Discipline is one of those words I can easily brush off or go on overkill. It seems balance in life is not my forte. I'm an all or nothing. Full or empty. Overindulge or throw it all out kind of gal.
Recently, well, a month and half (probably more than that) I haven't been very good keeping up with life. Truth is, since Caprice's arrival I haven't been very good about keeping up with life. I told Ben how I'm realizing a secret gift in her bringing up the the parent to child ratios in our family, "Ben, I'm an 'on the whim' person. I'm great at improvising and going by the seat of my pants. But, I feel like when God gave us Caprice, I've been forced to see how order can mingle with improvisation."
Do you feel like this?
I can walk into my kitchen and spot disarray. I begin cleaning and decluttering, putting away dishes. Then, I take said basement item back from said kitchen to it's right home, where there is still a mess to clean in the kitchen; but, I become distracted by the disarray in the basement. Hit wash, rinse, repeat throughout my house.
But, it's not just the home--is it? This disorder tends to creep up everywhere. It's physical, spiritual, mental.
My babe is nursing less, because she's eating more solids, which means I don't need to keep eating as many calories as I did in the beginning. Translates into adding weight on my thighs coupled with a wonky knee and hips in physical therapy of which I don't make time to do my exercises (can anyone say feeding family, laundry, dishes?). Thus, I cannot return to simply running or regular exercise as a gimpy mama.
More importantly, as my stressed body is being filled with junk food (quite literally, not 100% Paleo friends), so is my soul being polluted leaving me bloated, aching and sedentary.
I'm being called to embrace a season of discipline in my life. To pull in the reigns and not crap on the word grace. Fasting is this for me. When I fast from all sugars (including honey & maple syrup), when I say no to the now, in order to find more life later is really life lived.
When we did a Whole30 in January, I found myself with more clarity both in physical and mental ways. My body ached less & had more energy. I could hear the inward places more clearly. It's like walking into a clean kitchen to begin cooking, my mind can focus on that one task.
I know there are other types of fasting, like Facebook, tv, spending money, etc, and all of those are good. But, there's something more stretching about abstaining from food. As I say no to that "reward" or impulse decision to eat peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's (because that is a real thing), I'm gaining a strength and reliance on something more than myself. I get to choose mindfulness of the present and actually say no to the "whim of my impulses."
And I don't think impulses are all bad, its when they dictate the most of my life.
So, I don't think all this talk on fasting would be complete without extending an invitation to you. We're not going to be all pharisaic and stand on the street corners about our great works. Rather, a place to encourage.
It would also be disingenuous of me to make you think that I have it altogether and am a glowing example of good eating. Like I began, I am a pendulum. I have been so impulsive in my consumption of ice cream, candy, sweets around the time my girls make it to bed. I make the excuses, "Well, I've had a hard day...I deserve this."
Join me if you would like. Maybe do a Whole30, eliminate everything at once. Fast from all sugars for a week. If you're not nursing or pregnant and you're able, fast for one meal (designate a set amount of hours). We can fast by also eating within the rhythms of the season.
And of course, after we fast, let's feast (more on that later). Our bodies need both.