Out of desperation, I call my husband at work. But I hear the familiar voicemail instead, which means he’s in a meeting.
Here I am at home with two screaming babies, and he’s in a quiet conference room with other adults.
I decide to leave to a message.
For 45 seconds, I let my husband’s voicemail record the shrill cries of two infants. Together, they create a musical cacophony with plenty of crescendo and staccato. The crying would slow down and fade, then rise again to forte for the bridge and repeat chorus.
I hang up and try everything in my mommy-arsenal to soothe the shrieking cherubs. I feed them, change them, bathe them, and dress them. When that doesn’t work, I swaddle and bounce, sway and burble.
Forlorn and weary, I buckle my babies in their car seats and take them for a drive around the neighborhood. A ride in the minivan usually quiets both of them.
As I turn the same corner for the third time, I wonder where else I can go.
Then I have a brilliant idea. I know where we can go, and it won’t even require getting out of the car.
The McDonald’s drive-thru.
I whisper “thank you” to the lady who hands me a paper bag with my cheeseburger and fries, and I pull into a nearby parking space. With both babies finally asleep, I eat my happy meal and cry.
Stolen water is sweet;
food eaten in secret is delicious.
~ Proverbs 9:17
Food eaten in secret.
I can relate to this proverb — not because I creep downstairs in the middle of the night to raid the fridge, but because I’m usually home alone all day. It’s easy to hop in the minivan and find my way to the nearest drive-thru.
Nowadays, my babies are no longer babies, and it’s been a few years since I left the now-infamous message on my husband’s voicemail. But whenever I feel down, guess where I’m tempted to go?
Not to my knees.
And not to God’s Word.
But to the altar of the Golden Arches.
This isn’t what I want to be true of me.
So when loneliness and fatigue set in, I pray . . . Lord, help me to turn to You first. Fill me with Your presence and Your peace. You alone are the Friend I really need.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
~ Matthew 5:6
I want to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than a cheeseburger and fries. Because only God can fill a hungry heart. <Tweet this!>
My years as a full-time-stay-at-home mom have filled me with a tender heart for other moms too, especially young moms who are doing their best to get through long days without much support from extended family. It can feel as though “you’re doing this alone,” but I’ve learned that our experiences in motherhood are not that different.
Moms have so much to offer each other.
After we turn to the One who can fill us, we can also turn to other moms who can hear us with open hearts and offer the friendship of a fellow traveler.
When you’re having a hard day, where do you turn?