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photo by Shannon Fitzgerald

The Facebook post revealed a photo of blackberry cobbler just like Mom used to makeThat looks SO good! The ingredients suggested it would taste good, too. I decided to give the recipe a try.

Soon, in the grocery store blackberries were plentiful and picture perfect. Would twelve ounces of berries make 2 1/4 cups the recipe called for? I guessed the basket contents were close, and it proved to be the exact amount needed. The other ingredients were on hand, so I measured them exactly, mixed them as directed, and baked my first batch.

It turned out tasty and, to my delight, almost as good as Mom’s. I tweaked the recipe twice until it was almost perfect. Unless you’ve tried to reproduce your mother’s cooking and missed the mark, you won’t be able to appreciate the sense of victory that came with that final cobbler.

My mother let me watch her bake, but she never told me exactly how to make goodies like hers. She’d say it took “a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” which made it impossible to translate onto a recipe card. Friends of mine have expressed frustration at the same lack of clear instructions from their mothers. Our moms had the magic “touch.”

Reflecting on her talent, I realized what a high standard she set and that I unconsciously compared my cooking to hers when I’d ask, Was that lemon filling too sweet or too tart? Was the crust flaky or tough? Were the vegetables done at the same time the roast was ready?

Today we eat differently than Mother did on the farm or I did growing up. Today people lead more sedentary lives, eat less fat and sugar, more fruits and vegetables. Therefore, our children may not remember us for our cooking prowess.

What will they remember us for? What will they try to emulate?

I hope our children will remember that we tried to follow God’s recipes and instructions exactly. And when there weren’t specific instructions, we did what the law of love seemed to suggest. I hope they understand that not everything we attempted met God’s high standards, that there were times we had to tweak our behavior, grateful that Christ removed our mistakes so God could be pleased with the results. I hope they agree that following Him leads to an abundant life.

I’m so grateful our children have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. They have excellent ingredients to work with and the same instructions to follow. Their results won’t be the same as ours; but if they keep following Christ, they will have abundant lives, too. I pray they become gourmet Christians in their generation.

~Ellen Cardwell