Posts Tagged With: self-control

Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 36

Day 36 – Monday – 10/29/12

The first thing I realized this morning is that the last day of my fast is All Souls Day. It’s always neat when a big day like a birthday, anniversary, or something else falls on a feast day, because it gives it added significance. In this case I can offer up the last days of my fast for all who have passed away. And since Saturday marks my first day of normal eating again, not sure how I’ll celebrate for breakfast. Probably cook and eat a whole pack of bacon 🙂 I’ve got three, maybe four days max to regain my normal appetite before the group gets here. That’s when Marta’s cooking starts!

Another thing I was thinking about during my morning walk was the challenge that ministry is going to be this week. I mean, how do you focus on your ministry when you’ve got 60 people descending upon your house over the next month? How do I keep focus when after being so quiet over here for so long, we finally get some liveliness, energy, and action in our house? On top of that, it’s gonna be a slow week anyways. We don’t have any rancho visits this week so we’ll have even MORE time to think about how excited we are about the group. 🙂 It’s not a bad thing though. Just another opportunity to grow in focus & self-control. And speaking of self-control, another opportunity of growth will come soon once the group gets here. This will be the last week of getting to indulge in long text, video chat, & phone conversations with yesterday’s aforementioned yet-to-be-named female friend. I will enjoy the heck out of it, that’s for sure, because I really enjoy talking to her. But when the group comes, it’ll be nice to immerse myself in group activities and the group schedule. It’ll also give both of us (especially her, a school teacher) a chance to catch up on sleep a little bit! 🙂 Besides, I’m sure that we’ll still have some form of communication, be it texting, email, brief phone call, or a combination of all three. Another benefit is it’s one of those “absence makes the heart grow fonder” moments that is necessary for a friendship (& God-willing a relationship) to flourish.

Yesterday, God blessed me with more of the normal hunger pangs before and after eating. And as always, eating a kinda big meal, and eating it late, did not eliminate them later in the day/evening. Neither did eating two of my favorite Mexican snack cake treats later in the evening do anything to mitigate the pangs. But what I did do was elicit a brief moment of sugar-induced bliss, and a few audible mm-mmm’s. 🙂 The good thing about the group being here too is that group money will pay for all of the meals, so I’ll have a little more spare money to pay for snacks! Well, lemme end this on a sorta gross and random note, as a fun-loving bachelor missionary man’s mom would be inclined to do. Yesterday after eating my eggs for lunch, I noticed afterwards, that everytime I burped it tasted like potatoes. Weird, huh? Since when did egg-burps taste like potatoes? Oh well, maybe that was God’s  modern day version of multiplying the loaves & fishes. 😀

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 24

Day 24 – Wednesday – 10/17/12

Had another opportunity to practice self-control last night and this morning. I continue to explore the cooking side of myself in little ways. Earlier this week I bought some peanuts because I wanted to make homemade peanut butter. Well, besides the fact that it is not as easy as I thought it would be, I also didn’t account for my hunger making it really hard to resist eating it. 🙂 You’d think I would have learned by now. But I did sample a little bit last night and this morning and I’d have to say that I’m very pleased with the outcome. It’s not like what you’d buy in a jar obviously. I simply shelled the peanuts, stuck ’em in a blender, add a few spoonfuls of cooking oil for moisture and creaminess and voila! Only thing i’ll do different next time is maybe add slightly less oil and put some sugar too. And If pecans weren’t so much work to shell, I’d do pecan butter. But I promise you I do not have that kind of patience, especially not when I’m on a fast. It’d either be torture not being able to eat the pecans, or I’d be so dang hungry that I’d eat the pecans as soon as they were shelled. Alas, that’s the biggest dilemma I face in life right now, which means I’m VERY blessed.

To revisit what seems to be a constant theme of my fast, I continue to learn about areas that I need to work on, and I continue to be humbled by the generosity of others. What seems to be most on my heart at this point in my fast, is my somewhat negative tendency towards selfishness and self-preservation. I use things like “fairness” and “being broke” to try and justify my behavior. Seemingly little stuff like not sharing my personal stash of coffee or sugar. But my mission partners, probably unbeknownst to them, continue to humble me and teach me in these small ways. Me asking Luis to hold off on doing his usual email/internet stuff so I could watch a UL Ragin’ Cajuns football game on a live video feed. And he did it! I can’t say with certainty that I would also have done that. Albert, before he left earlier this morning to go to the States for a few weeks to do some fundraising (say a quick prayer for that), bought some Mexican coffee for me since he knew that we were almost out. Again, it seems small, but God is using these small things to powerfully touch and move my heart. And I know Albert will be back in a couple of weeks, but I’ll definitely miss him. We enjoy the energy and friendliness that he adds to the mix here.

And unrelated to the fast, but I just feel like talking about it, is my recent decision to rejoin CatholicMatch.com. It’s basically a relationship/dating oriented website for Catholics. I did it for awhile last year, and was taking a break. But I decided that I needed to give it another chance. It’s a great way for the Lord to be able to introduce me to like-minded Catholic women and to be able to enjoy their company, form friendships, and possibly more. I think too that this time around I’m a little more patient about the whole process, and a little more mature and realistic in my expectations and how I go about doing it. So far I have really enjoyed it. Having great conversations that I really, really enjoy, and I can see for sure that I’ve at least got some new friends already. We’ll give it some time and prayer to see if God blesses it to go any further than that 🙂

Came across an AWESOME quote from Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) an encyclical by Blessed Pope John Paul II that I’m currently reading. “In particular, the life of holiness which is resplendent in so many members of the People of God, humble and often unseen, constitutes the simplest and most attractive way to perceive at once the beauty of truth, the liberating force of God’s love, and the value of unconditioned fidelity to all the demands of the Lord’s law, and even in the most difficult situations.”

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 17

Day 17 – Wednesday – 10/10/12

Well, today is a slow day so far. We have office hours this morning and later this afternoon we’re doing a prayer service at a chapel in a neighborhood right behind our mission house. (update: Our prayer service was blessed. 7 people showed up. We sang, prayed, and preached the Word. I preached on John Chapter 6’s teaching on the Eucharist. It was also really nice to be able to do a prayer service/chapel visit within walking distance of our house! 🙂 )

Had a good walk around the plaza this morning. Nice and cool. Very fresh air. During office hours, we had one of our semi-regular visitors come over to ask for prayers for her daughter who had her newborn baby with her. After we prayed for her daughter and the baby, the lady asked for us to pray for her too. Apparently she was having some head pain. It feels really good when someone comes over to ask for prayer. Even when they have a legitimate material need we can help with, we know that the real reason we’re here, and the best we have to offer to them, is the Lord’s love. Regardless of what you have or don’t have, if you are in love with the Lord, that’s the most important thing.

Also have to look at setting up a twitter account. Need to help promote FMC on Facebook, but I’m doing a complete facebook fast as part of my 40 day fast. But, I believe I can setup a twitter account and send updates through twitter to Facebook without having to access Facebook. I really wanna be faithful to this fasting from Facebook. I feel like it will help me to grow in self-control and other ways, and will also help me to prioritize what’s really important in life (my relationship with the Lord). I’m feeling a little bit more of the hunger feeling now that I’m splitting my daily meal into two smaller “snacks”. Next week I may split the meal into three smaller snacks and see how that affects me.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 8

Day 8 – Monday – 10/1/12

Well, it’s the beginning of my second week. Kinda feels like a milestone of sorts. Still have 5 more weeks though. Had another restless night of sleep last night. Good, but restless. Seems like I got up about 27 times to go pee. Of course that cup of water I drank less than an hour before bedtime didn’t help. But that couldn’t have caused me to wake up as much as I did. It’s either the amount I eat, when I eat, or the amount of Gatorade I drink. I think my adjustment this week will be to keep everything the same, except that I’ll have my daily meal at lunch instead of supper. Maybe eating earlier in the day will help me to sleep better at night.

update: I picked a bad day to start eating lunch instead of supper. Why? Because Gallo and Rita invited us over for dinner. Egg sandwiches with chopped onions and tomatoes, on fresh bread from the local bakery. ay yi yi! Definitely developed alot of self-control as i sat watching TV while they ate. And yes, I did feel some hunger, though it wasn’t that bad since I had eaten lunch. But still, i felt hunger, and had to pass up eating. But I think my DESIRE to eat was more of a factor than the actual hunger itself. And I think that’s what i’m starting to learn with this fast. Yes, our hunger is obviously influenced by physical needs and physical factors. Yet so often we eat either more than we need to or we eat something that is not healthy for us or in some other way necessary. And it’s because we have this desire to eat, and we make a decision to follow that desire. I dunno if I’m making any sense here. Anyhoo, so what we end up eating I think is based more on DESIRE than actual NEED. Which is why i’m really excited about this fast. I think with both food, and self-control in general, that it’s helping me to move from operating out of DESIRE and operating more out of NEED.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 7

Day 7 – Sunday – 9/30/12

Last night even after I ate supper and wasn’t hungry anymore, I didn’t have that full feeling. And because I was so accustomed to it before the fast, I was thinking of ways to eat more food. Ultimately I decided against it, feeling like it would defeat one of the purposes of the fast, which is to grow in discipline and self-control.

In regards to my mission post discernment, the only places I can see right now are Spain and The Phillipines. But discernment means being open to other possibilities too. What if there’s another location I haven’t thought of? What if I’m called to return to Big Woods? What if God calls me out of missions? It’s hard to imagine those possibilities but I feel like I have to be open to them too. I also wonder if I should be discerning mission partners or not. Of course I have some ideas, but I guess I’ll focus on the “where” and the “who” will make itself clear.

Another thing I noticed this morning opened my eyes. One of my mission partners, Albert, likes to drink alot of coffee. I noticed this not only because I see him drink gargantuan amounts of the stuff at all times of the day, but also because the bag of Community Coffee that we had been sharing is disappearing quickly. (keyword: HAD) No way it goes that quickly if it’s only me drinking it. So, I brewed another pot this morning and poured myself a cup and Albert one last cup. Once the rest of the coffee cools, I’m gonna pour it into a container labeled “Sid’s Coffee! Do Not Drink!”. That way the coffee will last me as long as possible in October before the group arrives on November 6th-ish.

I’m doing this because my Community Coffee is a piece of home (it’s made in South Louisiana) & I LOVE it! (emphasis on the word LOVE) While I LIKE other types of coffee, I LOVE Community Coffee. When I agreed to share my coffee with Albert, I didn’t realize how much of it he drinks throughout the day. Ergo, no more sharing this precious gift from my mom. I feel like I’m justified in doing this small thing, because we share in other ways. But part of me feels like it might be a tiny bit selfish. That’s the good thing about this fast. It’ll give me a chance to think and pray more about it than I normally would, so that I can learn from it (update: I ended up gifting Albert with a bag of Mexican coffee to get him started. Felt like that kinda helped to balance things out)

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 6

Day 6 – Saturday – 9/29/12

Indulged in one of my new missionary hobbies last night. Took some fresh corn tortillas, made earlier in the day at one of the local tortillerias, and fried them up. Some of them I fried whole, and others I cut up into various sizes. Some I dusted with sugar, others with salt. They ALL tasted good. The salty ones I ate with some salsa. Delicioso. I discovered: *that you need to fry them for at least 3 minutes, *fresh tortillas work better than stale ones, *you need to have alot of oil in the pan, & *the smaller the pieces the better.

Besides wanting to make your mouth water, I’m also telling y’all this because it taught me a few lessons. One of which is appreciation. I am learning to appreciate the simpler things in life. Conversation and fellowship with my mission partners. Frying up tortilla chips while I listen to Mexican music on the radio. I also learned about anticipation. Having to wait until meal time to fry up and eat those chips helped my anticipation to build up to a level that caused my aforementioned level of appreciation to be much higher than it would have normally been. I also learned about self-control. Tried not to eat all of those chips as I was cooking them, so that I could save some for my missionary brothers. (Did end up eating some) Didn’t eat a single one of the leftovers this morning as I put some saran wrap on the plate. (Ate a few later during the day for a little snack)

Speaking of self-control, I’ll learn more about that later today. Football games ALL day that I’ll be able to watch. That includes a game for my alma mater The University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns! 🙂 Otherwise it’ll be a slow and relaxing day. Nothing on the schedule except for doing laundry and my 2 Saturday visits: Pepe & Senora Amanda. Definitely feeling the hunger pangs more today. Of course a little bit when I woke up, but that was mitigated by my cup of morning coffee. Now I’m feeling it more (the hunger). Maybe my body is finally starting to adjust. That’s good though, cuz it gives me more to offer up. 🙂

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