Book Reviews, Control

Control: It’s All Under Control Book Review

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

***I am traveling for the next week, but I plan to check in and comment and visit as I’m able to this week. Thanks for your patience!***

I’m just going to say it. I was beyond excited to learn I had been accepted as a member of the launch team for It’s All Under Control, by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Yes, getting an advanced copy of the book was pretty cool. But, even more, I have read Jennifer’s blogs for awhile now, and I loved her style. I couldn’t wait to read her book. 

And, (ahem), I might have a wee bit of an issue with . . . control. 

From opening the pretty pink cover to flipping the final page of this book, I loved reading it. 

I’m going to be honest. I am a fiction-reading girl. I fly through novels. But when it comes to nonfiction . . . I tend to read more at the speed of a newly-reading kindergartner. However, I was eager to sit down with this book. 

Lee has a fun, authentic voice. Her stories made me chortle out loud. Tear up at certain points. Nod my head in agreement, because this woman gets me. And, I underlined like a crazy-woman. No one will be borrowing my copy of It’s All Under Control. The underlines and notes would reveal so much of my heart.

Lee shares truths in a relational way. Maybe that’s because, as she writes in the book, she’s learning these same truths too. She doesn’t write as a professor to students. Instead, this book feels more like a conversation between friends. 

So many things spoke to my heart. If I was to pick three they would be:

1. Managing versus living

“We believe in God, but we don’t actually rely on him. We manage our lives instead of living them.” (It’s All Under Control, p.30)

This little passage spoke right to where I was when I read it. Something had just happened to one of our boys, and I went into manage mode. God spoke to my heart about this. He wants us to believe in Him. But, He wants us to live like we believe in Him, instead of managing everything and placing belief in ourselves. It’s as we believe in God—and trust Him—that we learn to truly live.

2. Letting Go

“My lack of trust in God is the reason I don’t let go of what I want.” (It’s All Under Control, p. 104).

Please tell me I am not the only one who wants to hang onto something when God is asking me to let go. To trust Him.

My dreams. My husband. My kids. My family. My friends.

I can cling tightly to them, which will make them want to let go of me. Or, I can hold them with an open hand, and entrust them into God’s care. 

Letting go when God asks us to takes all kinds of brave. I’ve been thinking on this lately.

3. Waiting

Though he may be silent, God has not abandoned you. He is working while you wait. Do not confuse this divine delay with a definitive denial.” (It’s All Under Control, p. 191)

I find it far too easy to become discouraged in the waiting times of life. My thoughts go inward and in a condemning direction. But really? God is always with us. He’s always working. When I can look at those waiting times with this perspective, I can trust Him, even when I don’t necessarily see the evidence in the moment. 

I could go on with great truths from each of the fourteen chapters, and from information in the appendices. This book has helped me understand more about surrender and what it is . . . and isn’t. It’s challenging how I view my days. My schedule. My relationships.

It’s All Under Control has encouraged me to reframe my perspective, the way I view the events in my life. It is reminding me of what my first love with Jesus was like, and it’s made my heart hungry for a deeper relationship with Him.

If you have ever called yourself a “control-freak,” if you have ever tried to control situations, calendars, interactions, or if you have ever just yearned for a little more peace in your life, you need to read this book. 

What about you? What area in your life is hard to think about surrendering to God? What’s one way you’ve learned to trust God?

Click to Tweet: This book has helped me understand more about surrender and what it is . . . and isn’t

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, and Holley Gerth

A little about Jennifer Dukes Lee

 BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control,and a companion Bible study, are releasing today! This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.

It’s All Under Control on Amazon




And one last thing: I’m so excited to be a part of a huge giveaway to celebrate the release of It’s All Under Control. Jennifer and her publisher, Tyndale, are giving away 50 copies of the book in celebration of its release! Enter below to win. Giveaway ends September 30. Winners will be notified by Tyndale House Publishers. Email subscribers can click here to enter. Or, click the link below to go right to the giveaway.

It’s All Under Control 50 Book Giveaway

12 thoughts on “Control: It’s All Under Control Book Review”

    1. Andrew, such an interesting perspective. I find it challenging to give control over to Him. I think I’m learning there’s a balance between what is my role and what is His. That’s one of the things about giving up control—it doesn’t mean I stop doing anything. Rather that I do what He’s given me to do, and then I don’t try fulfill His role too. :)

Thanks for the well-wishes for my time in Nashville. I believe God has some specific things for me there, especially based on what’s happened so far today. 🙂

      I’m praying for you, friend.


    1. Michele, I think you’ll really enjoy this book. It took the issue of control in directions I never imagined, and really challenged how I view control and surrender. But in a good way. I hope you get to read it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful review, Jeanne! I loved Jennifer’s book. As I was reading your words, I found a snippet that I needed to hear again —-> “Do not confuse this divine delay with a definitive denial.” Yes and amen!!

    I am in a waiting season but there are some little mini answers I am waiting for that are causing me more anxiety than big answers. God knew I needed to see those words today.

    Praying for you as you write and connect this week!


    1. Mary, that quote really spoke to me. It’s so much about how we view God in the light of our circumstances, isn’t it? I’m saying a prayer for you today as you spend time in the waiting room, my friend!


  2. Thank you for sharing the lessons you learned through Jennifer’s book, Jeanne. How it has reframed your perspective and helped you to know what surrender is and isn’t. How true it is that we can say we believe in God, but we don’t always truly rely on Him. I love how you encourage us to hold our loved ones with open hands and entrust them into God’s care. Thank you! Love and hugs to you!


    1. Thank you, Trudy! I am a continual work in progress…jut when I think I’ve learned and mastered one area of living with God, He shows me how I need to learn that lesson on a deeper level. Trusting God is one of those big areas where I keep seeing ways I need to trust Him more. Thank you for your visit, friend! Love and hugs back!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeanne, it’s good to read your take on Jennifer’s book. The themes you’ve touched on are part of God’s continuing education plan for my life for sure! I hope you are having a wonderful time in Nashville! Hugs, friend. 🙂


    1. Lois, I love that…God’s continuing education plan…There seem to be certain themes I keep coming back to as I grow in my relationship with Jesus. Thank goodness He’s patient with us! I’m having a relaxing time in Nashville so far. Tomorrow everything officially begins. 🙂


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