It's the middle of the Lenten Season. As a practicing Catholic, I know I have to sacrifice something I love during this forty days. For this year, will it be blogging? Can I? Should I?
For starters, here's the good news my TFM Friends, giving up blogging hasn't crossed my mind. After maintaining this blog for almost three years, it has become really close to my heart. Over those years, I realized that what I am doing is more than just a hobby or an outlet for my food allergy ranting. What started out as a feel better therapy for me, bloomed into so much more. It became a calling... a mission.
When I had my first food allergy related meltdown over a pancake (here's the story in case you like to read it), I remembered questioning God why I was put in this situation. If the chances of having one child with multiple allergies is like winning the lottery, then I'm a Mega, Powerball, Quick Pick and Scratch off winner. As in 4 out of 4 came out positive with several food and environmental allergies.
I was heartbroken, confused, defeated and lost. On top of it all, I have to put a bright and positive face in front of my children. If I think I am fragile at that time, how much more are my kids? They are the ones with food allergies! I'm sure so many thoughts and emotions are swirling in their minds too.
Since I can't readily share my predicament at home, I turned to my friends via Facebook. I have to say, I'm so blessed to have such caring and supportive friends. Though many of them are not familiar with food allergies, they encouraged me to write about my challenges and victories (grocery shopping and recipes). Their common line was "You are not alone. We are sure many people out there are experiencing what you are going through and you can help them."
Along with the new lifestyle, the writing started. It was not easy. Because of the extra time I needed to cook everything from scratch, I have to give up the precious time allotted to my online jewelry and eco bag business. Income that could have helped tremendously with the sudden increase of our grocery and medical bills.
With lesser income coming in, bigger bills and fewer time to "my work", I realized that God is working on something. As I tackle each day, my food allergy meltdowns become lesser. My recipe collection kept on growing. The kids are growing way healthier and happier. More products are being introduced to the market. Coupons are starting to come out too. Eventually, opportunities for product reviews began to flow as well. The more I share, the more information I get which I felt needed to be given back.
Financial wise, I have to say, this blogging work is still far from supporting a family. Though I'm fortunate to work with several companies, this business is still a work in progress.
With all the challenges I encounter, you may wonder why I still do what I do. My real honest answer is that it fills me with so much joy.
"My son never had a donut until today. Can I give you a hug?"
"I made these cupcakes for my son's birthday. Everybody in our family loved it."
"Thank you for the event you shared. I was able to buy so much food and I saved a lot of money."
"The coupons were really helpful. Thank you so much."
"Thanks for posting the products your kids eat. It made my grocery shopping a lot easier."
Those were some of the messages I get from complete strangers. Little notes that reassure me that I am in this situation for a reason and that my story has a purpose.
Now, you may be asking why I was missing in action for more than two weeks. Well, it's because I don't have any internet connection! After four repair mans, it looks like it's about time to switch to cable. Any suggestions?
|photo courtesy of BajuesBest|