My pea brain is flooded with stories, bursting at the brim with tales to tell. But the words won’t come. I’m two weeks into the Lenten discipline the Lord called me to – Pray, Fast, Write. At first I thought the intention ‘write’ was to fill the pages of this blog. Instead the ink is pouring over pages on a simple spiral binder sitting next to my prayer couch and Bible. But something is holding me back from pouring my heart into The Kitchen Mission. And, it’s got me on my knees.
I feel completely led, convicted even, to share my 40 Day fast at The Schell Cafe. I feel fueled by Him daily as I manage to learn, prepare and cook in this new Plant Strong, vegan,
weirdo diet. How precious and merciful of God to use a passion of mine (cooking!) to discipline me. I am encouraged daily by emails, comments and visits with friends who all seek to be healthier. For me it’s not just about health, it’s about being holier for him. And guess what? This bizarro path of changing my lifestyle is also changing my heart for him. And isn’t that the purpose of a fast? Not to beg God to change our lives or circumstances, but to seek God’s will as he changes us for his purpose, his glory, his kingdom.
Now I know what you might be thinking, “She’s a vegan, God is talking to her and changing her?” You might even be a little worried. Worried that I’m a FREAK! But, here’s the truth. Nowhere in the Bible does it say ‘thou shalt be a vegan’. This is not a commandment from God. God gave this discipline to me as a gift. Long ago he planted a passion in my heart for food and cooking. For a season he is asking me to burst with creativity, cook as an act of worship, and limit the foods I choose as a sacrifice. This is not a punishment or a goal I’m trying to prove I can meet. It is a process, a holy conditioning, a training for him and his glory.
I’m trying to be obedient. It’s hard. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not supposed to be easy, it’s a sacrifice. More frustrating to me than the plant-based diet is writing my faith story here at The Kitchen Mission. How ironic is that? I’ve given up all meat, dairy, and eggs with relative ease, but I can’t manage to figure out the writing part. I mentioned I have pages of journal entries, but I’ve been journaling for years so this hardly seems new. Writing The Kitchen Mission has from day one been an act of obedience. One I tried to ignore and then resisted for as long as I could. Remember this? And it seems I’m still resisting. I feel like a massive dam is holding back the words, the stories, the teaching, the learning. Occasionally a slow trickle of tear-sized water will creep through a miniscule crevice. But the pressure of the flood is building, driving me mad sometimes with desire to pour out my heart and soul. I have near constant conversations in my head (enhancing my freak status), on-going dialogues which would make perfectly formed writings, but by the time I sit at the computer to write I can’t wring a word out of the seemingly sopping rag.
Am I being disobedient? Finding excuses not to write? Am I afraid? If so, of what? Have I confused what I thought was God’s desire for me to write this blog with something of my own will? Is He refining me, polishing my holy restlessness? Am I making all this stuff up?
Clearly I need the remaining 4 weeks left of this Lenten discipline. And no doubt beyond. The fasting, the praying and the writing are so intertwined. I thought the fasting would be the hardest part. The physical part of fasting has actually given me clarity and an increased hunger for him fueling my prayers. And I trust if it’s his will, the words will come.