Every year my church begins the year with a Daniel Fast. We usually start the first Monday of the new year and go for 21 days.

Every year, a few weeks before the fast, I have these great plans to prepare so when the time comes my pantry is stocked , my body already detoxes and my spirit ready to receive. And then, well, you know….

Before I know it its January first and I scramble to get ready for the fast.

This year will be different. So many things have happened in 2014 , things that went to my core and changed my heart. So I’ve decided to blog about my fast. I am going to be real with the struggles and hopefully encourage you to push through, even when it gets tough. And let me tell you, it will be worth it!

So, won’t you join me on this journey and let’s walk together, overcome obstacles together and most of all keep our focus on what this fast is really all about – our relationship with God.

So let me share some of my pre- fast preparations with you. About one week ago I began to cut my caffeine intake. Oh, I hear some of you groan already! ” I can’t function without coffee!”. I feel your aim, but let me share something with you. A fast is not about what you feel like doing, and what your soul, your mind, will and emotions tell you you can or cannot do. It’s about decluttering and detoxing that very soul and telling it who’s boss in order for your spirit to become stronger. So tell that will of yours to zip it! You can do this!

The  way I wean myself off caffeine is by cutting my coffee with decaf, replacing a scoop of regular coffee with decaf every other day. Just a word of warning. When you stop your coffee intake the first day of the fast you will have some major withdrawal symptoms. There will be leg cramps ( last year I barely was able to work , so severe were those!), headaches, moodiness, tiredness (doh!) and lethargy. Beginning your detox early and gradually will help with those symptoms.

I also have started cutting down my sugar intake. Now that’s a big one for me. I’m a sugarholic, for sure! Read your food labels and you’ll be surprised where sugar hides! It’s even in Nutella!

I will share more about prepping for the fast this week. Before I end and have another cup of half caf let me just encourage you. Committing to this fast will have rewards that go way beyond the 21 days. Every year God changes things in me, spiritual and physical, that bring lasting freedom in my life and draw me closer to God. It’s going to be worth it!