I love our church. There is something wonderful about attending a church in which 75% of the membership are senior citizens.
Most of them seem to think our children are their adopted grandchildren. When I was pregnant this last time, every Sunday I had half a dozen people asking me about the pregnancy and how it was going. My baby shower was HUGE. Everyone has to stop and have a look at the baby when we arrive at church. And not just the baby, they love our older children, too!
But perhaps the thing I love best is that in a church full of older people, having a bigger than average family is truly seen as a blessing. No one looks at us like we're weirdos because we have four and are open to more. They think it's wonderful! Most of them grew up in big families and had lots of kids themselves!
Plus there are plenty of older women around to check in on how I'm doing and offer words of encouragement. I have had some of the nicest things said to me (and to our family in general) by the older people at our church.
One lady told me how she was "impressed" by the way we raised our children.
One man told us we were his "favorite family."
Another lady told me that she thought the reason we had such good kids was that Tony and I were always calm and patient (oh, if only it were always!).
And just last week another older gentlemen told me I was the best young mother he knew! (That one left me speechless for a minute!)
At the end of a long week of cooking and cleaning and schooling (or the beginning of a new week of it, depending on how you look at it), it is so uplifting to hear words like this from people. And these are people who have been there. People who raised four or five or six (or more) children of their own and know how tiring it can be at times, but also how rewarding.
I hope when I am older I remember how special it was to have an older person offer encouragement or even praise, and that I can offer some of my own to the new generation of young whippersnappers!
I thank God for my church family and all the "little old people!"