Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Study

I am embarking on a book study with some wonderful ladies-- "God's Girls" so we've come to call ourselves-- at work.  We are studying through the book "Made to Crave: Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food" by Lysa Terkeurst.  My initial thought was that this would be interesting at best, but it has hit home much closer than I anticipated.  How often do I run to food for comfort, as a reward, when I feel joy or experience stress, when I am sad, happy or bored?  Painfully, more often than I'd like.  The issue at hand isn't my pant size, but my heart condition.  And one is growing and the other isn't, if you get my drift.

God never intended we love anything more than we love him.

Interesting!  I particularly related to the story in Matthew 19, where a rich young man comes to see Jesus and explains that he is following all the rules but recognizes something is missing.  "All of these (rules) I have kept", he says to Jesus.  "What do I still lack?"  Jesus responds by telling him to sell all his possessions to the poor.  And the man goes away... sad... because he doesn't want to give up the ONE thing that consumes him. 

In other words-- Jesus wants us to give up the one thing we crave more than Him.

What is it for you?  What do you crave more than God?  Is it food?  Appreciation?  Comfort?  Money?  Pleasing others?   Clothes?  Home decor?  Well behaved kids?  A well taken care of house?  Exercise?  Being well respected at work?  Approval from peers? Appearance?

As I prepare for our book study, does anyone have an idea about how we can "reward" ourselves without food?  This might show you how far gone I am.  I can't imagine rewarding myself with a pedicure or new shirt, because then aren't I trading one craving for another?  Is the answer here that I should pray to be content celebrating with God and not "rewarding" myself on this green Earth?  Can I reward myself with a new iTunes download if it's Christian music?  This is me, calling out for help :)  Would love to hear from you on this one.

The other thing I have been thinking honestly about is all my excuses for not eating more healthy and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.  Things like:
* It's not that bad the way it is.
* I should learn to love myself the way I am
* It's my age
* It's my metabolism
* It's my genetics
* Surely it's not Runza, hamburgers and fries and chips!
* This is a bad time to start a new healthy lifestyle-- I'm pregnant.
* This is a bad time to start a new healthy lifestyle-- I have small kids.
* I have the rest of my life to be healthy
* I should focus more on Dekker/raising kids for this season of life

I am putting together that the most important thing I can do to be the Mom, friend, wife, daughter, employee, that I can be is to love God more.  And to love God more, I need to surrender the things that I crave more than Him.

I hate to write this publicly.  Next time you see me saddled up to the salsa at La Mesa just know I'm a work in progress, okay.

Bless you all.

On the journey,


  1. I was reminded again last night that issues with eating are one of the hardest things to conquer due to the very nature of the problem: we have to eat to live. Others can quit smoking or quit drinking when they address an addiction but we who struggle with healthy eating can't just quit eating! So I hear you, definitely. I'll be interested to see what your thoughts on the book are after you've finished it. If they're still good, I might need to borrow that book!

    Anyway, I also think "rewarding" yourself with things that you don't really "crave" but that are significant benefits to you should be fine. I was just thinking about rewarding myself with something I've been thinking I might want but don't necessarily crave: a nose piercing. We'll see. But sometimes I think the reward is just a better body image, clothes that fit better (though the pregnancy thing is hard there, for sure), more energy, and definitely a closer walk with God.

  2. @Cari...
    Oh yes. We discussed this in our group-- that we must eat and we can't decide to not eat. In many ways we likened it to a sex addiction. Most people who struggle with a sex addiction will have sex again. This does make this struggle different and unique.
    I also think your thoughts on the reward are interesting. It's good to remember that there ARE things out there that I enjoy, but don't crave. I think pedicures fall into that category.

    A few other thoughts from the book study and book (what do you think)---

    * Having an unhealthy lifestyle is the "acceptable" Christian sin. In fact, most of us agreed that church and ministry events and Bible studies and outings with our dearest friends are some of the hardest temptations.

    * This is really about taking care of ourselves-- no matter our weight or pant size, the focus is on health. A person can be bone thin and unhealthy, and can be more curvy and healthy.

    * As Christians we are called to be 'set apart' in many ways. Most of us take this on willingly-- even being so counter-culture as to give away money. Yet for some reason we think it's totally fine to "follow the world" on this topic, often falling prey to marketing, commercials, and "what everyone else is doing." Most of us in group would rather give more than eat differently.

    * Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.

    * If this is a heart matter first and a health interest second, it really speaks to how much we should be in the Word (the food for our soul). If I eat three to five times a day, yet can't find five (or fifty) minutes to spend with God-- I'm obviously going to be on the losing end.

    * I can do all things through Christ. Emphasis on "all" and "through". I can't do this on my own, nor am I meant to. I literally thank God for the Holy Spirit, and for being in a place in my life where the only way I can find victory in this is through Christ. On my own I am not strong enough.

    * We crave what we eat. The more fruit and veggies I eat, the more of that I will want. The same goes for spending time in fellowship with God. The more I do it, the more I'll want it. In both cases, action comes BEFORE feeling 'good' about it. Act first, Feel second.

  3. I think many of these are true for me as well. I definitely find that I have to "train" my body to crave the right kinds of foods but that it works after awhile. (It works the opposite way too. I crave more sweets when I eat more sweets!) I do think overeating / being unhealthy is completely acceptable in Christian circles - sometimes even promoted. I'm not sure why this is, other than the fact that we need to love & respect everyone where they're at & then sometimes we cross the line into enabling when we're trying to support.

    Overall, I absolutely agree that substituting food for a relationship with God is bad. Just not sure I'm really doing that. I'm not sure that I'm an emotional eater, just a lazy one. :-)