Do you ever struggle with the need to be in control? This thought crossed my mind the other night when I was up with my almost 6 month old and then joined by our 3 year old. Lately it seems sleep has been hard to come by and that night when I was being beckoned from bed I honestly didn't want to get up. I just wanted to sleep and seriously thought if I could just control one thing I'd chose to have the power to set the sleep patterns in our house!!
Since God didn't hand me the reins, I got up with my little man and was soon joined by my princess Peanut. As I met their needs in the early hours of the day, God met mine. This idea of control or better yet my lack of it really had me.
For the longest time I didn't think I was one who struggled with being in control, but I've realized I was wrong. I think as Moms we, or at least I, like to think we have a little power over situations, but really our children are each unique individuals with the desire and drive to do what they want to do. Granted I can shape, guide and influence them, but in the end I am not in control...of the good or the bad...of whether they sleep all night or don't. I realize this issue of control will appear quite minimal when the teenage years hit but that's another post for another day!!
So back to how God met my needs - that night as I let go of my desire to sleep, God showed me I do have some control - perhaps it's not the control I want, but it is the control I have been given. I have no control of the circumstances that happen, but I am in control of my reaction to them.
I could sit there with a bad attitude and a grumbling heart or enjoy this time with my little ones who won't spend the 2 AM hour with me forever. I could spend my time thinking about how tired I was or appreciate the only quiet time our house has to offer. I could grumble about my husband sleeping all night or be thankful he'd be refreshed for the work tomorrow would bring. As my pastor says, "My response is my responsibility!" This is something I can control!! Easy? No! Necessary? Yes!
That night I chose to be in control and use my power the right way - I took responsibility and thus am thankful for my response. I snuggled with my little ones and took time to pray and as I did this idea of control went a step further.
In my quiet time God brought Micca Campbell to mind. I had the privilege of being part of her group during last years She Speaks conference and appreciate her heart for God and His girls. At the time she was waiting for surgery on an ovarian cyst that was possibly cancerous. I took some time to lift this sweet sister in prayer and as I did God showed me my lack of control in the sleep department really is quite minimal.
Losing an hour of shut eye really doesn't compare with the reality of facing cancer, but yet both situations remind me, all of us, we are not in control. Well at least in regards to the plans God has for us, but He has given us some control - that of our reaction. I couldn't change the fact that my sleep was interrupted and Micca couldn't avoid the surgery and possible outcomes, but our response was each of our responsibility.
Again my days on the basketball court come to mind - many times life too boils down to our attitude! Back then I couldn't control the opponent's size, speed or game plan, but I was in control of my work ethic, dedication and determination. The same is true in life - we have no idea what it will hand us, it is out of our control, but the way I react is completely up to me! And you!!
I'm thankful to say Micca's response was amazing, I'll quote her words, "I want to make God look good!!" She did and He made Himself look good - she is cancer free!! Praise the Lord! As for me the night folllowing the intro of this post everyone slept for at least 8 hours!! Obviously I haven't passed the test yet though as little Jed was up by midnight last night!!
I know someday he will sleep all night, but I know the lessons will continue and I'll constantly be reminded of all I don't control and given opportunities to make God look good by making the most of the control I have been given.
Regardless of what you're facing today though it all may seem out of your hands, remember your response is your responsibility! Rather than wishing for control of what's not yours, make the most of what is!