Hello, and happy 2017!
I hope your new year is already off to a joyful start. As for me: so far, so good. We had a little birthday party for my son this past week. It was a great time, baking a cake for him and inviting a couple of his best buddies over. To make up for my non-professional cake decorating skills, I slapped a Dory toy onto the side of the cake that I had iced blue and put sprinkles all over. Carson liked the Dory cake. We also had some Paw Patrol masks, party hats, whistles, and an extensive Spotify playlist that included songs for the boys and for the adults too. The party was small, but I feel so blessed that we had a little group of people who took time on a dark, rainy Tuesday to celebrate with us. Always the (overly) reflective type, I thought about how it seems like God had a hand in bringing those friendships into our lives.
Speaking of being a reflective, introverted person — haha — I have been making One Word Resolutions for the past several years. Past words have been connect, hope, and confident. The hilarious thing is that I often felt like I struggled with those particular concepts throughout the year that I chose the words. I picked confident during a year that constantly challenged me to the point that I wanted to just hide sometimes, but by the end of the year, I realized that the challenges really had contributed a more confident outlook in my life. I had to depend on God to bring me there; I felt like I was often operating from a place of weakness, but that is a place where God can bring growth. The year that I chose hope, I had to keep reminding myself where my hope is anchored. This year, the word that I feel God has placed on my heart is joyful. “Really?” I asked. “Joyful?” I have gotten used to struggling through my One Word Resolutions, so joyful came as a surprise. Then God confirmed the word to me two more times this past week. Joyful it is. Is it lazy of me to hope this one will come naturally? (She winks.) I am going to expect the best.
Last year, my blog focused on Bible Journaling and book reviews. I also did some posts on “what I’m into.” I am going to keep the book reviews because I enjoy getting books in the mail. It appeals to the kid in me. It’s like getting a present once or twice a month. I’m also going to sprinkle in some “what I’m into” posts because those are so much fun to look back on; as I go back through my blog, I nod and remember that phase when I made a lot of cauliflower soup.
As I reflected and listened for the spirit’s guidance for my blog this year, it seemed like God was telling me to start the new year not with the Bible Journaling posts like I had done last year; instead, what kept coming to mind is the idea that my church is going to be doing a Daniel Fast for three weeks this month. It starts next Sunday. That’s really all I know about it. I have done a little Google research, and it seems like the fast allows fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, nuts and water. Plain popcorn (no salt, no butter) sounds like it’s a go, but dairy, meat, coffee, and tea are all no-no’s. Rather than focusing on the diet aspect, though, the fast is focused on honoring God and showing devotion. I am going to try to honor God by participating; my husband isn’t going to do it because he works with the public, and he thinks he would not be able to stay pleasant and feel good on the fast. It sounds tough. No lie. I am a little nervous about how pleasant I will be myself. I like fruits and vegetables, so that’s a plus. The hardest part will probably be going to work without a cup of coffee for three weeks straight. Also, not having my usual glass of wine with a friend once a week will probably be tough because it’s become a very fun and relaxing ritual.
Has anyone else done a Daniel Fast before? Is anyone doing it this year? I would love to hear from you. I am going to post a book review this week, and then you’ll hear from me when the fast starts.