Saturday, September 4, 2010

Rolling with the Punches

My first homemade rolls were made alongside my cousin, Linda. She taught me the art of carefully kneading the dough, punching it down and rolling even tidy balls. If memory serves me right, her rolls were blue ribbon award winners at the county fair and knowing my precious family of "overachievers" they probably went on to the state fair. It was well over a decade when, in adulthood, I returned to that lovely art of bread making.

Lest ye become easily impressed, my rolls are made by the assistance of my bread machine. I never did get the art of punching down dough and the whole "kneading" thing annoys me. Knead is an unfortunate word to me - it just looks so..."overworked". (I know, I know, but it's truth.) Lucky for me I have serious pain in my hands from arthritis and can't do it anyway! Tweaking Linda's approach to bread-making made it possible for me to weekly make bread with success rather than frustration. I even went on to master cinnamon rolls.

Though I take a different approach and would never get blue ribbons, my rolls are heartily welcomed and quickly disappear. I have spent hours teaching younger women to roll even tidy balls of dough, hours teaching them to make cinnamon rolls. People quite often tell me my cinnamon rolls are the best they've ever eaten. It has everything to do with my bread machine and very little to do with me. Doesn't matter. Nothing tastes like lovin' quite like somethin' from the oven, right? What counts is not my skill, but my end product.

Trying a new way to do something that made frustration get the best of me, became a good enough success to delight others and be a blessing. We are all so slow to leave our comfort zones. How much we miss because we don't even try! We may not become the best at what we do and sometimes we have to tweak our skills or situation, but if we roll with the punches and keep trying, we will discover that God has created strength from our weakness.

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