Jan 11 2011

Made to Crave - Day 7

Day 7: Finding My Beautiful

Based on Chapter 8 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKheurst

  

Thought for the Day: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

  

I don’t know a woman alive who is completely happy with her body. No woman I’ve met has ever said, “I eat healthy, I exercise, and I love the way I look 100 percent.” Not me, and I doubt you do either. Some perceived flaws are related to weight. But just as often, we find imperfections that exercise can’t cure, such as body shape, height, genetics, or signs of aging.

 

We tend to focus on what we see wrong with our bodies, including negative impressions and comments that stick with us from childhood. In middle school, weight wasn’t my biggest concern, but rather my ankles … yes, my ankles! A boy I liked once called them “tankles.” You bet that left a scar.

 

I will always have cellulite, stand 5′7″, and have a low waistline. In the grand scheme of life, I know these are shallow concerns. But if I allow my brain to park in a place of dissatisfaction about my body, it gives Satan room to strip me of motivation by whispering, “Your body is never going to look the way you want it to look, so why sacrifice so much? Everyone eventually falls apart. Your discipline is in vain.” That’s why I have to seek the Lord’s perspective, such as the reminder in Psalms:

 

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name … and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1–5)

 

 

I’ve learned through God’s Word that the body He gave me is good. It’s not perfect, nor will it ever be on this side of eternity. But my body is a gift, a good gift for which I can be thankful. Being faithful in taking care of this gift and walking according to God’s plan gives me renewed strength to keep a healthy view of my body.

 

God didn’t curse my body with tankles and cellulite, and He has not cursed you. When I chose to view my body is as a good gift from God, I thanked Him for making me just the way I am. He revealed some benefits of my larger ankles, such as: I can hike with my husband, stand cheering for my kids at multiple sporting events, chase my dog through the yard, and never have a sprained ankle. Oh, what freedom! What redemption! What a sweet gift! I am able to look at those airbrushed, skinny-ankled women on TV or on the magazine covers and be happy for them without loathing myself.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” I’ve found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful. I don’t have to hold my beautiful up to other people’s bodies with a critical eye of judgment. I pray that you see your beautiful today and enjoy the blessings of the body that God gave you.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 10 2011

Made to Crave - Day 6

Day 6: Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat before Thinking

Based on Chapter 3 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: It’s possible to muster up the occasional gumption to avoid the slippery slope of compromising a diet. But more often than not, we need measures of accountability. For me, one of the most effective accountability measures has been mutually tracking progress with a friend.

  

I love the song by the Supremes that says, “Stop, in the name of love, before you break my heart. Think it over.” Who would have thought this classic tune could apply to so much more than a girlfriend warning her wayward beau? Contained within the melody is a powerful statement that applies to many areas of our life: Think it over. I wonder how many bad choices and severe consequences could have been averted if that three-word statement had been applied.

 

Sometimes we can muster up the gumption to think it over on our own and avoid the slippery slope of compromise. But more often than not, we need measures of accountability. For me, one of the most effective accountability measures has been mutually tracking progress with friends.

 

For instance, I have a friend who started eating healthy ahead of me, and she’s been an invaluable source of encouragement. She was the first to challenge me, “Lysa, if you do this healthy eating plan, it will work.” I clung to her statement when I had those really hard moments of temptation.

 

My friend served as a voice of reason and stability, assuring me that my new lifestyle choices would be worth it and get easier. Plus, I hated the thought of having to admit that I hadn’t persevered when she asked. If she could press through her hard days, then so could I.

 

Another friend started a healthy eating plan along with me. We both knew it would be hard, so we committed to pray for one another as well as hold each other accountable. Each day, we talked about what we’d be eating. Every week, we reported our weight to one another. We processed each struggle and helped each other battle temptation.

 

While I cannot expect anyone else to make my decisions for me, it was motivating to know that someone else cared about my struggles. We encouraged each other with this motto, “If it’s not part of our plan, we don’t put it in our mouths.”

 

I never thought I could leave my old eating habits full of potatoes, white bread, pasta, rice, chips, brownies, and other sugary delights. I didn’t think I’d last a day. But watching my friend’s success and having my other friend willing to sacrifice with me gave my brain the permission to stop—in the name of love—and think it over.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 07 2011

Made to Crave - Day 5

Desperation Breeds Defeat

Day 5:

Based on Chapter 16 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKheurst

  

Thought for the Day: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

I was walking through the airport when an incredible aroma suddenly grabbed my attention and taunted, “Do you know how happy I can make you?” A candy shop had just made a fresh batch of nutty, caramel popcorn.

 

I felt my knees get weak, because I love caramel popcorn. I started to rationalize buying this special, thinking, “I can’t get this flavor at home, and I’ll take half home to my kids.” In that moment, a new truth God taught me during my healthy eating journey popped into my mind and saved the day: desperation breeds defeat.

 

In the book of Genesis, the Bible tells an interesting story about twin brothers who illustrate this point. The elder son, Esau, was favored by his father, Isaac, because of his prowess as a hunter. In contrast, the younger son, Jacob, was a quiet homebody. One day, Esau returned home from an unsuccessful hunting trip totally famished, and demanded some stew from his brother. “I’ll give you food,” agreed Jacob, “but first, trade me your birthright.” Esau replied, “Okay, I’m so hungry, I’m about to die.” So Esau traded the honors due to him as the firstborn son for a simple meal of stew.

 

Upon first glance, it’s easy to ridicule Esau’s decision. I cannot imagine selling your whole birthright for a pot of soup. But I had to look at my own life and ask, “What great thing have I traded for so little in return? How often do I trade healthy food for junk food? What temporary pleasure have I craved so much that I gave up lasting victory?”

 

Desperation does indeed breed defeat. But God promises answers for desperate situations in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

 

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

 

 

The “way out” that God provides is the ability to decide in advance what I will and will not eat each day. I plan my meals right after breakfast when I’m feeling full and satisfied. The absolute worst time for me to decide what I’m going to eat is when

 

I’ve waited until I’m depleted and feeling hungry. So I prepare a healthy snack to have on hand or keep in my purse.

 

When I’m unprepared or I’ve rushed through a proper meal, my stomach screams for something quick. And quick options usually come in a variety of unhealthy temptations, just as I experienced at the airport. However, that day I had decided ahead of time that I would keep an apple in my purse for a snack, rather than trade my healthy progress for something like caramel popcorn.

 

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that we should flee food. However, we must prevent the control that food can take over our lives. If we purposely begin to think before we eat, we’ll be better able to see the way out that God promises when we are tempted.

 

 

For more information about Lysa TerKeurst and her book Made to Crave, please visit: www.MadetoCrave.org

Jan 06 2011

The Second Chance Story of Ted Williams

If you've watched TV at all this week, there's a great chance you heard the story of Ted Williams.  The former radio personality that has struggled with addiction and found himself homeless.  What has transpired over the past couple of days has been amazing and speaks to the fact that we serve a God of Second Chances.  To see more of Ted's amazing second chance story, check out the video below ...