Every January, we set aside a few days to really focus on our walk with God and evaluate where we are in the life journey. We ask ourselves tough questions like:
- How are the really important relationships in our lives?
- Where do we see ourselves twelve months from now?
- What needs "cleaning out" in my life?
- Are we growing in faith? ...in love toward others? ...in obedience to God?
Most people only relate fasting to food. But we've also had times of fasting television, facebook, favorite hobbies. One year Joy (who was ten at the time) chose to fast riding her bicycle. That was a tough call for Joy and for mom.
We were home-schooling then. When Joy would get overwhelmed or wound up, I'd just sent her out to ride several laps around the house. It always worked like a charm. She'd come back in ready to go.
When she announced she would be fasting bike riding for twenty-one days, I was the one who cringed!
It's all about creating extra time to refocus; sharpening the axe, if you will.
On Monday, Kristin and I tackled my closet. It needed cleaning out. She had a free afternoon. Cleaning and organizing are calming for her. I wanted the help. So we dove in......
The prevailing rule for discarding? If I haven't worn it in a year - time to bless someone else!
But several things became evident rather quickly - I had seriously underestimated how long that little project would take. I had seriously underestimated how much junk I had stashed away. I had seriously underestimated Kristin's level of determination to push through to completion. (Thank heavens for that last one.)
Half way into the project, I left the room overwhelmed! It looked a little like a bomb had gone off.
There were clothes and shoes and hangers strewn hither and yon. Stacks for consignment. Stacks for friends and family. Stacks for the garbage.
I had to go lay down in the other bedroom for a half hour nap before I could continue! (Yes, I'm telling you the truth.)
But before the afternoon was over, victory was ours! Shirts hung neatly; organized by color. All dress slacks hanging symmetrically; also by color. Sweaters, tank tops, casual jeans - folded and stowed. Top, bottom, sides and corners all in order!
That one afternoon devoted to organizing and cleaning is going to save me so much time getting ready this year. (Just like Lincoln suggested.)
My little closet is so neat and tidy now that I could fling open the door and invite you to view inside without any shame or embarrassment at all.
And that's why we choose to fast and pray at the beginning of each year. We want to clean out our lives. Discard things that don't serve a good purpose. Give the important things a more prominent place.
That way, I'm able to fling open the door of my life and invite you in. You're now welcome to view my heart up close/journey with me. And if proper time has been spent cleaning the corners, I don't have to be embarrassed or ashamed or feel there's anything at all to hide.
I'm at the half way point of fasting for 2014. Feel free to join me for the second half if you'd like.
Update: My frozen shoulder is thawing slightly. And all the virus bugs have flown. I think we're on the path back to real living. Thanks so much for the prayers and comments of encouragement!