Today, I am smiling in my heart

First, as a Thanksgiving gift, I wanted to let you know, I will post a cinnamon roll recipe at the bottom because I will be making some today to celebrate Joel coming home tonight. Oh, I am as excited as a little girl. Can't wait to hug his neck. Love him so and find him to be a worthy best of friends.

Today, I awakened before the sun was up, tiptoed downstairs, made my Yorkshire tea, lit 5 candles in Sarah's room, (when I am in her room while she is gone, it makes me feel nearer to her), and read verses about how God forgives me--as far as the east is from the west--so far has he removed my sin from me. And also a dimly burning wick, He will not extinguish. He is so generous in His humble love toward me. I feel accepted, even though he knows my limitations. Oh, how grateful for His forgiveness.

Then, I read a chapter from a wonderful book, I highly recommend, The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan.The chapter I read today encouraged me to be fully alive to the moment, not to hurry, but to rest, to open my eyes to see. I prayed and worshipped and then prayed that my children would open their hearts and eyes to Him today. Oh, let them see you and your beauty and love and please let them always worship.

Joy Forney and me at Relevant, I felt our spirits were so  kindred on multiple levels and fell in love with Joy.

Then, I opened my email and read a sweet, generous note of love from Joy Forney, and read her amazingly encouraging post, and felt so very grateful. Somehow, Clay and I have lived our lives in secret, when no one but God was looking, and no one but Him approved. And then we wrote from our hearts the secrets He was teaching, somehow, God used the magic of words of our little lives to encourage. Her blog post meant so much to me to see how He multiplies our meager faithfulness, as we give to Him the fish and loaves of our lives. I am humbled and ever so grateful.  And she is giving away 3 of our books--so you won't want to miss this.

And then, as I sat here, I heard soft, melodies sifting through the wall between me  in Sarah's room and Joy's bed where she was waking up and humming a beautiful song. It was a sort of fairy moment listening secretly to her sweet voice when she didn't know I was here.

And so, I am starting this Monday with a smile in my soul and am ever so grateful for His generous blessings of sweet early morning moments.

Here is the recipe! Enjoy. (This is not my original recipe that I will share some day--but one I use when I am in a hurry lately and very delicious!)

Sally's Holiday Cinnamon Rolls!


  1. 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast or 2 Tablespoons of bulk yeast (I use the bulk that I buy at Sam's--you don't have to mix it in hot water, and it almost always rises. If your yeast water does not rise, it is not fresh--throw it out as your rolls will not rise if you use this flat yeast!)
  2. 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar or 1/3 cup maple syrup for sweetening (I use the brown turbinado sugar.)
  4. 1 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
  5. 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  8. 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  9.   1/2 to 1  Stick butter for spreading
  10.   Brown sugar to taste, cinnamon sugar to taste


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix sugar, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (I just put my dough hooks on my Bosch mixer and let the dough mix for 5 minutes.) Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough and then roll it out into an oblong rectangle until it is about a quarter inch thick--depending on the thickness you prefer. 
  4. spread 1/2 stick to 1 stick butter (1/4 to 1/2 cup) over the rectangle. Sprinkle dark brown sugar evenly over rectangle as thick or as lightly as you prefer. Next sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over dough (I mix one spoonful of cinnamon to 6 teaspoons of sugar, mix it and put it in a parmesan cheese glass shaker, and use it all the time on toast.) Sprinkle the sugar mixture lightly or heavily, depending on how much sweetener you would like on your rolls--we like ours with a rich cinnamon flavor, so I put a lot!
  5. Roll the rectangle of dough as tightly as possible from the long side toward the top of the dough. Cut rolls at about 1 to 1/2 inches and place into a 9x13 baking pan or jelly roll pan. Rolls can be touching on the sides. Allow them to double in size. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Bake in 350 oven for 15 to 18 minutes until slightly brown. (time will differ according to your altitude--I live at 7300 feet and so my baking and timing is a little different from those who live in lower elevations--so watch the rolls and don’t let them get too brown.)

 Frosting: After cooled, make a frosting of 1 stick softened butter, 1to 2 cups of   powdered sugar, sprinkled into the mix a little at a time, 1 1/2 t. of vanilla, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk, a little at a time as you want the frosting to be thick--you may add a little more milk if you want, but not too much or it will be to wet. Mix until smooth. (I just add this and that until it looks right--sorry I am not more exact!) Frost each roll and sprinkle either a little cinnamon or red sprinkles to make them prettier! 

 Enjoy! and Happy Monday!