Yesterday I fasted. For those not familiar with this spiritual practice, it goes like this: you decide on "something"...an "issue"...a problem, a concern, or even just gratitude...something....that you wish to place before a kind and loving Heavenly Father with faith-on the altar, so to speak. You then say a pray. You speak your heart about your "matter". You do not eat or drink any food or water for at least two meals. Many people go 24 hours. If, for health reasons, an individual cannot fast, they can "honor the spirit of the fast" and eat/drink simply (which means not over-indulging in hot fudge sundaes, etc). While you're fasting, you go about your day as usual but I think it helps to read spiritual texts or uplifting material, avoid television or other things that would take away from your spiritual growth. I like to ponder spiritual matters or perform service while I'm fasting.
At the close of your fast, you end with prayer. Following this, you pay a generous "fast offering" to the Church, which typically consists of whatever the cost would have been for the meals you would have eaten, had you not fasted.
The benefits of fasting are physical and spiritual. Physically, you feel cleansed. Your body gets a break from junk. Digestion can rest and typically, we have enough superfluous fat to get by for 24 hours without starving. We can survive.
Spiritually, it's amazing. It's an act of obedience so there are blessings that attend it. I am a woman of faith, so I don't just believe in miracles, I pretty much expect them. And I get them too. They may not show up in the package or time frame I was expecting, but they always show up. And throughout the day, during the fast, I get these little occurrences I like to think of as God winking at me.
Anyway, it's a nice way to spend the day. It's even nicer when it's over and you begin to reap the benefits. Sometimes I fast simply in gratitude for the love and laughter that is in my life. Sometimes I fast for specific things. But there is nothing stronger than family. And today, as I was driving through pretty hills and scenes, I was blessed with beautiful imagery of my family. Truly blessed. I was thinking of chasing Mae and Clarkie and was taken back to when I used to chase Jette and Emmy-the exact same way. Only Em would laugh so hard, she would stop running, or completely fall down. I would even chase them when I was big and pregnant with Eric...and I think I continued to chase all three of them when I was big big BIG with Eli. Okay, maybe not those last three weeks-which the OB allowed me to go over...yea...like that would happen today....
Anyway, I remembered chasing Jette and Em. The older couple next door would sit in their lawn chairs watching and smiling. They have since passed, but my heart grew so warm remembering them and that little time of paradise on Sunnyside Lane in that little house and how charmed those years were.
But, today was a good day. I'm full of health, full to bursting of love for my family, they seem to be doing okay and moving upwards instead of downwards. My grandchildren are well. I still have my mom and she prays for me and when I check in the next day to tell her I could feel her prayers, she almost cries when she tells me how much she loves me. I can't tell you how much it means to hear that coming from my 89 year old mother. I'm without sufficient words for how that feels. This mortality thing...five decades passed "as if in a dream"...
Fasting. I recommend it. And now I'm done. Love to all.