Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Made to Crave GIVEAWAY!

NO EATING ALLOWED

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?

SUSTAINED DISCIPLINE

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.)

THE GIVEAWAY!

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!

10 comments:

Diana said...

I can completely appreciate your thought process and I agree that food temptations have added challenges.
I am hard pressed to point out sustained discipline in my life. Last year I had it for about 6 months with getting up and working out every day, but other areas in my life suffered for it, primarily my devotional time. So far this year I have a sustained discipline with reading my bible and studying the Word, both in the morning and at night before bed, but working out isn't happening. This year is the better alternative, but I need to get balance and include exercise too, it helps me with my eating. I'm hoping to win the book, but I'm guessing if I don't I'll be buying it... except I am working on discipline in spending too!
Sigh, I want to be Holy!!!!

Joyce Denen said...

I too struggle with discipline in several areas of my life, including food choices...:( One place where I did totally succeed was in giving up drinking alcohol after several years of drinking several times weekly. I have been alcohol free for over 23 years! I have also been successful in getting the Word in me daily for about 6 months now...(sustained time for me) Most of the time with the Bible itself, but other times through a devotional book with scriptures. This has been 6 months of life changes for us so I have really had to pull close to God to let Him love me and of course, I have grown stronger through everything. Life sure is an interesting journey...:)

Shannon said...

hey cutie! thank you so much for you diligence in posting things we need to hear! :)

my example of sustained discipline has to do with my life in general. sure there are little things that stand out more. but in general it all boils down to seeing myself as HE SEES ME! If I see myself as "fearfully and wonderfully made" I will treat myself as such. When I see myself as "worth it" I live like I am. is a discipline to see myself that way? DEFINITELY! I have struggled with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I've been on and off of meds since JrHigh.
I have to daily discipline myself...eventually it'll be 2nd nature. right? ;)

Barb Winters said...

Thanks for the comments! It is inspirational to hear how God works (even in what we think are small things) in our lives. You all have terrific testimonies of faith and discipline.

Laura said...

Great post, Barb! For me, some examples of sustained discipline have been when I've trained for and participated in various athletic events (I've done the "Walk Wisconsin" walkers' marathon three times, and climbed the steps of Sears/Willis Tower twice). Having a set goal in mind seems to help me stay motivated and focused. Hmmm ... now that I think about it, guess I could/should try to carry that concept over to my spiritual life by keeping in mind the ultimate goal of being a true and faithful disciple, eh? ;-)

Diane Yuhas said...

Thanks for posting & the great giveaway! I tweeted it and shared it on Facebook. Blessings!

Diane Yuhas said...

Also, I can say a sustained discipline in my life is my morning Quiet Time of worship, prayer, and Bible reading.

Barb Winters said...

Welcome Diane!

Laura, thanks for the compliment!

It is a blessing to hear so many testimonies of sustained discipline. Let's celebrate our victories!

Melissa K Norris said...

Barb,
So glad we connected on FB.
Eleven months ago I gave up reading secular fiction. It was hard to forsake a few of my favorite authors, but I'm so glad I did. My walk w/ the Lord has grown stronger and I've discovered some awesome Inspirational authors. I've even passed those books on to others who have never read Christian Fiction and they loved it.

Barb Winters said...

Melissa! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'll be sure to enter your name for the contest.

What a great example of sustained discipline. From your website I see you are an avid reader, and I'm sure it was difficult to give up some of your favorites.