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About That Whole Control Thing - Girlfriends in God - August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016
About That Whole Control Thing
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11, NIV)

Friend to Friend

I had been out of town at an event. Gone just one night. While I was away, my then eight-year-old daughter, Kennedy, had spent the night at her girlfriend Catherine’s house. I came home to a groundswell of enthusiasm.

“Mom! We have to go to Walmart to buy sponge rollers! They are incredible! Last night, before we went to bed, Mrs. Robertson rolled our hair in sponge rollers and when we woke up this morning our hair was CURLY! Can you believe it? My hair was curly!  We just have to get some!” my flaxen-haired buttercup exclaimed.

My daughter is many wonderful things, but patient is not one of them. So, the very next day we went to Walmart and got us some. Fast forward to that evening. I gave her a few basic sponge roller instructions: “After your shower, blow dry your hair to be mostly-dry. Leave it just an itty bit damp and then I will come up to roll it. And in the morning your hair will be bouncy and curly for school!”

“No, Mom! I know how to do it. I watched Mrs. Robertson last night. I don’t need help.”


“Kennedy, it’s a bit tricky. There are a lot of important little details that I can teach you, but I really think it would be best if you let me roll your hair tonight so you can learn.”           

“I can do it, Mom! I want to do it myself,” the girl insisted.           

(Yep. She’s mine.)

And she rolled her hair . . . exactly as you would expect an eight-year-old-sponge-roller-novice to roll her hair. It was a whack job. I knew that the rising sun would not shine light on her finest hair morning, but I also knew enough to bite my tongue for the sake of the lesson she would learn. With an ache in my momma heart, I tucked her in and prayed for the best.

While it was still dark, she shook me awake. BIG alligator tears falling. “Mom! It didn’t work! My hair is a mess! Half the rollers fell out onto my pillow… sniff… and I look horrible!”      

More tears. Deep little-girl sorrow dripped everywhere.           

“Honey, I’m so sorry. It’s okay. Just go wash your hair again and wear it straight for school today. We can try again tonight, and I will help you this time.” I used my most consoling mom-voice  . . .  and stuffed down the “I told you so” that wanted to slip out.

That night after her shower, Kennedy blew her hair to mostly-dry and then handed me her sponge rollers. As we sat on the edge of her pink comforter, I taught her some sponge-roller basics. Section off your hair evenly. Begin at the crown of your head and roll down. Tuck the ends under so they don't go funky on you. Give each roller the same amount of tension and secure them close to your scalp so they stay on while you sleep. Once her hair was rolled, she dozed off with tender expectations of curly hair.

Morning brought the beauty she had hoped for! I snapped a photo as she ate her cereal because it was a darling moment. A little girl and her bouncy blonde curls and unstoppable smile. Good times.

I wrote in my journal about the sponge roller ordeal once Kennedy and the boys had gone to school, and I was struck by how stubborn she had been that first night. She simply would not hand over the sponge rollers to me, even though I had a lifetime of experience with the squishy beauty tools. Once she surrendered them, however, lessons were learned and she began to understand the proper way to accomplish her beauty goal.           

As I wrote, the Lord whispered to my heart. “You know, darling, you do this all the time with Me.” 

And I do.

I frequently and stubbornly insist on doing things on my own. Without help from God. Without help from the One who is all wise, all knowing, all powerful, all gracious, and fully able.

Perhaps you do too?           

Oh that we would hand over the sponge rollers to the Master Beautician and allow Him to craft a work of radiance in and through us. I constantly pray as David did. “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11, NIV).

I surrender!           

Your way, Lord.

YOUR Way.           

Not mine.

The last thing you and I want to do is be stubborn with God. I am learning that the beauty of surrender is this: when I lay down my mess, my hands are then free to pick up God’s rest. 

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord,

Forgive me! I am so guilty of taking matters into my own hands. I want You to lead. I need You to lead. I need to want You to lead – so much more than I do. Teach me Your ways. Empower me with Your Spirit and give me an undivided heart that I might follow tight to Your Word and to Your will.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

I just love doing life with you! If you accept the charge to hand over your sponge rollers to God, then CLICK HERE to visit my blog and let me know! Tell me what’s stirring your heart, or simply say, “I want God’s way!” {PSSST… you really should come over to my blog because I posted the picture I took of my daughter after her morning of sponge roller glory!!}

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from the new book by Gwen Smith, I Want It ALL. This book is filled with practical help and Biblical depth that will empower you to move beyond your struggles to God’s strength. Order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com or your favorite retailer. For a signed copy, click here to order yours from our web store.

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Originally published Friday, 19 August 2016.