I Am Not A Cow (And Other Words of Wisdom)

It’s summer – the time of year that strikes fear and trepidation into the hearts of even the most well-intentioned parents.

Summertime means that we have a lot of free time on our hands which apparently must be filled with fun activities so that I won’t have to hear the dreaded “I’m bored” phrase over and over. (Which I’ve already heard. On Day 2 of being home, mind you.)

I’ve signed Brienne up for a couple weeks of day camp at the local university in order to keep her busy, and we’re going to the beach in July. But other than that, I need some fillers. Hopefully, we can make it to the pool occasionally. And the library, and the movies, etc…

Aside from attempting to prevent massive boredom meltdowns, summer is also a time for staying up late, sleeping in (which is totally feasible with two little ones in our house; NOT), lingering over coffee, being lazy, and having time for actual conversations.

Brienne and I had one of those actual conversations last night at bedtime and it went a little something like this.

Brie: Mama, when will Vivi stop waking up at night?
Me: I’m not sure. Hopefully when she starts drinking regular milk.
Brie: I thought she already drinks milk.
Me: I mean cow’s milk.
Brie: When you nurse her, that’s not cow’s milk?
Me: Do I look like a cow?!?

What the what??

Sometimes, it feels like my kids aren’t paying a bit of attention to anything I say or do. (I mean, seriously, I’ve only been nursing Vivienne for a whole year…)

Now, admittedly, the “not paying attention” thing sometimes goes both ways. Really, how many times do I have to pretend that I care about the latest saga unfolding on Jessie? And the other day, while I was strapping Vivienne into her carseat at the post office, I turned around to find Jonah in the middle of the parking lot. Still strapped into his stroller. He had somehow hopped that thing about 20 feet! I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention. (And yes, I realize that something awful could have happened to him, but it was hysterical watching him hop away, strapped to the stroller. He looked like an elderly man trying to escape the nursing home. I still get the giggles thinking about it.)

But all this “paying attention” (or lack thereof) got me thinking about how often we neglect to pay attention to something the Lord tells us. His instructions are pretty clearly laid out in that little book called The Holy Bible. But I think most of us like to pick and choose which commandments we’ll follow. Don’t commit murder? Ok, no problem. I’ll try not to kill anyone today. Sell your belongings and give to the poor? Um, no thanks, Lord. I kinda like my shoes and purses. I’m sorry that the homeless man under the bridge has nothing to eat, but I may really need those coral pumps. That match only one dress in my closet.

When did we, as American Christians, become so obsessed with being prosperous? Why do we feel so entitled? Why is it necessary for us to stuff ourselves with food, stuff our houses with excess, stuff our schedules with activities that don’t matter, and stuff our bank accounts with more money? When did Christ say, “Oh, you Americans? The parts of the Bible that talk about giving away money and possessions – that doesn’t apply to you. You were born in America so you’re entitled to have anything and everything you want. The poor will figure out a way to not die of starvation.”

I think I missed that portion of the Sermon on the Mount.

But to be honest, so many of us live our lives that way. Feeling like we deserve the best things this life has to offer. Thinking we are better than others just because we weren’t born in a third world country.

I gotta tell you, I’m tired of it all. The American Dream. The sense of entitlement. Keeping up with the Joneses. Ignoring God’s commands that don’t seem to fit with my plans. I’m ready for a new start, a different way to serve. I’m ready to pay attention…

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