Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Fast

Well, the jury is still out as to the reason that Mom's been a bit, shall we say "crabby", this week.

Pop Quiz:  Is it...
A.  Being cooped up in the house with 4 kids who are somewhat stir crazy because of the weather?
B.  I haven't had a break from parenting for weeks because of Loren's long work hours?
C.  I'm going through sugar and caffeine withdrawal?
D.  I have a teenage son-( no explanation needed)
D.  All of the above.

Anyway, we all had to dig deep this week, which sound so ridiculous even as I'm typing it.  We weren't starving by any means, but we were amazed how dependent we were on the ability to eat whatever we have in the house whenever we want it.  Our bodies craved the sugar, salt, carbs, and caffeine that we have become accustomed to, and when we go without, it nags at you and takes on a whole new level of significance in your day.

(And the fact that there is practically NOTHING that goes into your cupboard that doesn't have one of the offending ingredients that are unhealthy for our bodies is reprehensible, and deserves it's own post.)

To put our little experiment into perspective, we watched a few videos on You Tube that displayed Children's homes in Uganda, a country that is on the edge of a famine.  The kids we viewed were given 3 meals A WEEK at this one "house", and the rest of the week they have to scavenge for food. That is true hardship.  What we were "going through" was child's play.  The nagging of a spoiled consumer that doesn't have to wait more than the time it takes to walk to the kitchen to be sated.

So the girls counted down the hours until Wed night because that was when we had agreed they would fast until,(literally, Bri was announcing the count down all day as if she was NASA)  and they rewarded themselves for their Bad Ingredient abstinence with a bowl of ice cream.

They were very proud of themselves, and it has made them SO AWARE of what they eat and what's IN what they eat.  It was gratifying for Loren and me that they stuck to it and to know that they took this Lenten mini-fast seriously.  I'm not sure that at their age, they would last the 40 days eating as plainly as we have been, but I'm hoping that we can work up to that maybe for next year's Lent Season. 

I'm thrilled also as to how much we all learned from this week- actually participating in this sugar fast educated them much  more effectively than anything I could've taught them during homeschool.
Along with this week's experiment, we watched the DVD "40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor" by Chris Seay, a pastor who encourages this type of fasting for the Lenten season.  He travels to various places in the world that are significant because of their poverty, and explains biblical teachings that encourage fasting to develop a stronger dependence on God.  The DVD was somewhat dry and completely over the heads of the girls, so we will be watching some documentaries on Netflix that focus on impoverished nations and how they cope with poverty. 

I'm hoping in some small way, this fast will make the global food crisis more relevant to my girls, and maybe someday they will have the opportunity to do something about it.

As for our current contribution, albeit done locally, we will be working the local Food Pantry tomorrow from 4:30-6:30, as we do once a month, and hope that our contributions of food and our time helps someone with their involuntary fast.

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