Who’s really in control here?
We love to throw around the phrase God is in control, and he is. Definitely! However, as I have been digging into my journals and doing some writing, I have come to realize something. A lot of things that have dragged me down and created so much unnecessary drama in my life are self inflicted and usually something I had decided to take control of.
My bad choices led to more and more lack of control over some things in my life. I can see it now, but it took me a little while. I also looked at some good choices that I’ve made and observed in my family. It really showed me that God’s arms are around us all the time.
Take for example, my drinking. I will always take the blame for that one. I knew I should not be drinking in secret. I did it anyway. I had a window of time to put a sudden halt to drinking in secrecy, but I chose to ignore it. I should've taken it to God a lot earlier than what I did. But I didn’t. A choice my family, not just me, paid dearly for. Once I gave God the control and admitted I needed help, he took over immediately!
Food drama, or for me it’s really sugar drama. Is it just me that loves all things bad to put in my body? I am so good at it! I hate vegetables, except for corn and potatoes, and love all things bread basket and dessert. When I make the wrong “selection” I pay for it on the scale or in how I feel. Again, my choice.
Lately, I've been trying to stay close to God and seeking his direction in my physical journey. I can feel a difference in my strength when I ask for help with my cravings. When I pray to him to help me make wise choices he really steps in. I am much more peaceful about this journey than what I have ever been.
When I did the Ride4Life I trained hard. If I chose not to, that week of cycling 700 miles would've been absolutely miserable. I shudder to think what those weeks would have been like if I hadn't made the choice to train properly.
My daughter recently trained for a half marathon. She had to be disciplined in her training so on race day it wasn’t so hard, or painful. Not in her control? An unexpected muscle cramp, someone plowing into her, rain and wind. She could only trust and pray that none of those things would happen and they did not. She did all she could in her control to prepare. She did awesome by the way - here's a proud Mama picture of her!
My husband is preparing to speak in front of a large crowd of people. He has rehearsed, he knows what is expected of him, and because he did that, he is not near as nervous and feels more prepared. He has done everything in his control to ensure this goes as smooth as possible. I think his new suit helps too. I do love my man in a suit! Not in his control? Technical difficulties, lost luggage, getting sick and losing his voice (don’t worry about that, hon, it's just a scenario.)
We are expecting two new grand babies and as I watch the parents prepare for them, I see nerves easing as they plan and educate themselves about what is coming. It makes the little ones' arrival a lot easier in delivery and bringing baby home. Also, grandma will be there dying to help! By the time the babies arrive, they will have done everything in their control to make the arrivals as smooth as possible. Not in their control? Colic, premature arrival, or who it looks like (they will be adorable.)
Do you see where this is going? We have a lot of things we can do to make life go a little smoother. God is in control, but we have to do our part. Make the right choice.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
I know what I have to do to keep my head on straight and contribute to what God is trying to do in my life. It takes work, it takes planning, and sometimes I want to get lazy about it and just say “Jesus take the wheel.” (Sorry, couldn't resist using that line.) But really, it’s true.
For example, in my writing I have to be disciplined. For me, that means making sure all my ducks are in a row before I sit down to write. I can’t focus if the beds are not made, the kitchen is trashed and I have a million emails to return. So, I try to get around that by scheduling time for everything. I have a new daily journal from Best Self I highly recommend. It is helping me set goals and parameters around what I want to achieve by the week, month, and year. It has room for me to work on myself and my goals physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I like lists! They keep me on task.
One of my biggest challenges working at home is distraction. It’s like a game I play with myself to keep from sitting down and doing what I am supposed to do. When I have a list that says all that little crap has to be done by 9 AM and writing time is from 9-noon, it really helps to keep me on task.
Some days, especially on those cold, snowy, ones (okay, never mind there is also those beautiful blue sky beach days too,) I don’t want to do anything but curl up with an afghan and Netflix binge or dig my toes in the sand with a good book. Again, it’s my choice, but I know I am going to be much happier at the end of the day if I do what I know I should be doing first. Aka what God is calling me to.
Is God going to love me more or less based on the choices I make each day? No. Never.
However, he will be willing to guide me wherever I need to be led each moment of the day.
I used to and still say to my kids, “Make good choices!” I believe our Heavenly Father is issuing that same instruction to his children.
Have a good weekend and make good choices!