To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere prayer can strengthen us spiritually, bring us closer to God, and help us prepare ourselves and others to receive His blessings.
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.