When breakdowns help

I may very well be the only one but there are some days when the laundry seems insurmountable, my oldest daughter tests her boundaries (and my patience) at every turn, my younger daughter swiftly moves from one tantrum to the next, the dishes have piled up, the dog hair is blowing across the floor like tumble weeds in the desert and my husband has decided he needs me to play secretary for the day. These are the days when my emotions are sky high and I can feel the break down around the next bend.

But here’s the thing about breakdowns… they have to be planned and executed appropriately in order for them to be healthy. If I allow myself to lose it on my children then 1. they haven’t learned anything other than how to NOT control their emotions and 2. I’ve taken out the mounting frustrations on them when they are not really the cause.

I firmly believe in “breakdowns.” The kind of breakdowns that leave you weeping at the feet of Jesus where you remember that you are not in control and you don’t want to be. The kind of breakdowns where you empty yourself at the feet of Jesus so He can fill you up.

But how do we get to healthy breakdowns? First, we need to think strategically. God is a God of order. You needn’t go any further than Genesis to see this in action. During the creation of the Earth, He planned and then executed that plan swiftly and in order.

Here are some things that have helped me in my quest to be in charge of my emotions and not allowing them to rule over me:

1. Confide in a girlfriend. Shoot a text, send an email, make a phone call, however you need to communicate, be sure to do so. Just letting out the emotions can begin to calm me down and make me realize it isn’t the end of the world.

2. Take a break. I’m not saying lock yourself in your room and watch reruns of White Collar all day (not that I do this, of course!) Put something on for your kids and allow yourself a few minutes to decompress, wash your face , paint your nails or whatever you need to do to give yourself some “me” time.

3. Read your bible. This is really key. So often we speak to everyone else, looking for their opinion before it ever dawns on us to go straight to the Source. I guarantee you, God cares about whatever is stressing you and has something to say. Get in the Word and quiet your heart to hear Him.

4. Allow yourself to break down at Jesus’ feet. There have been times when life has seemed too much and I’ve made the choice to unload in the middle of my day, where even the kids can see and that’s ok. I have no airs about being perfect and what an amazing lesson to show my kids that God is always waiting to speak to me.

What is your best “breakdown” tip? What has God spoken to you in difficult times?


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