We were having one of those mornings at church. One where Herbie would not sit down for Sunday school unless I was holding him on my lap. Even then he was throwing markers and drawing on the table, yelling over the teacher's voice, etc. The other kids are super sweet and just smiled, the teacher took it in stride and tried to find some way to engage him. Anyway, we finished up and moved into the church, where I thought my bag full of snacks would keep him quiet for awhile. No such luck. He was jumping, yelling, throwing things, etc. I could see the look on my husband's face, the one that means let's just get out of here and cut our losses.
It is not usually like this. One of the reasons we visited this church in the first place was that it was small, there were not all kinds of distractions, it was not crowded, the music was not loud. We noticed that the typical sensory overload symptoms did not show up when we came here. But today something was off, we still were not back in our routine after Christmas break, the weather was changing, who knows.
It all culminated in the children's sermon, when both kids went up front and did not sit still. The Wise Old Owl thought it would be funny to keep moving to different spots far from the pastor. That wasn't too bad. But Herbie was jumping around, calmed for a second by the pastor gently putting his hand on his shoulder, then decided to pull off his shoes. And the shoes of the kid next to him. So I went up front and sat down with the kids, Herbie on my lap again. In other setting, I would have been completely embarrassed to do this, but when I looked up, I just saw lots of approving smiles. Really! It was so nice to know I was not being judged.
After we went back to our seats, both kids were perfectly well behaved for the rest of the service and fellowship time afterwards. Were the sweet ladies in the choir up front praying for us? Why do I always forget to pray for myself in such situations, anyway?
Later that afternoon, a woman from church called me. She started right off by saying she had been talking to the Lord about me (I love to know people are praying for me!) and felt prompted to call me. She just wanted to say that she loved our family, and added, "Thanks for sharing your kids with all of us at church." It was a lovely conversation that brought me to tears (of joy) and erased all of the frustration of the morning. I am so glad for people who encourage me in these ways. I hope that I can be an encouragement to others, too!


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