I can trace my husband's family on his father's side back to Ellis Island c1908 when his first Russian ancestors arrived in the United States. They settled in Milwaukee. His Great-Grandmother worked in a factory. As did his Great-Grandfather. His Grandfather was a butcher who owned his own shop. His Grandmother worked at the shop too, running the counter up front while Grandfather cut meat in the back. That same Grandmother had grown up working as a sales girl in a dress shop. The dress shop was owned by her mother - she was the daughter of German immigrants (who were also shop owners) and had been abandoned by her husband.
And then there is my husband's mother's family (I don't know as much about this side). His Grandmother worked in a restaurant as a waitress. His mother co-owned and worked at a sporting goods store with his father.
These women were working outside the home, even 100+ years ago. They also had families, raised kids, attended church, kept house and stayed married.
My father was a disabled veteran. He worked for a while, but age and time made his disabilities insurmountable. He "retired" onto disability when I was quite young - maybe 6 or 7 years old. My mom was a full-time at-home mom and so I and my brothers & sister were raised on public assistance. I look back now and see that God was good and provided my daily bread. I have not always seen it that way. Many times I have looked back and only seen what wasn't there. I saw the half-empty glass, and felt no gratitude at all for the half-full part.
Had my parents been vain enough to put a motto above our door (as so many do today) it would have said, "There but for the grace of God, go I." They could always point out people around us who had it worse. And it was true. There are worse things than being poor. There are worse things than being crippled.
Go to dark Gethsemane, All who feel the tempter’s power Your Redeemer’s conflict see. Watch with him one bitter hour; Turn not from his griefs away; Learn from Jesus Christ to pray. Follow to the judgment hall, View the Lord of life arraigned; Oh, the wormwood and the gall! Oh, the pangs his soul sustained! Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; Learn from him to bear the cross. Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; There, adoring at his feet, Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete. "It is finished!" hear him cry; Learn from Jesus Christ to die. Early hasten to the tomb Where they laid his breathless clay All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away? Christ is risen! He meets our eyes. Savior, teach us so to rise.
Driving down the highway the other day, my backseat passenger asks, "Mom, why are all the other cars passing us?"
Indeed, it did seem as though we were being passed quite often. I checked my speed. I'm going 5 over. Hmmm? First inclination was to give it more gas and keep up with traffic. After all, who wants to be the driver everyone is passing? But instead I thought Teachable Moment! And I slowed down to the speed limit.
Then everyone really was passing us (old ladies in Buicks, Amish buggies...) But I kept the needle right on the speed limit and drove along, nose in the air, because I was in the right, a law-abiding good citizen.
Yes, look at me! I don't speed. Go ahead and pass me, sinner. I'm taking the slow lane to heaven. So full of self-righteousness and sanctimony. Halo over my head. It is a wonder I didn't sprout angel wings then and there. I am so good, I am so good, na-na-nana-na, I am so good.
I little late, since it is already Epiphany, but here goes....
Early Christians celebrated Our Lord's conception on March 25 (or April 6 - orthodox).
Why? Because that date corresponds to Nisan 10.
What is so special about Nisan 10? It is the date given in Exodus 12 that the lambs without blemish are to locked away until their sacrifice for the Passover.
So....9 months after March 25/Nisan 10 is December 25 (or January 6 orthodox Christmas).
We celebrate His Holy Conception with the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25.