It was the night before Thanksgiving back in 2001 when the great “Burnt Roll Debacle of ’01” occurred.
The day had been pretty ordinary. I had taught second grade all day, and I had spent the evening taking care of my little girl.
That year I was supposed to bring yeast rolls to my husband’s family’s Thanksgiving meal. So, after fixing supper, I made the dough, let it rise, formed it into rolls, and let it rise again.
It was rather late by the time I put the rolls into the oven. I set the timer and sat down in the living room to watch a little TV while I waited for the rolls to finish.
Nearly three hours later I woke up to a burning smell. I ran to the kitchen and opened the oven to find that the yeast rolls I had worked so hard to make were burnt and rather brick-like.
How could I have fallen asleep?
What was I going to do?
Apparently, I must have yelled because my husband came running. Julia, who was only two at the time, also woke up from all of the commotion.
JT was able to piece together, from my crying and carrying on, what had happened. When he put the rolls on the breezeway, because the smell was so overpowering, I lost it. Big time.
The thought of going through the whole roll-making process again was unbearable. However, I told my husband, rather loudly, that I was going to just stay up all night and make another batch of rolls.
Ever the voice of reason, JT convinced me that 1) the world wasn’t going to end because I burnt some rolls, 2) I would have enough time to make more rolls in the morning, and 3) sleeping was the best thing for me do.
The next morning I woke up early enough to make another batch of rolls while my husband threw the burnt rolls outside.
I am not sure what possessed him to do what he did next, but it was both mortifying and hilarious at the same time.
My dear husband got out our tractor and drove over the burnt, stuck together rolls. They didn’t break apart on the first try. Oh, no. He had to drive over them multiple times.
To add insult to injury one of our dogs grabbed a roll that had broken apart from the others and proceeded to bury it in the garden like it was a bone. Seriously, the dog buried a roll.
At this point I made my husband promise he wouldn’t say anything about the burnt rolls because I didn’t want his family to know what had happened. For some reason I thought they would think less of me if they knew.
Over the years I have thought about those burnt rolls and how I reacted to them. Why did I feel such panic, anger, and shame? I think it is because I was in a very different place fourteen years ago.
I only had one child when I longed to have more. I had had two miscarriages and couldn’t seem to get pregnant again. I loved teaching, but I wanted to be home with my daughter.
I kept looking to the future and what I wanted instead of being thankful for what I had.
Since 2001 I have had four more children, two more miscarriages, and I have been home raising my kids for the past 13 1/2 years.
Now that I am older and, hopefully, a little wiser, I am thankful for those burnt rolls. They remind me of just how much awesome our God is.
When I had to make a new batch of rolls I should have been thankful that I had plenty of food in my house to make more. Many people in this world have so little food and have no idea where there next meal is going to come from.
When I felt shame about burning the rolls I should have been thankful to have a family to spend Thanksgiving with when many people do not.
When I was so focused on having more children I should have been thankful to have one child when so many people can’t have any.
When I wanted to be home with my daughter I should have been thankful for the job I had when so many people are out of work.
When I was crying and panicked I should have stopped and prayed.
Thanksgiving should be about more than one day. It should be about more than one batch of burnt rolls. Thanksgiving should be a way of living.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I want to live every day like it is Thanksgiving.