Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review :: Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst

Can you picture this scene? A young, young-ish, um, a mom with young children is standing in the checkout line. The baby is crying. The toddler is whining. The big sister is screaming at the top of her lungs that she wants to go home.

The mom keeps the smile pasted on her face but after the last item is placed on the counter, she backs up a pace and plucks the Hershey Bar with Almonds from its perch. It's only a few more steps to the cooler full of cold Cokes. Her hand wraps around the familiar curve of the bottle and her fake smile relaxes.

This will make her feel better. She deserves it.

And who would disagree?

When the last child is buckled into their seat and the reusable bags are tucked in the back, she twists the lid, takes a long drink, and exhales long. Much better. The chocolate melts in her mouth, and the frustrations of the past hour ease.

So what's the problem?

If you don't want to know, you need to stop reading. Right now. And you definitely don't want to pick up a copy of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. With honesty and transparency that made me both laugh and cringe (seeing yourself on the page will do that), Lysa TerKeurst dives into a territory few Bible-thumping preachers would dare to enter.

Because gluttony is a sin. And needing that Coke? Ever heard of idolatry?

(I warned you to stop reading...)

Made to Crave is not a diet book and it's not a how-to manual. It's not a book that's written to make you hate food or go on a starvation diet. And it never says Cokes and brownies are sinful.

Because craving isn't wrong. We were made to crave. What's wrong is when we fill that craving with foods that are not good for us, instead of taking that heartache, that loneliness, that embarrassment, that fear, and running straight to the only One who can fill us. The only One who can ease the pain. The One who wants us to enjoy good things, but never intended for food to become an idol.

Because anything - chocolate included - that takes the place of God in our lives? You guessed it - that's an idol.

I'll be honest. This is one of those books that part of me (the part that has a serious Oreo issue) wishes I'd never read. Because now that I've read it, I have to decide what to do about it.

Made to Crave didn't make me feel guilty or defeated. Lysa's openness about her spiritual journey was empowering and eye-opening. Because, as she explains, this is first and foremost a spiritual issue. And that's a new concept for me.

Is it really possible to turn chocolate cravings into a soul level craving for God? When the day goes south, can I find the strength to "stop circling this mountain and turn north" (See Deut. 2:3) instead of turning to those salty sticks of deliciousness, otherwise known as McDonald's french fries?

I'll let you know.


Alycia Morales said...

Lynn, This book has been sitting on my shelf for a few months now, waiting for me to find the time to read it. I bought it because I find comfort in that chocolate bar or Peanut Butter Patty cookies after the kids go to bed. Since hubby has been working out of state, I've added one waist size to my jeans and am pushing a second. I recognize my need to go to God for that comfort and to get off my bottom and exercise, because, after all, my body is His temple. I need to honor Him with it and not my cookie fetish. ;) Thanks for the humorous post, and I will be reading this before the end of March or April...

Jamie Britt said...

Lynn, I love Lysa, and this book sounds wonderful! Though I don't have children, I can relate to wanting the chocolate (especially at a certian time of the month, right ladies?) Anyway, thank you so much for the post! Love ya!

Susie said...

This was a tough review to read, especially since I just finished a handful of Ghiradelli chocolate chips!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Alycia - Thanks for the link back here on your blog! Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Jamie - I hear there are people who don't have chocolate issues :-) but I don't know if they really exist! ;-)
Mom - Tough to read? I understand. I seriously considered NOT writing it! Too much accountability :-).