Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 - Three Day Fast
I believe that fasting is very personal and am sharing my thoughts and process for this fast as a way to document it as a completion for my list of 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 and for those who may be interested in learning more. I believe that fasting (willing abstinence or reduction of food and drink) can be used as a way to draw closer to the Lord. I have to admit that I have not participated in a lot of fasts and am not an expert on the nuances of fasting, although over the years, I've seen and heard about numerous ways and things to fast. One popular trend in our world of technology is to fast from social media. I don't think there's a right or wrong way, just different ways. I believe it's the intent and purpose of the fast that is most important.
I chose a partial fast by cutting out most foods. For the 3 days, I had primarily liquids, with the addition of a few crackers during the day and soup (noodle or egg drop) for supper. I spent most of my time at home, although I did get out one morning for a round of errands. I did 30 minute sessions of light exercise the first two days but skipped it on the third day. Other than cooking, I did my normal daily and weekly chores around the house. I did not share that I was fasting with anyone other than Robbie.
The purpose of my fast at this time was to focus and meditate on what the Lord is calling me to do, to spend time in the Word and in prayer, and to prepare devotionals for upcoming illustrated Bible journaling workshops. It was a refreshing and productive three days. There are a couple of personal issues that I have been praying about for some time, and, while those prayers have not yet been answered, several things happened on the third day (an email, a couple of phone calls) that assured me that God hears my prayers and will answer in His timing.
I used a photo of me working on an illustrated Bible journaling page for the page in my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 mini-album.
Before my fast, I read 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. I had not actually planned my fast when I requested the book (which I received free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review), but I'm sharing the review here as it is about fasting.
The concept of the book is to fast something different each day for a 40 day period. It calls for fasts of things like apathy, injustice, hypocrisy, addiction, and criticism. I like the concept set forth, however I did not like the format of the book and found it difficult to get through.
The book is designed so that one chapter is to be read and used each day. The chapters begin with a discussion of Jesus during the final week before His crucifixion, following along with the story in the gospels so that it progresses throughout that week a little in each day's reading. There's typically a quote included in this section, boxed off and somewhat relating to the topic. Next there's a short section titled Reflection, followed by the Today's Fast section and a brief description. Often I found it difficult to envision a way to fast a particular attribute. The next section is titled On Lent, which discusses the history of fasting during the Lenten season throughout the centuries. I found these sections of history rather difficult to follow as it was broken up into the 40 days. The final page of each chapter contains a suggested reading from the book of John along with blank lines for note-taking.
Honestly, I think the first sections of each chapter put together would make a nice book about the final week of Jesus' life. And the sections on Lenten fasting would probably make a very nice research paper. However, (to me) having so many short sections for each chapter made the book seem very disjointed. I have to note that I was reading the book through rather than simply reading one chapter a day.
Please share your thoughts on fasting in the comments.