Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Glimpse into Fasting and it's Almost 2014

*Note: When I use the word 'fast', I do not mean eliminating all food. When I use the word 'fast' (for me) I use it to mean not consuming any food for gluttonous, or emotionally satisfying reasons, but instead when tempted turning to God and not consuming anything until the temptation passes. Basically only consuming food for physical health - if that makes any sense. 

I have always heard the word 'fasting' and I either associated it with 'dieting' or 'Christian crazies' who preferred to thump their Bible rather than practice what it preaches. But lately I have been investigating the actual purpose of spiritual fasting because I have also read so much lately about people doing it. I found this straight from Google and I admit I was fascinated.

Spiritual fasting is not a way to earn God's favor by getting him to do something for us. Rather, the purpose is to produce a transformation in us—a clearer, more focused attention and dependence upon God.

Now, I realize healthy people who have no food issues fast by removing 1 or 2 meals or snacks or specific foods from their diet for a short period of time.

But in retrospect it is so true that for people such as myself who have food as an 'idol' and are blatantly 'gluttonous' that in order to more properly focus attention on God it is a really good idea to try semi-permanent fasting, especially if you feel called to do so.

That being said, I am feeling called to do so. In the past my weight loss attempts have been motivated by vain, selfish, superficial reasons. Of course, I prayed that God would help me not to fall into temptation with certain foods or that He would give me the will power to 'say no'. But it never occurred to me to take my focus completely off the food all together and instead focus only on Him in prayer and reading the Bible. It never occurred to me that it could possibly be my over-attention to what I was and was not putting in my mouth rather than focusing on God and allowing Him to fulfill me spiritually that was causing me to fail time and time again.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Now, I suddenly feel like a switch has been flipped. LITERALLY. I have thought to have felt or experienced that AHA moment so many people talk about. There are even posts on this very blog where I THOUGHT I had experienced that moment. But all of those experiences ended in failure because I was focused on the wrong thing! Instead of focusing on God and allowing him to work within me - to change me, I was trying to control the entire situation as if I had all the power when in reality my power to change myself was minuscule compared to the power He has to work within me and change me.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Tomorrow I start back on Weight Watchers. I will continue to count points. That is part of the program and I feel that God wants me to have guidelines. I don't believe He would have opened this door for me to participate in the program for free if it wasn't His will for me to do so. So, I will continue but when I am troubled and when some food calls to me and I know I should not partake in it, instead of agonizing on what I could eat instead and instead of wishing and hoping and obsessing over it, I will open my Bible and I will pray and I will fast. I have no doubts that if I make God the focus of my efforts instead my efforts the focus of my life, then I will be successful.


On that note, it is only 2 days until New Years Eve. 
Do you remember where you were on New Years Eve 2000?
I sure do
And it isn't where I am, that's for sure.
I was 15 and living in Newbury Park, California
I was a Sophomore in high school
In my 'sweatshirt phase' 
where every day I wore either a green, blue or black sweatshirt over and over and over again
My great grandpa was still alive then
My sister was only 7
I had survived one of the most difficult events of my life up to that point
and the consequences of that event were just beginning to melt into the recesses of my memory
 We played a board game 
Aggravation, I think
and my family wore silly party hats and blew silly party favors
I remember watching the NYC ball drop on the small TV
and the pulsing numbers - 2000- that filled the screen

Now here we are entering 

So much has changed in 14 years
I graduated high school 2002
Quit my job as assistant manager at McDonalds 2002
Worked for 6 months at the best job I would ever have 2003
Was let go 2004
I moved to Washington 2005
Worked for 6 months at the 2nd best job I would ever have 2005
They closed down and I got laid off 2005
Worked for just a short time at the 3rd best job ever 2005
And then subsequently moved to Southern Mexico
to wait for my soon-to-be husband's VISA and to teach English 2005
He got his VISA 2005
We moved back to the states 2006
Got married 2006
I got pregnant 2007
We separated 2007
Miscarried 2007
We separated 2007
Got pregnant again 2007
Gave birth while husband was in Mexico 2008
Moved 2008
Got pregnant again 2008
Gave birth 2009
Separated from my husband 2009
Moved into my mom's house 2009
Lost 55lbs in 2010
Divorced my husband 2011
Gained all 55lbs plus a lot more back 2011-2012
Sassy started school 2013



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