Reflections of Grace

It is November my friends; can you believe it? I hope you all enjoyed the 31days of Food Intolerance’s series (even though I missed a few…oops). I would love to hear from you; do you have any questions or want to learn more, please let me know.

This month I will be putting my family to some real life challenges and you are going to be journeying with us. It is the month of “Giving -Thanks”. I am very excited to share with you on Monday just how we will be putting things in motion.

Since Friday is my day of “rest” in a sense. I will be linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and some other friends (yes, they are real people…I officially met many of them in(RL) What a blessing it was to squeeze them and not have a screen between our words. Join me as we write for 5 minutes, unedited, on a given prompt. Today’s word; Grace


Being a Mom it can bring out the best in us and the worst. Our patience is tried in so many ways. We are pulled in every which direction between; meeting our families needs and seeing that our personal needs are met too.

We train.

We teach.

We learn.

We live.

We judge.

We fall short.

We stumble.

We fall.

But…we get back up. God is there with us always. He stands at the top of the mountain cheering for you when you might feel as though you don’t deserve it. His grace surrounds you and the door to forgiveness remains open for those times we are less that obedient. Keep true to yourself and who you were created to be. Know that there will be bumps in the road but there is always a hand on the other side waiting for you to reach out. 

Beauty in Hope

The fast approaching holidays often become somewhat of a stress since we have multiple children which suffer from various food sensitivities. It does require a certain level of planning in order to normalize life. 

I often find myself in this massive web (so fitting since today is Halloween). A web of fibers spun out of fear. The tug and pull of each strand is a tug on my heart. I struggle with feelings of isolation, frustration, and anger. Why can’t things just be normal for my family? 
Why can’t we just go to a family gathering and eat all of the traditional foods? Why must I pack my house to be in the company of others?  Why can’t we just go to a restaurant as a family? I’m left with two choices; let the web engulf me or find resolve.

I begin to unravel; we spend an endless amount of time trying to be normal and trying to fit in. Normal is just that; where as uniqueness brings forth beauty. Instead of trying to fit our square family in the round world. I begin to think outside the box. I struggle with the feelings of loneliness; but, more so it is clearly selfishness. I am the one disappointed that once traditions are nothing but a past and I am the one spending endless hours in the kitchen in order to see that all of the traditional holiday experiences are safe for my children.  I do this to eliminate the risk of cross contamination and potential use of wrong ingredients from well meaning hosts. My selfishness is directly driven from fear; a fear of a relapse but with good reason. 

Still unraveling…

Although, my actions are fear driven and well intentioned. There are still options. I have the option to stay home and make new traditions with my family. I can still recreate the “traditional” meal in order to partake in an extended family/friend atmosphere. I live in a land that has more than enough. It is my job to see that what I am given becomes the beauty it was intended to be. I have been given a blank canvas to recreate, make a new, and spread good news. I am an artist. No, my friends I can not draw. I can however, cook, create, invent, inspire, and encourage others in similar situations to do the same.

If you find yourself in a similar slump of loneliness; think beyond the ordinary and create something new. That might mean creating new traditions, recreating meals, or being in the company of those in similar situations. Think outside the box and be the good new; life does not end with a diagnoses but rather creates an opportunity to be the gift to others, the gift of hope.


I’m Leaving..

Over the next several days I will be away at a blogging conference. As I prepare mentally and physically for this trip. I’m faced with the challenge of seeing that my family’s diet needs back home are still met. I have been preparing meals, snacks, and fun activities in order to make my time away as smooth as possible for all of those who are with my kids. This trip has truly been a team effort from the start and would not even be happening without all of the support I’ve received.

Today I thought I would share some of my tips to keeping things safe for my food sensitive children. 
I printed a gluten ingredient safe list and will give a copy to everyone who is watching my children.
 I have also prepackaged some snacks in portion snack size bags (nuts, granola, and raisins). 
The lunch bin is filled with some of their favorites (Boars head lunch meat, peanut butter and jelly (sun butter for my little man), gluten free bread, crackers, and pretzels. 
I have been blessed beyond words and didn’t need to plan a single dinner (I know amazing, right?!) Our grand-neighbors and grandparents have dinner time covered in order to further assist daddy with our usual crazy evenings. If this was not the case I do keep some staples in the freezer (gluten free meatballs, meatloaf, and gf pizza) just to name a few. 
These are some of the things I have been doing to make life run smoothly back home; it is never easy to be the one left behind holding down the fort and with so many food issues at times it can be down right stressful. My husband travels periodically and I do know from my own “fort holding” experiences. It helps to have a good frame of mind, a well thought out plan, and with a little prep work things work much better while part of your “team” is away. 
Now, that said; since this time I’m the one leaving I can also now see how it’s really not any easier being on the other side of the fence. The guilt of leaving your loved ones behind and the anxiety (oh’ boy). I know this trip will be a growing experience for all of us. I’m so unbelievably grateful for the experience and all of those who are helping to make it happen; especially my wonderful husband!