Monday, December 31, 2012
Ever been curious about fasting? Seeking God through discipline and denying oneself is the core principle. Gotta say, I did a full fast for 3 days (no food, only water) followed by the Daniel Fast (only fruit, veggies, whole grains, and water) for 18 days in January 2010 and I prayed for blessings for my family, but specifically for my children. A year later I was pregnant with twins. The pregnancy was without complications, the deliveries couldn't have been easier, and since birth they have been healthy, hearty little boys, thriving. I don't know if God rewarded me because of my fasting a year before, I don't know if God has kept sickness and disease away from my children because of my actions and fasting. But what if He has? What if He did? What if He is? All 4 of my children are beautiful, smart, funny, and healthy.
I'm going to go off track for a sec, to address the idea that fasting is just another crazy practice wacko spiritual people do to lose weight, hallucinate, see visions from God, hear voices, etc. I'll admit, fasting can sound extreme if you don't fully understand its purposes. But to understand it, or at least respect it, you have to understand other stuff too.
All of us, everyday we wake up, we make a decision, to either believe there is a great design to our lives, or there is no design at all. We decide whether we are haphazardly living, trying to make the best of what life throws at us, or we decide that everything thrown at us has purpose and reason, whether it's good or bad.
I think of Neo in The Matrix. Good ole Neo, remember? Morpheus gave him the option of taking the blue pill, which would allow him to continue to view the world around him without the knowledge of the entire truth, or the red pill, which would open his eyes to see the world from an entirely different, not always beautiful, perspective.
If someone doesn't see life from a spiritual perspective, if they can't muster up enough faith to believe that there may be unseen forces at work, if they can't help but assume that all spiritual people are feeble minded and in need of a crutch to get through life, they have selected their pill. Spiritually driven people have swallowed a different color pill. Both believe adamantly that they're right. We've all, as adults, chosen our pill, and now view our world with different lenses.
Back to fasting...
I believe God is good, and good things come from his hands. I believe He has amazing plans for 2013 for those who truly are seeking Him and are trying to understand His will. So I want to be prepared to receive the blessings, I want to grow (spiritually--we all know there's no hope for me to get taller) and I want to know God's will for my life. For these reasons, I'm considering starting a Daniel Fast on January 6th. I say considering because it takes a lot of planning and discipline and I will not commit if I can't give it my all.
Besides spiritual awareness and maturity, there are great health benefits to this fasting stuff too. It's like a Vegan diet with a little more restriction. Check out the video if you're curious. Author Susan Gregory gives a pretty clear explanation of what the Daniel Fast is all about.
I feel very exposed when I blog about my personal thoughts. It's safer to just write about other people. I'll get back to that soon.
Friday, December 14, 2012
I love December so much! Santa Claus comes to town, Jesus celebrates his birthday for the 2,000+ time, candles get lit, family gets together, and then the whole thing culminates in a goodbye to 2012. Although yesterday marked the twins turning 15 months old, which is shocking and scary how fast life is going, I still consider December to be pretty fantastic. My birthday kicks it off, and even though I had to turn an ugly number I still enjoyed getting pampered and shown extra affection by my family and friends. Ryan even bought me a new laptop to mark this birthday. I haven't had a new computer since I was a freshman in college, and it was such a fond memory, getting my own room for the first time in my life, AND a new computer! So this private treasure brings back fond memories and I'm in love with this thing. It smells like scotch tape and the keyboard lets me just fly. (I like the smell of scotch tape--can't explain.)
December isn't without hardships, I know. Just last week my dad experienced loss of vision in his right eye, was admitted to the hospital for testing--they feared it was a brain tumor pushing against his optic nerve, or it was caused by a heartattack or stroke. Test results showed nothing like that, so he's going to follow up in Miami with a neuro eye specialist sometime soon. We don't have any answers, and his vision hasn't returned in that spot. Still, our family gets to experience peace that passes all understanding because we have a faith that God is in control of all areas of our lives for any who accept him as their lord (lord means master, boss, authority, fyi).So even in this scary situation, I just remember to look up and trust. A Christian's life is no less problematic than any other's, we just try to respond in a way that would eventually produce perseverance and endurance. And since this is a a blog about December, I feel compelled to share with any interested that God loves you and me equally, every nation, every background, every religious practice, every color, and every lifestyle, with a greater love than we can even understand. He gave his only son to us, the "reason for the season", and the story of Christmas is a beautiful, tragic, and triumphant thing. From a mother's perspective, the thought of giving my baby away to be ultimately tortured and killed is a horrific thought.
Anyway. That's another blog.