Posted by: bellissimanh | December 4, 2007

Medicament for a Meltdown

Noah had a meltdown today.

For a little background, let me tell you that he began his day by realizing (about ten minutes before he was to board the schoolbus) that he had neglected his homework over the weekend and had a paper that wasn’t finished. Not a great way to greet the morning… for either him or for me. He jumped on the bus the second time around, giving him an extra 15 minutes, and did manage to finish the paper… but it made for a stressful start to the day.

The normal routine when he gets home from school is to do homework before anything else. He came through the door grumbling and I knew he had probably spent much of the day that way. Bless his teacher! 🙂

As I reminded him to please hang up his coat, he came to the table with his backpack. We pulled out the paper and he immediately began fussing about having to do the work. He started the paper and then realized he had read the instructions incorrectly and had to redo everything he’d already done, which resulted in further frustration and grumbling – for both of us. We sat there for about 15 minutes, trying to work through his funk, but it just wasn’t happening.

He finally confessed that when he had told his teacher about his Nana Hope dying, another boy thought it was funny and laughed. I thought about trying to explain to him that some people react funny when they don’t know what to say… but figured it wouldn’t be much comfort to his grieving seven-year-old spirit. Instead I asked him if he was sad and missing Nana. His jaw started to quiver and his face screwed up into a mess and he just fell apart.

As I gathered him into my arms we prayed together, and I dried his tears. I told him it was ok to be sad, and ok to cry. I reminded him of the joy we can have knowing that Nana is in heaven now.

Glancing out the window I noticed it was getting dark, and I knew Noah had wanted to play outside some. I suggested to him that he go outside for a bit while it was still light, and we would come back to the homework a little later.  That seemed to help him feel better and he rushed off to get his outdoor stuff on again.

I let him play for about 15 minutes and then called him in to have a snack. When he came in and got his stuff off I was waiting with some peanut butter cinnamon sugar toast (yes – you heard that right). He sat with me at the table and before he was even finished with his toast, he attacked his homework again, this time with more patience and focus… and had it completed in about ten minutes.

As I think back over Noah’s meltdown – my precious boy just sobbing on my lap – I can so relate! I have often felt just like Noah did this afternoon: confused, frustrated, sorrowful, overwhelmed.

Praying with Noah was completely natural. When faced with a flood of conflicting emotions, I am always driven to my knees. What other source of comfort and refuge do I have?

“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

After he had let it all out, it was obvious that it had helped Noah to share his burden with me. I pray that the words I gave him were an encouragement and a comfort. When I am feeling like Noah, a deep way the Lord ministers to me is through the counsel of others. Sometimes I need to talk through things with a fellow believer who will encourage me through the Word. God often speaks through His children… we are wise if we listen!

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

Setting aside the fact that I’m a very emotional person (you never would have guessed that, would you? Yeah, right! LOL), I think that often the Lord uses our tears as part of the healing process. God gave us tears, and it’s ok to cry. In fact… He sees each tear that falls and collects them.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Ecc. 3:1, 4

“You number my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?” Psalm 56:8

I could sense that Noah needed a break from things. Even though the rule is “no playtime before the homework is done,” I knew that he wasn’t going to be able to apply himself to that homework right then. He wasn’t in the right frame of mind, and his frustration was getting the best of him. Sometimes we need to make adjustments to our own agendas. We might have a routine or structured list of things that we normally engage in… but for one reason or another, the Lord is calling us to set aside the normal and take a break from it. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing the things we think He’s called us to do that we lose sight of simply BEING who He has called us to be. Sometimes we just need to stop.

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

When Noah came in from the cold, I had some toast waiting for him. I knew the comfort that a warm snack could bring to a chilly, weary boy’s heart. In the same way, the Lord has His own way of nourishing us. If we will but come and feast on His Word, it has the power to calm our fears, quiet our hearts, and impart courage and strength to fragile, chilled and weary frames.

“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103

“…’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4

After these things… prayer, counsel, expressing the emotion, taking a break, and some nourishment… Noah was able to go back to his paper and finish it, minus the frustration and tears. He was prepared to accomplish the task set before him. In the same way, once the Lord has ministered to us in our “meltdowns”… we are equipped to move forward and He expects us to resume the work that He has given us to do.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

I don’t know where you’re at right now. You may be in a season of serving the Lord with gladness, or you may be in the middle of a meltdown. Wherever you are, the Lord sees you. He has you engraved on the palm of His hand. He loves you. Won’t you let Him minister to you today?




  1. How awesome that you can set aside the routine to deal with the heart and follow what is called for at the time. It’s nice to hear how you are dealing with your children in such a positive way. And even more wonderful that we can always draw out a lesson for ourselves out of the same experience from that child. God is good. I am glad that God is mending you guys and comforting your hearts:) Love you!

  2. Heather, I really needed to hear that today. Thank you for the words of comfort.

    Praying for you and your family.

  3. {{{{{{{{ Noah }}}}}}}} from Auntie Tracy

    I love ya gf and you are one GREAT mom!

  4. That is so true! We see so clearly when our children need a change of pace or schedule to accomodate emotional difficulties, but we don’t always see that we need the same thing. Thanks for putting it so well, as usual!

  5. Sweet blog. In 10 years it wont matter about the homework, it will matter than his mom was there for that meltdown. Moms are supposed to be comforting, and he wont forget it. thanks for putting this post on here! It reeally touched my heart!

  6. Heather,

    Such a timely word for me this week! Thank you for sharing. I’m praying for you all as you continue to grieve the loss of this precious family member, but I rejoice with you knowing that she’s walking with Jesus.


  7. Heather,
    Between the two of us, my husband and I have lost four grandparents in the last year. Our children were close to our grandparents, and it has been a tough year of explaining to a 5 and 3 year old about death, funerals, etc. There have been many meltdowns! Your insight never ceases to amaze me, and I so appreciate your honest sharing.
    Melissa H.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss, Heather. I hope you are finding comfort in the midst of this holiday season.

    Good for you recognizing your son’s need for grief. You sound like a wise momma. But I know where you get your Wisdom.

    Thanks for those verses. Very comforting.

  9. OK girl, I print many a post, but this is the first one I wanna really glue to my forehead. I love the way you walked through the steps of “solving a meltdown”. What wonderful wisdom can be found in his word. Thank you.

  10. Heather,
    When you get a few spare minutes, click over to my blog. You’ve been tagged for a Christmas meme!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: