April McGowan

Perspectives

I studied interior design in college. I had to learn very quickly to communicate my ideas visually with the class—and especially to the instructor. We learned to draw in perspective, to use vanishing points to make what was really a one dimensional view look three dimensional. I grew especially good at drawing from the top down (as if you’d taken the roof off the building and looked inside like, like taking the top off a dollhouse). But, that came with a lot of practice and many mistakes.

We recently took our first trip as a family who is limited by food allergies. Two years ago, we were not that family. We spent one year in diagnosis with my son, and we’ve had one year to adapt to a lifestyle that is not friendly to our day to day conveniences of food.  Or inconveniences—depends on how you look at it. And that is the point of my post.

We haven’t yet taken on bigger vacations, but we started with a two-day trip to a family member’s house. We made sure that the grocery stores in the area had some of the safe foods we depend upon, and then went shopping to buy everything else we needed. We packed our pans and cutting boards and utensils (we have to be that careful with his diet). I made safe snacks for the ride and had meals prepared so when we stopped we could eat.

Traveling like this does NOT come naturally to me. I grew up stopping at restaurants when we were hungry, along with the rest of the population. We now look at fast food joints like flashy rest stops. We can’t eat there—we just use their…amenities.

I’ve quit minding the wrappers and crumbles left behind from our eating in the car (our safe haven when it’s raining and there are no places to stop. Please, don’t look through the window of my car too carefully!).

I do have to admit, that on the way home, after what was really a lovely trip, I did look ever so longingly at the families heading into those cozy side spots for a nice leisurely meal—especially when it was 8PM and we still had to unpack and THEN cook dinner when we got back.

We are learning to live outside what other folks have to do. But, we are managing and beginning to see things from new angles and make new routines and habits. With practice and prayer, we are seeing advantages like listening to books on CD while we eat lunch in our car, rather than slipping on the greasy floors of a fast food restaurant (but that’s another story). God has a hand at changing our hearts, and instead of looking with dread at these challenges, I am looking at things from a new perspective.

Philippians 4: 4-7,19 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

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