The last flight I took from Tampa to Denver was delayed four hours. I didn’t pay for a seat, so I ended up in the middle of the very first row. I don’t particularly like sitting for four hours, but I do love the uninterrupted and unapologetic eavesdropping it provides. The older lady sitting next to me reminded me of my Gramma. She was tall and thin, stylish, and sitting as if she was both very calm and very anxious at the same time. I guess I wasn’t eavesdropping as much as I was trying to spy. She sat this way for most of the flight- the middle aged man on my right slept the whole time.
So I watched a documentary about sugar and peered over at her laptop as often as I could. She was writing fiction I assume, but it was the same details as her. She wrote about going to visit some man, looking over at the mountains and drinking a gin of tonic. I knew the gin and tonic and mountains part was true so I let my imagination run with her on the last part.
I was intrigued by her, because of her writing and her life I created for her. I wondered if she did things because she needed to write about them or if it was the other way around. Either way, the way she wrote was to capture the smallest of details. I remember her experience on the plane because of how she captured them. I remembered her because of how I captured her details in my head.
There are so many moments coming up that I know are going to pass too quickly and I’m going to want to remember every detail. I think that was part of the appeal when I decided I wanted to write everyday leading up to my wedding. (ha). I feel like I used to be very good about following through with plans I make. I love making them- new running plans, how I’m going to get work done, recipes.. etc. But recently I’ve gotten so good at letting myself off the hook. I have to keep doing the self work of knowing why and getting back to stick-to-it-ness and I think that is part of the big “why”. It takes work to stick to things. It takes work to remember moments and write the little details- even if it is just putting away the phone and noticing for a day. It takes work to not give in to every want, big or small. And it takes work to create a lasting habit or change.
Maybe the lady on the plane didn’t really want to write, she just wanted to look at the mountains, close her eyes like the man next to me, or watch a thrilling documentary about sugar, but she had work to do. It could also be a hobby that she can’t stop and loves doing, but you get my point. Its so easy to sit back and let moments and details pass you by. Its easy to play on our phones or watch TV or fill our bodies with whatever makes us feel good momentarily, but what takes work is what is worth the work. I am incredibly excited to be married and live life with Colton, but I also want to hold onto all of the details leading up to it. I want to do the work of remembering and capturing some how, the moments that make this life so worth remembering.
At my bridal shower last week, there were a couple people (family will always be the best!) who asked me if I ever thought about writing again. I hadn’t, but the thought of doing so everyday with the fast made me excited. I didn’t realize I missed it until I started again. I have learned so much about myself, my faith, and relationships through writing and if anything, I know this is a time to be learning as much as I can about all of those things.
Yesterday, I saw a quote from Bob Goff and quickly scribbled it on an index card before the first graders piled in. He said, “God isn’t surprised when we fail, He’s surprised when we quit. We’re not our successes or failures, we’re His.” It was on my time hop app, something I retweeted three years ago. God doesn’t care or love me less if I try to start a Daniel Fast and “fail” a million times over, but He does care about my heart. He cares if I quit because He knows my heart and He knows what is best for me. I also think he has hopes for me. What a thought- that the God who surrounds time, has hopes for me, not a plan that I have to worry about following, just hopes because He loves.
Psalm 24 says, “Who shall ascent the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not life up his soul to what is false and who does not swear deceitfully.”
What I am focused on during this time is the condition of my heart- asking why I am doing something, or what I am really trying to satisfy. Is is false idols and temporary things? Is it lies about myself or my worth that I’ve believed even for a moment? I want to wade through all of these questions and allow Jesus to fill all of them. He is the clean hands and pure heart.
I’m not scared of failing, which I definitely wouldn’t call this “fast” a success (yet!), but I won’t quit. I won’t stop trying and keep being willing to face hard truths. I won’t stop writing and getting back to Scripture to lead me through it.
Oh Mondays. Particularly the Monday after Spring Break.
I had a training today and had to have a sub, so I’m interested to see what awaits for me tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing my students and really feeling back into routine :).
I haven’t fully completed a Daniel Fast since my freshman year of college, 6 years ago (WHAT), and today felt similarly to the other times I have tried to start. I go to bed feeling committed, but I wake up with motivation quickly waning. Over the years, I’ve gotten really good at giving myself grace in these situations, knowing my worth or how Jesus loves is not tied to my ability to successfully adhere to dietary restrictions. Which is true, however it is also an excuse to back out of my commitments and give in or justify my reason for an action I said I wouldn’t do.
Today was no different. I kept thinking, “do I really need to do this?” or “can’t I just do this in moderation?” -Thoughts that were trying to do let me start tomorrow or not at all or just giving me an out.
So, I didn’t have an ideal first day. Even though I knew my team would want to go out for lunch and I prepared for that, I chose not to bring in my packed lunch because I felt uncomfortable about it. I also didn’t have to walk into the chocolate store they insisted on going to either..
Anywho. Today I remembered and realized that to make real changes is going to feel uncomfortable. But, it is always my choice. No one would have really cared if I brought in my lunch and ate it, and no one would have cared if I was the only one not getting a small chocolate. I am going to have to be prepared, both emotionally and practically (bringing food, etc..) to feel uncomfortable and to know that I don’t have to participate in everything to still be a part of something.
I’m still taking today as a good start. When I started this post, I was going to share a scripture and how I took it to today and this fast, etc.. but I’ll save that for tomorrow. 🙂
I’m excited to continue and feel good about doing so. I look forward to learning more about grace and stick-to-it-ness, or letting my yess’s be yes and my no’s be no’s.
I’ve decided again to put my thoughts back out to the never ending space of the internet to be read by friends and strangers, or never to be looked at, but mostly just a place to keep them all in one place for me.
I get married in 75 days. 75 days until I will vow to choose to love my best friend for the rest of my life and 75 days until I enter in a very new season. I very much value setting a part times or doing something different to prepare for new seasons, and this time is no different.
These past two weeks were my spring break, a wonderful, refreshing break full of friends and family and lots of yummy food and drinks. I’m about to get back into routine (something I crave and very much LOVE), and know that things will level out, but I hate ending a break feeling icky about myself. Its just the typical fullness from vacation, which I know is nothing to freak out about, but it just puts me back in the cycle that I’ve thrown myself in and out of so many times. I think anyone who tries to break their habits knows what I am referring to. Wanting to change, sticking with a change, slip ups, throw all cares to the wind, wonder why we gave in in the first place, feel down, keep with habit to feel better, its temporary, so on and on it goes.
As I’ve been journaling and praying over who I will be in 75 days, I’ve thought many times about the habits I will bring into marriage and ones I want to leave behind. Most of the habits I want to leave behind surround food and the emotional ties I have to it. I’ve realized that so much of the walls I build up or habits I guard are rooted in the feelings that food/drink gives. The biggest culprit of all this is undoubtedly sugar, and things made with it. Of course I want to give up sugar for the health reasons, but more so for the mental clarity and freedom from craving it. SO, because I have only every been able to commit and stick to the Daniel Fast, as well as those times being when I have felt the most freedom, I have decided do one until I walk down the isle. The only change I will be making is coffee (that’s not going anywhere in any season of my life 😉 ) and possibly eating eggs, but other than that I’m up for the challenge! I’ll be blogging here everyday, something I did on the first one I did, regardless if anyone reads or not.
Excited for day 1!