In all my blogs not just The Blogging Owl, I consistently speak of the balance of mind, body, and spirit. In the first post of this series, “IF I am being honest” about my conversion to intermittent fasting, I admitted to my readers that I am physically obese in medical terms. Thirty days later I confessed my mental and emotional food love tendencies. And now 90 days later, God has led me to take on the invisible weight of my spirit.
As a Christian, I am a firm believer one’s spirit is the driver of one’s mind and body. Why else would God place the heart between the brain and the stomach? Even if you are not a person of faith, I hope you will continue to read on about what I discovered in the last 30 days.
What is weighing on my spirit?
I wanted to tap into my spirit for the clarity of my overall life’s mission, my purpose. God has been driving me to something and my hunch was that I cannot complete whatever He has intended for me to do if I have a flabby, unhealthy mind and body.
For the Lenten season, I had decided to do 40 Days of OMAD (one meal a day) with the sincere desire for clarity of mind, body AND spirit. As I discussed in my last blog post thirty days ago, I started a week early with OMAD on February 27th and I would continue OMAD until Easter Sunday, April 21st.
I ended the 40 Days of OMAD on the 15th day. Was I a failure?
Let me back up to the beginning of my 40 Days of OMAD. In my prayer journal I wrote the following prayer:
Dear Lord, bring clarity to my confusion. Rescue me and bring rhythm to my calling just as you set the sun and the stars in motion in precise rhythm of day into night. Instill within me the patient endurance to enlighten me of my specific mission with the wisdom and maturity through an unwavering faith in Christ. Grant me confidence in Your mercy and hope in Your promises. Help me to watch You in Your passion that I remain awake to the infinite power of Your Love. In Him give me courage and strength. Amen
So, what happened?
Reviewing my journal entries over the last 30 days, I did indeed begin shedding that invisible weight on Saturday, March 9th when I genuinely believe God guided me to this verse:
“The Lord is your guardian. The Lord is shade over your right hand.” Psalm 121:5
The significance of this Bible verse on this day was I was getting my first tattoo. I had originally decided to have Martin Luther’s Rose tatted on the back of my left shoulder. Each color of the image has a special meaning.
After reading Psalm 121:5 that morning, I decided at the last minute to change the location to the back of my right shoulder with Psalm 121:5 written underneath the tattoo.
My focus began to change.
The following morning, I was led to this verse:
“But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
My prayer for that morning:
Dear Lord, allow me to see the world the way you do and join in your eternal rescue mission. Give me compassion for the those around me and help me to be an instrument of Your Grace. Help me to focus on Christ rather than on my circumstances and lead me to focus on what God is doing through the situation through Your power and goodness. Amen
My journal entry ended with “physical fatigue, emotional fatigue, spiritual fatigue.” As I re-read those words, I thought to myself, “Wow. I don’t remember writing those words.”
Two days prior to ending my 40-Days of OMAD
I transcribed these 5 Bible verses into my prayer journal: Romans 8:28, Hebrews 2:18, Joshua 1:8, Proverbs 8:33 and lastly,
Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.”
I purposely will not share with you what I wrote in my journal after those five verses except for this excerpt: Five different Bible verses and five ways to encourage me to keep going….
Spiritual clarity was taking root.
Breaking 40-Days of OMAD
I was physically, mentally and spiritually sick on the 15th day. I did not think I could get through the day or through the night. I was extremely fatigued. The only way to explain my mental state was that I was delirious with a migraine, and spiritually, I believed I had failed in my mission for clarity of purpose.
After eating a big, healthy Paleo breakfast, I spent time meditating as I usually do in the morning with Bible devotions and my prayer journal. I was led to Acts 4:8-12, and Romans Chapter 12 which speaks to dedicating our lives to God and I transcribed verse 2 in my journal:
”Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.”
I truly believe God emptied everything out of me in mind, body and spirit up to this point to fill me with this message:
I cannot focus on my circumstances, not one day, not on the next 30 days or in the past years of life on this earth, but on Him who really has the power to change me in mind, body and spirit. These are the last lines written in my prayer journal on that day:
“I do not feel bad because I learned a powerful lesson. I am stronger in mind, body and spirit when I look at my “blips” as just a blip and not throw in the towel completely. The same will prove true in God’s purpose for me.”
Miraculously, I felt almost instantly better after eating that breakfast and meditation. And two days after breaking my Lenten OMAD promise, I wrote this in my journal:
“If I want to know God’s will, I have to stop being led by my circumstances. If I trust my circumstances, even though they may look good, my circumstances can still lead to disaster. My circumstances can lead me the wrong way. I can misinterpret them, put unwarranted trust in them, and evil (if you will) can manipulate them. Every single day, I need to check my circumstances against where God is leading me in His Word. Psalm 40.”
IF I am being honest – 3 facts
Remember that journal entry I spoke of earlier regarding physical, mental and spiritual fatigue? Well, it all makes sense to me now.
1) I cannot be the best I can be if I do not unburden the invisible weight of my spirit. My spiritual health is the leader for my physical and mental well-being.
2) Turning food love into self-love is a process that takes more than weeks, months and perhaps even years of undoing the negative tapes looping within my mind.
3) I did not suddenly become overweight overnight. It was a slow culmination of self-neglect of mind, body and spirit.
IF I am being honest in my next 30 days…
During the remaining Lenten season, I am doing OMAD Monday through Friday and 18:6 and 20:4 on the weekends. OMAD helps me to stay disciplined during the work week and breaking OMAD on the weekend allows me to enjoy meals with family and friends.
While the last 30 days have been spiritually enlightening, God is still working on bringing clarity of mission and purpose. I am open to the possibility that it may always be evolving. I do feel, however, that the mind and body are beginning to follow in a positive way. I will continue to build upon the 19 pounds I have lost in the first 90 days of intermittent fasting, which is an average of 1.5 pound weight loss per week. Exercise is still not where it should be and as the spring weather continues to improve, I will be outside walking and playing golf. AND I am behind on my book reviews! Exercising the mind, body and spirit will be the topic of discussion for my next post in 30 days.
In closing, I know my readers may not believe spiritually as I believe, and this post is not about converting anyone but to share with my readers how my Christian faith is an essential component in whatever purpose God has for me here. It is also an essential part of me becoming healthy in mind and body. Yet, I strongly believe, if I am being honest, that each one of us has an invisible weight of the spirit.
Blogging about my progress about converting to an intermittent fasting lifestyle helps me to keep it real for myself and perhaps for my readers too. I sincerely appreciate my readers following The Blogging Owl and my other blogs too. Please feel free to leave a comment and any IF tips!
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