Jan 21 2011

Day to Crave - Day 15

Day 15: I’ll Have What She’s Having

Based on Chapter 10 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: Just because a woman is skinny doesn’t mean that she’s healthy. The struggles are similar, just in a different size package.

  

One problem with trying to eat healthy is when you sit down next to a skinny girl who wolfs down everything on her plate. It makes me want to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” A similar frustration pops up when Ms. Petite picks up her kids in a cute tennis outfit that I could never wear.

 

The paradox of comparing ourselves to other people is that we become blind to what we already have in the face of what we don’t have. Our hearts are drawn into a place of assumption. We assume that everything is great for those who possess what we lack.

 

But here’s the kicker. Everyone has not-so-great aspects their lives, things that they will have to learn to surrender or sacrifice. Sure, my size-two friend could eat all the snacks she wanted, but she’s got other struggles for which she has to depend on God. For instance, consider that skinny girl in your life who eats whatever she wants and makes you think, “How unfair.” Yet listen to what she might say in return, as someone once shared with me: “I am one of the skinny girls, but don’t mistake skinny for healthy. I battle depression, self-esteem issues, and verbal abuse. The list seems endless. Being little doesn’t make a person any more happy or faithful or joyful. The struggles are similar, just in a different size package.”

 

Life as a Christ follower will always be a learning process of depending less on our own strength and more on God’s power. James 1:3–4 says,

 

The testing of your faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature, complete, not lacking anything.

 

 

Why not make this a daily prayer, first thing in the morning: “God, I recognize that I am made for more than the vicious cycle of being ruled by food, body image, and comparing myself to others. I am thankful that You made my body unique in ways that I can serve You and in ways that turn my reliance upon You. I need to eat to live, not live to eat. So I keep asking for Your wisdom to know what to eat and Your indwelling power to walk away from things and thoughts that are not beneficial for me.”

 

Oh sweet sisters, this truth should be the cry of our souls and drown out Satan’s lie that “she has it easier.” Our taste buds crave many things to satisfy, but only persevering with God will make us truly full.

 

 

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

Jan 20 2011

Made to Crave - Day 14

Day 14: God Is My Portion

Based on Chapter 13 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:22–24)

 

 The term “portion control” took on a whole new meaning for me one day when I read the response that God’s people had after Moses led them out of slavery in Egypt. God had performed several sensational miracles to help them escape their captors. Yet they panicked when food became scarce. They even asked to go back to slavery in Egypt where food was supposedly abundant. But God planned to use their desire for food to teach them about daily dependence upon Him.

 

As Israelites traveled through the desert, each morning God would rain down exactly what they needed for nourishment—a provision called “manna,” which I imagine was something like little, sweet, potato flakes. They were to collect just enough manna for the day. They couldn’t gather extra, except before the Sabbath day of rest, or it would rot. This daily process was intended to put them in the habit of dependence on God, and only God.

 

However, the Israelites began to grumble and turned their hearts against God. So He took them on a detour. Instead of heading straight to the Promised Land of freedom, they wandered in the desert for forty years while they learned how to truly depend on God.

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the next forty years of my life learning this lesson. I want to stop grumbling about my weight and embrace this valuable lesson to walk in the freedom of God’s provision. As we apply this same process to our struggles, we can find that God is the perfect portion for everything we need, every longing we have, every desperate desire of our soul.

 

God is there when my husband and I have a big argument, my kids are unruly, a business deal doesn’t go as planned, or the bills start piling up. Instead of grabbing a tub of ice cream or ordering pizza, I ask God to be my daily portion in these tough times.

 

For example, if your boyfriend breaks up with you, instead of inhaling a big bowl of chips and dip, ask God to be your daily portion of companionship in this lonely time. “God, I hate this rejection and hurt. Sometimes I feel like the loneliness is going to swallow me alive. I can’t deal with this on my own. Will You be my portion of healing and companionship just for this day?”

 

Or, when your kids are driving you crazy, instead of chowing down three pieces of chocolate cake, you might pray, “God, I so desperately want to be a patient mom. I don’t know if I can be a patient mom the rest of my life. But with Your portion of strength I can rely on You in this moment and not try to medicate my shortcomings with food.”

 

Whatever your situation, ask God to be your daily portion of companionship, provision, and patience—over and over. Soon, you’ll find yourself walking in victory over those things instead of looking back over tears and a pile of cake crumbs.

 

 

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

Jan 19 2011

Wow, God Gives Forgiveness ...

Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be one of the most powerful things you can do ... but realistically, it's one of the most difficult things to do.  In many cases, it's only because of the supernatural power of God we are able to forgive someone.  And because God gives forgiveness, so we can give forgiveness.  What's your "Wow, God" story involving forgiveness.

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Jan 19 2011

Made to Crave - Day 13

Day 13: The Tower of Impossibility

Based on Chapter 2 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

  

Thought for the Day: “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 24:14)

 

Standing before a decadent dessert table piled high like a tempting tower was a daunting task. I was glowing with the first flush of success with my healthy eating plan, but now I found myself at the blow-out wedding of the season. A mere wedding cake was not enough panache for this soiree. Instead, a full buffet of chocolate truffles accompanied the groom’s cake. It was beautiful. And I wanted one of each flavor!

 

Previously, when I faced the calorie-overload opportunities so common in our culture, I felt overwhelmed and defeated. The tower of truffles seemed like a tower of impossibility. But this time my perspective was different. I had experienced a shift and tasted a new style of hope.

 

The particular healthy-eating plan that I had chosen was full of wisdom about the realities of food’s interaction with my body. In addition, I had put some healthy boundaries in place, surrounded myself with a like-minded friend, and replaced old lies in my mind with new truths. This new foundation began to slowly build, one day at a time. Healthy choices piled on top of each other day after day. Then, one day I woke up for the first time feeling incredibly empowered. I still did the typical routine with the scale—no clothes and no ponytail holder. My body was slowly changing because I had lost some weight. But the most thrilling feeling was knowing that my heart was changing.

 

Hope over despair tasted better than any food I’d ever given up. I had sought God’s perspective using prayer, boundaries, and His fulfillment as my source. I realized nothing was worth compromising the path of victory I was on—not even the tower of truffles!

 

I paved my victory path by imagining every good choice I made was like settling another brick into place: bricks of prayer, wise choices, closeness to God, closeness to others, confidence, energy, and focus. Each and every time I conquered a temptation by making a healthy choice, I became stronger and stronger. And, brick by brick, prayer by prayer, good choice by good choice, my hope soared. I’m making positive physical changes, but even more importantly, I’m making wise spiritual changes. As Proverbs 24:14 reminds me, walking in spiritual wisdom secures my hope that this healthy journey will not end in defeat:

 

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

 

 

As you face similar temptations, I can’t promise that there won’t be any more tears. There will be. And I can’t promise that sweets will no longer appeal to you. They may. I can’t even promise that the number on the scale will magically drop as quickly as you wish. It probably won’t. But gaining spiritual wisdom along the way will set your feet on a sure path of victory. Press on, my friend!

 

 

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