Meltdowns and a Recipe

I had a little melt down the other day. It’s only been my second one since the shock of not having a job wore off. And both meltdowns happened in the midst of doing my Experiencing God study.

Want to hear about them? I’m sure you’re just dying to do so… I mean… who wants to hear about one woman’s emotional breakdowns when you could click somewhere else and get an easy dinner recipe??? Tell ya what~ If you stick with this (or even scroll past it), they’ll be a good recipe at the bottom of this post too. A “two for one” kind of deal. 🙂

My first bout of tears came over the Unit 4 day 2 lesson about worshipping God. Just the day before, we had to read through a list of names, titles, and descriptions of God and check those that describe God in ways we have personally experienced Him. Out of a list of 42 particular names, I marked 38 of them. As I was marking them, I realized that the only reason I knew God in these intimate ways was because I had been in quite a few difficult places of need.

As I had been desperate for Him, He revealed Himself uniquely faithful in the details of every difficulty, and I grew to know Him by experience – and not only by theory. Oh, how I love Him for that!

The next day as I was worshipping Him for who I have graciously experienced God to be, I broke down in tears – knowing that before this present difficulty was over, I would know Him in even deeper ways. That’s the blessing that comes from the pain – the beauty from the ashes.

I cried, though, because I didn’t WANT to go through the pain to get to the blessing. I’d rather not! I’d rather stay right here, where I’m comfortable, and have a nice life while knowing and enjoying Him in 38 ways. Make sense?

But as I sat before the Lord on that day, calling out those names I KNOW Him to be, He helped me come back to the place of trusting Him through the pain of uncertainty. And He gave me joy and a great expectancy about what is to come. I wiped my eyes, and moved on with a renewed sense of hope in Him for our future.

The most recent meltdown, however, was much more selfish. The “Experiencing God” lesson was about God’s purposes and plans, and I found myself throwing an all-out-spoiled-brat-tantrum! “I want… I don’t want… I… I… I… boo hoo… boo hoo… waaaaaaaaaah!” (At this point, you have my permission to just skip to the recipe!)

He so lovingly convicted me of how I have said I’m willing to accept His plans for our family, but in the back of my mind, I’ve had my own lovely scenario worked out, and have been hoping things will turn out all nice and rosy like the way I’ve planned.

He reminded me of the story of the dime store pearl necklace a little girl loved. She had worked to earn the money to buy it, and wore it all the time. One night before bed, her father asked her, “Do you love me?” She replied, “You know I do, Daddy!” Then he said, “Give me your pearl necklace.”

The little girl couldn’t do it. Instead, she offered to give her dad a favorite toy. Her sweet daddy gently told her, “No, honey. That’s OK. I sure do love you.” This scene went on for many nights

Weeks later, when the father went upstairs to put his daughter to bed, he found her crying. When he asked her about it, she put something in his hand and simply said, “I love you, Daddy.” It was her beloved pearl necklace.

Her father scooped her up into one of those soft, yet strong, bear hugs that daddies do best. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a real pearl necklace, and placed it around her neck. She couldn’t believe it! She had loved her daddy enough to give him the necklace with peeling plastic pearls. He loved her more – and replaced what she considered to be her “best” with a necklace whose beauty would last forever.

In tears, I drew a pearl necklace on a piece of paper and labeled each pearl with what I think is “best”. Then I gave it to my Daddy.

He drew me up into one of those soft, yet strong, bear hugs that daddies do best. And one of these days, when His purposes and plans for this time of trusting & waiting in our lives has been fulfilled, He’ll place around my neck a garland of praise, whose beauty will last forever.

Thank you, Daddy, for loving me enough to patiently wait for me to hand over my” necklace” to you. I love you.

And thank YOU for listening. 🙂 The Doctor is OUT. Now for that recipe I promised:

Stromboli Sandwich Rolls (or as in my house: Aunt Melissa’s Sandwich Rolls – a favorite for an EASY dinner or lunch)

1 tube french bread dough

1/2 lb deli turkey or ham
6 green onions, sliced
8 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
1 1/2 cups swiss or cheddar cheese

Unroll dough on a greased baking sheet. Place meat over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle evenly with onions, bacon, and cheese. Roll into a “log”. Pinch seams and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cut several 1/4 inch slits in the log. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

These days, our son could eat a whole one of these, so I make two, and serve it with lots of salad or pasta salad.

Thanks, Aunt Melissa! 🙂

About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Who cares about the recipe … the pearls swallow much better and as more necessary. I'm going to draw my own set of pearls this day and give them to my daddy. My heart is full of a great many things, including some sadness. I was reading this morning in "streams in the desert (august 15th entry)" by Cowman and highlighted this quote. It seems a good fit for your thoughts here…

    "If you aspire to be a person of consolation, if you want to share the priestly gift of sympathy, if you desire to go beyond giving commonplace comfort to a heart that is tempted, and if you long to go through the daily exchanges of life with the kind of tact that never inflicts pain, then you must be prepared to pay the price for a costly education–for like Christ, you must suffer."

    Isn't that something? Isn't God? Something?

    prayers and peace for you~elaine

  2. Jennifer… I am in tears! This is one of the most beautiful posts…
    I am reminded of words from a song…
    Every blessing you pour out, I turn back to praise… when the darkness closes in Lord still I will say… blessed be the name of the Lord!

    Much Love!

  3. Oh sweet friend, what a beautiful story about the pearls. Praying with you in this difficult time as you wait on Him who is able, above and beyond.

  4. Oh, I just love this post. You moved me to tears! 3 years ago my husband went 9 months without a job. We sold our house and moved in with my parents. I had just got pregnant with our 2nd child. I handled the situation terribly. I will forever be ashamed of how I behaved. Finally, God provided my husband with the choice of 2 jobs at the same time! All the while He provided for our needs. Moving to where we are now was all in God's timing. So many things would have been different if we had moved here even a month sooner. I was able to have our baby surrounded by family. We were able to avoid a nasty church split that happened at our church the we joined here. We were able to find a house that had just been put on the market. I get goose bumps just thinking about all the good that came out those horrible 9 months of waiting and wondering. Hang in there. I'll be praying for you.

  5. I know my dear sister in Christ, I so know. It is a more than a year later and I still mourn the job I was so good at but had to leave. I know this sweet story about the pearl necklace and think that naming the pearls is a divinely inspired idea. I plan on doing just that. Thank you for being transparent. In your weakness you have helped strengthen others.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am feeling those exact same feelings as you, although for me, it's hard because I don't have a big support system when it comes to my faith. That is why I have imbraced the wonderful world of blogs!

  7. A beautiful story. I've heard that about the pearl necklace before, but had forgotten it. Thank you for reminding me. There's so much I'd like to say, but I'm not sure where to start and don't want to be long winded. So I'll just say I'll keep you in my prayers!

  8. Not Home Yet..... says:

    What a wonderful word. A great reminder that I specifically needed to hear especially today. I seem to be in a rut of thinking what is best this week. I most trust Him for that! I love you girl!

  9. You are just full of great recipes this week!
    sandy toe

  10. Kim... and Her Coffee says:

    Oh Jennifer. I'm in tears. Wow. I love you so much my sweet, treasured Friend. I love you….

  11. Love you, Jen! And love your whole family.

    Amy Thompson

  12. Hi. It's me. 🙂 I just had to attach this truth that Susan Kelly Skitt put on my Facebook status today:

    "Doing an Elizabeth Elliot Bible study on God's Guidance that says, "Perhaps patience is His gift of bread for today, or quietness, or the gift of uncertainty, that I may rest in His love, confident that when the time is ripe, the guidance will be clear.""

    Amazing and peace-bringing, for sure!!! Thanks, Susan!

  13. Kim@Seasons of My Heart says:

    "For I KNOW the plans I have for you my child"….He does friend…and he's SO pleased….that you are allowing him to "transform" you…rather than "deliver" you…from your situation!!!

    I'm praying…I'm on my knee's…and I just have to share the "pearl" story…on our churches Women's Ministry site!!! Powerful story!!!!

    Love ya FRIEND!!

  14. Enjoyed the message and will try the recipe! Sometimes when we pray we think we know what GOD has planned for us and thinks is best, we need to leave this WE out of it. It is so much easier for me when I can totally give it all over to God and let HIM make the decisions.

  15. I'm so glad I didn't skip down to the recipe! : ) Your story is so beautiful. Love how God does that… takes something awful and makes it into something beautiful!

    And I love Peanuts too. : )

  16. Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing this. I keep going in and out of my meltdowns and it's usually over impatience that things aren't happening sooner or the fear of the loss of my comfort. God is faithful. I've just been making sure that I tell him I'm thankful for the wait, for the broken computer, for the van that is falling apart, and for whatever He has planned. After awhile, I really do become thankful.


  17. You had me at the tantrum!!! The road is not easy.

  18. I'm feelin' all this with you!
    (I'll try the recipe. My boys would love it.)

  19. I'm sorry you're going through a hard time, but it's true that it's during these times that God is working in our lives, making us into who He wants us to be. You and your family are in my prayers!

  20. Oh Jennifer my dear sister,

    I'm so moved by your transparency as we've all been there Sis. Trusting His plan while having our own. Ouch! These words so touched me: "I broke down in tears – knowing that before this present difficulty was over, I would know Him in even deeper ways. That’s the blessing that comes from the pain – the beauty from the ashes."

    I did Experiencing GOD (Book and Workbook) in 2001 in our Handmaidens Leadership Class.It blessed me so much. I see it's blessing you too.

    Hold on dear sister. GOD is moving in ways seen and unseen. May His strength and grace continuously pour down upon you, your husband and household.

    I love you. I stand praying with you. As I'm writing Psalm 27 comes to mind.

  21. Just me~ Bobbie Jo says:

    WOW!!! What a great message. Thank-you for posting this!