Ever since I was a child I’ve had a “sweet tooth.”
My Grandpa used to share with me his Oreo cookies, smothered in peanut butter. My mom would keep a tub of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting in the back of the fridge for an impromptu dessert on a spoon. My dad’s love-language was and is and will always be chocolate. Needless to say, I come by it honestly.
However, in the past decade, since becoming a mom, that sweet delight has turned to dependency, and deep down I know that dependency on anything or anyone other than God has the power and potential to become an idol in my life.
Perhaps, you’re there with me. You’ve grown dependent on your sugary mocha to kick-start the day, chocolate covered almonds when your energy wains, a brownie for lunch, just because you’re feeling low, and a (nap-time) dash to the pantry for your children’s left-over Easter treats. And then you reward yourself, late at night, with a scoop of ice cream and some late night TV, because you deserve a win at the end of another long day.
This was all working fine for me until my third baby was born and I began having toddler melt-downs alongside the oldest two. What had happened to my loving demeanor and patient corrections? Where had my gentle smile and tender tuck-ins gone? Why was I yelling and crying mid-afternoon, most afternoons? I blamed it on my lack of sleep and their bad behavior, but in the last couple of years I’ve come to see a direct link between my sugar intake and my lack of sweetness.
Apparently, a steady diet of fruit snacks does not help to cultivate the fruit of God’s Spirit in our mothering lives.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We’re desperate for His love in our mothering moments; His joy at the park; His peace as we put our children down at night (regardless if they stay in their miniature beds); His patience when we’re exhausted; His kindness as we correct; His goodness when we feel bitter over crumpled laundry or crumpled sin; His faithfulness when our faith is weak; His self-control when we can’t muscle through and control ourselves.
Unfortunately, all that good fruit is near impossible in our mothering lives when we’re hiding in the pantry, rather than abiding in Him.
“Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4, ISV)
And so, for the second year in a row, I’m leading a group of moms, just like you and me, through a 40 Day Sugar Fast.
Join us, April 4th – May 13th.
I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not offering daily recipes or health advice to get you through these 40 Days – I’m simply a mom in need of a sugar detox, inviting you to come along.
I’m not a formula girl. The only cut and dry formula I believe in is Jesus Christ. But if you need some direction and instruction, simply take out all of the sugary treats, syrupy drinks and coffee creamers, breakfast breads, chocolate chips, candied nuts, left-over Easter goodies and desserts out of your kitchen for the next forty days. Keep your sugar substitutes if you’d like, enjoy your all natural fruits and sweeteners too. I use honey and agave syrup in moderation during this fast. Everyone has their own vice, so let the Holy Spirit guide you when it comes to what He’d like you to give up.
Some women take all of their white processed foods out of their diet during this fast as well, while others forego coffee and caffeinated beverages.
The first few days will be rough, leaving us all feeling weak.
But I believe when we’re most aware of our weakness, we are most desperate for God’s strength. Fortunately, that’s where God most often shows up (<—Tweet that!).
Isn’t that the place we want to be as moms? Desperately clinging to the God who made our children and gave them to us? He’s the One who offers us the strength we need to raise them up each day.
If you’d like to kick your sugar habit to the curb, with a group of like-minded moms, eager to grow in their dependency on Jesus, join our 40 Day Sugar Fast Facebook page, or follow along at WendySpeake.com for a weekly post to encourage your mothering heart along the way.
Wendy Speake is a contributing writer for The MOB Society, one of the faithful administrators of our “No More Angry MOB” Facebook page, and author of the new book, Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. She is passionate about helping women who struggle to control their emotions in each difficult mothering moment. Join the fast!