Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hanukkah in March

Wrong season, wrong holiday, I know. But the title of the children's book caught my eye at the library: Just enough is plenty by Barbara Goldin. Yeah, I want my kids to know that, I'll check it out. Never mind that I missed the "Hanukkah tale" subtitle.

So it's Jewish holiday education at my house this week, as we read about a family celebrating the holiday where one day's worth of oil miraculously lasted eight days. Just enough turned out to be plenty. This Polish family had no money for presents that year, yet shared their few latkes with a stranger who happened by on the first night of Hanukkah. They worried when he showed up, but welcomed him gladly in. "We can stretch the 'just enough'", Mama whispered...[to her worried family]. "We're poor, but not so poor." The stranger got plenty to eat and a bed for the night, and left them a surprise gift at the end. They'd have plenty to share for a while.

I found Poland on the map with my girls, and I might try my hand at making latkes for the first time later this week.

But more than geography and cooking, this week it's on my mind that our family - maybe even led by their mama - would find ways to stretch our just enough into plenty. I've said over and over during our many years of grad school (equal to our years of marriage!) that somehow we've always had "just enough". For which I am very thankful. But the sweetest compliment to me would be to hear my little girl say to her mama, like Malka at the end of the story, "I'm glad you're so good at making just enough be plenty."

What are you doing with your just enough?

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


Don said...

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

Leslie always like sending you and your family money for birthdays, because you ssttrreettcchh it so nicely.

Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

(Hope you enjoy your Proverb sandwich as much as I enjoyed your post.) ;-)

Dina said...

I love this! This is true talent, to be able to be a good steward of what you've been given.

I love how you're expanding on this book with your girls by trying a related recipe. Don't look now but this is a common homeschooling approach called the Charlotte Mason method in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books. By introducing ideas through literature instead of text books, it helps to bring subjects and history to life. This is something we do every week through children's books to learn about different things. I like what you're doing! :o)

Danielle said...

my favorite way to make "just enough be plenty" is to orchestrate a potluck. if all i have is a can of beans and an onion, invite everyone over for taco night potluck. you'll never go hungry at a potluck, and you always have leftovers.

if you come from a place of gratitude, everything is a gift and all your needs will be taken care of.

plus, you get food for the mind as you create a community gathering.

joanna said...

Nice - I've got Proverbs, homeschooling, and Buddhism, plus Hanukkah going on! Who knew...

Dad - Hmmm, interesting how saving (or hoarding) doesn't necessarily keep us from poverty...

Dina - yes! Love the idea of teaching through interesting books - I have fallen in love with good children's literature that even Mom learns a lot from.

Danielle - so, I have an onion and a can of beans, can you make a potluck happen when you get here? ;-) Very cool way of thinking about gratitude, sharing, and community.