Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Enjoying the Silence

During these last few weeks of the Daniel Fast I've been thinking a lot. A lot of thoughts about coffee, but also thoughts about Jesus, my marriage, our precious baby, and this life I'm living. I was privileged to read Jen hatmaker's book 7 last week too. Not only did it have me busting out my infamous laugh outburst, waking up my sweet husband at night (sorry babe), it had me close to tears at many points. Her books is basically about simplifying life for the sake of Jesus. How reducing what we have, do, eat, wear can all have an impact on the kingdom and give the Lord more room in our hearts. I felt really affirmed as we have already done several steps she suggested in the book, including the Daniel fast, and purging. Oh the purging we have done in the last 4 years is really incredible. I'm like the opposite of a hoarder. Anyways I digress.

There were several things that struck me as I was reading/thinking/meditating/dreaming of my next cup of coffee. I need more silence. Or less noise, however you want to say it. My first starting point is the tv. I'm drastically cutting it. Unless it is biggest loser, project runway, or a hallmark movie I haven't seen yet( there's probably not many) then I'm not watching it. Of course we do live with my parents so I do not want them to have to not watch what they want, but I am trying to occupy my mind and time otherwise. I have already noticed a more calm spirit inside of me. More time alone spent with the Father, and I was able to finish up some projects I'd been working on.

This is a good thing. God is doing a new thing. And I love it.

Angela M.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Daniel Fest 2012

So it has begun. 5 years ago my dad introduced me to the Daniel fast. I was newly married. A lively youth pastor of a bunch of rowdy jr and sr high kids. And I was up for an intense challenge. Thus doing the crazy spiritual challenge such as the Daniel Fast seemed like the perfect thing to do. So for 3 weeks my food intake was limited to vegetables, brown rice, fruit and nuts. That first year my creativity level was at about a negative fifty and Jared and I ended up eating half a bag of mixed veggies per meal. I'm sure you can imagine the insane depravity of it all. I still apologize to my husband for the immense amounts of carrots and broccoli.
Of course the DF is about much more than coming up with creative ways to make cauliflower edible. In the Word (also known as the Holy Bible) Daniel our main man chose to eat veggies and fruits (and probably millet) rather than the food the rest of the kings army was indulging in. In the course of 21 days he proved to be stronger physically and mentally then everyone else. In a similar way, 2 years ago when I was on the DF I had my annual check up. The Dr. Told me that my cholesterol and blood pressure were the best she had ever seen! Coincidence--I think not.
Spiritually speaking, I have found it to be a fairly extreme sacrifice. (we're talking no coffee or chocolate for 3 weeks people. Lifeblood.) It is easy to complain and think too much about all the foods I'm not eating. Ugh just makes me sick thinking about how disgustingly self absorbed I can be. (makes me throw up a bit of spinach in my mouth) what really comes to the forefront during this three weeks is how I can never out give God. His sacrifices He made for me are completely untouchable. Nothing I give up for Him-- not even coffee (please no condemnation) can compare to my incredible Savior. I am able to focus more clearly on Him and my many reasons to say Thank You with my life for Him.
So here I am 5 years later embarking on Daniel Fest 2012. Food options are much greater than in the past (sweet potato chips anyone?) but the 3 weeks are still sobering. I am praying my focus will magnify the Lord and His unending love. It is totally worth every caffeine free moment.

~Angela M.