Sunday, March 2, 2008

Life In The Fast Lane

Fast Sunday, which is generally the first Sunday of the month, is designated as a time to fast for two meals and bear testimony in a sacrament meeting.

Today is Fast Sunday in my religion. This means that no one is eating, but really it means that only those who are over 8 and who aren't pregnant are fasting (or only Cookie and DSSH). DSSH and I usually start and end our fasts at the same time. We also fast for a full 24 hours, starting after lunch on Saturday and ending with an early dinner on Sunday. When Cookie turned 8, and after she was baptized, we explained the law of the fast to her. We told her how mommy and daddy fast but that she is younger and doesn't need to go a full 24 hours. She chose to do 24 hours like us. Don't worry, I keep an eye on her and make sure she does this in a healthy way.
I feel so bad for her right now because I am pregnant and so I am not fasting. This morning she came upstairs and saw me eating. She asked if she could break her fast. This is where I totally admire my little girl. I held her hand and told her, "Honey, I'm going to tell you what I will always tell you when you ask me this. Fasting is between you and the Lord. No one here is going to make you fast, and no one will ever tell you how long you have to fast. If you need help making the decision then go say a prayer and do what you feel is best for you." And she didn't eat. I don't think I would have had her strong will power, or the ability to choose so rightly at so young an age. Part of me wants to make her a big plate of pancakes (don't worry, I don't make baked goods on Fast Sunday so that the fasters don't have to smell food they can't eat) and have her eat till her belly is full. But the other part of me knows that I need to support her in her choices.
This brings me back to me. I didn't mention what it was she saw me eating and that is because I am a bit ashamed. I was eating ice cream... on fast Sunday... for breakfast! I may not be able to fast, but maybe I could be more reserved in the foods I do eat on this special day. I'm going to be thinking about this today and setting myself some pregnant fasting standards. Like fasting from anything unhealthy.
And for any who worry about the health of fasting, don't. Because, when we come home from church it will be time for everyone to break their fast and LDS fasters have a tendency to full make up for any missed calories. Today we will be eating homemade chicken nuggets, coleslaw, oven fries, steamed veggies, with pumpkin muffins, and maybe even a banana cream pie for dessert.
If you have any prayer time available today, please keep my sweet, strong Cookie in your prayers that she will gain from this experience and be all the more blessed for it.

15 comments:

sariqd said...

Tell Cookie that she inspires me... and that I admire her. I see her at church and I can only hope that my daughter can grow up to be like her, strong.

AND you - I really like how you support her (and family) with keeping the faith.

Amy Y said...

Wow ~ she is a strong willed lil lady!

Magirk said...

What a sweet girl. :) This is a lovely story.

Happy face said...

That's a really good idea. My second son is the least impressed with the idea of fasting. My daughter is probably the most receptive to it. I like how you approach it.

Sea Star said...

At 8 years old it is really hard to go 24 hours. Good for her. When I was growing up my Mom had the rule that at 8 we only had to fast one meal. Then once we were 12 we should fast the full 2 meals.

I remember having to set myself rules for food when I was pregnant or nursing too. I tried really hard to eat before my husband was even out of bed so he wouldn't see me eat. And what I did eat was usually boring things like cold cereal or PB & J sandwich.

Cocoa said...

Well after seeing you eat ice cream I can certainly understand why she would want to eat too! She is a very good girl.

Our 7 year old always wants to do what her older sisters are doing and decided she wanted to fast today too. We had a silent chuckle when she came and asked us this morning what happens when you are fasting and you get hungry? She made it though! She even decided on her own what to fast for. I feel so humbled after experiences like this. I am reminded of the Savior's teachings to be as a little child.

Lei said...

We were just discussing how to introduce fasting to our 8 year old! What a receptive little girl you have,toabletogo the hwole 9 yards at such a young age! You must be a fantastic mom!

Lisa said...

I have not done a good job in this department. Yes--Failure. I need to plan some fasting FHE lessons and teach this again.

Erika said...

I am impressed with her as well as your answer. Thank you for sharing this teaching moment with me. I hope to remember what you said and use it as my own children reach this sage. I hope I can find many teaching moments like this as I raise my children.

When I was pregnant, I fasted from frosted mini wheats :-)

Tirzah said...

I've thought about doing a similar thing when not fasting because I'm pregnant. I should actually do it!

My mom helped a guy who is diabetic (and also can't fast) that he could skip is favorite things or something of the sort.

Tama said...

Cookie is an admirable girl. You must be very proud. Fasting can be hard for children. She obviously has an understanding of it's importance, even if it is hard to do.

kay said...

i have always wanted to fast. but i was afraid i would not be strong enough. i think your cookie just inspired me. please share that with her.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Oh fast sunday. Yea this last fast sunday was the first time in a long time that I have done it. I have been prego and breast feeding and this month was suppose to be the first in a year!....um....until I forgot about fast sunday and my husband comes walking up while I am eating a big ol bowl of cheerios! Oppps

Misty said...

"Tell Cookie that she inspires me... and that I admire her. I see her at church and I can only hope that my daughter can grow up to be like her, strong."

This was the most PERFECT comment.

Ditto.

All of it.

xo Misty

Michal said...

thanks for sharing this story. our oldest is turning 8 this month and i think it's time to talk with him more about fasting. i like your approach.
btw, when i'm pregnant or nursing, i skip all junk food. it works for me-- and i feel like i need to do something because i spend more of my time pregnant or nursing these days than not.;)