Marilyn Meberg opens her newest book by saying, “Eve, of Genesis fame, was (obviously) the first woman in recorded history who did not want to be who she was or where she was. She didn’t know who or where she would prefer to be, but she knew she wanted more of whatever it was she didn’t have.”
That opening made me laugh out loud. Marilyn’s sense of humour is evident all the way through Constantly Craving: How to Make Sense of Always Wanting More. I picked up this book because I heard Marilyn speak at Women of Faith last October, and she kept us laughing then too. At the same time, she spoke to something deep within me. We all sense that craving for something more that Marilyn talks about.
I thought Marilyn’s book might help me to deal with some of my cravings (particularly my constant desire for “more” food), but she didn’t. Instead, she says, “This book is about recognizing and giving a name to the itch, the quest, the craving for a ‘more’ experience, an experience I think of as finally finding home.” Marilyn looks at some of the things we want more of—such as romance, friendship, time, purpose, forgiveness—and what those mean on a deeper level.
In some places, Marilyn shows us how we can find that more we crave. In other places, she says we’ll never achieve that more on this side of heaven. At Women of Faith, she quoted Saint Augustine, who says, “You, God, have created our hearts for you and they are restless until they find you.” Or as Paul says in The Message, “The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less” (2 Cor 5:5)
Marilyn is open and honest throughout the book, sharing some of her own stories of wanting “more” (including her desire for more front porches). She uses stories and Scripture verses to illustrate the cravings she talks about. I identified more strongly with some cravings than others, but all the chapters gave me things to think about in my own life. If you have the chance to read any of Marilyn’s books or to see her speak at Women of Faith, I heartily recommend it. At the very least, she’ll give you something to laugh about.