Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)
TITLE: Hungry Monday
By Laura Hawbaker
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Today is my hungry day. For several years now, for both spiritual and physical reasons, I have designated Monday as my fast day. In all honesty, it’s more skipping lunch than fasting; my hours of deprivation are bookended by two substantial meals.
To fortify myself for the day, I prepare an over- easy egg, cooked so the protein filled yolk is set, but soft enough for dipping my buttered toast. Along with my perfectly cooked egg I have one or two pieces of smoky, salty bacon. A few strawberries lightly dusted with sugar add a bit of sweetness to my meal and I finish up with a cup of coffee laced with exactly one table spoon of French vanilla creamer. Now I am ready to fast.
Breakfast over, I putter about the kitchen cleaning up breakfast dishes. The dishwasher isn’t quite full. Should I run it now or wait until after lunch? Maybe this would be a good time to weed out the left overs in the fridge. I open the refrigerator and carefully peruse the selection; milk, juice, eggs and of course a myriad of little containers of unknown contents. Cautiously, I peel back the little plastic cap on a red glass dish. Oh dear, somebody should have eaten this spaghetti last week. It doesn’t look too appetizing now, so I scrape the limp noodles and watery sauce into the trash can and put the bowl in the dishwasher. Feeling a twinge of shame for wasting food, I console myself that at least I am not running a partially filled dishwasher.
Well, now that the kitchen is in order I can get on with the rest of my day. First comes devotions; Bible reading, prayer, journaling specific requests that I plan to pray and fast for today.
And then my Monday rolls along; laundry, office work, telephone calls, and more laundry. I conscientiously avoid the candy dish. Odd, when I know I can’t eat I find myself thinking of food. That’s when I am supposed to remember to pray, right?
Along about 11:00 I start noticing an empty feeling in my middle, not exactly hunger pains, just a bit of a hollow feeling. I decide to take a walk over the lunch hour to take my mind off the ham and cheese sandwich I noticed in the fridge this morning. It would taste so good right now.
I return from my walk and find my son helping himself that sandwich I was dreaming about. Glad someone can enjoy it. Feeling a little weak I decide a swig of grape juice could give me surge of energy. Ahh, yes! The grape juice tastes so fresh and sweet—just what I needed!
Revived, I proceed with my afternoon work. I glance at the clock. Is it only 2:00? The sugar rush from the juice has long gone. Maybe a nap would help pass the time. It’s too early to start supper, but maybe I should start thawing some meat.
I open my freezer and look over the meat selection--steak, pork chops, chicken, ground beef, sausage. Hmm. What will it be? I pick up a package of T-bones. The label says it contains four steaks. There will only be three of us at dinner tonight, but if my husband is grilling anyway he may as well grill four steaks. I promise myself we will make good use of the extra steak. It will not suffer the same fate as the spaghetti.
It is 5:00 and I have a headache. The meat is thawing. I snap the beans, scrub the potatoes. Finally, finally my husband starts the grill.
Supper is delicious. My stomach is empty; my palette is cleansed. I savor each individual flavor, the salty meat grilled to perfection, the potatoes soft and buttery, the beans tender. I finish the meal with a square of chocolate. I am satisfied.
Today is my hungry day and yet…
I started and ended the day with protein. I enjoyed fruit, vegetables, sugar and salt. I had food for my children. I threw food away. I have food left over for tomorrow. I go to bed completely satisfied.
I was not truly hungry today.
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