Thursday, March 3, 2011


My cousin recently did a 30-day Daniel fast, and wrote a beautiful, inspiring blog post about her experience. I am so proud of the woman you have/are becoming, Suzanne! Beauty on the inside is what matters most, but you have it inside and out!

Anyway, an extended fast is not something I’ve really ever heard of, researched, or looked into. I’ve done a few one or two day fasts here and there, but now an extended fast is something I might consider. A few facts about fasting can be found here and here

Basically, fasting as a Christian is an act of humility before God, a time to pray, study the bible, and communicate with the Holy Spirit, and allow the H.S. to work in and change us.  There are many references in the Bible to fasting but here are a few from the New Testament. In Matthew 4:2, Jesus fasts 40 days in the wilderness.  In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus talks about fasting being done privately for God, not to be seen.

In the past when I’ve fasted it has been a very private thing, as I believe fasting is meant to be. (Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look sullen like the hypocrites, for they make their faces unattractive so that people will see them fasting. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. 17 When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others when you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.) I don’t think I’ve ever discussed it before, actually. If I were to do an extended fast, I would probably post a little about it on my blog since this IS my journal, but I wouldn’t discuss it in real life, except probably with Nathan since he IS my husband.

MOTIVATION: What would my motivation be for fasting?

To grow closer to God, and to fall in love with him again.  There’s not a specific goal or reason for me to fast, except that I want a closer relationship with Him. There are three deep and burning desires of my heart, but I don’t feel that it would be right to fast to “get them”; it feels manipulative. God knows the ending of those desires already, even though I don’t.

Because someone else did? No. I won’t do it before I pray about it and feel the Holy Spirit leading me one way or the other. Suzanne’s blog was a great thought-starter, but I won’t “jump over Niagara falls just because my friend did.”

Here’s my main concern, and this is me being brutally honest here. Pretty much everything in my life is done with a niggling little thought in the back of my head about my weight. And as someone who just had a baby of course I am trying to lose some. (Ok, trying-ish, since I’m being so honest.) I absolutely WILL NOT fast as a weight loss gimmick. WILL NOT. Besides the fact that weight loss is SO not the point of a fast, it’s dangerous and unhealthy to fast with that motivation. If I do a fast, it needs to be about my relationship with God. But what if I can’t separate it? After all, I can’t separate anything else in my life from my weight. Can God still use the fast as a tool in our relationship, and take care of the separation for me? Will he still strengthen me, grow me, teach me, use me? I’m human, after all. Is anyone’s heart TRULY pure?

DETAILS: How would I do it?

Because I am still nursing I would do a Daniel fast like Suzanne did.  Basically a Daniel fast is water, fruits, and vegetables. Because I am nursing pretty much exclusively, I probably would add in a piece of plain protein, such as fish, each day. Have to be a good steward of my milk supply, lol! Other than that I'm pretty sure I have enough "stores" (fat) to cover.

How long? I don't know.  A week to two weeks probably.  It depends on the leading of the H.S.  But I would think that a prolonged fast also would not be good for Shane's milk supply. 

What else would I fast? I'm not sure.  I wish I could fast TV, but that's not really my choice. ;) I don't have it on much when it's just me at home. I could fast speaking opinions/knowledge. I'm considering fasting books other than the Bible, but I'd like to read something like the book Suz suggested or one I've heard recommended by John Piper. So maybe just that and the Bible.

I dont' know where God will lead me. But this I DO know:

Fasting isn't about me, it's about God.


suzanne said...

Thank you so much for these inspires me!
Haha, that book I read talked so much about the motivations for fasting and how losing weight can be a HUGE motivation... and it shouldn't. Good things to think about! Let me know what you decide...and Ill give you a call sometime soon!

Dusty Penguin said...

Lots of good thoughts. I've always read that breastfeeding women shouldn't fast, but I think that a modified Daniel fast like you mentioned should be o.k. You'd still be refraining from a lot of foods. It is hard to fast from tv when others are watching it, and yet I think if the fast is really going to build a relationship with God, that tv might be a hindrance. But when you can't do anything about it... I've thought about fasting sometimes but never done it, mainly because I couldn't set aside the accompanying time for prayer, reading, etc, and I thought that they should go together. But Suzanne's experience has shed a different light on that.