Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who Do You Trust?

God gave me a visual this morning.

Do you remember playing this trust game when you were younger? One person stands in front of another, both facing the same direction. The person in front spreads her arms and free-falls backward. The idea is to let the person standing in back catch her.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Made to Crave GIVEAWAY!


I’ve often thought it would be easier to deal with a drug issue or alcohol issue than an eating issue. Before you shake your finger, let me explain. I used to smoke. I quit when I was pregnant with my first child seventeen years ago because I didn’t want to harm him. Other than a few times here and there when I first quit, I haven’t craved cigarettes since. The mere smell of smoke now clogs my throat and makes me feel as if I am being smothered. I easily abstain from cigarettes—because I don’t hang around smokers, don’t visit places where there is smoking (thanks, in part, to Illinois’ no smoking laws), and never have “just one” drag. So . . . I have often thought it would be easier to abstain from a substance that I am addicted to than have to pick and choose wisely. Hence, my thoughts that I’d rather have a drug or alcohol issue than an eating issue.

I know this is wrong thinking. I’ve seen people who battle with drugs, alcohol, and even cigarettes, try and try again to abstain. So I’ve concluded that wrestling with the flesh is wrestling with the flesh no matter what it looks like. Still . . . what if I could just walk away from food altogether?


Toward the end of Lysa TerKeurst’s book Made to Crave, she ponders the question, “Is discipline really sustainable?” One pastor’s simple response was, “God tells us to be holy. So, be holy. He wouldn’t have said it if it weren’t possible.” (p.169) I smiled at this reply. I felt a lift in my spirit and hope spring up. I give this pastor a hearty, “Amen!” After all, self-control is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22). All I need to do is tap into that fruit and God’s strength. How? Lysa says, “The answer lies within the very next choice you make.” (p.175)

If “we crave what we eat” (p.20), we must be disciplined long enough to crave the proper portions of what our body needs (as opposed to the unhealthy choices we typically feed it). That means choosing to make the right choice over and over and over (possibly against our desires) until it’s no longer a choice, but a lifestyle.

I manned the concession stand at my daughter’s basketball game last weekend. I sat behind the row of candy bars, suckers, and sugar-filled drinks for an hour with my ten-year old son. After 45 minutes, he asked, “Mom, don’t you want to eat a bunch of that candy?” I said, “No, I don’t.” I was not tempted in the least. But his question impelled me to analyze my situation. Why wasn’t I tempted? I love chocolate. Certainly, I have eaten my share of Reese’s peanut butter cups and Butterfingers (my favorite candy bar in college). Here is the answer: I don’t buy candy bars! As a practice, I do not purchase candy bars. At some point in the past ten years I made a decision to stop purchasing candy bars at the grocery store or gas station or at games. I don’t remember making this choice or how I managed to follow through on it; but, that discipline stuck—so much so that I no longer consciously make a choice. I walk past candy without pausing, without being tempted, without even seeing it. Praise God! I believe this is an example of sustained discipline. (Side note: I still eat chocolate, but bite-sized pieces and only occasionally.)


As promised, I will draw next Tuesday, Feb. 22. The winner receives my Made to Crave book.
Your name will be entered each time you do one of the following:

1. Post this blog to your facebook.
2. Tweet this post.
3. Email this post to your friends.
4. Become a follower. (If you are already a follower, let me know.)
5. Grab my button and put it on your blog or website. (If my button is already on your site, let me know.)
6. Sign up to receive posts by email. (If you already receive posts by email, let me know.)
7. Answer the following question in the comment section: Can you point to an example of sustained discipline in your life?

IMPORTANT: Please let me know through facebook, email or the comment section which of the above you did. Yes, your name could be entered into the drawing seven times!

Check back next Wednesday to see if you have won!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Made to Crave Book Review

Lysa TerKeurst wrote the book I set out to write six years ago. Seriously. I am amazed at how many topics she includes that I have covered in this blog and articles I’ve written. So I can’t help but endorse the book with two thumbs up and five gold stars.

Made to Crave follows Lysa on her journey of discovering why she ate improperly, what she chose to do about it, and how she maintains her goal weight. I especially like this book because the author is real, authentic. There are no quick fixes and she does not pretend as if it’s easy. Her goal is a lifestyle change only obtainable through a deep-rooted spiritual change. She gives practical steps balanced with cautions not to be legalistic. Lysa also draws the reader in by using humor (one of the chapters is entitled “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Before Thinking”), stories of her own failures and successes, and relating to the reader. (She told a tortilla chip story that reminded me of my “Stretch” blog post.)

Throughout the book Lysa refers to scripts she recites to herself. She states we need to replace our rationalizing scripts with Healthy Eating Go-To Scripts. For example, when we are tempted to compromise, think past the moment and ask, How will I feel about this choice tomorrow morning? A list of scripts is found in the back of the book. A list of Personal Reflection questions follows each chapter. The questions engage the reader and help apply the newfound knowledge.

My favorite quote of the book is, “You crave what you eat” (more on that in another post). My favorite story is told in the chapter “But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry.” Lysa heard God speak to her. As she obeyed, she experienced God in a new way. “As I ran that day, I connected with God on a different level. I experienced what it meant to absolutely require God’s faith to see something through. How many times have I claimed to be a woman of faith but rarely lived a life requiring faith?” (p.90)

This book is full of truths worth pursuing and is an excellent read. God may use it to change your life.

Due to some time constraints I am facing this week, I am waiting until next week to conduct the drawing for this book. Thank you for your patience.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting a Plan with Lysa TerKeurst

I heard so much about Lysa TerKeurst’s new book Made to Crave, I picked up a copy. I plan on reviewing the book in its entirety when I finish; however, I can’t help but interact with the book while I am reading. (She makes this easy by including reflection questions at the end of each chapter.)

In the third chapter, Lysa builds an excellent case for “getting a plan” to lose weight. Although she includes her plan, she is quick to say that her plan does not necessarily need to be your plan. The real point is to have a plan.

Are plans important? Yes. But they should be an extension of living a righteous life. They should blossom from an intimate relationship with the Lord. We should first delve into the root cause of improper eating. If we do not understand what caused our nasty habits, we will revert back to them.

One reason I have avoided writing about specific plans is because of past experiences with “plans.” Diets work. It’s what happens after I’ve met my goal. When I achieve my desired weight, after being hungry for four months or so, I want to eat until I’m full. So I do. There are various endings to this story, which at least tells you that I’ve lived it many times over in the past twenty-seven years; but, none of them end happily. Therefore, I associate plans (dieting) with failing (i.e. gaining the weight back or reverting to an unhealthy eating pattern). I am fearful of another plan.

However, Lysa has a valid point. Without a plan, we don’t have direction or goals.

God’s nature is to be organized and have goals. Jesus had a plan. He knew where He was going and His ultimate objective. Imagine if Jesus had lost his way to Jerusalem, or chosen to stay in Galilee, or allowed Himself to be sidetracked. He could have missed his own crucifixion!

But He didn’t. Jesus met his goals because He, first, knew who He was and Whose He was . . . and, second, had a God-directed plan. Shouldn’t we? Yes, in all areas of life—including, but not limited to, the physical area of life.

My Plan
My most recent plan is “eat healthy.” Before you laugh, it is a bit more complex than it appears. My healthy choices are based on research (see “My Picks” widget for some books I have read). Unfortunately, the farther I get from these truths, the easier it is to slip back into old patterns. For example, I buy organic lettuce for my family . . . until I am at Sam’s Club and see that a huge bag of romaine lettuce is half the cost. Then, I temporarily lose myself in the thought of saving money and snatch it up. (Does anyone hear a rationalization in there?) Maybe some of you are thinking, “Well, at least you eat lettuce!” True enough. However, these are my goals. Yours may be different.

I believe a bigger issue for me right now is portion control. This is an area I’ve let up on in the past couple of years. I stopped counting calories or measuring my food. It seemed too rigid. But maybe I can find harmony somewhere in between. The knowledge is there. So I am committing this area to prayer.

My conclusion? “Eat healthy” is not specific enough. Goals (and the plans to reach them) need to be measureable and attainable.

So, while I do not want to be a slave to rules and checklists and the goals themselves, it is difficult to reach a goal if I never set one and get a plan to reach it. So as I deal with the issues that have contributed to my poor eating habits, I will ask God to give me a plan—one that is measureable and attainable. I think the first step is dealing with the fear issue I mentioned earlier.

What do you think about plans?

Do you have a plan? Is it God-directed?

Side Note: As I mentioned at the beginning, I will be posting a full review of Made to Crave after I finish the book. Additionally, I will be giving the book away in a drawing. Directions for the drawing will be in a later post.

If this blog encourages you:
Spread the word through email or post it on facebook or twitter.
Become a follower or sign up to receive posts through email.
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