I had a half-written post about how the book It’s All Under Control by Jennifer Dukes Lee was such an encouragement to me. Our family was coming off a rough year and a busy summer, where we didn’t have time to catch our breath. Life felt out of control, and this book was just what I needed to revive my spirit.
All of that is true. This book truly encouraged me in every chapter. My first blog post was nice. But then something happened. I fell flat on my face. Literally.
My husband and I were enjoying a weekend away, walking along a big city sidewalk, when suddenly I found myself sprawled on the concrete. I had been looking around at nearby buildings and, apparently, failed to properly navigate the uneven sidewalk. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but I tripped and ended up with a bloody knee, scraped up hand, scuffed elbow and a bruised ego.
So, why did I have to ditch my “nice” book review for a story of my wipe out? Because it’s exactly the kind of story I normally wouldn’t share. One of my first thoughts was, “At least this street is empty and only God, my husband and some random guy sitting on a step a block away were witnesses to this face plant.” I mean, how embarrassing! My inner perfectionist would like to pretend it never happened.
There was a deeper issue going on in my heart, and it went beyond the sting of my scraped knee or the embarrassment of tripping. Falling down was a concrete (pun intended, ha!) lesson in how hard I try to do everything right, to not mess up, to not trip and fall, literally or figuratively.
In It’s All Under Control, Jennifer writes about “Control Characters.” While researching the book, she found that women tend to fall into three general categories. She labels me a “Darling.” Isn’t that sweet? Her description of The Darling is scarily accurate. (Except for the part about having fashion knowledge. Don’t ask me about your skinny jeans. 😉 ) The Darling is motivated by internal control more than external control, uninterested in controlling the behavior of others but instead holding herself to a strict (likely impossible) standard.
The Darling definitely does not trip on a sidewalk. LOL!
You can take a totally-for-fun quiz on Jennifer’s website to see what control character you are. (The description in the book was more accurate than the quiz for me, but the quiz is fun anyway.)
I never saw my bend toward perfectionism as a “control” thing, but God has used Jennifer’s book to help me see my personality in a whole new way. Jennifer is one of my favorite writers, and I honestly didn’t think I needed to read her new book, because I’m not a Type A, control freak type of person (at least not most of the time). But, it turns out I’ve got a lot to learn and some inner striving to let go of.
We probably all struggle with control in one way or another. Maybe you have too much on your plate because you can’t say “No” for fear you will disappoint people. Maybe you’ve had things happen in life that were totally out of your control, and you’re not sure how to keep going. Maybe you’re like me, fighting an inner voice that keeps saying you need to do life better.
This book has something for every woman. Jennifer weaves stories from her life with Biblical wisdom and practical tools to help navigate life when things get out of control. I truly felt encouraged as I turned each page, and I think you will, too.
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I’m so excited to be a part of a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control. Jennifer and her publisher, Tyndale, are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Enter below to win. Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers.
I also have one book to give away to a friend who I know in real life. So, if you’d like a copy of this book and you are a person I can physically hand a book to (so local~ish, no postage required), leave a comment below by September 30 and you will be entered in my little giveaway.