Harmonious Living - and Quick Dinner Rolls

On Sunday our family gathered in the living room to talk about business.

Not work-related business but family business.

We came to do business with our leader. Yes, my husband led the discussion but the One who led the spirit of the half-hour discussion was God.

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer …

I looked around our cozy living room, as I often do, and found myself dreaming and gazing at things I’d like to change, like a color on the wall. How foolish of me to get my mind off-track like that. Then my attention was diverted back to our business. Our business was discussion of John 15 (verses taken from The Message).

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.

As we’ve been working on outdoor projects, like building our garden beds, wheel barrowing loads and loads of decomposed granite, putting up a new inexpensive greenhouse, and dreaming about what will grow there – only a few months away – and planning our kitchen remodel as well - I realized that the face-lift jobs that need to be done to our house are just peripheral.

Yes, they need to be done and I will say that the last few weeks of Christmas break have been a wonderful time for our family, working together on these outside projects.

I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.

What really will make our family stronger--and we only have a few years left--is what happened in our living room. It’s not how our house looks on the outside, or even the inside. It’s not about my updated wall-color or new flower arrangement, or what the neighbors will think of my front patio. It’s not how our family looks when you peek into our front window.

If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.

We were not able to attend church on Sunday. But the discussion about God and the deciphering of Scriptures brought peace to my mind. The fact that my children can think for themselves and can contribute to the discussion, I appreciate. They can call things bluff as they see through legalism – because they’ve encountered the real and true. They do know God’s Word, even though they sometimes live imperfect lives.

The lessons they are learning, even as I write this, are about experiencing God’s grace and that is a beautiful thing.

The house duties can wait, the dream kitchen will happen in due time. Our garden will grow and the flowers will eventually bloom. But if I don’t focus today – on living for Him, and making my home in Him, then my efforts are in vain.

We talk about change – and change I do believe in. We live in this world and we want to make it a better place. But where do we start?

For me, it starts in my home. In the living room or around the dinner table, together as a family - discussing and living life.

I call it Harmonious Living!

(Our inexpensive greenhouse arrived and is now up, standing next to our old one ...)

Last week when our friends came for this dinner, my daughter and I made homemade dinner rolls. This was new for both of us, and a very easy recipe! My mom always made hot rolls for our Sunday meals after church. When the rolls would come out of the oven, we’d take a cube of butter and melt over the top of the rolls. It would seep into the crevices creating most moist, tender, buttery rolls! I can still taste them …

Quick-Rise Dinner Rolls
2 cups water
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (we used Quick-Rise)
1 teaspoon salt
7 ½ cups self-rising flour

In a large bowl place 2 cups of water and butter. Microwave for 2 ½ minutes. In another bowl, mix 1 cup sugar and eggs.

In separate cup, microwave ½ cup water for 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and dissolve the yeast – mix.

Mix butter, water, sugar, and eggs mixture together; add salt. Mix in the yeast mixture. Stir in 7 ½ cups flour. Mix well and let rise. QUICK RISE: I cover and set over my heat vents in the house!

When ready to use, dump onto floured surface, lightly knead using enough flour for easy handling. Shape into rolls (or bread loaves) and place on greased baking sheet (or loaf pan).

Let rise for 30 minutes in a warm area or until doubled in size. I turned my gas stove on and they warmed up right away!

Bake at 400, until tops are golden. Makes 24 rolls.

Perfect for company or on a cold winter’s night!


Sandy Toes said...

The rolls look delicious! But, what you wrote on your "home" and our relationship with the Lord was written so thought provoking..thank you for your "words"!
-sandy toes

linda t said...

I sure needed to be reminded of your words... of God's Word.. of what's really important.
Thanks for inspiring me to focus on what really matters.

Anonymous said...

I so appreciated that post. The meaning in it touches my soul and I can so relate to what you are saying. Thank you for the encouragement that you so graciously pass on to so many.

I remember the large Sunday-after-church meals that my mom prepared ~ often with the idea of inviting someone home after church. I'm anxious to try your hot roll recipe.

Betsy said...

Thank you for these good thoughts! I've been listing things around my home that need repairs, updating, etc. It's always good to keep things in perspective and remember that our hearts need our first attention before anything else.

The rolls look wonderful. I know my family would love these and the recipe looks easy, too! :)

Betts said...

I cannot wait to try these rolls!! Thanks for that and for the thought provoking post.

Jen said...

Good points friend. I cannot wait to see your Green house. How exciting. You are right though....it all begins inside the home. home is where the heart is.

Mercy said...

I'm a lurker.

Don't forget to add this to the sidebar so I can come back later to this recipe!!

Thanks for always insiring me to be hospitable. ;0)


Sabrina said...

Love the post. It is so easy to get distracted. Thank you for the reminder of what is important.

And you make those rolls look so easy I hope I can make them. I will try.

LuLu said...

It's so easy to get distracted with everything, your post brought everything into focus, once again, thanks. The dinner rolls look mouth watering good.

Mod Girl said...

Sandy, the basics are so important, aren't they? Thank you for this "grounding" post... and good reminder for me to remember just what is most important and to keep my feet on the ground {not flying away with the little details!}.

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I enjoyed the garden and outdoor shots accompanying the Word of God!

What a great reminder the words were!

Grace said...

after reading your post, one of my favorite hymns is now stuck in my head--thanks. :)
and great rolls, obviously. one of the most comforting things for me is fresh, warm bread loaded down with butter. :)

Linda C said...

Very inspiring post- thanks for bringing these thoughts and scriptures to our attention today.

Your rolls look delicious! -- I have the little jars of yeast on hand. Any idea how the yeast packages translate into teaspoons or tablespoons?

Linda C

Anonymous said...

i love how purposeful your family is.

Now, between you and modgirl giving out yeast recipes, this snowy New England day calls for something that needs time to rise and bake, don't you think?

deb m

Donna said...

Love your recipes and most of all the messages you send with each blog. I enjoy your blog very much. Maybe you can stop by my blog and offer me some advice for organizing myself - ugh!

~nanashouse~ said...

My computer has been down so OH how I've missed your blog! I lost the link but I'm back :-) First order of business, soup and rolls (from your great recipe) Thank you!

Betsy said...

I made these rolls today...yummy, and sooo easy! Thanks for the recipe...I will be making them again!

Connie said...

Your post brought good memories of my mom making homemade rolls for our holiday meals. Thanks for your encouraging words. Love seeing your daughter in the kitchen with you...my daughter was always there too. I love it when she comes home and just comes along side and helps me finish the meal. Good times. Connie

GiBee said...

This sounds easy enough that even I can make it! And the sound and look delicious, too!!!

GiBee said...

Sandy -- have you considered posting a simple "tutorial" or schedule on how and when you plant the different veggies and fruits in your garden? Being a novice gardener, I'd be super interested ... especially since I'd love to use my own veggies when entertaining (lettuce, berries, etc!)