Thursday, November 26, 2015

Are you thankful??

You're probably not going to believe me when I say this, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!

I know, why does the girl with the feeding tube like a holiday all focused on food??

I've loved this holiday since I was little. There's something about a holiday that is focused on being thankful and not on buying presents or planning costumes that is just special. I love spending time with my family and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show and football....and the food...

Or at least I used to....

To answer one of the FAQs that I get, YES, not being able eat on Thanksgiving is HARD.

Especially in this age of social media, when every other Facebook post or Instagram picture is of recipes or what people are looking forward to eating for Thanksgiving dinner. While it's certainly not a "Hallmark" holiday yet, Thanksgiving HAS joined the ranks of holidays being celebrated for much longer thank just the day.

And to be honest...it's hard...

Most days of the year, I'm okay not eating. I mean, eating is not really a favorite activity of my body...but that doesn't mean that some days aren't harder than others...especially when for weeks leading up to today, all of Facebook is taken over by people looking forward to eating until they fall asleep and planning their workouts to burn off all the calories eaten...

I so wish I could join in.

I wish it took more than a few bites of food to make me so full I'm uncomfortable and on the verge of throwing up. I wish my body understood that food is required for life and didn't react like it is a top 8 allergen and try to go into anaphylaxis from digestion. I wish I could stop the internal swelling in my stomach and GI lining in response to food moving through my GI tract that causes severe pain and nausea.

I live with this on a daily basis, and usually can manage not only my physical symptoms but also the mental challenge of living with this all the time. But on Thanksgiving, it just hurts more...it's just harder to hope...

PLEASE, when you sit down with family or friends today and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, be thankful! Eating is a gift, just like everything else. Don't take it for granted. We often thank God for our family and friends and ask Him to bless the food we are about to eat, but when was the last time you thanked Him for the ABILITY to eat?

Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful today. I have two incredible families that love me and support me and Nick with everything that is going on. I have amazing friends (you guys!!) who lift us up in prayer and come alongside us any way you can. I am thankful for Herman (my feeding tube) because he has given me back so much quality of life and nutrition and health. I am thankful that God answers prayers and blesses us beyond what we could imagine or hope for. I could go on!

We all have SOMETHING to be thankful for, and I know I don't know all of your situations, but the one thing I do know is that God is good, regardless of our circumstances. And on days like today when my struggles in this life feel so weighty, I hold onto that and continue to hope. Thanksgiving is still one of my favorite holidays, but the joy comes with some sadness now.

So when you're gong around the table later today sharing what you are thankful for, don't forget to give thanks for the ability to enjoy incredible food and a body that can digest it properly! And enjoy some turkey and sweet potatoes and pumpkin bread for me =)

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