My sister wrote a beautiful blog today http://andrewssusan.blogspot.com/2011/06/gratitude.html?spref=fb that prompted me to try to reprogram my thinking. You see, yesterday was a sad day for me. My daughter got hives from wheat flour. My daughter, who is almost 8, has always been allergic to wheat. I have know this since she was 6 months old. So, the fact that it gave her hives yesterday shouldn’t have been a big deal.
A brief version of the story is that at 6 months old, when Ellie was first diagnosed with allergies, the doctors all told me she would surely grow out of them. They have confirmed this theory every summer since, on our yearly visit to the allergist. Yet, here we are, with an 8 year old who can't eat wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and flaxseed.
So, about 6 months ago we began trying acupressure because we know of several people whom had success with this. We figured it was worth a shot. However, it seems when ever it comes to us testing our allergens out, Ellie gets hives.
Because wheat would certainly make our lives so much easier, I was really praying about this one. I had so much hope it would work. And yet again, I ended up disappointed.
So while I cried to my husband last night, I brought up all the worst kind of self pity. Why did it work for so many people and not us? Why didn't my child grow out of these things, like so many others? Why won't my child get to go to summer camp, and missions trips? Why me? Poor me.
So today, I read my sisters words just before going out for a run. (Which I have been motivated to do based on my other sisters blog. They are both fabulous if you ask me. http://phil313-14.blogspot.com/2011/06/just-say-no.html ) I decided to change my self pity into thanksgiving.
So, while running, here are just a few of the things I realized I have to be thankful for.
1. Ellie has never been to the emergency room, and we have never needed the epi-pen. That would be a whole level of fear that I haven't had to deal with.
2. Ellie's food haven't cause behavioral or emotional issues for her. I know those things can happen, and are often much more challenging to deal with and rectify.
3. I have learned a new kind of discipline.
4. I have learned to be thankful for growing through something.
5. Ellie is compassionate and sensitive to others with special needs.
6. As I ran, I felt strong and healthy, and thought what a blessing it is that my daughter is too. Food might be limited for her, but that doesn't mean she is limited.
7. My husband is wonderfully supportive and a great listener. He didn't tell me to snap out of my self pity, though he could have. It is much nicer coming from God.
8. We are living in a world with so many options for food that she can have, and people are so much more aware.
9. She is finally getting old enough to read and protect herself.
10. I tell my kids often that they will keep learning as they keep trying. This is true for me too, I will keep learning as we keep her safe through alternative foods.
I came home feeling like a changed person. I know there are more reason to be thankful, and I will keep finding them all the time. The only change today is my perspective. Ellie still can't eat lots of food that the rest of us love, and maybe she never will. But God will do a good work in all of us. He is alive and active will turn even our ugly self pity into his lovely creation.