Saturday, February 14, 2009

Proud Parents

The last 12 days have been very eventful at my house. When I started the fast I was going to spend a few days on several different things but the Lord had other plans. Last August Jacob turned 13 and the teenage years threw me for a loop. I feel very inadequate as the mother of a teenager. We had a lot of issues come up this week that dealt with relationships. Some of which are not settled yet but I have total peace they will be. I have never been so proud of Jacob and they way he handled himself. There were some "things" that came up at school and we asked him if he had said any of those "things". His reply: "No. You tell me not to so I don't say things like that." How simple that was. Why don't we do that with God? He says it. We do it. Simple. The final incident was Friday night. We went out to eat with friends and we got a call. Jacob had been hurt at a friend's baseball practice and needed to go to the hospital for stitches. The parent that took him complimented him on how well he behaved and acted while in such pain. He was so worried we would be mad at him (because we were on a date night and had to leave). We explained to him that we were not mad and were just glad that he was OK. Oh, and the bad sore on his leg has even brought him and Jared a little closer. They have something gross to look at and talk about! I can't believe how much closer we are. Jacob talks to us, asks us questions, and I am enjoying our relationship. I had no idea we would go through so much to get to this point. I know we have a long road ahead in these teenage years. In the future when/if he does mess up (and he has many times just like us adults) I feel like he knows he can come to us. We love you Jacob and have never been so proud of you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Daniel Fast Day 8 and 9

"I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. Open your mouth and I will fill it." Psalm 81:10

"For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing."
Isaiah 43: 18, 19

Today is the last day of my fast. It has been a long 9 days but I do not regret doing the fast AT ALL. I have learned so much about myself. When I started this I was going to focus on something different about every 2 days. I never moved past the first thing (my relationship with Jacob). The Lord kept me there because he knew we needed it. Our relationship is so much better! It has been a difficult 9days (again, God's plan) but an important time spent on building our relationship.
I have learned how much emphasis I put on food, caffeine drinks, and of course, chocolate! Who can live without chocolate? And coffee in the morning?

I don't know where I will go from here. Will I try it again for the full 21 days? Will I try fasting for one day at a time? I'm just not sure. I do know what I am getting myself into the next time! Thanks for praying for me!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daniel Fast Day 6 and 7

The past two days have been very busy but I just can't believe how this fast is helping me stay "in tune" to how I respond to situations and how I rely on the Lord so much more in my daily life. I have to be honest and say I do not have as much time as I would like to get away and pray/meditate/be alone/read the bible, etc... The Lord has still worked through that. On Friday I woke up and asked the Lord to please give me something. He clearly spoke to me about praying with Jacob. I pray FOR Jacob (and my other two) during the day, after he leaves for school and pray with him at bed time, but have not been praying for him before he leaves the house. He leaves at 6:45 and we got in the routine of rushing around and getting him out the door. This is what we pray:

A Prayer For My Teenager
Dear Lord,
I thank your for my wonderful son, Jacob. I pray you cover him on his way out of this house and all through the day. I pray he is kind to others and when they are unkind to him that you remind him that he is made special by you and he was made exactly the way you wanted him to be. I pray you clear his mind for school and help him do his very best for you. Please help him to always put you first in everything he does.

I add this part when I pray for him at other times:
Lord, this is such a difficult time for Jacob. I pray you put a fire in his heart that only burns for you. I pray he will become a great man of God for you and will have the desire to have an intimate relationship with you. I pray he stays pure until he gets married and that you bring the perfect match for him. I pray he will be an example to others and a leader in his school and youth group.

Friday night we had such a great time at the Preschool Valentine Party (more on that later). I skipped the lasagna and had a great salad and I was satisfied. I am much less hungry now and have enjoyed the new recipes.

Saturday-we had a great day at home but later in the day, once again, had an issue that we had to deal with. Have I mentioned that the teenage years are difficult. We seem to keep getting hit constantly with situations. I must say they are nothing major but enough to take up a lot of time. To protect the other people involved I really can't write more. I believe it happened to show Jacob that we are here for him and will go to bat for him when we feel it's necessary. I can feel us growing closer every day. I'm not surprised it happened during the fast and I discussed my week with David and how I have been focusing on my relationship with Jacob. This situation is not over but I know the Lord will take care of it in his time and restore all relationships involved.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Daniel Fast Day 4

Today has been a pretty good day. I have realized through fasting that my life is very busy (not that I didn't already know that) so a prayer for me during this fast is how do I balance all this? 30 hour week job, 3 kids in different stages, husband with two jobs, sports, etc... It just seems to get worse as they get older. I must put God first in everything I do but it is so hard when you don't even have time to sit down.

I am much less hungry today but "fell off the wagon" when I had a few sips of Diet Dr.Pepper. I really didn't think I could drive home I was so "foggy". It is so cold and all I want IS A CUP OF COFFEE! Well, the Lord knew I would start this fast in the coldest days this whole year will have! When I go off, it will probably be 70degrees outside. Oh, and not to mention that I am having a Preschool Valentine party tomorrw night where we will be having Olive Garden lasagne-yikes! I've decided I'm going to freeze some for me along with those awesome bread sticks!

Daniel Fast Day 3

I have to be honest and say I don't have a lot to report from day 3. It was a very busy day which was good because it kept me from focusing on caffeine and food so much! That's bad because it did not give me as much quiet time as I was hoping for. I'm still learning a lot though because if an issue comes up I focus on it much more and how I can rely on the Lord to help me with it (instead of checking out). Last night was much smoother when we got home from church. Sad to say but that is usually a stressful time trying to get everyone in bed, showers, finish homework, etc... Jared shared a story about a child at school and if I had not slowed down to listen I would have missed what a caring heart my child has!

I also gave my story last night in small group. It was so great to be surrounded by such caring people!

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daniel Fast Day 2

"Failure is whenever I neglect what I want MOST for what I want RIGHT NOW."
Hal Runkel

What I want most is to....go deeper with the Lord.
What I want right now is to....sleep just 15 minutes more.

What I want most is to....lighten up and enjoy my kids more.
What I want right now is to...get those kids in bed so I can have some ME time!

What I want most is to....lose weight and eat healthy.
What I want right now is TV and go through the drive thru because I'm tired and I work too!

This list could go on and on couldn't it? Day 2 has been just as difficult. The lack of caffeine has made me VERY tired and my brain fuzzy. However, last night I already saw results. My prayer for the past 2 days has been for my relationship with my 13 year old, Jacob. It's very stressful and not very enjoyable right now. We had a difficult evening and had to lay down some consequences that he did not like. Lately, I have been "checking out" at times when it comes to facing issues. Instead of retreating to my room I walked downtstairs, told him how much I loved him, how proud I am of him, and that we are here to walk through this time with him. We may not be popular but we are willing to take that chance. Tonight we have had such a good night. It's amazing. Soon we get to sit down and watch American Idol-can't wait!

Tomorrow I want to take more time to get away and pray instead of just praying for the Lord to get me through this fast! I'm already running out of prepared food and it's only day 2-Ha!

"But Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place and prayed."
Luke 5:16

What would you put on your "what I want most for what I want right now list"? I would love to hear it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Daniel Fast

"In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled." Daniel 10:2,3

In my post "Something Is About To Happen" I mentioned that I was praying about doing something different. Well, for about 6 - 8 months I have been praying about fasting and I "stumbled" on the Daniel Fast about a month ago. After looking into it I realized it was just what I was supposed to do. You can still eat but you cut out all the foods and drinks that I have become so attached to! So I researched, planned, prayed and prepared. I have never done anything like this before and do not want to fail. I went back and forth on whether I should blog about it but have decided that I want a record of every day so I can look back and see what the Lord has done through this time. I am starting with 9 days and eventually would like to do 21 days. The timing has been perfect. After a restful trip this weekend I am starting today! In the past I have always started some plan in January to lose weight. This time it's not about the weight-it's about focusing on areas of my life that I want to change. There are some areas that I need answers.

Today has been very difficult. The hardest part is only drinking water. It hit hard this morning when I wanted my morning coffee. The following was written by Susan Gregory of the Daniel Fast web site:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1, 2

Today is the first day of the Daniel Fast for many of us. As I write this message, it's not yet 5:00 a.m. here in my little college town in Washington State. This is normally the time when I make my morning coffee and enjoy it with half and half cream while I have my first conversation of the day with my Lord.

Today will be different. Today I will go without my beloved coffee (which is a big deal for a Seattle girl where Starbuck's was birthed). But that small "sacrifice" is nothing compared to the joy I will experience as I present my body to the Lord as living sacrifice to Him.

The next words in this verse are amazing: ". . . holy, acceptable to God." We are holy before God! That is so big. Because of Jesus, we can stand before the Almighty God as holy! Praise Jesus for His goodness and His sacrifice for us. Jesus made us holy, set apart and sanctified.

Today, in faith we each present our body, soul and spirit to our Lord. We commit these next three weeks to a time of focused prayer and fasting. We can come to the Lord with our petitions and needs . . . because we are a holy people . . . holy because of the immeasurable love of God and His Son.

I hope you can sense the greatness into which we are entering today. Not greatness in ourselves, but greatness in the position we have as children of God . . . because of Jesus.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

For as long as we have been married David and I try to get away together at least once a year. For us, we feel it is important to spend that time together and just "re-group". This weekend we spent two wonderful days in the mountains for a belated anniversary getaway. The weather was beautiful and we had such a good time relaxing and resting! We stayed in Cherokee and spent the day Saturday in Gatlinburg then visited with my good friend Janene that night (she lives in Cherokee). Can't wait to see what we do for our next getaway.