This is Day Six of my Daniel Fast. I wrote a post last week about why I’m doing the Daniel Fast and the meal plan that I am following. The fast is loosely based on the verses in which Daniel requests to eat only “pulse” and drink only water when he is in captivity. He ends up healthier than the people who eat from the king’s table because he is able to eat the diet he requests. Some Bible scholars believe that the food from the king’s table was being sacrificed to other gods, or perhaps Daniel’s request was a way of trying to keep his diet within kosher traditions. The verses were not intended to say that a vegetarian diet is better – but by today’s standards, the Daniel Fast is very healthy. It allows fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water. Dairy, meat, coffee, wine, added sugar or salt, and processed foods are not allowed. The key part of the Daniel Fast is prayer and using the fast as a time to focus on God.
DAY ONE: The first day of the fast was pretty simple. I had my breakfast shake, prepped my lunch, went to church, and then came home to eat the lunch. My son and hubby fell asleep on the couch, so I was able to cook ahead for the week. It was a peaceful, relaxing day. I sat down and read the book of Daniel from the Bible and prayed as I had planned that evening. I remembered a lot of the beginning of the book of Daniel from Sunday School when I was young (Daniel and the Lion’s Den, the fiery furnace, etc.), but the prophetic part of the end of the book were really complex and difficult to understand without reading some commentary about them.
DAY TWO: I woke up craving my cup of coffee, but my husband and I had the day off work for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so we went out for a walk instead. For a January morning, it was gorgeous. We walked about four miles in the fresh air. It was still easy to stay on the meal plan, other than feeling really tired by the end of the day without any caffeine at all. I continued my prayer and Bible reading that evening.
DAY THREE: This is the day it got hard. I had to go back to work, and my son had been sick that night. My job is very active and deals with people all day, so not having the cup of coffee was very, very difficult. I felt really sluggish, and I was definitely tempted to just add one cup of coffee or tea to my routine. I prayed about it, and I realized that immediately taking out the hardest part of the plan would not be the right thing to do. A fast is not supposed to be easy. Amazingly, that day, as I read my Jesus Always devotional, one of the verses was the verse that I had picked for my One Word resolution for the year (Isaiah 61:1). I felt like that was a burst of encouragement that I needed because I was struggling so much to stay upbeat and have energy. That evening, I went to a ladies paint night with my mom, and we painted a winter scene that turned out great. I ended up adding some freeze-dried fruit to my routine that day because I went straight from work to the painting party.
DAY FOUR: I had a headache and felt sick for several hours. It was probably the lack of caffeine. I prayed about it and pushed forward. When I got home from work, I decided to call it an evening of rest. My body was so exhausted because I had been up with my son again the night before. I have gotten to the point in my life that I have tried not to shy away from things that are hard. This fast is a challenge, yet I realize that many people around the world do not have the option of coffee or tea in the morning. They would love to eat the amount of food that I am eating on my fast. Admittedly, I will be really thankful when I can have a cup of hot tea because it is so comforting to me.
DAY FIVE: I have lost one pound so far. Last night, I started reading Talk Yourself Happy by Kristi Watts. The title sounds kind of gimmicky, but as I read, I found that she was speaking many of the truths that have come about in my own Christian walk concerning perspective and using Bible verses to speak truth to myself. I only planned on reading one chapter, but I was drawn in and ended up reading three. I am going to be reviewing the book on my blog later, and I will give you the full details on it. Her testimony about being a single mom who went from a high-profile job to an unemployed, single mom (and how God helped her through the struggles) is so honest and inspiring.
DAY SIX: This day was an emotionally tough one that left me feeling misunderstood in a certain situation. The temptation to have a cup of tea or a glass of wine this evening is definitely there, but I am pushing forward. I want my fast to be to God’s glory and pleasing to him. So far, so good. God knows me and knows my heart.
My fast ends Superbowl Sunday, so stay tuned for more . . .