Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Daniel Fast

At a time when a lot of Christians are breaking a fast of some type from Lent, my Hubby and I are embarking on our own fast.

Last fall, as I was reading Daniel, the scripture on how he requested to eat really stood out to me. Back when I was training to run a marathon, I attempted to eat a more vegan diet but was left feeling run down and weak. I quickly gave it up, knowing that I needed more in my diet than I was getting.

While reading Daniel, I was struck by the fact that he requests eating only foods which consist of vegetables and water.  (Daniel 1:12) After the 10 days Daniel and the others with him, appeared better then those that ate the kings delicacies. (v. 15).

I felt God speaking to me through this but I just gently pushed it away. I like my food. A lot. This scripture kept coming to mind over the winter but I continued to push it away. I cook mostly whole foods.  I really felt like I was doing what I could to make us healthier, BUT I still have my weakness in sweets and carbs in general.

It's hard for me to admit but food is an idol for me.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly difficult in how I feel with my weight and with finding clothes to wear that fit comfortably. I'm 30lbs overweight, and that's 30 lbs over a healthy, reasonable weight, not a size one weight! I've gone up two jean sizes this winter alone and I'm pushing outgrowing this size.  I've stopped running again and I'm back where going up the stairs leaves me breathless.

This has been the springboard for me to look into this scripture even deeper.  I don't want a quick fix, I want more life change. We've been altering our food intake, changing from packaged to whole foods. Adding in more organic foods. Adding in more over-all healthy choices.  It's just time for me to take it to a new level.

It's not just about the food though. As I've been digging into Daniel, I discovered there are many churches and individuals who have done fast such as Daniel describes in Chapter 10:2-3. It's about submission to our Father, about prayer for our needs and for the needs of others.

There are things my hubby and I pray about together and we've seen many of our prayers answered in amazing ways.  However, we still have prayer requests for our family and friends and about the path that God desires us to be on.

As we go into the next 21 days, I'll be cutting caffeine, sweets, gluten (that's my choice, the fast typically specifies yeast) and any animal products out of my diet. There are a few exceptions I've decided on and my Hubby's fast will look a bit different from mine.

Our goal is not just about what foods we don't eat, it's about finding a deeper balance in our healthy eating, submission to our Lord, seeking His will in our life and interceding for others.

The last time I participated in an extended fast, it drew me closer to Jesus and I have no doubt it will this time also, especially as I walk away from foods I rely on and I deeply crave.

A bit of prayer from my friends for us, especially this week, would be deeply appreciated as I know this first week will be the hardest as our bodies adjust to "no choice foods" (daniel 10:3).

Thank you Lord for providing Your word that contains all the knowledge we need to live our lives according to You, even the things as simple as what we should consume. Amen

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Will Come

I love spring. So many exciting things going on.

I'm planning our expanded garden. We've already cleared away a lot of the winter debris from the garend area.

I've been planing like crazy. I have my tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli, herbs and many flowers already started. Some of the seeds I planted 3 days ago have already sprouted and my kitchen garden, that includes, 2 types of lettuce, spinach and a bush cucumber, is well underway.

Tink planning her garden with her new plant book

Today I made a frame to hold the lights for my seedlings. They are very happy now that they don't have to stretch to the windows anymore.

I've been listening to friends and family that live about 45 minutes to an hour west of us, talk about seeing robins. Yesterday, Tink and I saw our 1st robin in town. Glad them finally decided to make the trek east, to our little town.  Now if they'd just make it up our hill!

If you know us, you probably know that we are slightly addicted to grapes. I hate to rush the season on us because it means summer is over but we look forward to our grape picking every year. We normally pick around 100 lbs of grapes for eating, grape bread and sometimes grape juice.  This spring we have broken down and purchases some grape vines.  Our grapes have the beginnings of grapes on them already and I swear I can see the plants themselves get bigger every day.

Isn't that the cutest leaf? 

I've started seeing some of the spring flowers breaking through, like the tulips.

I love that the days are getting longer. It's still daylight at 7 pm! It also means that we are starting to get more eggs from our chickens too.

Each day there is something new coming awake despite the chilly temps that refuse to go away. Soon the wonderful heat of summer will be upon us! Till then I'll just keep planting and planning my garden.