Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Personal Ramadan, Day Three: Observations

Day Three: Friday, January 4

* I've noticed that I often want to eat during the day not necessarily because I'm hungry, but because I'm bored.  And because I "can't."  I'm so ornery.

* In related news, I don't think of myself as a very social-butterfly-type person, and I don't often go out for lunch, but over the past three days, going out to lunch with a friend has come up at least four times.  I also don't often stop at the little drive-through coffee stands that are so ubiquitous here in the northwest, but the one I pass by every time I drive into town that makes really yummy hot chocolate has been calling my name more loudly than ever.

* Good discussion with my boys this morning as we read Matthew 5, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, when Will asked "What does meek mean?"  Also, a bit of incredulity from them when we read Matthew 5:44 about loving your enemies and doing good to them that hate you.  Can't blame's hard for me to understand and live, too.

* The copy of the Quran that I requested from the library came in, so we went to pick it up this morning.  I'm excited to dig in!  The translation I checked out is a new translation in contemporary English from the classic Arabic, published in 2008.  Reading the introduction, the translator seems determined to divine the original intent of the text rather than perpetuating the common understanding of the verses based on language that has changed in the past 1400 years.

* I've been much better about planning what to have for dinner and getting it ready earlier than usual.  Maybe because food is on my mind all. day. long...

* I think I'm doing a little better at being less cranky and staying calmer and more pleasant, especially with my kids, but I need to do more planning for the good deeds aspect of Ramadan.  Being a stay-at-home-parent often limits my interactions with those outside my immediate family over the course of the day, so unless I want to make my children's beds every morning and call that my good deed for the day all month long, I need to get more creative and proactive.

* Coincidentally, several books I've read recently or am currently reading have focused on vulnerability.  In The God Who Weeps (here's my goodreads review), Terryl and Fiona Givens identify vulnerability as *the* defining characteristic of God.  And right now I'm about halfway through Daring Greatly by Brene Brown whose TED talk about vulnerability went viral (you can watch the twenty-minute talk here [edited to add: and read my goodreads review here]). In a nut shell, vulnerability is the birthplace of love and joy, connection and belonging.  It requires courage and compassion, the willingness to embrace the uncertainty.  And it's scary.  Scratch that, it's terrifying.  I hate being vulnerable, but I'm coming to realize that that's exactly what I need to develop in order to live more fully and authentically.  This blog, and this Ramadan experiment, are baby steps into that vulnerable void.


  1. I read the Quran a few years ago and now I'm wishing I had read your translation. It seems much more readable and a bit less Old Testament-ish.

    The first part of your post reminds me of giving up sugar for Lent and then craving sugar MUCH more than I normally would have. Like, someone would bring a treat to work that normally wouldn't even turn my head (especially in the morning) but because I couldn't have it I obsessed about it! Glad to know it's not just me.

  2. I like this translation - it's easy to read - though I kind of miss the KJV kind of language.

    And I totally hear you, Heidi! It's like trying not to think about something and then that's all you can think about...

  3. Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
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