Thursday, September 2, 2010

48 Hours

Tonight after dinner, I am starting my second fast. This one will be just like the first one, only longer. I will have nothing to eat during that time, but will be drinking my unsweet green tea as usual. I am also going to try to blog a lot during that time and keep track of my thought processes during the longer fast. When I did the 22-23 hour fast last week there were things that we had to be out doing, so I wasn't as able to pay attention and record my thoughts. I did, however, notice that my thoughts took a decidedly inward turn. Not really "deeper" than usual, but "inward". I wasn't able to focus on them though, and I'm hoping that during the longer fast, I will be more able to grasp and explore those more inward thoughts. I am also curious to see  how the fast will affect how I'm feeling health-wise, how it will affect my sleep patterns and emotions.

But this time will be different. My first fast was exploratory, just trying to see what fasting would really be like. Wondering how it would affect me. Now I see for myself the benefits of fasting, but I am doing it this time for a whole list of other reasons.

If you've been reading this blog at all  recently, you know that Private Ryan is home from the Army for a while. While he is discharged and waiting to re-enlist we needed someone to have a job, and we preferred together for it to be him so that I can continue to be at home with our girls. But this economy is terrifying when you are not financially well off and in desperate need of a good job. They are hard to find, hard to get, and sometimes hard to keep. Private Ryan and I have been scared to death of what would happen if he couldn't find work.

We have also been praying fervently that Teenybop's father would decide not to go to court and try to fight for visitation of her. She doesn't remember her father, and Private Ryan is the only Daddy she has ever known. She loves him. She also would have had a very hard time adjusting to having a different father, a whole new family who never wanted her before. Private Ryan and I prayed that she would not be dragged into a court battle and used as a trophy by her father, just to see if he could win.

I have a friend from the church we used to go to, and her son recently became very ill very suddenly. He was hospitalized, and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He stayed in the hospital for exactly one week, and then was discharged a few days ago with orders for all-day physical therapy for a while, followed by lessening therapy as he rebuilt the muscle tone and ability savaged by the Guillain-Barre.

This fast is just a simple human way for me to offer thanksgiving to a God who has shown me His might all over again in the last few weeks. My friend took her little second-grade son and his walker to his first physical therapy appointment yesterday. When he got there, he threw the walker aside and simply walked on his own strength. He was discharged from therapy and told that he would immediately be able to return to "normal" life. What a miraculous healing!! Only seven days earlier, he had completely lost his ability to walk or even stand. Now suddenly he is fine, and I am so thankful for my friend because this could have gone another way ... she could have been burying her only son instead of rejoicing in his beautiful smile, and I know that she will never forget what a blessing he is.

My ex has also apparently decided to drop the fight for my daughter. At our last court date, the chancellor was sympathetic to his "poor me" cause, and gave him an additional 30 days to file a formal response with the court, in additional to filing a proposed plan for co-parenting (since he disagreed with mine). Those thirty days have passed, and my ex did not file anything. We are asking for my case to go back on the default docket, hoping that I will finally be awarded my freedom along with my daughter's. It isn't over yet ... but at this point my ex has not made the necessary motions, and it makes him look bad. It makes him look disinterested, and it makes the truth show more clearly ... that he abandoned our daughter and should not be awarded and allowed to disrupt her life now that she has moved on.

And today, Private Ryan was hired. He also has another job prospect in the mix, and will take the better of the two offers. There are still three open possibilities, so we may be in a better job soon than what he has now. Either way, we are just thrilled that he has a job that will cover the bills. We are thankful that, at worst, this will carry our family financially until he is able to re-enlist. At best, he will end up with a job that will not just carry us, but also replace our sucky car and a few other things that need replacing.

Ultimately, I am just thankful. And I want to express it in the thoughts that will not be focused on food and cooking and eating or not eating. I want to free up some thought time so that I can devote that free time to thanking God for the way He always provides for me right on time.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
"The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."