So Blessed.

“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” – John 1:16, NLT

I heard the birds singing a sweet song outside my window this morning, and I thanked God for the joy of a new day. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the struggles of life and focus on the negative. If I’m not careful, I find myself complaining instead of rejoicing. I forget how blessed I am.

When I look back on my life, I can’t help but fall on my face in worship to the One who has sustained me through it all. When I’ve experienced success, He has encouraged me. When I’ve failed Him miserably, He has forgiven my sin and restored me. When I’ve been broken, His loving arms have embraced me. When I’ve neglected Him, He has pursued me.

God’s love is abundant. It’s wonderfully extravagant! He’s a generous God who gives and gives and gives. Sometimes I wonder, God, why are you so good to me? The answer is simple. It’s because He is good. He can’t help but be anything else. God loves to lavish us with His love by pouring out one blessing after another into our lives.

How has God been good to you? If you’re like me, you can’t even begin to count the ways. However, stop right now, and thank Him for a few things that come to mind. Praise God for the many gifts he has given you. Remember, you are blessed indeed. So very blessed.

8:15am
I awoke this morning to the sound of birds singing outside our bedroom window. Their sweet songs put a smile on my face, despite the fact that it’s Monday and nearly 40 degrees cooler than it was yesterday! 🙂

God really has done a work in my heart over the past week. It’s difficult to express in words, but I have much greater joy and peace than I did before I began my fast.

After having water for five days and water/juice for two, yesterday I decided to add in solid food. For lunch I had steamed vegetables – broccoli, peas, and carrots. Even though my portion size wasn’t large at all, my stomach hurt shortly after I finished. The discomfort didn’t last long, though. At dinner, I had a tomato, more carrots and peas, and a few pieces of red bell pepper. I also enjoyed slices of apple and mango. Even though I barely ate anything, I knew immediately that I overdid it.

Transitioning from a liquid fast to solid food is extremely challenging. The desire to eat is nearly overwhelming once you take that first bite. You have to exercise self-control, that’s for sure. I had to remind myself to take it easy and chew slowly. After consuming only liquids for seven days, your digestive system has been somewhat at rest, and you get full quickly.

This morning I haven’t had anything but water yet because I’m not really hungry. I will probably have some juice soon, though, and then attempt to eat food (in small amounts) again today.

You may be wondering why I decided to start my Daniel Fast a water/juice fast in the first place. Since I normally eat according to the Daniel Fast guidelines (with a few exceptions), and I wanted to step it up a notch to make my fast more of a sacrifice. Doing a liquid fast challenged me and increased my awareness of how totally dependent upon the Lord I am. Eliminating the distraction of food allowed me to press in and focus on prayer. Many times I wanted to quit, but my desire to hear from the Lord was greater than my physical weakness.

If you are on the Daniel Fast right now, be assured that the Lord is helping you. You may have times when you are frustrated, discouraged, or just plain tired of fasting. Don’t give up! God will reward you for persevering and trusting in His strength to see you through to the end.

May the Lord bless you today as you seek Him. I’m praying for you!

8:00pm
When I post devotions or recipes for the blog, I pray that the Lord will encourage and bless others through what I write. I received the following message:

You inspired me to complete a 3-day liquid fast which I completed yesterday! I think reading your blog about your fast really inspired me. The fast made me feel so much closer to God and in touch with my joy and His peace.

Praise God! He’s always at work around us. I’m thankful that He allows me to be a part of what He’s doing. If you have a Daniel Fast testimony you’d like to share, send it my way!

Breakfast: Juice – 1 tomato, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage, 1/2 cup kale leaves, 1 clementine
Lunch: Steamed broccoli and carrots, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper slices
Snack: Juice – 1 large apple, 1 cup kale leaves, 1 cup chopped red cabbage
Dinner: Baked acorn squash, steamed broccoli and carrots, sugar snap peas, small bowl of Rosemary Split Pea Soup
Snack: 1/2 banana, 2 dried plums (that had been soaked in water, which makes them easier to digest)