Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7: Food

So, the first fast of the 7 project is about food.

This is not a typical fast, in that it is not abstaining from all foods but rather limiting our foods to a specific list for the week. I feel like JH's list is pretty doable for me, so I will keep her list but add a variation or two.

Her list is chicken, avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, apples, bread and eggs. She limits extras to olive oil and salt/pepper. She drinks only water; no coffee, tea or juice.

I am going to add spices to mine, partly because I am going to try to include my family in some preparations for meals (I don't have independent eaters yet) and no spices at all would just not get a lot of support.

I am going to make the sacrifice of coffee, which honestly may be the most difficult of all the limitations.  I love my coffee time in the morning. I am better person when I drink coffee. I know it is going to require a few things. First, I am going to have to eat breakfast. Coffee is my breakfast most days and it fills my tummy enough to trick myself into thinking I don't have to get up and actually give myself something good to eat. Second, I am going to have to really fight the urge to be grumpy because it will make me that way.  Who knows, maybe I will be better for it? ...she says as she sits with one of her last cups of steaming yumminess.

Okay, so I think I am ready to do this thing ...Oh, and I think that I may post for the week and then add to the same post all week long. There is something about following the experience in real time :)

Day One:

Worst day ever not to have coffee.  

So, that thing we were waiting for? It is finally moving forward like a whirlwind. Over the weekend we got word we will be moving in the next three weeks. We are excited, anxious and have a TON to do! 

It was the reason I stayed up until 1am this morning. Then, around 3:45 my two-year-old came to bed ready to tell me all about how he wanted cookies, milk and his daddy (who is working night shift this week). He was a chatter box for a while, then settled back down a bit after 4am. He was up again around 6am.  Laying in bed thinking of all our normal Monday holds, then adding in the stress of our pending move ...then realizing that coffee was not on the menu. 

Aw man!  

My lack of caffeine fog, coupled with the stresses of the moment, the hormones of the week and several other factors I am feeling a little on edge. I just got a reminder to pause for the "Blessing Hour" (JH talks about this in her chapter on stress). Its good timing. 

Day Two:

After waking up at 3am with no hope of returning to sleep after 2 hours of laying wide awake, God and I talked and my 7 is now 8. Or at least I am going to give up apples so that I can have my coffee. 

We decided between the two of us that if I am going to do this moving thing and my kids still like me when its over,  then coffee needs to be on the list. 

We understand each other.  

Day Three:  

Well, last night was a bust in terms of this whole fast thing ...my wonderful friends kidnapped me for a surprise birthday dinner!  We went to a really great restaurant where I lost all sense of commitment and conviction and ate something that had nothing at all to do with restriction and limitation. Actually it pretty much represented excess ..it was yummy.

So, being three for three ...I am not doing so hot at this whole thing if you think about it terms of legalistic rules. I have broken them already. 

However, while I would not want to decrease the importance of commitment or would argue the strength of character it takes to not compromise on such things ..I feel like my heart and mind are still very much in tune with the purpose behind the fast. I could just throw in the towel now, since I have 'failed' already ...or I can still take hold of the lessons and the limitations that I have given myself for the purpose of awareness and mental focus. 

Because it is giving me that, even with the coffee and awesome birthday dinner :)

Day Six:

As I am winding down the week a bit, I have to say that it hasn't been extremely hard. Granted, I wasn't 100% the rule follower. Even still, I did pass on several meals and ate almost 100% of my breakfasts and lunches using my "7" limitations. I keep thinking that even my somewhat restricted foot list of the week has more variety than most third world countries. I keep in mind that my list has a wonderful variety of healthy foods that feed my body healthily and that I could survive on, were I to need to. 

Even in my limits, I am more blessed than the greater percentage of the world around me. How humbling to be so aware of it. I think we are so surrounded with excess that we dont even comprehend the idea of anything else. 

To think that the Israelites ate the same thing for 40 years? Manna and quail ...and it was sustaining. I am sure they that must have supplemented with vegetables and fruits from the nations around them. They would have had milk and such things (I dont know..did they drink the milk from their animals? Surely?).  But even still, the main part of their sustenance  was that limited offering from God. 

How spoiled we have become, that we fail to see our constant blessings for want of more variety? 

I have been also limiting my clothing and beauty supplies. It has been interesting to think how often I have said that 'I need' such and such. I 'need' more summer clothes, or I 'need' more shoes. When really, I dont 'need' more of those things I just 'want' more variety in my choices. 

That is not a bad thing, necessarily. I do think though that the more options we have the less we recognize who our real 'needs' are already taken care of. 

These lessons for sure will need to keep simmering!

Meanwhile, on to fast #2... clothing!

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