Slow Cooked Motherhood

By March 19, 2019 One Comment

I’ll never forget the time God used a crock-pot to teach me a lesson about motherhood. I had spent a large portion of the afternoon staring at our family computer. To my poor brain, reared in the 70’s, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ conjured images of craft time in kindergarten, not electronic shenanigans on a word processing program. What I needed was help.

The slam of the front door heralded my 17-year-old daughter’s arrival. Within seconds, Laura Beth, the oldest of my four children, solved my computer woes, assured me I wasn’t brain dead, and suggested we have tea. I jumped at the opportunity, knowing the days were speeding by to her high school graduation and subsequent departure for college.

She chatted happily about her upcoming Spanish fiesta in Foreign Language Club and wondered what she should bring. I suggested nachos and offered the use of my crock-pot.

Sipping my tea, I tried to resist the sad feelings brewing in the back of my mind. My child was confident, disciplined, determined, and a whiz at anything remotely technologic. She had taught me how to use a cell phone; she had amazed me with perfectly crafted English essays; she had conquered calculus, physics, chemistry; why, she even had an investment portfolio (whatever that is). She would do just fine in the ‘real world.’ She did not need me anymore. With that dismal thought, I counted another day off the calendar.

By 7:00 AM the next day, the morning rush was in full swing.  I flipped pancakes, signed practice charts, braided hair, and stepped over dogs with one goal in mind: to get every one out the door on time. A sudden crash interrupted my progress. Laura Beth had dug out my crock pot, knocking over canned goods in the process. She looked confused. “Uh, Mom, how do I turn this thing on?”

Hiding a smile, a single thought raced through my mind. She still needs me! I dropped everything and gave her instructions. Months later, I realized God was actually giving me instructions.

On the most basic of crock pots, ‘high’ and ‘low’ are the only settings. And without a doubt, when children are small, running underfoot and making countless messes, motherhood is set on ‘high.’ But as time passes, those same children blossom into capable adults and suddenly don’t seem to need us anymore. However, at that point, we can be assured that God isn’t ‘unplugging’ us; He’s only changing the setting.

Next time you’re fretting over your crock-pot, just remember: the longer something cooks the more tender it is.





Joy Cleveland is an author, histotechnologist, wife, mother, and shameless grandmother. She has published short stories, children's plays, and her debut novel, "To Call My Own." Best known for heartwarming and hope-filled stories, she calls Iowa home.

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