As we celebrate the week of Christmas and anxiously await the arrival of our King, take a moment to think about his arrival. Enjoy these words written by my good friend, Carla.
Monthly Archives: December 2013
Holidays center around gatherings with friends and family. Parties abound and the kitchen is busier than ever. When you have food allergies, holidays bring an extra layer of stress. I have a few tips to help!
1. Bring your own food.
The ONLY way to ensure you know exactly what is going into your body is to prepare the food yourself. Salads are generally safe and it’s easy to tell the ingredients, as long as the dressing is not already added. For dinner parties (pot luck style) I bring a satisfying dish I can eat. And that’s all I eat. Also, I either make sure I’m first in line, or set a plate of my safe food aside to ensure I get the dish I brought!
Planning is the key. Know what is going on during all events. Keep your pantry stocked with foods you can eat, or grab and go. Before we go out of town, I find nearby grocery stores. We often stop before we arrive to stock up on safe foods we didn’t bring.
3. Call ahead
If you want to call ahead to find ingredients, call ahead, but make sure it’s in plenty of time in case the hostess wants to make something you can eat. I always say something along the lines of, “I’m curious about the menu because of food allergies, but don’t want you to go through any extra trouble.” If I find out it’s something I can’t eat, I explain that I’ll probably bring my own food. My allergies are so extensive, I don’t expect anyone to go through the process of learning to cook what I can eat.
4. Eat before you go
If you arrive hungry, it’s tempting to eat something that might cause a reaction. I also find myself grouchy or emotional when I go somewhere hungry only to find I can only eat ONE thing. If I’m not hungry, it doesn’t bother me (as much).
5. For out of town events – cook ahead
I bring a cooler filled with frozen meals that match what my family is eating. That way I’m not as different. I also bring food for the restaurants I know don’t have much I can eat. I eat on the way – in the car – then snack on a salad or a safe menu item while at the restaurant. That takes planning! For unexpected restaurant stops, my husband stops by the grocery store on the way and I bring something safe into the restaurant. More tips for travelling with food restrictions.
6. Smile through it all
Your attitude makes the difference. When a waiter tells you 99% of the menu is unavailable due to your allergies, be thankful for the 1%. When you are hungry and feel yourself becoming grouchy or emotional, find that inner strength and know food is only a part of the holidays.
Above all, enjoy your time with friends and family.
Today I might just be away from home for an hour. That sounds heavenly. I’ve run myself ragged during this hectic, crazy holiday season. My to-do list today is about a mile long (or it would be if I actually took the time to write everything down) but making handmade gifts tops the list.
What else am I working on?
Writing (re-writing) the last paragraph in my children’s book.
Setting up a new web-page! (This blog is moving! Details soon!)
Creating a facebook page.
Schooling the kids.
Making new friends.
Living life fully this holiday season. (I probably should add a “stress-free” somewhere in there…)
Hurting with others.
Praying for miracles.
What are you doing this holiday season?
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. The week before, when we were discussing Birthday plans, he was sick and didn’t want to do anything on his birthday. We knew the kids had activities that night, so we planned to celebrate as a family on a different night. He didn’t even ask for his usual Birthday meal. (I shoulda clued in right then and there something was amiss.) The plans were to not do anything on his actual birthday and go out as a family on a different night of the week.
The night before, he mentioned how he probably should have planned on me cooking his usual meal – Roast, mashed potatoes, rolls and a green veggie (if you have to). But we knew it would be impossible since I would be gone until three or four and the girls would leave at six. On the way home from co op, the long day after a holiday break – with a stop for birthday present shopping, I decided to use one of those fast meat cookers and throw together a roast. By the time we reached we the grocery store (for those that know my quirks, this was well after my afternoon coffee time, and those that really know me forsee what’s coming – Mom missing her afternoon coffee = Mom tantrum time) I was in the zone. Crazy shopping cart lady. I probably should pause here to ask my daughter for forgiveness for running her down with a shopping cart. And my other daughter to forgive me for grabbing the shopping cart from her when she wasn’t running down the aisle fast enough… and… to anyone who encountered the evil eye… and… well, you get the picture.
This is where I didn’t honor my husband. I did not joyfully cook his meal. I did not joyfully shop for his meal. In fact, if he had seen me in the store, he would’ve asked to eat beans and rice.
All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred. A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15: 15-18
By the time he came home, the meal was cooked, (as in not raw, it wasn’t tasty – a roast really does need time and loving care. And that new quick cooker, I think it needs to find a new home. Back to the pressure cooker for my quick fixes.) the table was set with candles and Christmas placemats, the kids going out were fed and had rides secured, and love notes marked his plate. (all thanks to my girls!) I had consumed my coffee and tantrum time was over. All appeared picture perfect. Except for my heart. It was covered with a veil of guilt and shame. But my husband, my rock, gave me a gift on his birthday. Understanding and forgiveness.
The good news – I have a new day. I can honor my husband every day, not just outwardly on his birthday.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31: 25-26, 30
Happy Birthday Honey, and thanks for being you, my best friend. I love you!