Sometimes I get really upset by the food sensitivities we have to contend with. Always having to hound people what they will be serving at special events, sleep overs, get togethers, etc., so I can make or find something that my girls can eat without feeling left out in front of friends. I could just give up and withdraw my family from all social settings. Believe me, being the introvert that I am, I wouldn’t mind and it sure would make my life easier. But what does that teach my kids and how does that bless others?
Not alone at the table
We were at a gathering the other night and the director contacted me and another mom about providing something for our kids who couldn’t have gluten. I was so happy she thought of us, but I knew she was busy so I offered to bring some brownies. I thought nothing of it, since I had a box in the cupboard that I was saving for an emergency. So I made the brownies, this time I was actually prepared and so I was feeling really good about the evening. Fast forward through the evening and at the end the director announced that they had special gluten-free brownies to serve along with the other goodies. What happened next sent a shock through me: A little girl in front of us turned to her mom with such joy that they had something she could eat and I knew exactly how she felt. Our society is built so heavily on eating as a way of socializing that sometimes it feels overwhelming. There have been social events where we have avoided because bringing our own food wasn’t possible. It’s isolating. Here is what I learned in that moment, that I need to stop thinking about just my family and trying to make things work for just my family.
Opportunities to bless others
I should see each social gathering as an opportunity to bless others that may be feeling the same as me. Food sensitivities and allergies are an epidemic and likely here to stay, so we should embrace it and make it normal. Let’s not stop bringing food – let’s help provide allergy-free options. Let’s not shy away from social gatherings but make it the norm to bring your own food if necessary. Most of the sensitives that my girls have will most likely be with them for the rest of their lives. I’m not going to teach them that it’s weird and they should hide it because the truth is there are many people with a sensitivity to gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, etc. It’s just so overwhelming that we just avoid gatherings or snack tables.
Its funny because when I sat down to write this post, I was thinking of writing about something else entirely. But this topic has been on my heart for a while now and is important especially in this day and age. We need to make sure we are loving others well and not hide in the comfort of our homes. As much as my soul craves solitude and being home, my soul also craves human contact and support. There are many dangers in being isolated. Thats when Satan feeds off our insecurities and we can fall prey to his lies and depression, anger and resentment. If you have children dealing with food allergies or sensitivities, help them to learn how to love others despite what they may be going through. Teach them with support to be okay with the way God created them.
How do you work around your sensitivities or allergies?