We are halfway through our 21 days of Prayer and Fasting, and so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on my experience thus far. If you want to read about the idea behind fasting, you can check out my previous post here. After some thought, I knew for sure I was going to give up Facebook, social media, and just use my phone for texting and calls (what a concept!), but I wanted to challenge myself a little more, so I added to it. Just for the sake of discipline, and really needing to lean on God (as well as to prepare myself for my connect group this year… more on that later) I decided to give up sugar and processed foods. Natural sugar, such as that in fruits, is okay, but anything with added sugar not so much. I also realized awhile back that our family goes through the drive-thru WAY too much (which becomes apparent when your son asks if we're going to "Chick-Fi-Way" everyday when you pick him up from school), so in an effort to save money and eat better, the kids and I are fasting fast food, whether they like it / know it or not. Here are a few of my observations this far:
- 21 days doesn't seem like much, but man, it's a long time
- I am a much happier person without Facebook. I can't explain it, but there is a newfound freedom around here! Not feeling like your phone is calling to you at stoplights and first thing when you wake up (pathetic I know… but can you relate?)
- Speaking of freedom, I also feel free of comparing my life to others, having to have my photos "liked," and that sort of thing. My happiness is more based on what the people closest to me think, as it should be!
- I did miss birthday messages this year, but it doesn't even out the above. Those who know me best made sure to call, email, or text.
- I do miss Facebook a little for life's big events. For example, one of my best friends had a baby on my birthday (this is the second time this has happened with one of my best friends… pretty awesome friends I have!) and I would love to see all of the pictures. Thankfully she has texted me a few, and I've already gotten to snuggle that sweet girl.
- I feel like I have so much time now! My house is cleaner, my kids and I play more, and I even took a nap during the first week! I also feel like a better disciplinarian to my kids since I'm more aware of what they're doing.
- I wish I could say that I've spent less time on my computer, but unfortunately that's not the case. I think I've spent less time on my phone but more time on my laptop. Granted, we've had a couple of really big weekends at TurningPoint and have a ton of events coming up, so it's understandable. But I can't imagine how I would've gotten it done if I was doing this and Facebook. Plus, the kids were home every day this week for snow days. Crazy!
- Although I cheated on my birthday and ate the sundae they brought me for dessert, I have had a craving for birthday cake ever since. It just doesn't feel right without it. Thankfully we will be celebrating my nephew's birthday right after the fast ends!
- I miss chocolate. A lot.
- I've found that a tall glass of ice-cold milk curbs my cravings for chocolate and sweets. I think my belly associates milk with cookies.
- When giving up the drive-thru, I did not take Starbucks into account. In essence, I am fasting Starbucks. Mama wants a latte.
- Larabars are the greatest non-granola granola-type bars ever. They sound gross since they're made primarily from dates, but man are they good! Except the cappuccino flavor… I am warning you in advance. But if you're looking for an all-natural sweet snack, check them out! My favorite is the coconut cream pie flavor!
- The toughest part of my day is when I make the kids a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich. I usually lick the knife (when I'm done of course!), but I just can't right now. Those two ingredients smell heavenly together!
- I don't miss bread at all. I'm not sure that I'll really add that back into my diet actually… my belly feels a ton better without it!
- Although I still haven't fallen in love with cooking, I find that the end-result makes it worth it. I really like knowing what my kids are putting in, and I LOVE sitting around the table together regularly. We've probably had dinner together 5-nights a week here lately. That's a HUGE win!
- My kids will try (and like) just about anything. I'm super proud of them, and it makes me realize that I relied far too heavily on pre-packaged foods before this.
- Checking the weather or logging a run on my phone is a slippery slope… any app just about can suck me in. But it's nice to know that I can leave my phone where it charges when I'm home and not have to carry it around everywhere I go (and lose it).
I know there's more, but this is already a lengthy list, so this will do for now. So far I don't feel like I have read or prayed as much as I would like to get in the habit of doing, although it has increased, so that's a good start. So far I really just feel like I've reclaimed my time with my family, and that in itself is enough to make this whole thing worthwhile. One more cake-free week to go!
For those of you doing this, too…. how's YOUR fast going??