Sugar Doesn’t Make a Mom Sweet

It’s easy to reach for sugar when we’re having a moment or have had a day. But what if there is something more fulfilling?

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. —Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV

Each morning when I greet my husband and our three boys, I am intentional and present and kind. Sometimes I even fry up bacon! Basically, I win at motherhood in the mornings! I really do a stellar job those first few hours. Even if I’m not entirely refreshed by the night of sleep, the day feels fresh. Nothing says grace like “Good morning.” Sometimes, however, I find myself overwhelmed again by noon.

Of course, we can blame our children’s incessant questions, the ceaseless routines of washing dishes and folding laundry, the never-ending chatter and character correction, but down to my toes, I know that I can’t blame my kids. Though they’re inquisitive and just plain childish at times, I’m an adult. And that is why I need an adult-sized serving of grace—not only in the morning but ongoing throughout the day.

Though you may be tempted to retreat back to your room, pull the covers over your head, and hope for another miracle batch of “new mercies” to suddenly appear midafternoon, you can’t run and hide. But you can run to the One who doles out those new mercies morning by morning. Even in the afternoon!

The new mercies He promised aren’t served up for one simple breakfast meal and expected to fuel you through a whole day. God’s daily mercies are new in the morning, but they are more like manna—something you need to gather up. They have to last you all day! So get up early and dive into God’s merciful Word. Gather it up so that you can nibble on it all day long. Come back to it when you need it. Take another bite during your child’s naptime instead of what you normally reach for.

Your kids need you to feed on God’s sustaining Word throughout the day. So often we rely on a quick hit of sugar or coffee to make us feel better, but I have found that when we fast from food for a time, feasting on Jesus is easier than ever. It’s not about what you aren’t eating but about what you are eating! Consume Him and He will consume you! Feast on Him and He will fill you and fuel you to get through the day.

Run to Him, not to your bed and not to the pantry, and not to your phone either. It’s not sugar’s job to make you sweet. It’s not Facebook’s job to brighten your countenance. Take your face out of Facebook, put it in the Good Book, and your face will start shining again. Be like Paul who said, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14 NIV).

Learn how to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [you] heavenward in Christ Jesus” today. To press on to win this prize, you have to press into Jesus. Pressing on a fake smile and muscling through to the finish line with angst and anger, bitterness and blaming or shaming words won’t win you any prizes, and it ruins the prize that motherhood already is! Your kids are the prize, a reward, and a gift! Psalm 127:3 celebrates them: “Children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (NASB).

Today, right now, take a MOMent to thank God for this morning’s new mercies. If you didn’t take the time to abide for a bit with Him, gathering up fuel for the day, ask Him for some now. And then tomorrow morning, before the sun rises, before your children rise, open up the Word and stockpile what you need for the day.

Jesus Himself warned us that without Him we won’t have the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, or merciful self-control we need to get through (John 15:5; Galatians 5:22–23). We can only bear that kind of fruit with our family when we are securely attached to the fruit-bearing Vine.

Let’s ask God for the grace and mercy to press in and press on with love today.


  1. When was the last time you turned to God for your support first rather than sugar or social media?
  2. What’s holding you back from turning to God first for your support? Can you eliminate any obstacles between you and quiet time with the Lord today?

Wendy Speake is the author of several books including The 40-Day Sugar Fast and The 40-Day Social Media Fast. Wendy hosts her online 40-Day Sugar Fast every January and her 40-Day Social Media Fast every Lent. To learn more and join the online Sugar Fast community, visit

For more insights on how to feast on the Word each day, pick up Wendy’s book The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation.

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