Something that you may not know is that July is National Sandwich Generation Month. The Sandwich Generation generally refers to those of us who still have children at home and also care for or house an elderly parent. My husband and I qualify as that generation since we still have 3 teenage boys & a part time 21-year-old daughter (the last of 7 children) at home and also care for my aging widowed Mama.
I suppose the idea is that my husband and I are the junk in the middle between the two pieces of bread, my Mama and our children. Well, I prefer not to think of it that way.
To me, the bread is God who surrounds us with his presence. When I pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”, I’m really also sayin’, “Oh Lord Jesus! Please hold us together!”. I mean to say that it does get difficult at times not just emotionally, but physically, spiritually & financially.
There may be times when we take a single piece of meat or cheese and stick it between two slices of bread for a quick bite to eat. However, when anyone typically thinks of a sandwich we picture several unique food items layered in such a way as to accent all of the other pieces for a unique sensation to our taste buds. That is the flavor of a multigenerational household.
Those of us in the middle generation tend to think we have it hard, but the stresses on the family plays its toll on each member of the household. Yes, we may have more responsibility, but if we can understand our place in this season of our life we may find some relief.
- God surrounds us. He is the bread of life.
- Emotionally – Our joy is IN HIM. We are what we are as a family because of who we are IN HIM.
- Physically – He gives us the grace and strength we need for our daily tasks. He is the structure of our family giving us form.
- Spiritually – God gives us a spiritual view of the family through his Godhead in 3 persons, the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. Just as a mother typically comforts or nurtures a child that is hurt or in need, so the Holy Spirit has been sent to comfort and nurture us through this life.
- Financially – He is the provider for every financial need that we have. Maybe there are those that “bring home the bacon”. But it is God that makes the place for that bacon and enhances its flavor because it is part of a BLT. He is not only the bread, but He is also the farmer, the butcher, and the chef providing on every level.
- On a personal note here, I could eat a whole plate of bacon (it is my weakness) and still not feel full. I might feel sick but not full. Put that bacon in a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and some real mayonnaise then I will be satisfied and remember that meal fondly for the rest of the day.
- We are not alone. We are in this thing together with those that we love.
- Emotionally – When times get rough, lean on each other and be there for one another.
- Physically – Don’t try to be a super hero. Divi out responsibilities among the family members and hire help if necessary. Even small children can help Grandparents keep mentally sharp by playing games with them or coloring and doing art together.
- Spiritually – We are stronger because when we pray as a family we know that our prayers will be answered because of his promise in Matthew 18:20 (see below).
- Financially – We don’t have to be the Mafia to have a financially strong family. There is strength in numbers. When a family pulls their resources together we can be like a little corporation. Many family businesses have started that way and grown into huge companies. When one of us runs out of paycheck before we run out of month we can help one another.
- When we feel the heat of trials and temptations, that is when we melt into our loved ones becoming more as one and our flavor is enhanced!
The points above are true for all types of multigenerational families going back even as far as Adam and Eve. An Englishman from the mid 18th century named John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich is credited with inventing the sandwich. He loved to gamble and wanted an easy meal that he could eat without having to leave his game. Ecclesiastes 1:9b says “… and there is no new thing under the sun.” I happen to believe that the first sandwich had to have been made already by Adam and Eve or their children or even perhaps passed down from God himself in the garden of Eden.
A Peanut Butter & Jelly and a Bacon Lettuce & Tomato are both sandwiches but are completely different experiences to eat. Every household is some kind of sandwich. In today’s economy and with housing prices rising there are many young couples choosing to move their families back into their parents’ homes. It can be a blessing for young parents to have the help of the grandparents at arm’s length. It also gives time for the grandchildren to bond with their grandparents or young aunts and uncles. Our modern generation is finally catching up with the Waltons.
So, what kind of family sandwich are you a part of? If you are alone you may be a wrap enclosed and wound tight with God. Are you a PBJ, like a smooth and sweet couple loved by everyone? Are you a Rueban Sandwich full of spice with sour people that make your family who you are? There are as many different families as there are ways to make a sandwich. Be proud of your uniqueness. In the comments below tell what kind of sandwich your family would be. I cannot wait to see! Till then….
The Treasure Chest
Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The Recipe Box
Have you ever eaten a Country style Fried Balogne Sandwich?
- Take each slice of bologna and make a slice in it like a radius from the center to the outside. This will keep it from curling up when you cook it. Fry it in an iron skillet if you have one (no oil or butter) over medium heat until it is browned. The edges may get a little black.
- Toast your white bread until it is lightly brown not burned (Benjamin said when he was 3 years old that it should go csh, csh, csh when you spread something on it). Spread a thin layer of real mayonnaise on each side (not Miracle Whip – blah).
- Build sandwich with fried bologna, sliced tomato & a healthy piece of crisp head lettuce.
- Most importantly, cut the sandwich in half diagonally. Eat each 1/2 starting at a corner and working your way to the opposite corner. Wet your finger and pick up the crumbs & tomato drippings one fingerful at a time until your plate is clean. Umm Umm good!
For Little Treasure Hunters
Here is a coloring page to download for your small children or grandchildren to color and talk about what kind of sandwich your family would be:
Citations & Related links:
Fraser, Liz. “National Sandwich Generation.” Care.com, Care.com, https://www.care.com/c/stories/9423/national-sandwich-generation-month/en-gb/. Accessed 24 July 2017.
Olver, Lynne. “Who Invented the Sandwich?.” Foodtimeline.org, Foodtimeline.org, 20 Mar. 2015, http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsandwiches.html. Accessed 24 July 2017.