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Dessert Friday!

Dessert Friday!

March 7, 2014
I certainly deserved something yummy today.

It was a long and satisfying day — All Saints’ hosted the World Day of Prayer, a service written by women in Egypt, and then we had a lovely reception with cookies, cookies, brownies and cookies. I brought cheese and crackers, and had plenty of cheese and crackers . . . er, cheese with cheese on top. Good day, but long and complicated, and I definitely deserved a treat. (If you’re at all familiar with the Enneagram, that’s completely true to type for me! The problem is that I always deserve a treat!)

After dinner I had a lovely banana split . . . wait . . . I meant lovely creamy Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s with a not-quite ripe banana and almonds. It tasted as good as a banana split to me. For this three-week segment using the 21-Day Sugar Detox program, I’m eating full-fat dairy. I don’t think I ever had full-fat Greek yogurt before. It’s amazingly delicious!

I also realized (again) how much I think about food. I save my one daily piece of fruit for after dinner because I’m convinced that if I eat it earlier in the day I’ll suffer after dinner. And suffering is bad, right? Well, as my sister Ellen commented, all the main religions encourage some sort of fasting; I don’t believe the point is to cause suffering, but to periodically step away from whatever we’re attached to, whatever pulls us away from the Real, from God, from our deepest desires. And letting go of attachment usually entails some suffering.

Let me remind myself why I’m doing this: I’m doing this because in the past I have tended to eat treats when (1) I’m hungry, (2) I’m bored, (3) I’m cranky, (4) I’m uncomfortable in any way, (5) I’m thirsty, (6) I’ve had a good day, (7) I’ve had a bad day, (8) I have too much work to do and can’t figure out what to do next, (9) I just did a lot of work and deserve a break before I figure out what to do next, (10) something with sugar crosses my line of vision . . . .

I’m grateful for abundance, but abundance run amok is disordered, and so this Lent perhaps I will, with God’s help, restore a little more order in my life. Although if the Holy Spirit wants to shake things up with some holy disorder, that’s OK with me. But don’t quote me on that; the Holy Spirit might be listening!

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Feliz jueves*

March 6, 2014

Oh, it all sounded so adventurous! I cleaned out my cupboards a week ago, putting all the stuff I won’t be eating way back in the pantry room. I did my shopping. I made sure I had the first three days of food on hand. I didn’t print out the daily log, but I can do that part later. 

But yesterday was a rather long day, culminating in the beautiful and reflective Ash Wednesday service. And today I’m just pooped out. I feel sleepy and logy and cold. I guess when we change the sources of energy our bodies run on it takes some adjustment time. I don’t crave anything — but I’m also not as prayerful and present as I had hoped. OK, I don’t feel prayerful and present at all. This is another point, when fasting, that I tend to start backtracking: “See! This isn’t helping my spiritual condition at all! I’m just tired and grumpy and unmotivated. Fasting is DUMB! It’s just spiritual calisthenics, a big ego trip.” 

Nevertheless, I ate a good breakfast again and, although I really didn’t feel like it, went off to my Spanish class. (“?Como éstas?” “Mui BLECH.”) Then Thursday Bible study; I always prepare lunch, and they had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, while I had salmon salad wrapped in romaine. And tonight, cranky as I am, I made the labor-intensive meatloaf recipe, with two grated carrots and a grated red bell pepper (never again! never again! grating bell pepper is a nightmare!). So I guess it’s all OK.

If I’m willing to consider my past experience (the option being grumpy whining), the prayerful presence and groovy spiritual goodness I seek seem to come after I persevere and let my body adjust to change. So . . . “?Como estas?”  “Asi, asi, gracias.” And tomorrow is another day. 

*Happy Thursday