Tag Archive | community

Compared to Who? A Book Review

QueenmirrorThe evil queen in Disney’s “Snow White” made a soul shattering mistake. She looked in her magic mirror and asked the question: “Who’s the fairest of them all?” When the answer came back that a beautiful girl, Snow White, had usurped her in that role, the queen was consumed by jealousy and thereafter sought to end the life of her chief rival.

Heather Creekmore, in her new book, “Compared to Who?: A Proven Path to Improve Your Body Image,” would agree that comparison is a killer. And self esteem, which is what the queen wanted the mirror to help build in her, is really counter productive. Heather submits, “If we want to see true freedom from our body image struggles, we need to forsake esteeming ourselves and pursue esteeming the king.”

Having struggled with body image from a very young age, Heather, the wife of a pastor and church planter in Dallas, Texas, and mother of four, speaks from a very personal place. Her honesty about her issues throughout the pages of this book speaks to the thousands of women who are bombarded every moment of every day by images of super models and celebrities, Pinterest-, Facebook- and Instagram-perfect women who seem to have everything we could ever need to finally be happy.

Yet fad diets, hours a day of exercise and and an Imelda Marcos-sized wardrobe don’t solve the soul-craving that keeps us disgusted with the way we look even when others might look upon us with envy. So what is the key?

In “Compared to Who?” we are given, as the subtitle suggests, a way out of
our struggles to have the ideal body. It’s the gospel. Pure and simple.

Does that mean it’s an easy task? Just do these 5 things and you’ll never struggle with body image again. No, and thankfully, Heather does not sugar coat (great word picture for a body-image article, isn’t it?) the process.

So what is at the root of our body-image issues? Sin. What do we need to break free? Salvation.

Compared to Who?

And community.

It was just 2 1/2 years ago that I began my weight-loss journey that I talk about in this post. I could not have done it if it wasn’t for the group of women with whom I traveled and continue to travel to this day. A monetary incentive didn’t hurt, but the accountability and encouragement from others was key.

As Heather says in “Compared to Who?”: “My dream is for Christian women to relate to each other differently. Until our friendships move beyond superficial endorsements of our struggles, we battle alone. You may have 1, 849 Facebook friends and as many Twitter and Instagram followers, but until you have one or two women in your life willing to listen to the heart behind your words, offer you grace, and show you how the gospel applies, you walk alone.”

I don’t really struggle badly with body image. I’ve never taken diet pills or tried fad diets, or lived at the gym. I don’t look at fashion magazines or compare myself to celebrities. I needed to lose some weight and ended up almost 30 pounds lighter after our challenge 2 years ago. But I don’t always smile when I look in the mirror. And I have a 14-year-old daughter who needs to see her value in Christ and trust the gospel to tell her the truth about who she is. I’m desperate for her to see Jesus as He really is and therefore see herself through His eyes.

I am thankful for Heather’s words in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever looked at anyone else—whether their body, their hair, their home, their children—and thought, “I wish I was more like her.”

And the evil queen’s magic mirror? Its mistake was simple. The best answer to the queen’s question about who’s the fairest of them all should have been, “Jesus. He’s the fairest, and He’s all you need.”

 

Heather CreekmoreSee more of what Heather Creekmore has to say at her blog: http://comparedtowho.me/ . Buy your copy of “Compared to Who?” at Amazon  or Christian Book Distributors.

Images from The Disney Wiki and http://www.comparedtowho.me

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I really need to have a conversation with Jan. And Monique, I’ve hardly spoken to her since she had her baby–two years ago, was it? And Laura? I can’t even remember the last time I saw her. And Maureen. And Erin, And Shari. And Juanita. And Maria.

These are my neighbors. We live on a small Cul-de-sac. I know all their names. But, boy, have I been neglecting these relationships. We wave and say hi, but that’s been about it.

It’s not like the cold winter has kept us inside our houses. I think the average temperature this winter was 75, or something like that. I may be exaggerating, but you get the point. It’s not been the cold weather; it’s been my cold heart.

Most are older than I and don’t have kids the same age as mine. And they haven’t exactly made overtures to talk to me either. Why do I always have to be the one to do the initiating?

Maybe because I’m the one who supposedly walks with Jesus. I’m the one who knows the importance of community. I’m the one whose church is right across the street, for crying out loud!

My kids have sold them all coupon books in fundraisers over the years. They’ve knocked on their doors to ask them questions for a survey during their community unit in first grade. All three kids, the same questions, a few years apart. No one ever complained.

My dog has run through their yard.

The last time I spent any significant time with any neighbor was when three of us had to go to juvenile court to testify against a boy who had broken into one of the neighbor’s cars. It was me, and two of the husbands. I had to go because I took pictures of the perp, even though David saw him first.

But I spent a couple of hours talking to them while we waited for our case to come up on the docket. It was a great conversation where I learned a lot about them.

That was in August.

Seven months ago.

Who goes that long without talking to a neighbor?

I’m frustrated with myself. Things simply must change. Spring is right around the corner.

I’ve got some cleaning to do.

Thankful today for:
114. My neighbors
115. A waning fever
116. My bike, that hopefully I will get on and ride today