Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

I recently received a copy of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst for reviewing the book as part of its blog tour.

The book is an interesting take on the weight loss battle from a Christian perspective, viewing the struggle as more than just a frustrating cycle, but a spirit of defeat that then traps us and keeps us lured by the cravings for certain foods that seem to have power over us and distracted from our cravings for God.

The book is very conversational and easy to read, and backs itself with lots of scripture, particularly “not all things are beneficial”, and encourages its use when tempted by food.

But while I agree with the idea that things of this world can trap us in battles that have bigger consequences than we see, I’m a bit reluctant to recommend the book universally. Because when we make it into a spiritual battle of being about giving God the best, we also can make failures into spiritual failures of not only feeling like we really messed things up but also that we really let God down yet again… only adding extra fuel to the guilt fires that were already involved in the cycle.

Maybe also of note to some who frequent weight loss books, the author’s numbers are on the low side to me (her starting weight begins with a 1), and some of the dates mentioned in the book are 2009, so its also recent. I don’t think either one changes the concept really, but knowing weight loss circles at times, I realize that to some this might be an issue on how long she’s had to maintain the lifestyle being really low.

If you are looking for motivation and for something to be your “why” on weight loss, the book is really good. But if you are someone prone to beating yourself up over guilt when you have slip-ups, I’m not sure this is going to be the best thought process to be working with.



The details:

Win a brand new KINDLE from Lysa Terkeurst during the Made To Crave KINDLE Giveaway!


To celebrate the release of Made to Crave and the MTC Small Group DVD Study Set, Lysa is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth over $175.00! To enter just click on one of the icons below! One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle with Wi-Fi & the New E Ink Pearl Screen
  • KINDLE editions of Lysa’s Made to Crave and Becoming More Than A Good Girl

But, wait there is more! Lysa will be announcing the winner of the Made to Crave KINDLE Giveaway on February 8th during the Made To Crave Party on Facebook! During the party Lysa will chat with guests, host a trivia contest or two, and give away lots of other fun prizes (copies of Lysa’s other books and, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates) –including a live Author Chat with Lysa for your small group! Don’t miss the fun! Lysa is looking forward to learning more about you – so be sure to stop by Lysa’s Facebook Author Page on February 8th at 5:00 PM PST (6 PM MST, 7 PM CST, & 8 PM EST).

Not quite Easter

One more story of timing and provision. 🙂

A few weeks ago, I was in the mall… for something in particular but I can’t remember what now.

And I was passing near a store that my daughter loves the clothing, but I generally refuse to shop at. Because I’m cheap. I don’t care how many sequins you glued to a pair of sweatpants, they still aren’t worth $30! And I’m not about to pay $50 for jeans she will only wear a year at most.

So why I went in there was a bit of a mystery. Maybe to remind myself of why I don’t shop there, or to see if they’d gotten a clue. (They haven’t. $12 bucks for flipflops with peace sign print.)

But as the third different clerk offered to help me, they mentioned the clearance rack was 40% off of the marked price.

So eventually I ended up over there, still without a single item in my hand at this point. And I found two casual dresses that would work ok for church for $7 each after the discount, so I grabbed those.

Then I found this dress.

The only one I saw, at all, happened to be in the size above where kiddo is right now. So a touch big, but would fit.

A bit formal for church… but I knew she’d love it. So I was thinking maybe Easter.

Marked down, originally 50, then cut to in the 30’s, now for $17. I wouldn’t have paid either of the other prices for something she probably wouldn’t wear much… but 17 is entirely reasonable for an Easter dress, even if a bit higher than I usually shoot for church dresses for her.

As I went through the rack, I found another pretty dress, in pink and purple pastel, also now 17, which would be a bit better colors for Easter. So I decided to change that one to her easter dress.

But I decided not to put the black and purple one back, even though I wasn’t really sure when she’d wear it.

And so the pretty black dress came home with me… though I decided to put it in the closet at my mom’s with the Easter dress rather than in boo’s closet for her to wear yet.

It’s sort of interesting how a dress I first thought of for Easter has now become the perfect dress in the perfect timing for kiddo to wear to a rather sudden funeral.

And how well it goes with the new black flats with jewels on them that I bought her the next week when I got her new sneakers… and had bought only because they would be only $5 as a second pair and had fuzzy lining.

And the black shrug my mom had found on a clearance rack at sears a couple of days before I get the shoes.

Of polish and timing

As a kid, I remember spending the night with my grandma a lot. And one of the things I remember doing frequently while over there was polishing her bedroom furniture.

At some point, which I don’t actually even remember, she’d told my mom and i that it would be mine someday. I forgot, but mom remembered.

So a few years ago when she had to move from her apartment into assisted living, the bed frame and the beautiful huge dresser with the mirrored hutch on top came to my house. Sort of a bittersweet thing… loved having it but hated why.

But eventually there came two problems. One, I have cats and kids and between the two scratches are bound to happen.

Two, I have no clue what to do with really nice wood furniture beyond hitting it with pledge.

So the scratches happened. And made me sad. And made me feel like a total disappointment.

So mostly, I felt bad about it, and figured one day when kiddo is older I’d get them refinished all nice and pretty again and ban cats from my bedroom.

I’d looked up scratch repair online at times, and since these seemed to go through the finish, and there’s no way I’m brave enough to try refinishing myself, this seemed the only option.

So I lived with it.

As time went on, it also got really dirty from dust and regular life. I did at least know better than to attack it with regular cleaner, so I’d googled to try to figure out what was best for cleaning wood, and had put wood soap on my list of things to get at the store that never got grabbed.

Last week, in a pre-classes starting ambitious project spree, I’d moved the dresser while trying to make my wifi work better. And noticed again how dirty it was, and later that night when I happened to be in that part of the store, I remembered to pick it up.

But as I was there in the section on wood cleaners, a bottle suddenly looked familiar… and suddenly I remembered seeing the bottle at grandmas. So I grabbed it too, figuring it might be good for maintaining after the other cleaner had done the rough part.

I got home, and realized the bottle from grandma’s wasn’t actually cleaner.

It was scratch cover.

I used the wood soap, then used the other bottle… and it colored in all the scratches except one little area where the finish was worn, and even that looked significantly better. And as I did so, I looked at my rag and suddenly remembered the rag that looked just like it that I’d avoid grabbing every time I got out her bottle of pledge.

I left the room at one point when I’d finished the top and side but not the front. And coming back into the room took me by shock.

Sitting in front of me was grandma’s dresser. Not my dresser, the way it had looked in my possession, but grandma’s dresser. All shiny and beautiful.

It took me a bit, but suddenly I realized this meant it had gotten scratches under grandma’s care too. That I wasn’t the only one who had dealt with them.

I’m not sure why I never thought to ask her what all she had used on it besides just the pledge she let me attack it with. Maybe just didn’t want to admit I felt like I’d messed up and had no clue what I was doing.

So I lived with one more major reason to feel like a disappointment, instead of finding out that she’d had both the problem and the solution.

I went to bed a bit later, about 1am.

At 4 the next afternoon I got the call.

Grandma had gotten a respiratory infection earlier in the week, it went to pneumonia fast, and now she was mostly unresponsive and they were not expecting her to recover this time.

I spent the night with her one last time that night, and the next evening it was over.

Gotta love divine timing on when to make me stop procrastinating and clean up a dresser.

And as I moved to her recliner at some point in the night, I looked over at the night stand next to it. The one that matches the dresser, from the same set, but that had been in her possession for the time that I’d had the dresser.

It had the same sorts of scratches and nicks. No cat ones, but otherwise almost identical, down to the scrape on the foot area that I’d assumed my brother and I must have made when we’d moved the dresser in the truck. I looked, and the large upright chest of drawers had some as well.

So even in a place with no kids and no cats, life happened.

And I realized that I’d been in the room for nearly 12 hours at that point, and not once noticed them. I hadn’t been looking for them and looking for imperfections to obsess over, so I hadn’t seen them.

Lots of lessons in a little bottle of scratch cover.

The nightstand and chest are in my living room now until I get the room rearranged to include them… and of course run that familiar looking rag over them.

Seems only fair… she’s finally got her scratches forever removed and not just hidden now…

Or maybe so…

So last week I posted about the interesting facebook situation, where 12/14 people I requested that I knew from church ignored my request, but 5/7 strangers added me.

And I really wasn’t sure what to make of it.

Another of the latter group added me since then, bringing their total to 6/7 before the one deletion.

But that wasn’t the interesting part.

During the greet each other time in church, mostly the regular people shook my hand, but then there were 2 people I didn’t know. Not too uncommon, didn’t think anything of it.

But after the service, 1 of the 2 came up to me again… and said she was getting a feeling like she should talk to me.

Again, the conversations with most people previously have tended towards either superficial or forced, so I wasn’t sure what to make of this.

But then we talked a bit.

We both attend the same school. Both returning after a gap. Both going towards medical areas but not the main patient care ones. Both mothers, both only doing classes right now after frustrations on the job search.

I think that’s about as far as we got before things had cleared out and we both needed to go collect kids…

But then she ended the discussion with “Are you on facebook? Let me write down your name so I can add you!”

I didn’t explain the significance of that one to me… but it definately made me grin, and I laughed quite a bit about it later.

One of those situations that was so much of a match for what i’d been puzzling over all this past week that I felt like accusing her of being a plant from someone reading my blog. 🙂

Dunno if anything will come of it… but nice reminder anyway of how silly my puzzlings and worries seem and how clueless i am on the actual plan sometimes.

The gift of tabs

I got an interesting reminder today.

One of my classes is an old testament class. Which on a state college campus with a really diverse student body is a bit interesting.

The only book for the class is a bible, which has to be from a list of about 8 translations. So I’d grabbed one that isn’t the one I primarily use even when I’m not using computer based ones, and headed off to class this morning, and basically had dumped it on top of my notebook while I was digging around in my backpack for my pen.

Only to have the girl next to me notice it… and ask me what the “dividers” were. After a second I figured out that she meant my “cheater tabs” that mark where each book starts. She and the girl next to her seemed amazed by the tabs and the flip cover that I had it in.

It sort of struck me how much I take for granted now.

I totally forget that things I take for granted other people might not even realize exist.

I’m going to assume by the amazement extending to the cover that they aren’t church people and are just taking the class to meet some requirement. As bible covers seem to be really common around here.

But it also took me back a bit… to being a new christian from a non-christian family and having no clue on things like order of bible books that all of the other teens had memorized repeatedly for bribes in younger sunday school classes. And of actually being teased in a high school youth group when I got my first set of tabs.

By now I’ve long since gotten a decent grasp of which books are where enough to find them in a reasonable amount of time, so the tabs are mainly just a convenience thing, and I haven’t put them on the my primary reading bible.

But its a bit amazing how quickly you can stop remembering back to when things were new to you.

And a bit amusing how things can go from being mocked by high schoolers who thought they knew it all to being “nifty” to those only a handful of years older who could admit that they didn’t know.

To my world… or not.

As mentioned… one of the things that’s been bothering me increasingly for some time is a feeling of being disconnected from the world here locally.

Also mentioned in previous rantings, I often get these sense of superficiality with my current church… and tend to be amused at how quickly I can scare off the fluffy “oh lets talk to the poor pathetic person by herself” crowd with the slightest hint of real. (Its still hard not to laugh when crossing paths with the one soccer mom who completely stopped saying hi to me whatsoever after a “isn’t my kid so awesome” conversation in which I admitted sometimes my kid is a brat)

A while back, while thinking on the first part, I decided to try something different with the latter… since the previous two small group attempts went rather poorly, and the weekly prayer meeting has different leaders again now but still with a tendency to put people on the spot.

I went through the church facebook group, and kind of flipped around for a bit. And after looking at a couple of people who had their walls open to public viewing, I decided to add some of these people.

Because they were being a whole lot more real on facebook than they were on sundays.

So I went through and added a handful of people on my private account (the one under my real name and not linked to my blog or other websites I work with… an account that i’m pretty picky about who I add and making sure I know them and really want them there.) Being sure to mention in the message area that I knew them from the church.

The main criteria I used were that I knew for sure that they knew my first and last name in person, that we had previously had at least a couple of conversations going beyond “how are you”, and that I knew they were generally friendly.

The last name requirement shortened my list greatly. I later went through and counted 14 people. Most of these were people who had previously been trying to recruit me for their small groups back when the church was pushing them really heavy… with the encouragement that we needed to get to really know each other.

There was one on my list that didn’t meet the criteria, because I was pretty sure he didn’t know my last name, and may not even remember what my first name is for that matter, but I added him because he seems a lot less mask-y than most. Another was the former leader of the prayer meetings, which I wasn’t sure about, as I’m not real sure that he really remembers my name either as it’s probably been at least two years ago.

And so I waited.

After a week, only one person had added me. The next week, one more.

Namely, the two I wasn’t sure about adding in the first place.

Of the other dozen people? None ever did. Even the ones that had public walls open for anyone on the internet to read.

I had to laugh. Because, unfortunately, that’s pretty much exactly what I was trying to disprove to myself by adding them. You tell me you want me to get to know you in your group… but don’t want me as a facebook friend even.. how shallow was that invitation really then?

But it got even better.

About 3 weeks after I sent the requests, I tried to add a friend… one who was on my open account, but that I wanted to have on the more private account as well.

And facebook informed me that I was temporarily banned from adding people… due to a large number of recently unaccepted requests!

So, my acceptance ratio was so bad, facebook apparently thought surely I must be spamming these poor people who must have no clue who I am.

Again, I laughed, hard. I could probably take the hint and take it personally, but then, it really wasn’t much of a surprise.

So fast forward to this weekend.

Messing around on facebook again… sighing at event invites from a church I really wish I could attend, but that’s a day’s drive away.

And I get a random impulse.

I went back to the local church’s facebook list.

And I picked 7 people. Pretty much at random. And I added them. (I was going to do 14 again, but decided to do them in 2 groups to see if facebook would get less mad about the number of ignores).

My main criteria here was pretty much the opposite. I picked people that I knew probably hadn’t the foggiest idea who I was.

I ended up deciding to go with people who were active enough that I knew who they were by name, to avoid some weird situation if one of the people said something to me later in person and I had no idea which one they were.

And because the two people who accepted me previously were in some degree of leadership, I deliberately avoided leaders. (Though I think one actually is staff now, but I didn’t know it at the time)

So I ended up with 3 women from the church who I knew who they were from activities that they announce and such, 1 guy (well, and his wife, joint account) who helps out with my daughter’s sunday school class lately but that usually still has to ask whether I’m there to pick up a child so I think it’s safe to say wouldn’t know my name, 2 of the people I knew of from when I used to attend the then monthly prayer meetings, and 1 guy that I knew who he was from when they asked for prayer for him when he returned from missions a few months back.

Within the first 12 hours, I had 4 new facebook friends.

Within the day today, 5 of the 7 had added me… though one of those has apparently deleted me since last night.

I’m still not entirely sure what to make of this.

I’m actually a bit more taking it as a personal comment now that I realize I have better chances with the people there as a complete stranger than I do as a casual acquaintance.

Maybe a sign I need to talk to different people there than I have been and that I just have a knack for attracting the fluffy ones.

But then, it’s still not somewhere I feel comfortable, so its still somewhere that i don’t do well with people and am working against my avoidant issue tendencies to even be there, so maybe its just a sign of how poorly things go when I’m out of my better range and into the anxiety realm, even if not far enough to be into a full blown freakout or even really noticing it some of the time.

I still feel like it’s where we are supposed to be, sometimes in spite of my preferences on the matter. So I don’t think it’s a change places sort of thing.

Just still sort of processing what to do with it.


Things are too quiet around here.

One of the things I’ve noticed most about the return to college is the quiet.

Mainly because it’s so different from the last time. The first college attempt I had a core group of about 10 friends, most of whom were also friends with each other. Several of which I’d met the very first weekend orientation to the campus, but most of the others within the first week in the dorms.

So meals were rarely alone. Study time was frequently with a buddy or two working on their own stuff for entirely different classes.

But with having a small major, a lot of times even classes usually had a friend or two in them.

Then of course later on things got filled with the first serious relationship in my life, and a heavy connection with his church.

But it’s really quiet this time. Much more a solo activity.

A pile of notebooks and folders sat undisturbed on the passengers seat of my car for several months in the middle of last semester.

It’s not that I don’t have friends… its more that they aren’t here. They are here, there, everywhere.

It’s no big secret on here that I don’t feel like my current area is to be my long term home, and the feeling of being disconnected isn’t anything new either really.

But it’s just being shown more directly I guess by the fact that my buddies aren’t across the table anymore, in some cases they are now across the planet.

And outside events aren’t really helping. The fallout mentioned in the previous entry hit a lot harder among local mid-level closeness friends that I did have than it hit the other groups. The in-person people tended to react the worst. (In fact, the facebook friends on my main account surprised me by being among the most supportive, though I’m sure some had their private thoughts.)

But then, a lot of my friends also have things going on in their lives right now that make the distance frustrate me.

It drives me nuts that I can’t just stop by and drop off treats to the friend going through some massively tough issues right now because he happens to live in indiana and I don’t. Or just stop by and hug the one going through some marriage issues right now who lives down in texas. And that I don’t get to hold the baby of another, or go to the wedding of another, or let my kid hang out with the similarly aged kids of another.

But I think part of it too is that I feel like I just don’t fit well with the less close friends that are local. It’s back to the issue of being the only parent in my group of single friends, and the only unmarried one among my parent friends. Of being the only fat one in another group, but the one teased for trying to eat healthy in another. The only one under 40 in another, and the only one over 25 in another. The only unemployed one. The only one without a lot of disposable income for activities. The only introvert. The only one who doesn’t drink regularly. The only one not into fashion.

Which probably tells me that if I want to have local friends around to fill in the quiet places, the main thing is probably going to be focusing on shared things and trying to ignore the feelings about the differences and accepting that it’s going to be different than my other friendships, and being more proactive on development even when it’s not my initial primary response.

But I suppose the question becomes which quiet areas are worth the effort of filling.

Obviously some don’t need filled.

And some do bother me more than others.

But it’s the middle ones… the ones where I find myself noticing the overly quiet but yet not exactly longing for a companion buddy… that I’m wonder whether its more worth it to try to fill or to try to get more over it.