Quiet Time: Letting Go of Control

I had a rough Mommy day yesterday. I woke up exhausted from not getting enough sleep, because I had been up late the night before spending time with my husband catching up on Cake Boss and then writing a blog post. It may have been my fault, but there are only so many hours in a day. I hate writing while the kids are awake because they’re constantly interrupting my thought process, plus I have a hard time telling them to play on their own so that I can do something for myself. I feel like they should get my attention during the day because they are my primary job right now. I will never apologize for staying up late to spend time with my husband because that is precious time that is not only essential to the health of our marriage, but it’s also essential to my sanity.

Ary was excelling in being a baby-toddler. The only time she wasn’t on the move was for the hour and a half that she was napping. Other than that, she was all over the place. As always, she was on top of the table repeatedly throughout the entire day, no matter that I yelled at her every time to get down. She got into their plastic cups and poured herself water from the dispenser on the fridge about a dozen times throughout the day, spilling water on the kitchen floor and all over herself every time. She even took a cup of water one time and poured it all over Eowyn. From swinging on pull out cabinet drawers in the kitchen to mysterious crashes in the playroom to rubbing hand soap all over her legs and tummy, you name it and she was doing it yesterday. When I took them outside to play for an hour, she snuck off while I was helping Eowyn on her bike. I turned around to check on her because I couldn’t hear her shoes squeaking and I couldn’t find her. I went into the backyard to find her going down the slide on the playset. Which means that she walked about 300 feet from the driveway to the backyard on her tip toes so that her shoes wouldn’t squeak and I wouldn’t know that she was gone. To top it off, I ran out of duct tape half way through the afternoon so she ran around stark naked for about 2 hours until Tyler was able to run to Target to get more. Thankfully, she only had one accident and it was pee and it was mostly on the tile.

As if she wasn’t enough on her own, Eowyn, who is usually a really good girl, was also giving me a run for my money. She’s gotten into the habit of tattling on her sister every single time Ary does anything. But when she’s tattling, she’s yelling in a very loud, whiny voice. I can’t stand whining, and there was a lot of it going on. I was counting on being able to take a nap with the kids, but Eowyn decided that she didn’t want to take a nap even though she had dark circles under her eyes and was obviously tired. She was excelling at being a 3 year old; for every time I told her to stop doing something (like using the couch as a trampoline), she ignored me and continued doing it.

All day I felt like I was having to repeat myself over and over and over again, and it was so frustrating. Why can’t they listen to me the first time I ask them to do something? Why must I have to yell and get angry in order for them to actually listen?

Says every mom on the planet.

On top of all of the frustration that was my children, I was struggling physically. My hips were aching and I was nauseous all day. The house was a nasty mess too; the carpets desperately needed vacuuming, the dishes were out of control again, and all of the toilet bowls needed scrubbing. It was humid as all could be, so my pregnancy discomfort was amplified by 100%. All I wanted was to have a normal day where I wasn’t so exhausted and uncomfortable, the kids weren’t downright crazy, and I could clean up the house in between playing with the not-crazy kids. I tried to control my temper, but failed miserably. I feel like I spent most of yesterday yelling at the kids.

Then at the end of the day, once the kids were asleep and the house was quiet, I opened up my devotional Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, and opened up my heart so Jesus could come in and clean out all of the nastiness I had let inside. This is what I read:

“Draw near to Me with a thankful heart, aware that your cup is overflowing with blessings. Gratitude enables you to perceive Me more clearly and to rejoice in our Love-relationship. Nothing can separate you from My loving Presence! That is the basis of your security. Whenever you start to feel anxious, remind yourself that your security rests in Me alone, and I am totally trustworthy.

You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control. Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth. I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new within My beloved ones. Be on the lookout for all that I have prepared for you.

Romans 8: 38-39; Psalms 56:3-4; Isaiah 43:19″

After the day that I had had, this was exactly what I needed to read. It’s hard to focus on the blessings in your life when you become consumed with frustration over what’s going wrong. As frustrating as they may be at times, my children are the primary reason why my cup is constantly overflowing with blessings. Looking back, I can see now that one of the reasons why I spent all of yesterday in such a bad mood was because I kept desperately grasping for something that I could control. My body wasn’t behaving the way I wanted it to, my kids were not behaving the way I wanted them to, my house didn’t look the way I wanted it to, even the weather was not what I wanted it to be, and I was completely powerless to change any of it. Which is extremely frustrating.

As an adult and especially as a mother, I feel like I should be in control of my life. Yet I am constantly reminded that in fact, I do not have my stuff together. But as always, God’s way is the exact opposite of the world’s way. Where the world teaches that at a certain age we should be in control of our lives, God tells us to release all control over to Him, because we were never really in control to begin with. The successful stock broker that has all his p’s and q’s in order by the world’s standards could suddenly not have a job one day when the market crashes, and his whole life suddenly spirals out of control. The happy couple finally stops birth control when they are ready to have kids, only to find out that they can’t conceive. The outdoor August wedding in Southern California that took a year to plan is destroyed by a freak-of-nature torrential rain storm that no one saw coming.

We like to think we are in control of our lives because it gives us a sense of security; it makes us feel safe. But the reality is that we can only control what we place our trust in. If we choose to put our trust in schedules and jobs and plans, then we will always be left disappointed. But if we choose  to put our trust in God, we can feel secure in the knowledge that we may not know what each day is going to bring us, but we know that God’s in the driver seat and that He wants good for us. Everything is out of our control. The sooner we accept it and fully release our lives to God–like every single day in and day out aspect of our lives–the happier we will be.

Mind you, this is easier said than done. But every day, I will remind myself that I am not in control of that day. That does not make me an irresponsible adult. It puts me in a position where God can mold me into the woman that He destined me to become before the beginning of time. I will continue to make plans, but I will make them with the knowledge that God might decide to scrap them and do something completely different (which He is prone to do). I will do my best to work with whatever I’ve got, rather than be upset that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I will proudly admit that I do not know what I am doing, because I know that God knows what He’s doing. I may not know where I am headed, but I know that as long as it’s where God wants me to be, then it will be better than anything I could have ever planned for myself. Because only when I leap off the cliff in blind trust, will the true adventure begin.

im-going-on-an-adventure1

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5 comments

  1. Thanks for the encouragement of how we really do need to trust God when things are out of our control. So true. Wow what a day you had…. No matter what type of personality baby Henderson will have you will be able to handle it with God.
    Your a very good writer. I love the way you put your thought down.
    God Bless Love you your aunt

    1. Thank you Aunt Rosa : ) I know that God will carry me through any craziness my kids have in store for me, and He’s the only reason why I make it through each tough, yet glorious day of motherhood.

  2. When we moved to Spain, Nicholas was only 10 months. He was an easy, sweet baby. But around 18 months the “terrible twos” got hold of him and my world completely changed! I didn’t recognize him anymore! I didn’t recognize me anymore!!! Man, I remember crying when hubby would get home, around 9pm every night because in Spain work hours are late! I felt isolated and so lonely sometimes. I loved Spain but I was even started resenting it just because there was no story time, no stay at home moms, no activities… The only thing that helped me to go through was that though I was struggling God was using our family in a tremendous way in this little village we lived in. I was serving Him teaching theatre to the youth at church, going on streets to perform the truth (in Spain less than 1% knows Jesus), motivating our brothers in Christ through the word… Man, living our call! So yes I cried many nights but God always reminded me He was with me! Every time I’d question why He took us to Spain since I was a new mom who clearly needed some support, He would show me the bigger picture! “It was not about me” He would bring a mom that got pregnant in her 40s, that was the only one with a job supporting her three kids and husband, and was contemplating abortion to bless her through the Word and Nicholas baby stuff that he no longer needed it! Or a single mom that had to go to the ER and didn’t have anybody to take her, or a young lady looking for understanding her call in life,… Not about me!! Little by little I started to get it : Being a mommy was also not about me! So as long as I looked at the bigger picture I had strength to go through the hardship of motherhood! And I can say today I’m stronger and more relaxed. Well, if you don’t count the pregnancy hormones! Today the terrible twos are gone but we still have our moments and I still need to remind myself of the bigger picture! (And specially now with this one on her way 🙂

    Sorry for the long comment (maybe I should’ve made it as a blog post instead)! But your post really inspired me to look back at my own experience! You are doing a wonderful job Amanda! I can’t wait to see the beautiful plans God has for your family!!!

    1. Suzan, you are amazing! You should write about your work in Spain in detail, because I would love to read about it. I love you and your beautiful, growing family.

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