Have you ever noticed that the best things in life take effort, a willingness to step out in faith and accept failure, and patience to see them through? I was reminded of this this week when I decided to try my hand ONCE AGAIN at making cinnamon rolls. (P.S. Do you know they sell these things in cans, and the last time I attempted this feat my children said they liked the canned ones better?)
Maybe the first clue as to the difficulty of the task should have been in seeing that the recipe was two pages long. Maybe my second clue should have been that I actually had to use Google for tips on how to complete the first step (scalding milk).
Persevere When Things Get Hard
That said, I decided to persevere. Once I got through the scalding milk process, the rest of the mixing seemed easy, although a good amount of patience was required in waiting for the dough to rise. When I heard the final beep of the timer, I was excited that it was finally time to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty! I soon realized that I had grossly miscalculated as to how big the rectangle of dough would be. However, I was determined to make this thing work even in my small allotted counter space.
Following the recipe, I drenched the dough with melted butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. Now it was time to roll up my masterpiece as the final preparation before cutting and baking. Sounds easy, right? Let me just say the process was much more time-consuming than I imagined. It required lots of care as I added more flour to some sections to make the dough easier to roll. Meanwhile, the sweet buttery insides often came oozing out a bit, not helping with the tedious process.
After much coaxing, I rested in knowing my jellyroll was complete. I could now move on to cutting and sending off to the oven. My cuts weren’t even and my rolls weren’t uniform but they were beautiful to me. I proudly placed them in the baking pans and waited, one last time, for them to rise. Finally, I placed these precious gems in my hot oven. Once golden, I poured even more sweetness over each of them until they were perfectly saturated and ready to present to the world.
These cinnamon rolls took much more time, effort, and patience than I could have imagined when I began. However, can I just tell you, they were worth it! I could now sit back and literally savor the fruits of my labor (along with a cup of coffee, of course!), knowing that all the tedious work that went into each step of the process was necessary for molding the final product into what it needed to be.
Parenting is Hard: A Journey of Trepidation, But Faith
As an almost empty nester, it occurred to me that this process was much like the raising of our children. Parenting is hard work. We lost our first child to miscarriage. Therefore, we faced each pregnancy with trepidation, but faith. It required much patience as we eagerly awaited reaching each milestone on the journey.
This anxious journey eventually resulted in three beautiful girls, that stand before us today as three beautiful women. The “recipe” was different for each one. I’ll admit that it was sometimes messy, and we may have had to use “Google” (aka friends and family) a time or two for help in the process. Let me say it again. Parenting is hard work. We didn’t always get the spacing or the timing right, but we persevered. We attempted to drench them in the sweetness of God’s Word and love them unconditionally, even when it was hard and the gooey emotions and hormones came oozing out in the rolling and molding process. Our attempts at parenting weren’t always uniform or perfect, but they were rooted in love and covered in prayer.
Learn to Savor the Sweet View
As I sit here today with coffee in hand, can I just say that although parenting is hard work, it was, and still is, worth it. Are there some things I wish I could go back and change now that I’ve had the chance to re-read and work through the “recipe” a time or two? You better believe it. However, today I can, and must, rest in knowing I did the best I could with the “ingredients” I had in hand. I continue to persevere, step out in faith and continued prayer knowing that God will take over the final molding as I savor the sweet view.