Tuesday, April 12, 2011

my new favorite book

first off, i feel i need to apologize for not posting lately. we moved the family computer upstairs because my daughter needed to print something off for school and i've left it there all weekend and the past couple days. i tell you what, i can actually get stuff done without that thing beckoning me, taunting me all day long :) so it's been freeing for me to focus on other things like my family and my housework and the million projects i have piling up around the house. you should try it some time! (after you get done reading this, of course. lol)

ok, i am a reader and i love to read inspirational, "self-help" type books. i figure if i'm going to sit down and take a break out of my day to read, i want to get back up with a renewed purpose :) and i always have a pile of books that have been "sampled" a couple chapters at a time laying around. but this one has grabbed me and i can't get enough of it.

i started this blog as a source of encouragement for mommies who may be struggling with depression, anxiety, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, etc. and to remind you that it is NOT a sign that your Heavenly Father has abandoned you or stopped loving you. i have struggled for 11 years with these emotions/imbalances and have tried in the past several things to remedy my pain. one of the main sources of counterfeit comfort that i've run to has been food. ahhhhhh, yes. dare i say i'm not the only one here? it has been the number one stronghold in my life for the past 20 years, no doubt, and has only intensified since having children and losing, what i believed to be, my "pre-baby body" (truly, she ain't the same. lol) i touched on this in an earlier post, talking about how i tried to assuage my loneliness while my husband was in training with french fries and cheeseburgers. which would only serve to usher in more guilt, and hot on the heels of that guilt was the total defeatedness and depression i felt, which would find me, once again, in some random drive-thru lane... a sweet friend introduced me to a book that i love by gwen shamblin called "the weight down diet". the concept of loving God more than food seriously hit home for me. i realized i was an addict. some people struggle with alcohol, some with drugs, but mine was a more hidden and, sadly, socially acceptable addiction of food. reading that book really did change how i thought about food. it helped me to realize that my eating habits and cycles were absolutely a spiritual issue and stronghold for me. i still abide by many of the principles of the weigh down diet but have become lazy and the old excuses start sneaking in... (and isn't that JUST how satan works? he doesn't sit you down with an entire ice cream cake and yell "eat!!", he seduces us with rationalizations and compromises until we are numb to the voice of reason.)


okay, so here's my new favorite book (on this topic) it's called "made to crave" by lysa terkeurst. lysa is a well-known author/speaker and is the founder if "proverbs 31 ministries" i started reading this book a couple weeks ago, one snippet at a time, and then recently found her website www.madetocrave.org which has all kinds of awesome info and resources for us. i HIGHLY encourage you to check it out. surely i can't be the only one who knows that this is a problem and so desires to be right with God in this area...

here's what lysa has to say:

"getting healthy isn't just about losing weight. it's not limited to adjusting our diet and hoping for good physical results. it's about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change - spiritually, physically, and mentally. and the battle really is in all three areas. i had to ask God to give me the desire to be healthy. i knew a vanity-seeking "want to" would never last. shallow desires produce only shallow efforts. i had to seek a spiritual "want to" empowered by God Himself."

wow. that right there is the key, my friends! i have wrestled and wrestled with this in the past. most of my motivation for losing weight prior to having babies (and especially prior to getting married) was to LOOK GOOOOOOD. to turn heads. to feel good about myself. but i don't want that now and i haven't been able to figure out how to get rid of that focus in my head. trying to lose weight has always been a shallow, prideful endeavor for me - i don't want it to be that anymore! recently, in light of my health issues, i have come to terms with the fact that i NEED to exercise to take care of my body. but where does that leave me with the food? it still calls me from the pantry every night, after the kids have gone to bed, away from the watchful eyes and grabby little hands (i mean, there's no WAY i'd let my kids eat the way i do! how lame is THAT? ugh.) and i am DONE. this book has refocused my gaze and reminded me that this is a HUGE spiritual issue. think about it... if satan can defeat us in this area, all kinds of stuff gets out of whack. we are depressed and cranky from eating crap all day long and we take it out on our kids. we feel lazy and unmotivated so it hinders us from enjoying life to the fullest. and, most importantly i think, when we feel bad about ourselves we are FAR more less likely to be intimate with our husbands and fulfill our roles as wives in that aspect. NOT GOOD. and all for what?!? A COOKIE??? my word, Lord Jesus, forgive us, forgive ME, for not recognizing this sooner and not bringing this completely and totally to Your feet. help me to change my mindset, to set my mind on things above (colossians 3:1-5) and take every thought captive "to make it obedient to Christ" (2 cor. 10:5) i would love to hear from you, sweet sisters. i hope we can encourage each other through our struggles and hardships, knowing that there is power in prayer and in community. i have a link to this book set up at the end of this post - check out the book, it's less than $10 on amazon.com, and let me know what you think of it. most definitely go to the "made to crave" website for further encouragement and also to lysa terkeursts' "proverbs 31 woman" website. such awesome resources available to us out there! let's take advantage of them! :)

i love y'all so so much. i plan on getting back into david's life soon and how it relates to our emotional struggles as moms as well. but i just had to share with you all what has been heavy on my heart the past few days... praying for ALL of you and i adore you more than words can express :)



  1. As with all of your posts, this one really hit home with me too! Since losing weight has been somewhat impossible for me since I turned 40 (5 years ago), I now just seem to give up & eat what I want (like that will help?). Lately I indulge in "self-esteem" self help books, but think I need to try some of yours, since my self-esteem will not get better until I truly feel good about myself! Thanks for sharing!

  2. the book is available as a free download for nook!

  3. Now you know i struggled with bulemia for 12 years in my 20-30's...but it's only been in the past 3 years (& I'll be 60 next month) that I realized that what I needed was a lifestyle change and refocus my mind. My body is a temple of the holy spirit and I need to take care of it. You can be sure I'll check out this website. thank you, sweet jen, for being transparent!

  4. I struggled for a long time with an eating disorder. Now as a 30 something mom of four, I would like to think that my mind is on my family instead of the body I would love to have...or the cookies I would love to have. For me personally, when things are going great it is easy to not focus on food for comfort, or anything else. When things get tough ( car accident, sick kids, busyness of life) I get stressed. Normally running is how I deal with it, but that is not always possible. When I don't run, I get more stressed. Then I get cranky. Then I get unsatisfied. Then I get down on myself. Then I look at other ways to feel good. Food is the easiest choice. Then after pigging out on the cookie, or whatever, comes the guilt. Then the whole cycle starts all over again.

    I can say this year has been extremely difficult for me. Everything seems to be up in the air, or has already crashed to the ground. For a while I was starting to think I was cursed, and God was throwing every imaginable dart he could think of at me. I know that is not the case, but it doesn't change those feelings. I had a wonderful woman point out some of the good things that have come out of the bad. I have clung to the fact that God is using every single dart that has been thrown at me for HIS glory, even if I don't actually see it yet. This is actually the first crisis event in my life that I haven't turned to food to fill me up. It is totally freeing! Our bodies are temples. We are supposed to show Christ's love to the world, but how can we if we don't love ourselves? Our body should not define who we are, Christ should.

    I am loving your blog. Thank you so much for blogging about the hard stuff.

  5. Jen,
    They've recently plugged this on KSBJ (back here in good ole' Houston)...after reading your post, I'm buying it now. Why, oh why, did I meet you only right before you guys moved? Sniff. I love these honest pourings from your Godly heart, sweet friend! Keep 'em coming.


  6. Jennifer,
    First of all...I love you! You are such an inspiration to me and your heart and soul just pour over your posts. So transparent and vulnerable. I recently read the book by Candice Cameron called, Reshaping it all. It is awesome. Her christian perspective really translates to how our minds should think about food through God's eyes. How we glorify God in all aspects of our lives. Another good read.

    Love ya bunches friend-

  7. I may be the only woman in the continental US who has NO desire to return to her body from her 20s. But then, I was unhealthy, and unhappy, and un...so many things.

    As a trainer and AdvoCare distributor, I have been teaching the concepts discussed in "Made to Crave" from day one. Maybe it's the psych major in me, but until you know the "WHY" behind your behavior, real change cannot occur.

    Great book, glad you recommended it for all the wonderful ladies here :)