I was sitting there waiting for the church service to start yesterday morning. All three of my kids sitting next to me along with Emma's friend. This was to be promotion Sunday (or so I thought) which is when all the kids who are ready to graduate to the next age group get their certificates and officially move on up. Leah and Emma were both due for promotion. So I had Leah in the service. This was a first since she was a newborn. Of course she didn't understand the whole "sit still and be quiet" thing. She was fighting me, trying to get down and talking very loudly all the while. Her daddy was sitting up on stage and stood up to open the service with prayer. I thought that maybe I could distract her by bringing daddy to her attention so I said, "look! theres daddy!" Big mistake. She noticed him and then started waving and saying, "Hi Daddy!" at the top of her lungs. Of course the congregation all laughed. I am sitting there smiling graciously but mumbling under my breath, through gritted teeth "Leah if you don't hush..."
Well it wasn't long before Leah's restlessness caught on and Jackson chimed in. Sensing the impending disaster I got up and slipped out of the sanctuary with Jackson and Leah as quietly as possible....well, it was anything but quiet. I left Emma and her friend there, praying that they would continue to be well behaved in my absence. I tried not to make much eye contact on my way out but I could sense the looks of pity and the kind smiles from people as if to say "bless your little heart."
Out in the foyer. I tried to entertain Jackson and Leah. If you know my kids at all you know that they have an unbeleivable amount of energy...to put it nicely. But this day they were especially hyper. I was trying to stay close enough to the sanctuary so that I would know when they were doing the promotions but far enough away that my children's laughter and screams would not travel through the walls into the sanctuary.
Then it happened. To my horror, as if in slow motion, Jackson ran away from me towards the sanctuary doors just as the usher opened them to let someone in. He ran straight up the center aisle and onto the stage. The service stopped as Jackson stopped at his Daddy's feet. Daddy was preparing for the pastoral prayer which as most of you know can be a very serious part of the service. He looked up and said cheerfully, "Hi Daddy. Whatcha doin'?" Again Laughter. Daddy said "well, trying to have church here buddy" I shoved Leah into the hands of an usher and tried to quickly muster up the courage to go in and retrieve my little "gift from God". I am sure that my face had never been such a deep shade of red as I walked down the center aisle. Thankfully, Jackson saw me and started to run back to me. I was grateful that I did not have to go all the way up front. As I grabbed his hand and tried to walk quickly out, I heard Josh say, "she has her hands full when I am up here". Once again laughter. I worked up a half-hearted laugh but was thinking to myself this is sooo not funny.
To top it all off, I soon learned that they were only doing the promotions for the kids who would be gone next week. The official promotion Sunday was next week. A feeling of dread came over me as I thought to myself, you mean I have to do this again next week?
Pray for me. :)