In January of 2010, Doug presented his plan for a one-week, modified “Daniel” fast to our crew. Now that was a popular announcement!
I love how the New Year always brings us a fresh start, but a whole week of fruits and vegetables with a few whole grains minus any meat, dairy, sweets or breads? Even I was skeptical.
It sounded like a potential mutiny to me. Especially when we realized we would only see three meals a day. What? No snacking? Whatever would we do?
That was 2010, and contrary to my doubts, the results for our whole family were amazing. The kids rose to the challenge beautifully. Afterwards, we all agreed we had experienced supernatural growth and deliverance from some of our “soft and peevish” attitudes.
So the question when we rounded toward January 2011 was “What are we doing this year, Dad?”
I could hardly believe it when he said, “Let’s go for a two-week fast this year!” Then the children all said, “Great!”
Two weeks? Are you nuts, Doug? Whatever am I going to feed this family for two whole weeks?
He must have seen through my wrinkled forehead and read my mind, for he immediately came up with adding whole grain pasta to our meager selections.
Some of the kids were high-fiving about the deal, while others looked rather serious and somber.
This would be a Cherry family stretch, and—as Daddy Doug is also Pastor Doug—a church family stretch too.
We started our two weeks with a bang. Whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce with salad is not too bad…for one or two days. But long about the third day, we needed something a little heartier. So I cooked up a big pot of bean-filled vegetarian chili.
The kids must have been extra hungry at that meal, as some of them had also done a 24 hour fast with juice only. They ate their bowls of beans like hungry men at a work camp! But the next day…well, we won’t talk about the next day.
I was so proud of each one of them. Coping with deprivation was very maturing. After one week my chopped vegetable stir-fry with tofu was honored as the finest treat.
Now of course, our youngest little troopers were given a lot more leeway. Josiah, at four, did his best, but his doting siblings would often be heard saying, “Mama, he probably needs some cheese. Poor little guy.” So he had his share of “helpers.”
One night at our youth meeting, one of his brothers got him a plate of nachos (with hamburger!) It was causing quite a stir among the observers. Doug came upon the scene and asked, “How’s your fast going, Josiah?”
With a twinkle in his eye and his mouth stuffed with chips he replied, “Weally good, Daddy! But Daddy, my fast is not exactly like your fast.”
Well said, son, since Daddy as the captain of the ship was in the middle of his water-only fast.
By week two, the fast brought amazing palatal changes. Sautéed tofu was serving up like candy.
But little Josiah was not sure about this new “meat.” “Mama, are you sure this stuff is safe?” he asked as he brought me a cube that he had carefully dissected. “I think I see some pink in the middle!”
Wow, do I have a wise, Godly husband. I never would have known what God could do in our lives if Doug had not had the courage to lead us to do an uncomfortable thing.
With a whole culture of comfort pulling on our flesh daily, maybe our kids need a few more doses of good old-fashioned fasting. And maybe this Frontline Mama does too.
Sit down flesh! I’m walking by the Spirit!
See Lisa's post about gluttony here.