The Shocking Truth about My Daughter’s First Birthday Party

Can I tell you a personal story? It’s kind of embarrassing, really, but I think you need to know this about me…

For a brief moment, I was convinced some desperate sugar-binging alien had possessed me.

On my daughter’s first birthday, as our guests were leaving and family was helping tear down the party decorations, I ate a slice of cake. Why not? It had been a stressful day. Make that a stressful couple of weeks. Determined to give my baby the best Hungry Caterpillar birthday party ever, I had spent late nights scouring Pinterest, planning the menu, gluing storylines to Popsicle sticks, and transforming our small space into a veritable garden. And the party, by all accounts, was a success. Not that my baby girl will remember it, but still. I will.

So when I placed the platter of leftover caterpillar-shaped cake on the kitchen counter, I felt entitled to an extra piece. I deserve this, I told myself, and wolfed down the sugary concoction.

And then I had another piece. And another. And, well, there was only one more piece left in the row now, so I might as well finish it off.

At that moment, I heard the door open as my brother brought in an armful of decorations to drop off on the kitchen table. I felt myself turning three shades of red as I gulped down the mouthful of cake and quickly deposited the fork in the sink,
hoping he wouldn’t notice.

I walked out with him to finish cleaning up the party scene, but soon found myself in the kitchen again. I stole another few bites of cake, this time large heaping forkfuls, as if fewer bites (no matter how big) meant fewer calories.

As we continued to strip our garage of green and purple decorations, I repeatedly found my way to the kitchen when no one was looking, ingesting one huge bite of cake after another.

I looked down at the diminished caterpillar, and even as I shoved another forkful of cake in my mouth, I wondered at my behavior.

I certainly wasn’t hungry—I had long ago passed the point of feeling full.

And I wasn’t unhappy—everyone had been lovely.

And I didn’t really want more cake—truth be told, I was starting to feel a bit sick to my stomach. But even as I marveled at my lack of self-control, I kept eating.

I gravitated toward that cake like a moth toward a flame.

No amount of logic or willpower could make me stop, and by the end of the night, I had eaten a quarter sheet of chocolate-vanilla birthday cake.

What just happened? I wondered.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this place of quiet desperation as well? Maybe the holidays trigger bifullbookcovernge eating, drinking, or other harmful behaviors in your life?

This story is the beginning of my new book Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction, and it chronicles my journey toward discovering that the satisfaction I sought in food could only be found in Jesus. 

I wrote this one for you, friend, because I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this struggle with food. And when I discovered the freedom that fullness in Jesus brings, I just couldn’t keep it to myself. I want you to have that freedom and fullness too. You can find out more here.

If you’re feeling stuck in a dieting cycle…

If you’re dreading holiday parties with their array of temptations…

If you feel like God doesn’t care about this struggle in your life…

If you’re ashamed and embarrassed by your behavior around food…

There is hope. And it’s found in Jesus.

Lord, as we enter this holiday season, would you reveal yourself to Minnie in a special way? Whatever her heartache, may she taste and see that You are good and that You satisfy our deepest longings. Amen

With much joy,


PS There’s a special freebie bonus that’s yours when you preorder Full before January 2. Get the details here.

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