Well, I can honestly say that this week has been a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Let me give you some examples:
Monday: In-laws came over for dinner and didn't arrive until later than we normally have dinner. "Rule: NO Eating After 7 p.m" broken first night out of the gate. Lovely. But I cooked one of our 7 Meals for the week, so at least we were on track there.
Tuesday: I seriously struggled with whether or not the Nutella in my cupboard was, indeed, considered "chocolate". I mean, it's hazelnut spread really. It shouldn't violate my Rule of "NO Chocolate", right? Yea. . .I didn't think I could justify it either. So I convinced the hubby to eat it as fast as he possibly could so it would stop being a temptation. The things he does for me. . .:)
Wednesday: All I wanted to do was grab a quick pizza for dinner. There's always so much rushing in between school and getting the kids to church and then to our couple's bible study. A cheap "hot and ready" would really hit the spot right now, but that goes against the Rule "NO Fast Food", so I came home and made our cheeseburger macaroni meal that was planned. And wouldn't you know, we were still on time for everything.
Thursday: I ran out of bread. This is not something that should be allowed during this whole 7 experiment since all I can have for lunches is sandwiches or protein shakes. In order to avoid breaking my Rule "ONLY ONE shopping trip per week", I improvised and made us turkey wraps with tortillas instead of turkey sandwiches. Same diff.
As you can see, I'm struggling a bit with the boundaries that I've set up for myself. I've also had to answer a bunch of questions as to why I can't have this or that or why I've made up these rules for myself. Most of my answers include the phrase, "As a means of fasting. . .and just to see if I can pull it off". Really, it's causing me to do the one thing that I set out for it to do. This whole process is making me extremely aware of the fact that I'm very used to food being readily available and at my disposal. I realize how often I eat without really putting a lot of thought into what I'm eating. I'm coming to grips with the fact that food is a means of security for me. It's my comfort. In turn, I'm really learning how to cope with the stresses of daily life without using food as a crutch. As something I can reach out to when I'm bored or vulnerable. I'm learning that I've seen food as a hobby, something that I do socially, and something that is meant to be enjoyed and not what it really is--nutrition. I've removed the convenience of food by doing this experiment. It's no longer something that I can do without thinking. At least for the duration of these three more weeks.
I will say that I have focused so much on myself this week and what I could not have because of the rules that I have set for myself. This was not my intention and I really hope as this fast continues, my focus will move from food to inner change. I pray it will bring me more to a place of thankfulness for what I have. And I pray it will bring me closer to God. I feel like this turning point is just around the corner. I so want for this time of surrender will bring me to a place of hunger for God that I've not known for some time. I know Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. Even HE fasted, in order to get closer to the Father, to get closer to God. I want that hunger. I want to turn every stomach growl into a reminder to pray. I want for every craving to remind me that I need to physically crave Jesus more and more as well. I want to leave this four weeks of fasting in the food department full of God. After Jesus' fast, He then began healing, rescuing, and redeeming. The Spirit filled up the emptiness Jesus created, launching Him into ministry. In some supernatural way the abstinence from food was the catalyst that Jesus needed. Never again would Jesus fly under the radar. His powerful ministry was activated after His fast from food. After thirty years on earth, His story truly began.
"He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them, he was hungry." (Luke 4:2)
I want to be that hungry.
Here's to three more weeks!
Want to hear what I learned in Week Two?