Every time I see a mother out shopping with her children trying to keep her goals in mind while the young ones clamor for everything the mother is not going to put in her grocery cart, I recall my own moments. Children are born with taste buds already acclimated to junk food and parents battle their inclinations from day one.
Children like recognizable food. If they can’t conveniently pick it up in their hands, they might not eat it. And, if the food, can be fried, grilled, or breaded, so much the better.
Unfortunately, the week before payday doesn’t always allow us the luxury of chunks of meat or chicken. This is when the bane of most children appears . . . casseroles!
Casseroles were invented when there was one shred of meat, two carrots, and a sprouted potato left in the larder. Whether it is a larder or refrigerator of today, we often have the same culinary scenario. This is when your motherly skills all come into play.
“Mom! What is that brown, crusty stuff on top of my food?”
“It is melted cheese. Eat it! Don’t take it off or you will be sorry!”
“Mom! There’s no meat under the brown, crusty stuff!”
“See! Didn’t I tell say you’d be sorry!”
For variation, all you have to do is add liquid to leftover casserole and you have soup. This is about as popular as casserole. Your children carefully skim tiny spoonfuls of broth from the surface of their soup bowls. There are whispered discussions and long, intent looks into their bowls. You get the impression that the appearance of the Loch Ness Monster from the depths of their soup would come as little surprise to them.
All the cookbooks and meal planners suggest stretching meals with a big salad. Salad often fits into my week before payday budget. Unfortunately, the children are all for drowning it in their soup and covering it with brown, crusty stuff.
Husbands should be supportive but, sometimes, they just can’t help what happens. Faced with a big bowl of mixed salad greens (two-pound bag on the ‘next stop, eternity’ used vegetable counter!), he tries to be encouraging.
“Children! Your mother works hard all day to fix us this wonderful dinner . . .”
“Dad! I don’t recognize this leaf!”
“It’s nettles, dear.”
“Dad! Nettles aren’t edible! It’s probably crab grass. Mom put crab grass in our salad!”
“Sweetheart! It’s not crab grass. I meant to say endive not nettles.”
“Dad! Do I have to eat the curly leaves?”
“If you want dessert, you do.”
“We have dessert tonight?”
“Well, no, but if we were having dessert, you could have some if you ate the curly leaves, too. Since we aren’t having dessert, you still have to eat the curly leaves so you don’t die of starvation by morning!”
“Dad! I think I saw something crawling in my salad . . .”
“Enough! I have heard enough complaints about dinner. I want you to all be quiet and eat your weeds! I mean, salad!”
Marriages are made in Heaven but I bet they happen before the salad course.
Self-Worth: Dear Jesus, help our kids know that we are all born as sinners and separated from God because of our wicked hearts. However, at an early age, help our children grasp the life-transforming concept that they don’t have to live as a sinner under that condemnation.
Body Image: Lord we ask that you’d protect our kids from the idea that they must do anything and everything (including abusing their bodies through eating disorders, drug abuse, or other harmful behaviors) in order to attaining a “preferred” shape or figure. We pray you’d protect our kids from that kind of destructive thinking, and that if they’re tempted to take these kind of drastic measures, that you’d send someone in their lives to stop them. Help them to remember over and over that their identity is not in how they look on the outside but what you see as their potential and worth on the inside.
Influences: We pray that you would surround our children with friendships and mentor-type relationships that portray what it means to have an authentic relationship with Christ. In turn, we pray that you would raise our kids up to be the influencers of the next generation. We pray that you would allow godliness and righteousness to dwell in their hearts so richly that these evidences of your truth spill out of them and to every person they encounter.
Passions: God, help us to know how to guide our kids in their passions by blessing us with the divine wisdom to know when to joyfully open up the gates toward new freedoms and desires, and when to curtail our children’s passions because they’re not able to accept the responsibilities yet in full. Help us model to our kids what it means to live passionately for You by boldly following the dreams you’ve placed in our heart, never settling for complacency.
Money, Possessions and Work: We pray that our kids would persevere in whatever vocation you give them and that they would work with cheerful hearts as if they were serving you directly. We pray that our kids would see at an early age that money and possessions are a gift from You and thus must be always held with an open hand so that You can use those gifts to bless others
Content taken from “5 Areas of Your Child’s Life to Pray against Satanic Attack” by Alicia Michelle.
A friend and I were gently teasing each other about our future, eternal rewards. My friend cinched the matter by saying, “Oh, I think we all should spend a little time in Purgatory . . .to say hello to friends before we head on up into Heaven!”.
A friend at daily Mass said her mother felt that afternoon soap operas depicted more than should be aired on television. In consideration of the characters feelings, she always turns the television off for the afternoon to give them privacy!
I knew further investigation was in order when I came upon three-year-old Marc muttering to himself, “I will never tell the truth again! It gets me in nothing but trouble!”
Freedom is in grave danger when the State wants to mandate what parents are allowed or not allowed to teach their children. This proposed legislation starts taking away the innocence from children in their early, formative years giving them a view of life they don’t need to worry about at that age. There is no freedom of choice when the government decides they know what is best for your children.
The California Department of Education is in favor of The Implementation of the California Healthy Youth Act.
It seems California is emerging as a new police state to crush the innocence of our children.
Fact 1: A new law is taking effect in California – the California Healthy Youth Act – which forces children to attend pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and pro-transgender sex education lessons.
Fact 2: Government imposed teaching materials include a K-to-5th grade study guide for I am Jazz, a pro-transgender book written by a boy who calls himself a girl.
Fact 3: The “sexual health tool kit” is another approved part of the program. In addition to recommending Planned Parenthood, the offensive “tool kit” offers explicit instructions on how to commit sins against nature – INCLUDING the use of sex toys and worse.
Fact 4: Furthermore, the pro-transgender law mandates: “Instruction and materials shall teach pupils about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and explore the harm of negative gender stereotypes.” (Section 51933)
I’m one of the children of the past that can speak for myself on both sides of the feminism issue. For the first seven years of my life, my mother was a stay-at-home mother who would oversee my school lessons, bake cookies, fix dinner every night and made sure water actually touched my body when I was sent in to take a bath. She was able to be there for every little school performance and made costumes even when I only had a two-minute walk in part in the school play. After-school rehearsals were not a major problem as dinner would just be a little bit late. Fast food was not an option.
Then one afternoon when I was in the last few weeks of third grade, my Dad was the one who picked me up from school. I asked where Mom was and he said she was at work. That was the first I had heard about this. We went home, I sort of did my homework, did not study my times tables, and waited until eight o’clock that night for dinner.
My mother was working as the parish secretary and housekeeper/cook for the pastor. His meals came first and she made enough so there was usually a meal for us when she finally got home. The smell of dinner simmering on the stove no longer happened at our house.
Now, her working was considered the best of all possible situations as the church office was through our backyard and across the busy highway. It seemed a good deal longer to me. My grades went down from straight A’s and there wasn’t always time in the morning to make sure I washed or my mother remembered to brush my hair. She worked seven days a week because she enjoyed her work and the grownup company. I definitely came in second to the job. Whenever I felt sick, instead of ‘poor baby’, it was an anxious, “Are you sure you aren’t well enough to go to school?”
Fast forward to me with my first born. My mother was still working for the same pastor but slowing down and I was asked to help out with a paycheck. I was assured I could take the baby to work and see to his needs at the job. The church was 45 minutes away but it sounded as ideal as was possible since we needed the money and the pastor was a long-time friend.
The long-time friend, however, went into thoroughly boss mode and he kept alluding to his plans that when the baby was old enough for school, the pastor could get him in the Catholic school and I could work full-time. Uh, what? I casually mentioned that would be difficult especially if we had more children. Father looked taken aback and said, “Don’t you have enough on your plate as it is?” Uh, WHAT? The fact was that I was already pregnant with baby number two but hadn’t mentioned it yet.
GK Chesterton’s quote was so right. Bosses are bosses, no matter their vocation and my time was his time no matter what time I was needed and everything else came in second. I wondered how to gracefully resign from the job. The money wasn’t worth it when there were times when my baby had to cry so the boss would get his project done. Crying babies didn’t seem to phase him. I credit God with sending me a clear sign about what to do. I was getting ready to get on the road to work, one morning, morning sickness (second baby) in check and toddler ready to go. Our elderly car refused to work. I looked at my husband, walked to the phone and called the pastor and told him the car was dead and I couldn’t come in to work. In fact, I said, with a second baby in the works, I thought it was time I turned in my resignation. And I never looked back!
I almost made the same mistake my mother did only I had my child right there to see what trying to divide my time was doing to him. The employer was making me a slave to his work needs and felt a kindliness that he allowed the baby to even be there.
I went back to being a totally stay-at-home mother from then on and still am today even though the children are grown up and my youngest is self-sufficient even though she enjoys staying at home for the time being. I’m back to being a ‘slave’ to my husband which is the best possible job in the world. I no longer have to struggle with the bad math of being a full-time mother with a full-time job because, in the long run, it just doesn’t add up.
Having an older son and a much younger son, we had a lot of turmoil and horseplay going on in our house. My teenage son always had the advantage as he could just pick up his little brother and put him out of his way. One day, my older son came to me with what seemed a legitimate complaint:
My teenage son complained to me about scratches he claimed were caused by his much younger brother. For once, there actually were scratches providing proof. I called in the alleged culprit who readily admitted to the deed. The whole ‘case’ kind of fell apart when I asked the teenager where his hands had been when he received the scratches. He said, “Around his neck!”