Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 35 of 40

Wow, I can hardly believe that I've made it this far into a 40 day fast. I'm not gonna lie, eating whatever I want when I want sounds REALLY appealing to me right now. However, I'm still not craving foods. Before I began I had the idea that this was going to be forty days of white-knuckling and slapping my hands and praying my way through not eating, but it hasn't been like that at ALL. I have been praying my way through this but that's been the focus the whole time...spending time interceding for people and getting closer to God Almighty. I've also been using my mouth to fight the enemy.

Do you believe in angels? Well, the Bible talks about both angels and demons (and spirits and powers of darkness), so if you believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God and you believe in angels, then you also believe in demons. There is a real war going on above us, Friends. A spiritual war for your life and the lives of others around you. THAT WAR is what I've been dunking my hands and feet into these past 35 days. I say "dunking" because I don't feel like I've yet immersed my whole soul into it. My brain knows the facts and my heart believes it's going on and my eyes are now seeing things that connect the dots between the mind and the heart. Basically my faith is growing much bigger in this area. I know the Bible says I have dominion over all enemies because of Christ, so I believe it and go forward into battle with HIS name as my banner. It's not because of anything I did or who I am, but all about him! He is the King of ALL Kings...and that doesn't just refer to the natural kings of this Earth. It's also referring to spiritual kings that literally reside over natural areas on the Earth. It's kinda crazy when you hear about it at first, but then when you get into the Scriptures and read about the Assyrian king and the Babylonian king and start connecting the, wow! This stuff is REAL!? It really is. So these "kings" have dominion over areas of land and they have ranks of spirits under them that they control and these spirits and powers are the ones that feed lies into our ears and attach themselves to the wounds we carry around in our souls.'s really evil stuff here, Friends. BUT the most amazing thing is that when we accept Christ as our personal saviour then HE has dominion over our hearts and lives! HE has the ultimate power to heal these soul wounds, forgive us our sins and POUR love into us like nothing we have ever known before. Friends, those wounds and sins we are carrying around in our hearts and souls are magnets to the enemy. We are walking around wounded and the enemy smells it and says "hey, I know that smell! It's an open wound I can crawl into and fester in." So all that depression, unresolved anger, constant guilt, unforgiveness, self-righteousness and condemnation, you name it...all that is breeding ground for the enemy's control and proof that Christ isn't in those areas of our lives. I have seen them in my life and no doubt they are still wandering around me, condemning me and trying to get back into already swept clean areas.

This fast, for me, has shown me that it's possible to allow Christ in so much that He is involved in every hour of my day. He wakes me up in the middle of the night, he covers me as I walk through the grocery store, he is involved in my marriage and friendships, he speaks to and through my children, he washes over me with tremendous feelings of love while hitting tennis balls at the park, he forgives me as I repent the sins he shows me, he opens the Scriptures up brighter and shows more meaning to me and how it applies to my life, he meets me on my knees for prayer, he is everywhere all the time. This is crazy stuff and I'm a crazy, sold out spiritual nerd...I'll just admit it.

I'm aware that this will cause other people to really think I've lost my mind and I may even offend people, and as much as that might pain me...I'm okay with that. I know that where God has led me is a place of Truth and Strength and he has given me new tools to help others, to fight the enemy and has seriously deepened my awareness of him and allowed me to FEEL his presence and love. So, there's no going back from this fast. I've tasted and seen that HE IS GOOD and this is a jumping off point for me.

AND I don't want to end without saying this: If "I" can do this...YOU can do this! I'm nothing special. God wants all of us to experience Him and to be in this reciprocal, supernatural exchange of love, relationship and education. Consider it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Autumnal Beat of My Heart

I can feel Autumn tapping me on the shoulder. It's beginning to be crisp in the mornings, hot hot at the midday sun and just so perfect in the evenings. The school supplies are MOSTLY bought, backpacks set up and ready to go and I attended my first school orientation meeting last night. It's really here...time for school! Four more days until I send my eldest to her first day of Fourth grade and I walk my middle child through his first day of Kindergarten. Oh, be still my heart!

I can't imagine that I'll be that weepy mommy on the first day of Kindergarten with Zach, but then again I just about choked up when the principal gave his sappy speech about all the first milestones of a Kindergartner last night. So who knows! I'm excited for him to go and enjoy learning with new friends and a couple old ones. I'm excited for him to grow up a little bit more, but at the same time...I looked at him last night playing out front in his size 5/6 shirt and pants and really saw how tall he's getting and how big his feet are. Good grief! My little baby boy is actually growing up into a little guy. My heart fluttered a little in my chest and I could suddenly see miles down the road when he will rather NOT be around his parents and will prefer to seek solace with friends and girls. Ugh...and that made my heart ache a little. As much as I complain around here that I never get a moments peace with all the chaos and kids, they are my life right now and for the last so many years. They are my reason for being here at home and I suddenly want to corral them all three, my husband and my dog into a safe nest and become a hoarder. A hoarder of my family. I want to clutch them to myself and provide what they need and be the source of home for them. I desire for them to find refuge here and for THEM to desire home.

And while these feelings are stirring up inside and swirling around like a pot of home-cooked chili that would hope to bring us together, I know that "out there" is where the testing grounds are and where the rubber meets the road for them all. I can only huddle them in for a little while longer, but I hope that as they grow up they always know (even through those teenage years I hear nothing great about) that their parents deeply love each other, deeply love them and that home is always a safe, loving place where they can come and not be condemned.

Wow, did I digress! Oh yea, I remember what I was saying before...Autumn. Yes, this IS my favorite time of year and I look forward to it as a child looks forward to Christmas morning. I cannot wait for floppy sweatshirts, socks, hay rides, apple picking, Harvest parties at school, carving jack-o-laterns, mmmm...warm and delicious Fall treats like chocolate chip pumpkin muffins and ooey, gooey caramel corn. I eagerly anticipate our family and friends coming over to sit around our fire pit and enjoying warm beverages. I love watching the leaves change into firey reds, deep pulses of burgandy, bright oranges and yellow ochre that screams Bob Ross. I so adore walking through the woods with the crunchy leaves scattered around on the ground and the Autumn rainbow of colors overhead. Even the air smells great in Autumn! Homes begin to smell like fireplaces, cinnamon, apples and sugar cookies. We have to get extra Kleenex out because our noses get colder and need wiped more, especially the kids. Let's just ignore all the schoolhouse induced colds that might come our way and stay in the zone here. ;) Ahh yes, I love fresh socks on all my kids too. There is just SOMETHING about putting fresh, clean socks on six ever growing feet and knowing their toes are warm and cozy! Robes and slippers, Trick or Treat, raking leaves and jumping in them, sweaters, cold mornings and warm afternoons, earthy colored Mums, anticipation of Turkey Day...where does the wonderful list end!?!?

My heart is alight with fresh anticipation of the coming months, Friends! May the Lord bless the road before my family and may He ALWAYS be the center of all these wonderful things.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 22 of 40

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty who is, who was and is to come! All Glory and Honor and Power and Praise and Strength to Him!

Basically that's where my Spirit man is. I just want to sit in his presence constantly. Yesterday I woke up all night long and then got up for the day at 5am, grabbed my coffee and drove over to the prayer room at church. It was a little freaky being there in the complete darkness and all alone (at least I HOPE I was alone, humanly speaking.) There is a small window in this room with no curtain so out of fear I propped a pillow up on the sill so it would block any view inside and then I sat in the corner where there was no chance of being seen. This was all done out of the creepy feeling that girls get, but once I was seated I felt completely okay. Plus the door electronically deadbolts, so no one was coming inside without the code. :) But anyway, I sat there in that corner and ushered in his presence with praise music and my open and willing heart. And people, I am here to tell you...GOD...IS...REAL. He is real. He is present. He wants to be with his children. And, he feels amazing! We stayed together in that room for about 40 minutes where I enjoyed him, laid out my heart's desires, told him how thankful I am for all he has given me, doted all over him, got fierce with the enemy and declared the name and blood of Jesus over people and our church and generally breathed him into my day. At the end I wrote a prayer into the prayer journal and left. Even though I could, literally, sit in that room all day with him I knew it was time to go. One, because I needed to drive back home in time for the kids to get up and get ready for church, but second because I felt his presence ease up. At first I wondered if it was just me being antsy or ready to get started with the day, so I sat back down in a chair and turned the music back on to see...but it was clear that it was time to go. So I left.

Then later at church during worship I was singing STRAIGHT to Him and I didn't care who listened to how badly I was singing. I didn't care how I looked from the back with my arms clear up in the air in praise to him. It was ALL for him and I felt his presence. I was actually shaking with excitement and energy! I had to stop singing for a minute and breathe b/c I felt like I might burst into a million particles right there in the sanctuary. At that moment I knew why a human cannot see the face of God. Good grief...his presence alone nearly sent me into a fit. All day long too I felt his covering over me. It was like a tangible blanket laid over me. Not heavy or cumbersome or suffocating, but rather light and protective and comforting. Honestly, I never want this covering to go away. I want to live under it forever!

In all my years being a Christian, almost 20 now, I have not felt Him like I feel him now. It's not that he wasn't there and it's not that I didn't want to feel's just that NOW I am really, truly giving him first place in my life. Fasting is just a vehicle, a catalyst of purification. I see so clearly now how I have leaned on food/snacks as a comfort and would even go as far as to say that I was a glutton. Eating and eating just to feel constantly full and to change my emotions whether they be fear, anxiety, loneliness, excitement or to bring my hubby and I together after a loooong day at work/with the kids. Food was a substitute, an empty promise, a counterfeit for the real fulfillment of what God, Christ and Holy Spirit give. It was also a satisfaction of a short term desire that led to long term internal issues. Oh, ten Timbit Donuts taste delicious going down, as does half a Papa Johns pizza and bread sticks, but those short term tongue-tickling delights lead to long term weight gain and then ultimately spiritual bondage of "I'm too fat. I'm disgusting to look at. I'm not what my husband would want. I don't look like "her." I need to go up a size in pants and now I really look like a hippo." Ugh, and the list goes on. It's ALL lies being fed to us. We have control and strength through Christ. When we accept him into our hearts as guys, WE HAVE ALL THE POWER WE EVER NEED! Faith combined with his Word equals VICTORY. I have realized that if God within me can change my sinful eating habits and I am strengthened in Him...what sin has any power over me!? It's really amazing and mind-blowing stuff and yet I can do it.

Okay, so here's breakfast! Two small carrots, an apple, kale (I usually have a lot more, but I'm out!), an orange and a tomato. I *heart* the Jack LaLanne juicer! I'm tellin' ya...even if you aren't a big veggie person, this thing is great for making healthy fruit juices and then I whip the fruit juice in the Magic Blender for a smoothie. I found my juicer on Craigslist for $35! So I have this juice (or a similar one, depending on what fruit and veggies I have) every two to three hours OR I have a Special K protein drink, and of course ice water throughout the day. I also keep V8 around for sipping and gum helps a lot when an occasional craving hits or I'm out and away from the juice.



Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 12 of 40

Day 12 of 40 Day Fast
There is this place I like to go to pray. It's this little 10x10 room on the property of our church and a few people go there to pray. We have a prayer chapel inside the church that is all set up, decorated with handmade, sparkly banners and cushy leathery couches and comfy chairs, dimly lit, etc. There is a CD player and prayerful type music to play and sheets of paper to help guide you through prayer and lists of things to pray about, poems, etc. But, this other room I love, there is something more special, more intimate about this other room. It's not cushy, there are two metal folding chairs, two flat pillows, an old desk chair and I think the CD player out there is broken. It's actually a little humid and warm in there as well, but none at that matters to me.
Once I step into that room, I step into the presence of Holy Spirit. The white walls are saturated with the prayers of the warriors who were there hours, maybe minutes, before me. The scribbled note cards of those who need prayer and those who are responding to those needs lay on a small table or are tucked inside a prayer journal left on another small table. There's nowhere to get really comfortable b/c it's not about getting cushy, relaxed or comfy. It's about getting on my knees before the Almighty or laying prostrate on the ground as I relish in his presence and draw into holiness. I feel at home there. I feel warm and invited. I could stay there for hours and just sit around Him and the prayer walls that resonate prayerful vibrations, and I do, but I also lay out my own prayers to Him there. I pop the Nano in my ears, sit silently, lift my hands, speak out loud, cry and get really intimate in a way that I could not in the other cushy room or in front of any other person. All the walls come down there and I'm the true inside, bare boned Christy, the child of the living God who adores her. There I sit, kneel, stand before my Father, my best Friend, my Victor, my Redeemer and the One who goes before me as I battle through these 40 days and we talk. I pour out and He pours in. It's such an unfair trade and I'm so thankful for it.
If you have no such prayer closet or space of your own like this, I encourage you to find it. I have read so many times about how Christ would go away from the crowds and be alone with the Father. It was just a word story to me until I found this room where I really feel connected to Him. Now I pine to be alone with Him there. I think of being there when I am not and when I CAN get there, my feet can't carry me fast enough. What an absolute refuge in this wild and crazy world we live in!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 10 of 40

Day 10 of the 40 Day Fast
So here I am, day ten. This has been quite an experience for me thus far. I had two main motivations for going on this journey with God. First and foremost, I have a HUGE bone to pick with the Commander in Chief of the dark army. He has been working tirelessly to bring down the Children and keep those he already has captive and deceived. Recent study materials have shone light on the reality that I have a voice and strength and an honest to goodness place in the army of God. God's word has proven it true and experience is making it my reality. So like my ancestors of the Bible, I am taking up the spiritual armor of God and decreeing that I have power over the army of the dark and making the battle cry every day of this fast. I speak the words of David over the dark and carry the light into the enemy camps so as to break their holds, remove them from their bunkers and send them into retreat!
The second motivation was to experience God in a more intimate way. I want to draw near to him and feel his breath and heartbeat. He hasn't failed me either. Every time I come up against a trial during this trip I am met with frustration and with the help of a fellow compatriot I am encouraged and strengthened to fight with the mighty weapon of praise. And faithfully, every time I am flooded with peace and assurance that I am right where he wants me and victory is his. I look forward to what he has for me next.
My directions were changed early on in the mission, but I have been assured that I am still in favor with my Father and my mission is uncompromised at this point.
Day ten of a forty day mission and I feel invigorated and part of something so much bigger than myself. Day ten and the joy I experience while in communion with the Father is more intense than it was ever before. Day ten and I find the words of the Bible so much more meaty and applicable and making sense. Day ten and I can't help but feel that this discipline period is preparing me for MUCH bigger and harder things to come. Day ten, one quarter of the way, and I look forward to the next thirty days of war.
May I bear the armor proudly, constantly and courageously!