Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm Not Exactly Sure How to Put This...

I’ve missed you. Of late my world has been encompassed by three things: family, writing and life without bread.


We have discovered a (not so) magical cocktail of restrictions that has improved my health tremendously. I am currently gluten/soy/sugar/dairy free.

Yes, that is a very sad list and I struggle against using the word ‘free’ in it at all.

In fact, I’m struggling for many words these days in relation to my health.

The restricted diet requires much explanation and dialogue in the middle of moments that are meant to be liberating and restful. Date night with my husband. Coffee dates with my Cashlings. Spontaneous meals to free me from cooking.

All of that (and so very much more) has changed. Perhaps for a very long time.

I am still searching for a comfortable script to navigate all the changes and more accurately express my needs. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.

At first, I was mostly ecstatic to have finally discovered a method to feel better again. That euphoria carried me through the early weeks of diet change.

And then.

It was the ice cream. And the sugar in my coffee. And the physical illness I experienced when I simply made my family a pie.

My favorite brand of curry powder.

My much beloved cast iron skillet and my very favorite plastic spatula.

My entire collection of Tupperware and Rubbermaid.

The wooden rolling pin I bought in my first days in Fort Portal.


The giving up of these and more has left me grieving and resolute. A whole new process to adjust to and master.

I am learning so very much. Gluten, which has become (always was?) disastrous for me, is in everything or so it seems.

And it isn’t terribly popular to speak of, even in America where this struggle/sickness is more well-known.

There is much (good-natured) teasing concerning the elimination of a component of food no one knew about not so long ago. Like a life without gluten is somewhat suspiciously crazy.

And complicated. And sometimes sad.

Good times.

Regardless, one cannot argue with results and this diet has yielded much positive in my daily life.

I have one again.

Caring for my family, homeschooling, writing, teaching, church, walking, getting out of bed, clear vision, a head full of hair…

Well, those are all very good things. And I had lost them for far too many days.

So, we press on. Proving, yet again, that you are never too old to learn something new.

Over the last months, I’ve leaned hard on my beautiful family. And they have been so faithful. I treasure them and their willing hearts. So many of the kitchen tasks that have been mine are now parceled out daily. Precious Kinley. Her cooking repertoire has multiplied exponentially! The boys and Jeff are helpful too, grieving with me the loss of food and filling in every gap my restricted lifestyle creates.

So deeply grateful.

My Stateside family has been so concerned and supportive as well. For instance, my Mom has been on a package mailing mission sending me supplies and GF treats and new makeup and better fitting clothes. She has been a champion.

My amazing Cherise has chased down resources for me and my incredible Trisha gathered and sent cookbooks and precious supplies for GF baking and meal prep. I am so grateful for these sisters!

From this season of struggle has been born some hope.

Right in the middle of the illness, God poured out some words. Over 50,000 words as of today. I still have a ways to go with it, but it is the story of my heart. A memoir of the road to ministry and Africa and my family.

I humbly whisper that endeavor into this venue, with growing confidence from all the remembering it has required of me. I have been reminded of how faithfully God carries His work to completion. Every single time.

Pray for me, friends, that God will provide that same fortitude for my current writing project and health management.  To completion.

Thank you for every prayer. I am so grateful to be remembered by you. Our hope is in the Lord.

Steady on.


Jim said...

Sorry to hear of your health issues! I have some myself, and cooking gluten-free is always interesting. But ... these things take time!

Actually, I'm with a team of missionaries, and a number of them have restrictions - some have a LOT. I don't know if it helps to know you're not alone - or that it's not easy for us either - but I hope it does!

Hang in there! God knows what He's doing.

Cathy said...

Dear Cheryl, I'm surely praying for you as you adjust to this new way of eating. One of my sister-in-laws has discovered she is intolerant to many of the same things. She has come up with some amazing recipes that are all of the above. She even made a "rice flour" bread that is really great. I'll see if I can find that recipe. I also have a recipe for an eggless, milkless, butterless cake that I'll look up. I'm praying that God will continue to carry you through and you will be completely healed.