Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Daniel Fast

Last year my entire church took part in a fast.  The specific fast that they did was The Daniel Fast.  I chose to opt out at the time because I was just coming off of breastfeeding and felt like I had taken enough time off of coffee and wine.  I felt like I had dodged a bullet and wouldn't have to worry about feeling guilty for not partaking.

Well, fast forward a year.  Guess what my church is doing to start of the new year again.  You got it. The Daniel Fast.  Darn.  I have no good excuse this year to opt out of the fast, and the more I have been focusing on my upcoming fast, the more I am getting ready.

First, I am sure many of you are wondering what the Daniel Fast is.  Here is the scoop:

"The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast. It is a method of fasting that men, women and young people all over the world are using as they enter into the spiritual discipline of prayer and fasting.
There are two anchoring scriptures for the Daniel Fast. In Daniel 1 the Prophet ate only vegetables (that would have included fruits) and drank only water. So from these scriptures we get two of the guidelines for the fast:
1. Only fruits and vegetables
2. Only water for a beverage
Then in Daniel 10 we read that the Prophet ate no meat nor any precious breads or foods and he drank no wine for 21 days. So from this scripture, we get a third guideline:
3. No sweeteners and no breads
Another important guideline is drawn from Jewish fasting principles, where no leaven is used during the fast. So that's why yeast, baking powder and the like are not allowed on the Daniel Fast.
Finally, with all the above puzzle pieces, we conclude that no artificial or processed foods nor any chemicals are allowed on the Daniel Fast.
When asked about the eating plan on the Daniel Fast, I often say it is a "vegan diet with even more restrictions."
There you have it.  Scary, huh?  Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I have done my share of diets.  I have found success and have often been able to stick to diets for a bit of time.  I know that I really need to work on not seeing this fast as a diet, but it's hard.  It is very similar to Weight Watcher's Core Plan, so it feels familiar.  I need to remind myself that this is not about weight, but about denying myself food so that I can focus on God and my spiritual life.  Herein lies the issue.  I tend to focus MORE on food when I restrict it.  I focus on what I can eat, what I can't eat, and how crabby I get when I deny myself what I want. 

So, I ask for support and for prayers.  I will update as I go and let you know what I learn throughout the entire process.  Thank goodness Paul is on board with me!  Needless to say, here are my goals:
  1. Focus less on the food and more on God
  2. Not to view this as a great opportunity to lose weight
  3. Get back into sync with God and grow closer to Him
  4. Find a way to survive without my AM coffee and PM wine.  SCARY.
  5. Pray continuously about my 7 (this is a reference to something our church is doing as well.  We choose 7 people to pray for continuously)
  6. Grow closer to Paul spiritually
Let's hope I don't whine like a baby!  I LOVE food, so it's time to put this love for food on the back burner and focus on the Creator that made all this amazing food.


Emily said...

Oh wow! What a challenge. I think you'll do great, and if you remember to use it as an opportunity to grow spiritually, you'll do even better. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

Katherine McClure said...

I will pray for you, Betsy! I was terrified starting this same fast in September because the food prep (what I thought was the hardest part) fell primarily to me :-) But the prayer, and the constant reminder to pray, were truly a blessing to me. I think Susan is right 'Sometimes you are so hungry the only way to be fed is to fast.' And the food was amazingly delicious... and I felt better that I ever have... and I have not gone back to coffee ever since!