Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Daniel Fast Day 9: No worries, and minestrone!

Today’s Devotion: “The Battle Is The Lord’s. 1 Samuel 17: 45-47 ‘Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands.’

This is one of my favorite stories found in the bible & I guess it could be because I’m shouting for the underdog in the story. But upon further examination, we find that David never was the underdog. He was one up on any enemy he faced because he had the Lord on his side & had realized that he would fight his battles for him. He referenced past victories with the lion & the bear to reinforce his faith as he stood before this giant, & that is the same thing we will have to do if we want to stand against any giants that would come in our lives. There has to be a beginning established for us to stand in faith, so today let this be yours. Instead of trying to fight your enemy with your own strength, place whatever giant your facing into the Lord’s hands & stand in faith decreeing the word of the Lord for your life. The Lord will not fail you & you can finally find that place of rest you have been looking for. Go ahead & go for it, everything changes today.”

Last night the Hubs & I were flipping through a magazine which had an article called “The Secret Things Men Worry About”.  The list included everything from “I worry about how much I make in comparison to my friends” to “I’m worried that someone someday might beat me up in front of my family”.  I had to tease my husband & ask him if any of the things on the list worried him; for most of them he said no, and added that “he typically only worries about things that are out of his control”.  I can empathize. I was a big fretter back in my college days; things used to really wind me up into a panic.  Everything from “how am I going to get all this homework done?” to “what if so-and-so doesn’t like me?” to “what would happen if I got into a car crash and died and I didn’t have my wallet with me?”  Then somewhere around my 21st birthday, I decided I was done with worrying. I decided I would take charge, and do the things that were in my power to do, and if something was outside of my control, then there was no point in worrying about it because there was absolutely nothing I could do to affect it. “I cannot control the universe around me; I can only control how I respond to the things that happen to me” was my mantra for a long time.

For the most part, that philosophy has worked out pretty well, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t still worry about things from time to time.  When meeting business contacts for the first time, I’m a wreck inside because I’m horrible at small talk and a total introvert.  Sometimes (and I know it’s morbid) I worry about one of my parents passing away (they’re only in their 60s, so there’s no urgency on that one)…or how my life would change if I needed to help care for them, since I’m an only child.  Since I’m in my 30s and still without child, I definitely worry about being an older parent, and if I’ll have the stamina to keep up with my kids… or I worry about the higher risk of mental disabilities in children born to “older” women (ugh….am I an “older” woman now?).  But aside from that first point, all of these items are out of my control.  I can take classes on how to become better at networking.  But everything else?  That’s up to God.  All I can do is ask Him to reign over any situation in my life, and to help me adapt to whatever He has in store for me.

In the list of things I can control, I used some paid volunteer time to go give blood today!  Partly because they were running low on my blood type, and partly because I figured it was a good opportunity to get free vital statistics, since I was interested to see how my vitals compare while I’m on the Fast to how they normally are.  I was surprised that even with not having had any meat for 9 days and only relying on iron supplements, my blood iron level was still fairly high!  Probably because I’m also not drinking any sodas or tea, since they can leach iron from your system.

And in other news…I’m craving gyros today.  :)

Breakfast: the last sweet potato pancake, w/natural peanut butter, a few toasted pecans, and some pumpkin pie spice; and an orange.


Lunch: Pasta e fagioli! Or Minestone. I’m not really sure which is more accurate.


Dinner: The same!


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Two 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 15 oz kidney beans (pre-cooked is easier—if you use soaked beans, you’ll need to cook your beans for about an hour before adding them in with the rest of everything else)
  • 1 cup baby spinach, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 1-2 red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used 4 Dorot Basil cubes)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (we used rotini since it’s what we had onhand)


In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.  Then add celery and carrots and saute for 1 to 2 minutes more.  Add veggie stock and and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat to low and add remaining veggies, basil, oregano and salt and pepper and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, coating with a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.  This is done separately so that the pasta doesn’t continue to soak up broth & become a soft mushy mess.

When both are done, place ¼ to ½ cup of pasta in each bowl, and ladle the soup mixture over top.  Ours came out a bit thick (most likely because of cooking the kidney beans from scratch) so it’s almost more of a stew.  But it’s SUPER hearty and really delicious!

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