I usually am terrible about setting or meeting New Year goals. I hate the burden or stress they put on you… I almost always feel like every goal I set is just a chance for me to fail. Nonetheless when 2015 rolled around I felt pushed, despite my better judgment, to set some goals. My biggest goal this year is the make 2015 a year were I find ways to deny myself and pick up my cross and follow Jesus just a little better than years past and one of the easiest ways to achieve that goal is through fasting.
Fasting is becoming trendy again… with the book 7 and other interesting movements… which is neat… but all the rules and stipulations of these movements seemed overwhelming to me. Instead I decided to make things simple, for every month of 2015 I am just choosing one thing to fast. January I fasted Facebook and Instagram. This month I am fasting watching TV just for my own entertainment ( I am still allowing myself to put on kids shows… and sometimes I get nervous at home late when I am alone so I am allowing myself to use the TV and a noise distraction in that scenario) otherwise no TV for me. I look forward to seeing how much reading I can get done without TV to distract me!
I really LOVED my January fast. Doing without Facebook was a BIG time saver. It really did make more room in my day for devotions, etc AND helped me stay less distracted (especially on days when I am home with the kids). I think when it’s just me and the kiddos Facebook is a easy way to feel connected to the world BUT can distract me from my primary mission, which is to sow into the lives of our children. I felt much less compelled to photograph EVERY moment and was more just concerned with being in the moment. I think taking a whole month away from scrolling and posting was a great way make a little more room for God and push out that part of me that always wants to keep up with the Jones’ (as they say).
I encourage you to give fasting a go…while it’s making a come back it’s still not a overly popular spiritual discipline. I believe though there is power in the practice of finding ways to deny yourself to honor your creator.
My husband recently pointed out that the goal of fasting is not for yourself but to move your focus from your needs/wants onto the needs of others. My prayer through this year is that I can find more room to serve those around me and I hope fasting makes space for God to answer that prayer.