Got Control Issues?

Gwen Smith Blog 4 Comments

“Mom! We have to go buy sponge rollers! They’re 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!”

My flaxen haired little girl bounced with uncontainable effervescence.

I’d 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 youthful enthusiasm.

“Wow! That’s exciting, Kennedy,” I replied amused. “I used sponge rollers when I was a little girl too… but I wasn’t a big fan. They made my head hurt when I laid down. Are you sure you want sponge rollers?”

“Yes, mom! I loved having curly hair! It was so great. We just have to get some!”

My daughter is many wonderful things, but patient is not one of them. So, the very next day we went to the store 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 nice 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,” she stubbornly insisted.

“Okay, honey. I’m just trying to help you,” I sighed.

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 the next morning would not be her finest hair moment, 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… stuffing down the I-told-you-so that wanted to slip out.

That night after Kennedy’s shower, she 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, promise danced excitedly on her canopy bed as she dozed off with tender expectations of curly hair.

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

I journaled about the sponge roller ordeal once she and the boys had gone to school. I was struck by how stubborn she’d 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 our sponge rollers to the Master beautician and allow Him to craft a work of radiance in and through us.

Let’s pray as the psalmist 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).

Your way, Lord.


Not mine.

And that is our charge for today. To relinquish control of our actions, thoughts, and responses to the LORD. When we do, the world around us will surely see His beauty.

Dear Lord, I’m sorry. I know I often take 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, Amen.



What do you need to hand over to God today? Will you do it?

Send me a direct message on Instagram or leave a comment on my blog telling me about the sponge rollers you need to hand over, or simply say, “I want God’s way!”

Comments 4

  1. This message spoke to my heart ❤️ and just reminded me of my own stubbornness and control. I pray 🙏 today that the Lord will teach me to lean upon Him. Calm my heart ❤️ and fears 😧 that I would trust Him all the more to guide me in His Ways. Amen 🙏

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