May 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Friendship

Sometimes, I grill preformed burgers, microwave frozen vegetables, put out corn chips and call it a meal. Hunger is allayed without much effort. In contrast, I relish days when I have time for slow cooking. The tender meat and fresh vegetables are full of flavor, and the baked goods have a sweet aroma. This hearty meal gives those who eat it a greater sense of satisfaction.

So it is with friendships. We do the best we can with the time we have. Speed friending meets a need, especially for busy, young moms. In other seasons of life, we are privileged to take the slow route where friendships develop deep, complex flavors over time.

My good friend, Joy, and I are meandering down the slow path. Our children are grown, and our jobs are part-time so we have the luxury of spending a day or two together every few weeks. Joy gave me two signs to hang on the wall. Their wording sums up our relationship. One says, “It takes a long time to grow old friends.” The other, more whimsical one, is a paraphrase from Peter Pan. “Do you want an adventure now or shall we have our tea first?”

I didn’t always take tea with Joy. We were casual acquaintances because our children were friends at school, but we were busy with other things. My first major conversation with Joy occurred when my car bumper hit hers in the school parking lot. I did no serious damage, but I jumped out of the car and apologized. She quickly responded, “Maybe God is trying to humble you!”

Many years later, I was going through a trying time adjusting to an empty nest and dealing with a ministry problem. I needed a friend, and God brought Joy to my mind. I called her and suggested that we get together. We met and found that we share many of the same delights and struggles. And so, our “slow cooking” friendship began.

Now, we are very relaxed together even though we come from different denominations and possess distinct personalities. Joy and I share the deep bond that forms from loving Christ and wanting to follow Him. And, she understands ministry life. She was raised on the mission field and has sisters and a daughter in ministry. Joy gives me godly advice and encouragement. An added bonus is that we have adventures and tea together.

I thank God for bringing us together. And, I am grateful that our season of life allows us to savor the abundant blessings that we share in Christ. “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9


  1. This is a good reminder to me not to dismiss casual encounters--a mom at the playground, a church visitor, a missionary update--a joyful friendship could develop when set on "low" for 8-10!

  2. Megan, I am amazed at how God uses the mundane things, and even worrying events, to place us where He blesses us.

  3. Thank you for this post. It is so true... and I am reminded once again to treasure my slow cooker friendships. :)
    One good friend in this category passed away in April and I really miss her. I was so blessed to spend extra time with her during her battle with cancer. We would do Bible Studies together a lot... and one time I just sat with her and rubbed her back.
    Friendship is truly a blessed, precious gift from the Lord.

  4. Susie, I am not sure if you saw my Compassion for Cancer post, but I think you lean most on those friendships developed over time when you are touched by cancer. Thanks for showing the blend of the two.

  5. Hi Patsy,
    Yes I did see that post- and it is so important to share those pointers with people- we really want to know what will be helpful! :)
    You are right about the longtime friendships being important through cancer... or any longtime trial. To be with someone and feel comfortable saying: I don't feel like talking, or whatever else is real and have no guilty feelings, etc- just knowing no one will take offense at anything, you can just be yourself... precious friendships. :)
    I hope you will keep posting about the journey with cancer... it is soooo helpful to those of us who long to be Jesus to our suffering brothers and sisters. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit guides perfectly in this... but you and your daughter are truly an encouragement- I'm loving your blog! So, thanks!

  6. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Susie. I do hope to blog more about what cancer is teaching me. I appreciate those, like you, who want to imitate Christ in being merciful.

  7. Hola Megan! I believe in what you have said: "This is a good reminder to me not to dismiss casual encounters--a mom at the playground, a church visitor, a missionary update--a joyful friendship could develop when set on "low" for 8-10!". I genuinely believe and trust that, in God's Sovereignty, we will have people entering or trying to enter our life for a reason, a season or for eternity, So we shouldn't reject anyone at any time, season nor circumstances in our lives. But rather pray that our Lord will equip us with the right attitude to build that person up, to edify her spirit. Our Lord is a God of relationships and we are made at HIS image, therefore, lets celebrate relationships as they are presented to us without trying to assess if we are the "right fit" or if we have "anything in common" with certain people, especially if that person has been trying to reach out to us or trying to get our attention. We might become a stumbling block for that person as we reject them. Sweet Megan, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your encouraging and godly advises you share in this blog, I pray the Lord keep blessing you in your personal life as you minister to others ;-).

    1. Unknown, I, Patsy, am answering because I wrote the post. You gave us a good reminder that God can put even casual encounters into our lives for a reason. As a reserved person, I need to be more mindful of that. However, everyone has other God-given responsibilities that prevent them from investing the effort and time in building a friendship out of every casual encounter. his is not rejection of the other person on their part.

  8. Dear Patsy, thanks for answering. I'm sorry I only concentrated in Megan thinking she was the writer of this article. Regarding my note above, I do not believe we ought to build a relationship with every people we encounter: called casual, circumstantial or intentional encounter. However we have God-given responsibility to minister and edify any person we encounter even if is only by a gesture/ attitude that will encourage them to know more about our Lord because of what they saw on us through that attitude. I know we are not indispensable for God to expand HIS Kingdom, never the less we could pray to be sensible to others as they might be struggling big time (Silently most of the times)and all they need in that mere moment is a sense of acceptance, sense of value or just be acknowledge. We might "judge a book by its cover" and assume that person might "have it all together" but yet he/she is screaming from the inside wanting to be loved and accepted. Anyhow...I guess I have been exposed to so many people in all sort of colors, shapes and sizes, and the Lord has made me sensitive to those big details, just as I have experienced my self many times. God bless you Patsy, I pray you keep blessing many others as well.


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