I always forget to fast on the first Sunday.  My Church has designated the first Sunday of every month as Fast Sunday.  Instead of talks in Sacrament Meeting, members of the congregation get up to bear testimony of Jesus Christ.  The guidance given by our Church leaders is to fast for two meals and give the money that you would spend on those meals to Fast Offerings.  Fast Offerings help members of the congregation that need extra help due to circumstances that are, quite frankly, none of my business.  First Sunday is also the Sunday that we go down to my dad and step-mom's house for dinner (a feast) so you would think I would remember to fast in order to combat the 4000 calories I will have that night.  Nope.

However, today I have remembered and even though I will have an extra hour to fast today, I have much to be grateful for and much to look forward to.  My life has changed dramatically in the past year.  I left an incredibly miserable part time job.  I was an independent consultant and the people that I was working for are not the sort of people that I ever want to work for again.  I stopped working for them in March, and have felt peaceful and calm about it ever since.  Sometimes you don't recognize a toxic situation until you actually leave it.  I also started three new business ventures that I am excited about and am grateful for. 

As I have made these changes in my life, things that weren't working were dropped, things that are working were kept.  Priorities shifted and I have learned when I should say yes and no.  Deep friendships have been formed and there are people in my life who are now lifelines that I barely knew last year.  If I really think about 2010 it seems overwhelming, however, the challenges coupled with blessings have strengthened me about 10 times more than 2009.  Now as I head into the end of this year, I find myself reflecting and pondering the things I have learned about myself and about others.  

It's been a difficult year for many people I know and most of the people that I love.  Today I am fasting for all of us to have strength and clarity for what lies ahead in our lives.  That we can lift one another, love one another, and strengthen one another.  Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days.  I am grateful that I can fast for one.

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