Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yes, just a piece of bologna.

(By the way, why is that pronounced "buh–lo–nee" and not "bo–log–nuh"?
I just want to know…though in my case, a piece of baloney might be more accurate…just sayin’)

A piece of bologna – firmly sandwiched in between my grown sons and my aging parents.

In fact, there is an actual term called The Sandwich Generation. Truly – looked it up on Wikipedia:

The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.

So, that would be me.

My sons are both in their 20's – (how did THAT happen??) – and my folks are 81 and 79. (Sorry, Mom, for divulging that…)

And here's how life is playing out right now.

Sons #1 and #2 have moved out, but they still need Mom from time to time. It seems that those boys who were soooo eager to grow up ("You're so lucky, Mom. You're a grown-up. You don't have to go to school") – have finally discovered the ugly truth.

Being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Life just gets more complicated. The issues are more confusing, and the answers aren't as straightforward. The world does its seductive best to steer you away from following Jesus. Money concerns rear their ugly heads – and job security (when jobs can be found) isn't what it used to be.

And then, there's the issue of relationships. We all know how complicated that can be. For anyonebut especially for young men (and women) trying to live godly and faithful lives.

So, my sons need me – for listening, for advice, for counsel, for faith wisdom, for help.

It's a good thing, a blessed thing, when your all-grown-up-adult-children turn to you. When they talk with you, and want to spend time with you. I see so clearly how God is still using me as their mother. And I am grateful for the privilege.

On the other end of the spectrum are my folks.

Who are becoming more and more like children.

They are becoming increasingly more dependent on me. Their lives are getting more complicated, with confusing issues and answers that aren't so straightforward. They are navigating a new journey through old age – and it's a treacherous path. They are sometimes scared, sometimes unsureoften just overwhelmed and daunted.

So, my parents need me – for listening, for advice, for counsel, for faith wisdom, for help.

It's a good thing, a blessed thing, when your aging-childlike-parents turn to you. When they talk with you, and want to spend time with you. I see so clearly how God is still using me as their daughter. And I am grateful for the privilege.

But boy oh boy, this bologna gets tired.

Those bread slices *sandwich* me pretty tight sometimes, and I am weary as of late.

There are times when I'm just at the end of what I can give. When I am unsure of what to say or do. When I don't have the energy to be what they need me to be. When my love doesn't seem like enough.

Does anyone understand?

Last night, I was thinking about this as I drove home from spending some time with my parents. My dad fell a couple of days ago, for the second time in about two months (he's OK – just banged up). I truly hadn't felt like driving down there, but…

…they needed me.

And so I went.

And that is the essence of following another One who knows what it's like to be sandwiched.

Think about it.

Here's Jesusfirmly sandwiched between heaven and earth. Jesus with the heart of God and of man within Him. An eternal being placed into time. Talking with God, and talking to humans. Capable of hearing angels, yet listening to critics. The Creator of Life, facing death.

Jesus – sandwiched between glory and dust.

Did He grow weary like me?

Oh yes, I'm sure He did. I can almost hear Him pray on the mountain, when He ventured there alone to speak with His Father:

"Father, there are times when I'm just at the end of what I can give. When I am unsure of what to say or do. When I don't have the energy to be what they need me to be. When my love doesn't seem like enough. Help me, Father."

So, why did He make the effort?

Because we needed Him.

Jesus did it out of love. A love that stretched beyond His weariness, and empowered Him with grace. A love that practiced patience, with sometimes difficult and stubborn people. A love that enabled Him to be a servant, when the work of serving was unrewarding. A love that listened and cared and forgave…

A love that stooped to wash the feet of some really dirty disciples.

A Love that died, so that we might reap the benefits.

So, I count it as a privilege that I have been called to be a piece of bologna. Because in some way, I feel like I am sharing in the great mission of sacrificial love that Jesus brought to this world – the love that Jesus brought to me.

I am serving Him by serving others.

And I count that a real joy and blessing.

(Could I just have a little more mayonnaise, please?)

How are you serving God when it's tough to do so?

(Ahhh...enjoying my cup of encouragement at Joan's GRACE CAFE. Won't you join me?)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Well, I guess I was a piece of bologna for many years then too, Sharon. I cared for my aging parents and both of my boys. They both went on to be with Jesus some years ago and as you know my younger son married in August. Now it's just my son who has autism and my husband and myself. I considered it a great joy and blessing to care for my parents and sons and husband. Of course I still do with just the three of us here now.
    I enjoyed this and I have often wondered too why we don't pronounce it bo log na!
    Have a blessed day in Him!

  2. LOL about the mayo, Sharon!! It is a struggle I am sure. I see it with my hubby juggling things with his aging parents. The son is 2 hours away, but always on our minds and my prayers, so I do understand! It is a hard road to be on either side, older, younger and in the middle but trusting in Jesus and drawing his strength is always a good thing!! Glad your dad is okay after his fall, it is hard when they age!


  3. I'm so grateful for the consistent love of Jesus, too. It's powerful to get me through the hard times. Just said a prayer for you.


  4. The sandwich generation - rough Sharon. I have been there and done that myself. And without God's help and love and devotion we might not make it - but YOU WILL make it - and learn in the process. God bless. sandie

  5. Oh, yes, I understand...and the bologna sandwich describes it well...although I prefer mayo and ketchup with mine...I know - weird...

    It is most assuredly a privilege, joy, and blessing to be the cold cut between the slices of our family...and an honor, too...because we never do it alone....

  6. Awwwwwwwwww baloney Sharon... not really! Mayo with lettuce, I prefer mustard. I'm just a piece of bologna myself... I thought I was a half of the sandwich (you know when you just eat one slice with peanut butter or a piece of baloney). And there is a blogger named Kaye, who has a blog on this called but I am not sandwiched between any slices of bread. My parents are gone and so are my adult kids (not biologically mine)but they have wandered away on their own, and with kids, too. So it's just me - the bologna.

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad again! I do hope he is alright. And my, how wonderful to have two sons living for the Lord that come to you with their dilemmas (well, some of them).

    As always, you have written another masterpiece!
    When you brought this sandwich to Jesus! Excellent !!! How very true and so wise of you!

    Amen that you are serving Him by serving others, especially family and me. It is a blessing to have a sweet piece of bologna around! Your words on Jesus, between heaven and earth and His talk with the Father, ring such a chord of gratitude in my heart... did He grow weary? why did He make the effort? Your explanations and insights are wonderful!!! I'm so blessed and count this as JOY!!!

    And I'm ashamed to answer the last question because when it's tough to do so... I don't!
    I would like to say, I serve Him in everything but the truth is... I don't serve Him enough and even as much or in the direction that He's called me. I'm kinda frozen in time. Do the bare minimum when I should be maxing out!!! Maybe that's why people do short term missions, so they can give it their all, all the time they are serving. It was too short for me, so that's how I ended up choosing to go for gusto... yet reconsidering. Also am aware that I'm not being as effective in tackling the vision He's laid before me. One step at a time.And right now, those steps are itzy bitzy ones with a bit of a hobble for a swollen big, black & blue toe.(lol)
    Nawwwit's healing fine... I just have blisters now from trying to wear real shoes. OK, half a real shoe. Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse into God's heavenly realm and inspiring me with your serving(and comments)(like an hour & a half)!

    Many blessings and much love and success in ALL you are doing,

  7. I shall never look at a piece of bologna quite the same again.

  8. Oh Sharon, you sat at the keyboard and allowed God do a wonderful thing with this one! I started out giggling just a bit about the bologna commentary, but as you progressed I could read the frustration and hurt of being in the sandwich generation. I'm just entering that and currently still have a stubborn Duchess (who will probably read this. Hi Mom...) who doesn't like to need help.

    We have a friend dealing with this right now. I want to direct her to this post, not just because it's nice to know that someone does understand, but because of the way you found the lesson.

    I really love the way you brought it all home to Jesus. That was wonderful.

    I hope your dad heals quickly and you (all) get a rest.

  9. Oh Sharon! I'm a slice of bologna, too! It is a type of meal that I'm not quite used to yet. Thank you for your candor and speaking about the difficult time this can be! My kids are both in their 20's...but still need us sometimes, too. My parents are 88 and 90 and definitely need me! I can handle my grown children needing me, but my parents situation is so different...It is so difficult to see them in this place in life. They were always in control...strong...the dominant members of the family. And now, that is reversed. It is hard, but I love them! But, your perspective is helpful! I have been looking at this time in my/their/our life as a special time of service to God. I know I am not alone...and Jesus has experienced everything I have. He will walk with us as we travel through this. I pray that He gives me the grace, the patience, the love and the compassion to be all that I should be for them. Thank you again, Sharon.

    In Christ, Joan

  10. I don't know how you come up with posts like this...perfect. Yes. I too, am BOLOGNA! Sharing the joy and struggles with you. Wish I could meet you in the deli department! (0;

  11. Sharon - love the anaology you used. (I've been told I'm full of bologna a few times, but that's another story.)

    My prayer is to always be a willing servant of Christ - sharing the good news and teaching others the abundant life they can have in knowing Him.


  12. Hi Sharon -

    Thank you

    This is a rich and excellent present - you cinched it with these profound and truthful words:

    "I am serving Him by serving others.

    "And I count that a real joy and blessing."

    Thank you, Sharon, for this jewel of a piece.

    I disagree, though, that you are bologna. My belief is that you are prime steak abiding in the HIGHEST. O taste and see that the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever!

    Yum Yum

    Glory to GOD!

    Lord, please strengthen and equip us all to be about Your full gospel truth and to serve others but to also be mindful when we need to have our own time to replensish for the sake of our health and benefit so that we can better serve others...and most of all YOU!

    Thank You, Lord - Amen


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)