The Cow (or dog) Paths


Springtime is here! And, oh, how I love spring!

Time to get out and work in the yard and garden and just to be in the warm sunshine after the long winter.

I was trying to evaluate what I need to work on outside when I encountered a valuable object lesson. I have a yellow lab named Mosby.

I couldn’t ask for a better dog. He would NEVER hurt one of my many grand kids (unless he whacked them with his giant tail by mistake). He’s a great dog- protects the family, absolutely loves , quiet in temperament, obedient (usually), but there’s just one thing I don’t suppose I’ll ever break him of…..

He travels in the same path around the house day in and day out; and you guessed it, he’s worn a beaten path around my yard.

He weighs 110 lb, so he’s a big boy!

He has the grass stomped out on his chosen path around the yard. It reminds me of cows who choose a path and keep it. It’s easy to find because the grass just won’t grow there.

I’m not sure how to handle it unless I make a stone “path” trying to make it look like it belongs there.

Anyway, it brought to mind how we can so easily do the same thing in our lives.

We just get comfortable doing what we do and the comfort zone becomes where we’re tempted to stay. Our lives are all busy, and we get so wrapped up in our schedule and our busyness that we just stay in the rut we’ve made. The big problem with this is that God wants us to branch out of our comfort zone and involve ourselves with the lives of those around us.

Yesterday, we brought pot roast meals to a family we love that goes to our church. The Mama of the family is in the hospital hovering at heaven’s threshold, but we sure know from experience that it’s so tough on the loved ones watching on. Also, our elderly next door neighbor’s husband died unexpectedly last week and she is struggling being alone.

We can’t “fix” things for others, but we can certainly make their rough road a little more bearable by looking for ways to serve. This is what we MUST teach our kids- to stretch outside their “comfort” zones and search for ways to bless others. It’s our calling but it doesn’t come naturally. We need to take our kids with us and involve them in seeking to pour into the lives of those around us.

Believe me, the needs are endless and opportunities are great. You will all be blessed by leaving that comfy little path and reaching out to those in your sphere of influence.

If you feel at a loss for how to get started, our book Character in ActionTaking the Next Steps was written for that very purpose.

It’s chock-full of very doable ideas even if you have a house full of little ones. There’s no better time to start!

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About Marilyn

Marilyn is wife to Rick, Mom to 14 children, Nana to 22 grandchildren (and counting!) and homeschooler for 37 years. She and her husband own Character Concepts which they started for the purpose of helping others raise children with a strong, godly character and Biblical worldview.They have developed character curriculum from preschool through high school, based on what they found worked when teaching their own 14 children over the years. Her passion is to help young moms raise kids of character and enjoy the journey!

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