I was told once that the physical needs of a family have to be met first . . . then you can work on the spiritual. We have to provide the basics to see that our children are healthy and well-fed, but the physical needs the world is advertising today exceeds actual need and is self-centered want.
To meet the ‘needs’ of a family, mothers are competing in the workforce. Although I’m not well-versed in economics, it seems to me that the more people who require jobs, the less good jobs there are available. And if a husband isn’t making enough to support his family, then the mother probably has to get a job. Equal rights looks rather unbalanced from this viewpoint.
All right, you might say, so a man has to work harder for his paycheck. What’s wrong with a woman grabbing her share of the paychecks being handed out? It’s fair competition.
One of the first things to go is respect. If a female wants to compete in a ‘man’s’ world, she should expect to be treated differently. You can’t have it both ways. You lose a bit of what makes each gender unique.
If you are a single woman, you can cope with the pressure, overtime and exhaustion. What if you are a mother in the workplace? Now who gets hurt?
A look around the world today will tell you that many mothers aren’t on duty. No matter how you try, you can’t handle two, full-time jobs. Motherhood is not an eight to five job..
In order to keep your children happy and maintain your ‘freedom’ to work, you keep them supplied with the latest and greatest to satisfy their physical needs. If you aren’t home, you don’t have the time to work on the spiritual. And the longing for physical wants far exceeds any desire for the spiritual unless this is nurtured . . . but who has time?
I knew a couple who put off starting a family until they could afford a boat. They earned their boat, had a baby and soon divorced. They both worked, the baby was in day care and they really didn’t have a family. The boat didn’t hold them together. In fact, it was something to argue over in the divorce proceedings. And the baby continued in day care because now the mother had to work.
I think that if most working mothers sat down and figured out the actual cost to them, spiritually and physically, of working, they might reconsider. Of course, there is always the ‘world’ telling them they have a right to find themselves so number crunching might not change their minds. And many of the husbands of today are products of working parent homes and used to the ‘bounty’ two salaries can bring. No one seems to know anymore when their physical needs have been met and exceeded. They keep trying to fill a void that only God can ultimately satisfy.
I know many of us ‘stay home’ mothers are regarded as being somewhat selfish and lazy. We stay home most of the time, don’t have the hassle of PTA and car pools, and seldom worry about whether our clothes are totally fashionable. Our own relatives even wonder about us!
Well, I guess as long as we are being considered backward, we might as well continue on that path and see first to the spiritual needs of our family . . . then we can work on the physical – together, as a family
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. it behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” (Credited to Abraham Lincoln, 1863!)
Meatless Friday Favorite!
1 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
Pepper and Paprika
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese
5 cups thinly sliced potato
Saute onions in butter 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and seasoning. Gradually add milk, stirring until sauce thickens. Add cheese and parsley. Mix well. Spray casserole with vegetable spray or butter well. Layer ½ of the potatoes, cover with ½ cheese sauce, repeat. If you like, you can sprinkle buttered Panko crumbs over the top.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Uncover & bake for 15-30 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.
I love to quilt. I enjoy the challenge of taking bits and pieces of different fabric and turning them into a whole cloth again. When you sew a dress or suit, you have to keep in mind how the various colors and patterns work together. You would never sport a striped blouse with a flowered skirt. In quilting all these rules are left behind and you find the oddest combinations seem to work amazingly well.
I am beginning to see that our world is a lot like a quilt. We all come in different colors, patterns and sizes. Alone we are something but together we can make a formidable whole. We all have a place in our world-wide quilt of humanity. Each person is in his or her place as a part of a pattern that wasn’t designed by mortal hands. Our free will, however, is starting to make a difference in the fabric of our lives.
When you make a quilt, each piece, square, triangle is stitched carefully to the next one. Each segment is dependent on the pieces connecting it to the whole. Because one piece is in place, the rest can be built accordingly. The pieces of a quilt provide a meaning and basis for the entire quilt. The world’s quilt is starting to miss spaces. The solid fabric of its connecting pieces are fraying and disappearing. God sends children into the world to step into the places left by the souls called to Heaven. He keeps older people in the world until He calls them to their eternity.
Mankind has been arranging its quilt without consulting God. Abortion leaves empty spaces and euthanasia leaves gaping holes that bring down our solidarity. You look around at your friends and relatives and wonder what life would be like without them. How many other people should be in our lives that were not given the chance to take their place in our quilt? I have heard that abortion and euthanasia weed the unproductive and unneeded. Will your child miss out on the perfect partner because they were weeded out? Will the wisdom of an older person be missing when you need it the most because someone decided they were unproductive?
The reasons for destroying our unborn and eliminating our elderly and sick are not valid, at least not to the minds that see God’s Hand in our lives. Although we will all pay for this holocaust, we, as pro-life Catholics, know where the future of our world is going. We understand why scientific cures are not being discovered. We realize why there are a lack of vocations, either in religion or marriage.
In this day the best blessing we can give anyone is to pray that they are surrounded by all the quilt pieces of life that should be there and that their children will always be surrounded by the people God planned on being there. This is a hopeful blessing although the sins of those who justify their wrongs can be seen in our lives.
I love to quilt, yet as I sew, these thoughts go through my mind. I can only pray the bits and pieces of our lives will be eventually sewn together with as much love as I put into my quilts.
“The one peculiar and characteristic sin of the world is this, that whereas God would have us live for the life to come, the world would make us live for this life.” (Cardinal Newman)
I love to bake and enjoy fussing over presentation but there are times when I need something from the oven with limited time in which to get it into the oven. These very basic cookies work well, feed a reasonable crowd. Works well with a scoop of ice cream for a dessert night treat.
One-Baking Pan Cookies
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg yolk (reserve white)
1-2 teaspoons almond flavoring
2 cups flour
Cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and flavoring. Add flour to form dough. Pat dough evenly on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush top of dough with slightly beaten egg white.
Combine ¼ cup granulated sugar and two teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over dough. Sprinkle finely chopped nuts over it all. (almonds, walnuts or pecans.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool and cut into serving portions.
*I like to double the recipe and press it out in one of my large, rimmed baking pans. Don’t forget the parchment paper lining to minimize clean up and insure nothing sticks. For some holiday drama, you could scatter on some gold candy glitter along with the chopped nuts.
**Gluten-free? Although I haven’t tried it with this recipe YET, I think that one of the cup-for-cup gluten free flour blends would work well with this.