It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
Priscilla Knox Morrison
serves in a women’s prison ministry, speaks at conferences and retreats
on women’s issues, and writes on topics related to these ministries.
Priscilla enjoys entertaining, playing with her grandchildren, reading,
crocheting, and walking in the woods on the Blue Ridge Mountains where
she resides with her husband, Larry.
Visit the author’s website.
For every woman who can’t let go of control—and for those who live and work with them—comes
Confessions of a Control Freak,
by Priscilla Knox Morrison. Through her practical advice and humorous
personal illustrations, readers will learn to accept their limitations
and trust God with
List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Talking About Here?
hardly anyone can stand to work with because it’s her way or the highway. The
mother whose children have to file their socks. The father who gets obedience
from his family but scares the living daylights out of them. The guy who can’t
relax because things around him aren’t perfect. Or the woman next to me on a
plane recently who not only demonstrated how to put my tray down, but told me
where to put my cup. These people can be the bane of our existence, or worse,
we might realize that we’re control freaks too.
yourself, “How do I know if I’m a control
freak?” Here are some recognizable signs:
trying to orchestrate outcomes
butting into others’ affairs
worrying about things beyond your
feeling anxiety about the future
never feeling peaceful
needing everything to be in perfect
evaluating to recognize some of these habits in yourself. If you’re a detail
person, it’s tricky to wear the planning hat and not put on the micromanaging hat at the same time. Before admitting to
this aspect of my nature, I was a very frustrated person. I grew up in a big
family, and I was the neatnik. I loved to clean and organize and had plenty to
work with since our house was always Grand Central Station. If I was a control
freak when I was younger, though, I certainly wasn’t aware of it! Then I got
married and had children. If you’re single and think you might
be a bit of a control freak, just get married and have some kids. Your
tendencies will blossom into a garden of full-blown habits.
children. I wanted all six. I love
all six. But it was in parenting that my control freak dilemma surfaced. I
still marvel at how many details come into play for eight people to get through
one day—you have to plan for rising times, cooking, dishes, carpooling,
surprise throw-ups, chores (yours and training them to do theirs), squabbles,
laundry, missing socks, sports (in different locations simultaneously), music
lessons, music practice, weather (which is always a challenge to control),
grocery shopping, phone calls, junk mail (thankfully e-mail hadn’t been
invented during those busy days), paying bills, running to the Emergency Room,
making reservations, visiting friends, helping each child with homework,
doctors’ visits, church activities, clubs, kind deeds, character building,
listening, encouraging, wife-ing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Over time, I
morphed from detail-person to Frau Commandant. When did I cross the line? Where
did good mothering, wife-ing, and friending end
and controlling begin?
“control freak” come from?
“control freak” became so popular, I decided to look up the word control in the
dictionary. According to Webster, control means…
to regulate financial affairs
to verify, as an experiment, by
comparison with a standard
to exercise authority over; direct;
to curb; restrain; hold back
authority to direct or regulate
a means of restraint; check
a standard of comparison for verifying
or checking the findings of an experiment
an instrument or apparatus to regulate
a mechanism; as, the controls of an airplane
this, a light went on. Not all control is bad. I had become so self-critical
about my controlling nature that I was afraid to tell my kids to take out the
trash. My new goal was to figure out how my personality could flourish without
driving others nuts. There might be a place in the world for someone with my
then perhaps being controlling isn’t all
bad either. Yes! I asked friends about conditions in which it was proper or
valid to be controlling, and they mentioned these situations:
when taking care of children or the
elderly; when you’re responsible for other people
when you’re the chairperson of a
when you need to take charge in an
when you’re an employer managing a
when you’re in an experimental
laboratory and there must be strict control of conditions
when it’s a question of duty—military
leaders, police officers
when it’s forced upon you by people who
are too passive
when you’re in church leadership
the mother who watches her child’s
the friend who tries to orchestrate a
situation to his or her benefit
the husband who wants to monitor his
wife’s comings and goings
someone who wants to make all the
decisions at the office with no input from others
the one who deliberately joins the
committee in order to run the show
the acquaintance who continually gives
control freaks, they’re not paying us a compliment.
subject, I actually thought that control was a woman’s problem. This probably
grew from my frustrations as a wife and mother and knowing so many other women
who were in the same boat. In time I saw that control is, of course, a human
problem. I think we all have our areas where we’d like to have more
control—some of us just have more areas! The urge to control is a universal
trait found in women and men alike. My paternal grandfather, for instance,
controlled the household finances, and my grandmother had to go to him each day
for the grocery money. The man was into control.
I a hopeless case?
raising what I felt was a wonderful family came some agonizing times. As life
spun out of control I was frustrated beyond belief. I had many difficult
lessons to learn if we were all going to survive. Three things helped me make
Finding that the Bible, God’s holy
Word, was relevant for today. And not only was it relevant, but it was true,
and it worked. Whenever I took the time to search out an answer in Scripture, I
got help. And amidst all the wisdom and help was a relational God who loved me
and graciously revealed purpose to all I was going through.
Reading several books, which I’ll
reference throughout. It’s fun to keep learning and discovering through the
wisdom and experience of those who have been through the same struggles.
Discovering prayer. I was raised in a
Christian home, I married a pastor, and I taught my kids about Jesus, all
without much prayer. Simple, right? Nope—it was the hardest—and most
foolish—thing I ever tried.
control others, or even just our own circumstances?
too—will be covered in the following chapters. Each of us has our own past and
our own unique personality, both of which form our reactions and responses to
life. But control freaks all have some things in common. They might say things
I actually have more talents and
abilities than some others I work with.
I want to feel better about myself.
I’m afraid—afraid of the future, afraid
of losing control, afraid to trust someone else, afraid of failure, and afraid
for those I love.
you? If so, perhaps you will identify with one or more of the confessions that
follow. If you find yourself in these pages, I hope you will turn to the God
who enlightens, forgives, delivers, and, most of all, loves.
to consider the following questions about your own need to take control and
your attitude toward those who seek to control you.
In your own words, describe a control
Would you consider yourself to be a
control freak? Why or why not? (If not, skip to question 10.)
If yes, does this bother you about
yourself? Why or why not?
Do others accuse you of being a control
freak? If so, why do you think they do?
Does it bother you that others feel
this way toward you? Why?
What might you like to change about
yourself, if anything, as it relates to this issue?
What do you think may cause you to seek
control? Is it just a part of your personality? Does it relate to your
How did you first become aware of this
Can you think of certain circumstances
that cause you to want control?
of someone you would describe as a control freak. What do you think causes them
to act in this way?
you have a good relationship with this person? If you do, how have you learned
to get along with them? If not, what changes would need to be made before you
could be close?
do you find most difficult about your relationship with this person? Have you
been able to talk with them about it? If so, what was the outcome?
you could communicate one idea to this person, what would it be?
you think it is ever proper/valid to be controlling? Explain.
you are a person who reads the Bible, what have the Scriptures taught you in
regard to the desire to control other people and events?
have other people and life experiences taught you about control issues?