Let me start with some honesty...My name is Stace and I am addicted to coffee. I drink it first thing every morning. After school I stop by the gas station to get my 32 ounce fountain Diet Coke and then after dinner I make another pot of coffee. Bad, right?
I wanted to reflect on my experience, since it was my first and I may never attempt it again. :) The first five days I had a massive headache from caffeine withdrawals. I would wake up in the morning thinking about it like a true addict. It was my biggest sacrifice and struggle. Once, when Scott and I were shopping for fruity, herbal teas we had to go down the coffee aisle and we literally had to stop and pray for resistance right there in the middle of Wal-Mart to combat the urge to buy the coffee and quit the silly fast. Ridiculous, I know this. Luckily, a friend told me about Pero and I drove to Whole Foods that very night to buy some. It's roasted barley and rye for heaven's sake, but it's hot and brown and tastes decent with soy creamer.
By day six, the headache was gone, but then came the leg cramps. I had not done any extraordinary workout, so I attributed it to some sort of deficiency. So I ate bananas and put muscle rub on them. I know it says that Daniel used no lotion, but that wasn't gonna work in winter. Oh, and I forgot to mention the acne that popped up on my face!! I literally looked like I was having a teenage breakout.
Olivia, my nine-year-old daughter, participated by default. We gave every tempting, perishable food to our middle son and his wife. Olivia went over to her cousin's house to play and the first thing she did upon arrival was go into the kitchen and ask her aunt, "Do you have any meat?"
She also asked if when the Daniel Fast was over, could we please have 21 days of unhealthy eating. And my husband declared that after this fast was over, we'd do the Paul Fast, where" all things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial" (I Cor.10:23).
It was hard not to look for a weight loss on the scales. Scott and I both needed to shed a few pounds, but the weight was not falling off. We had a saying, "It's not what we're losing, it's what we're gaining."
By day nine, I hit my stride and began to feel vibrant. I read the Daniel Fast reading plan on YouVersion every morning. I looked forward to the interesting creations my sweet husband was coming up with in the kitchen. My faves include: foccacia, potato soup, Nutrein nuggets (from Tom Thumb) and bean tostados with cilantro guacamole.
The fact is, we made it! Not all of my friends can say that, not to boast. It only proves that it was not easy, especially in our fast food nation. I asked Scott if he wanted to wake up at 12:01 am and brew a pot of coffee. We've opted for sleep. I have been contemplating which things I've enjoyed and want to continue. I am not going back to Diet Coke. I can't even have one because then I'll crave it and fall back into that habit. I am going to continue being vegetarian (I had been for two years and had gone astray). I will enjoy my coffee every morning, but maybe in the evening I will drink Pero or Bengal Spice tea instead.
The last day of the Bible reading for today, said "No matter how deep you are now [with God], go deeper still. I hope that by dedicating the first part of the year to Christ, that I will continue to go deeper still in 2011. God blessed us immensely during these 21 days and more importantly, I pray He was blessed by our sacrifice and obedience. He is the only One worth giving up my morning cup of coffee for.
Amen...that it is finished!