Cinnamon Girl

The cinnamon broke me. I love cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I’m a feeler, and sounds, sights, and smells can illuminate my mind and soul. So those spices are me. In fact, Parish will sing to me an old rock and roll song, “My Cinnamon Girl.”

It took a lot to get away over the holidays, but we prioritized doing something different and fun and playing together. I watch people on social media travel to exotic places like it’s just a hop in the car to get milk and bread. On our bucket list is to travel. We have never planned or gone on a trip of a lifetime! Places like Italy, Greece, or one of those islands with a little hut on the water.

Getting to Bayse, VA, in a last-minute booking because our scheduled place pipes were frozen was like throwing spaghetti against the wall. Even our packing and getting out the door. But we did it. We showed up.

The first morning we made breakfast, and I decided to cook cinnamon apples. We sat down to eat when we got a text from my son-in-law sharing his yummy breakfast pictures for his family. We laughed and texted back our photographs. I can do this. Everyone is okay. We are having fun. All is well. I sigh out of my lungs and start to eat.

In an instant, my body reacts to the cinnamon. I break out in a rash, tingling all over, and my face and tongue slightly swell. I take some medication, get in the shower to calm down, and throw my food away. For those who have allergies, this is probably all in a day’s work for you. I’ve never experienced this. I immediately think of my daughter, who struggled for a year with debilitating hives. From there, my emotions took over. I asked my husband to hear me out. He graciously listened to my overwhelm, guilt, shame, and irrational thoughts that somehow I was being punished for going away and didn’t deserve to have this fun. I wanted to leave and go home. And, I exclaimed, how in the world would we go to Italy? Like, somehow, I lost all ability to reason. We sat on the bed, and I realized that a day of resting in the chalet would need to change. I needed a new perspective and scenery. He agreed. He sat beside me and prayed over me and our day together for peace and healing. He took my panic and reframed it for me. The next day, my Bible study was spot on, and we sat and talked through God’s Word for healing.

I love humor. I tried to make light of it. I laughed and reasoned with myself and my thoughts. I thought of a spouse who finally gets away with their partner, and between breakfast, cinnamon, and a shower, we are wondering if we need to go to a hospital. What a roller coaster ride.

I celebrate that we examined, prayed, let go and let God, and played.

Later that day, I shared that our inner struggles and the need for rest, fun, and identity have a sacred place. It’s the why behind the boundary or the ask. It took cinnamon to help me see. To get that stuff rolling around inside of me out in the open.

This morning I read a poet and author, John Roedel. Chelsea recommended him. I was looking over his work and read the following:

“We exist in a world where our photos are expected to be perfectly edited, and our social media posts have to be carefully crafted to prevent us from accidentally showing the “real” person inside.

Life is meant to be messy. Life is supposed to be a bit chaotic. Life is an adventure where we are always a single phone call away from heartbreak or the fulfillment of our wildest dreams. Of course, this is exactly what makes being alive the best game in the universe.

People are craving authenticity. So, let’s give it to them.

It takes courage to tell the authentic story of our lives without worrying about what people will think about us. To let people see past our Instagram filters and straight into our often-untidy hearts takes an act of bravery.  Giving people a chance to witness the wildness of our own existence can give them the grace to appreciate their own miracle of their uneven adventure.

As storytellers, it’s not our job to impress people with the story of our lives—it’s more about giving the reader the opportunity to embrace the highs and lows of their own journey. (

Wow! Right?!

So we weathered the cinnamon. This “Cinnamon Girl” visited small towns, adored the beauty and the churches, and went snow tubing and ice skating. We realized that together, we can weather storms; even in our brokenness, we find a way to support each other and want the best for each other, too. We are far from perfect, and we stumble along. “We witness the wildness of our lives that needs a lot of grace, and we appreciate the daily miracles in our adventures.”

Somehow, I believe this post will resonate with some folks who have their own cinnamon story. The build-up. The moment of chaos. Social scientists have researched that what gets us out of our comfort zone is changing our environment, taking risks believing we will survive it and that it is up to us to make those changes. (Check out this podcast!)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie Hankins says:

    Anna, Glad you two could get away. Thanks for sharing. I tried last weekend to email you some pics, but it did not go through. Blessings to your family for 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello!
      I saved your number on my cell phone and will text you soon! I took it off the post for your privacy! I so want to get those pictures! I’ll text you my email.


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