Early in my days as a brand new "green" pastor's wife, I found that my training for this "position" was just beginning. One of my first responsibilities was to direct the Vacation Bible School for the church...that was a story in itself that I will save for another time. Since I was new to the neighborhood, I was hoping to find a way to reach out to other young mothers in the area, not only for my own personal needs for friendship and fellowship, but also as a way to share my faith in the process. As each mother came to pick up her child at VBS, I personally handed them an invitation to a Ladies’ Bible Study at my home. This was another one of those “leaps of faith” for me, as I had never led a Ladies’ Bible Study by myself before, and I really didn’t have a clue as to how to proceed, but I thought this would be a good way to start. I was astounded when several of the mothers actually responded in the affirmative, and a date was set to start the Bible Study in another week!
The time for the Ladies’ Bible Study had arrived. It was the first time I’d ever done anything like that, and I really wanted to make a good impression. I’d worked hard on the Bible lesson that I was to give, and the house was cleaned and ready for the next day’s meeting. All that was lacking was some kind of refreshment for our fellowship.
My sister had always been the bread baker in our home, and I had never even attempted it. But I thought that now would be a good time to learn. My sister’s prize cinnamon rolls would be just the thing to welcome the ladies with the warm yeasty aroma of rolls baking in the oven. Since the Bible study was set for early in the morning, I thought I should prepare my rolls the night before, and then just warm them up before the ladies' arrival. So, armed with my sister’s recipe, and all the right ingredients, I set about making those delicious rolls. Halfway through the process I realized why I was not a bread baker! It was too time consuming to suit my busy schedule and umpteen interruptions from my three very young active children and husband! But I was determined to impress these ladies with my baking skills.
Finally at 11:00 p.m. the rolls were raised and ready to place in the oven to bake. I set the timer on the oven for the prescribed amount of time, and went and laid down while I waited for them to finish baking. At 1:00 a.m. I woke up to the smell of smoke, and with horror realized that I had fallen asleep and that my rolls were burning! I jumped up from the bed with a scream, “My rolls are burning! Oh no! My rolls are burning!” My poor husband woke up with a start and came running out into the kitchen after me yelling, “What’s wrong? Is the house on fire? What happened?” By this time I was through screaming and was crying, “My rolls! Look at my rolls!” They were a pitiful sight of black gooey charcoal! And oh! That smell! Would I ever get it cleared out by morning? Typical male that my husband was, he said, “So just make some more!” He had no idea how long it had taken me, and what all was involved in the process. I sent him back to bed with a few choice remarks while I tearfully cleaned up the mess.
The next morning I awoke early and got out my good old “Bisquick” and made some quick and easy cinnamon rolls. They weren’t the delicious yeasty rolls I’d desired, but the ladies didn’t seem to mind, and even “oohed and aahed” over how good they were. I swallowed my pride and told them about the “real rolls”, and they comforted me with their own experiences of kitchen disasters. I realized then that it’s not WHAT you feed your friends, but HOW you feed them that makes the lasting impression. The humblest creations served with love and true Christian fellowship spark the memories of wonderful times shared with friends.