So I’m reading a new book, called Made To Crave, and it’s by a great writer named Lysa TerKeurst. The general idea of the book (while I admit I’m not that far in yet, I just started) is that we are made to crave. I know, complicated, right? God designed us to crave. Not food, though. We’re wired to crave and what we should crave is that relationship with Jesus that I know I need. But because we’re messed up and we suck a little bit, and we’re not great at this life thing because our sin and our desires for “the flesh” (anything that’s not that relationship with Jesus but rather the things of this world) get in the way, we replace that need for Jesus with needs for other things. For some, it’s food (that’s me. I crave food). For others, it’s other things. Essentially, as Lysa explains, it’s anything that takes the place of that relationship… it becomes an idol then.
I’m enjoying this book, I’m getting a lot out of it. It’s making me conscious of my eating habits. It’s making me think. Think BEFORE you eat. BEFORE you bend to the temptation of that junk food, rather than feel regret after and hate yourself for succumbing to the temptation.
Normally, my biggest struggle is in the grocery store and in fast food.
And it hit me this week, not really be a ‘revelation’ or some big epiphany… but through a McDonald’s flyer full of coupons. Check this out.
I am MADE to Crave. And McDonald’s knows that. McDonald’s marketing team knows that everyone on this planet is wired to need to fill themselves with something. So they’re trying quite ingeniously to convince me that I need to fill myself with McDonald’s. As if I don’t want McDonald’s often enough, now in my mailbox at my home, I have not-so-subliminal messages TELLING me to CRAVE! Look! $45.00 of valuable coupons inside! For crap that makes you feel disgusting the instant is starts to digest, when even though I’m pretty useless in the kitchen, I can make better food for myself. I am made to crave, but not the Golden Arches. I am made for something more than this. I will not be held captive by those golden arches. I put all $45.00 worth of coupons into my recycling bin. I was going to take a picture, but it’s dark and cold and my recycling bin is currently full of snow *insert grumbling here*.
I’ve combined two “New Year’s Resolutions”….. but Ann Voskamp said something interesting in a recent blog post that stuck with me. Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Make New YOU Resolutions. So I’m making resolutions for a new me. Resolutions that I can’t keep without God’s help, and I’m professing them here, hoping, praying, etc. that it can work this time. I’ve never done it with God before, I’ve always done it on my own. So this is new. New me.
New Me Resolution # 1: Budget every penny so that I know where my money goes. I spend too much time wondering where my money went. Wondering how I can afford to pay everything each month. But when I look at what I make and what I need to pay, there is no reason for that. I can afford to do absolutely everything I need to do. Note, need. What I can’t afford is to recklessly spend because I’m not keeping track. So I’m keeping track. Of every cent. Not that I don’t plan to have a little bit of fun and not that I don’t plan to eat or whatever… I just really want to know where my money is going… I’m sure no one likes the feeling that it’s slipping through your fingers. As it turned out, the way that I budgeted, as long as things don’t go terribly wrong (car breaks down, whatev…), I have 200 a month going into savings as well as an extra 200 a month going to debt repayment above the minimum payments. Who knew, if you budget, you can not only not burn through everything you have, but you can save too! Lookit that!
New Me Resolution # 2: I will make conscious decisions about what I eat. This does not mean I will not eat any junk at all. Let’s be honest, this is going to happen. But it does mean that I will think before I eat. I will ask myself: Am I eating because I’m hungry? If I’m not, I need to step away. As Lysa TerKeurst quotes in Made To Crave, everything is permissable but not everything is beneficial. I forget the scripture reference. I believe it to be in 1st or 2nd Corinthians somewhere. At any rate… so I’m allowed to eat chocolate… but is it beneficial? No, not really. Not when I feel like I am not where I want to be. So here’s the thing: Is my goal to get skinny, and wear skinny jeans and leggings and chunky sweaters and boots everywhere? And cute skirts? If you look at my Pinterest “My Style” board, that’s certainly what you’d see. That’s what I have posted. Would I love to not feel self conscious in a bathing suit? Absolutely. But I want those to be fringe benefits to making choices that glorify God because I’ll need to rely on Him to make them. I am beautiful regardless, because I’m created by a God who doesn’t make mistakes.
I feel like my New Me resolutions go really well together — part of my endless spending without really thinking has been on fast food and junk and going out too often when I really couldn’t afford it. So… budget. Stick to that. Watch where every penny goes. Make conscious decisions about what I eat. Save money for things like my March Break Georgia Road Trip. Look good when I go. Ultimately — draw closer to my Father as I am forced to rely on Him for the strength to succeed in either of these areas.
What I’m finding, is that this will not be simple. It seems simple in its very basic ideology. But it’s not simple at all. We’re wired to fight this every step of the way. At least, I am. I’m wired to do this for myself, by myself. I’m wired to lose weight because I feel fat. And as a result of that, I’m wired to fight for control, count every calorie, and obsess. I don’t want to go there ever again.
I went grocery shopping this afternoon, and I found to be true what I’ve always really known — eating healthy is expensive, and sale prices are strategically placed on all things terribly delicious. I snapped some pictures.
Anyway… there are my thoughts for today. We were made to live for so much more. So so so much more than being ruled by insecurity, food cravings, and poor spending habits. I will conquer these two bad habits in 2013 (and beyond! Because it’s new ME, not new year…).