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Day 8 of my Daniel Fast draws to a close. Rolled sweater-blanket balls up under laptop and adds layers to the swaths folding…caressing…around my crossed legs.

I nearly caved today. Just one cup of coffee. I could smell its deeply rich fragrance, taste the creamy robust brew making warm paths around my mouth. The temperatures in Denver have been hovering in the teens, making everything – my commute, my classroom, my fingers – chilled and aching for a hot mug of my favorite indulgence. I blew out a breathe…sucked in deeply…and prayed. Reminded myself of why I have embarked upon this lofty, 21-day commitment. Didn’t prepare the coffee I so longed to sip.

Students and friends alike have been peppering me with questions. “Why are you doing this?” “What are you doing?” “How are you feeling?” “How are you doing spiritually?” “Can we get you something at Starbucks?”

All legitimate questions and deserving of answers.

First, I embarked upon this Daniel Fast (as I described in this post) because I want this year to be different. I want to seek and know God whether or not He chooses to answer my prayers. I want to bless others and go beyond the requirements of average Christianity. In a word…exuberance. I want to be and feel alive. Casting off all garments of heaviness. I’m not a victim. I’m a daughter of the Most High God, and He has a lot for me…for us…to do.

As for the question, “What are you doing?” I agreed to join several other ladies in a 21-day Daniel Fast, beginning January 8. As described on this website http://www.daniel-fast.com/index.html, the Daniel fast is more about focusing on prayer and service than it is about losing weight or “getting healthy.” While those components are involved, this diet plan is much more of a spiritual diet. Self-discipline. Prayer. Self-denial. Worship. To be perfectly honest, I’ve gained physical weight. I may be eating healthy foods (no meat, dairy, or sugars allowed), but it’s not what I’m used to. The protein is lacking and the carbohydrates abound. I’m not sure that I’ve eaten this many nuts/seeds and fruits in years…if ever. I’m hungry all of the time, as the scale seems to demonstrate. Still, I deem the cost (and the pounds) worthwhile.

So, “How am I feeling?” Tired earlier in the evening than normal. Cold. Colder still without coffee. I believe a state of “detox” has been detected. Although I didn’t believe I was addicted to sugar or caffeine, by the end of Day One, I had to admit that there seemed to be a problem. My body screamed, “You’re an addict!” in all of its recently-decaffeinated strength.

Spiritually, however, I feel as though I’ve been given a fresh start. I’m praying more often and for more people. I’m listening to the Holy Spirit in the early, dark hours of pre-dawn morning. I’m waiting for Him to empower me as I teach, talk, and text. For the most part, I’m not praying for personal miracles. I’m praying for others, and it’s incredibly empowering. My God has proven that He would never leave me alone, and now I can “comfort others with the comfort with which I have been comforted.”

So, in answer to the final question, no thank-you, but you can’t order me a Starbucks. At least, not for 13 more days. By Christ’s strength, I’m going to see this thing through.

~~~

Several people also asked for my recipe to the last photo I posted on Facebook. Unfortunately, I create as I cook, and this one had no recipe at all. I look at the fridge, pantry, and figure out what I can eat and what is closest to spoiling. Then, I smell spices and sauces, chop a bit of this and a bit of that, taste liberally and eat fully. Apparently, I get that from my Mama, and I can only aspire to cook as she does one day. Yet, it’s impossible to ask her for one of her recipes. Usually, there’s a lot of “to taste” that and “several handfuls” of this. Oh, well.IMG_0177

However, for the sake of those who “liked” my photo, I will try to walk you through the steps of my latest creation. Tonight’s dinner proved that it makes delicious left-overs as well 🙂

First, chop one yellow summer squash, one red potato, one sweet potato, one small yellow onion, about 6 basil leaves and about 10 cloves of fresh garlic. Mix together. Then, add salt, pepper,  olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and a bit of malt vinegar.

Spread out on a baking sheet and bake on 450 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. (Time will vary based on how hot you set your oven, how finely you chopped the potatoes, and how tender you like your vegetables.) Stir at least once in the baking process.

While the veggies are baking, chop extra-firm tofu and spinach. Lightly cook in greased pan, adding oregano, salt, and pepper. Rosemary would be a lovely addition as well if you have any on hand.

Layer the ingredients and top with pumpkin seeds. Perhaps a bit of lemon juice. Or, whatever smells good to you at the time.

Enjoy!

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