5 Things to do When You're About to Blow a Gasket; advice on establishing new habits for getting a grip on the negative emotions of motherhood.

5 things to do when you’re about to blow your gasket!

Ruthie Rearing 4 Comments

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Once per week during March and April, Rear Release Regroup and MTO (Mom Time Out) is featuring a special guest focusing on “mom anger” – how to cope with those “blow it” moments!

These dear moms offer words of encouragement, support, and wise tips for when that old temper flares!  This is a valuable resource, so be sure to stay tuned each week – and if you’re not on our email list, you may sign up here to ensure you don’t miss a single post!


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Today, my guest is someone I’ve come to love, admire, and respect greatly.  This lady has been the most influential person in my blogging tenure, and with her godly wisdom in leadership, has taught many to hone their blogging skills.  Her name is Arabah Joy from ArabahJoy.com, founder of Christian Blogger’s Bootcamp – a tight-knit Christian blogger community which opens it’s doors only a few times per year.  It is my joy and delight to bring a word from her today, and moms – anything she says, you can bank on.  Pull up a chair – you’ll find great wisdom here!


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5 Things to do when you’re about to blow your gasket!


Have you ever read the story of Susanna Wesley?

She was the mother of John Wesley, Charles Wesley (those are her famous children) and 17 other children. Many of her children died in infancy and her life was fraught with hardship and turmoil.

But Susanna had a little trick she employed when she felt overwhelmed. There in her steamy kitchen, with the demands pressing in and the children all about, Susanna would do something to center herself in God.

Are you ready for it?

She would pull her apron up over her head and sit in solitude with the Lord.

She trained her children to know that when the apron was over her head it was time to leave her alone! There she would sit as she prayed and meditated on God’s word until her heart was re-aligned with truth.

As a mom, I need frequent re-alignments. Motherhood has a way of revealing our hot buttons (or if I’m more frank, our sin problem.)

My goal today is to share a few practical things we can do to re-align our hearts and center them again on God when they’ve run away. I encourage you to choose just one of these ideas.. .or find a different one altogether if it works for you… and begin making it a habit in your life.

The next time you feel overwhelmed, stressed to the max, or about to blow a gasket, let it be a trigger to practice your new “re-alignment” habit.


5 Things to do When You're About to Blow a Gasket; advice on establishing new habits for getting a grip on the negative emotions of motherhood.


1. Smile

Now I know this is the last thing we want to do when experiencing strong negative emotions. But one of the actions that characterized the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was SMILING. {Really. Go check it!}

I don’t know this came naturally to her; after all, she wasn’t born virtuous. I believe smiling was a choice. And it’s a choice we can make as well.

A friend told me once that she frequently found herself impatient and frustrated with her children. She decided on a plan of action: she would just start smiling when she felt those emotions.

The result? It changed everything! Choosing to smile softened her heart as well as her face. Try it!


2. Sing

When Saul was tormented by evil spirits he called for music. Music has the ability to both evoke and soothe emotions. The Psalms provide rich insight into how music was used to calm fears, dispel depression, renew hope, and teach theology. Singing is a great way to regulate the emotions.

Choose a few “go-to” songs and have them ready for when your emotions need to be re-centered on Christ.


3. Pray

As moms, we may not be able to have an hour long quiet time each day. I mean, let’s get real: even getting a few minutes alone to use the potty can be a challenge!  Nonetheless, we need to creatively make ways to regularly meet with God throughout the day. One way I do this is with my Praying the Promises of the Cross prayer journal and these scripture prayer cards. Having scripture nearby to pray has been a life-savor for me for many years.

What resource might you need to make prayer breaks a reality during your day?


5 Things to do when you're about to blow your gasket! Mad Mom Makeover Click To Tweet


4. Serve

Our culture tells us that to really be happy we must take vacations, serve ourselves, and act on every selfish whim we have. If we don’t do these things, we will be deprived and worn out. But Scripture teaches that we are blessed when we serve.

Isaiah 58 provides a beautiful description of service and speaks of not pursuing our own pleasures. It promises,

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry

and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness

and your gloom be as the noonday.

Your light break forth like the dawn,

and your healing shall spring up speedily;

your righteousness shall go before you;

the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

There are clear emotional benefits to serving others. In the moment that emotions begin to cause inner turmoil, try asking, “How can I serve the person in front of me?” Make this a habit and see how God honors this step of faith.


There are clear emotional benefits to serving others; Mad Mom Makeover Click To Tweet


5. Acknowledge God

Have you discovered the Isaiah 26:3 secret? “You will keep her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

When we choose to move our minds from our circumstances and feelings to the character of God, He takes it personally. He is looking for people who do this so He can show Himself strong on their behalf.

This is my personal favorite way of mastering my emotions. God blesses me in unexpected ways when I deliberately turn my thoughts towards Him. I particularly love using Psalms that begin with, “The Lord is.” Some examples are:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I am not in want.”

“The Lord is faithful in all His ways.”

“The Lord is perfect in all He does.”

“The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.”

We give honor to what we magnify. When we magnify our problems or feelings, we rob God of His honor. But when we acknowledge God, we magnify and honor Him and our emotions begin to reflect the greatness of God.

Another easy way to acknowledge God is by using the A-B-C’s. For each letter of the alphabet, name an attribute of God. Meditating on God’s nature reaps incredible emotional benefits! This is one of the exercises I discuss in my eBook Complete. I also have a set of cards on the attributes of God you can download and print here.

There you have it: your rescue pack for getting a grip on your emotions. I’m going to hold your feet to the fire and ask which one you’ll implement? Take a few minutes to plan what you will do… then share it with us and go, work your plan.


Arabah Joy is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her at ArabahJoy.com.




Come join us at MTO!

Click on the link to join MTO (Mom Time Out), a closed facebook group for when you blow it!

Photo credit: ©Depositphotos.com/cteconsulting

MTO is a closed Facebook group for moms in the trenches, tired of reacting to daily conflicts or annoyances with anger or frustration.

At MTO you will find:

-A place to share your story and interact with others who have been there too.

-Support, encouragement, Scripture Pillars, Goals, and a plan of action for attacking those feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

-Daily pick-me-ups {Scripture, inspiration, or a devotional}

-Community – moms coming alongside and lifting up one another

Click on the picture or any of the orange links to>>> join MTO today!

Come on, mom – we’re waiting for you!


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Comments 4

    1. Post

      I agree with that statement, Mimi. The days of child-rearing were actually peaches and cream and we just didn’t know it. I’d go back to peaches and cream any day. Love ya, Mimi! 🙂

    1. Post

      I really appreciate Arabah Joy’s insight and practical ideas on this topic! Thanks for reading and sharing, Stefani, I hope you are able to implement some of her suggestions! 🙂

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