The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Fast--Day Two

Thanks for responding about the need for this kind of post. I'm glad to be able to encourage you. And, to that end, I figured I'd better make it clear that we're not doing a super-human full fast! We're doing a less-than-strict "Daniel Fast." The idea is taken from Daniel 10:3, "All that time I had eaten no rich food [other translations say "delicacies"] or meat, had drunk no wine, and had used no fragrant oils." The strictest interpretations prohibit meat and it's byproducts (eggs, dairy, etc.), preservatives, processed foods (including white flour, white bread, white pasta), refined sugar and sugar substitutes, etc.

To be honest, I'm struggling a bit with exactly what my definitions of "meat" and "delicacies" are. Some of these prohibitions don't seem to fit those categories in my mind. We tend to try to avoid some of these anyway for health reasons, so I'm not complaining that they're on the list. My concern is more about the tendency to become Pharisaical about things. It just sounds a little like tithing a tenth of your spices. Sometimes I really wonder how the rebel and the Pharisee manage to live so peacefully together in me!

Anyway, so far I've been pleasantly surprised with how the food aspects have turned out. I found a hommus I really like. And, an overnight oatmeal recipe that may become commonplace around here.

The second issue I wanted to address for those of you who are hoping to learn from my neophyte experience is the 21-day period. This is the suggestion of our church leadership, taken, again, from the example of Daniel (10:2). I've been reading and pondering the entire chapter of Daniel 10 (think I might have to expand beyond 10 before the fast is over, but we'll see). It seems to me that Daniel set out to fast because he was in mourning (v 2). He was praying during this time for understanding (v 12) and possibly was using the fast as a means of humbling himself (v 12). It appears that God sent an angel to answer him right away, but that the angel was detained by spiritual forces of evil for 21 days (v 12-13), the same period during which Daniel mourned and fasted.

I don't think the Bible (or my church) is proposing that there's anything "magical" or even "spiritual" about a period of 21 days. I think that's just how long this particular spiritual battle took. That being said, I have heard from those who have experienced 21-day fasts that there is a certain progression, physically and spiritually, that seems to take about 21 days. So, I'm wondering, "What if it takes more or less than 21 days?" But, my friend always says, "It's hard to hear God in the hypothetical." In other words, He rarely, if ever, answers our "What ifs." I think He sorta wants us to focus on the journey we're on. Anyway, (not to sound like a broken record) when the time comes for me/us to break the fast (early, late, or on time), I'm sure we'll know.

So, remember how I said in my "Fast Food" post that I don't really get the connection between deprivation and grace? I think I may have just stumbled onto the answer to that one already! The angel's words are just so, so sweet: "O Daniel, greatly loved of God, listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you....Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, you request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer." (v 11-12, NLT)

I feel like I'm a little bit in Daniel's shoes. I don't know what he was mourning during this time, but whatever it was seemed to have confused him. I'm confused and grieved by the events I related in "My Confused, Broken Heart." But, I think the key is that Daniel wasn't just seeking understanding (which it seems the Lord favored), but also that he humbled himself. Perhaps there's an element of self-humiliation in fasting that I've overlooked in the past. I certainly don't recall any teaching on this aspect of fasting (it might be there and I just never *heard* it before). Certainly, God favors the humble (e.g.--"But he gives us more grace. That's why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'" James 4:6, NIV, cf following verses). Humility puts us in the place to receive God's grace. Perhaps fasting is one way of humbling ourselves.

I'm going to keep meditating on this humbling aspect of fasting. And, not just meditating, but trying to put it into action as well.


My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued