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Two Languages | A Devotional

It’s National Adoption Month! To celebrate, I’ll be posting stories and devotionals that carry the heart of adoption all month long. Having a spirit of adoption goes beyond the literal adopting of a child. Adoption is a mindset and attitude. Adoption means you open your heart to a new definition of family – one that goes beyond the traditions of blood line. In addition to child adoption, a spirit of adoption can also include things like joining families through marriage and blended families. Today’s post was inspired by a recent trip where I visited my step-siblings and God provided blessing upon blessing through our blended family. Enjoy! 

He matched his daddy. Both in trendy camel pants, the 18-month old tottled around the yard going as fast as his little feet would allow. He’d stop to climb on the neighbor’s patio chair or attempt to pull a young plant from the yard. To distract him, his daddy called to him in English from across the yard.

Dance, dance!”

An acapella beat broke out and the little boy stopped to wiggle and move, a bright smile broke out on his face. But after only a few seconds, he stopped and looked around for his mommy.

“Mama!” “Mama,” he called.

And soon a calming voice speaking Spanish replied to him from across the way, “Mi Amor!

Again and again the call and response.

“Mama!” “Mi Amor.” “Mama!” “Mi Amor.”

He stopped once he received her embrace, but only for a few seconds. Soon, he was running through the yard again near his daddy.

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Learning How To Cinnamon Roll With It

Guys, I did it. I mastered the cinnamon roll.

I’ve been trying to find a good recipe for several years. I’ve made many less-than-great attempts. But last weekend, it all came together. Here’s what happened.

cinnamon-roll-dough

Yeast

First, it took facing my fear of yeast.

Something about those powerful little granules make my armpits sweat – which isn’t good when you’re baking. Yeast really intimidates me. It’s delicate and sensitive, yet critical for a good batch of dough.

It’s taken me awhile to learn the difference between “too hot” and “not hot enough” water. I learned the hard way after several recipes falling (literally) flat because I either burned the yeast or didn’t add enough.

But last week, I got it. (Much in part to a $3 candy thermometer from Hy-Vee). The dough rose! Well, sort of.

cinnamon-roll-filling

Temperature

Although I faced my fear of yeast, I was not out of the woods. The other hurdle to overcome was temperature. This one almost ruined the day.

I pre-made the dough right before going to bed to give it time to double in size. When I woke up at 6:30 am the next morning, the dough had barely changed.

Grrrrrrrr.

I’d originally put the dough in the oven since it wasn’t drafty, however a cold front came in and the oven wasn’t warm enough. So, early in the morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand, I quickly pivoted. I turned the oven on very low heat and put the bowl in there.

And… the dough eventually rose! It wasn’t in the time I’d hoped (we ended up missing church over this ordeal). But it taught me a good lesson on temperature – sometimes to transform you’ve got to let things heat up.

Mae-helping-bake-rolls

Roll With It

When the first batch of dough didn’t go as planned, I got afraid I’d totally messed it up. So I whipped up a second batch of dough. I was determined to master the cinnamon roll. (Can you tell I’m an enneagram 1?)

After several hours, I had two bowls of perfectly good sweet roll dough on my hands. So what did I do? I made two different types of rolls, of course.

Half of the household loves fruity, jam-filled treats while the other half likes things straight-up sugary sweet. With a morning off track anyway, we re-arranged the day and everybody got the type of treat they desired. I added Orange-Glazed Sweet Rolls to the docket.

And what’s even sweeter? At one point, Mae even wanted to help me bake (which of course makes my heart sing).

Although my plans didn’t unfold like I originally hoped, things turned out better than I imagined. I had to roll with it (and the pun is totally intended).

danielle-burgess-sweet-rolls

Delish

In the end, both the cinnamon rolls and orange sweet rolls turned out great. (Anything with several sticks of butter and cups of sugar has a pretty good shot.) Baking took way more time than I originally planned. But along the way, I began to enjoy and appreciate the process and not just the end result.

And that’s why I find so much joy in it.

Not to mention the fact I felt accomplished and appreciated. It felt awesome to put two types of sweet rolls before a hungry crew that waited patiently as they smelled sugary goodness baking all morning.  Their eyes light up as they dove in and smiles spread across their faces.

I will definitely be making them again.

Corner-of-monroe-gang-cinnamon-rolls

What Recipes Did I Use!?

I’ve tried many attempts at cinnamon rolls but these are a winner. Big thanks to Anjee who I work with – she tipped me off to this recipe. Here’s a website not only with the recipes for the cinnamon & orange rolls – but many other varieties too!

Southern Sweet Rolls

If you have another favorite cinnamon roll recipe you recommend, let’s hear it!

Birth Order | A Devotional

It’s less than 13 months, but the way I treat my “baby” brother sometimes, you’d think I was at least several years older than him. For over 30 years now, I’ve gladly taken on the role as firstborn in our family. As a child, I volunteered as Mom’s helper – who needs fake dolls when you’ve got a real baby in the house? Even as an adult, my firstborn tendencies appear. I like to make a plan. I can be a mother hen. I love to pull everyone together. Most birth order books explain my personality well.

While the “take charge” attitude bodes well in circles such as school and work, I’ve learned it’s not as advantageous when it comes to spiritual things. For years I organized my Bible studies and followed a system for my faith. If there was a box to check – I checked it. I saw myself as a spiritual “mother hen” to many hearts longing to know God. Until one day, something wasn’t working for me anymore. I felt empty. Life seemed dark. And I wasn’t sure who I was anymore; my identity was lost.

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Take Both Knees

“White girls on the bus told me my bad skin was black and another mixed girl said her skin was lighter and her hair was better, and that mine looked like a cat’s fur ball or poop.”

That’s the top story from my daughter’s day at school. She drug her feet and nearly missed the bus this morning. She came home crying in the afternoon.

My bucket is empty,” she said while trying to share about feeling hurt, sad and confused.

I felt the drops evaporating from my own emotional bucket as we talked.

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