Food: Over half way!
Well, the hubs and I have made it over half way through our food fast (and through 3 of the 4 weekends- weekends are the hardest). We even made it past Halloween. Although, getting through Halloween is only half the battle since a plethora of candy is now sitting in our cabinet as I type. But I’m used to avoiding processed sugars so Halloween isn’t really that difficult for me to pass on. However, I wasn’t able to make an of my usual goodies that I normally whip up on holidays to avoid other junk. I do so desperately miss chocolate.
Oh, and I just I couldn’t write up a post that talks about Halloween without including a photo of my kiddos in their costumes. 🙂
So Halloween wasn’t the worst. The most difficult weekend on this “7 fast” so far has been here at my Faithcrafter’s retreat. I am currently sitting in a cozy cabin as I type surrounded by wonderful women… with wonderful snacks. This is my third year attending this retreat with other women who love the Lord and love to craft. I brought my painting supplies and worked on some canvas paintings, had great devotionals, worship and prayer time, and well… usually I eat… lots of good food! Every year I bring some “clean and healthier treats” to avoid the pitfalls of the buffet table.
Here is just one of the afternoons where food was set out. Yes, there were 4 types of cheese, and 6 different chocolate dessert options.
This year it was tougher than past years to avoid the sugar since I am limited to 7 foods. Most years I at least help myself to the cheese platter. yum! I had to get creative with my own snacking options.
So I made the following snacks and treats for my weekend trip:
- dehydrated banana chips
- dehydrate kale/blueberry/banana fruit strips
- turkey meatballs (minus all the spices-just salt and pepper)
- blueberry banana bread muffins (with homemade oat flour-recipe coming soon)
- I also brought fresh blueberries and they had plenty of bananas here as well as some hard boiled eggs.
Confession: I did eat the meals served at the lodge diner since they were all meals prepared ahead of time for the group. I felt like this wasn’t total cheating since the author of 7 (Jen Hatmaker) had a couple meals with people who had prepared something for her that wasn’t exactly “7 legal”. So, I ended up eating the following that wasn’t on my list (bacon wrapped chicken, broccoli, a pork chop, egg bake that had some cheese in it, carrots, and winter squash). I did pass on any desserts served and sides of cheese. I felt a little guilty but I wasn’t going to snub my nose at what was made for us in advance and yes! I thoroughly enjoyed those 2 meals.
Other than those 2 prepared meals I stuck with my fast. Yes, it was difficult to watch others eat brownies and cheese (oh how I love pepper jack cheese- and almost gave in when it was served with lunch at the lodge diner), but I also felt my devotional times were more clear than ever, and I felt free to let go of the things I can’t (and so often try to) control.
I was reading Philippians 3:7-8 which so perfectly states:
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all tings. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
So, this morning during my quiet time with the Lord I prayed the scary prayer (that I have prayed before and then so easily lost focus of just days later) “Lord, God, take all of me. I know I fight it, and I’m scared, but You know me best. You created me. Anything I would lose by following you would be nothing compared to You. If I lost You, I would have nothing.”
You almost need to close your eyes and blindly pray this without dwelling on the possibilities until you are done praying. It’s so frightening to speak the words “take all of me… take everything I have, it’s yours. I am yours.” When I stop and start to think of the “things” I could lose if I REALLY were to take up my cross and follow Jesus- the fear can start to take hold of me. My heart starts to flutter, and I feel short of breath- what does EVERYTHING mean? Everything! I feel as if I am losing control- well, because I am (but did I ever really HAVE control in the first place?). The type A personality in me wants to cling on tight and make to-do list or map out a plan to fit Jesus into MY life. And while to-do lists and plans have their place in God’s Kingdom, it’s not MY plan I need to be focused on. I really need to be fitting more of me into HIS plan (not the other way around).
And if God loves me so much that he sent Jesus-His only son-to die for me (and you John 3:16), then why am I so scared? Because I am acting like a child who thinks they know what’s best for themselves.
I think of my daughter on days when she is feeling especially strong willed. And she is the way she is (strong willed) because she’s so stinkin’ smart- too smart for he own good at this stage in her life. She believes that she can argue her way out of anything rather than just trusting in my judgment as her mother who has been on this earth far longer than the 6 little years she has. And while ice cream would be a delicious choice for breakfast, it may not be the best choice for her health and her poor tummy. And while as a parent I make mistakes- God does not. I think of the verse from Mathew 7:10-11 “Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
So when I’m throwing my “little girl temper tantrum” with the Lord over whatever it is I can’t have, I just need to let go. He DOES know what is best for me. He is my Father in heaven. He knitted me in my mother’s womb. Looking back at my life I can’t tell you how many things that I wanted so badly, but now I am so relieved the Lord didn’t answer my fervent prayers with a yes! He knew what I really needed.
It’s okay to be scared, as long as I don’t let that paralyze me.
So, as I pass up chocolate brownies, and cheese of every kind at my ladies retreat, it’s just a very small reminder of how my attitude should be. Lord, it’s all rubbish compared to You.