Photo by David Vázquez on Unsplash

So last week I started my very first Daniel fast.  What’s a Daniel fast?  To make a long story short, it’s a spiritual fast that requires you to lean more into prayer and into your relationship with God through self discipline.  I can’t have meat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and sweeteners.  I like to think of it as a vegan whole 30.  Want the long story?  Click HERE for a more in-depth explanation and more if you’re interested in doing one yourself.

Why am I doing it?

Typically, someone starts a Daniel fast when a big decision needs to be prayed about, there is something specific you need to pray through, etc.  For me, I read about fasting for your children in my book for small group and knew that was something I needed to do.  Gav made a big change on Monday (which is why I started when I did) when he transferred to his new elementary school.

This past year has been a weird one for Gav and me and I knew that it was going to take some hard prayer to cut through this season.

What was the week like?

Let’s just say that I picked a doozy of a week to start a fast.  This first week was packed with stress, temptation, and plenty of opportunities to just say “forget it”!  On Monday, one of the parents at the dance studio brought in these absolutely delicious pumpkin loafs with brown butter icing in these perfect little ceramic loaf pans.  There was one that I could have taken home.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  My inner basic chick was screaming but I left it.

Tuesday was met with a family emergency complete with an unexpected surgery.  Running around, helping, making phone calls, and carrying a 30 pound toddler on my back while doing it was actually a great distraction from the fact that all I wanted to do was pull into a drive thru and grab some edible feelings.  Tuesday was also Halloween.  Don’t worry, I have a stash for when my 21 days is up.

Wednesday through Friday weren’t that bad and the book I ordered (same as the Daniel fast resource I linked above) came in and I was excited to explore new recipes.

Saturday was our church’s first women’s prayer gathering which was nothing short of amazing.  However, it was at 7 AM, I woke up at 5:30, and some caffeine would have been nice.

By the time Sunday came around, I was feeling a bit more confident and ready for the next week.  I have a few more choices now that I have new recipes and I’m getting pretty creative.

Let’s get real…What’s it like without coffee?

I won’t lie to you.  I got to day 3 and legitimately would have done anything for a cup of coffee.  And as much coffee as I drink for my size, it’s safe to say that my body probably craves it.  Luckily I already take medicine on and off for headaches so I just went ahead and preempted any withdrawal I might have.  I was also just plain tired.  Not quite that first trimester of pregnancy tired (mamas, you know what I’m talking about!)  but still just trying to scrape whatever I could from my energy reserves.  The tiredness did subside a bit but I still really love my coffee.

What have I noticed?

I’ve definitely started to redirect myself to prayer when I start thinking about food and the restrictiveness.  Oddly enough, I’ve become calmer, less quick to anger.  I feel better and I’m less bloated (maybe TMI but it’s true).

Most importantly, I’ve seen a change in my relationship with Gav.  Already there’s been more patience, there’s more attachment and closeness.  I know that Ro becoming a VERY active toddler means that Gavin has received less attention.  He has been told more times that I can count that he’s the big brother and he has to set the example, or that Ro is just two he doesn’t understand, or I’m simply just attending to more of Ro’s needs because he can’t do as much for himself yet.  I understand that Gavin may be feeling less and that is so not what I want for my sweet boy.  I’ve made it a point to tell him that he was wonderfully made by God and that he is special because of that.  We are reconnecting and it’s made my mama heart so happy.

Have you ever done a fast?  What did you learn?