Friday, October 3, 2014

freedom for the control freak: quitting the legacy

It happens to each of us. It’s inevitable. At one point or another we will all end up being our mothers. 

Maybe you can remember the moment, or moments, when the words flew out of your mouth and you got a glimpse. It hits you with sudden, terrifying clarity. I am turning into my mom. It’s not all bad. My own mom is amazing; funny, creative, and a good mother in all the best ways. 

But there isn’t a mother out there who doesn’t wish they would have done things differently. And there isn’t one of us who hasn’t cringed at the realization that the same tendencies we see in our parents have begun to show up in us. 

It gets even worse when the mirror gets flipped, and we begin to see us in our daughters. That is the most terrifying moment of all. When they say things that sound a little too much like you. When the tone of voice and the position of the hip are enough to make you want a redo as a mom, only because it seems that all she’s picked up are your bad habits. 

We pray that all the good things get handed down, and by the grace of God, they mostly do. But we also pray that the mistakes won’t get repeated, that our bad habits won’t be magnified in them. 

That is where I find myself as a mom. Wanting all the best of me to get passed on, glossing over all the icky worst. Don’t we all want that? 

Unfortunately, there are things that get passed down that we’d rather have die on the family tree. In my own family, control is one of those things. It has become the thing for me, as I’ve struggled to gain freedom and prayed desperately that my somewhat bossy daughter doesn’t end up worse than me. 

That is why we need an end to this line. The family line that goes down the tracks we’d rather avoid. Can we find freedom there? Is there freedom in the those places where we struggle; where we hold onto to tight, where we demurely joke that we’re just control freaks, and hope our daughters don’t take notice and copy our ways?

We can end it. The family tree will inevitably grow, but we have tremendous power over the shape it takes. We have an opportunity to prune, by first allowing God to prune us-not just for our benefit, but for our daughters, and their daughters as well. 

There’s this thing of legacy that we all fall into. Most of the time it’s good. But there are deeper things, darker things of legacy. This is where we break free. This is where we say enough is enough. 

Freedom is calling. Will you answer?

If I could give you homework, all I would ask is this one thing: watch yourself this weekend. And then watch your kids. Look for those scary similarities. Do they remind you of anyone else in your life? Do you see traits from your parents showing up in your kids?

If so, don't be discouraged. Some of those traits are good, they are a generational blessing. But there may be some negative things as well. Freedom is available. Next week we'll unpack some practical tools to gain that freedom.


Join me this month as we explore this issue of control and freedom. If not for you-why not do it for her?

Miss a post? Catch up here.


  1. Thank you for your honest story, it is so true about moms. We want so much to be the "best" for our kids, that we'll get it "right" somehow. All the time. I hope many moms read this...

    1. Thank you Christa. This motherhood gig is tough. I just couldn't do it without Jesus!

  2. Isn't it funny how the ways we want make the world "good" are also the things that make our own lives miserable? Freedom is available! :) Love that.

    1. True true. So thankful for his freedom.


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