Monday, January 4, 2010

... A New Year

Hi everyone. I’m breaking my Internet fast to make this blog entry. I’ll pray extra to make up for it. ;)

The line above makes no sense if you’re unaware of “Daniel Fasting.” I’ll explain: Daniel Fasting is taken from the book of Daniel. Our church begins the new year with a Daniel Fast. Giving up meats, sweets, breads … anything that tastes good, really, and we put prayer and bible study in the place of these things. Last year, a week into the fast, my body let me know that I have some underlying health problems. I was already aware that I am anemic and have some form of arthritis, but I didn’t give it a lot of serious thought until I woke up one day and couldn’t move without stabbing pain in my muscles from the neck down. I added meat back to my diet and stayed off of sweets and breads for the next two weeks (it’s a three week fast). Last year was my very first time to fast and pray for that length of time, but I must say that last year was the first time in my life that I experienced spiritual growth on a whole new level. I wasn’t hungry, I was just denying myself my favorite foods, and I‘ll admit it was difficult at first. In return, I experienced spiritual clarity I’d never known before. I’ll get into that another time.

I should be honest and say that over the last few months, I’ve felt a decline in my spirit. I’ve allowed myself to become depressed. I should have been on guard -- it gets worse during the winter for me, except for last year. Last year I didn’t experience depression at all. Not even during the winter. Yes, I was physically exhausted as usual, but not severely depressed. I thought about that fact a couple of weeks ago and wondered why. Why wasn’t I depressed last year? Then I remembered that last year I walking closer with God. We were attending church regularly and since this past fall, Stephen and I have been “homebound” because of his health concerns. Aha, that’s it. I left a door wide open for the enemy and boy, is he clever. I didn’t even see it coming. I’ve battled depression since I was a child. I know for many, depression is a medical problem, but in my case it’s spiritual. Depression is a powerful tool, and if I’m not on guard, it’ll overwhelm my spirit. I opened the door by skipping my morning devotions. I’ve always believed that morning devotion is food for the soul like breakfast is the most important meal of the day for the body. I starting slacking in my prayer life and bible study in October and just look how fast I went downhill! Just as I usually skip breakfast, I started skipping my daily bread. The bible. The word of God. Our daily bread. Yep, I was fasting “that” and I now see the spiritual result. I don't like it.

It’s time to get into shape. For most of us, we make a resolution to get into physical shape in the New Year. That’s good. I’m all in favor of that. But it’s also a very good idea to give your spirit a lift and shape it up as well. I’m doing that, starting this week. I will be leaving off breads, sweets AND facebook for three weeks. Because we all know how I love my facebook contacts. It’s my only social life these days. But I’ll be communicating with my Heavenly Father in its place. I’m just getting online long enough to let you guys know, because I’ve received the comments and emails you’ve sent. I wanted to let you know that all is well! I’m thinking that I might keep a journal this time while fasting, and if I do, I’ll blog about it and link it from here.

I’ll be back in a few weeks. Y’all take care!