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".