Fasting During Motherhood

I try to observe Lent…I’m not Catholic, but I have a love for the rhythms of the church calendar. And typically, I’ll try to give up something to prepare my heart for Easter…usually sugar or treats. However, this year was different. When the Lenten season was approaching, I felt frustrated and didn’t want to participate. In all honesty, fasts are hard during motherhood.

As a mother, I am already living sacrificially. Motherhood is an ongoing sanctification process and most of the time, I feel hollowed out. I have been living in decrease and the thought of giving up “one more thing” just made me cringe.

But this Lent, I’ve been pondering this. Have I been giving up the right thing? Often we look at fasting as what behavior we can change instead of seeing it as a heart examination.

Thinking that it will fortify my soul, I often reach for sarcasm or pride without realizing that they will just leave me brittle. I also rely heavily on distraction only to find out that it does not fill my cup. I commune with other things in the name of self care thinking that it will satisfy my spirit.

“Self cannot satisfy self no matter how much it feasts”

40 Days of Decrease, Dr. Alicia Britt Chole

Living sacrificially and feeling hollowed out is part of motherhood. But I need to look to God to fortify and fill me. The purpose of fasting is to create a shift in our heart to remind us that we cannot fill our own emptiness. Only God can. Side note, I have been deeply enjoying a Lenten study by Dr. Alicia Britt Chole called 40 Days of Decrease: a different kind of hunger. A different kind of fast. I highly recommend this different perspective! Besides, it doesn’t have to be Lent for you to dive into a 40 day fast!


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