasis on managing is likely to make you one. And if you are a control freak, well, you’re just going to get freakier. All of our stories are different, the how’s and why’s we find ourselves in an “over” state. As important as our individual stories are, there is no more important story as the one told to us by the One who made us for Himself. In It’s All Under Control, Jennifer Dukes Lee does a good job of using enough of her story and personality to help us identify the control freak traits we may have with both insight and a fair dose of humor. Importantly, she leaves plenty of room for us to grasp God’s desire for our lives and how we, with His help, can trust Him to keep it all under control.
The opening chapters unpack why we have control freak traits, how they get out of control and what is the “kryptonite” that triggers them. There is a thread of affirmation that runs through the book, and in particular these chapters, for the woman who has strong giftings in leadership and administration. These were for the most part refreshing, since the goal was to see these gifts as the tools to be used freely and often, just under the control of the Spirit and not our flesh. The emphasis isn’t on the way we need to be different as much as it is on the way we need to respond differently. It isn’t about changing our personality, but rather allowing our personality to be submitted to God’s will.
The rest of the book is spent looking at the things we need to consider letting go of, what things we should hanging on to, and the way to evaluate what is our responsibility and what is not. Dukes Lee’s conversational unpacking of scripture helps us grasp the perspective of God and changes our perception about fear and failure.
I’m fond of practical books that have a take-away beyond an encouragement and actually put me on the path of responses that I can apply. This is one of those books, every chapter ends with “Cracking the Control Code” for reflection and some action steps to take. There is also a website where you can go for further practical tools that will help you determine why you respond the way you do, although at the time I read the book all the features were not active on the website.
One of the fun things about this book is the many sidebar notes that illuminate traits, triggers, and temptations of the control freak. They reminded me a little of the comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” routines, that format of statements that sum up a group. Dukes Lee does this in a way that is truthful, funny and revealing all at the same time. There are also sidebars that are helpful for summing up the main points of the section or chapter, and I liked this format. Instead of inserting yet another story or another five hundred words on different circumstances that may or may not apply to you, these succinct bullet points keep the main thing the main thing.
The control freak in me was convicted, encouraged and exhorted throughout the book, and while I sometimes felt it was a little longer than it needed to be, I took away a sense of relief from self-imposed pressures after I finished it. So if you find yourself identifying with any of the “over’s” and are ready to overcome, you will be blessed to find out how in It’s All Under Control.
Read well, friends!
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**This title releases September 18, 2018, available now for pre-order
Tyndale Momentum, September 18, 2018
***Thank you to Tyndale for providing threeladiesoflit.com with a complimentary copy to review. ***This post contains affiliate links, which means purchase made from said links provides a tiny remuneration to the ladies.***