Why I’ve stopped trying to pull the sun across the sky

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I have control issues. Really it’s one issue: I want to control absolutely everything and unfortunately most things fail to comply. (So as you can see it’s not even my issue.) Coupled with this is the fact that I think a lot. This sounds silly, everyone thinks a lot. But I guess it’s that I think about the same things repeatedly. Things that have happened or things that I think are going to happen. I plot and plan and play out scenes over and over. And then I fret and fret and fret. I feel responsibility for things that I couldn’t possibly be responsible for, and when those things go wrong I consequently  feel guilt for things that I didn’t actually have anything to do with.

I suppose I have always thought far too much of myself. I believe that I am powerful enough to run the world, and that the world is relying on me to do so. Growing up this need to be in control and subconscious belief that I actually was would manifest itself in fear that terrible things would happen to my family or myself if I didn’t complete certain rituals or behave in certain ways.

I fret over the future like it will change the future and I manipulate situations and believe that I can be the boss of essentially everything. And I am exhausted. The mental calisthenics involved in attempting to run my entire life and any situations that intersect with my life are so much work. I find myself deeply tired on an emotional level. I am tired of trying to hold everything together in fear that I will fly apart if I relinquish my illusion of control. It’s not working.

So I’ve decided to let the tomorrows come on their own, without borrowing trouble from them.  I’ve decided to be ok with the fact that I don’t know exactly where I’ll be in ten, five, or even one year. I have to re-decide this approximately once a day. I want to let my future career and relationships and even place of residence be what they will.  I’m not going to stop doing what I need to do (in fact I’m still a micromanaging control freak so I’m not sure this is even possible), but I’m going to try to recognize that that is where my responsibility stops. I want to send in my graduate school applications and write my papers and do my work and then I want to walk away from those things and leave them where they belong, rather than internalizing them and thinking them over and over again. I don’t intend to become lazy, choosing to do nothing but hope that things work out for the best; but I do intend to stop worrying that I haven’t ever done enough or done the right things after what’s done is already done.

I think my control issue is  a trust issue. Though I would be reticent to admit it, I seem to believe that God needs me to make sure that everything is working out the way it’s supposed to, and I’ve finally worn myself out enough that I’m willing to start listening to Him tell me that He’s got it under control.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. – Hebrews 2:8


An open letter to my little sisters

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My sisters are 18 and 8. They are bright, lovely, kind girls and I just wanted to write down  some things that I want them to know: things I’ve learned, or am learning, or learning to believe. So here it is for my little sisters and any other sisters who need to hear it.

You are valuable because you are. It’s not because you are the smartest, prettiest, funniest, skinniest, or quippiest, not because you are the loudest belter, the fastest runner, or the most eloquent speaker. No, whether or not you are or are not those things the reason you are valuable is because you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your awesome creator (Psalm 139:14, Genesis 1:27).

Have the right perspective:  you are small – Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4 – but you are not unnoticed – Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Luke 12: 7.

Every morning is a fresh start. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” — Lucy Maud Montgomery

Pay attention when you’re walking places. You’ll hear things like “Think about, whats-his-face out there flying a kite, electricity, x-rays.  I don’t know,” and “I don’t sound as much like Thor as I thought I do.”

Your awesome creator loves you. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39. I mean He really loves you. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

Listen to people, let them be a part of your life, but don’t let their opinions rule it. “If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much” – Rudyard Kipling

Sometimes people are awful, honestly, you will be amazed. Love them anyway.

Sometimes people are wonderful, honestly, you will be amazed. Especially when you’re being awful and they love you anyway.

Friends is a good show. If you think it’s not you’re just wrong.

Never stop singing, even if you’re not very good at it, even if you don’t know the words (that’s what scatting is for).

Words are weighty. Take advantage of them and choose them wisely. “Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.” ― Natsuki Takaya

Don’t ever sacrifice kindness for cleverness (and you are both very clever, but with great power comes great responsibility). “Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.”― Elsie De Wolfe

You cannot earn your salvation, and you do not need to try. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9. 

When you date (which you don’t have permission to do until 30/35), don’t settle. You’re worth the wait, darlings. “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” Proverbs 31:10  

Don’t compare yourself to other people. We so rarely know what’s really going on with anyone else anyway. “Comparison is the death of joy.” ― Mark Twain

Finally, eat dessert often and without guilt.

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“There is no better friend than a sister. And there is no better sister than you.” – Unknown