Tag Archives: spirituality

Daniel Fast Recap…What I have learned

9 Jun

ultimate-guide-small

During the past 21 days, I have diligently followed the guidelines of the fast originally undertaken by the prophet Daniel. I have had no meat, animal products (dairy), sugar or oils. Along the way, I have learned a lot about my spirituality, my body and health, and my life.

Health Lessons Learned: 

  1. I have one body during this lifetime and it is my responsibility to take care of it.
  2. There is no excuse for making poor food choices. A few minutes of planning can go a long way.
  3. No matter what anyone says, it is important to know where our food comes from and what is in it.
  4. It’s not rocket science: eating healthier makes us feel and live better.
  5. By eating healthier foods, I am setting a better example for my children and husband who were also motivated during my fast.
  6. Trying to meet our emotional and spiritual needs with food does not work.
  7. Controlling the food that we put in our mouth is a conscious decision and it makes making other conscious decisions a little bit easier.
  8. If I am fat, un-healthy or not as healthy as I could/should be, then it is no one’s fault but my own.

Spiritual Lessons Learned: 

  1. I am called to treat my body like a temple so that God can use me for service.
  2. A spiritual fast must be called by God if you want Him to give you strength.
  3. Little temptations can lead to bigger ones and usually lead to sin.
  4. Confession must come before supplication. In other words, if you want God’s help, confess and repent first.
  5. The more disciplined we become in our bodies, the more disciplined our spirit becomes too.
  6. If we aren’t careful, we can turn something good into something self-serving.
  7. God sometimes surprises those who are faithful.
  8. Fasting is not about food. It is about service to God. Not I Lord, but YOU.

 

 

Beginning next week, I am going to embark upon another journey. This one will be 30 days in length, and I am going to call it the “Great Clean-Up.” I am going to focus on the “possessions” portion of the book “7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.”  I will be focusing on reducing the “things” that clutter my life, my home and my mind by cleaning, organizing and donating. It is going to be an exciting journey, and I am super excited!

If you would like to join me on the “Great Clean-Up,” just leave a comment and we can begin together on Monday.

 

 

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Daniel Fast Day 4…”Little” Temptations Every Day

24 May

Before I began my Daniel Fast, I fully expected to suffer for the first week or so from cravings galore, but so far that has not been my experience. The nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables have been leaving me plenty satisfied and all of the water I am drinking seems to help as well. I have tried ‘diets’ before and failed miserably, but what I am learning is that a fast is not a diet at all. Yes, there is food (and lack of) involved, but I am finding more and more that the needs I was satisfying with food before (boredom, stress, anxiety, hunger) are now being satisfied by God.

Lesson 5: When God calls the fast instead of the individual, He will provide the strength to get through it and fulfill all of your needs.

Because I haven’t been tempted by food as much as I thought I would be, I have begun to think more about temptation in my life in general. Restricting my food, focusing on God and scripture has made me keenly aware of the everyday temptations that I face.

temptation

In any given day, there are so many encounters with temptation that I have. I may not consider all of them ‘sins,’ per se, but they do make me less self disciplined and less able to focus my attention on God and my place in His creation:

Temptation to…

1. Hit the snooze button repeatedly and not get out of bed on time.

 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”-Mark 1:35

snooze

2.  Rush, yell at or otherwise become impatient with my children as they get ready for school.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

3. Dress in a way that draws attention to me or worry excessively about the way I look to others.

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes”-1 Timothy 2:9

4. Drive too fast, text, talk on the phone or have my attention on anything other than the road in front of me, therefore putting myself and others at risk.

“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 12

crazy driver

5. Cuss or use mean language when I am upset about something

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

cussing

6. Fail to complete my work to the best of my ability or waste time at work.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23

7. Talk down to or just generally argue with my spouse.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” 1 Peter 3:1

8. Choosing to spend my money on myself for immediate wants instead of being a good steward of the gifts God has bestowed upon me.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

9. Failing to make time for service.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

10. Not ensuring that I get enough sleep to be ready to be the wife, mother, servant and employee that God has called me to be.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—    for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2

zzz

There is a song by Francesca Batistelli that perfectly addresses the way these ‘little things,’ little frustrations, little temptations and decisions are able to separate us from God. Oh! But then there is the good part. Nothing is too little for God, there is nothing that He cannot use. Batistelli sings,

 This is the stuff that gets under my skin
But I’ve gotta trust You know exactly what You’re doing
Might not be what I would choose
But this the stuff You use
So break me of impatience
Conquer my frustrations

 

 What about you, dear reader? What are the ‘little temptations and frustrations’ that you face every day and how has God used those to draw you near to Him?