Intermittent Fasting and Faith

This post is a little bit health and a little bit faith. I never, ever considered fasting. Ever. Like why would I skip a meal on purpose? I also didn’t see the connection to faith. Bear with me on this.

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Since starting Keto a year ago the topic of intermittent fasting kept coming up. So, I did a little research and decided to try it some. I still wasn’t sure how it would work. How would I not starve or just be sitting there counting the minutes to when I could eat? So, I did a little experiment. I started out doing it from Saturday dinner to Sunday lunch. I don’t usually work out on Sunday morning so as long as I could make it through church service I’d be ok. Turns out my stomach can growl really loud when it’s empty.

Next time, I sorta joked about praying my way through it. “Please Lord don’t let my stomach growl during church.” It worked though. So, then I prayed it seriously and asked for guidance on keeping focused during church and not feeling hungry.  It worked even better.

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Now it’s become extra time during the day to focus and pray. Sometimes, I can’t find the words to pray so I just turn on some praise and worship music and sing (well, make a noise anyway).

The Bible talks a lot about fasting. It was used to repent, worship, show humility. Those are all very good reasons for me to fast as well. Not counting the health benefits to fasting.

Here are just a few Bible references to fasting:

  • Matthew 6:16-18
  • Isaiah 58:3-7
  • Samuel 12:15-17
  • Psalm 35:13-14

Intermittent fasting on the Keto diet has health benefits as well. Fasting can help burn fat, and if you are eating a Keto diet you may not need breakfast. My husband rarely eats breakfast but he has a bulletproof coffee each morning. I don’t drink coffee, and I almost always eat breakfast. I am going to try fasting a few mornings a week though.

I have not gone over 18 hours, that includes sleeping. Most of the time I fast for 16-17 hours. I just downloaded and started using an app to track it. At least it’s a visual goal for me. Just make sure you break your fast with a healthy keto meal, not a carb loaded pizza.

We don’t actually need to eat 3, 4 or 5 times a day to lose weight or be healthy. It’s just what I trained my body to think it needs. With fasting, I’m not only re-training my body to only eat when I really need to but also relying on God for guidance and that extra time has been a blessing. I couldn’t see it before. I was just focused on the hunger. Focused on what I was going to eat next and when. It all goes back to my relationship with food. In case you missed that post, it’s here.

Have you tried fasting?

How long do you fast and how often?

What do you do during your fast?

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Faith, Family, Fitness series: grief

It took me a little longer to write this post. I’ve been staring at the screen for days trying to write a sentence.

Grief.

It hits us all at some point in our lives. We can prepare for the passing of a loved one, as much as we can. We can tell ourselves it’s better, they aren’t suffering, they are in a better place, but it doesn’t seem to help me much.

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My grandmother passed away two weeks ago. 3 days before my 38th birthday. I had her in my life for 38 years and she was an amazing woman. I probably don’t even know half of the amazing things she did in her life. She raised 6 kids by herself, who brought 21 grandkids into this world, who in turn (so far) have brought 27 great-grandkids into this world. I think I counted everyone. She loved the Lord with all her being, never wavering from her faith. In the end her body failed her, but her Savior did not. She is walking in Heaven and worshiping Jesus, I know this. It does comfort me, but it still hurts terribly. It still makes me sad and I can’t even imagine what holidays will be like without her.

She gave me my Bible in 1993. In the front cover is written Psalm 119:105, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. She wrote poems, stories and letters to all of us over the years. I found the original copy in her handwriting while at her apartment after she passed. Tears were flowing while seeing her words. My cousin joked at the service that if you gave our grandmother a gift she would keep it for a while then give it back to you. It’s true. Everything she owned had someone’s name on it and we all got those things after she passed, and some over the years she gave us. She didn’t need the things of this world.

Psalm 3418

The Lord has a way of working things out. Just three short days after burying my sweet grandmother, my dad got the call that we’ve been waiting on for too long, he was getting a new heart. This story is a story for another day, but let me tell you it’s been a long one, but a victorious one. A friend of mine posted this verse and it seemed to fit so it’s the one I’ve been praying for him.

I believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord
in this world of the living.

 Wait with hope for the Lord.
Be strong, and let your heart be courageous.
Yes, wait with hope for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14

He gives us a renewed hope every morning. I am praying for my dad’s new heart to literally be strong. It has been a tough week and he has a long road to recovery.

Thank you to everyone that has been praying for us, sitting at the hospital or checking on me during this time. It means a lot!

Do you have a verse that helps you when you are grieving?

What about a verse that gives you hope?

Thanks for reading!

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Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Faith, Family, Fitness: dealing with disappointment

Disappointment. Everyone deals with it sometimes, maybe it seems like all the time.

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We’ve been house hunting and some days it’s fun, some not to much. This may seem trivial but when you are looking for a place for your family to live, it’s a big deal. And wanting a house, making an offer on it and finding out it’s rejected or you get outbid or whatever the case, is disappointing and a little heart breaking. I’ve been learning to lean more on God through this season. He has a plan for my family. I may not see it yet, but it’s there.

For I know the plans I have for

I was reminded of this verse by Ally. She had written it on a t-shirt she made at camp. I saw it after pulling it out of the dryer. It reminded me that God is in control of our future. He has us in his hands. It may not be on my time, but we will find the house for us. I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in our lives in a home that is set aside for us. It’s hard not to get disappointed because we can’t see the bigger picture. I don’t know how this story turns out. I just have to trust in God and know that he knows the ending.

I have prayed, begged, cried and pleaded with God, laying it all out there. I think I was more worried about Ally and how she would cope with this. But she seems ok. She’s probably handling it better than anyone. For now, we have the 3 of us and 2 dogs living with my mother-in-law. I know it was God’s timing that our house sold so quickly. We will make it through this season and look back and maybe see the reasons or just be stronger because of it.

How do you deal with disappointment?

How do you help your kids cope?

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Faith, Family, Fitness: slowing down

Welcome to another installment in the Faith, Family, Fitness series. Today’s topic is: slowing down.

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I broke my 13 year no-speeding-ticket streak last weekend. I am not proud. I think God is trying to teach me something and I’m afraid it’s patience.

I went to the court house and paid my fine, chose deferred adjudication. I have 90 days probation and as long as I don’t get a ticket (anywhere) it’s off my record. If I do get a ticket, I could get my license suspended.

I am taking this very seriously.

I have noticed over the last few days of paying attention to my speed, just how fast I drive. I am always in a hurry in my car. I do not stay behind someone who is driving the speed limit and definitely not if they are under speed limit. In fact, I’ve been known to yell. Obviously not setting a good example for my daughter. Since she’s 12 and will be learning to drive in less than 3 years (YIKES) I guess I better get that under control.

I need to slow down my life. Not just driving, it seems I’m in a hurry all the time. Not wishing away the days but just always moving. I honestly don’t like it. I am one of those people that prefers a clear calendar, I like to be home in the evening. In the winter I come straight home from work and put on my pajamas.

And if I’m constantly in a hurry how can I hear God’s voice?

Be still verse

Be still.

Be still and know that I am God.

Just thinking on those words calms me.  I will be concentrating on slowing down, both literally and figuratively. Even if things are crazy around me, I need to remember to take a few minutes to be still every day.

Do you need to slow down?

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Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Faith, Family, Fitness: Negative influences

Negative influences are all around us. It’s a struggle to keep from allowing it to influence us and harm us.

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We discussed this topic recently at church and it has been on my mind since. There are so many negative influences around us and they can affect our health, goals, family, kids and work. I work in a very small office, all of the ladies here are christian and we have been friends for a long time. I’ve been noticing recently one of them has started complaining a lot, I mean a lot. And I’ve noticed that I go home and complain to my husband about all the complaining I heard all day long.

“Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

That’s just one example. Negative people around us can hurt our goals. When I was losing weight I actually had people tell me they thought I had lost enough weight. I wanted to ask them where they were when I was overweight? They should have told me then I needed to lose weight.

Those people can discourage us from sticking to our goals. They can make us think it’s not worth the effort. Guess what. That’s the devil working against us. He doesn’t want us to succeed. He doesn’t want us healthy and joyful and thanking God. He wants us focused on all the negativity around us.

Our kids are bombarded with negative influences. I had to delete a few accounts that my 12 year old follows on Instagram because of that. One of the girls in her class posted something with profanity on it. I can’t help it if she hears it sometimes, but I can certainly help prevent her from reading it on her friends social media.

These influences can take our minds and focus off Christ.

“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

Entertainment and social media can definitely have a negative influence on us. I love music, all kinds. And at times some of my choices probably aren’t the best. It’s easy for me to put that one on the back burner and down-play it’s influence on me. When in reality it should be the first one to go.

We should surround ourselves with positive people. Friends that have the same beliefs, that raise their kids the same way, that encourage us and are helpful. It’s gotten easier as I get older to decide I don’t need negative people in my life. I’ve replaced them with people that believe and think the same way I do. They encourage me and have the same goals in life.

How I (try to) combat negative influences:

  • Pray
  • Surround myself with Christian, like-minded people
  • Remove myself from the situation, whenever possible

What negative influences are you faced with?

How do you combat negative influences in your life? In your kids lives?

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Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Faith, Family, Fitness series: Strong Enough

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Welcome to the first post in a new series: Faith, Family, Fitness. I hope you will join me on this journey. I’m stepping way out of my comfort zone.

So, I think it’s fitting I start with this topic, Strong Enough.

Have you heard the song by Matthew West? It’s one of my favorites and it’s on my running playlist. Here’s the video if you haven’t heard it.

Strong Enough by Matthew West

Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics:

“Cause when I’m finally,
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out”

“Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak”

Unfortunately, that’s when I do finally give up trying to do things on my own, when I’m at rock bottom. If I would just learn to ask for help first, things would be easier.

Are you strong enough? I’m not. Not alone. It took me a while and sometimes I still don’t get it, but God wants it all. No matter how small you think it is. Whether it’s finances, health, job, kids, marital, and yes running, and weight loss. God wants us healthy, inside and out. We are no good to Him and his kingdom if we can’t get out of bed because we aren’t healthy. He uses what we learn to reach others.

There are lots of times in the Bible when God gave strength to someone when he needed something done. There’s too many to name them all. Esther is probably one of my favorites. She saved her family and people from destruction, God gave her strength to plead with the King to save the Jews. God gave her strength to go before the king when she wasn’t summoned, which could have resulted in her death. I am so glad that my King does not require permission to come before him. We can go before God anytime and with anything.

He is always listening. He hears us, he answers us. Although it may not always be on our time and with the answer we want. I have prayed many times for strength.

Psalm 461

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Refuge and strength. He’s our hiding place. He wants our hurts, even if you can’t get the words out or don’t know what to say. He knows, he just wants you to come to him.

You are my strength, I sing praise to you. You God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. Psalm 59:17

He’s someone we can rely on, even more so than our spouses and friends. He holds us up when we need it, we just need to rely on him to be that strength. It’s hard, so hard. I struggle with it. I have this need to control my situations, but I can’t. The times I have literally given it all to him I have seen his blessings.

It took a lot of strength for me to take the first step out the door in 2011, to walk that first mile, to change my life. It took a lot of strength to start this blog and even more to write this post and share this with you. I’m taking a leap of faith here and my prayer is you will find hope in Him.

What are you holding back on?

What do you need strength for?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Do you know Jesus Christ? Is He your savior? Please email me if you have questions or need to be prayed for. {sarah at howmyworldruns.com}