Writing this post has been rolling through my mind a lot lately. It is something that I wrestled with sharing, but at this point, the secret is pretty much out, and I would love to write it in order to help people better understand intensions and answer a lot of questions that we've received.
Starting January 5 Dane and I began the Daniel Fast together. The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast based off of the fast Daniel did in the Bible. I am not going to go into a lot of detail about the specifics, there are many other websites and books available that can explain it much better than I (like this).
But just to give you the basics: for 21 days, Dane and I committed to eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, water, spices. We don't indulge in meat, dairy, sugars or chemicals. It is not a diet, it is not something we are doing to lose weight, it is not a detox and it is not a cleanse (although all of those things have happened). Here's what it is: a spiritual journey, helping us turn our hearts and focus to God for strength, direction and wisdom. Relying on Him and His word (not food) to support & sustain us emotionally and physically.
Back in December, Dane and I began talking about what we would like to see happen in our lives in 2015. The list is kind of personal, so I'm not going to share it here, but we knew in order to see those things happen, it was not going to be on our strength. We also wanted to make sure our list was not driven by us, but that it was God's will and desire for our lives. So we decided to set aside some days at the beginning of 2015 to really focus on these things in prayer.
And here we are, 15 days in, 6 days left, and am here to say I am so pumped we have done this together. Here are few surprises that have happened along the way:
- God's Word is sweeter. Seeking Him with very specific things in mind has been so good. When scripture says that the Word of God is living and active...well I couldn't agree more.
- It has strengthened our marriage, opening up communication about our prayer life, scripture & personal struggles.
- We are pretty creative in the kitchen and cook at home a lot! Bonus, you save a lot of money when you don't eat out or pick up a soda at the gas station several times throughout the week.
- Fruit really can taste like candy.
- Discipline is something rare in our world today. The looks on people's faces when we tell them why we can't go out to eat or why we don't want anything to drink but water is pretty interesting. What's more interesting is the look you get when it is realized that you don't want to cheat...even though they promise they won't tell anyone.
- It is not a sprint, it is a marathon. 21 days is a lot longer than I thought. I figured I would blink and this would be over but it hasn't been quick and painless, but slow with growing pains. The growing pains are worth it.
- Tofu is in the refrigerator section by the fruits and vegetables. Knowledge that is helpful if you ever decide to try this out yourself. (I could spend an entire blog post on my first time shopping for tofu).
- It does get easier as you go. In fact, you begin to forget what life was like before the Daniel Fast.
I think overall we are both so excited we have went/are going on this journey. I feel like we have set ourselves up for a win in 2015. I feel like we have had a lot of clarity and have heard God's voice several times during this. And yes, I am really excited for next Monday morning, when Dane gets off work and we sit down to a plate of bacon, eggs & pancakes and debrief the entire experience as well as lift of prayers of thanksgiving for all of the goodness God has shown us!
So there ya go, that's what Dane and I have been up to lately. Hopefully that answers some questions and maybe even encourages you to try something new out yourself!