Sam, Ivy, and Sam Ivy

Not long ago, Mr. Bell left the door to our tent open just a little too long and our furry friends, Sam and Ivy, took advantage of the opportunity. They ran for it. In their excitement and their new freedom in the neighborhood, they lost the ability to hear. Mr. Bell’s voice rose with each moment as he yelled and yelled. Sam, heal. Ivy, come here. Sam! Ivy! SAM! IVY! SAM! IVY! The more he yelled the more they ran.


As they ran, a man began to approach Mr. Bell. This man works with our neighbors to keep their yard beautiful all year long. When the man got close enough to Mr. Bell, he asked curiously, “Excuse me, I assume that Sam and Ivy are the names of your dogs.”  Mr. Bell quickly said yes and explained how they got out of the house. The kind man then said, “My name is Sam Ivy.” For the last several minutes, Mr. Bell had been passionately yelling for Sam and Ivy the dogs, and a man named Sam Ivy was right there in front of him. 

The pace of our modern lives keeps us running at a rate that is unprecedented (kind of like our furry friends Sam AND Ivy who just could not stop running). Even if families desire to live a simpler, less busy life, it is next to impossible in a modern world. In the book, Busier Than Ever, three anthropologists followed fourteen carefully selected families for several years in hopes of discovering the answer to “Why American Families Can’t Slow Down.”  They quickly discovered that busyness is the common factor in American families. It is the new normal. Never before have families been so consumed with busy schedules and lifestyles.

Busyness becomes a problem when it becomes our identity. If we identify as a busy person, then we organize our life to fulfill that role in the community. We roll out of the garage with one door still open, we text instead of call, we panic when we are running behind, and apologize way too much for failing to achieve our unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves for the day (makes me tired just typing the words). 

On the other hand, our true identity is in Christ first and always. Each of us is created by God in the image of God. Each one of us is as unique as our earthly names on our birth certificates. This is true for you and Sam Ivy. When we live from our identity in Christ, we begin to discover less is more and subtraction actually equals spiritual additions to our life journey. 

The next time you find yourself in a situation like Mr. Bell. One of those days when you have more to accomplish than possible and the dogs get out. At that precious moment when you are yelling at the top of your lungs and an angel of God walks up to ask if you are truly calling for help, take a deep breath (maybe your first deep breath of the day). Because the God who created you and knows you by name is able and capable of teaching you a precious lesson through your own Sam Ivy experience. Only God can create that kind of moment.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. 

James 4:8

From our Happy Tent to Yours,

Meredith Bell

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