Inspiration to Live Free

God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged me – through His Word and through the stories of other parents walking a similar journey to our own. It’s my hope what I share here will encourage you.

FABlogCon 2013 – From a Newbie Blogger’s Perspective

by Allergy Free Kitchens on November 7, 2013

In 2010, I felt led in my heart to be a voice in the food allergy community. After a few years of heart-searching and planning, allergyfreekitchens.com was launched – just in time for FABlogCon 2013.

With my friend and local food allergy advocate (Stacey Stratton of  Peanut Free Zone) by my side, I boarded a plane and headed west to Las Vegas for what would turn out to be a weekend of insight, education, and fun.

Throughout the weekend of sessions and meet and greets, I encountered the smiling faces of those who have made me laugh, taught me how to cook, and inspired me to take the leap of faith in starting my own food-allergy blog.

Following a statement by Enjoy Life Foods’ CMO, Joel Warady, my eyes were opened to see the power inherent in that gathering.  Individually, we are a story.  Collectively, we can move mountains.

Thank you to Jenny SpragueHoma Woodrum and the entire FABlogCon advisory board for putting the event together.  I believe it was the beginning of something very special for the food allergy community and it is exciting to be a part.

If you’d like to know more about the bloggers and speakers who were part of FABlogCon, click here for a list of the attendees and links to their sites.  In the weeks and months to come, I hope to introduce you to many of the FABulous bloggers and vendors I had the chance to meet.

 

 

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Her First Day of School

by Allergy Free Kitchens on August 29, 2013

I remember the day vividly.  As my husband quietly made his way down the hall to our little’s room, I heard him softly singing, “It’s schooly pookers time.  It’s time to give a cheer, ‘cuz schooly pookers here,” and I smiled.  That sweet little diddy is a song from his childhood, a song his dad sang to him every morning before school.  And that day he was singing it for the first time to our little girl.   The day was finally here.  Our lovey bun’s adventure at school was set to begin.

We had prayed.  We had met with the doctor.  We had met with the school nurse (whose office was directly across the hall from the classroom – comforting).  We had met with the teacher.  We had prayed.  A stash of allergen-free lollipops had been delivered to the teacher for the times I might have missed a note on the calendar that someone was bringing a birthday treat to class.  I had packed up vegan and gluten-free pasta in varying shapes for craft projects.  I had prayed.  Notice a pattern?

Leaving your child in the care of another for the first time can be worrisome enough, but when it comes to leaving your child with multiple food allergies and allergic asthma in an environment YOU can’t control, you have the perfect opportunity to be a ball of nerves.  In fact, something inside you seems to say you’d be an uncaring, unloving, brainless parent to be anything but a wreck.

But I’ve discovered something.  I’ve learned when I put my trust in God and not in me, myself, and I (or someone else), I can rest.  Have I always done that?  I’m sorry to say I haven’t, but I’m getting better at it.

I love the scripture that tells us God is faithful and utterly trustworthy – He will keep us, He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).  And that day, amidst my anxious thoughts, I was able to grab hold of that wonderful truth and breathe.  Now, as we begin yet another school year, I’m reminded of His faithfulness all through last year.  He kept our lovey bun.  He did it.  And He’ll do it again.

If you are thinking about sending your child off to school, daycare, or preschool in the next year or two, I encourage you to begin your preparations with prayer.  The Bible tells us in all our ways to acknowledge God and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6).  He will help you make the right decisions regarding where and when to send your child to school.

I would also encourage you to check out Stacey Stratton’s book Allergies at School, available on her website and through Amazon.com.  As a former educator, parent, and co-creator of www.PeanutFreeZone.com, Stacey’s perspective is expansive and helpful.

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