I have a very long fuse. I can be happy for a very long time, and I will let a lot of things go. Which is actually bad, because when I blow, I am usually in full on temper tantrum mode. I like to kick the kids’ stuff they leave lying around. I will yell. It took being a mom to get better at controlling my temper. Not just because I wanted to set a better example, but because what I used with the kids, worked on me.
This is what we do: 1. close your eyes 2. take three deep breaths 3. use your words calmly. So simple it seems almost silly, right?
Well, #1–Close your eyes–when we are bombaloo* we are completely overwhelmed and overstimulated and closing your eyes at least removes 1 sense.
(*Bombaloo is a word from this book–excellent for teaching children about the feeling of out of control mad–and I love that word) .
#2 Deep breaths–this centers the rest of the senses.
#3 Words–no one understands the blubbering, or muttering under our breath. In reality, it is often incoherent even to ourselves. This makes us stop and think about what it is we really want.
Here is the faith application: God uses me even in that very moment, during that tantrum, and all of us. Just as we are, wherever that might be. He may use me as an example to myself. He may use me as an example to my kids (whether teaching them to calm themselves or doing it myself). He may use me as an example to others.
Usually God has a higher purpose though: He may use it to bring me closer to HIMSELF. Guess what, when I close my eyes and take those deep breaths, I think, “How does God expect me to act?” It brings me closer to my creator. It refocuses me on what He has taught me to do through His words in the Bible and I can hear Jesus whispering to me. and when it is all over I am a stronger person, a stronger Christian.
Sometimes a bombaloo time is just a short burst of emotion. Sometimes it can last years if we hold on tight to that overwhelmed and bitter feeling. But no matter what, God is there. He is using us. He meets us where we are every time.