On Giants' Shoulders

Friday, March 10, 2006

When is a sacrifice not a sacrifice?

That's the question I'm pondering today. You see I decided that we needed to live a bit more frugally during Lent and one of the ways to do that was to eliminate the bakery bread I'd been buying at least three times a week. My kids don't really like the packaged stuff, so we've been buying Delvineri's bread, Baba a Louis bread and some other deli types whose brand names I forget, but which are extremely expensive. In lieu of bakery bread I'm back to baking my own. That's a sacrifice, right. I mean it's a whole lot easier to simply pick up a loaf of the $2-5 per loaf stuff than to hang around in the kitchen mixing and kneading dough.

The only problem is that what I've been reminded of is that I actually enjoy baking bread. I love kneading the dough, I love the feel of the soft warm dough, I love the sensuous feel of the dough as it gets silky smooth on the outside. I like shaping it into loaves. I love the smell of baking bread. Of course, I also love eating hot bread right out of the oven. So is this a sacrifice or not?

It does take time away from other things. However, it also helps my resolve to identify more with those people who can't afford to buy gourmet bread. It makes dinners of soup and bread more acceptable. Cleaning up afterwards is my bete noir, so there's a real sacrifice there.

I guess in a way it's like a lot of the rest of our lives, sacrifice often comes accompanied by joys. It is a sacrifice for a mother to get up in the middle of the night to nurse her baby, but it is also a joy to snuggle with an infant. Marriage is accompanied by sacrifice, and yet it also is accompanied by joy. Roses have thorns, but they also have soft colorful flowers with a lovely fragrance and crisp green leaves.

So I guess I'll take the cleaning up with the pleasure and figure that it's still a sacrifice of my time. Of course there's also the sacrifice of only eating a small portion of that hot bread. Now that's more of a sacrifice than only eating a small portion of the deli stuff. So on balance there truly is sacrifice. It's just nice that I get to enjoy the kneading as well.


At 5:35 AM, Blogger Karen E. said...

What a lovely observation, Liz ... it's so true that most sacrifices will bring joys, too ....


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