I have a song in my head. You know how that goes. You go about your daily routines, working, scanning social media sites, talking to friends, checking the to-list and all the while, it keeps creeping back and won’t loosen its grip. Many times I wonder at my brain and the selection it makes in looped musical torture, but not today.

Today I know exactly why this song is in my subconscious repertoire. “C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.”

In case you aren’t familiar with the big blue furry monster and his obsession, here are some of the lyrics to that song.

C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me (x3)
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!
Hey you know what, a round cookie with a bite out of it looks like a C.
A round donut with a bite out of it also looks like a C.
But it is not as good as  a cookie.
Oh and the moon sometimes looks like a C but you can’t eat that.

No cookie monster, you can’t eat the moon. And if you could it would probably taste like the tofu cheese I’ve been eating as part of my Daniel fast. Don’t get me wrong, the food that God provides is delicious and nourishing. I’ve had some great meals these last eight days. But the thought of cookies has me really wanting the next two days to go by super fast.

If you were to go without your favorite things for 10 days, what would you want to do on the first day after the fast? Or maybe you don’t care about food—what else would you sacrifice that would make you dream of proverbial cookies?

I’m torn between these items on my first day after the fast:

  • Coke
  • Reese’s peanut butter cup
  • Steak sandwich
  • Wine
  • Cheese (some seriously yummy gourmet stinky variety)
  • Cheeseburger
  • Big piece of yummy bread smothered in butter

Or maybe I’ll just have another salad with water.

What would  you choose?

It’s day three of the 10-day Daniel fast I’m on. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a fast based on scripture where Daniel eats only choice foods (see below for more information). In this case I can eat fruits and vegetables and food from plants and seeds. No meat, dairy, sugar, yeast (read bread), caffeine, alcohol, tea, etc.

So far it’s been okay but there have been times when only a prayer asking for help will keep me rooted. And that’s the entire point after all. When you sacrifice, you turn to God and get closer to Him and meditate more on what He wants for you.

Here are some of the highlights of my last couple of days.

  • Three reaches into the refrigerator at 8 a.m. for my normal caffeine induced pick-me-up, a diet coke. With a quick snap-back reflex of the arm and a big sigh, I filled up a glass of water to re-hydrate and prayed to God to please keep me awake on my drive in to work.
  • Four or five serious but quick chocolate cravings. As I walk through my office, the remnants of the vendor gifts waft deliciously at me and tease me.
  • Eight ounces of peanuts consumed. A staple that keeps me sane.
  • Soy yogurt for breakfast this morning. The color and consistency are enough to turn you off but as a substitute it’s okay and the taste is alright but not really something I’ll stick with.
  • A body that is so racked with fatigue and cannot be uplifted with any additive, had to fall to sleep last night at 6:30 p.m. I awoke to the one cat who constantly runs away from me begging for some petting. He must have missed me chasing him and wondered what was wrong.

Tonight I must go back to the stove to cook up something edible that will last a few days so I don’t get stuck with nothing to eat and a craving that will send me to Chik-fil-A.

In case you are interested in the background of Daniel and the fast, here is an excerpt from this web site:  http://www.gotquestions.org/Daniel-fast.html

The concept of a Daniel fast comes from Daniel 1:8-14, “But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.’

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.”

The background of the Daniel fast is that Daniel and his three friends had been deported to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah (2 Kings 24:13-14). Daniel and his three friends were put into the Babylonian court servant “training program.” Part of the program was learning Babylonian customs, beliefs, laws, and practices. The eating habits of the Babylonians were not in complete agreement with the Mosaic Law. As a result, Daniel asked if he and his three friends could be excused from eating the meat (which was likely sacrificed to Babylonian false gods and idols).

There is a theme to this week here at the Crowe house. Plumbing. Mechanical, physical, and spiritual. I’m practicing that thing the experts say to do—try committing to 15 minutes a day in order to get something done. Well I’ve decided to work on a schedule of 15 minutes of exercise, 15 minutes of bible reading, and 15 minutes of working on other projects I have going on around the house. And now I’m going to segue into the plumbing theme…(too much of a stretch?).

My new friend Julio, a competent, friendly and honest man is at this moment fixing all the leaky old pipes in my house and putting in a new faucet on my big bathtub. You may be saying, so what? Well, smartypants,  a) the tub is why I bought the house and b) do you know how hard it is to find a good, honest plumber who doesn’t charge you an arm and a leg?

I like Julio. It’s a bit strange that he hugs me (we don’t really know each other), but I think he’s a Godly man and he’s got a great smile and a cheerful spirit. But as much as I like him, I can’t wait for him to be done so I can work on the physical plumbing. That 15 minutes a day exercise has put the muscles in my neck and back in a spasm of mighty pain, so I want to heal a bit with some warm water and bubbles.

This weekend I’m also preparing for 10 days of cleaning the spiritual and physical pipes by means of a Daniel Fast. I did it last year and our pastor is encouraging us to do it again as a way to begin the new year firmly grounded with the will of God in our plans. I talked about promises in my last post and before I make any serious ones, I’m going to focus on God and hope that I can calm my mind enough to see His will for me. A good way to do that is through this fast.

So Monday begins the 10 day journey of eating only things from plants and seeds. Veggies, fruits, nuts, whole wheat and only water to drink. Nothing processed, no yeast, no caffeine or tea or dairy or meat. All the things I love and struggle with. I’m going to miss my bread, cheese, and wine—I’ll admit that because anyone who knows me knows I’ll be hankering for those temporary thrills. But, without sacrifice you can’t see the majesty of what God can do in your life.

I want to finish this off with some witty, final metaphor that will explain the title but I think we all have had to deal with that pesky toilet handle problem. Just one of life’s fun quirks that shows us things aren’t always perfect but they can still work.

…A now a minion version of how yummy (not) a fast can be.