Drat those Red Vines.
I love having a freshly opened box of Red Vines next me as I sit at the computer designing and writing and doing nothing of any significance whatsoever. No movie experience is quite complete without a $0.97 box of Red 40 and corn syrup, except that few movie theaters actually carry them anymore. I’m not talkin’ Twizzlers here, people. I’m talkin’ moist, red, chewy, sweet Red Vines.
And chocolate. Seriously never was a chocolate eater in my younger days. I even went more than a year without eating chocolate at all when I learned that it can contain cockroach bits. But lately I am obsessed with peanut M&Ms. I can say I buy them for the kids, but the reality is that one-third of the kids don’t like them, and two-thirds of them never see them.
In reality, the foods I crave would read more like that list of 2011 reading intentions. I have an overactive sweet tooth, crave carbs, and drool at the mere mention of Mexican food, which too often begins with a bowl of warm tortilla chips and queso dip. So, when I heard Lysa TerKeurst talking on a Focus on the Family broadcast about cravings, my ears perked up.
It’s the first book I have read solely on my iPhone Kindle app, which is why it’s also officially the first book on my list that I’ve actually completed, despite having started several others. It’s so convenient to be able to pull out my phone while sitting in the ER waiting to have my foot x-rayed, or while the boys are rough-housing at the park. I love the accessibility of an e-book. Going forward, however, I will reserve e-books for fiction and biographies only. While I did figure out how to highlight with the Kindle app, it just isn’t the same as with a paper book. I wanted to be able to go back and find passages to read to my parents, and I have to scroll past so many pages to find that one little relevant section that I was talking about, but the conversation had moved on by the time I finally tracked it down. But for a fiction book or biography that are just a light read, I can fully see the benefit of the electronic version. It would be icing on the cake if hard-copy books would come with an e-version like so many DVDs nowadays, because I just went out and bought a hard-copy of Made to Crave so I can go through it again, with a highlighter pen, and answer the reflective questions at the end of each chapter.
But the message of Made to Crave was almost custom-made for me. I could have written this book, had I experienced the spiritual growth that TerKeurst had already experienced. Her insights into the heart of a woman who struggles with achieving (and maintaining) a healthy weight, and also struggles to be all that God wants her to be, were relate-able in an uncanny kind of way. TerKeurst says the struggle with weight is a direct link to our relationship with God, that becoming a woman of self-discipline, learning to tell myself “no” regardless of how loudly the Red Vines are begging to join my shopping cart, is actually opening myself up to allow the Holy Spirit to work on my self-control. The two are intimately connected. And as I focus on fulfilling my cravings with the Lord instead of Red Vines, I will grow into a woman who pleases God, rather than her belly.
Does God care if I have a little jiggle around my middle? YES! He absolutely cares about what I put in my mouth! TerKeurst points out the many, many, many references to food throughout the Bible. Right from the beginning, God tells Adam and Eve that there is a lot of beautiful food in the Garden of Eden, but that there is this one tree that they are not permitted to eat. It looks good, it smells good, but it’s not good for them. See for yourself, as you read through the Word, and you’ll suddenly start noticing the oh-so-many ways that the Lord uses food to illustrate spiritual truths. TerKeurst also points out that over-eating is a sin. Plain and simple. It’s gluttony. That realization really hurts. But the truth so often does.
Like I said, I need to read it again. I really rushed through the book the first time because it was so very good and I just wanted to devour it. Much like those little boxes of Red Vines that don’t last an hour once they enter the house, if they even make it back from the store. But I’m learning. I’m growing. And, I hope, shrinking at the same time.