And we're done.
I'm still not sure if I can put words to what I have learned this month or how God has prodded my heart. Excess is such an ugly word. Until this month I didn't really comprehend just how much excess had crept into my heart and my home. It's everywhere. It leaves me empty and longing for more - which is funny since excess is more and more and more. Excess doesn't satisfy, though.
I am realizing that my heart has some empty places in it, and I am still pressing into Jesus about that, but what has come to light this month is that I had been filling those empty places, not with Jesus, but with excess. Because empty places beg to be filled with something.
This month swelled and took on a face of it's own. It turned into something bigger than simply fasting on 7 foods. In the past 31 days, God has used this time to break some bad habits when it comes to food. The amazing thing about breaking bad habits is that growth can begin to happen again in areas that were stunted or stagnant. Self discipline was obviously huge this month, but I learned it wasn't me doing it, it was Christ in me helping me to say no to foods outside of my 7. There were moments that were hard. Really hard. Giving up coffee was really hard. The week withdrawal was physically painful, but that alone was eye-opening. By mid morning I was groggy, grouchy, and headachey, and my children got the brunt of it. I learned in those moments that as much as I thought I was relying on Jesus to carry me through my day, perhaps I had been leaning on coffee a little too hard. Let me be clear, I am having a cup of coffee in the morning, and I will enjoy it. But I don't need it anymore.
The excess of food in my life was distracting me from God, and I didn't even know it. Pairing it all down to 7, shone a bright light on that fact. If excess of food got in the way of me seeking hard after God, what is excess in other areas doing to that relationship?
I want to fix my heart on Jesus. I want to follow Him every single day with my whole heart, my whole being. This 31 days was just a start. We have 6 more months of this mutiny of excess. I don't want anything crowding out God in my life.
I surrender. Again. I want to continue to make radical changes in these areas of excess. If nothing else, these 31 days recalibrated something inside of my heart. And that alone has made this experiment worth it.
But I do more than thank. I ask - ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory - to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him - endless energy, boundless strength! Ephesians 1:17-19.