Flashback!

Every once in a while I realize that life around here has gotten a little easier. For one thing, I haven’t fallen asleep in the clean laundry for a long time. Yes, I have done that possibly three times. I am fairly confident that all three times was during nap time for the big girls when I was preggo with the twins. Sitting on the couch with the laundry to fold, waking up drooling on the clean pajamas twenty minutes later. Yeah. Not doing that anymore! Probably just because no one naps anymore though…

Last Sunday at church I suddenly remembered a Sunday about a year ago. I was largely pregnant with Blaire, which makes the twins two. This particular Sunday things had not gone incredibly smoothly on our way out. I had not eaten enough for breakfast. The kids had the wiggles on. We were late to church, so we were sitting in the back, which enhances the wiggles. I ended up with Titus on my lap. Luke had Chloe on his, and the other two girls were between us. The children were just full of beans. Nothing big – just lots of me whispering things into the ear of the boy who was sitting on my pregnant belly. I was hot. It was sort of dreamy and breathy and hair in my eyesish. By the end of the service, I was done. Totally and completely done.

I have to interject here that we worship in a fieldhouse. This facility was not designed with acoustics in mind, so while the congregation sings quite robustly, only the people in the front know that. When you are in the back, it does not sound like much. So back to this particular Sunday.  I am in a weird cloud of pregnancy nourishment panic, not paying a lick of attention to the service. I notice that one of the big girls who is sitting next to Luke is being loud. He does not notice because Chloe is sitting on his lap at such an angle as to provide a visual as well as audio shield. I begin trying to make eye contact with Luke. It isn’t working. I am nodding, and gesturing, and looking intently at him. Meanwhile, without me noticing at all, the congregation is warming up for a hymn. Luke sees me, looks down and sees the action, switches Chloe to his other knee, and turns to address the problem. He puts his arm around the misbehaver, and leans down to whisper in her ear. But as he leans, instead of whispering into her ear, he bursts into song!

“LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE…”

And that was all. Apparently he sang a little admonition and was following up with a whisper in her ear. I was totally shocked. It actually took me a minute to realize that he was not singing alone and that the rest of the congregation knew this was coming too. They were, in fact, still singing. As soon as I realized what had happened, I got the giggles. Not a little snicker. More the kind of laughter that is heading into snorting and wheezing. I try to stop it. I try to smother. I start sticking my fist in my mouth. Even at the best of times it can be very difficult to stop laughing in situations where you know you must. This time – with my pregnant belly, and the general exhaustion, and the surprise adrenaline rush, and wiggly two year old on my lap, it could not be done. My efforts to stop it were failing wildly. Luke was looking at me with curious concern. Channeling all this bizarre emotion somewhere or other, I start sobbing. Tears running down my cheeks, shaking. A lady behind us asks if I am alright, and Luke isn’t sure how to answer. I manage to rig it in, rubbing my cheeks, blowing it out. Trying to concentrate on the Lord’s Supper. And then it would rush over me again – the vision of Luke erupting into song as he corrects a child. And I would start snort- sob- wheezing again. This is not normal for me. I am neither a crazy laugher nor much of a cryer. Usually.

I manage to get a vague grip on myself before the elder with the bread tray gets to our row. He is smiling. I smile back, take the tray, and turn. And there, looking cheerfully at the elder is the same child (age 3) with her tongue out full throttle at the elder. And I am a total goner. Practically howling with laughter, sobbing with exhaustion. Titus is still on my lap tossing out “MOM! Why are you crying?!” I’m not sure how it ended. I did not have to leave the service. I tried to explain myself to the confused people behind me, but I’m pretty sure that they did not feel like the issue had been cleared up.

So anyways, now you know. I haven’t done that in a long time either!

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20 thoughts on “Flashback!

  1. Rachel, I laughed so hard when I read this! I can relate. Sometimes my children will look at me concerned, but most often they just join in…making it worse. Jonathan knows that once I get “those” giggles, he needs to prepare for the coming sobs:)

  2. Mmmmm…warm laundry. I’m slightly tempted to throw some clothes in the dryer so I can take a nap in a pile of warm laundry. Then again, that would require my two children to be willing to nap as well, so, never mind!

  3. What is God thinking when He makes these situations – where we need a straight face more than ever – so unbearably funny??

  4. Oh boy, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who turn borderline crazy when very tired — when everything is just too much and you go between laughing and crying like you’re on a teeter-totter! Thanks for sharing the story, it was hilarious!

  5. Lizzie! This is so hilarious! I found myself in a similar situation while reading your recount. :) BTW, my hubby and I LOVE your book!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! I read it first and recommended it to him. He began reading it and kept stopping to laugh and comment! Now we both quote it constantly and are telling all our friends about it. In fact our church ordered tons of them after we had passed it around a bit. Thanks so much! Much love in Christ, Rach

  6. My son Nathan was pitching a fit after worship a few years ago and a boy passing us in the aisle took a look at him, then looked at me and said, “Why do heathen Nathans rage?” I will never stop laughing about that until the day I die.

  7. Rachel,
    Once again, you’ve blessed me with your candor! I can very much relate! This past year has seen lots of adventurous change in our family and the next one promises more of the same. My youngest is just under seven old and my eldest, Rebekah, is 18 and actually headed your direction in August. I received the paperwork for baby Helen’s birth and Beka’s NSA application in the same mail delivery. All I could do was chuckle at the Lord’s timing! I’ve had many opportunities to “snort-sob-wheeze” around here:)
    Warmly,
    Maggie
    P.S. I’ve been busily handing your book out like candy! Thanks so much for taking the time to write it!

  8. * Please make that “seven MONTHS old”. I should know better than to try to type something at 10:37 at night:)

  9. As someone who has struggled mightily against the giggles many times, this was very funny. And ever since I had our first baby, something got flipped around in my head and when the giggles start, they almost certainly end in crying. I am not a fan of that. Say we are watching Brian Regan with friends, I hit a point where I can feel it turning and I have to excuse myself to go sob in the other room. It’s very funny afterward, but not so much then.

  10. Absolutely hilarious! My favorite part is the way the congregation’s song fit so perfectly the corrective need of the moment. I probably would have had a similar response. This is a great story!

  11. Rachel, reading that I just did my own version of snort-laughing till I had tears in my eyes! :) That is such a hilarious picture to me because I have done the SAME thing! SO glad to know I am not alone! 😉

  12. So funny! Oh man, I can so relate to the pregnancy induced manic-hysteria!

    But you know what….I haven’t been that way for a while now either, my littlest is 14 months. Thanks for the reminder to look back now that I am sane again and can laugh at the craziness….until (Lord willing) it strikes again :o)

  13. Thank you for the laugh and encouragement–and I am SOOO enjoying your book. I’ve started over for the second time, just to relish the fun parts and dig in to the deep parts with a little more time to think. I always feel that I am more vulnerable, more emotional in worship, especially when we sing certain Psalms that speak about trials I may be experiencing at the time. Glad to hear that someone else has laughed and cried during worship as well! :)

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