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Life is so much easier and so much sweeter when we give the Father God complete control of our lives.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
(Isa. 40:21-22)
Read Isaiah 40:12-31 and remind yourself just who it is that really is in control! So many times we parents feel completely out of control. That feeling seems to go right along with the learning process in parenting! Ha! It sure is tough to not be in control!

When Gabrielle was born and had sleep apnea, I developed a habit of getting up with her every time she cried. As the months progressed this became a terrible problem.

Sometimes she would get up as many as 25 times a night! It came to the point where I was either not sleeping at all or only a few minutes at a time when I did get to sleep.

I became very ill in my body and my emotions. I lost my voice completely (for almost a year!) and was beginning to feel completely hopeless and out of control of my life. I knew that my only hope was to get some quality rest for an extended period of time. That meant taking charge of Gabrielle's sleep problem, which had become my sleep problem!

I knew what to do, but wanted reassurance. Since she had suffered with the sleep apnea, I think subconsciously she was afraid to get too deeply asleep—thus the cries for "Mama" all night long.

I found a leading children's book on sleep problems and promptly scanned the problems discussed to find those similar to Gabrielle's condition. It only took a few minutes to locate the desired result needed for proper rest for both of us and the method needed to obtain it.

The problem was I had unknowingly trained Gabrielle to go to sleep sucking on something, and when she awakened in the night the only way she knew to go back to sleep was to have her familiar sucking object in her mouth.

Unless I got up and retrieved the thing and put it back in her mouth, there was no sleep to be had. This was because she had been trained to fall asleep this way.

The book made it plain that a retraining process was necessary to obtain proper rest for all concerned. This meant several nights and days (during nap time) of hours of constant crying.

Even though this was an extremely painful process, I stuck right with the plan and it only took three days and nights to retrain Gabrielle to a new method of falling asleep.

I take her to bed with her favorite animals and "babies." I kiss her, tell her I love her, and tell her good night as I leave the room (or my husband Harry may do the honors). It usually takes less than five minutes for her to go to sleep. If she wakes up in the night, she goes back to sleep on her own, because she has been taught to go to sleep without an stimulus and without having anyone with her. Praise God!

(I know many of you can relate to this, Praise God!) I now get plenty of sleep and my health and my voice are returning!

Letting Go Of Control Is Key
It sounds so simple, doesn't it? We took control of our daughter instead of her taking control of us. As I was rocking and loving on Gabrielle one night, I said to her, "It sure is tough not to be in control, isn't it?"

You know what the Father God said to me? "It sure is Cheryl, isn't it?"

You see, just like I (as the parent) wanted Gabrielle to get on a good schedule of rest, not just for me but for her little body, the Father God wants to have control of our lives for our benefit.

He desires to help us, but God can only do that when we give up control and allow Him full charge over our lives and our futures.

For some personalities, giving up control is so easy—trusting someone else to take care of everything. However, for some of our personalities (mine included) giving up control and allowing God to have full reign is so difficult! Yet it is not impossible. It just takes training, like we had to do with Gabrielle's sleep problem.

It may take a few nights and days, (or weeks and months!) to finally be comfortable with the Father being in full charge of everything. But it is so worth it! When the Father God is in control, we receive the full benefit of all He has for us.

Make a conscious effort to "give it all up." Make an altar in your home if you do not already have one, a place where you can go daily to take "control" and give it to the Lord. You will find that eventually it will stay on the altar.

Life is so much easier and so much sweeter when we give the Father God complete control of our lives.

Source: The Mommy Book by Cheryl Salem
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Cheryl Salem
Web site: Salem Family Ministries
Cheryl Salem walked the runway to become Miss America 1980, despite what appeared to be all odds stacked against her. Poverty, sexual abuse, a horrific car crash that resulted in a physical handicap and over 100 stitches in her face were no match for what God had planned for her life. Through simple, childlike faith in Him, she overcame these insurmountable obstacles and eventually took the crown in Atlantic City! She has used this distinction as a springboard to launch the Gospel of Jesus Christ into churches, schools, women's retreats, television appearances, etc. Prison ministries, women's shelters, inner-city outreaches, and disaster relief programs have made use of Cheryl's books and CDs to offer hope and help to those in need. According to Cheryl, "None of these things would be possible, if not for my Jesus."

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