Spring Break at Shoney’s

I’ve told you before that I was raised on Shoney’s.

Growing up in a little factory town on the outskirts of Knoxville, a town with less than 1,000 people, there weren’t too many options apart from the gas station deli inside the corner market.  Shoney’s was the closest option and I loved it.

And still do.

But three boys later and a move to the suburbs has caused me to neglect my affection for Shoney’s.  Jason’s Deli came to town and struck me dumb.  This now the new Shoney’s of my generation.  But the other night Brent and I piled up our little offspring and headed to my hometown favorite for a surprise Spring Break treat.

And it treat it was.

The boys were a little confused when the Odyssey pulled into the Shoney’s parking lot, because we had already eaten dinner and they were fully bathed in PJs.  It was late and the sky was deep pink.

“Guys, when mommy was little like you, Grandmama would load Aunt Rachael and me up in our PJ’s and take us to Shoney’s where we would share Hot Fudge Cake.”

A few grumbles came from the back, their hopes set on yogurt from Menchies or ice cream from Bruster’s.  But they just had no idea what they were rejecting!  The warm, chocloatey cake sandwiching a perfectly square block of vanilla ice cream.  The entire thing completely smothered in thick Hershey’s fudge and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Who can resist? Bruster’s hardly stands a chance!

So when sweet Bonnie, our waitress, brought this heavenly hash to the table, all grumbles stopped.  I mean who can grumble with a mouth full of chocolate?


We were like Hot Fudge Cake vultures, attacking that cake with fierce spoons.  I think I accidentally  elbowed my ten-year-old, only once, fighting hard to guard my corner of the cake.

But a minute into our Hot Fudge Cake frenzy, I demanded everyone stop and put their spoons down!

“Stop, stop, stop!  Y’all, we are eating so fast we can’t even taste what we are stuffing in our mouths!  Slllooooowwww down.  Breathe. And let’s savor the cake!

So with harmless sarcasm, they took their spoons to it again, this time in extreme slow motion.

“Woooowwwww Mooommmmm….. Thhiiisss isssss sooooo goooood.”

Silly boys ❤

But as predicted, I watched them all close their eyes and savor a slow, rich bite of my favorite childhood dessert.  Their “mmmm’s” broke the silence and their faces gleamed with grins.

“See.”  I said.  “Isn’t that so yummy?!  The Bible says that God satisfies our desires as with the richest of foods.  I wonder if King David was eating Hot Fudge Cake when he wrote that Psalm?”

“Mom, they didn’t have Shoney’s back then.”

“I’m kidding.  But think about it.  When we know God, He fulfills us and satisfies our soul like this chocolate satisfies our taste buds.  And even better.  Way better!   Every need.  Every desire.  Every longing – satisfied completely through Christ.

[He] redeems your life from the pit and corruption, [He] beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;  [He] satisfies your mouth with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:4-5 AMP

My 10-year-old gave me a gracious head nod.  The little boys completely ignored me.  Brent smiled.

But this illustration struck my small-town heart.  I knew how exhilarated my mouth was, and to think, this is only a fraction (or a foretaste, if you will) of how God fulfills my every need.  He satisfies my life with good – so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

What do you desire today?  For what is your soul longing?  

Is it friendship?







King David reminds us that we serve a God who redeems our life from the pit.  We bow to a God who beautifies us, dignifies us, sanctifies us, and crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercy.

And as much as a Shoney’s Hot Fudge cake pleases my palette,  our God satisfies all the more.

Today, pull up a chair to the Royal Table, adjust that crown of life on your head and feast from the hand of a satisfying God.  Dig in to His goodness and fill your belly full of Him.  There is no need to fight for your portion, He has enough for us all!  Our God who satisfies as with the riches of foods.

Power Verse and Reflection:

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. Psalm 63:5

Where do you tend to go first for satisfaction?  Is it someplace other than God?  I know I do.  Sit in the quiet of His presence today and ask Him to reveal those places in your heart.  Confess and be satisfied in the deepest places of your soul.

Join us as we read Psalm 103 for 103 days.  Every day through June 27th.

Click here for more info.


3 thoughts on “Spring Break at Shoney’s

  1. Great post! I have fond memories of Shoney’s/Elby’s/Big Boy restaurants as well. We used to go there for strawberry pie to celebrate special events – such as band concerts, etc…when I was growing up. My husband and I went there on our first date and shared one of those Hot Fudge Cakes you mentioned. 🙂 Thanks for prompting some fond memories.

  2. You brought back some great moments in my life. Chocolate was definitely one of God’s best food creations! How much better though is feasting on the Goodness of our Lord! Thanks for sharing.

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