Soul Writing

October 29, 2014 — 8 Comments



Do you remember the line in the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, when Meg Ryan is trying to figure out what NY150 means? She leans in toward Tom Hanks and laughingly declares “150 insights into my soul!”

I relate.

Except the insights into my soul came through assignments I completed in a recent online journaling class. As the picture above reveals, I have journaled for years. Inside those journals are the ups and downs of my every day life, the things God has taught me in the midst of those times, and the hard questions I could only admit in writing.

But in all my years of expressing myself in journals, I have never before touched such deep, sensitive places in my heart. Sometimes I laughed as I wrote, yet other times tears dripped onto the pages and smeared the words I had written. I look back on these past few weeks with a sense of contentment.

For I wrote from my soul…from the depths of my being. My heart poured out on the pages and expressed my deep longings, my joys, my wounds, my healing, and ultimately my freedom. It was as if chains dropped off while I wrote and life took on a sweet freshness. Unresolved situations were settled, and my soul found peace. A picture emerged of my core values, my strengths and my purpose. They were things I already knew, yet suddenly they seemed alive in a whole new way.

I especially want to thank Claire DeBoer, for creating and offering the online course “Journaling For Creative Growth”. It has helped me tremendously!

After four wonderful weeks of insightful journaling, I can honestly say, “It is well with my soul.”






Those of you who receive notifications when I’ve posted on my blog will be surprised when you see what it is I’ve posted. Normally my blog is not about food or recipes. However, I am making an exception.

I am posting a recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls – the kind I used to eat at the school cafeteria!

I found it on Facebook some time ago and put the picture on my Pinterest Board called Yummy Delicious. Since then, I have been asked for the recipe, because it’s no longer linking back to Facebook. Fortunately I had copied the recipe and filed it on my computer. However, it didn’t copy and paste to the Pinterest Board very well. It became one ginormous paragraph rather than being formatted like a recipe.

In order to help out those who have been asking for the recipe, I’m placing it here on my blog, and putting my blog address on my Pinterest picture of these “Yummy Delicious Cinnamon Rolls”. Enjoy!!

No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

Quick and Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with No Yeast!
Just like School cafeteria rolls

Ingredients for Rolls:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (Plus you will need some extra for when you roll out dough)
3 tbs white granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk make your own – recipe is at the bottom)
6 tbs melted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup white granulated sugar

Ingredients for Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs milk (orange juice works as well)

How to make:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take a round or square 9 inch pan and grease.
In a small bowl mix up all the cinnamon filling ingredients and set aside for later.

Then it is time to make the dough, mix the flour, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Next slowly whisk in the buttermilk and then only 2 tbs of the melted butter. Once it is mixed – the dough will look a bit sticky.

Take the dough and put it on a counter with some flour sprinkled out. Then you will need to knead the dough for a minute or two until it is smooth and then press dough out into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle. Now this doesn’t have to be exact, just so you have a good size of dough!

Once you have it laid out, take another 2 tbs of melted butter and rub around on the dough covering it all. Then take your cinnamon mix and sprinkle it all over the dough.

Then take one end of the dough and start rolling it tightly. Once you have the dough rolled, cut the dough into 7-8 even pieces. Place them in the greased pan. Take the remaining melted butter (2 tbs) and brush each roll with it. This will help make them look golden brown.
Put in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes!

How to Make the Icing:
Next you will mix up your icing. It will be a thicker icing, and it will harden pretty quick. Once you pull out the rolls you can let them cool for a couple minutes and you can then pour the icing evenly over the rolls. Now if you want it thinner then add 1 tsp of warm water at a time, thicker 1 tsp of powdered sugar at each .

No-yeast dough is much more firm and cooperative than sticky, yeast-required dough – which makes it much easier to handle, roll out and cut.
The texture of a baked no-yeast roll is more dense than a yeast-required roll. Not better or worse, just different.

Make Your Own Buttermilk

  1. Combine the milk and lemon juice: Measure 1 scant cup of milk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
  2. Let stand 5-10 minutes: Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. When it is ready, the milk will be slightly thickened and you will see small curdled bits. (This substitute will not become as thick as regular buttermilk.)
  3. Use the buttermilk: Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe.


Mom's Ornaments 3

From the time my mom became a grandma, and for many years following, she made each grandchild a handmade Christmas ornament with their name on it. Aour children became adults and established their own homes, the ornaments stayed with us, and each year we hung them on our Christmas tree. My mom has been gone for six years, and whenever I pull them out of the box at Christmas time, I find myself very thankful for the priceless memories she crafted.

This year, our grandchildren helped us decorate our tree. As the first ornament appeared, their parents began to explain how these were special because their grandma had made the ornaments for them. Once the grandchildren understood, they clamored, “Was this made for my daddy?” “Was this one Sissy’s?” I then, looked for Mom’s handwriting on each one, and announced which of their parents was the proud owner, and the year Mom had made it.

After the grandchildren left, I discovered the ornaments were all bunched together, so I distributed them throughout the tree. I gazed at these precious gifts as I cradled each one in my hands. The time and care Mom lavished on each one resonated with a sense of her deep love for each of us.

After each ornament was nestled in their special place, I stood back and observed my handiwork. A transformation had occurred throughout the tree. Barren branches had become beautiful.

My mom’s love could be seen…hanging on branches!

#2 Ornaments

Mom's Ornaments 4





Not Many Fathers

November 19, 2013 — 6 Comments

Dave Richards & Scott Squires

This picture speaks

Of a belief

Made reality.

Two men…generations apart

The older embracing the younger

Pointing the way

“Under his wings you, young man, will find refuge.”

A loving spiritual father

Encouraging, restoring, inspiring

Reassuring, strengthening

Giving identity.

Teacher, apostle


The younger

a spiritual son

Listening, learning

Attentive, receiving

Growing into the man God intended

Fulfilling the call of God

Stretching his wings

Learning to soar.

In the future

His own arm will embrace

Someone younger

Point him to the future

And pass down

The lessons learned

Continuing the call

of spiritual fatherhood.




After Rehearsal Dinner 1

The night before our daughter, Stephanie’s wedding, we gathered to have some family time. We have done this before each of our children’s weddings and it always ends up being so much fun! This night was no different!

As we sat and talked with Steph about her upcoming wedding and honeymoon, we somehow discovered a “secret” she had been keeping. It seems whenever she shopped in various stores, she would not give them her own phone number because she didn’t want to receive phone calls from their telemarketers. When we asked what number she had been giving over the years, she replied, “Dad and Mom’s home phone.”

Her brothers howled with laughter as her dad sputtered out a loud, “What?”

The laughter continued for so long, our sides hurt from it, and tears ran down my face.

Our evening was a wonderful time, tucked in between the rehearsal and the wedding. A time to reminisce and laugh together. A special time to verbally bless and affirm Steph before she stepped into the new day awaiting her!

Whenever we gather like this, I am overwhelmed by the gift of family! I never want to take them for granted. I want to savor every moment. Incredible moments…filled with joy and fun. Rich with love and care.

Truly priceless!

After Rehearsal Dinner 2          (Here I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. And Steph is laughing at her Dad’s reaction to his new discovery!)





photo from USAToday

Our family LOVES football! Often we spend Sunday afternoons watching the NFL and checking our Fantasy Football League points. We poke fun at each other, give the Mile High Salute when the Denver Broncos score, and whine when one of our fantasy players performs poorly!

Recently we gathered to watch the Indianapolis Colts play the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Broncos, was the focus of the media hype for this game. His opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, had been his former long-time team. Throughout the game, highlights of Manning’s greatest moments as the Colts’ prior quarterback, were shown. His excellence was indisputable! However, this night, his abilities were not enough to pull off a victory for the Broncos.

As the game ended, Peyton dropped his head and began his post-game trek to the locker room. Camera men swarmed him, but he continued to gaze at the turf as he pressed past them. Suddenly, rushing up to him, were workers from the Indianapolis Colts’ Club House. When Peyton heard their voices, his head snapped up, he stopped mid-stride, a genuine smile appeared and he embraced each one! While their admiration for him was unmistakable, there seemed to be something more being expressed between all of them. Peyton’s sluggish demeanor vanished and each man became the focus of his undivided attention. It was refreshing to see this popular, professional quarterback, set his feelings of defeat aside, and honor these unknown men.

One of the announcers, John Gruden, spoke highly of Peyton’s commitment to remain friends with these guys who worked in and around the Colts locker room. Gruden reported that Peyton still makes a weekly call to these workers, even though he now lives in Denver. Moved by the sincerity we had witnessed, we continued to replay Peyton’s encounter with these men – men who some might deem insignificant.

As we ended our evening together, I heard my grandson Jesse say,

“I’ve always liked Peyton Manning as a quarterback, but NOW, I respect him as a great man!”

Me too Jesse, me too!






Thanks for the Memories!

November 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

Mom's Sheet Music

While visiting my brother, who owns the home where I grew up, I ventured downstairs to the place where the old upright piano stood. The sight of the piano always conjures up the story my dad used to recite regarding how the piano came to reside in the basement.

It seems Dad would not allow the builders to put the steps into the basement until he and his friends had lowered the piano down. He jokingly told us the piano would remain a permanent fixture there until we wanted to take out the steps and hire a crane to haul it out!

Mom's Old Piano 2

I opened the heavy lid of the bench and upon doing so, discovered some special treasures. My mom’s aged sheet music! The musty smell, invaded my nostrils, and the sight of those familiar titles and faces triggered memories hidden in the recesses of my mind. I closed my eyes and listened as the sound of Mom playing her piano came rushing back.

Before our family owned our first television, we would finish our evening meal, head down to our basement and gather around the piano. Mom pulled out her sheet music as we shouted out our song requests. My dad and my two brothers and I sang at the top of our lungs as mom played that magnificent piano. Oftentimes my dad would pick me up and twirl me all around the room while Mom played those special tunes.

As the flashback faded, I found myself grateful that Dad had permanently planted the huge piano in the basement! Its stately presence coupled with Mom’s ragged sheet music, had transported me back to a vision of happy family times!

Although my mom and dad have been gone for quite some time; I just want to say…

thanks Mom and Dad…

for the memories…

Sweet, warm, enduring, family memories!