Monday, January 31, 2011

Daniel's Fast Day 31: Let it snow, just add comfort food

Reality: Cold weather brings on an insatiable hunger for comfort food.  It is currently 5°F... 5!  That is verging on I-might-as-well-be-living-in-the-south-pole-with-the-penguins cold.  

The one down side to being on the fast, is that these cold days require massive amounts of comfort food and rabbit food is NOT comfort food no matter how hard you try to pretend it is.  

One upside to this glorious moment of life is this splendiferous thing otherwise known as a SNOW DAY!  I'm not gonna lie...I, the workaholic, did a snow day dance when I found out.  I love snow days!  They are one of life's many blessings here in this beautiful state.  For clarification all you Texans, a 1/2 inch of snow DOES NOT merit a snow day.  Our snow day tomorrow is totally legit.  

I plan on spending my snow day with a book.  A good book.  Maybe two books.  The world is my oyster tomorrow.  Ok, well not the world per say because I am probably not leaving my 1000 sq. ft. apt for anything except the gym which is a building away.  

So plans thus far include:

1. Getting my book worm on with a book that has been
sitting on my bookshelf for far to long.
2. Some solid thoughts on God from my man John Piper.

3. Hamster wheel aka the gym.

4. Spaghetti squash = delicious. In terms of spaghetti:
 if the pasta and the squash were put in a cage, pasta 
you are going down, the squash wins.

5. Of course, no snow day is a snow day without a
cozy fire. In my papasan. Oh yeah, be jealous.
So, despite the lack of comfort food, I will celebrate my snow day in style enjoying my favorite things. Now if only Sin Banderas could be here with me giving a private concert, then well... I wouldn't be complaining. <3 

Thus begins project I-need-to-learn-how-to-relax.  Git R zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daniel's Fast Day 24: Apple seeds and Ishmaels

Okay, so there is one thing that you must know about me.  Or maybe not, but you are gonna know it anyways because it is coming in the following sentence whether you like it or not.  I eat apples whole.  As in, from top to bottom, core and all.  I twist off the stem and go at it.  The reasons are mainly ridiculous and are as follows:
1.) If they are going to say that my red delicious apple is 127 calories, I want to eat every last one of those calories of deliciousness.  I say that the added calories of that core are somehow absorbed like freebies.
2.) My dad does it, and my dad is rad.
3.) When I actually cut the apples into 8 sections, it is adding 8 more slices of the knife until I get to chomp into all that deliciousness.

Why it is important to life at the moment: (apart from the fact that this fast has got me craving apples like they are going out of style) let's return to my first argument as to why I should eat apples whole.  Common sense obviously makes it a false statement.  If I eat more of the apple, I will consume more calories.  My caloric consumption obviously increases by bite.  Still, I love the mentality. It amazes me to think about what we can convince our mind into making sense.  Our minds can be excellent manipulators of truth and we can be excellent manipulators of life.

So a long time ago, there was this dude named Abraham.  God had promised to bless him and multiply him exceedingly.  Time passed slowly and his wife was still without child.  So, Abraham had a son through a maid servant named Hagar.  This son was called Ishmael.  He was blessed by the Lord, but this was not the Lord's plan.  With Sarah, his wife was now 90, God finally unfolded his plan and out of that body, ancient by the world's standards body, she birthed Isaac.  Through that lineage, Israel came with the multitude of blessings and descendants promised by the Lord.  (Check it in Genesis)

I tell this story because Abraham heard a clear promise from the Lord.  Impatient and waiting, he manipulated.  Whether it's caloric counts, illegitimate children through maid servants, or plans for our life, I bring this challenge: don't manipulate.  After spending this year maneuvering through what I wanted, a plan is unfolding that is far more blessed than any Ishmael plan I could have made for myself this last year.  Fact: God knows what's up. Letitgo y'all, and enjoy the ride.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Daniel's Fast Day 15: Spare change

In spite of this current diet that is considered bland by most, my life has been anything but. I have embarked on a season of life full of unique and rich new flavor. With a dash of new adventures, a sprinkle of rekindled feelings and a pinch of surrender, as Emerill would say, life has been "kicked up a notch, BAM!". 

I just finished reading the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  It was a compelling book, but the most intriguing thought was when he talked about someone living stranded on an island, having only the Bible, then coming to America and joining a local church. They might be shocked at what they find.  All throughout the Bible, it talks time and time again about how we are transformed, a new creation.  In that transformation we are given the Spirit, and instilled with His power, a power that is unrivaled by anything this Earth has to offer. Yet, how changed are we? What marks our lives as different?  If a seal has been set upon our hearts and we are claimed as His, do we even look or act differently both individually and severally as the body of Christ?

I have been mulling over these questions for a few days now.  I yearn to be different, to be set apart, captivated so much by my Creator that my life is noticeably marked.  Is it? Is the Church? Is the Body? My prayer and desire is that with the blandness of food that the Daniel's fast, I can focus more on seasoning my life with the Lord.  No more bland, colorless, lukewarm life, no more toe-dippin, we are called to go all in. We are changed, live like it.

This encapsulates my feelings with some soul.
Speak it, sister!

Speaking of toe dipping, my Grandma is bound and determined to get me hooked on pedicures.  As a result, for every celebration this year so far, she has given me a gift certificate to get a pedicure.  While I must admit they are enjoyable, something that makes my visits awkward is that I am insanely ticklish on the bottom of my feet.  I glance at the people getting pedicures around me, they are calm and relaxed, reading a magazine and I am there incapable of reading due to my uncontrollable giggles.  I cannot stop laughing.  In turn everyone is just staring at me.  Since I am stuck in the chair for the bajillion hours it takes to get a pedicure, the staring continues for an immensely awkward amount of time.  I think I just wasn't made for such pampering.  They don't leave you with an escape route in salons.

Also, for my followers on the cooking front.  February 9th, marks the last day of Daniel's Fast, so be ready! I have a request for a "heart"-y meal and its gonna be a "love"ly one... hehe. Haha suckers, you are all stuck with my cheesy valentines puns.  Do you kinda wish you had that last minute of your life back and didn't read my puns? Sorry... 

Peace and love to y'all!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daniel's Fast Day 8: Will Power is like Will Smith's ab's only harder

I have to say that will power is an incredibly difficult thing.  It probably doesn't help that I have been around wedding cake and cookie batter for the past two days. So there are 32 more days to go.  32 two more days of pretending like chocolate and soda do not send me to my happy place.  32 more days until I can use my 1001 cupcake recipe book that I got for Christmas that taunts me from the bookshelf.  32 days of constant surrender, because this is not my first response. 

Will power is hard.  Temptation after temptation floods into my brain as I fast. Everywhere I walk I am weakened.  I feel like my cravings and the fast go into a wwf throw down every time I encounter the thought of partaking in the consumption of a delicious chocolaty morsel or a effervescing liquid otherwise known as soda. 

Learning to surrender has been beautiful.  This whole experience has taught me so much about discipline.  Life distracts.  We crave so many things other than the Sustainer of life every day, hour, minute, even second.  My cravings for earthly things so often supersede that which can give me the most.  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10. So I am on the trek of seeking the life God intends for us to have.  In my obedience and surrender, I am learning and enjoying more life to the full. 

I am anxiously awaiting that which is to come and praying it is used for the glory of the Lord.  <3May it be rich and blessed <3

P.S. You should know that this was written as I curled up by the fire on a snowy day.  I call that a win.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daniel's Fast Day 5: I'm going nuts! Just not crazy...

Ok, day 5 of the Daniel's fast.  A life of vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans results in an interesting diet and has strengthened my love for peanut butter.  Even all natural, unsalted peanut butter.
Peanut butter and apples.
Peanut butter and carrots.
Ants on a log.
In fact, just straight up peanut butter on a spoon.
So I was reading the guidelines the other day and it suggested that you should moderate the consumption of nuts as you are on the Daniel's fast.  (Car screeching sound) WHAT? Moderate the wonderful creamy goodness that is peanut butter?  Well aware that this is a fast, peanut butter was one of my few permissible items.  My response? Dry roasted soy nuts. Result? Fail.  It is not peanut butter.  Response number 2? Eat peanut butter.  What do nutritionists know anyways?
So, here I am. Day 5. New fixation: peanut butter.
While I may need to moderate my consumption of this delectable spread.  One thing that I am learning to crave without moderation is the Sustainer.  I am blown away that 5 days in has yielded so many beautiful illustrations of  His handiwork in my life.

All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand,  they are satisfied with good things.                       
                                                                                                             Psalms 104:27-28

Sidenote: Do you know what I thought would be really funny? A cooking blog devoted to a day on the Daniel's fast.  
It would go a little like this:
Picture of peeled banana
Picture of a sliced apple
Picture of peanut putter on sliced apple
Picture of trail of peanut butter left along the trail from plate to mouth because all natural peanut butter is runnier than the processed stuff.
Picture of carrots.
Picture of peanut butter on carrot.
Picture of trail of peanut butter left along the trail from plate to mouth.
Picture of various vegetable being steamed.
Dried fruit.

All in all it would equate to a pretty boring post and some quality self mocking of a cook who is pretty much not cooking for 35 more days... 
Can't wait for a goood cooking session. I've got a new dutch oven (kudos to my favorite Boulderians) and a creme brulee set (kudos to my mama) to try out!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thrill Seekers: Daniel's Fast Day 1

A great multitude of people enjoy being scared.  They watch horror films, go through haunted houses, and do extreme activities that require them to play with death.  Many even ride roller coasters claiming that the butterflies as they plummet at a rapid rate are enjoyable.  I have never been in this camp of people.  Why trick your body unnecessarily into fight or flight mode for fun?  As a result I stay close to the ground.  I stay in sunny places flooded with light (giving a shout-out to my Colorado sun).   But these same activities allow us to be fearless.  Fearlessness may not always be prudent but it certainly can take you on the greatest adventures.

So today I start the Daniel's Fast.  I say that not because I want to appear to be holier-than-thou or that I somehow have more figured out as a result of this fast, not in the least. (Believe me, my attitude the first week off caffeine will certainly prove that I am no holier-than-thou, just frequently more caffeinated-than-thou.) I share this because this 40 day adventure I have planned to embark on will inevitably result in, and even day 1 has resulted in, some adventure, a greater calling that requires me to be a bit of a thrill seeker.  When I seek thrill with the Lord, it is much like a roller coaster.  As you descend, you appear to be going straight into the ground at unimaginable speeds, but there is a curve in the track that will prevent that and take you upward to the next. The butterflies, the plummet, the gripping of the handlebar vanish when there is that realization that the thrill was for the sake of thrill, of growth, of knowledge in Who truly is in control the time. So here we go, seat-belts for safety!  Its time to seek a little thrill, get a little fearless because thats where the rides are BIG.

Note: it is amazing to me how much more acute my sense of God is as I leave behind a can of carbonation and a few items from each daily meal.  I am leaving behind the cravings to crave my Sustainer.

Daniel's Fast Rationale:
“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