I've been having a rough time these last few months. Our schedules have been crazy, yes, but that's not the cause this time. It's not the extra activities, commitments, or lack of time. It's food. More specifically it is trying to justify and convince myself that the way we are eating is right for our family. It's about seeing the need in the world, the millions who live without enough food, and the homeless in my own city who go hungry more nights than they are fed. It's about wrestling with all of these things when I look at how much money we now spend on groceries. Don't get me wrong, for the size family we have we spend very little on groceries compared to most (and even less when you consider our dietary restrictions--currently that means gluten and milk intollerance).
It's becoming very difficult for me to reason spending so much money on our specialty diets since we don't have specific diagnoses from doctor's (we do on the milk, not gluten--though our doctor has noticed an improvement). It's hard for me to justify eating things that cost 2-3 times more than "normal" food and it has me second guessing the improvements we have seen in our families health. I will admit that, as a family, we cheat. My son...definitely not cheating (too much of a difference). However, my husband and I...well, we aren't the most devout to our new dietary restrictions. Maybe it's the frustration in having to explain it to people who think they know better what is healthy for us. Maybe it's the huge associations we have between food and good memories (or any memories in some cases).
For me, I felt a few months ago that I could no longer tax our families meager food budget by continuing to eat gluten free (and I REALLY missed bread). So I began buying flour tortillas and bread for myself to make sandwiches quickly during the day. I eat off diet at least 2 meals almost every day (usually not dinner because I make it gluten free and I only cook 1 dinner). I know that it will make me sick...I will have more headaches than usual, be more tired, and sick to my stomach most of the day. But I can deal, or so I tell myself. "The symptoms aren't *that* bad for me," I say. But when I really think about it and analyze how I felt before I started cheating and how I feel now I do see a difference. And I wish that wasn't true.
I guess I'm really just frustrated with myself...and God. Why does my body not work like "normal"? Why would God make us go through something that strains our budget even more and makes us increasingly suspect of our tithe? Why am I so tired all the time if I'm doing what you want me to do, God?
Sounds silly, doesn't it? It does to me. I know that God doesn't bring anything upon us that He won't also help us walk through. Not by my own strength, but by His. He brings us through these situations not to bring glory to who we are and how strong I am, but to show how good He is. How strong He can be for us when we have no strength left. Having faith in this is something I struggle with every.single.day. Most days....I "win" and give in to the struggle, frustration, and cheating. No one is perfect, but in our imperfection God shines. So why do we choose over and over to deprive Him of this? Why do I choose over and over to put my own comfort/desires ahead of God's? Do I really think I can do such a better job at running my own life? If my past is any consideration I should have been assured of that a LONG time ago.
But knowing this, knowing the physical tole gluten and sugar take on my body, and knowing how much my attitude changes with these things in my system...I am still frustrated. I still feel "better" eating sandwiches every day and saving money for those who really *need* the diet (my oldest son and husband). Boy, it's amazing what I can talk myself into. I wonder sometimes, like today, how long it will take me of being sick and frustrated, to truly lay these things down. To really allow God to help me walk through this new life and be successfully because of His power and provision.