Tuesday, January 12, 2016

21 Day Fast for 2016

I decided to try and do my own version of a beginning of year break from certain things that may pull me away from important things.  Also, maybe try a certain kind of fast called a Daniel fast.  I don't know.  It should be interesting.  I struggle with telling you but at the same time, how do we encourage others if we don't?  This part confuses me.  My church is openly doing a 21 day fast and I'm picking things to break away from that are a personal struggle.  One is food.  I don't have an addiction to sweets or even pastas.  I mainly eat meat and vegetables but I'm gonna take mostly sugar out (except for coffee) and meat.  So no soda, even my favorite diet soda.  I KNOW that's bad for me. Also a media fast but an exception for Christian movies for encouragement.  :) 

I DID see War Room three times and I needed the encouragement so badly. I went through some struggles this last year and it spiritually and mentally had a toll on me.  I need to start this year out right and it's gonna be done the best way I know how. A time of focus on prayer and learning.

I wasn't sure either so I'm gonna post it here.  :D

Foods to include in your diet during the Daniel Fast
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Fruits include but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned. Vegetables include but are not limited to artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, ginger root, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains, including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds, including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans, white beans.
All quality oils including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other: tofu, soy products, vinegar, seasonings, salt, herbs and spices.

Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cheese, cream, butter, and eggs.
All sweetenersincluding but not limited to sugar, raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses, and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel Bread (it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including shortening, margarine, lard and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to coffee, tea, herbal teas, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Saying Goodbye to a Very Hard 2015

This last year was one of the hardest years I've been through in a very long, long time.  I was so happy to say goodbye to 2015.  One thing I'm closing the door to is having any adult/families move in.  I'll help find friends a shelter if they're in need, and I have done that recently. I just can't have anyone moving in anymore unless it's foster children.  One reason I can't is because I am realizing that my parenting clashes sometimes with other parents. (NOT saying my parenting is superior and theirs is bad). I'm active in their every day life down to the nitty gritty. I work really hard at knowing each and every one of my kids down to knowing their favorite food, color, favorite clothing item, and secret struggles.  When you live with another family that lives completely different, it's extremely hard to mesh together with rules and expectations.  I've had two families live with us within 1 year so I'm closing the door to that chapter.  I know it was hard for them to live with us as well as we have so many rules.  We have to to function well as a large family.  We have LOTS of fun and we've worked so hard to make sure we have a fun house for kids.  Kids from other families often ask to come over. Rules doesn't mean we're mean.  We just have function.  There are wake times, breakfast times, school/homeschool time, chore time, game time, lunch/dinner, and bed times.  AND ABSOLUTELY NO WHINING when we ask these things because whining is also disobedience and defiance  We even have a 17 year old friend that knows he can come and go as he pleases.  We love and trust him very much.  He's very much earned it. 

Also, this last year we had some HUGE unexpected changes.  Back in July we rescued a friend from a bad situation.  She had three children as well.  While at the shelter, DCS decided it was best to remove the kids and place them in foster homes.  I cried and cried as I felt responsible being I removed them from their home. However, they were living in a bad situation with abuse so it wasn't a bad decision at all.  I saw the kids were very  much out of their mother's control and running all over her. She wasn't used to taking care of the kids without the father around.  Also, they were used to being managed with an iron fist.  Take that away and the kids just went wild.  I agreed with DCS to take the oldest son but not the other two.  I didn't think I could manage the small girl's behavior from what I saw.  Well, it's been 3 months and I found out two months ago that the girl was doing AMAZING in foster care and was very calm and happy.  I became friends with the foster mom and we started to share days with her.  (I named them Michael and Grace since I can't say real names.) I started have a feeling in my gut that something was going on and we HAD to take grace.  You would never believe it.  I called the DCS worker and told her we changed our mind and are willing to take in Grace.  The worker told me that if I hadn't of called that day, she was about to be taken to a relatives house.  A relative of the abuser and this person does NOT have a good relationship with Grace.  So, even though Grace was in an amazing foster home, family has preference and she would have transferred.  Because I have her sibling, I get top preference.  Well, she was placed in my home yesterday permanently until mommy gets them back.  :D  That was totally God putting her on my heart and brother is relieved.  

Charles and I have been working really, really hard to get our foster care license so once these two kids go back to their mom, we can minister to and take care of two more kids.  I'm so excited as this has been my dream for many, many years!!!  My biggest dream is to work in an orphanage but since I have children at home, I wasn't able to work at one till they were raised.  Foster care/adoption is the next best thing.  We've gone through many home inspections, paperwork, and have had lots of studying to complete.  We won't be done with our classes till the end of this month. I'll be so happy when we're done. 

On top of all this, I had a baby!  Ha ha.  I forget that physically and mentally 2015 was a humongous adjustment.  I didn't gain one kids last year, I gained three!  On top of that, people moving in and out of our house.  I'm starting this year off with prayer and fasting because I'm believing for it to be an amazing, peaceful year.