One Wild Sorority

If you happen to be dropping by from the Proverbs 31 devotion, thanks for stopping by. If you've read my devotion, you know I am a mommy to three little boys. I love, love, love my life, but I also love a little break from it every now and then. This weekend I am in Charlotte for Proverbs 31's Annual She Speaks conference. So for the next few days I am not a Mommy (in the daily, active sense) I am speaker, encourager, dreamer and girlfriend. If you are coming, I can't wait to meet you.

If you aren't joining us, then you are likely sitting at home knee deep in the dailyness of life. If you are a Mom I want to encourage your heart with some valued input from a dear friend of mine. This Mommy-in-the-trenches is my roomie for the weekend and the Editor of the Proverbs 31 Woman magazine. Meet Glynnis Whitwer. Enjoy this guest post from Glynnis about one harrowing (and low/high) day with her kids. Ah the fellowship of motherhood. We are one wild sorority!

Mopping Up After An Emotional Meltdown

By Glynnis Whitwer

"I am living proof that a competent woman can go from being in control to a major meltdown in less than an hour. And in a wild 60 minutes, my confidence that God could use someone like me plummeted – and I was ready to resign from everything.

It started out as a normal weekday morning. It was 7:30, we had 50 minutes before my three boys needed to leave for school, and everything was running smoothly – at least I thought it was.

However, at 7:45 a.m. my middle son, Dylan, reminded me that he needed baby pictures for his Super Star of the week poster. As we sat on the floor sorting through photos, my oldest son, Joshua, told me he had volunteered to help decorate for a party at 8:00. Josh had mentioned the party earlier in the week, when he told me he was bringing 32 gallons of orange juice! After I explained that would cost about $90, which was steep for a school event, we settled on something more affordable. In the hubbub about the juice, I neglected to learn the date of the party.

Well, it was today. At least I was dressed, but had wet hair and no make up. We raced to the car, and I pushed the automatic door opener. It started to open then ground to a halt as a bike fell against it. By this time it was 8:10, Josh was late and the other two needed to leave in 10 minutes. We cleared the obstacle, and were starting to leave as I heard the phone ring. Dylan had answered it and yelled into the garage, “It’s the school. They wanted to know if you are coming. I told them you were on your way.”

I had no idea why the school would be wondering if I was coming, and I was already frustrated. Assuming the call had something to do with the party, I turned to my son and spoke in an elevated and annoyed voice, “What did you volunteer me to do at the party? Why is the school expecting me?” In the two-minute drive to school I launched into a full-blown lecture on why Josh should never volunteer me for anything before he talked with me. He got out of the car without a kiss, and shuffled off, shoulders hunched.

I raced home to get the other two boys out the door, late I might add. How I wished I could have collapsed on the couch with a cup of coffee, but the morning wasn’t over. In fact, I had 15 minutes to get to church for a Bible study, for which I was bringing snacks and leading a small group discussion. Unfortunately I still wasn’t ready.

As I raced to my bedroom, I glanced at the calendar and froze. There it was, an 8 a.m. meeting with my youngest son’s speech therapist. That was the phone call from the school! The speech therapist, the homeroom teacher and the assistant principal were waiting for me to show up. The worst part was they thought I was on my way.

I instantly burst into tears. Not just the sad, slow-drip-down-the-face kind, but sobs. Sobs that came from feelings of inadequacy and being completely overwhelmed.

I was frustrated that I hadn’t looked at my calendar, and that I hadn’t avoided the “emergencies” by preparing the night before. But more than anything else, I was devastated that I had lectured my sweet Joshua because I thought he’d done something wrong. As I recalled his confused, hurt face, my sobs grew deeper. I hadn’t even kissed him goodbye. My apology to Josh had to wait, but I confessed my sin to the Lord, and felt His forgiveness.

Being an unattractive crier, I now had wet hair, no makeup, and red, puffy eyes that no amount of foundation could hide. I managed to fix my hair, slather a tube of concealer on my face, get to the Bible study and slide into my seat with seconds to spare.

During the praise time before the Bible study, I felt shame once again for my behavior earlier that morning. Even though I knew God accepted my confession, a spiritual battle began in my mind. Fiery accusations pierced my thoughts, “How can God use you when you are quick to blame and can’t keep your act together? If people knew what you are really like, they would never let you lead a Bible study.” That’s right. What am I doing here? I mentally agreed. Tears started to fall, as I wondered how I could get out of my responsibilities that morning.

Before I could back out of the room, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Child, you have been forgiven. Don’t feel shame over what you have done. I have chosen you because you have value. I know what you can be.” The Lord knew Satan’s condemning words would crush me, and He stepped into the gap between my heart and the lies.

In my moment of weakness, God lovingly reminded me that He chose me and believes in me. It was just what I needed to hear.

As I reflected on that morning, I saw how feelings of inadequacy paralyze people from being used by God. It’s easy to get drained by responsibilities and overwhelmed by needs. And many times we fall short of our own expectations. How Satan laughs with glee when we allow those circumstances to define our worth. If I didn’t know God’s truth about my value, I would have quit every ministry responsibility that morning.

There was lots of mopping up in the aftermath of my meltdown morning. I got through the Bible study by God’s grace, and was able to apologize to Joshua that afternoon. I didn’t quit any ministry responsibilities and I learned a valuable lesson: When the meltdown mornings hit, we need to hit our knees. Ask for forgiveness if necessary, and don’t allow Satan to creep through a crack in your armor of faith. It’s all he needs to start weaving a web of lies in your mind about your worth, or lack of it. The truth is that we have unbelievable value and worth, not only to God, but to those around us."

See why I love her? Don't you feel better just for hearing her story? There is safety in numbers. Okay friends, my brain is done. Hugs until tomorrow!!! Oh, and kiss your kids goodnight; this Mommy is missing her smelly boys.

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Paige said...

Needed that! I got to kiss on your youngest baby last night. Hope you are having an amazing time, wish I was there.

Paula Kathlyn said...

Thank you for your devotion you shared this morning. I have a little boy who is 5 months old and this was a great lesson to me :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney,
I receive the Proverbs 31 devotion everyday. I am continuously blessed, encouraged and challenged...brought to tears mostly when I read my devotions and have my time with the Lord. Your devotion stuck out because I too am a mom of 3 boys. At one time, I had 3 under the age of 4 as well. We are currently undergoing birthdays - my youngest turned 5 in May, my oldest just turned 9 this month and my middle son will be 7 at the end of August. They are 25 months and 21 months apart. Your blog made me laugh when I read about your middle one and the antics he pulls when you are nursing. Boy, do I remember those days. They are growing up so fast. They will all be in school this year for the first time. It will be different, very different to have a quiet house to myself for most of the day. I work from my home but am mainly a Homemaker, that is my #1 job and I love it. When I was reading your blog, it felt like I was reading my own words. Thank you for your devotion, it blessed me today. May the Lord continue to bless you, your husband and those adorable boys!
Mrs. Jen Fernandez
Seymour, TN

Captain J said...

This was just what I neede to read this morning. So many times we fall short and the meltdowns start. This was a wonderful way to get a change of perspective on these situations.

Anonymous said...

Dear Whitney,
Thank you so much for your devotion today and for the meltdown story on your blog. I needed to hear every word of them. I, too, am a mother of 3 boys and boy do I remember those days when they were that young!
Now my 3 sons (us moms of 3 boys have our own my 3 sons show every day!), are 15, 18 and 21. I thought it would get easier as they got older, but the role of me being their mom just changes. My oldest is in his last week of Navy boot camp and will graduate next week. These 8 weeks that he's been in Navy boot camp have shown me over and over how I have to "Let go and let God". Thank you and God bless.

Jackie said...

Great devotional this morning & reading your blog reminds me of those days with my 3 small kids 19 & 21 months apart. But I had two girls & one boy. My middle daughter was the one up to her old tricks. I remember those meltdowns and feeling very inadequate. Crying, nursing, and loving all of them. I have two more children also that were a little bit younger. They are all 26, 24, 23, 18, & 15 now which I thought that they would never grow up. They have and God has been with them the whole way. I have been divorced now for 7 years and feel very much on my own which I had to do for the family. But hope to someday find a wonderful man to share the rest of my life with who will love me and ALL of my kids.
I still have those meltdowns, but the part that bothers me is that I am not hearing the Lord. I have always had FAITH and prayed, but not like I should have. I need to hear him instead of brushing him off & thinking I can do this on my own. I need help knowing what to do. Any inspiration you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Boy, God's timing is perfect. I happened upon your blog this morning after going to bed last night feeling exactly the way she discribed her morning. I truely needed to hear how God disciplines us and also that other women feel the way I do having had "little fires" all at once. Thank you for sharing and including me.

Irritable Mother said...

Oh, my! Do I ever understand Glynnis.
Been there. Done that. Had those meltdowns!
And I am so very thankful for the abundant grace and forgiveness of our God!!!