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The Things I Can’t Control

April 2, 2012

There are a lot of things I’ve lost control of these days.

Clear skin, my bladder, remembering to record Mad Men, my ability to sleep through the night, my patience. 

And these are just to name a few.

I know it goes without saying that pregnancy brings about a loss of control in many ways. I was expecting that. In fact, from the time I found out I was pregnant I was kind of looking forward to that. I didn’t mind the thought of my body being taken over by my little miracle. That much was okay.

But what about the rest of my life?

Who decided they were taking over everything else?

Because among the smaller list of things I can’t control, there is a bigger one. And it’s one I’m struggling to laugh my way through as easily as I do the extra trickle when I sneeze.

The economy, the housing market, my increasingly-more-limited limited income, email, graduate school, unexpected hours invested in a committee, travel plans, did I mention income?, apartment availabilities, the radius for delivering baby furniture, the fact that my new Snoogle gives me allergies.

So there is a great deal of things I can’t control. A great deal. And no matter how hard I try to shrug them all off, these things still affect me. They still get me worked up, frustrated, upset, and angry.

But today, today I came to a peace offering with My Things. Today I finally found a small semblance of truth that allowed me to tuck My Things into a box where they belong. Amidst it all, amidst all the lack of control, perhaps there is one greater thing I can cling to.


I can control faith.

I can control my ability to listen to the still small voice that took root inside my soul many years ago.

I have plans for you, declares the Lord.

I have plans to bless you. Plans to care for you. Plans to provide in ways you cannot yet see. I have plans to surprise and overwhelm you. Plans to make you fall to your knees in awe. I have plans to give you life abundant. To give you fulfillment. To give you joy. I have plans to cherish you, sweet Child, plans beyond anything you could dream.

I have plans for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you a hope and a future.

I can’t control the teenager’s acne or the apartment we lost or cuts in the workforce. I can’t control the worry and the doubt and the discomfort in knowing I can’t fix the un-fixable.

But I can control my faith.

I can control my listening ear.

I can control my knees to the ground and my palms stretched open in assurance that I trust the voice who writes my plans.

I trust the voice who writes my plans.


Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started!

And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.

Halleluiah, I’m sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings.

~ Mary Oliver ~


One Comment leave one →
  1. April 3, 2012 10:23 am

    such a great reminder… and as always I wish that I could communicate like you!

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