Yesterday was rough. After not eating breakfast, Catharine headed off to school where she took two tests. Of course, we didn't know that. I was sound asleep. Eric is in charge of Catharine in the morning. If we had known we would have made her eat something else. Instead, she went to school and took two tests without any breakfast. She did eat most of her beans and rice for lunch, but passed on the apple we included because she is still a developing young woman. She said she wasn't hungry. She finished her rice and beans when she got home from school. This is always the hardest time of day for the girls and me. We like our 3 o'clock snacks.
I guess another girl at school is doing the "challenge" as well. She had a glass of milk for breakfast yesterday. Catharine called her a cheater. Am I raising a Pharisee? We may have to rethink our approach. When I questioned her not eating breakfast on a day when she had two tests by saying, "that wasn't very smart," she replied, "But it was being a good Christian." Hmmm.
Anna ate most of her rice and beans, but declared that it didn't taste good after a while. Can't argue with her there. Her BFF had planned to do the challenge with her but couldn't because of some health issues she faces. So Anna's on her own at school. That's tougher for her because she definitely likes to do things in a pack. She is not a loner. Ask her if she wants to do something and she has to consult two to four friends to make sure they aren't doing something else without her. I'm praying that she holds up and remembers what God is trying to teach us.
Catharine opted to skip the oatmeal for breakfast this morning and had half of an apple and some peanut butter instead. The goal is to be hungry and to make sacrifices. She limited her serving size and didn't have the yummy waffles she usually enjoys, so I'm fine with the switch. Anna had the other half of the apple with a little PB and also a flavored oatmeal. She's still a growing girl, so again, I'm fine with a little tweaking for her.
Anna wasn't too happy to see the big container of rice and beans ready for her lunch. We took some time to pray before she left. And despite the fact that she rarely wants to hug, cuddle, kiss, or hold my hand anymore, she let me hold her as we prayed and even stayed there for a bit after we finished. Apparently being hungry and deprived causes one to want their Mommy...just a side benefit I'm going to particularly enjoy these five days.
So what did we pray for? We prayed for God to teach us through this effort. We prayed that it would help us understand how much we have and how little others have. We prayed that rumbling tummies wouldn't be distracting. And we prayed for God to supernaturally make that rice and beans taste extra yummy! He is God...He can do it!
Eric is gleeful. He is just loving the sacrifice. He loves doing hard things. And I think he secretly loves that the rest of us are miserable as he is soaring. Not that he wants us to be miserable, but he just loves exercising self-control. The rest of us just find him annoying. But we love him anyway. His ease in accepting this challenge made it a no-brainer for us to do it. And so he is leading us in growing closer to God and His command for us to take care of the poor. We are thankful for Eric's leadership...even if he does get on our nerves.
So at dinner last night, we decided that hot sauce would be readily available in Central and South America, so we added that to our rice and beans. You would have thought we were eating a perfectly cooked steak. What a difference a little more flavor made to our dinner. Even the girls thought so. We talked a lot about how difficult this is. But never once did we question whether we were going to do it all five days. The girls didn't talk about giving up. They didn't try to get out of it. We pushed them to be smart and to realize that they don't need to be as rigid as Eric and me. They just need to do what they're comfortable with. I'm so proud of them.
And now I must confess. I added some Splenda brown sugar to my oatmeal this morning. It was delicious. I figured since I wasn't adding calories it wasn't truly cheating. And the taste made my mood so much brighter this morning. Trust me, I'm still sacrificing. I'm still feeling the hunger. My head is still aching from the lack of my ubiquitous green tea. And I guess I'm also feeling a little guilt.
God, I have so much to learn. Thanks for this opportunity to seek You and better understand the reason behind Your command to take care of the poor. May our family be changed by this experience.