Feasting & Fasting

Right now, I’m working my way through a beautiful devotional called “Savor,” written by Shauna Niequist (highly recommend).


In her daily devotion for January 13, she writes:

I’m learning, slowly, a rhythm of feasting and fasting that brings a rich cadence to my year. I use the word fasting loosely, as on opposite term to feasting – permission and discipline, necessary slides back and forth along the continuum of how we feed ourselves.

…fasting gives me a chance to practice the discipline of not having what I want at every moment, of limiting my consumption, making space in my body and spirit for a new year, one that’s not driven by my mouth, by wanting, by consuming.

She also includes, simply, this bible verse:

“A feast is made for laughter.”

Ecclesiastes 10:19

Something I’ve grown to realize is that life passes in seasons. Seasons of pain, followed by seasons of understanding. Seasons of restlessness, followed by seasons of contentment.

Seasons of fasting, followed by seasons of feasting.

Tonight, my family enjoyed time together by going out for pizza and ice cream. I know – me? Pizza and ice cream?

Yes, me. Pizza AND ice cream.

I ate. I talked. I laughed. I enjoyed. I felt thankful and just plain full, without feeling guilty in the least.

And it brought me back to this beautiful idea of feasting and fasting.

Tonight was a feast.

Tomorrow will bring a fast of sorts – discipline, routine, a different sort of nourishment based on need rather than want.

In my personal nutrition journey, becoming mindful of these seasons has been crucial to finding contentment in a healthy lifestyle. I’ve become less begrudging about piling my plate with healthy foods – quite the opposite, in fact. I crave these nutrient-rich powerhouses because my body needs them, and I don’t feel like it’s a drag because I know that a small, treat-like season of feasting is just around the corner.

The feasting becomes more enjoyable, too –

I can enjoy my pizza, my ice cream, because I know that before long enough, the feast will be over and it’ll be time to return to my routine. So I’d better enjoy it while I can, guilt-free! We only get one life, right?

Shauna is right – tuning in to these beautiful cadences of feasting and fasting brings such a richness to life. These ups and downs bring us closer to our true balance, and before long, we may find that we don’t need such extreme ups and downs – our changing seasons will become much more subtle, and much more enjoyable.

Are you in a season of feasting or fasting right now? Are you feeling balanced, or out of control? Is it time to move toward another season?



15 thoughts on “Feasting & Fasting

  1. I don’t feast hugely as in gorge. It’s too hard on my system. If I have a treat like say cheesecake, that is a treat that’s few and far between. I do enjoy food, but I have to be careful. Too much of a good thing isn’t for me. I like when I eat lightly throughout the day. A day for me with food could consist of a green drink (anything fresh I gather from my garden). A snack of almonds. An early dinner (which can be anything from steak to chicken to pasta to salads) and maybe later a grapefruit. 3-4 days a week my first meal might be at 1-2 pm and i’d break my fast with a green drink and a bit of protein. I feel better fasting for 12-16 hours 3-4 days a week. Which means I stop eating at like say 8pm and will eat my first meal at noon. I workout daily and that could include 2-6 hours working in the yard. I usually include leg day when I work outdoors which means running with the push mower up and down the hills. I have 2 acres. Fasting and feasting works for me in that way. I really like this post. I’ve enjoyed your blog a lot and love your writing. Best to you! Koko:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Koko, you are so sweet! Yes I definitely agree that it feels better to eat small consistent meals throughout the day. I don’t know how you make it until noon without eating though! I wake up SO hungry in the morning, so I have to eat a large meal right away. You’re right – too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing! When it comes to sweets, I can only handle a small amount before getting a headache. I’ve never tried fasting, but I love green juice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am busy the moment my feet hit the floor! I have many animals to care for and start on projects or chores. They start to blend! Hahaha. The green drink really is refreshing and I know good for me. A lot of my food intake is mostly for nutrition on most of my days. Because I am so busy I have to eat this way. Nutrition comes first, especially to fuel for workouts. When the family comes together, I do cook! Hahaha. (My kids are grown).

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      2. I feel that way sometimes too – some days I almost forget to eat later in the day when I get busy! I have to stop and slow down and give myself some fuel. Easier said than done. 😉

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      3. Anytime! I home schooled them from birth! Hahaha. They both graduated “high school” (taking a state exam. NOT a GED, but a real diploma from the state) at 13 and 14 and went into jr. college. Graduating with honors. Both in careers that make them happy! Home school isn’t for everyone, but it was awesome for us and I’d do it again.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. They are good kids. Home school opened the whole world for them. They’ve been all over the world literally. They loved learning. We schooled daily. 7 days a week. We made everything a learning experience. I strived to make whatever it was they were learning FUN. I knew home school was what I wanted for them and so I started as I said from birth. They learned to read before they were 3. They could write and do simple math before most kids went to kindergarten. Making it fun was the key and I feel teaching them to read was the best thing ever. If a kid can read, a kid can do anything. 🙂

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