I make these cinnamon rolls out of biscuit dough. Not going to pretend they’re even remotely average. They’re not. They will make you quit every diet you ever intended to go on for eternity and beyond. They’re that good.
And they aren’t even hard to do. (Let’s face it, anything I cook can be done by a first grader.)
It’s just biscuits.
couple cups of flour
some baking powder
dash of salt
Roll it out thin.
It’s a trick, you know. The thinner you roll it out, the more little rings you get when you roll it back together.
After it’s rolled thin, you spread softened butter over it and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar across the surface. Liberally. We are talking about butter, right? Then you roll it up into a tube, cut the rolls in 1 inch slices, and bake it.
I always ice them.
Except Nate likes me to save him one without icing. And I do because his eyes sparkle, and I’ll do anything in this wide world for him.
But sometimes, when I roll it out, I get carried away. I want a big batch, so I roll it too thin causing the dough to separate. I’ll go to spread the butter and a hole will open up, tear away.
Too thin to hold together.
And that’s me sometimes. Rolled out too thin.
And holes form.
I can’t hold everything.
Things spill out.
Long ago the obvious things spilled through holes I wanted to mend but just couldn’t seem to get it together. The boys’ scrapbooks–Nate had a sports one and Cort had a nature one. They are packed away, unfinished, on a shelf in the basement.
And the files of family video clips labeled by year and saved on my computer that I planned to burn to discs each year–the audio-visual capturing of all the big moments–sit still tucked into the digital memory bank of a hard-drive.
Date nights. I don’t really know what else to say. They fell through a hole. But I do love that man, my husband.
My garden. Man I loved growing beets and tomatoes and basil. I loved watching them start into the earth as specks–just bits of hard, crusted hope–and push their way up toward hot, summer sun. I could hold a warm, ripe tomato in my hand and it felt more priceless than any diamond.
I have this neighbor–she leaves cucumbers and tomatoes by her mailbox with a sign: FREE. They’re her extras.
But I want to knock on her door and tell her they’re priceless.
Because mine fell through a hole a long time ago. A hobby I just can’t hold onto any longer.
Sometimes though, I see the dough of life getting thin, and then I realize it’s more than a date night or a few photos slipping silently through the cavity I’ve created.
I think, Dear Lord, is that my boy falling through that hole?
Like I was just rolling it out a little more to fit a few more rings of life into the coil. You know?
Rolling cause this person needs this.
And that person needs that.
And there’s another phone call.
And that’s the thing. Every another is another swipe with my rolling pin–pushing and pressing and pulling.
And that’s how holes are formed.
And that’s how you lose ones you love.
It’s how you lose yourself too. And I don’t mean the selfish part of self. I mean the fiber that God wove together, fashioned with His hands and formed in His likeness part of self.
You never stopped the loving. The fierce loving. The anothers just kept coming. Over and over like waves on a soft-sandy beach erasing castles.
I watched that happen this past summer. We sneaked down to a spot in South Carolina to catch our breath, and watched this man build a castle with his two kids. They stayed all day. And when the tide came back, they stood and watched as it slowly claimed the castle, one wave at a time.
Wave on wave on wave.
And when it was gone, I wanted to cry.
Because they’d never get that back.
There that morning, gone that evening.
I didn’t really want to cry for them. My heart hurt because I knew I had holes.
A friend from Ontario posted a photo of our birthday boy, Cort, on facebook. The photo was taken years before.
I didn’t remember the moment.
Could not remember it.
A hole held my memory.
The memory of a moment with my child.
Because somehow that baby boy is gone. He doesn’t ask to be tucked in. He doesn’t need me to make him lunch. His head slipped beyond my own this year. Just slipped right past me reaching for the heavens.
Somehow, when they’re wee, it seems there’s so much space in front of us. So much space to form them, to shape them, to help them write their story. To love them.
But time is just a blink in eternity. And we aren’t meant for time, we’re intended for eternity.
The great human conundrum is not so much about making the most of every moment, but about whether what we make of the moment will be for time’s sake or for eternity’s sake.
Became time dissolves.
But eternity greets us when the final wave washes the sands of calendar-measured moments away.
And it lasts, eternity. Eternity lasts.
We have to learn to roll the dough just thin enough to hold the things God gives us.
When a hole forms, we’ve spread the dough beyond what God has given us.
It’s just biscuit dough, you know?
It’s not like it’s spiritual. Not a verse from the Bible. Not doctrine, for heaven’s sake.
But when it’s rolled out just perfect, it makes the most beautiful things.
They warm hearts and bring smiles every single time.
They’re a gift.
Our lives are too.
We should take care when we roll ourselves out.
Just enough to hold the sweet and the spice God gives us.
The real thing about biscuit dough that I love is this.
Holes can be patched. Some of the toppings have to go, some dough gets moved, and the hole is mended.
It’s never too late to stop rolling.
Let ourselves be what we were meant to be and don’t press further than just that.
Here’s a funny thing.
That little boy that shared his loaves? The one from the gospels? His momma didn’t hear about the multitudes and bake extra.
It was actually Jesus.
He’s the one that did the multiplying.
In His hands, Jesus multiplied the loaves.
In His hands, He’ll multiply us too. That’s his job.
Because breaks and holes should never be formed by our hands.
Left to ourselves–there are chasms and cavities that mean something falls through, but given to Him, a break is the very thing that fills.
And He instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He spoke a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the people.