Fasting 101

Hey Queens!

For the past four days, I’ve been trying to upload a video all about the 21-day fast I did, but for some reason it wouldn’t upload. I’m annoyed but that, but I’ll just do a blog post about it.

Photo courtesy of Royal Doors

Each year my church embarks on a fast to start the new year off right. I definitely needed the reboot because I had became stagnant in my relationship with God. I love that my church allows you to pick what kind of fast you want to do. I chose a vegetarian diet with no sweets and limited social media and TV time. For the most part, I normally eat a vegetarian/pescatarian diet, so the food part wasn’t so hard, but the sweets… OH MY GOSH. That was the true test for me. My mouth watered for chocolate, cookies, cakes, brownies, etc. everyday, but with God’s help I was able to make it.

The time away from social media helped me to refocus on my one-on-one relationship with God and prompted me to start journaling again. Along with journaling I also started a 365-day devotional called Daily Gifts of Hope: Devotions for Each Day of Your Year by Women of Faith. In addition, I read a proverb a day, so on January 1st, I read the first chapter, and so on. This really helped me create a habit of picking up my Word and then writing about how to apply it to my life. And although the fast ended last week, I have continued with the discipline (including social media). This year I want to live life without distraction or through a mobile device, so I’m taking a step back. Of course a lot of what I do includes posting on social media, but I have decided to post and go. No scrolling for long periods of time everyday. I still allow myself to indulge, but not nearly as much as I was; which is really helping me with being productive and planning tons of things I want to do with my brand.

My prayer life is officially back on track and I feel refreshed. I was able to finally trust God’s timing through this fast and I have so much peace about it. Yes, I still find myself wanting to question God, but I quickly remind myself that He has my best interest at heart.

Random, but throughout my fast I was on strictly veggies and fruits. I limited my carb intake, so I had to get creative with meals. But, my favorite part was coming up with new smoothie recipes. Here are the ones I tried.

Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients 

Half a Suja Organic Mighty Green Juice (sold at Walmart)

1/2 banana

1 celery stalk chopped

2 handfuls of Kale or spinach

1 handful of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)

1 tsp of Agave Nectar

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 pinch of ginger

1 tsp of Chia seeds

 

Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 Suja Organic Sweet Beets Juice (sold at Walmart)

1/2 banana

2 handfuls of Kale or spinach

1 handful of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)

1 tsp of Agave Nectar

1 tsp of Chia or Flax seeds

1 pinch of cinnamon

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

 

 

 

 

Sync…

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I know it has been a long time! But we will talk about that another time: I just finished my quiet time and I had to share with you all.

So you are probably wondering what I mean by quiet time, well allow me to elaborate. Every morning I try (keyword: TRY) to spend time reading my Bible, and communing with God – my heavenly Father, through prayer.

I always start my prayer by thanking Him for who He is and how wonderful He is. Then I proceed to ask Him for things like keeping my family and me safe, among other things. Afterwards, I thank Him for answered prayers, seal it with an amen and go on with my day.

However, there are moments through out my day, when I feel the urge to pray.  An urge that lingers on and on. At times to me “the moment” doesn’t seem ideal or I already prayed this morning so why am I feeling this way?

This morning what I realized is that, our relationship with Christ can not be one-sided. When YOU are ready to pray, when YOU need something, when YOU need him. God loves to commune with us outside “our needs.” He longs to know our thoughts, even though He knows them already, He longs to know our hearts desires, even though He places them there. He longs to take us deeper in Him.

prayer

So I ask: Are you in sync with God? Do you hear Him when He speaks, when He calls, when He beckons?  Stop missing God’s calls because you never know how and when that moment with Him will change your day, week, month or even your entire life! He knows all that we need, even before we ask Him. I am realizing more and more that when God shows up for one thing, He feels you up with everything!

When you are in sync, God prepares you for situations ahead. I promise you “that moment” makes all the difference in the world when you are faced with a situation.

Stay in sync because prayer changes things!

Until next time,

Lady J.

Fasting, Prayer & Meditation

Good Morning Queens,

It’s your girl Jess, and today I’m going to be talking about a rather serious topic: fasting, prayer and meditation. Well serious in the regard that it is important to me.

So every year, my church does a fast to start the year off right. We call it Consecration because it literally means ‘to be set apart.’ Last year I wasn’t able to participate for health reasons, but this year I was super excited because I had never fasted for 31 days before. I’ve fasted here and there, but a full 31 days completely devoted to the Father? I was pumped! Let’s just say that dying to the flesh daily is NOT an easy thing, but it is extremely rewarding.

Image result for fasting

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Ruchti

For the past 26 days, I have been dominating my flesh by denying my body certain foods. So for the first week I could only eat fruits, vegetables, and soup. Each week more food has been added to our diet, so it’s gotten easier, but the first week actually wasn’t as difficult as I expected. God truly stepped in and gave me the strength I needed. Now, it’s like a piece of cake! (funny thing I mentioned cake because I’ve been craving sweets all month! LOL) I have also only been getting on social media for a few days out of the week and I have ONLY listened to gospel music to make sure that good seeds are being planted in my heart, instead of corrupt seeds that would interfere with my progress. (I’ll talk about music in more depth in another post).

Along with fasting, I have been stepping up my prayer life by praying constantly and seeking God for my every move. I wanted to be really intentional about my reasoning for fasting. I didn’t want to do it just to say “Hey, I’m fasting. I’m cool right?” I wanted to cling to the Father and really seek his face. I wanted guidance in every area of my life, and I wanted to build a stronger intimacy with God. I’ve been praying alone and praying with my church on Wednesdays, and boy have I seen a difference in my life, as well as those who I am praying for. I can hear God’s voice every time I think or say something, or even when I make a decision. It’s like he’s my coach and my best friend. He’s been dropping so many gems into my Spirit and I’m so in love with this relationship. For example, if a friend is struggling with something, a scripture that relates will pop into my head and I encourage them by sharing it.

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Crosscards.com

Another step in our church-wide fast is reading a new chapter of Proverbs each day for 31 days (there are 31 Proverbs). The book of wisdom has so many great nuggets in it, so I suggest you try it out. This prompted me to encourage my Instagram followers to do the #ProverbsChallenge with me, and the response has been great!

So where does meditation fit into fasting and prayer? It fits perfectly in the middle because in order to stay focused on God and not become weak in Spirit and in flesh, it’s important to have a meditated mind. Basically, it’s important to remove all distractions while you’re fasting and praying. Let your mind sit in silence. Remove your long day from your mind and focus on talking to God. I actually use an app called Simple Habit that helps me de-clutter my mind. It’s also and awesome idea to meditate on scripture. If you just read the Bible and then go on with your day, what are you really learning? I usually read the Proverb more than once to grasp the concept and then I relate it to my own life (how can I apply this, who does this chapter remind me of, am I being wise or a fool today). Then, I discuss the Proverb of the day with a friend.

I have truly been blessed through this process! Don’t get me wrong, the devil has still been trying it (especially during the first week), but I’m able to drown out his lies, deception, and evildoing more than ever now.

Image result for tamar braxton you tried it gif

Want to fast but don’t know where to begin? No worries, I got you!

  1. Be intentional about why you’re fasting. Think about what you want to hear from God or what you want to gain from fasting. Don’t just do it.
  2. Figure out what kind of fasting you’re going to do (no social media, no fast food, no sweets, Daniel fast, etc.)
  3. Figure out how long you want to fast and stick to it. I wouldn’t suggest just going with the flow because Satan might step in and convince you to stop. It could be 2 days; it could be 31 days. Seek God first!
  4. Pray, pray, pray! Fasting means nothing without communication with God. You’ll definitely need the strength and encouragement!
  5. Bury yourself in the Word! Read the Bible, devotionals, watch sermons, etc. Feed yourself Spiritual food.
  6. Don’t become discouraged. There will be times where it gets hard and you want to give up, but that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He hates that you desire to be closer to the Father. Keep pushing and confide in Christian friends if you need to.

Happy Fasting!

XO, Jess

Matthew 6:16-18 When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.