Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I can see God.




 
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke . . . 
Isaiah 58:6, NIV
 
The kind of fast God leads us into has the power to loose any unjust chains that bind us.
It also unties the cords tethering us to any yoke.
 
 
It's been almost one month since I have written in this sweet place I call home.
 
It seems like forever to me, but for good reason, I chose to lay it down for a few weeks.
 
I was struggling with some things. Really struggling.
 
I'd come to a crossroads in my parenting and homeschooling.
Things seemed to be getting the best of me in both areas and I began to feel it emotionally,
 spiritually
 and physically.

Have you ever been there?
 
I knew that something needed to change.
I knew that the change began with me, where I was and how I was reacting to things around me.
 
I had begun to slowly pull the reigns of my parenting and homeschooling out of God's hands.
 
I handed them over to him when I answered the call of homeschooling that He placed on my life almost two years ago.
 
But slowly, little by little, I pulled those reigns back from Him.
 
I began to work on my own strength and not His.
 
Those reigns eventually began to wear out and break,
 from the pulling and tugging of trying to do things my way.
 
I found myself at the final breaking point after I spent thirty minutes crying,
 locked away in my bathroom,
hiding from my children
 and all of the responsibilities that lay on the other side of the bathroom door.
 
I can't say that it was one big thing that got me there, but more like many little things.

I felt weighed down by all of the pressure to be.

Have you ever felt that way?
 
Things were a mess and I couldn't see things clearly.

The kids were constantly fighting with words or actions.
 I wasn't receiving much embrace from the kids when it came to their schoolwork. Actually, there was none. zero.
I was struggling with being "mom" and "teacher" and when to turn off the latter of the two and when to enforce my mom skills. I began to feel like a drill sergeant more than their Mom.
(Yes, there is a difference.)

Things were just all jumbled in our house and there was little to no peace or organization.

At times, I couldn't even see where God was.

You know why?
 Because I had shoved Him out of the way with my
"Okay, I got this. I can do this without you attitude."

Did He leave me?
Of course not. That's not even in His nature. He is ever present.
 NEVER will He leave me or forsake me.

I had just turned my back to Him, and got caught up in the fog of my self created storm.

Have you ever been there?
 
I needed clarity. I needed answers. I needed direction.
I needed God to sort through the mess around me and bring something good from it.
 I needed to once again,
surrender myself to homeschooling and parenting the way God had called me to.
 
My mind needed to be readjusted and transformed.
The way that only God could.


Ephesians 4:22-23
Regarding your former way of life, you were taught to strip off your old nature, which is being ruined by its deceptive desires. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.


I felt God tugging on my spirit, pulling the reigns, drawing me back to Him.
 
I had contemplated doing a fast for a few weeks.
 
Let me just say, that I have never been one to be able to fast. Never.
 
I have tried and failed miserably everytime. Lasting only a day or two. If that long.
 
With that said,
 I knew,
that a fast was exactly what I needed
to be able to really see things for the way they were and for the way they needed to be.
 
The clarity I desperately needed was there for the taking.
 
But, I had to make a sacrifice to get there.


"And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications,
with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord God,
and made my confession... "

  Daniel 9:34

 
I decided to do the Daniel Fast.

Three weeks of fasting and praying.


Daniel 10:2-3
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.


It's not just fasting and praying, it's a deep spiritual experience to grow closer to the Savior,
seeking intimacy, answers and direction.

 
 The fasting part consists of
21 days of no meat.
No animal products of any kind.
(Also, no processed foods, chips, snacks, etc.)
 
Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, grains and water.
 
That's it.

Last but not least...no CHOCOLATE. None. Zero.
 
This was going to be a hard one for me personally.
 I went over and over it in my head and could only see the reasons why I shouldn't do it.
I could see myself growing weak very easily and possibly passing out.
 
I kept telling God the words "I can't".
 
I said it again and again to try and convince Him and myself that I just couldn't do it.
 
I was standing at the sink washing dishes one day,
 going over and over it in my head,
repeating the words, "But I can't. But I can't. But I can't", 
when God spoke to me and said...
 
"But I can."
 
 
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
 
 
I began the fast on March 11th. 21 days from Easter Sunday.
 
Along with giving up meat,
 I decided to give up all grains.
 
I also decided to give up blogging on my personal blog.
 
Hence my absence here.
 
This was probably harder than the food fast.
 
My blog is like my 4th child.
It's where I go to be me.
 It's where I go to share all the amazing struggles and triumphs I walk through.
It's where I share my heart and all of the grace that God has poured over me.
It's therapy for me. It's my outlet.
It's where I have found great healing over the past few years.
  It's where I talk with God.
It's where I find sweet friends like you.
 
It's home.

Even though this blog has been a good place for me and a true gift from God,
it has also taken His place at times.

Sometimes we worship the gift over the Giver.

I'm pretty sure that was not what God intended when He spoke into my heart to begin writing my journey down.

This too needed to change.
 
I knew that if I was going to finally do a fast, I needed to make it count and give up not only the foods that were my weakness, but also the things in my life that were a weakness as well.

This blog at times has been a weakness.

 
I knew...
that a sacrifice wasn't really a sacrifice if it didn't cost you anything.
 
Doing the Daniel Fast was a sacrifice for me.
Giving up my blog was a even a bigger sacrifice.
 
The first few days of the fast were probably the hardest on me,
 not because of the food temptations,
but because my body was trying to adjust to its new way of life.
 
Honestly...
the fast wasn't all that bad.
 
It just became a way of life for me.
After those first few days, I began to feel energetic and full of life!

Each time I got hungry, I prayed. I read my Bible. I talked with God.
I thought of my children.

I pictured Him, in the garden of Gethsemene,
 the night before He was arrested and later crucified for my sake,
being tempted by the enemy.

I thought of Him drawing strength from His Father to be able to fulfill the ultimate sacrifice, for me.

I thought of His pain through it all.
And yet He prayed for me in that garden that night.
He thought of me. He thought of you.

I thought of His unending, unfathomable, unchangeable love.

I thought of the love I have for my children. I thought of the fast as a sacrifice for them.

And this...got me through.
 
I began to pray and talk to God in a way I never had before.
Our intimacy grew.
 I craved prayer time.

I began to crave  His Word. It truly is nourishment for your heart and soul.

Friend,
if you are in a dry season spiritually,
stop what you are doing right now...even if it's reading this blog and run to your Bible.
 Pick it up. Open it. Soak in all that it has to give.
Let the very words that God spoke pour over you with love and life!
It will revive you! I promise you!
 
I began to get the clarity that I so desired to have within the area of parenting and homeschooling.
 
I began to have all sorts of creative ideas and began to see the areas that needed changing.
 
I began to see...to finally see,
 the way God intended for me to depend on Him in the area of homeschooling.

It was as though God was wiping the blur from my eyes with every prayer I prayed in surrender to Him.
 
I began to pray each and every morning for each of my children.
 
And not just the usual "Guard their hearts, protect them" prayer.
 
I began to take time to pray for each of them in
specific areas that fit where they were at that very moment.

Each day, I layed them at His feet saying,

"Here God, they are Yours. They've always been Yours. You know them better than I do. Show me what they need. Give me the wisdom and words to speak into each of them. Show me how to be the mother You have called me to be. Let my life as their Mom be pleasing in Your sight."
 
My prayers as their mom became deeper and bolder with each passing day.
 
I began to see changes, even of the smallest kind, in each of them.
 
I began to yell less. Yes, I just admitted that.
 I began to talk to them in a way that even surprised me.

Peace came back to our home.
 
I began to feel different in every way. I became a better and stronger me.
 
It's all because I depended on God's strength and not my own.
 
Phillippians 4:13
I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.
 
The fast definitely changed my life.
 
Fasting changed my perception by changing my focus.
~~Lisa Bevere
 
Not only is my spiritual mind different and I found clarity in my parenting and homeschooling abilities, but I found a new way to live.
 
I love the way that the Daniel Fast has taught me to eat.
 
I can't see myself ever going back to eating the way that I once did.
  
My body, mind and spirit all crave this something new.
 
I can see so many things in a new way.

I can see clearly now...

I can see God.
 
 
Fasting is not for weight gain or loss. Nor is it limited to natural healing.
 It is not designed to change the way we look and feel, but to change the way we perceive and live.
 A diet may change the way you look, but a fast will change the way you live.
A diet may change your appearance, but a fast will change the way you see; it will alter your inner perspective.
~~Lisa Bevere




I wanted to give a shout out to my sweet friend Christy.

(She is one of my faithful followers, daughter of the King, a very talented blogger, amazing mom and wife.)

Christy writes over at Life is Good.
Do yourself a favor and check her out!

Christy...

I opened up my blog to type this last night and saw your comment waiting to be moderated.
I laughed so hard I snorted. It wasn't even a dry snort, but a wet one.

It totally made my month of absence worth coming back!!

You are a jewel my friend.

I can't wait to meet you in person one day.

We will laugh until the sun comes up!!

And we will snort...yes, there will be lots of snorting!!

I love you.

Thanks for being you!

 


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