Friday, October 4, 2013

Food and Grace

I have had a post rattling around in the back of my mind for several days now.
It has to do with food, food sensitivities and grace.

In the last year I have been struggling with finding food I can eat without feeling horrible afterward.  I have found myself declining perfectly scrumptious looking food offered to me by people who have lovingly prepared it for my enjoyment.  I have struggled at the food court in the mall figuring out what I might be able to put in my mouth without repercussions the next day.  I've stood, mildly embarrassed, in line at Subway while they prepared my gluten free sandwich.  (It requires that they change plastic gloves, get out special knives and toast the gluten free bread. All while someone behind me waits a little longer than usual to order their sandwich.)
I have stood in my own kitchen, 
trying to decide what to eat that will not only be good for me but satisfy me. 
It's a challenge.
And I write all this, not to complain but to give you a picture of what it's like inside the body of someone who struggles with food in this way. 

I have not always had these kinds of dietary difficulties.  I used to eat just like everyone else.  I ate fresh baked bread (I miss that A.LOT.), enjoyed cheesy macaroni casseroles and had two hard boiled eggs every morning for breakfast.  
I'm not saying it was always the most healthful eating but at least I could eat without feeling sick afterward. 

Then about six or seven years ago after having a treatment of antibiotics for a sinus infection, I had to treat a candida overgrowth in my gut.  I adhered to a strict meat and veggie diet for about two months.  I eschewed coffee, milk, sugar, breads, cheeses, pickles and mushrooms for two entire months!

I felt so much better and actually returned, slowly, to regular eating with ease.  

Then we went to Africa.  

And it wasn't anything I ate in Africa that changed things.  No.  It was the six weeks of being on anti-malarial drugs and the powerful antibiotic I had to take when we returned home that did me in.
(And the reason I had to take the antibiotic was because of some bug caught on our 18 hour flight from Africa to the U.S.)

My gut was a wreck.
My gut still is a wreck. Maybe not as a big a wreck, but a wreck nonetheless.

I could go into all the gory details for you but I don't think you really want to know.

So what am I hoping to accomplish in writing this post for all three of you who will read it?

I supposes I am laying out a blanket apology for refusing your wonderful looking and smelling food.

A lot of people these days are going gluten free to help them lose weight.  While that is a great by product of being gluten free, it is not my reason. 

Some people are dairy free for the same reason, instead using soy, almond, rice or one of the amazing variety of "milks" on the grocery shelf. 
Again that is not my reason...I would love to drink some of the delicious raw milk we purchase every week from our local dairy farmer, but my intestines rebel.

And then there are eggs. 
 We have six lovely biddies.  
They faithfully produce eggs for us on a daily basis.  I can sort of handle the eggs if they are baked into a gluten free something.  I cannot handle them by themselves.

I should tell you that I am not allergic to any of these foods.  I simply have sensitivities to these foods that warrant avoidance.  And I have found that when I do eat them I usually end up feeling pretty awful for a few days afterward.

you may be asking, 
"Why is she telling me all this?"

Well, you know, it's that time of year.
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Apple Pie ala Mode

Turkey with Bread Stuffing

Buttery Dinner Rolls


.....and the list goes on and on.  
I will be saying no a lot. 
And I am asking that you please not be offended.  
It's not your wonderful food.  
It's my lousy gut.

Be assured I am doing things and eating healing foods that may allow me to one day enjoy these foods again.  And I look forward to that greatly.

And I am learning....learning about graciousness.  
Learning about extending grace to others who seem to have odd or picky tastes.
Learning about extending grace to those who get frustrated with me because I seem picky.
Learning that God is close to me always.
Learning to lean on Him.
Learning to draw my strength from Him.
And learning that there are others who have walked the path before me.
Learning to listen and learn from their experiences.

And trusting...
Trusting that He will work all things out for my good and His glory.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
~Romans 8:28


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