My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

Get Involved

Learn More


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Made to Crave--Post 1

So, today, I wanted to start a series of posts of things that I'm learning from this book called "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst. 

I was given this book by a dear friend of mine after she read my post about struggling with weight gain.  I think I wrote the post just a few weeks back, but I so appreciate her support in helping me pursue health.

If you know me at all, you'd know that my weight has been a life-long struggle.  Ups and downs...frustrations and times of peace...lack of motivation and gung-ho going for it...confidence and despair.  Let's just say that this has been something that has been a part of my life since I was eight years old. 

From the way that things have worked in my life, I have realized that honesty and openess are one of the first steps towards true healing.  So, today begins my journey through this book...and hopefully towards a healthier me!  And I share it with you in hopes of the healing that will come through this process, but also to welcome you in on the journey (and perhaps encourage you to come alongside as well!).

Last night, I had about 20 minutes to myself (before story night with the kids began and before I fell asleep) where I got to read a little bit of this book and I was convicted and challenged.  Here are some quotes and thoughts from my reading last night. 

"I think we all get to a place sometimes in our lives when we have to give a brutally honest answer to the question, 'How am I doing?'.  It's not really a conversation we have with a friend or family member.  It's one of those middle-of-the-night contemplations when there's no one to fool.  There's no glossing over the realities staring us in the face.

I know certain things about myself need to be changed but it is easier to make excuses than it is to tackle them head on.  Rationalizations are so appealing."

And then she went on to give a list of rationalizations that we say to ourselves as an excuse instead of dealing with the problems...things like:

"I'm good in every other area.

I make so many sacrifices already."

I, too, can add to my list of excuses for not finding a healthy balance to my life.  Things like:

I'm so busy.  How will I make the time to make the changes?

The food here in Ghana is so different.  How can I create a healthier diet for myself when I'm not in control of the foods that are cooked?

After a full day at school and then a full night at home, how do I get the motivation and the energy to work out?

But, I suppose it's time to just come to the truth.  I, and I alone, am responsible for the way that I look and feel.  And I, with God's help, can make a change.

She writes:

"The cycle continues day after day, week after week, year after year.  A whole lifetime could be spent making excuses, giving in, feeling guilty, resoling to do better, mentally beating myself up for not sticking to my resolve, feeling like a failure, and then resigning myself to the fact that things can't change. 
And I don't want to spend a lifetime in this cycle."

I don't want to either.  I'm tired.  30 years old and struggling with the same thing I struggled with 20 years ago.  It's frustrating!

She goes on to tell the story of the rich young ruler whom Jesus asked to give up everything and come and follow him.  She writes:

"Jesus didn't mean this as a sweeping command for everyone who has a lot of money.  Jesus meant this for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have.  I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man's soul and said, 'I want you to give up the one thing you crave more than me.  Then come, follow me.'"

It reminds me of this beautiful song by Meghan Isaacson.  It starts out:

If the sunset today is the last one I see
I will praise You, Lord
If this note on my lips is the last one I sing
I will praise You, Lord

You have my worship,
You have my adoration
You have my praises, Lord

If the lessons you bring don’t fit within my plan
I will praise You, Lord
If the nearness of You never soothes me again
I will praise You, Lord

I remember a particular season in my life when God was really speaking to me about whether my "future partner" was more important than Him.  I feel like God really walked me through that decision.  If I had to choose between a husband and family and a relationship with God...which would I choose?  And that decision of faith changed my walk with the Lord. 

I think this is very much that same decision...what do I crave more than God?

When I think about it...sometimes I do crave a good book more than God's Word.

And sometimes I do crave chocolate instead of time in worship.

And sometimes I would rather watch a little bit of a movie than spend time in prayer.

And all of those things have added to my weight problem...the chocolate (and a variety of other sweets), the sedentary ways that I choose to "relax", the cravings for "more" when I'm already satisfied.

To these things, Lysa writes:

"God made us capable of craving so we'd have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone.  Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satifying them....But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else."

My soul resonates with this so well.

How easily I am led toward something that just doesn't fill, but ends up leaving me hungry for more.

As I look back through my journaling from the past few weeks, I see over and over again, my hearts cry...

Lord, I want more of you.

And yet, I choose more of everything else.

Lord, today, will you remind me of where this craving for more comes from?  Will you show me your presence, even in changing my desires for foods and exercise?  Will you come?  I am longing for more of you!  Help me to find those places where my cravings are misplaced...misguided...lost...and help me to bring them into your presence.


  1. I love how intricately things are woven together. It is crazy how things that are meant to be good end up getting twisted by sin.

    God is so great and amazing, his love is unending. I am so glad, so joyful, so blessed to have a relationship with him and I am so blessed by reading this, Autumn.

    Weight is something that a lot of us struggle with. I learned a lot by reading this and am very encouraged. I am also on a journey to lose weight. I lost 50lbs about 3 years ago and I have 25 more to go.

    I have made so many excuses over the past 3 years about getting those final pounds off. Times when I did muster up motivation it was short lived and always rooted in self hate and envy of others bodies.

    Last week I finally changed my mindset and focused on being happy and healthy. When I don't feel like working out I don't beat myself up about it. I encourage myself in my mind. I remind myself that it is worth it. I remind myself it is for the good of my present and future. I am practicing discipline and self control but I could not do it without God. For those are fruits of the spirit.

    Thank you for sharing the words in that song. It is so beautiful and it really amplifies the beauty in our Lord is above all things.

    I ask myself everyday, "Mm I putting this before God? Am I REALLY craving this video game, movie, magazine, fashion, music, worldly pursuit before spending time with my GOD?"

    1. I loved your post Stephi. Thanks for your honesty, your encouragement, and your support. Am still hoping that you might come through in November to see the place. I'd love to just get time to sit down with you and share our hearts.