Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Practical Thoughts about The Daniel Fast

In my last post, I talked about how this year, I want to be uncomfortable. I want to break out of
my comfy cozy habits and do things that may be uncomfortable but better for me & my family.
Well, this certainly fits the occasion. Last Friday I started the Daniel Fast. Only then, I didn't 
know that's what it was called. I saw on facebook that my uncle and his church were doing a
 21 day fast  and for some reason I decided this was something I also wanted to do.  I'm not even 
sure exactly why, but I know that it's a new year and I want more. And that means getting rid of 
everything that is comfortable to me, including my food. Because I have never fasted before, 
I knew that I couldn't do a foodless fast, but rather cut out certain foods & possibly television that
was becoming more of an idol than they should be. Silly that food can be an idol, but when you 
turn to food or television as your relaxation or reward, rather than to the Lord, there may be
some things that need to be adjusted to allow more of God back in your life. 
This is the case with me.

I decided on the spot that Thursday Night I would cut two specific things, any foods or drinks other than water or fruits and vegetables...and any television show that had me addicted. In this case,
I had spent the previous 2 weeks making it through 4 seasons of Desperate Housewives. So 
this is my fast. I have never cut any food from my life ever. Ever. Even when dieting. I simply cut 
portions sizes, but soda generally is a must have for me daily. And I rarely eat fruits and veggies. Horrible, I know. Not that I don't like it, I just like pizza and subs and chicken better. 
So for me, this is truly a sacrifice to forsake my flesh, and replace it with being open to
 more prayer & time with God.

I will be completely honest with you and tell you how I am doing so far. On day one, I did well. But at night I gave in and ate one cookie. Day two, I did the same thing & had ranch dip with my carrots for dinner.  By night time I actually felt like I was having withdrawals, and then Sunday night (day 3) hit and I was shaking. Not kidding. But I stuck it out, prayed for grace and went to bed with some water. Since my first two days, I looked a little more into this 21 day fast and did find out it is called a Daniel Fast based on Daniel 10:3 where Daniel let nothing pleasant touch his mouth for 3 weeks. And on Daniel 10: 8-14 where he asked  to the king who was to feed him and 3 other men lavish meals, to only be fed vegetables and water for 10 days. The authorities feared that he would weaken, but in fact after 10 days looked stronger than the rest of the men.
I have finished 5 days of the fast and am now on day 6 and my body is functioning so much better already. I feel good. I don't feel withdrawals like I did 2 days ago. And this has nothing to do with why I started doing 
this, but I lost about 4lbs already. Red potatoes have become my new best friend, and I found out I am also allowed things like plain rice cakes, homemade salsa, homemade tomato based vegetable soup, natural peanut butter, brown rice with spices, plain oatmeal with cinnamon... 
as long as it doesn't have any additives in it and is made of only things that come from seeds.
Spices & vegetable/olive oils are allowed for some taste. I think the hardest part so far for me is no soda to wash down some of the more bland foods. Tortilla chips made with just corn, salt & oil are also a "questionable" ok, because the ingredients work, but you technically are supposed to give up fried food. 
So I guess that's a personal call on an individual part...

Let me say this...
In Matthew 6:16-18 the Bible says "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head & wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others buy by your Heavenly Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees you in secret, will reward you openly."
I feel that because the Daniel Fast is being done so corporately right now, I've seen it in the blog community and numerous church websites, I felt peace that sharing this part of my life was okay, 
because we lean on and encourage one another, not as to gain any sort of human reward, but as a 
simple way to share what is on my heart.
For those of you that have always wanted to fast, but have been nervous about it. let me reassure you,
once you get past those first 2-3 days, things seem a ton easier. I encourage you to try it, God knows
your heart and if you mess up like me, just keep on going. Any amount of cleaning things out of your life to make room for God is good...

And what a great time to start fresh...

oh...and ps... NO, I am not pregnant. I know these pictures and this shirt dress thingie give that 
illusion. I could hear the rumor mill before I even posted this ;)


Halie Renee said...

I started this yesterday, and am doing OK so far - although obviously I still have a long ways to go! This is the first time I'm doing it too. I'm looking forward to sticking to it though, and finishing strong! And I tweeted this link :)

TicoTina said...

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my eating because I know I HAVE to do something, and I thought it seemed cool when Sarah said she was going through it, and somehow now with this post now it's clicking for me. I think I'm going to do this, too. thanks girl.

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

This is an amazing thing you are doing & you have completely inspired me to do this. My first day will be on Monday that way I can buy tons of fruits over the weekend! xoxo

Chery Marsden said...

Julie I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. I did a 21 day veggie fast about 2 years ago. It was not easy BUT, what a GREAT feeling of accomplishment! I have been thinking about doing it again, very soon. Thanks again

Becky Marie said...

I've never heard of the Daniel fast, thank you for sharing. I think you are right on that a fast is about so much more than just giving up food, its about getting right with God.

Joy Foucault said...

Our house is going through a meatless week right now I am on Day 6 today. And the first 2 days I had a RAGING headache because our house was addicted to meat! We also have noticed a big difference!! Thanks for sharing and keeping it all i perspective.

Vicki said...

I've been wondering what this fasting I've been reading about on other blogs was about. Now I understand, thanks for writing about it.

I'm not fasting, but my daughter and I have been talking a lot lately about how putting too much importance on material things is much like idolatry.

About 3 months ago we stopped watching tv, with the exception of 2 shows which I now stream from the internet. I can't believe how much of a difference it has made to our lives. Now if the tv does go on, it just feels like noise to me and I want it off.

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