For many of us, the close of the holiday season marks an end to countless spreads of delicious desserts, tasty munchies, and the mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres right at our fingertips. Though the holidays only come around a few times a year, unfortunately for this stay-at-home mom, my desire to “overdo it” can be a daily battle.
Because let’s be real, I Iove to snack; and anyone who knows me would easily agree. Honestly, I’m not sure who eats more from the store-bought boxes, me or my two-year-old. And now when we are getting into the car to go somewhere, my daughter will sometimes say, “Treat?” (She knows her momma too well.)
It’s the processed powdery cheese and buttery cookie crumbles that get me. The packages sitting on the shelf call to me between laundry loads, tending baby, and kitchen cleanup. And whether I’ve had a few too many treats during a holiday party, or I’ve munched and crunched my way through my snack cupboard, the feeling is generally the same: I feel full, but not necessarily satisfied. And usually there’s a little feeling of regret in the pit of my stomach. Ugh…
Though a few goodies may not be inherently wrong, I know I should eat wholesome foods if I want to stay healthy. I know what I should do, but it’s so hard to follow through on it. It’s especially difficult if I’m already filled with so many other things.
My snacking conundrum got me thinking about another area in life. We live in an era when there are so many things with which we can “fill ourselves”. Social media offers a “snack” to fill the need to connect or feel good in the moment. The habit to click, swipe, post, check, and check our devices again weaves itself through most of our daily lives. It’s honestly so second nature for me, I don’t even realize the amount of time I do it! How often I’ve found myself glued to my phone during lunch time only to find that my toddler had rubbed applesauce all throughout her hair because I was so distracted! (Nice one, mom.)
And though posting a picture, scrolling a news feed, or swiping through all the latest ways to “make my life better” may not be inherently wrong, at times I’ve wondered to myself, What am I actually wanting right now? Could it be that just as empty-calorie snacks repress hunger for a real meal, all of the swiping, checking, and scrolling may actually be suppressing a deeper hunger inside?
Isaiah 55:2 (ESV) says, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”
There are many things with which I can fill myself, but they are not intended to satisfy my soul. There is only one who can…
So where do we go from here? Maybe it’s time to take inventory of our soul’s “snack” shelf and ask:
- With what do I fill myself throughout the day?
- Do these substitutions give quick fixes that repress my deeper hunger?
- Do they subtract from precious moments with my child/ren?
Lately, I’ve thought more about the fact that their little eyes are watching me, taking cues on what to make priority and how to fill their pastimes.
The other day I decided to read my Bible on our couch while my little girl played around me. Honestly, I partially did it because I wanted her to see me doing it. But a few minutes into it, she brought her little verse book over to show me her “Bible”. That was a sweet reminder that it may be true that “more is caught than taught.” I hope my example will set my children up well for their lives.
As mommies who have so much on our plates, we desperately need nourishment from the true source. In the moments between laundry loads and kitchen clean-up, while we are with our precious little ones, and in the spaces throughout the day, let’s remember to take time to turn our hearts to the one who can truly satisfy the soul, and in doing so, we can teach our children to do the same.
Keri Herzog loves to see women come to better know who they are in Christ. Previously she worked as the Assistant Dean of Women at Christ for the Nations Institute and also worked as the Assistant Dean for Leadership and Experiential Learning at North Central University. Currently she lives with her husband Jordan, their 2 daughters, and 2 German Shepherds.