Jennifer Dukes Lee
Tyndale House Publishers (2018)
Reviewed by Kimberly Luyckx for Reader Views (8/18)
In her new book, “It’s All Under Control,” Jennifer Dukes Lee addresses the issue of control – why we crave it and how we can let it go. The book’s intention is to show why it is significant to give up trying to be in control of everything. Lee helps us to know when to let go and when to hang on – an attribute especially important for those who manage households and workplaces.
Each chapter provides exercises for “Cracking the Control Code.” There are activities to analyze the weights we carry and tasks for releasing them. Lee states that there are three main characters: Driver, Devoter and Darling that act as triggers for control. Learning to manage these characters can bring about a life of trust and honor – one in which we can be more fulfilled. She leads by example with illustrations of how she has learned to slow down to experience the life she has always hoped for – to be who she was meant to be. She defines the phrase, “give it over to the Lord” as her mantra for becoming more connected, present and peaceful.
As Lee explains it, “You probably picked up this book because you’re tired of feeling like you’re on the hook for everything.” And this is exactly what drew me in. There have certainly been many phases in my life where I have felt overwhelmed with responsibilities and ones where I felt the need to be in charge of everything. On the first few pages, Lee introduces her premise with a third person perspective – a technique that heightened my interest and created the feeling that she had written this book for me.
There are some wonderfully encouraging and supportive examples to be had in this guide. Lee’s analogies provide memorable visualizations for the concepts presented. Especially effective is her example of the San Francisco cable car operator and the way the cable grip keeps the car on the track until it is the precise time to release. Another vivid illustration is of a man who clings onto the roof of his home in a flood waiting for God to save him after passing up all of the opportunities he had to be rescued.
Lee intimately presents herself by divulging her own experiences – often times it feels like you are having a lunch date with an old friend – one with whom you can share everything. She speaks plainly about the concept of parenting, relationships and the choices we make in life to protect those we love.
In other instances, Lee guides you to take inventory of your lifestyle in a more instructional way. She uses scripture quotes, not to be preachy, but for the messages they impart. Her tone employs us to remember that we are loved (by God) so we don’t have to prove ourselves. She uses ideas and parables that are definitely bible based but universal in meaning. In fact, there were many times I interpreted her words to be examples of the yogic concepts most familiar to me. In particular, the manner in which Lee defines detachment and how letting go can be realized through moments of clarity.
Author, Jennifer Dukes Lee is a competent writer. Her experience as a blogger, former news reporter and author of two previous books shows in this publication. “It’s All Under Control” is a Christian-based guide to life that explains why we hold onto things. It gives us the tools to live in a more balanced, life-giving manner. Lee’s book is honest and thought-provoking, full of scripture references and quotes yet universal in meaning and intention. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with perfectionism or feeling overly accountable, grab a copy of this book. It demonstrates how the need for control may be taking over your life and can help you to realize and honor your true gifts so that you can get on the path to a more joyful existence.