Monday

You Can't Say that in Church, Can You?

I think of this story every year during the Christmas season. It always puts a huge smile on my face (warning: kids say the darndest things):

Several years ago, we chose to leave full time ministry after enduring a difficult church situation. We sold our townhouse, gathered our babes and moved home, a place defined as such because it's where family gathered to help heal our broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams.

For the first time in our 10 year marriage, my spouse wasn't a pastor. While he searched for his identity, I searched for joy. 

We both were cloaked in relief.

A new church, new friends, a borrowed house and loving family eased the pain in our hearts. But still, my laughter was sporadic and my heart lacked joy.

That changed on The Lord's Day during the holiday season. I went to pick up my son from the nursery. The lady in charge greeted me with a peculiar look. I gathered his bag and she said to me, "Your son told us about you." 

I glanced at my small son, not yet 3 years old and returned with a questioning look. The other workers closed in around me and whispered. "He told us, "My Mommy does not have a ______ (insert your term for the male body part here). 

Unfortunately, we had just taught our son the correct term.

(So, you can imagine how our blank was filled).

I nearly PASSED OUT.

"Excuse me?"

She repeated it. I could see the twinkle in her eyes.

Before I could apologize for my son's inappropriate declaration. She proceeded, "He told us, "My Mommy has fuzz."

[Can I say that ? Whispering in microphone:::tap, tap:::is this thing still on?]

And I lost it. I laughed and I laughed. The ladies who had been holding in their own laughter, let it out. It was an explosion of hilarity. 

Because you just DON'T SAY THOSE THINGS AT CHURCH. Unless you're two years old.

I should have been mortified (and I was a little), but even more, I was surprised at how good it felt to laugh until the tears flowed. 

I try to find a little joy in every day. Some days are easy. Others are not. 

But even in the soul-wrenching sorrows of life, we can find a silver lining.
 
These days, joy is a word reserved for Christmas, splashed on red ornaments and festive wreaths. But God's Word calls  joy that comes from the Lord our very strength.

Laughter is the manifestation of joy and joy provides the strength we need to face tomorrow.

And I need all that I can find. 

Even if it comes at my own expense.

{Sincerely offered to you--with a red face--even after all these years!}

Have your kids ever said something terribly embarrassing??



Signup for my newsletter!

59 comments:

Bailey's Leaf said...

I feel your red face and raise you the conversation that I had with my daughter about which area my nephew was going to emerge from, details on mama providing baby food and why she couldn't have the part-that-which-we-shall-not-speak-of (feeling very The Village here). She thought that it would eventually tranform into that. As I drove down the road with Hubs in the passenger seat, we had an honest discussion of the boy stuff and girl stuff and how her stuff will not be boy stuff. "Okay." My husband was dying.

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

Ahahahahaha! Hubby and I are both laughing out loud. My parents have a story about a very young me saying something out loud during a church service. I don't remember the specifics but apparently the whole congregation got a chuckle. What can a parent do? Just laugh and appreciate the moment like you did...red face and all!! :)

Mandi said...

If it makes you feel any better, this is what happened to my bro during the sacrament with his two very little kids.

(4 year old daughter): "Damnit it!"
Bro: "What did you say??"

"I said, Damnit! Damnit you, and Damnit mommy, and damnit. . . "

she kept going but he yanked her out of there right quick.

Totally Desperate Mom said...

You can always count on children to bring home the laughter. We were in line at our Christian preschool when my then 2 1/2 year old daughter daughter flashed her princess wand to the mom in front of us and said, "This is my magic wand. It's for killing people." Lovely. What do I say to that? Amen? Gotta love kids and wands.

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

Yes! I do.

Ok, I typed it all out and decided that your other readers may not appreciate what my son had to say to the pastor when he was about your son's age so I deleted it!

We, too, have been through a terrible church experience in full time ministry. As the LORD would have it, we live with family so the healing was done all together as they were hurt also.


Glad you are doing better.

Love,
Janet

Merrie said...

I am red faced falling out of my chair laughing till tears roll down my cheeks at this!

That story definately beats my once upon a time two year old whipping out a tampon out of my purse while sitting on the table during a youth steering committee meeting. And we were the Sunday School teachers. And we were sitting round robin.

But your story certainly beats that one!

stacywhite said...

That is funny.

Our pastor was asking a rhetorical question and I can't quite remember the context. He repeated this question several times for dramatic affect. After the third time, my son, who was 3 and quietly coloring, looked up and said, loudly, "It's Jesus, people!" Complete with a the DUH vocal inflection! He went straight back to coloring and the congregation errupted in laughter.

Angie Kerr said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Very funny!!!

Fortunately, my embarrassing moment didn't happen at church. My oldest daughter had just started kindergarten. It was 'Back to School' night. As we walked out of the school, we seen the principal walking towards us. My son, who was 3 1/2, walked up to him and said, "Hi, butthead!". Oh, my....I have never wanted to crawl under a rock more than that time. We moved before my son could attend the same school but it was always the joke that my son would ALWAYS be in the principals office because of his comment!

The joy of having kids, right?!

Anita Koller said...

We took our then 5 year old nephew to church with us one Sunday and he passed some gas as we were in prayer, he sniffed real loud and loudly said..."Who farted!"

jennibell said...

LOVE IT! Thanks for the laugh to start my Monday morning :)

Dee said...

your story is funny. I am hurting too much to remember all the funny/embarassing things my kids did. i do remember there were plenty of them. i am in the place wehere i have left the employment of hte church i have worked at for the last 6 years and am trying to heal. some days it is all i can do to just breathe. right now i am having trouble even wanting to.

Southern Gal said...

Hilarious! I have an Ethanism link on my blog for all the cute things my now 7yo has said.
But this post reminded me of a friend. She and her husband were at a new church. She, being the preacher's wife, was nervous as they drove with deacon families to their new home. Her son was in the car with his dad and a deacon and his wife. Little did she know the exchange going on in the car ahead of them as they were cruising down the road.

Her son, "We don't say the 'f' word at our house anymore."

The deacon, "You don't?"

"No, sir. Mama gets upset if you say that word."

"She does?"

(Her husband, the preacher, is dying wondering what in the world his son is talking about.)

"She's always on a diet so we can't say FAT anymore."

Can you say relief?

Adminswife said...

When my husband was candidating for a senior pastorate, we went to the head deacons house for lunch. My daughter, three years old, said, "Luke kicked me in the n---." I stupidly said, "What did you say?" Dad said, "Don't ask her to repeat it." Hopefully, her toddler talk wasn't understood by all, it sure wasn't by me!

Domestic Accident said...

Ah, Kristen, what impeccable timing. I have been such a grump the last couple of days- too much to do, too much whining, less gratitude, minimal joy. Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!

Michelle said...

My kids have had many moments like this. As embarassing as it is at the time nothing like a toddler to put a smile on your face.

Tammy said...

When my girls were 2 and 4, we sat down with a little book (age appropriate) that talked about babies and the difference between girls and boys. I tried SO HARD not to laugh when they referred to the boy's as a "peanut". My 2 year old wanted to ask every boy/man we knew if he really had a peanut. My 4 year old who is more serious, was obviously disturbed by this news, and listed all the boys/men she could think of, asking me if it was true that they actually had a peanut. I had to keep a straight face and say yes to every name. Finally, thoroughly disgusted, she said, "Well, I know one thing, my DAD definetly does NOT have a peanut!"

Shannon said...

no, never have, nope.... denial.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is wonderful! I'm so glad your new church was so accepting of you at the time. Children are such blessings! :-)

togetherforgood said...

Oh my word. Bahahahahahaha. Good for you for laughing. I probably would have cried!

Amanda said...

ahahahaha love that kid! I will never forget the day he toddled up to me wearing is red cowboy boots and asked "can I kiss you?"

Emilie said...

My daughter is just now reaching the age where these kinds of stories are in our future. I can hardly wait . . .

My family was hurt by a lot of fine Christian folks when my dad was in the ministry -- hang in there. Thank God not everyone is like that.

Jolanthe said...

My kids are FAMOUS for saying the wrong things. Especially in church. We have one in particular whose mouth knows no 'gates'.

Laughing is all I can do ~ because really...it IS funny. :)

Usually.

Sturgmom said...

Oh I think I would have died (laughing) right there on the spot!

Once, when I was alone with all three children in a crowded store, my oldest asked (rather loudly), "Mommy, when are you and Daddy going to get married?" Ha!

Thanks for the reminder that the joy of the Lord IS our strength! As my husband has recently taken a pastorate, I might be needing that reminder more frequently... ;)

Santa said...

Saying funny stuff? All the time. But the worst one for me was when she created something funny. I walked into my 4 y.o. daughter's preschool classroom and saw a paper bag puppet hanging on the wall. It looked quite inappropriate, as it had a paper towel tube taped in the lower region, hanging at a slight downward angle. I laughed and asked one of the teachers, "So whose kid made the inappropriate puppet?" Trying to hold in her laughter, she replied, "Yours!" Taylor said it was a lady with a long pregnant tummy. That is most definitely NOT what it looked like. But she insisted on hanging it on the wall. Kids were even walking by and hitting the "long tummy." I couldn't hold it in...

Dawn said...

ROFLOL!!!! My stepdaughter once told a Sunday school teacher "I used to have a p****, but mine fell off." Her brother was 2 at the time, and potty training. :) Kids are SO funny!

Leslie said...

STINKIN HILARIOUS!!!!!

Cheryl said...

Also at church....this time it was during a ladies lunch and the kids were in the nursery playing. You know the "Name game" song? The one that rhymes the words and adds letters to the front? My ex thought it funny to use words that ended in "uck" when the kids were little. So, my 3 son was playing and all of a sudden I hear him start the song.....with the word truck. You never saw me move so fast...all the ladies looked and then started laughing when they realized what was happening... :-)

Eyvonne @ DiscoveringTogether said...

My husband's a pastor and at our first church our then 3-year-old son flipped a very staunch couple the bird. I was mortified. He had just started preschool and I guess he saw it there. He had no idea what it meant, but he knew mommy reacted very strongly, so he did it a couple more times just for the effect. We laugh about it now, but that day it wasn't so funny!

chapfan said...

I have three sons now, so not much can turn me red, but when the first was still little, daddy was giving him a bath and washing and naming body parts. I worked in the medical field and so I think it is totally appropriate to call things by their medical name. Not so much with my hub. He was singing "butt and balls" as he was washing. My sweet baby comes out of the tub and I told daddy we call them testicles, and baby corrects me, "not tetacos, mama, baaalllls." Fortunately we were in the privacy of our own home, but I was still mortified. Couldn't wait til he told someone at church about his bbaaaaallllls.

JanMary said...

Such a great story - thanks for sharing and encouraging us to find joy :)

Wade's World said...

Oh.My.Word.

I would die. I'm talking crawl-under-the-church-pew and die!!!

Anonymous said...

He didn't say it in public, but once my 3yo (at the time) walked in the bathroom while I was getting out of the shower and exclaimed "Mommy you have a nest!" He's 18 now and I still laugh about that! cdmom

Robin said...

Thanks so much for the smile this morning. I needed that.

Aimee said...

That's so funny!

When our daughter was born our 4 yr. old son saw my husband changing her diaper. He asked where her p____ (boy part) was. My husband said she doesnt' have one. Then he said, oh, she just hasn't gotten it yet? He thought it was like teeth and hair and she'd get it later!

You just have to love the mind of a child!

The Source said...

I probably deserve anything my kids have said. When I was 4 yrs old my parents wanted to enroll me in kindergarten at the local Private Christian School. Since I was a little young, I had to undergo some "IQ testing" to make sure I was ready. Apparently, part of the test involved drawing a human figure so that the tester could accurately determine whatever it is they determine about intelligence by having a kid draw a stick person with crayons.

I drew a boy. An anatomically correct boy. With his boy parts on the outside of his pants. Not sure what that said about my potential, but I did end up getting into school. And skipping a grade, too.

My mom still has the picture.

The Eclectic Dabbler said...

My daughter was 17 months old when my son was born. She didn't know very many words--or any words to express "boy anatomy."
One of the first times, she watched me change my son's diaper, she exclaimed (one of her favorite words) with great enthusiasm: "Ooooooo! BALLS!!! BALLS!!!"
And when you're just 17 months old, you can still claim innocence on that one.
During a church business meeting/dinner while the pastor was addressing all of us, the same daughter dropped her fork on the floor. Lacking proper enunciation skills, she stood up in her chair, and much to our embarrassment (and the visible shock of all around us), she began to shout--what sounded to everyone just like, "F--k! F--k!"
She's not quite three years old. So I'm sure, many of you would tell me, our adventures are only beginning . . .

Manic Mommy Meg said...

I can relate 100% on the male body party story, however ours did not happen at Church but at a grocery store. My son, age 3 just learned that boys were different from girls and boys have *add the technical term here*. As we were waiting in line to check out, my son asks the lady behind us "Hi miss lady...do you have a *Insert again*? Because my mommy said I do, and all boys have a *Insert last time*" I was so embarrased but the lady behind us had a GREAT sense of humor and bust out laughing - I apologized and explained the situation and she just brushed it off. EM-barrasing!! Thanks for sharing!

Rhonda said...

Thanks for the laugh today! Love it. Oh dear, I've taught my boys the official name too. I'm still waiting for when that is going to come back and bite me!

LOL! Tooo funny!

Kimberly said...

So, we have a joke going on in our house right now....our 4 year old middle child -- she is the typical middle child.... Well, right now, she has been diagnosed lovingly in our home as having the 'farting disease' (thanks to dad and big sister). Well, at dinner last night -- she announced to the surrounding table -- "I HAVE THE FARTING DISEASE". I nearly crawled under the flippin' table!! :)

Maria said...

That's too funny! My daughter once told my mom that I "had a lot of fur" down there. Thank goodness it was just my mother that she told!

Anonymous said...

Haven't we all been there? My embarrassing moment in church occurred when my 3 year old was mooning the Sr. Pastor's wife! She was trying to get my attention and interrupting a "very important" conversation I was having with another parisioner. I finally looked her way and almost died!

My heart goes out to you as well for the pain your family went through while in the ministry. I'm a children's pastor, my husband a music minister, and we've seen our share of hurting and weary pastors and their families. I'm so glad you have found your joy again!

Anonymous said...

In our VERY small town, in the swimming pool, (crowded with teenage guys out of football practice) my then 3 yr old son jumped off the diving board yelling at the top of his lungs Weinie Splat with his legs spread. The teenagers were hysterical. As I sunk under the water I told my mother we do not call it that! My kids are now 18, 16, and 13 and the sotries continue on.

Queen of Quirky said...

Too funny. Thanks for the nice chuckle on this cold Monday afternoon.

Elizabeth said...

Okay, we're Episcopalian, which means we do a full liturgy and Communion every Sunday. Trying to encourage my son to take the host, one of our Deacons once told him that it was a cookie.

A few months later, after the new Rector was installed, my son is sitting with us when it's time for Communion -- quiet, contemplative. Small voice pipes up: Is it cookie time *now*?

No more quiet contemplation, I can assure you.

Young Wife said...

Oh, my goodness! Thanks for sharing the joy and laughter. I once told my Sunday School teacher that my mother couldn't come to the phone because she had diarrhea.

mamamia said...

thanks for sharing this! So fun how kids keep us real. We teach our kids the proper names as well, but haven't had any incidents yet. I keep my fingers crossed. I appreciate your honesty about your situation as well. I understand the sorrow of a husband being lost. We are presently living with my parents as a result.

Sheila said...

When my oldest was 4, she didn't really have names for body parts (we didn't start yet). So she called the whole bottom region--front and back--"bum", as if it were one big basketball.

We were walking in a crowded parking lot one day at the grocery store when she asks, rather loudly, "Mommy, why do you have hair on your bum?" I have no idea what other people thought of my werewolf tendencies, but it was one of those moments I'll never forget!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Mel said...

Cannot recall any church blurt outs, however, while standing in a long line of people at the store; my then 4 year old daughter spots the lady in front of us whom is wearing makeup "lots of makeup" so my daughter says; "mommy look at the clown face" I was so ashamed, I didn't know what to say except... I'm sorry

She is now 28 years old, this has come up in a few conversations.

care-in said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I left teaching after 9 years(not my plans but I later realized it was the Lords plans!) and I had to find my identity and figure out where I fit in.

Kether said...

I think the worst one my son has done was in the midst of potty training. I had him in a stall with me at the airport and he started clapping his hands wildly and yelling "yay mama! you did it! you pooped! yay!"
I heard a rumble of laughter all through the ladies room and stayed in there as long as I could....
the ironic part was that I hadn't...I had just done the other...

Kristin said...

Wonderful story.

The Things We Do said...

Just wanted you to know that I was encouraged by your post because of the first part, not the funny part. The funny part was funny but the first part I could relate to. My husband is a pastor, was a pastor- until 6 months ago. We are still feeling a bit lost....no income, lost our church family, now we are losing our home, etc. We chose to leave but I won't get into that part.

It's just nice to know that other pastors and their family have gone through it and years later have moved on. I look forward to the day when I can look back and be thankful this is all over and we won't be wondering...it will be nice to feel like we have purpose again...not that we don't have purpose in Christ and as a family but just purpose to strive at something, anything. Thank you for sharing. =0)

Kelly Hupcey said...

Sorry to hear about the difficult situation you went through with your previous church and community. I hope you and your family are doing well in your new surroundings. Story was hilarious and touching at the same time! Kids do say the dardest things...what

Wanda said...

Oh yes!
When my children were all little. 4, 2 & 1....my husband was being ordained as a deacon at our very Southern Baptist church....
I had arrived with my babes and was heading to the nursery when my 2 year old starts crying for her daddy. My 4 year old says...."Oh no, Sister...we can't see him now...he's being "worshipped"!
The funny part was the deacon's wife that was helping me burst out laughing. Yea...I was a bit embarrassed!

We're deeply rich in our theology....as you can clearly see!

Our family also left full-time ministry. We are in that weird stage now. It's been almost 2 years and I feel lost & forgotten. It's not that I want to go back...it just seems odd to be "normal".
We aren't normal!

Billie said...

I really relate! I wanted to stay home with my first little one, so I decided to babysit a few little ones at my home. My daughter was three and I was sitting a little one year old boy. Diaper change time was intersting to my daughter and we had just finished a conversation about boy parts and girl parts as I finished the little guys change. His father (Scott)walked in right at the end of the conversation to pick him up and my little sweetie looked up and said "Scott has a wee wee!" I looked at Scott with what had to be a red face and then simply said, "Yes sweetie, he does" case closed. No other explination given. Oh...good times! LOL

Wendy said...

Shortly after we moved into our new home, my husband and daughter were outside talking to our new neighbors. My daughter was 4 years old at the time. They got on the subject of college and asked my husband what college he went to. Texas A&M, for the record. ;o) My talkative daughter proceeded to tell our new friends, "My Mommy didn't graduate from high school. She might be a little stupid, but we love her any way!". Well, I DID graduate from high school, thank you very much, but unfortunately I didn't graduate from college. She just got the details mixed up a little! And in the process, embarrassed her Mommy very much! We still laugh about it with our neighbors 6 years later!

Kristi said...

Oh, I laughed so hard that I nearly cried! This has to be one of my all time favorite stories...that and the story about the super glue.

When our Rachel was nearly 3 she told our good friends, her sunday school teachers, that "Mommy and Daddy take showers together." What?? I could have died right there!

Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers said...

Wow, wow, wow. I could have written this post. Okay, while my children are fascinated by the fact that I don't have a ________...that's not the part I'm talking about.

My husband and I were in full time ministry for 13 years and got out two years ago because of a very difficult situation. Everything you wrote sounded too familiar. The hurt. The figuring out who we were again.

The finding joy.

Ugh, the pain. I have yet to write about it on my blog...because I just don't even know how. And...praise God...my blog was born out of my grief from that situation. Starting my site is one of the ways I healed.

Anyway...thank you for sharing that part of you. My husband and I now see that God actually "rescued" us from employed ministry. It was horrible for our family and we didn't even know it until we could step back from it.

Now, we get to be ministers in all kinds of other ways God has lead us to.

It's fantastic. Freeing. God-filled. We are so thankful.

Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers said...

Wow, wow, wow. I could have written this post. Okay, while my children are fascinated by the fact that I don't have a ________...that's not the part I'm talking about.

My husband and I were in full time ministry for 13 years and got out two years ago because of a very difficult situation. Everything you wrote sounded too familiar. The hurt. The figuring out who we were again.

The finding joy.

Ugh, the pain. I have yet to write about it on my blog...because I just don't even know how. And...praise God...my blog was born out of my grief from that situation. Starting my site is one of the ways I healed.

Anyway...thank you for sharing that part of you. My husband and I now see that God actually "rescued" us from employed ministry. It was horrible for our family and we didn't even know it until we could step back from it.

Now, we get to be ministers in all kinds of other ways God has lead us to.

It's fantastic. Freeing. God-filled. We are so thankful.