keeping the cat alive.

I am so excited! This is the first post in my first-ever blog-book study. From now until the end of February, we will be studying Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Every Friday during our study, a different participant in the study will be featured as a guest writer, highlighting the chapters we studied during the week.

This week, we read the Introduction-Chapter 2 and my friend Jenny Calles is our featured guest-blogger.



Jenny was one of my first friends when I moved to Greenville three years ago and she has been a precious soul sister to me. Hers was the couch I slept on when my heart was broken that same fall by that jackass. She has one of the most beautiful hearts one could have the privilege of knowing. Also? She is stinking hilarious without even meaning to be. You’ll love her.

* * * * * * * * * *

I’ve had a weight problem for as long as I can remember.  In fact, I think I was born a size 14 and just went up from there.  Ha!  Actually, as a young child I was average size (not thin, not fat) and I even remember being told by one of my grandparents when I was young that I “didn’t eat enough to keep a cat alive.”  Yet now as I look at my reflection in the mirror at the overweight person looking back at me, I get disgusted at myself for not having the will to fix it.

And believe me, I’ve tried to fix it.  I think I’ve been on every diet imaginable, taken diet pills, and even tried starving myself once which incidentally only lasted about twelve hours at which point I recovered by going to McDonald’s for a Big Mac value meal.  Gah.  And the problem with all these diets and pills and plans is that the root of my eating has nothing to do with not feeling full.  I don’t eat because I’m nervous or upset…well, maybe I do…but that’s not really the bottom line.  See, I eat because…well, I like food.  I know full well how to lose weight – I’ve done it enough times – but apparently I am an expert at how to gain all of the weight back.

So when I opened Lysa’s book Made to Crave, I was elated to read this on the first page:

It’s not the “how to” I’m missing.  It’s the “want to”…

Finally!!!  A book about weight loss that addresses MY problem!  So maybe she will tell me the magic trick to losing weight because I know “how,” I just don’t want to have to do the “how.”  The “how” is hard and quite frankly seems totally unfair that some women can just eat whatever they want and not gain a pound while I probably am gaining weight right this second by breathing in air.

So I read on, but was a bit surprised by what I found:

We were made to crave – long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for – God.  Only God.  But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else.

Whoa.  Now that made me stop and think.  Is that what’s going on here?  Have I allowed food to hold a place in my life that belongs to God?  That can’t be possible.  I mean it’s not like I haven’t spent hours and hours in prayer to God about this.  It’s not like God and I haven’t gone nine rounds about my inability to lose weight.  It’s not like I haven’t tried and tried to give this thing to Him over and over only to be defeated yet again.  And then reading toward the end of the second chapter where  Lysa talks about using cravings as a prompt to pray, I almost took this book and flung it but then I read her words from one of her numerous prayers:

…I’m going to have a handful of almonds and brick by brick…prayer by prayer…lay a path for victory.

And suddenly I realized that in all my prayers, I’ve spent more time agonizing over what I can’t have, mad at God for not changing this ugly thing in me, frustrated that I can’t be like Miss So-and-So Skinnybritches.  I most certainly have not been laying a path for victory.  I’ve mostly just been wallowing in defeat.  I’ve been obsessed by what I can’t have, can’t do, and can’t be rather than overjoyed by what I can have, what He can do, and who I am in Him.  Wow.  I’m feeling a bit giddy to think that a light bulb has finally come on for me and I can’t wait to continue reading.

Oh, Lord that You would be my only obsession, the one thing I crave.

How about you?  Have you been laying a path for victory?

Homework: Read Chapters 3-5 next week.

Jenny is the wife of a Panamian public service officer/ex-Marine, mother of two real handsome boys, and lover of Jesus.  Her heart is to share with others the love she has found in Christ as she follows Him.  She loves to read, loves music, and loves a good cup of coffee. She also sings beautifully and can play well any instrument that’s placed in her hand.
P.S. MK may have added some descriptives to the Jenny’s modest bio.
MK’s sidenote: Jenny is also deeply passionate about and heartily committed to studying the word of God. Like, picking it apart and knowing the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German and Spanish version of everything the Bible has to say. I’ve never seen anything like it. She’s amazing. Her blog is Covered in His Dust.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 08:43:44

    Jenny – you are awesome!! I would second that! While I was reading your post it occurred to me that this can apply to most anything – not just weight. How many times have I looked around and been angry at what I don’t have or can’t have. It’s sad to say, but it goes in that direction much more than the other – when I look around and see all of the great things I do have and can have.

    Thanks for putting that in perspective.

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Jan 14, 2011 @ 08:52:39


      that’s actually something she addresses in the next chapter or two. ie, we were made to crave god not _____. her examples in these chapters are stunning.

      i hope you’ll join us as we plow through if you can!


  2. Elora
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 08:54:48

    so good. you know what struck me? the difference between Eve & Jesus. Eve focused on her desires. Jesus focused on God’s truth. yeah. i thought back to all the times i’m craving something…anything…and i don’t know if i could count on one hand the moments i turned to scripture in order to get through it. life-changing. HEART-changing.

    and don’t worry. you aren’t the only one who gains weight by breathing in air. all i need to do is think about cupcakes and the pounds mysteriously find their way to my hips. ;)

  3. mary kathryn tyson
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 09:00:45

    great job, my sweet friend! thank you for your thoughts and words and being open to learning new things and sharing your beautiful heart with us.

    and to anyone else who is just tuning in or has joined us on this journey, please share with us how we can pray for you. we are all in this together!


  4. Leigh
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 09:53:43

    “I’ve been obsessed by what I can’t have, can’t do, and can’t be rather than overjoyed by what I can have, what He can do, and who I am in Him.”

    Ding, ding, ding! That describes me to a T and that was the sound of the lightbulb going on. OK, I know lightbulbs don’t make a ding-ing noise when they’re turned on but you get the point. I have trouble finding the right motivation probably because I’m so focused on what I don’t have or think I’ll never get. I absolutely can’t wait for my book to arrive so I can start digging in!

    Thanks for kicking us off, Jenny! Great post.

  5. covered in His dust
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 15:03:27

    Thanks y’all for your sweet comments. I really am loving this book. I tried not to read past the second chapter until I got my post written, but I’ve continued on and I think I’ve settled on my “plan.” And I’ll tell ya, my perspective about this whole deal has changed. As long as I was looking at this as a battle between me and my flesh, somehow it felt like it was all on me to change it. Lysa has really opened my eyes to the battle that lies underneath it all and by taking it beyond the physical and tying in the spiritual aspects, somehow it seems to have given me a new hope to overcome it once and for all.

  6. sam
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 15:50:15

    I am behind, but I am here. My local bookstores do not have this in stock… boo to you B&N :(
    Now waiting for my Amazon order to arrive.

    Not to sound cliche, but life is all perspective, right?
    Really enjoyed the guest post!

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Jan 14, 2011 @ 16:02:10

      yes it is, friend.

      and i’m so glad you’re doing the study with us!

      it takes me FOREVER to read through anything but, i promise, this is *such* a quick and easy read. i read chapters 1-4 1/2 last night. couldn’t put it down.


  7. Trackback: Sycamore trees and chocolate « Covered in His Dust
  8. lisasmith
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 23:02:06

    I came here to meet you and now I love Jenny. And you!! Can’t wait to “know” you both better. =)

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