When I opened the pages of Jennifer Dukes Lee’s newest book, It’s All Under Control, I was uncertain about how this book might impact my own life. I was no longer working the non-stop schedule that had filled my life for multiple decades. That was no longer the pattern of my days; but even as a retired person my interests and passions could inch toward filling up a week’s calendar.
Throughout many pages I found myself saying “amen” because what Jennifer described about her daily life was not that dissimilar to what mine had always been. Everyone would say I was “so busy” and I hated hearing those words, but to anyone watching me I knew that was exactly what appeared to be the life I was living day in and day out.
It also struck me that when the Lord began to speak to me about retirement a year before I did so, one thing I consistently heard from Him was his desire that I be more available to Him. I thought I knew very well what He meant, but I also squirmed a bit since I had been involved in full-time ministry and work for most of my adult life. Those were good things, things I was called to be and do; but they also kept my days and weeks tightly scheduled. Gone were the more leisurely quiet times or time to spontaneously connect with a neighbor. I also knew my creative thinking was starting to ebb.
Page by page Jennifer gave me a close-up view of the underpinnings of those years and allowed me to revisit how various decisions had added more busyness to a full schedule.
My years as a clinical counselor in a Christian private practice and also on staff supervising various ministries of a large church also confirmed what Jennifer was saying. Nearly any woman I spoke with described herself in one of these two words (if not both): “busy” or “tired.” Somehow each one had a sense that she had to make everything in her life work with her home, her husband, her kids, or other relatives, and then be on hand for anything her church community needed. She felt guilty about ever saying ”no” and much of the joy of serving Christ was dimming a bit more each day.
Jennifer speaks to all of this and more, but I especially appreciate that she hasn’t written this book as a “how to,” but you will learn a lot about how to effect change in your life. (I confess that sort of book is not my cup of tea.) She has identified the culprits that bring many (if not most) women to a place where they are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and guilty they are not doing more. Sometimes these women are not even sure how they managed to get so far down “the yellow brick road.”
You may not self-identify as a controlling person, but when life starts to get out of control and our commitments exceed our ability to meet them, we all tend to start trying to bring order back into things. Sometimes it can feel like trying to stanch the blood flowing out of a wound.
Our challenge can be to know when to let go and when to hang on. And guess what? Jennifer wrote a chapter on each of those options.
The blessing woven throughout each page is the openness of Jennifer to share her own journey with these same things and how the Lord began to speak into her heart and life to help her rekindle her ability to rest. She shares what she has learned and is still learning and invites the reader to join her to walk together.
This book has something for nearly everyone and it also has a companion Bible study as well. Check it out and find another woman who might want to share in the journey as well.
17 thoughts on “It’s All Under Control”
This sounds like a book we all need to read, Pam! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on it, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Hope to see you again this week! Have a lovely week ahead!
I LOVED Jennifer’s book!
Yes, busy and tired sound familiar…
Thank you for sharing the review at The Really Crafty Link Party. I’m adding this book to my (ever growing) reading list.
I hear you about the ever-growing book list! Bloggers give the best suggestions!!😊
Joining with you in getting the word out about Jennifer’s book….what a FUN launch team!!
So true, Bev!!🎈
Sounds like a book I need to read! I was just talking last night about how I put too many expectations on myself and how I need to get to the root of why I do that. Thanks for this review! Enjoyed being your neighbor on #TeaAndWord today. 🙂
It’s a challenge that plagues us all no matter what season we are in. It reminds me of what a saintly older woman shared with me 30 years ago: “The enemy will do two things: make us busy or/and make us tired.” She was so right! Both reduce our effectiveness and cause us to drift from our personal times of intimacy with the Lord!💕
Pam- what a beautiful review. You described how I was feeling as I read Jennifer’s book. I am also retired and I almost feel guilty describing myself as busy, but trust me it is very true. Jennifer’s book hit home in so many ways but one is getting my control under control. It’s realizing surrender doesn’t mean giving up but allowing God to choose the best for us.
Blessings as your book goes into the world today, Jennifer!
Thanks, Mary! Love hearing you (as a retiree) can identify with what I shared. Blessings indeed to Jennifer and each woman who reads this book…no matter what season she finds herself in.💕
This sounds like a great book! I am adding it to my wish list now. Thank you for sharing!
I wanted to be a part of Jennifer’s launch team but already feel like my plate is full, so I suppose I’m doing what she would recommend and encourage in this book. But reading your thoughts, Pam, makes me want to be sure and snag my copy. It sounds like something I would really resonate with and need. I’ll be pinning!
I understand that dilemma. I would say you are doing exactly what she recommended😊 I think we all can find places that her words touch us no matter what season we are in. I found her words blessing me to feel okay about deciding not participate in a Bible study at our church I had signed up to do (even purchased the book). Every time I picked up the book, it felt heavy literally to me and a weight that I just didn’t feel I should do at present….could not identify an exact reason why, but followed my gut check. I sense the Lord wants more of my time one-on-one and the study would mean being away from home one morning a week plus preparation every week on other days. The word I keep sensing from Him is “be available” in this season. I sense it has to do with flexibility. Stay tuned.💕
“Busy and tired” is an epidemic!
Thanks for this great review!
It is indeed! Thanks!❤️
This sounds like exactly what I need, while I’m running around after 2 little boys, and all of the chaos of life, to know that it’s all under control!
I think you would likely find it a good read!😊