Saturday, August 5, 2017

Fasting - the Challenge as a Mom

I recently watched a video about the benefits of fasting long term. The man on the video instructed to take in lots of water and find a quiet place to meditate and find rest. I began to laugh as I thought of what my fasting sessions have been in the past year. A homeschool mom of 3 kids ages 2,6 and 8. My husband is gone from sunup to sundown. There is no time for sweet meditation and rest. But thankfully God is full of grace and creativity.

So here are some things you can do to jump start your fasting in a busy lifestyle.

1. Throw out the expectation that you need to escape your life to fast. In fact, I have found fasting in the midst of my real life is WAY more beneficial to my spiritual growth. While I want food I am also dealing with children who WANT WANT WANT. I push to conquer the thought process of "what about me" and to pursue God's view point of a servant heart, even when I'm uncomfortable.

2. Apologize. Its a beautiful thing to learn to do. Lets face it. Hangry is a real word.

3. Put on some worship music

4. Thank God throughout the day of how He is working in you even if you don't "feel" it. And that even if you don't have ANY spiritual moments He is still with you and showering you with His love all day long.

5. Make meals simple and quick. Don't hang out in your kitchen too much or on Facebook or Pinterest. They all have food and pictures of food in them.

6. Start small. Start by skipping one meal. Grow and don't be hard on yourself. Its not the Law. Its a joy and a time to tell God you want to grow in intimacy with Him.

7. Know when to stop. Mine is if I want food more than God, am wanting to yell at my kids a lot, or just feel unwell. Then next time I look to stretch a little farther.

Jesus said fasting and prayer builds confidence in God essentially building faith. This is found in the story of the epileptic that was brought to Jesus' disciples in Mark and they couldn't cast out the demon. But Jesus came and cast it out easily. When they asked why they were not able to cast it out he noted their lack of faith and them gave them instruction how to build faith through fasting and prayer.

Fasting is a great time to build up our "spirit - man" while suppressing "the flesh" as it were. It should not be a time that we think to ourselves about how much we are sacrificing for God. That's just ridiculous. But instead of how we want to set other things aside in order to have some special time with Jesus. Physically its good for your body to have a rest from the digestion system running if your fasting for 3 days or more. Spiritually its good to be in dependence of God's love and grace. To sit in His presence. He never fails to respond when I pray "Jesus, please help. Because I'm hungry I have no patience for these kids. Please help me through this moment".

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Running for Two

In January of 2014 I picked up running. I had grown to enjoy it when I was younger but now in my life I was pursuing more distance then just "getting out there". 

I aimed for 5k. A courageous distance I thought, since I was 5'5, and 235lbs. But that took me only  3 months to achieve. I was amazed at what I could achieve.

 Before i knew it I was hooked up with a Facebook group of runners, checking out running magazines and investing in running paraphernalia. I was a junkie at 5k. 
I posted every run, because I'm rudely vain and wanted people to know that I may be overweight, but I'm a runner. Which makes that totally ok. 

By October I had risen to the stage of running my first half marathon. For any non runners out there that is a distance of 20.1 kms. I - was an athlete! 
Formed with the chisel of endurance. Tested with the brutalness of hard pavement and long rugged wilderness paths.  I ran that half marathon like it was going to melt the pounds off with every km. And if it didn't, well I was doing it for a good charity cause.

And after October my running declined. 

There is something about meeting your peak and knowing that's your best and then coming back to normal everyday training. It feels... boring.

The brutal terrain didn't seem so brutal as it did back in March. And that chisel began to wain with softness. Until finally I was back down to 5k in January of 2015. 

And then I happily discovered I was pregnant. (planned). 

I had such great ambitions! I was going to run my Entire Pregnancy! I saw a woman who ran her last half marathon at 6 months pregnant!
'well if she can do that! .... I could surely do a 5 or 10 km at 6 months!' I thought.

And maybe I could have, if I had kept up with my running. But I hadn't. I had let it slip away with the queasiness of morning sickness. And as I woke up in the morning, chewing on my lovely square soda crackers, I thought of that half marathon woman and figured she made it all up. 

So the months went on and I signed up again for the same race I did last year for my first 5km run. Thankfully, they offered it as a 3k run as well. And if I just bombed out there was also a 3k walk. But mostly I really wanted to run and get the treat bag. 

Tonight as I ran on my treadmill, I thought, at least I can be last. No one will laugh at the prego for being last place. It like you get an award just for trying. 

My two concerns with this thought is that there will be pregnant women, farther along than I in the 5km race OR there will be other pregnant women I'm racing against in the 3km race, which totally nullifies my right to be last. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

5k Feels Fabulous!

Moving a treadmill into the house was kinda a good idea. For those really snowy days. But quite frankly you just can't get into running inspiration and second winds with kids running by each moment saying:
"mommy running?" and then proceeding to come onto the treadmill at full run. It just doesn't say relaxing at all!
It in fact drives me back outdoors onto the pavement and down the road..which is where I was today.

Keep your feet straight - lift your knees - push back, expand the stride - breath....breath...breath more! don't swing your arms too much - aw a great song on!! burst of energy!! no no...wait...conserve..long run...conserve that....lift your knees...keep your feet straight. look up.

Its a constant mantra that goes on in my head while I run. Its usually interrupted once in a while with a sense of how far I've gone or how far I need to go.

I ran out today knowing that I would have no choice but to finish the 5k. I was running out of town far enough so that it would be 2.5k back into town. So either walking or running, it would be 5k. My thought kept leading to ... how long do I want to be out here..get running!

As I travelled up the last few hills up to my front door my mapmyrun app let me know that I had reached my 5k and I relished in this sense of accomplishment. If it hadn't been for my need for a bathroom break I think that high could have brought me another km.

As I sat with my hubby on the couch he asked me.."so what now? what's your next goal?".
Quite frankly I didn't know. I had only aimed at 5k. I started out at a weight of 240 lbs. and being a bit of a couch potato. Well ... a lot of a couch potato. Now I could run 5k outdoors and had lost 15lbs in about 3 months. But what now?

I decided early on that my goals would not include losing weight. However, I would definitely enjoy the wonderful effects of running being losing weight. Nevertheless, having weight goals can be depressing. But having distance goals is encouraging.

So new goals.
Short term: increase 2km
Medium term : Increase my time under 7 mins in the 5k.
Long Term: Run a 13.1 mile race (half marathon)

That last one is going to take a while. But that's ok. I got a while :)