Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 14-21

So I have decided to group my blog posts for 2 reasons: 1) because I am crazy busy and don't really have time to blog every day, and 2) because it was getting a little tedious and boring to write every day. There is only so much I can day on a day-to-day basis. So I am grouping.

Things have been amazing!! I am in a really great time in this fast. I would say something happened around day 17ish...I do still have the desire to eat, but it has shifted. i definitly do not think about it much any more. My husband has been so very encouraging to me! He has told me some very wonderful encouraging things about it that I have not noticed. He likened me to Daniel. The part of the story where they did not eat the banquet that the king put out and it was said that they had a different countenance. My hubby has said that I have a different countenance. He said I look great and I am of a kinder, more serene countenance. He said I have more energy and have been a very positive person, whereas before I was getting to be very negative and frustrated with my long and tiring days. He also says that he feels my fast every he feels the power and effect of it. That is amazing! I have to say that while this has been AMAZING, there have been days where I have not felt all that much. I always feel something, but at times it doesn't feel over the top. So it was so great to hear the things he had to say.

I was very blessed on the ministry wives retreat that I went on. It felt like another gift from God. The whole weekend other people were praising me. When I talked, I got comments and complements about my attitude and the way I live my life. It was so wonderful to be talked about like that. It was like a time where God just lifted me up. It felt so great and I was so encouraged in everything. The topic of the weekend happened to be about something that I already have a handle on in my life. So I was able to sit back and take things in and speak from a deep well of feelings and knowledge that I happen to have on this topic. I work very hard in my life not to be like a certain proverb that says a fool says everything in his heart. I try very hard to speak as little as possible, so as not to be like a fool. It is wise to speak little and think about your thoughts, rather than speaking freely and coming across as certain things. It has been great to put this into practice and I hope to continue to learn to do it. I certainly was encouraged at this retreat...I received complements and praises that were unsolicited on my part. I know this may sound conceited, but really it's not like that! It's just that I work so hard in my life and try so hard ...and I really try and do it without talking a lot or drawing attention. That's why this was so special.

I am just wrapping up a weekend where my family came to visit. I had to tell them it was a 40-day fast, because I will be seeing them again next weekend for Easter. I really thought I would get a negative reaction...more in the sense that they would be concerned and worried...but they weren't, they were actually really cool with it. Very nice!

Physically, as I said, it is much easier now. I have a lot of energy and need less sleep. I don't know what I weigh, so I can't comment on that, but everyone is saying I look good, so holistically it must be having a good effect. I am so happy to be over the half-way point...this really is something I will never forget!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 11-13

I am sitting alone in a hotel room on the last day of a Ministry Wives retreat. I decided to skip the last session this morning so I could get some extra sleep and some alone time. It has been a wonderful couple of days...but even more so because I am fasting. It has been a little weird sitting at the tables and not eating, but everyone has been very nice and understands. I was thinking about not going to the meal times so as not to draw attention to my fast and to be alone, but I didn't want to do of the things I like most about this retreat is spending time talking with other Pastor's Wives, and a lot of the socializing happens at meals.

When you fast it is like everything is opened up to you. There is the literal sense, like smell...I could smell food very distinctly. But more importantly things are opened up in the spiritual sense. It is hard to describe, but when I hear a speaker, or read the Bible, or talk to God it is as if I have clarity and as if a veil has been lifted. It is a wonderful time of spiritual awakeness.

Phisically I feel good. I drink lots of juice when I feel weak, which is really only if I do something extra strenuous. I am still physically hungry every night, which is very difficult. And the mind part is still a challenge...If I keep busy, I don't notice, but when ever I am idle I want to eat! haha

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 10

Yesterday and today were ok. i woke up and wanted to vomit, and at night my stomach still growls and I get hungry. I knew this wouldn't be easy, but i didn't think I would be so hungry! I kept hearing that after a certain amount of time you would not be hungry any more...either that is not true for me, or I haven't hit that point yet...or maybe the mental part is so strong it feels physical. Oh well, whatever the case it doesn't matter...I am so excited about this! You can't go on a God-given 40-day fast and have it not be amazing, no matter how hard it is.

God is doing so much. I felt in prayer this morning that God was t=showing em I need to stop watching some of our shows and start praying more.. He told me about the praying part already, but i didn't do it. Hubby and I watched Lost last night and today I just didn't feel right. God is trying to clean me out, and here I am putting junk in. So we are not going to watch our shows during this fast. And he said he will have times of prayer with me in the evenings...he is being very supportive, which I need. Taking the evening and praying is very difficult for me. But I did it tonight and God met me. Tonight I got to cry. a nice good cry...just a time of pouring things out to Him. And God was there comforting me, and mainly just letting me get it out. It was very good and I see how amazing God is when I just give myself to Him.

I know the more I give myself to Him, the more He can do in me. And I truly want Him to do so much in me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 9

Yesterday was wonderful! I still get really hungry at night, which makes sense because that is when I normally eat. I am usually so busy during the day that I barely eat until evening. But I felt so peaceful and energized...I just felt alive. I still haven't told anyone other than hubby that this is a 40 day fast. Some people know I am came out at a fellowship dinner...but when people asked how long it was I just said it was an extended one. It's going to come out more in the coming weeks, there's no helping that. I leave for a Women's Retreat in a couple of days and then my parents are coming to visit and a week later will be Easter. So when you see certain people week after week at events where there are food, it becomes obvious that I have been fasting for a while! I don't think it's wrong for people to know, but I get nervous (like most people do) that it will become a big deal and seem like a pride thing, which isn't what I want at all. i would like to keep it as discreet as possible.

My weight is changing very rapidly as well and it feels great. I started at 175 lb. and this morning was 162. It feels so good to be starting to slim down. I hope I get down to a comfortable weight again. I really haven't been at a good weight since before my first baby. I always got back to an ok weight after the kids, but never a comfortable one. It will be such a relief if we have another baby to feel good. It is hard taking care of little ones when you are pregnant, and much harder when you are overweight.
I don't know if I posted this or not, but I feel like this is part of God's gift to me. A chance to start over with my body. Before this fast, I spent 2 1/2 weeks exercising 6 days a week and doing weight watchers. I DID NOT LOSE ONE SINGLE POUND. It was so discouraging, mainly because I always have great success with Weight Watchers...and I am very diligent! I think God was doing that so I would recognize this weight lose as part of His gift, and not something I would do on my own. It makes it that much more special.

Well, I need to go tend to the children. God is so very good.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 8

Yesterday was difficult...not physically, but spiritually. I really need to have time alone with God. My life is so crazy that I really just want to lay in bed at night and read a book! It is hard to force myself to get alone with the Lord. Spirit verses flesh...and my flesh is very accustomed to winning. I want to receive all that God has for me in this fast! It's funny, i was talking about this with my husband the other day...I really just want it to be April 16th already so it will be completed. However, that would be skipping the most valuable parts of a fast, which is the journey. I just want to be done, but yet this is the part I really need to focus on because this is where the growing and changing happens. Its not just 40 days of no is a fast unto the Lord.

My husband has been such an encouragement to me. He is really speaking words to me that lift my spirit. I love that he believes in me. I really need to work on my attitude. I am allowing myself to be grouchy and short tempered, simply because I am fasting. Sounds really bad, huh? Well it is. I have such a sharp tongue and a horrible attitude. I would love to see those things worked out of will take a lot of work! You'd think i would be a saint while fasting...but it seems to be bringing the worst of me out at times! Not the fast, but the s=whole denying the flesh things seems to make it really rise up. But that's good...if it rises up then maybe it can be uprooted. Either way, I am grateful for such a longsuffering husband.

Two nights ago I read a Psalm that really blessed me. It is Psalm 91. Here are the verses that really spoke to me. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. 'I will say of the Lord 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God in Him will I trust.'...You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day...A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you." Verses 1-2, 5, 7

That really blessed me! There are so many things that cause me to lie awake at night in fear of. There are things about my life and future that I fear, especially with my children. God spoke powerfully to me in this. Not just powerfully, but personally. I feel like I have a promise from the Lord that He will cause me to stand even if everyone around is falling. Whatever terror is being hurled at me, I will not be afraid. That doesn't mean I will be safe and protected from it all, but that whatever comes my way I will be able to stand strong in Him and know that He is upholding me.

Then this morning while I was having Bible time with the kids, we read Psalm 20...and I was blessed again! Here are the verses that spoke to me. "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you...May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice....Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer Him from His holy heaven, with the saving strength of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright. Save, Lord! May the King answer us when we call." Verses 1, 3, 6-9

That spoke to me! I read it several times to the kids, getting very touched and excited! This is what my fast is about. I needed the Lord to see me and hear me...and I needed Him to come to my rescue. i feel like He is affirming me and my fast. That He has heard me...not only heard me, but is answering me. I can't wait to see what He will do in this time. Praise the name of the Lord! Lift His name on High! He is worthy of all praise and honor and glory. Amen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 7

Yesterday was a challenge! I feel great during the day...well, a little weak and foggy, but hunger wise I feel great. Then the evening comes and i am laying in bed with my stomach growling! Oh well...
My body is definitly tired/weak. I have this "here but not here" thing going on. Internally I feel sharp and alert, but I can't seem to get my body to agree! I am a little foggy I walked into the store and wandered around like I had no clue why I was there! haha I know this seems a little contradictory, but there is not an easy way to describe it. I don't feel tired once I am awake, and that it helpful seeing as I don't get sleep anymore anyway! I am the master of sleep, but this fourth baby pushed me over the edge...which is funny, because he the easiest baby I have every had. But when there were just 3, i could handle the rotation of middle of the night wake-ups. I am talking about night terrors, bad dreams, one waking the other...stuff that you cannot control. But add a fourth one to the mix and even though he is very easy and rarely eats at night, he still has his reasons to fuss or wake between all four I am up once or twice every night! This fast has really helped with that. As much as I could sleep if left alone in bed, when I do wake up I feel awake and not groggy or sleepy. So that's nice.

I had a dream that I ate! I ate something and then I just said, oh thats ok, I will just continue on like it didn't happen. But then I realized that not only would that make it harder, but it didn't really make the fast a fast! haha So I was very upset in my dream and I even had to think about it when I was in that half-awake stage...I was upset because I did not know if I had really eaten or if it was a dream! But thank goodness, it was only a dream.

It is Sunday morning..Daylight savings! Hubby just came and picked up the boys. I still don't go to church yet...I wait until the baby is 2 months old before brining him to a place with lots of people. I need to use this time wisely. I feel a call to go a little deeper now. This first week I was just trying to pass the days. I would read, watch a movie here and there, talk, etc. But now I feel like the Lord wants me to start actively engaging with Him. Taking some time in the day for prayer and reading, instead of just quickly reading and listening to worship music at night. SO that it what I will try and do. So I will straighten up the house, feed the baby, then try to have some good prayer.

Tomorrow begins week 2! So very excited to be on this journey!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 6

Last night I went to a fellowship dinner for a ministry that I am involved in. It was great that I went, but the food was exceptional (I know because of who cooked it and how it smelled!). I felt physically weak, but very spiritually strong. There is such a power and strength from this.

I am just getting ministered to all the time. This is truly the first time in my life that I am able to just sit back and get blessed by God. You see, I have some issues with gifts...I don't like people doing nice things for me, because I don't like feeling indebted to anyone. I prefer to have the scorecard even, or with me having done more. When my husband gets up in the morning with the kids there is a part of me that doesn't like it because then I feel like I owe him. i cannot simply receive. But with this fast God has made is so abundantly clear that my only role it so fast and follow His leadings...the rest is for me. He will pour out on me, He will bless me, He will change me. It is like being at a spa...getting massages, facials, manicures (even when I had that done one year for a gift I felt weird letting people do all that for me)...but this time it is God working from the inside out and I can do nothing but accept and be blessed. It is wonderful to be able to receive from the Lord without feeling like I have something to do with it. Free gift. Period.

Physically, I feel so very empty and a little weak. It is hard to sleep at night, I seem to be very awake. i finally slept in today and was able to really sleep for a while...probably because the kids have kept me up most nights this week! But laying down in in bed at night I can feel that I am not ready to sleep. I am mentally awake but physically a little weak.

I feel like something special happens every day...yesterday I got a book in the mail. It may seem small to you, but it was a wonderful surprise to me! My friend Kristina asked for my address a few weeks back b/c she said she had a book for me. I totally forgot until it came in the mail yesterday! I LOVE to read and haven't has a new book in a while, so this was especially nice since I am fasting. It is called "Desperate Pastor's Wives"...haha. I actually finished it last night. It was so great to be in a book! The Lord is so good...I mean, really, really good. Not only does He orchestrate an entire 40 day fast for me, but He even gives little gifts along the way. This is amazing.

Will keep you posted!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 5

Well, I have officially been fasting longer than I ever have before. The longest fast I have every done was 4 days..I did it once and I drank any liquid I wanted. This fast, incase i did not mention is going to be a real soup, no milk, etc. It is a water and juice fast. I figure on Easter I might have broth, simply because my family goes out to eat and I don't want to stand out or be rude. But maybe not, maybe I will just get juice. I will let you know on day 28.

So 4...was EXCRUCIATING! I read everywhere that day 3 is hard and the last day of actually hunger, but not for me! I was so cranky and agitated all day. It was so bad that I told my husband I just wanted to throw a movie on to distract me until lI went to sleep. Now I had mixed feelings about this. I wasn't sure if watching movies at night is what I should be doing, but I was having such a bad night that I decided it was ok. But I told him we had to watch a "good" in nothing borderline. I definitely have let my standards slip with movies, and that was something I repented of the other night. So we watched "The Ultimate Gift." After the movie was over, mu hubby was already asleep but I was still awake. I threw my headphones on and listened to worship music. I began to slip into my typical way of thinking about God...I was upset and started thinking that because I watched a movie God wasn't going to bless the fast, and that He was going to punish me somehow during the fast. God is so good...I immediately felt the Holy Spirit speak to me. I felt like God was saying "This is not something you have earned or need to continue earning. It is a gift. Just like the movie you watched, this is a gift from Me to you and all you have to do is walk in it and receive it." Amazing. Thank you Jesus for this gift. It is such a weight lifted off to know that I do not have to earn this, but that it is a true gift.

Something else very wonderful happened yesterday...we got our health insurance cards in the mail! I know that doesn't seem very exciting, but it is for me. You see, my husband works 2 jobs and we still barley make enough to get by. We were getting WIC and had Medicaid for health insurance. I didn't mind in the beginning, because that is what it's there for...people who are working hard and trying, but need some assistance. However, I did not feel it was right to continue on these services, especially if we continue to have children. If I trust God to grow my family, then I need to trust Him to provide, and not depend on others to provide for my family. So we decided to enroll with the health insurance at hubby's other job. We were able to enroll before open enrollment on May because we just had a baby. It is expensive and comes at a great sacrifice, but I believe we are being obedient to fact, I know we are and so I not only have abundant peace, but also extreme excitement! Finances are no bigger than any other issue, and my God is bigger than it all. He will supply my needs; its my job to obey. So we got the cards yesterday and I called to cancel Medicaid. We cancelled WIC a while ago, so we are officially off any assistance!

Well, I hope day 5 is better than day 4! I will post again tomorrow, unless something comes to my mind today. God Bless!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 4

It's the beginning of day 4...and I am still so very excited!

Last night was amazing! I was reading up on fasting and I came across several things that suggested a deep and serious time of repenting upon beginning a fast. I immediately began repenting and many, many things were brought to my mind that I needed to repent from. A specific one was something that I forgot to ever deal with, yet made me a thief. Back at Christmas I ordered a fake tree from Target and they accidentally sent me 2 and only charged me for one. So I returned the duplicate tree only to realize a month later that they credited me back the money. So basically I got my tree for free. Well I kept meaning to deal with it and have them charge me they money back, but I never did...and God brought it to my remembrance while in prayer and I immediately sent an e-mail and gave my authorization to charge my card. Fasting really does open doors for God to move. I feel so cleansed...there was so much I needed to repent of!

God has been speaking to me. I feel more spiritually alive than ever before. I could not stop thanking Him last night, because I feel like this is a very special gift from God to me. I have always struggled with thinking God was mad at me, or that I wasn't good enough...I had this lingering fear that if the rapture happened, I would miss it because I am not a very good Christian. It is like God is saying to me "Yes, we need to get you deeper and I will take you there...but more than that I love you and this is a gift for you. I am not are so special to me and I want to show you how much I love you." Amazing. This truly feels like a gift God is giving to me...I can feel that He wants to do a complete 360 degree work in me. Physically, spiritually, mentally...everything. He actually orchestrated things in my life to create this fast for me. I cannot stop thanking Him.

Physically, I am still hungry. I heard that it is supposed to cease after 3 days, but I woke up today hungry with my stomach growling! It will probably subside...but I know the mental part will not. Every time ANY thought comes into my head I immediately pray...if I can conquer my mind than I know I will stay in this fast. I know that God has set apart these 40 days for me and I want to receive it all.

I told hubby last night. It was pretty foolish to think i couldn't tell him! He asked me over and over to tell him about how my fast has I told him all that God had been leading me in. He said he could see it all over my face and countenance. He was so supportive and so encouraging. I told him no matter what to not offer me a back door...but to encourage me to finish. he said he feels it too and believes that this is of the Lord for me, and he is supporting me all the way. So here I go!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 3 again

I forgot some other little things that are actually not so little to me. I really want to document this journey because I think it is going to be remarkable and if I don't write down everything I will forget it.

So yesterday I woke up with a very nasty cold. I know that doesn't sound like anything at all, but to me it was. I felt like the devil was trying one of his little attacks to get me to stop...normally, I very well might have stopped telling myself that it is not healthy to fast when you are sick. But I just knew. I knew it was something that was trying to get me down. So I resolved to keep going and this morning I am still a little sick, but it is definitly going away!

And I was reading about long term fasts, I read that it is not good to "gorge" right before you start, but that you should eat mildly the last day. Normally when my hubby or I are going on a fast we "enjoy" the last day of eating...i.e., get take out and eat as much as we can! Well oddly enough, I happened to eat really mildly and lightly on Sunday. I even was coming home that night and was going to stop at McDonalds on my way home but i didn't because I just wasn't in the mood (that right there is God working! lol) So the day before the fast...before i even knew i was doing a 40 day...God was preparing me and I ate very lightly and mildly.

God's hand is all over this fast and I am so grateful and cannot wait to see where He will take me.

Day 3

Ok, it is the morning of day 3! You might be wondering why I blog in the morning, instead of at the end of the day...well, most of my insight/time with God occurs throughout the day and late at night. There is no way I am getting up to blog at night, so in the morning I can write about the day/night before. SO...

I realized laying in bed last night worshipping God that He has already been very much at work. First off, He spoke to me yesterday while I was reading the Bible. I wasn't even really locking myself away to hear from Him...the kids were running around and I grabbed my Bible and began to read Haggai. While I did, I felt a very strong presence that the book was for me and my life. I am not sure if that it the complete message/word, but He definitely spoke and it was thrilling.

Also, I began to think about the whole timing of this fast. I did not plan it...God did. I didn't even know I was doing it until day 1. But the more I was thinking about it, the more I realized that there could be no better time than now. You see, my husband and I allow God to control the size of our family, and since making that decision 5 years ago I have been pregnant 6 times. I gave birth to 4 kids and had 2 miscarriages. So between having babies and nursing, I have not been able to fast hardly at all the last few years. Fast forward to now...I gave birth 6 weeks ago. Because we abstain for the first 6 weeks, there is no chance I could be pregnant and therefore it is definitely safe for me to fast now. I am amazed by this. If I had waited and tried to plan it myself, things easily could have gotten in the way. Then there is another thing...this may seem completely wrong, but I assure you it is not my fact, it did not cross my mind until yesterday. Because of all the pregnancies so close together, I have consistently been keeping a few pounds on my body. This makes my pregnancies difficult as well as life after. It actually made me start to resent being pregnant and to not look forward to getting pregnant again, should the Lord bless us. That is not how I want to feel. I want to feel good and be at a healthy weight before starting another pregnancy. I always work out and do Weight Watchers in between, and while I do lose weight I do not lose enough. I realized that this fast very well could get me back to a healthy place should we be blessed with another child. I am thankful for that. Not a worldly thanks for "getting thinner", but a spiritual gratitude in knowing that I could joyfully embark on whatever God has for me and my family.

It's funny, I was thinking yesterday about this fast...mainly the hard part of it. I was counting days, looking at all the events coming up that I would have to not eat at. It is so easy to allow life situations to hold us back...there are so many things coming up that I would naturally not plan to fast through, A women's retreat, my parents coming to visit, and Easter are all around the corner. But there will always be something, right?

Ok physically...ummm, I feel ok. Definitely feel hungry and empty. I need to go get some juices; no way I will make 40 days on just apple juice! I have been researching juices that are good, and also how to properly come off an extended fast. The hardest part is definitely the mind. I constantly have to call on God to keep me from thinking! Once I start thinking, I begin to tell myself that there is no way i can do this, and that it's ok if I don't finish. Them words are quittin' words! I can't think about it...I just need to pray through it.

That is another reason why I don't want to tell Hubby. I know he will probably be concerned, and if it gets difficult he might encourage me to stop, or at least tell me that it will be ok if I do. I just don't want anyone to give me an easy out, because I will take it! If I do not finish, then I would like the encouraging words...but I don't want them while I am still fasting, because it will be too tempting to stop. You know what I mean?

Ok, time to go make breakfast for the kids! haha

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 1

Well ok, it's actually day 2 but I just created this blog account today!

I am embarking on a 40 day fast. There, I said it. Somehow putting it in writing feels as if I have sealed the deal. I feel a little more accountable and will be blogging my journey.

Day 1 was insanely difficult! The first day of fasting is always hardest for me, mainly because I love food! I eat out of habit and enjoyment more than any other reason, and that it why day 1 is so hard...I just want to eat! It's not so much that I am hungry, but that I just want food. Food makes my day enjoyable and I look forward to eating. Life ahead seems to unenjoyable because I won't be eating. Haha...sorry for the way that sounds, but it's true!

I guess I should write about why I am doing this. Well, my husband decided a few days ago to go on a 7 day fast. When he said this, I immediately told him I wanted to join him. He has things in hie life that he wants God to move in, and I would like to support him in that and pray for him. However, I feel that there is a lot more going on for me. Yesterday I felt a very strong sense of need...the kind of need that presses deep into your soul and you feel as if you cannot stop until God moves. I feel the way I imagine Jacob must have felt as he wrestled with the angel.

I need some answers. I need some healing. I need some depth. But I really just need. With such a deep need in my heart I really can't be specific. I know that praying and fasting with a specific prayer need in mind is good, but this is different. I have never fasted for more that 4 days, but I have always wanted to do a 40 day fast...and now I feel as if I can't resist. I don't know what this fast holds, but I know that i am going into with with a very desperate need for God.

It is only midday today, day 2 of the fast so I dont have much to say. I want to eat. I have counted the days until I can eat again...April 16th. It has been so difficult to be cooped up inside with the kids all winter, but Spring is almost here and I hope to be outside with them very soon! Hopefully that will help with the days.

I have not told my husband about this, and am very reluctant to. It's easier to blog to complete strangers, because we don't know each other and thus if I fail I won't feel so bad! I hate failing and I hate giving up. I think i am just going to take it a day at a time as far as my husband goes. Maybe I will feel more confident in the days to come!

My day starts at 7am and the older 3 kids are in bed by 7/7:30. Then I clean up, feed the baby and put him to bed. By the time the night is mine, it is about 8:30pm. I am passed out by 10, and usually up once or twice a night between the four kids...someone usually poops, cries, needs water, etc. lol So I am very exhausted and have little time for prayer and reading...but what time to do have I will give. I have never been big into measuring my relationship with God based on how much time I spend praying and reading everyday...please don't misunderstand me, I know very well the need and importance of reading and praying. God is my God and I love Him with all that I am...and so I strive to give myself to Him wholly and completely.

I am looking forward to what God will do while I am on this journey, and I will do my best to share that journey with you.