We have a too cute family in our church. Not sure the teenage boys would appreciate that family description. Hey, truth can hurt. This particular family loves Jesus so much. He shines through them. They praise Him with hands lifted high in worship, but not for show. They serve a great Deliverer. Thanks to mighty works of God, they have been delivered from addictions, financial struggles and the damaging effects of a chronic illness. I adore this family.
They have a little girl a few years younger than our Allie. This young lady is just too much. A little blondie who dances in the aisle with her hands high in the air. We have known her from infancy and have watched her grow up, one Sunday at a time.
When I was pregnant, I prayed God would not give me a leg hugger. You know the ones I mean. The babies who cry hysterically every time they even approach the nursery. The ones who won’t talk to you, a familiar face in the church crowd, until they are 17. The child who literally throws up the first time he or she goes on stage for the children’s Christmas program. Most of their childhood, they stand behind mom or dad’s leg, holding on for dear life. I can handle a lot of what God throws at me; with Christ I can do all things; but pretty please don’t give me a leg hugger. Well, He answered that prayer with abundance. Amen.
My girlfriend did not pray this prayer. She left the decision up to God, and He saw fit to give her a shy, reserved little girl. Not once you get to know her, but we have worked on building a friendship for four years. I can usually get a smile and a wave from her. She looks at my Allie with delight and a little bit of awe. What must it be like to have that much crazy? We have joked on several occasions about my request to not have a leg-hugger.
Now, my girlfriend is expecting another baby. A girl. She shared with me the other day her prayer request... to not have a leg hugger. Oh, girl, I know your outgoing husband and God is already laughing as he molds this baby girl! So, I dedicate this list to my girlfriend. Be prepared to check off every characteristic as you see them in your little bundle of J-O-Y.
Top 10 Signs You Do Not Have a Leg Hugger
1) Your child never, not since the day she could walk, stays by your side at church. No matter what threats your husband delivers, she feels the need to fellowship.
2) From the sage old age of three, she rarely sits by you during service. Not when there are so many friends, young, old and teens, to attach herself to every week.
3) One Sunday, your child shows up missing. This is not funny but quickly grows serious. She thought she had time before the church service started to sneak off to the convenience store outside and down the street. Fortunately, a babysitter of hers thwarted that plan.
4) Every. Single. Sunday. She wants to know if there is enough time before people start showing up to perform on the stage.
5) You are told repeatedly your five-year old could lead a Sunday School class.
6) On the Sundays a friendly face - for us it must be a girl - serves as a greeter, you find your daughter at her side, discovering her own calling.
7) That moment your pastor encourages the children to sit up front during the Christmas Eve service because it is standing room only. SMH. That night, Allie high-fived the singers as they descended from the stage and ended up standing in front of the pastor as he prayed. Holding her in a death grip at her shoulders, he somehow wrapped up the service.
8) At a mother/daughter event, your child is talking to a friend. You tell her to be quiet so we can pray. She misunderstands and thinks you have asked her to pray; so without hesitation, she does. “...And God, please bless Scooby Doo. Amen.”
9) Your problem at the children’s Christmas program is not will my child stay on stage without crying? Your challenge comes as you realize year after year, your child marches to the beat of her own drum. You just hope she doesn’t do anything so distracting she gets kicked out of the play.
10) A non-leg hugger comes with her own opinions. One Sunday another little girl wanted to see Allie’s new Bible in Sunday School. The teenage boys helping in class encouraged her to share. Not missing a beat, Allie opened her purple Bible up to a random page and said, “See, it says right here, ‘you don’t have to share your Bible.’”