Our awesome Bible Study leader, Tammy, chose this book for our spring book club. This was my first book of Karen’s to read and I so enjoyed it! As busy women, we wear a lot of hats in our families, at work, at church, in our community, etc. We are in charge of a lot of responsibilities.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
In her book, Karen suggests maybe we’re taking God’s directions in that verse seriously:
“Aren’t we just being good church girls,
trying to serve Jesus by being in charge of it all?
Yep that’s it. We’re simply being careful and conscientious.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.
We often confuse being in charge with being in control. In her book, Karen teaches us how to stop running the show and start walking in faith.
I love Karen’s style of writing. She includes humor, relating to us as a friend who is living the same day-to-day struggles as the rest of us busy women. I often think she’s been a “fly on the wall” in my own home. She also inspires us with her personal stories (the good and the bad), and countless biblical truths to apply to our lives.
At first I didn’t think I had trouble with control over my home. Boy was I in for a surprise! In Part 1, Why We Women Love to Run the Show, Karen challenged my doubt by highlighting the creative ways we try to control. Her examples of control’s clever disguises hit home (what a surprise, i’m an enabler). She teaches us what “I’ll do it my way” really means in our relationship with God. Karen also points us to God’s Word in Proverbs reminding us that it’s not our job to change our circumstances, it’s God’s job.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Stop running the show. Karen gives us “switch-er-oo–s” to replace our “sometimes selfish line of thinking” with God’s truths. She gives several examples of “When you’re tempted to think (this)”, instead accept God’s interruptions and “Be reminded that God says (this)”. Start walking in faith.
“We need to experience the thrilling feeling of being “out of control” and loving it.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.
I love Karen’s practical way to apply God’s Word to my everyday messy life, but “loving” being out of control? I wasn’t sure about that.
In Part 2, Domestic Director or Tin-Pot Dictator, our book club came to quick agreement that Chapter 5, Micromanaging instead of Mothering, was a control issue we all faced. Actually a trust issue we all faced. Karen teaches us to take advice prayerfully and carefully, with practical steps to follow. She also applies her life experiences by mentoring us in “turning over the reins” of making choices for our children as they grow and mature through different age stages. Very helpful for many of us with teenagers. And if your daily race doesn’t allow time to stop running the show and start walking in faith, Karen gives us some great ideas for “putting the brakes on busy”.
In Part 3, How to Lose Control and Keep the Faith, Karen points us to God’s Word in 1 Thessalonians:
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
I love this verse challenge that Melissa Taylor, also from Proverbs 31 Ministries, posted in her online study of Karen’s book. She challenges us to fill in the blanks of the above verse with our name. Then for the next 48 hours be intentional on being joyful (despite your circumstances), praying a lot (even when you don’t feel like it), and remembering to be thankful (despite your circumstances).
Kim, always be joyful. Kim, never stop praying.
Kim, be thankful in all circumstances.
Kim, this is God’s will for you. Kim, you belong to Christ Jesus.
Now that’s a powerful prayer! Karen also inspires us to turn to David’s hope in Psalm 62 when we feel that situations are beyond our control. Then, she teaches us the fine art of Soul Control, as modeled by David.
Karen also writes about being careful of comparisons, and to instead be content as she directs us again to God’s Word in Philippians:
“I am not saying this because I am in need,
for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I
can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)
My dad always taught me “We don’t have to keep up with the Joneses because we are the Joneses”. Again instead of trying to change our circumstances (God’s job), Karen teaches us questions to ask ourselves when we’re tempted to compare. And she gives us a beautiful example of someone in her life being content with a “new normal”.
“The out-of-control life is a refreshingly thrilling ride.
When we relinquish control, let go and “let God” we find our faith
and the cadence of life that notices the small things and the beauty in all.”
Karen Ehman, Let. It. Go.
Let. It. Go. was a “thrilling ride” in itself. Thank you, Karen, for a fun and inspiring read. I’m praying to let go, “Let God”, and to “love” being out of control! I highly recommend women everywhere do the same!
Karen also has a DVD study and participant’s guide for your small group study. Visit Karen Ehman on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and let her challenge you to stop running the show and start walking in faith.