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The Cow Costume that Broke the Camel’s Back

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Ahhh….the season for Christmas pageants, concerts and parties is upon us.  Supposedly, these events enrich our Christmas experience, but often times, they just bring added stress – well… maybe not the event itself, but the preparations leading up to the event can be less than joyous.

Our church children’s program of 2006 was one of those “putting me over the edge” moments.

I removed my coat and hung it on the hook in the church hallway.  Three month old Grace sat bundled up in her car seat, waiting for me to slip her into her sling.

My older four children had already scattered to Sunday School classes and I looked forward to quietly nursing Grace in the infant room.

My life with three homeschooled children, one ninth grader in school needing rides to a gazillion sports practices and one semi-cranky, nursed-on-demand infant made me look forward to the quiet hour I could sit in peace.

I Was Taken Down By a Children’s Cow Costume

That’s when I saw her.

Our youth director.

She was coming towards me-smiling and looking much too happy.  Oh my gosh, I thought, she’s going to ask me to do something-I just know it.

And she did.

My mind began spinning as she described the cute animal costumes the little kids would wear for the Christmas program.

“So would you be able to glue black, cow spots on Elizabeth’s costume?”  She asked in a light and cheery voice.

That was the last straw for me.  The stress of always being alone with my children, 24/7, made itself known.

I crumbled right there and then.

I was taken down by a children’s cow costume.

“Please don’t ask me to do anything!  I just can’t!” I cried.  I had reduced myself to tears and shameless begging.

Could Cows Be Just Plain White?

Our dear youth director looked stunned as I continued blubbering about cow spots.  Could cows be just plain white?  I hoped so.

To my relief, she was very understanding and relieved me of my parental duty of gluing cow spots onto my daughter’s costume.  She must have felt bad for me, as she came to my house the following week and helped my older kids watch the baby while I did some Christmas shopping.

Galations 6:2 encourages us to bear one another’s burdens.  Having someone else do my daughter’s costume and getting treated to free child care was a tremendous relief to me.  Those simple, caring acts were enough to encourage me and reduce my stress level.

So now when I see moms with a large brood that includes babies and toddlers, I smile and pray that she’s handling the added expectations of Christmas well and won’t be reduced to rubble by cow spots.


Yolanda DeLoach is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light.

4 Responses to The Cow Costume that Broke the Camel’s Back

  1. Yolanda, Your story is true that the God is greater than cow spots. When we are fixed on the eyes of Jesus all else is able to be accomplished, at least the important stuff. God Bless you sister!

  2. […] Practice a just say no policy in your personal life. If you are overloaded and find it hard to have any down time, you need to say no. People tend to ask busy people because they know they will get it done but you can say no. No one does a better job of telling what happens when you get one too many asks is Yolanda DeLoach in this post: The Cow Costume that broke the Camel’s back. […]

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