My first week was primarily focused on fasting. Beginning with a 21 day sugar detox and changing up my evening routine to focus on reading and an earlier bedtime. The goal was to purge some bad habits so that my mind and body could be more in tune with God and His guidance in all areas of my life. But the ultimate goal was to eliminate distractions and find a way to incorporate writing tasks on a regular basis.
I meant to publish this on Friday, but my 2nd week of prayer and fasting took an unexpected turn. I’ll share more about that later.
For Week 1, my journey went as follows:
DAY 1 – Friday
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:20-21
I had a full day of obligations ahead of me between freelance work, getting my youngest son off to Winter Camp, and having my grandson in the evening. I didn’t get to sleep until after 11, but slept well. My main focus was adjusting to the detox diet. It went pretty good besides I got hungry in the late evening, but had a rich smoothie of coconut milk, avocado, and green-tipped banana to tide me over.
DAY 2 – Saturday
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12
Had to wake up early to bring my 15 year-old to work, and spent the majority of my morning and late afternoon writing the initial blog on my reasons and goals for fasting and praying for 40 days leading to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. By late evening, though, I found myself tired and irritable as I attempted to complete some accounting tasks for my husband’s business. I realized that during this fast, I can’t push myself too much mentally or physically otherwise I might give into temptation for a taboo snack or mind-numbing TV.
DAY 3 – Sunday
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” Psalms 139:13-14
After church, I made myself a cozy spot by the fire and read several chapters in two out of the three fiction books I’m trying to finish before the conference. Then my daughter called me from California and parts of our conversation had stirred up emotions regarding her plans to move back to Idaho. I found myself wondering about my role in her decision and wanting to support her while still seeking God’s will in the matter. By 9pm I was in bed feeling like I could sleep, but then my mind started wandering. I ended up not sleeping well at all but realized normally, I would have watched a couple TV shows and probably not thought about my daughter’s situation as I fell asleep. I considered it a good thing and brought the matter to prayer fervently on Day 4.
DAY 4 – Monday
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Another full day of freelance work, and running errands with my kids and grandson. Still primarily focusing on sugar detox cleansing. Other personal matters also came to light and I started to see the need to address things that have been neglected due to the busy-ness of life and shutting out the stress every evening. I was also feeling extremely frustrated with several people, feeling the burden of their choices landing on my shoulders. From agreeing to a solid financial plan that accounted for inconsistent income, to parenting issues with our older teens, I brought up the issues to my husband. These were not on my original list of “cleansing and detox” issues, but I knew they were important and trusted that God was bringing them to the surface for resolution. I experienced a gamut of emotions as we talked through it all. A needed cleansing and purging of built-up frustrations eventually led to agreeing on common ground.
DAY 5 – Tuesday
God’s word brought to light one element I had not considered on Day 4 — the need to forgive those people I felt had offended me. My frustrations were built on unforgiveness or keeping a record of wrongs. I was amazed that I hadn’t even thought that was where my unsettled feelings had manifested. It started with reading from What Happens When Women Pray – Chapter 3 Forgiven as We Forgive. Then the scripture verse for the day was also the one that our pastor used to close Sunday service and it all became clear.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Yet more dross coming up to purify my heart, mind and soul! I was starting to feel pretty good on all levels. I was energized, finally getting 8 hours of sleep, eating well and on track with my PiYo despite a busy schedule.
DAY 6 – Wednesday
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
Nearing the one week mark, I assessed my progress so far. My journal notes helped me to summarize all the days up to this point. I felt I had overcome the “feeling worse before I felt better” hurdle. Ready to shift my focus into worship and prayer over the next few days, words from Wednesday night women’s Bible study resonated. We did have the ability to move heaven and earth through prayer.
DAY 7 – Thursday
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
Woke up earlier than usual. The only day of the week I didn’t have my grandson, I was hopeful to accomplish a lot. Had a good morning of reading, prayer and worship. Then tackled my to-do list of housecleaning, freelance work, and an afternoon doctor appointment for my oldest son. This was where things went downhill a bit. I hadn’t eaten much all day and the doctor appointment took longer than usual. I started hitting a figurative wall when we got home, but still needed to handle some work tasks. I got to bed about 10pm and slept so hard, my alarm didn’t wake me.
Week 1 Conclusion
Instead of feeling discouraged that writing tasks were hardly a blip on the radar, I saw every day as step toward purging the toxins I’d allowed to take over my daily life. I’d stuck to all aspects of my plans — avoiding sugar, reading scripture and praying daily, and learning to go to sleep without the need for TV each night. My week 2 focus would start with heavy prayer and writing tasks over the weekend.
Week 2 Update will publish soon.