And just like that, January is over, and February has begun.
Our February fast is Music. For one month we will not be listening to music in the car or at home. We will be participating in worship at church, and I can imagine that it will just be so much RICHER. I’m excited for that. It will be hard to break the habit of getting into the car, and punching the radio ‘on’ button, and getting home and playing Pandora while I make dinner. For each day of February, I choose a song to write out the lyrics and meditate on for my devotions. Many of these are hymns and worship songs, but I had to throw in a few catchy country ones (like, for Valentines Day!) and several that are more lighthearted. I will post the list in a few days, as I’m still working on a few more songs to add to it.
But, back to January:
We completed this month with just a few glitches and a LOT of learning. We learned that fasting does not automatically have a spiritual component, we had to consciously make that decisions to make it spiritual. For example, when I wanted to stop home from work and buy a Subway sandwhich, I would usually just say no to myself and not think about it again. Instead, when that urge hits, I could pray about giving things up to God, or maybe even pray specifically for those who can’t afford a Subway sandwhich.
We learned that cheating will happen. Especially if you are attempting this while in the first trimester of pregnancy. And I think it’s ok. ‘Cheating’ on a fast does not mean it pointless, that is not entirely the point. The point is surrendering those things to God and letting him take over. Sure, it would be great to go through a month where I TOTALLY accomplished my goal, but it’s not going to ruin it for the whole month if Theo bought me pizza one disastrous night, or if Theo had to order some books from Amazon for a class that is in just a few weeks.
I am also learning that there needs to be a beautiful break in the fast, a thanksgiving day, a day to reflect back on it. For this particular month we didn’t have that. I have lost my wallet, and besides: we are not going to go on an all-day shopping spree. However, when fasting, it is extremely helpful to ‘break the fast’, celebrating what God has given us that we chose to go without. Perhaps in this instance we can order a gift for someone, or pay for someone’s coffee in line behind us.
There are a lot of things I did this month that I would want to change. However, I have learned a lot and I am diving into February with much more intentionality and focused on the spiritual aspect of fasting, instead of just the social aspect.