Saturday, December 26, 2009

Unexpected

Last Sunday was a little worse than what is typical. Allen had some meetings that prevented him from attending our meetings with us so I was left alone to wrangle the youngest kids.

About 10 minutes into the meeting Little O started his squirming which then became whining which developed into full-fledged You-Better-Get-Me-Out-Of-Here-NOW-Or-The-Whole-Congregation's-Gonna-Be-Sorry.

I grabbed Little O in one arm, the diaper bag and bottle in the other, and headed for the foyer. When I got there I realized that Hubba and Curly had followed me out as well. Curly wanted me to help her color a picture. Hubba wanted to pretend he was a train headed into a volcano that was ready to shoot hot lava UP TO THE SKY! Little O wanted to run. I wanted to die.

I looked back into the chapel to get some reinforcements (aka The Teenagers) but realized that they were all heading up to the front to participate in a Christmas musical number. All-a-Boy sat on the edge of the bench, reading something, while Princess and Cowgirl tried desperately to annoy each other. I let out an exasperated sigh. What could I do from the foyer with a wiggly, screaming little boy?

I was lucky to have a friend who was happy to have Curly sit with her. This left me with the two rowdy boys and a whole hour yet to keep them un-rowdy. Hubba kept trying to jerk away from my grip and get closer to the gym where he wanted to run for the remainder of the meeting while Little O bashed his head back against my face and chest hoping I would let him down. I was trying not to cry as I stood there feeling helpless and I offered a silent prayer in my head.

Please, Heavenly Father, I pleaded, I am trying to do what's right. I want my kids to know that church is the right place to be today. I don't want to let them run around but I don't know what to do. Please, help me to make it through this meeting without breaking down. Help me to do what is right. Help me not to cry in front of people.

I stood for a few moments longer, wrestling with my boys, and just when I was nearing a point beyond frustration, help came.

I like to think that my Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, because the help I sought came in the most unexpected and unlikely way...

It was a cat.

She came out of nowhere and started pawing at the doors to the church, meowing and jumping about. Hubba noticed her first and dragged me to the doors. "Awww, mom, that cay-at is so cold outside and it is so warm in he-yer. She just wants to come get warm for a minute. Can't we let her in? She just wants to he-yer the people singing..." After I explained that cats do not come inside churches he and Little O were content to stand near the door and just watch her.

She would strut from one end of the doors to the other, occasionally stopping to stretch or roll or pounce at a stray leaf and they were mesmerized.


That cat silently entertained my boys for the rest of the meeting. Then just as the congregation began to sing the closing song, she turned and left.

Some may say it is a coincidence that the cat showed up when she did, but I see things differently. Coincidence or not, that cat was an answer to my prayer. It was evidence to me that my prayers are heard and that my Heavenly Father will not leave me alone when I am frustrated and upset and at my wit's end.

Yes, a cat, of all things, was evidence of my Savior's love for and understanding of me.

And I was so very thankful.

18 comments:

Rebecca said...

You bring your camera to church?

Richard & Natalie said...

How great when help comes in the most unexpected packages; esp. when they are furry four legged ones?
I'm sure you can imagine how this post made me laugh... a CAT, of all things. I love it.
Yes, it is proof that he loves you... and me.
Thanks for sharing and the laugh.

Martha said...

I love this!

Holmes said...

A coincidence is just God's way of remaining anonymous...

Gerb said...

Bec- I knew someone would ask about that. ;) I had it in my diaper bag so I could take a picture of my class since I have only one more week with them. :(

Natalie- I thought you could appreciate the irony in that.

Martha- Thanks. It was awesome.

Holmes- I like that... I think I'm going to be saying it a lot this year.

Kara said...

I was going to say the same thing as Rebecca but then I realized I keep a camera in my diaper bag all the time. I guess I to would have had a camera at church as well. Just a matter if I would have thought to use it. Great post! I don't feel so alone on my "bad Sundays".

La Yen said...

Thanks so much for this. Really. I needed it.

~j. said...

Very good. And thank you.

Infertility Goddess said...

I predict that 2010 will be the black family - year of the cat. You will have one by next Christmas!
Jen W.

Blogful said...

My kids are 3 and 18m and Sunday is the hardest day of the week BY FAR! (My husband is in the Bishopric). It was nice to hear that other mothers--even super mothers of nine--have those same prayers of pleading. I haven't had a cat come yet though.

Angela said...

wow how neat it was a total answer to your prayer and that is so funny you are always prepared with a camera. I wondered if it was your cell or what but you just had it with you cool...

Gerb said...

Kara- I think we all have our 'bad Sundays'. This post was a bit of a glimpse into the life I don't usually write about so much on my blog, but something I needed to remember.

LaYen- Thank YOU for telling me so. I truly appreciate it.

~j.- Thanks.

Jen- BITE YOUR TONGUE! I predict with every bit of absolute certainty that the Black family will NOT own a cat... this year or any year! It's embarrassing how many times I've written about them in the last month, isn't it?

Blogful- You know a super-mother-of-nine? Can you introduce me?

Angela- It was definitely perfect timing all around for the camera to be there. I'm glad it was.

Kristi said...

I'm glad you shared this on your blog.....It's good to see that the calm, cool and collected Gerb that you put out there is just like the rest of us....I only have 3, but with my husband in the bishopric, I'm left alone to tackle my bouncy girls and often am at the verge of tears...feeling like a weakling cause I never see anyone else cry....Good to know I'm not alone!

Anaise said...

That was a tender mercy, no doubt.

And you don't even want to know how this Sunday started off for our family . . . or maybe you do . . . it would sure make you feel better about your tearful day . . . but the crises were simply too private to post about. May I just say that I understand?

GaeLynn said...

I'll take Curly anytime! Love her! Baby O was fine too..probably too scared to move the time you let us hold him for a bit in church.

Lori said...

Awww. I have goosebumps, Gerb. That cat was definitely a prayer answered.

If I had been there, I would've been in that pew with you, or back in that foyer with you, girl. In the trenches, cause that's what's friends do. I can't believe that no one was back there to help you.

Lena the Teacher said...

As soon as Bubba began to walk, church seemed over to me! How can I listen when I have to watch where he is going? The last 6 months have been hard to even attend. They should let kids in nursery when they can WALK!
Sac. meeting is really hard still, but your story gave me some hope. I need to be more prayerful and patient look for "cats!" Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

Wow, I know it's the very hardest to do the right thing, especially when it's the most important thing to do. Thanks for sharing your story - even the super woman who can roller skate AND play the accordian has rough days too. You are great!