Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Robin Chaddock's book, 12 Choices Smart Moms Make, (Harvest House Publishers, 2007).

It’s easy to feel out of control as a mom when you let society’s pressures and other people’s agendas take charge of your life. But if you use your God-given ability to make wise choices, you’ll gain control so you can live the abundant life God wants for you.

Here’s how you can run your life so it doesn’t run you:

Stay in touch with God. Every day, stay connected to God through prayer. Get to know His voice speaking to you and make it a habit of asking Him for guidance before making decisions. Ask God to reveal His vision for your life, and help you clarify your values. Make time to reflect regularly on how God is working in your life.

Discover who you are. Get to know and affirm who you are as a unique person. Recognize clearly what you stand for, and what you won’t stand for. Figure out your central passion and greatest strength, and use that information to make choices that bring out the best in you. Ask God to give you the confidence you need to make smart decisions. Don’t compare yourself to other people and the decisions they make; feel free to make choices that are right for you, no matter what other people think. Resist the pressure to give into other people’s expectations for you if those expectations don’t align with what God is calling you to do. Realize that you don’t need to compete with other people. Just do your best, and be at peace with that. Remember your true identity as a beloved and free person in Christ, and refuse to base your sense of identity on anything less. Ask God to help you see yourself from His perspective.

Make decisions wisely. Constantly ask yourself what you will do with your life in light of your faith. Keep your vision and values in mind, and as you make decisions, discern whether or not each choice will help you stay true to them. Understand your own motivation before making decisions. Be proactive about making decisions, realizing that if you don’t decide when faced with a choice, that in itself is a decision to just let your life control you. Think for yourself and don’t let others talk you into something you don’t feel confident about. Don’t take situations at face value; ask questions. Consider all available information carefully, think through the various options, and weigh the potential consequence of each option. Be able to clearly articulate your beliefs and the reasons behind them. Evaluate any message in light of the sender and the sender’s motivation. Be wary of people who urge you to do something simply because it has “always” been done that way or because “everyone” does it that way. Understand that when you say “yes” to one thing, you’ll usually have to say “no” to another. Know that even though you often can’t choose your circumstances, you can always choose how you view or respond to those circumstances. When you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to correct it mid-course if you can. Stay focused on God’s intentions for you and avoid getting tangled up in society’s demands and expectations.

Think healthy thoughts. Pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can get rid of unhealthy thoughts and think correctly about God, yourself, and others. Embrace the truths about God in the Bible. Think the best about yourself as one of God’s children. Ask God to help you see other people as they truly are, without overlaying them with your expectations. View situations in the world from a stance that is both realistic and optimistic. Ask God to help you replace negative thoughts and thinking patterns with positive thoughts and thinking patterns. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself in your mind, and replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Pray for the peace that only God can give.