Monday, January 28, 2013

DFD21 (1/28/13)

I will preface this entry with a confession that Jake and I broke the fast on Saturday.  At the time we decided we had fasted long enough and didn't think a day and a half would make that much of a difference.  Let me tell you how convicted I was that night.  As I laid in bed I felt so bad for not keeping the fast the full 21 days.  After all, we had made it so far.  My reasons for breaking the fast were purely selfish and honestly I probably could have resisted the temptations but I didn't.  A few thoughts that came to mind after we broke the fast were, who am I that I can't fast for an entire 21 days when Christ lived and moved on earth for the sole purpose of bringing honor and glory to the father?  Why do I feel the right to cut honoring God through sacrifice short? Who am I to diminish the sacrifice and struggles God went through while praying and fasting on earth? Nonetheless, God reached down and spoke to me on that day in spite of disappointment. 

I get an email every day from Bible Gateway with the Verse of the Day.  On Saturday the verse of the day was James 4:10, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor."  After reading that I was reminded of God's grace and forgiveness, his care and compassion.  I prayed a prayer of confession to Him and apologized for my caving to my selfish earthly desires, like meat.  (How silly does that sound when you read it?  I wanted to eat fish tacos more than I wanted to honor God....lame!)  Regardless, God still loves me even though I quit the fast early.  He still cares about my prayers and worries.  He still welcomes me with open arms.  How blessed are we that God does not hold our sins over our heads?  What a blessing it is that He refines us and sifts out the bad in our lives.  I know I have said a few times that I've been waiting for this epiphany throughout the fast but in "quitting" early, God chose to use those moments to draw me closest to Him.  Fast or no fast, God still wants me.  He still wants each one of us.  Fast or no fast, He has good plans for me and for my life.  Fast or no fast, His will guides my path.  Fast or no fast, He is still my father. 

As much as I wish I could have written this post with a giant exclamation point saying "WE SURVIVED 21 DAYS!!", I can't.  BUT, it is through humbling myself before you and God that I am showing God my love for him.  I hope that you all can learn from my lack of will power on day 19.  God is greater and worth far more than any earthly thing.  God is the ultimate prize!  Don't let yourself get distracted by the Devil's schemes and if you do - turn right back around and throw them in the Devil's face!  Use your weakness as an opportunity for God to mold you and strengthen you into something better.  Show the Devil that what he promises is nowhere near the value of God's promises in your life.  Humble yourself before God and show Him that HE is everything. 

Finally, thank you.  Thank you for being an invisible accountability group to me.  Thank you for letting my humble myself before you and God.  To those of you that read this and have followed my journey throughout this fast, I apologize if I've disappointed you but I think this serves as a good reminder that I am not perfect.  I struggle with weakness and temptation just like the rest of you and it is through times like Saturday that God teaches me some of the most valuable lessons.  Don't let your weakness define you.  Let God use your weakness to mold you.  I'm grateful for the lesson I learned this weekend and I hope you learn something from my actions also.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DFD18 (1/25/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: Honestly, this is a little hard for me to write simply because I know I am not in the best place.  I know that the fast is over on Monday and I am getting so antsy to be done.  I am not only anxious to be done so that I can eat regular food but part of me is anxious to be done so I don't have this overwhelming expectation that I need to constantly be seeking some type of great epiphany from Christ.  Now wait before judging, I realize that that IS NOT where I am supposed to be or even how I am supposed to think or feel as a Christian.  Aren't I supposed to be yearning for Christ more and more every day?  Aren't I supposed to be pursuing HIS will and HIS plan for my life 24/7?   I am admitting to you that I am experiencing fast fatigue.  I am experiencing compassion fatigue and I am ready to be still in God's presence.  Good or bad, I've been doing this fast waiting for some type of answers from God.  I need to remind myself that my motivation should not be to receive something from God but instead to show God that I am willing to sacrifice for him as He did for me.  With that confession behind me, I will say that today is a day that I want to lose the expectation or sense of entitlement I have to receive something from God as a result of "good behavior."  I want to accept that God's motivation for me doing this fast may solely be that He wants me to draw closer to Him.  I want to be content and joyful in the fact that I have spent 18 days focused on my relationship with Christ.  And ideally, I want to continue to seek God even after the fast because the best "things" He has given me are grace, mercy, love, and eternal life.

Physically:  I am trying my best not to get sick and I am a little bit worn out.  I am glad that the weekend has arrived and I will have plenty of time to rest.

Mentally:  We are in the home stretch of the fast!!  As you can see from above I am wrestling with a few things but I want to finish strong.  These are a few Bible verses that come to mind specifically for this aspect of my walk today.  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7  As I said earlier, I don't want to just consider this the end, so I look 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable wreath.  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."  I am not running for an earthly prize and my faith walk will be judged.  It is important that I show others what value this fast has had for me spiritually, answered prayers or not. 

Bible Verses:
Psalm 25:5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 42:5 
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

John 16:33b In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 6:18-20
So God has given both his promise and his oath.  These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God ti lie.  Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.  This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.  It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.  Jesus has already gone in there for us.  He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Goal:  While I don't want to be continually asking God for things, I also don't want to lose the everlasting hope that I have in Him.  I need to trust again in His timing and be content in his stillness today. 

Dear God, today I say thank you for reminding me, even with my struggling heart, of your hope.  Thank you simply for the relationship that you and I have together.  Thank you for planning my life each second and minute at a time.  I am so grateful for your presence in my life and only hope that I can try my best to be more like your Son, Jesus Christ.  Be near me today and be with those who are suffering and need you.  Please meet everyone where they are at in their sin and thank you for dying to cover those sins.  You know my struggles this morning, please take them and release worry from my heart.  In your name I pray, amen.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

DFD17 (1/24/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: My heart is hurting for my older brother.  I know that he is struggling with a lot right now and I just pray that God continues to seek him.  I also pray that he seeks God. 

Physically: I am looking forward to eating normal food again.

Mentally: Jake is sick so I am trying to stay on top of at home tasks so that he can rest and I want to be a good wife and be able to serve him lovingly while he isn't feeling well.  My mind is moving 100 miles a minute thinking about fertility stuff and I'm getting down to the wire to make sure all things at work are in order before I leave for my vacation one week from tomorrow.  Needless to say, I need to remember God's provision, grace, healing, and love during this next week.

Bible Verses:
Galatians 6:1
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.  And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

1 Peter 4:12-13
Do not be surprised at the painful things you are now suffering.  These things are testing your faith.

Today I want to spend the day praying for my family members.  Although I may not get to speak with all of them every day, I know that praying for them is the best thing I can offer.

Dear Lord, today I lift up each of my family members.  Lord you know them by name and you know where they are at in their spiritual walk.  Father, I pray that you meet them where they are and that they have open hearts to your pursuit.  I pray that you speak your will into their life and provide them guidance.  Father, thank you for blessing all of us with one another.  I pray that you give a healing touch and self control to those who need it.  Thank you for loving all of us while we are still sinners.  It is in your awesome and powerful name I pray, amen. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Prayer for Our Someday Baby

My dear precious baby, for you how we pray.
The depth of our gratitude can’t be measured or weighed.
For you will be a gift, sent to us from God above.
God will bless us as parents with you as our child to care for and love.

The thought of you someday growing slowly inside me is so overwhelming and makes me so happy.
I pray that God draws your dad and I nearer to Him.
For we know without Christ our lives are but sin.
We pray He will make us good parents to guide you.
We are blessed that He will trust us to go alongside you.

I do not know you or know your name
I just know when you arrive our lives will forever be changed.
When you will come only God can decide
But know that we have prayed for you every single day and each night.
May God bless your journey from heaven above and keep you safe and guarded with love.
My heart overflows simply at your thought
Even when I know you still haven’t been brought.
He knows without a doubt that you were meant to be our child from the start. 
For this we are grateful that God gives us the desires of our hearts.

May we bless and honor His choice, His timing, and love you so tender
With His strength and courage we will always be your protectors, defenders.
Please know in your heart the anticipation we have for your arrival.
It is through Christ’s sacrifice we all have eternal survival.
While you are in heaven and we wait on earth,
Please let God know that your parents are ready for you to overcome our hearts.


Your Someday Mommy

DFD16 (1/23/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually:  Honestly, I haven't quite figured out what my spiritual focus is today other than God, but that is obvious.  I think today is a day that I am going to enjoy the stillness of God again and rest in His calm.

Physically: We are beginning to run out of Daniel Fast friendly food at our house so these last couple of days are getting to be redundant.  Each day we get closer to breaking the fast I get more and more excited.  Also, Jake is sick today and I am hoping that I don't get what he has.  I'm praying for a quick recovery for him.

Mentally: I'm tired and since yesterday was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it has been breaking my heart how many millions of babies and how many millions of women have been affected by it.  Luckily, I know all of those babies are up in heaven enjoying the daily presence of God. I pray that those women receive healing and restoration after the death of their babies.

Bible Verses:
James 1:5
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.

Philippians 2:14
Do everything without grumbling and arguing.

Exodus 16:8
Moses also said, "You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.  Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord."

Goal:  I want to continue to believe in God's healing power, not only for Jake but for so many others struggling with such greater sickness in their bodies.  I also want to seek God's word for my life.

Dear Lord, I come to you today tired and weary but filled with anticipation.  Father, I know you are doing great healing works in the lives on my friends.  I pray that you touch Jake's body with a healing touch today and help him to feel rested and renewed.  Lord, thank you for his drive and work ethic but today I pray that he rests.  I pray that he rests in your healing power and draws strength from you.  Father, I also ask that you speak into my life today in whatever ways I need to hear you.  Thank you for our ability to go on this fast and the money to spend on the specific Daniel Fast food.  Thank you for the mundane tasks that I get to do every day and those that I don't usually thank you for.  I appreciate your blessings and hope I always honor you with them.  In your name I pray, amen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DFD15 (1/22/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: I feel so focused on God's presence right now.  I just can't get enough of Him.  While I was trying to think about whether or not I had one specific goal in mind for this fast, two things came to mind: first, Jake and I are both praying that God blesses us with a baby in His timing and continues to improve my numbers physically and second, and more importantly, I have been really praying that Jake and I will get to a place where we are a unified spiritual front when we bring a child into the world.  I want to focus as much as possible on God's plans for Jake and I as husband and wife and as parents someday.  It is important to me that when we have kids they see that we serve Jesus Christ above all else.

We are in the home stretch of this!  Only 6 more days left until we break fast.  I keep thinking that while I may enjoy an indulgence here and there, I really enjoy feeling so healthy.  I would like to make an effort to continue to treat my body this way and keep health at the front of my mind.

As I said before, I just can't seem to get enough of Christ.  Part of me feels like I could have done better, I could have sought God more during this fast.  I could have focused on prayer and devotional time better.  Since I am feeling that way, I really want to make these last 6 days count.

Bible Verses:
Philippians 4:8 Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise.  Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

Matthew 7:7-8
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking and you will find.  Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Ephesians 1:17-18
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what re the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

I want to spend more time in the word.  I want to continually lift up my marriage in prayer and I want to give Christ my full attention.  I want to seek Him wholeheartedly.

Dear Lord, today I lift up family and friends that need a healing touch on their lives.  You know what their needs are and you can meet them where they are at.  Father, I lift up my husband to you.  I pray that you continue to mold him and shape him into the man of God you have called him to be.  Lord, may he and I be a unified spiritual front in our marriage.  When we bring children into the world, may be examples of your love, grace and mercy.  Father, bring us closer to you through this fast and closer to one another.  We long to honor and serve you.  Thank you for giving us this fast to do together.  Thank you for the experience it is giving us.  Father, I pray that I seek you more and more.  As I read your word, may the words that I need to hear and apply to my life jump out at me.  Help me to be better.  In your name I pray, amen.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

DFD14 (1/21/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: Today I feel just incredibly blessed by all of the things and people God has brought in to my life.  I'm also incredibly humbled that God thinks that a sinner and broken human like me deserves all of these wonderful things.  What an honor it is to know that He trusts me with these things and He is willing to share them with me while I am here in this life on earth.  It makes me want to be better.  It makes me aspire for something greater.  He has surrounded me with such inspiring people that it is impossible for me to not want to grow in Him and who He wants me to be.

This weekend Jake and I faced a lot of temptations but it is awesome that God provided "ways out" and the self-control to withstand them.  Now that we are over halfway done with the fact it is such incredible motivation to just honor God and follow through.  I find it so interesting that when you fast your senses seem to be heightened to the Holy Spirit.  Not only am I continually seeking God for self control and will power, I am also seeking His guidance and can hear His whispers.  When you are physically wanting more of God it is such an experience.

I really want this last week of the fast to be focused on just seeking God.  This year I haven't had any big epiphany as to what God wants for me but I am enjoying just being in His presence.  Instead of asking God for things, I am praying that I can live with my hands open.  Open to whatever He may bring and open to whatever He may take away.  I don't want to cling to the things of this world but rather I want to lift my hands in submission to what He wants for my life.

Bible Verses:
Galatians 6:7-8
Don't be misled--you can not mock the justice of God.  You will always harvest what you plant.  Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.  But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.     

I want to spend more time in the word this week than I have been.  I want to let God's word speak into my life and I want to draw nearer to my Savior.

Father, today I am praying simply to say thank you.  I don't want to ask you for anything because I know you have plenty cares for the day already.  I just want you to know that as your child I am so humbled and blessed by your grace and care for my life.  Thank you for breathing life into me each morning and thank you for surrounding me with wonderful people.  May I always see you in the faces of those that surround me and Lord, for those that are seeking, may I be an example of your love.  In your name I pray.  Amen.

Friday, January 18, 2013

DFD11 (1/18/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: I am beginning to feel worn out.  Last year I did the Daniel Fast for one week and this year I am doing it for the entire 21 days.  I'm at the point where I feel exhausted by eating the same foods over and over again and I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal food routine.  I am reminded about the spiritual fasts that Moses and Jesus went through and I can hardly fathom that.  Part of me wonders if it would have been easier to fast when convenience wasn't as big of a part of eating?  For example, I see commercials for big macs and milk shakes and Applebees and all of it claims to be inexpensive and pleasant to the palate.  It seems silly but it is during those times that I pray through my cravings and pray through my wants and try to focus more on God.

I am feeling the same as I have been.  Healthy and energetic.  I've found that since being off of caffeine I have a lot more energy than I remember having when I drank coffee.

I've been thinking about a lot of things from my past and a thought occurred to me last night before I went to sleep.  While relationships have changed over time whether they have evolved, remained the same, or diminished, I can look back at my life and know that what I did and the choices I made were to honor God and his call on my life.  I can't look back at any one decision that I've made without knowing in my heart that it is what God wanted me to do.  That isn't to say that everything was always smooth sailing and happened on good terms, there were definitely times when my human self struggled with pride and bitterness but it was in those times that I drew closest to God.  I'm grateful for the changes in my life and I'm so grateful for where God has brought me today.

Bible verses:
1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
 - UM hello!  Talk about addressing my questions about the ease of fasting to others?  God just reminded me that my struggle is the same as the struggle others from the Bible went through.  He also reminded me that He will be my strength and escape from those things! Amen to God's word!

Exodus 14:13-14
Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today ... the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

I want to take time to reflect on the reasons I have for doing this fast.  I want to examine my true motivations and I want to honor God.  I feel like I am going through this complaining and I want my heart to be in the right place.

Father, I come to you today to apologize for the grumbling.  Lord, I know you called me and Jake to do this fast together for a purpose and because you want to speak into our lives.  Help us to quit complaining and remember why we chose to do this fast in the first place.  Please continue to draw us nearer to you and thank you for pursuing us in spite of our grumblings.  Your love and grace is amazing.  I don't know what I would do without you in my life Lord.  Please be near today so that I may feel your presence and remember your grace.  Lord, I want to submit to you and your will for my life.  It is in your name and your plan I trust.  Finally Lord, I ask you to help Jake examine his heart and his motivations today as well.  May we become a more unified spiritual front as husband and wife.  Lord, may you always be at the center of our hearts and our marriage.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DFD10 (1/17/12)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: This morning I can feel that there is a battle going on.  There are so many people struggling right now and people that need prayer and I just pray that people see God's will prevail in all of their situations, good or bad.  I'm afraid that if people can't see the whole picture they might be worn out by the negative right now.  I'm trying to focus on the fact that God has a bigger plan in all of this and He is working in all of these situations, even if at times we can't feel him.

Physically: I didn't get to work out last night and it has effected my energy level today.  Yesterday was really a struggle being on the fast because all I wanted to do was eat something unhealthy for me.  I was reminded though about how good I do feel since eating healthy food and I enjoy feeling healthy again.

Mentally: My mind is going at 100 miles a minute today through everything from personal things to spiritual things to mundane daily tasks.  I'm praying for some quiet in my thoughts and I hope to focus on what Christ wants me to focus on today.  So far this morning I feel like I am being pulled in multiple different directions.

Bible Verses:
Philippians 2:14-16
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.  Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.  Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
-What an awesome reminder about doing things with the heart of God, not your own motivations.  Thank you, Lord for your timing.

1 John 3:21-23
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Goal: Be attentive to others needs without thinking about what is in it for me.  Do things in Christ's love and for no other reasons.
I also want to spend today focusing on praying for my husband and praying for our marriage.  We are not struggling by any means but I want to continue to keep our marriage rooted in Christ and the best place to start is in my heart and in prayer.  

Father, I lift up those that need prayer this morning and you know who they are and what they are struggling with.  Lord, I pray that when I go to help someone, pray with them, or lend them an ear, I do so out of Christ's love rather than my own motivations.  May you guide my path, my words and my heart all day today.  Let me be an example of your love and grace.  Lord, I also pray for my husband today.  May it be a day where he feels close to you all day and I pray that you speak to his heart.  Whatever he may need or be struggling with spiritually, I pray that you lend him your hand and direct his path.  Lord, I pray that I can be the best wife possible to him and serve him with a giving and loving heart.  Thank you for sharing him with me here on earth.  I am so blessed for it.  In your name I pray, amen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DFD9 (1/16/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: Today is a quiet day for me.  I haven't heard God tell me anything in particular he wants me to focus on.  A song that came on my ipod this morning during my drive was Peace Be Still.  I'm going to take that as my cue to have a day just being still in God's presence on focusing solely on my personal relationship with him.  We'll call it a little bit of one on one time.

Physically: I have been making an effort to work out when I get home from work and I really am beginning to enjoy it.  I heard on Moody Radio yesterday that treating your body as a temple is not only about what you put into it, but it is also about using the abilities God has given you to keep your body in shape to serve God.  I'll admit that my motivations in this are not purely holy but I also enjoy feeling good and confident in my skin.  It makes a difference in a lot of areas of my life.

Mentally:  Today is the most hectic day of my month and it always take a lot of patience.  Mentally, I am ready to handle the tasks at hand and focus again on the quiet faith intricacies of my daily life.

Bible Verses:
Galatians 5:16
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.

Deuteronomy 1:35-36
When the Lord heard your complaining, he became very angry.  So he solemnly swore, 'Not one of you from this wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh.  He will see this land because he has followed the Lord completely.  I will give to him and his descendants some of the very land he explored during his scouting mission.'

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: rejoice!

Being still with God.  I want to focus on His presence in my personal life.  I want to focus on intimacy with my savior.  I want to savor the silence of God.

Dear Lord, I ask today that you help me to focus on listening to your whispers.  Help me to see the examples of you in my life.  Help me to focus on my tasks at hand and serve you throughout.  Thank you for your silence and calm.  May I be calm and at peace in your presence today.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DFD8 (1/15/13)

Where I am at:
The Lord has placed a few people on my heart today that I want to pray for continually throughout the day.  I feel at peace where I am at in my life right now and I trust in the Lord's plan.  God has been faithful and after praying through my insecurities yesterday I feel much better after releasing those burdens to Christ.

The Lord has made me realize what it means to treat my body as a temple.  Since being on this fast and my fertility diet before my body has never felt better.  I feel so good and I'm reminded each day of the blessing it is to be healthy and mobile.

As I said before, I am in a much better place today after releasing my burdens to Christ.  However, I know that there are people who need my prayers today and I want my focus to be on them.

Bible verses I've come across: 
Proverbs 3:5,6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

John 8:31-32
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 

Hebrews 11:1
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Romans 10:17
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Mark 9:23-24
"'If you can?'" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes." Immediately the boys father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Psalm 34:6
This poor man cried, and the Lord heart him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Goal for the day:
Pray continually for those that God has laid on my heart.  Do thing's with a servant's heart.

Dear Lord, this morning I lift up those people that you have laid on my heart.  Only you know what they truly need in their lives and I pray that you meet those needs.  Father, thank you for purifying me through this fasting experience, thank you for revealing the blessings that healthy eating and treating my body right can bring.  Lord, be with my husband today and draw him near to you during his fast experience.  Thank you for bringing us together and thank you for a husband who is rooted in your word.  I offer this day to you.  Do your will.  In your name I pray, amen.

Monday, January 14, 2013

DFD7 (1/14/13)

Where I am at:
Spiritually: Lately the Devil has really been preying on my insecurities and just my past life experiences.  He has been trying to convince me that I am weak, incapable, and selfish.  He realizes my nerves are exposed right now and is using that to his advantage.  I've been really praying through these lies and I've asked my husband to pray through them with me.  By being open with him about what I am struggling with him, it helps him to know what I need prayer for.

I've also struggled a lot with coveting other people's things this weekend and jealousy.  The devil has been tempting me by waving other people's things in my face and trying to distract me from all of my true blessings and worth in Heaven.  Again, it's been another thing I am praying about continually but I know that God is present and working in my life in His own ways.

So far this fast has been interesting because last year I felt myself serving others so much more and focusing on their spiritual walk and helping them but this year, I am seeing parts of my own walk that really need refining.  I'm grateful that God is exposing the impurities and helping me renew my spirit.  

Physically: I feel very good.  My energy levels are in a good place.

Mentally: I want to focus on the fruits of the spirit instead of letting the Devil get to me.
(Love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)

Bible verses I've come across today:

I John 4:20-21
If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?  And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet without sin.

Genesis 16:13
The God who sees me.

Proverbs 14:30
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Hebrews 13:5b
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Leviticus 19:17a, 18
You shall not hate your brother in your heart ... You should not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself I am the Lord.

Goal for the day:
Focus on the blessings and positive relationship I have in my life.  Pray about the relationships that I am struggling with and people that I am not getting along with.  I want to focus on changing me instead of asking God to "change" others.  My relationship with Christ is my priority, nothing else.

Dear Lord, only you truly know what I am struggling with in my heart today.  I feel worn out and beaten down by things the Devil is trying to tell me.  I know that there are "friendships" in my life that I am not giving to sincerely and I want to work on that.  Help me to release any feelings of hurt or resentment toward those people and move forward in loving them with your grace and guidance.  Father I pray for those people that I don't get along with and I pray that you bless them.  Help me to release these feelings of inadequacy and comparison.  I pray that I remember that my true worth and value lies in you and my relationship with you alone.  May this day be spiritually productive and honor you.  In your name I pray, amen!  

Friday, January 11, 2013

DFD4 1/11/13

Where I am at:

I feel so good this morning.  While I know that there are a lot of people that need prayer and people have sought me out for prayer, spiritually I feel very much at peace and encouraged.  It is especially encouraging to hear from people out of the blue that tell me they are praying for Jake and I.  How amazing is it that God lays us on other people's hearts to help us in our spiritual journey?  He truly is amazing.

Today I am trying my best not to worry about my appearance.  Something that does not help this cause is the fact that we are going on vacation in 21 days so I feel pressure to "be in shape."  However, I am feeling very healthy and am grateful to be during this crazy flu outbreak.  I'm focusing on my health rather than my "shape."  :)

God speaks to us in so many different ways, five minutes ago I wrote what I am struggling with physically, which it probably should be put in the mental category but regardless, and this is what my devotional said this morning:
   "We live in a competitive world.  The pressures to be thin, beautiful, fit, smart, sexy, funny, rich, and popular trap us in a relentless vise-grip...Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority ravage hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike.  When we get caught in the trap of striving to measure up, we focus on ourselves.  That was never God's plan.  God longs for our obsession to be Him."  Amen!!

I know that there are a lot of people that need prayer right now so my focus has been to pray for others as much as possible.   I am staying positive and optimistic because I know that the Devil gets us in our weakness and while we are discouraged.  I want to focus on helping others.

Bible Verses I've come across:

Psalm 118:5-6
In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered and set me free.  The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Romans 12:2a
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 

Isaiah 42:8
I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

Goal for the day:
To focus on my physical blessings.  To remember that my value and purpose are in Jesus Christ.  To support others struggling in their walk with God.  To encourage those who need it.

Dear Lord, today I want to say thank you.  First for the many people that you have praying for Jake and I.  I am so touched at your thoughtfulness and love for us.  There are so many bigger things going on in the world and the fact that you are laying us on others' hearts is touching beyond explanation.  Second, I want to say thank you for the body you have given me.  Thank you for my health and the ability to walk, run, dance, sit, and everything in between.  Help me to quit focusing on my measurements according to this world and put my worth in you.  Thank you for loving me and creating me to be such a beautiful child in your eyes.  Thank you for my loving husband who sees my inner beauty.  May I be your servant today and further your kingdom.  In your name I pray, amen!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DFD3 1/10/13

Where I am at:

Spiritually: I feel God calling me to dig deeper.  Tonight is the first time I have small group for 2013 and we are reading the Bait of Satan.  Already in the first chapter I can tell that this book will be convicting.  It has revealed pride and offense in my life that I thought I had addressed.  I feel that God is calling me to draw nearer to Him through this process and letting me know that it will definitely be a refining study for my spiritual walk.

Physically:  Due to my fertility diet I had been losing weight and now that I am on the Daniel Fast I have plateaued.  While I realize that I am not on this fast for the physical benefits, I do know that due to my vanity and self image I am too concerned about my body image.  I need to remember this this is a fast to get my soul in shape, not my earthly body.

Mentally: In the past few days I have thought about a few people from my past.  Some who are Christians and some who are not.  For those that are Christian I am so grateful for the everlasting friendship we will have in Christ.  For those who are not, I have been praying for them and hoping that God will surround them with people that will be good influences on their souls.  

I also received a very kind reminder this morning about what a blessing it is to have support from a man of God in my marriage.  It was a good reminder that I shouldn't take it for granted and it is an incredible blessing to have the foundation of my marriage be Christ-centered. 

Bible Verses of the day:
1 Peter 1:15-16
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.  For the Scriptures say, "You must be holy because I am holy."

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

John 16:33
In this world you will have trouble.

Psalm 22:1
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

Habakkuk 1:2
How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?

2 Kings 6:15-18
Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Acts 17:28
For in him we live and move and have our being.  As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

Goal for the day:
I want to release the focus on myself and my spiritual walk and focus on helping others.  I want my heart to break for people like God's heart breaks for them.  I want to feel the glory ache for Christ.

Dear Lord, today I pray that I stop focusing on myself.  I pray that I quit focusing on my experiences and life because father, I know that you are in charge and you are creating a path for me.  Lord, I ask that you break my heart for those around me.  Help me to be your light in darkness.  Help me to support fellow believers in their faith walk and be there for them during whatever they are struggling with.  Father, I'm so blessed to follow you and call you my Lord.  Help me to be more like you.  I pray that you help me keep this focus throughout the entire day.  In your name I pray, amen. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DFD2 1/9/13

Where I am at today:

Spiritually: I'm still working on trusting him no matter how life's circumstances turn out.  I am focusing on trusting His will and plan for my life.

Physically: Today I am not as tired as I was yesterday, which is such a positive.  I am not sure how much I will "enjoy" my lunch simply because it is rather plain but, I know that the sacrifice is for good reason.

Mentally: I will be having dinner with a friend tonight who I know is going through a very difficult time in her life.  I want to be there for her to the best of my ability and be able to draw from my past experiences and share my testimony in order to help her.  I pray that I can be a supportive friend and a good listener.  I hope to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I also pray that I can find something on the menu that I can eat. :)

I am also so very proud of my husband for doing this fast.  I am so excited to see how God will work in his life and use him as an example of a Godly man and Godly husband to those around him.  He is such a blessing to me.  I am abundantly overjoyed when I think of him.  

Bible verses that I've come across:

Matthew 6:19-21
Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.  

Psalm 25:10
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful.

Goal for the day:
I want to continually think, "While I may WANT ________ (fill in the blank with any savory food), I want GOD more."
I also want to focus on being there for my friend in the best way possible and honor God in the process.

Dear Lord, today I say thank you for the wonderful things you have done in my life.  Thank you for the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Thank you for my ability to be broken and your everlasting pursuit of my heart.  Father, today I pray that I glorify you in my actions in my relationships and in my friendships.  Lord, I ask that I be a better wife to my husband.  May I draw nearer to you, be more like you, and as a result, bring more love and hope to all my relationships.  Thank you.  Thank you for your love.  In your name I pray, amen.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Daniel Fast Day 1 (DFD1) 1/8/13

What I am struggling with:

Spiritually: I want God to be glorified so bad throughout our journey but I am stuck on the fact that I feel like He will only be glorified if in fact we do get pregnant.  I need to remember that He needs to be glorified no matter what His will is for our family.

Physically: I haven't had coffee during the week in such a long time and it hasn't effected me at all while I've been on my fertility diet.  Now that I am on the fast, the very first day I am struggling with a lack of sleep and being so tired.  It is my hope that I can pray my way through this day and find the energy I need.

Mentally: Last year's Daniel fast I experienced compassion fatigue and I am pretty sure the same thing will happen again this year, however, I want to focus on how to renew my spirit and also support my husband through his DF journey.

Also, I am waiting to hear test results from the Dr. and I am struggling to remind myself that being measured according to a standard of this world is not my true worth.  My hope is in Christ and He has made me perfectly in His image.  

Bible verses that I've come across today, whether they were sent to me or I looked them up:
Jeremiah 29:13
"And you will seek me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

Amos 5:14-15
Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live!  Then the Lord God of Heaven's Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.  Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice.  Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven's Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Isaiah 45:3
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Isaiah 40:29
He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak.

Psalm 40:1 
I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.

Proverbs 15:22
Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success.

I Thessalonians 5:11
Encourage each other and give each other strength.

Psalm 107:13-14
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.

Psalm 40:1
He turned to me.

Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.

Philippians 1:6
And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Goal for the day: 
My goal is to focus on the constant presence of God in my life, whether it is by my choice or by divine influence.  I want to notice the faith intricacies of my day to day.  Honestly, today my focus seems a bit selfish but I know that God will reveal things to me that need my spiritual attention.  I want God.  I want to draw closer to Him and I want to stop letting my circumstances define my intimacy with Christ.


Dear God, on this first day of the Daniel fast I ask that you keep me focused on the true purpose of this fast.  I ask that I not focus on the physical aspects of going through the fast but rather focus on the spiritual aspects.  I ask that you give me the strength and encouragement to minister to others and be present for them in their times of needs.  Lord, I ask that I seek and you bring people who need you love during this time.  I also ask that you bring Jake closer to you and as a result bring us closer as husband and wife.  Thank you for the blessings in our life.  May you be near to those that are fasting and remind them of your awesome power and presence.