What's the big deal about Young Living

4 Moms Choose a Church

This week the 4 Moms are discussing the kinds of churches we attend, how we choose a church, and how we fit in, with our large family selves, at our churches.

Be sure to see what my team members are saying about their churches:

First, I’ll address how we fit in at our church because it is the same way we fit in everywhere we go. That is to say we stick out like a sore thumb.

We are the only large family at church and the only homeschoolers except for one other family who is starting kindergarten this year.

I am also the only woman there who can nurse a baby, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and review multiplication facts at the same time. It’s a gift, really, but that’s another post, isn’t it?

Even though we do not worship with anyone who looks or lives exactly the way we do, we love the church we attend.

We are faithful members of the church of Christ.

My husband is the son and the grandson of longtime church of Christ preachers, and I am the daughter and granddaughter of longtime church of Christ members.

Whenever we move to a new town, as we have several times in our 26 year marriage, we never have to look around town to wonder what church to attend. We know right where to go.

We love the acapella singing. We love the focus on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection each Sunday. We love the emphasis on searching the scriptures.

We obviously have differences in opinion about a few things, as evidenced by the fact that we are the only ones with more than a handful of kids, but we belong there.

We overlook our differences, just as we do with our many Catholic and Protestant friends of differing faiths and beliefs, and we love one another.

What church do you belong to?

 See my other church related posts here:

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Comments

  1. We are Independent Baptists here. We are an old fashioned, straight forward preaching from the KJV, hymn singing, Lord praising group :) I absolutely love our Church family

  2. And we are also the only homeschooling family currently in our Church too. While we are not quite a big family we do bring far more children than anyone else to Church events…our 3 plus a non-church going friends 3 children. Thankfully there are plans in the work to start a school at the Church so not only will my kids go there but I will go on staff full time.

  3. We also are long-time church of Christ go-ers. Like…back a few generations.
    We recently switched churches b/c the church where we grew up moved away from the way they used to be and are more of a community church–praise band lovin’….lots of other changes too….too much to get into in a comment.
    Anyway, we found us a little ol’ nice church of Christ and we are NOT the only homeschoolers at this congregation! The preacher has 4 daughters and they homeschool too. So the children at this church are like 90% homeschoolers. We feel so normal! :)

  4. I grew up in the church of Christ! I am now Catholic (surprising how many things in common there are – it seemed SO different at first). People in the church of Christ (me excepted, sadly) can sing! Such a difference when you learn 4 part harmoney instead of droning on with an organ or piano. I bet you guys do stick out, but I also bet they LOVE you. :) You are no doubt a breath of fresh air everywhere you go. You will not find better people anywhere than in the church of Christ.

  5. We are also Church of Christ members. We currently worship in the Warsaw Church of Christ (Poland). It is very small with no preacher, the men alternate preaching days. I miss the larger church in California…especially the song. Beautiful!

  6. Wow. I am also church of Christ. My grandad was a preacher too, in North Texas and OK and Arkansas. I’d love to know who your family and husbands family are. Maybe we’re related somehow! I was born in Plainview, but raised in the Dallas area, and now live in Indiana. I knew and know a LOT of families in the churches of Christ that are homeschoolers. Another reason to love Myfriendconnie!

  7. Kristin says:

    We are members of the church of Christ. My husband is the preacher at a congregation here in Northeastern Oklahoma. We are looking into homeschooling our twins. They are 3 now. I enjoy reading your posts…thanks for all of the helpful information!

  8. We sing a cappella too, but here in Scottish presbyterianism, it’s kinda normal :)
    This is such an interesting topic from the four of you x

  9. Okay, I gotta say I was excited to read that you were church of Christ. Our family is and in our congregation, there is only one other large family. We we announced we were having our 7th, questions like “Are you keeping up with so and so” popped up or “Do you know what causes that?” I wouldn’t say our congregation is large family friendly. Nor are they very accepting of the lack of birth control. Most all of them believe that you need to set time out for you and if you have a large family that’s not possible. So seeing that there ARE other church of Christer’s out there who DO believe in large families and who homeschool is VERY encouraging!!! So THANKS for that little boost today! I needed it!

  10. I really didn’t know much about the church of Christ so thanks for posting the link. We began attending a Mennonite church about 8 months ago and it is very similar to the things I read about the church of Christ. We are not Mennonite as far as we don’t wear the headcoverings, I wear a wedding ring and ocassional jewelry, we wear pants in public, etc. But after a lot of searching we have finally found a like-minded family of believers. We love that there are different elders that preach and not just one pastor who thinks the pulpit is his throne. Love that there are big families, very mission oriented, a simple building. So many things to love. If someone had told me a year ago that we would be attending a Mennonite church I would have laughed hysterically. But then God flipped our lives around and we prayed to find a faith family that was headed the same direction as us and we ended up finding that in this church.

  11. I read this post first, and now I think I may have read about half of your blog. First off, I’d like to say, thank you for writing. As a young mother, it is exceptionally encouraging to see how someone else is able to deal with our little blessings and do it so well. Most of the time I feel like I’m making it up as I go, and not doing a great job of it.

    I am a member of the church of Christ, going back two generations on either side of my family, and my father is a minister. We’ve mostly lived in OK and TN. He is currently taking over a television ministry called, “In Search of the Lord’s Way.”

    I’d also like to say that I really appreciated your post on worship, and how it needs to be centered on God, as well as your post on how to train the Littles in church. I think I’ll be doing things a bit differently on Sunday.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Chara,

      I loved watching “In Search of the Lord’s Way” on Sundays while I was on bed rest in the hospital a few years ago!

  12. We’re third-generation church of Christ on my side, and second generation church of Christ on my husband’s side! We met (and married) while at Harding University, and we attend a local church of Christ.

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Jeni,
      My in-laws graduated from Harding over 50 years ago!

    • Serenity Summers says:

      My husband and I graduated from Harding, too!!!!! I never meet anyone outside our church who has even heard of Harding :) My inlaws are Lutheran and were not pleased when my husband went to Harding so they used to tell people he went to Harvard! If you say it fast they sound the same :)
      We attend a church of Christ as well and can not express how much we LOVE our church family!!!

  13. We are Anglican, from a long tradition of Baptists. :) Yes, my family can’t quite get over it, either, but my husband and I love, love, love the Anglican church and are growing and thriving there.

    Four kids seems to be about normal for our (admittedly young) church. And people are evenly split amongst public, home, and private schools.

    • Pamela Nichols says:

      We, too, are Anglican, but were raised in the Baptist tradition. We homeschooled our son, who is now 24. Do you know of any traditional Anglican homeschool groups, blogs, etc.? We would like
      to meet other families with similar interests.

  14. I am so excited to read that you go to church of Christ!! I grew up and both of my parents families all attend. My husband does not but attended similar churches. I attended Lipscomb and loved every minute of it. I miss the acapella singing and some of the closer family feel. I appreciate you writing about church and teaching children to sit through worship. Our current church frowns on people bringing children into the service so I am glad for the moment that I do not have any. Thanks for your honesty and know that your posts are very encouraging!

  15. Wow! Now we know what C of C members do all week – they hang out lurking on Smockity’s blog. Me too! My grandaddy was also a C of C preacher, in West Virginia. My other grandaddy’s family was from the Nashville area and some of them were also preachers. We also have a very large family, 4 kids (at least people at church think it’s large). However, my husband was raised Catholic and is from a family of 11 kids, so I always tell people we have ONLY 4 kids. I do know one C of C family w/ 7 kids, but it’s a blended family.

    On the other hand, homeschooling is not rare around here in C of C, even though there is an old established C of C private school here in Memphis. Young families esp are beginning to homeschool, rather than send Mom to work to pay for the private school. My second son is actually going to attend that school this coming year, for his senior year, so he can do all the “school” stuff w/ his life-long church friends (who almost all go there). He wants to play golf & basketball, sing in the choir, go on the choir trip, be in the musical, and wear a dorky plaid uniform. It will cost us more than $12,000 for one year (almost more than we pay for his brother at the world’s most expensive west coast C of C university). I just amazes me the number of families who are not wealthy, but are willing to send Mom off to work to pay $12 grand per kid for a school like that. And who use that tuition as their reason for why they can’t “afford” more than 2 kids. In my world, more & more families w/ younger children are figuring out that they can have a much happier life at home, w/ way less stress, and can maybe even afford an extra baby or two. It’s a very good thing, I think.

    I really am surprised that you all are Church of Christ members, I had the impression somehow that you were Reformed. For me, one of the best things about the homeschool blog world has been my realization of the similarities in most Christian denominations. When I first started homeschooling & later discovered the blogs, I would read about other mom’s beliefs & think, “wow, that’s just like me”. I would try to figure out what denomination they were part of, and they were all over the Christian map, not just Protestant but Catholic & Orthodox as well. While there are obviously some doctrinal differences, we seem to pretty much agree on the basics. The division seems to be not so much on beliefs but rather on how we “do church” on Sunday morning. We share much more in common than I ever knew, in my insular C of C world. I know the Lord wants us all to live in unity because He says so. You, Smockity, and the other Christian homeschool bloggers out there, have a wonderful ministry in illustrating that unity. Thank you!

  16. Mine and my husband’s families are Church of Christ members. We sing a cappella, no Sunday School (the children learn as we do), and we don’t have a preacher. All the male members take turns preaching, passing communion, praying, and leading us in song. My oldest is almost 12, and he too, leads songs. We love it! We are asmall, closeknit congregation. We and one other couple each have 4 children. The others have 2 or 3. We are all young, and most are not done yet. I wouldn’t be, except I had some medical problems, and not long after my 4th, had to have a hysterectomy. I have 4 boys, and would SO LOVE to maybe adopt a girl, but we’ll see.
    I love to see others who are Church of Christ Members. I’ve been following your blog for sometime, now. I love reading of your family and am praying your husband gets a great job! I would love to have your address. I remember the hard times, as a child, when my Dad was without work for a time. My Mom was a SAHM, and so am I. It would be devestating if my husband lost his job.
    Thiughts and prayers going out for you!

  17. We are Catholic – so large families are the norm over here! In fact, our little family of two kiddos with one on the way is actually pretty small for our church! Most of the parish attends Catholic school and there are some Catholic homeschoolers there, too. Many similarities with Catholic and Church of Christ….most important is love of Christ, focus on Scriptures, and strong family values! Thanks for your blog – I’m praying for your hubby to find a great job very soon.

  18. Angie France says:

    Any church is fine if they teach trusting Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as your only way to salvation. Eph 2:8 & 9

  19. We are LDS aka Mormons. We are a large family with 7 kids and even though we became a large family due to the teaching of the church, we are a minority in our ward. LOL.
    I used to be Catholic, attended Baptist churches, and many others along the road to finding what was true for us.
    Love reading your blogs and the 4 mom and 35 kids series.

  20. (Double posting this on the Common Room and Smockity Frocks)

    We’re CoC, too. :-) My parents both grew up baptist but were baptized into the CoC in their college years. DH’s parents are still baptist, but DH was (like my parents) baptized in college.

    In our particular conservative (many members went to Florida College) and fairly small CoC, there are three other homeschooling families. There aren’t a lot of large families, though we do have several families that have 3 or 4 children. Of course, *we* only have 1 child. :-) We’ve found that CoC’s are pretty inherently family-friendly as far as worship goes. It’s just normal for the children to be in the service with the parents. Our congregation doesn’t even have a nursery during service, and I don’t think that’s all that unusual for a CoC.

    But even if that weren’t the case, we would still attend a CoC for the reasons that Connie and the DHM mention. Meaty Bible teaching, weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, acappella singing, and, of course, the teaching about salvation.

  21. Hey me three! coC, that is! Can I call you Sister Smockity? j/k ;)

  22. Hi myfriendconnie!
    My husband and I are also church of Christ members. My oldest two daughters are now Christians too! I am so glad that you shared your “church story”. I love my church family. We have the most children in our congregation (5), and my best friend who worships with me has 4 children….everyone else has 2, one family has three! Our congregation has about 90 members, and we are blessed to have 4 elders and 5 deacons. My sweet husband is one of the deacons. My best friend, one other family and I are also the only ones who are homeschooling (and I just finished my 10th year), but I think one of the young families may try it when their children are old enough. I absolutely love my church family. I was not raised in the c of C, but I began attending when I started dating my husband at age 19. I was “searching”, really reading the Bible for the first time in my life, and I knew there was more to Christian living than what I had been taught growing up. I was baptized about 4 months after we were married (at age 21). I have grown and grown as a Christian (and still have a long way to go), but there have been a couple of godly ladies along the way who have really taught me.

    I am enjoying this post and all of the comments! :)

  23. We are LDS aka Mormons. I joined the church as a young child. So wherever we live, wherever the Air Force sends us, we seek out our LDS ward (congregation). And being Mormon means there’s usually largish families 4-6 kids. But we’re one of the largest have seven kids. One other family is larger than ours in the ward we’re in– they’re about to have their 8th.

    But even though Mormons are accustomed to having and seeing large families, mine can be a little, um… unruly at times and draw looks and on rare occasion, comments. I always feel welcome of course and the warmth of the Spirit.

  24. My family and I are Catholics and we come from a long line. I love the traditional approach to things. It also helps that I love our Priest. During my daughter’s First Holy Communion Mass, our priest talked to the children and not at the children. He can engage many audiences. I’ve gone to other services and really enjoy Bible studies with non-Catholic friends, but I love the feeling I get in my Church. It feels like home.

    I have three children. Small by some Catholics comparisons. I have difficult pregnancies though and have two angels in heaven. I am also Sick very often, the past six weeks included. Only God knows if more children are in our future.

    Thank you for writing this blog Smockity. I look forward to reading your posts every day. I am the oldest of 5 kids in 5 years and I love reading about you and your big family.

    I’m praying that your husband finds a job soon. I’m sure God has the perfect job planned for him. I find it’s times like this that our faith and trust is really tested. Unfortunately, it is still stressful during times of uncertainty. We’re all pulling for you.

  25. Beatrice says:

    I wasn’t familiar with the Church of Christ before reading your post. I belong to the United Church of Canada. There are no large families at my church (except for the minister who has five kids, mostly grown plus foster children) and I’m not familiar with any home schoolers there either. Part of why I read your blog is that it is so radically different from my own life which makes it very interesting to me.

  26. I’d like to respond to Shannon P.’s response:

    ” We love that there are different elders that preach and not just one pastor who thinks the pulpit is his throne.”

    As I have a sleeping 7 week old in a sling on my chest, this will be a shorter response. I am a pastor’s wife, and I have to say, your comment bothered me on a number of levels. I am sure there are many pastors (and elders) who abuse their pulpits and the sheep that are suppose to be tending, but not every singular Teacher- Pastor treats his pulpit as a throne. If anything, my husband treats the pulpit as a gun… with reverence, much fear and respect. The Lord does not give a free pass to those called to preach. If you remember James 3:1 (Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.). Those who teach approach it with fear and trembling, or at least they should, and if they do treat their pulpit as a throne, then they are doing a disservice to what the Lord has required of them. Just because there is a group of elders who preach does not necessarily guard against them treating the -communal- pulpit as a throne. Also, not every elder is necessarily a “teaching elder”. If you recall 1 Timothy 5:17 (Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.) This passage makes clear that not every elder has been gifted and equipped with being a preacher.

    I must say, the best way for a pastor, or those who teach (be it many or one), to guard against treating the pulpit as his own personal throne is for him to preach expositorily. A pastor who relies on his own mind to think up topics and subjects to teach on is going to find major holes in his teaching. It’s easy to abuse Scripture when you get to pick and choose passages and topics to talk about (btw, I understand that not every topical preacher is like this, such as Spurgeon, but please remember Spurgeon was a veritable genius and not every pastor has such brilliant mind). When one is subject to the Book he is preaching through, many different and various lessons will be drawn out irregardless to whatever is floating through the pastor’s mind at the time.

    I do however agree that there should be a plurality in the leadership of elders, and just because my husband is the preaching elder in no way makes him “above the law” so to speak. If he preached something contrary to scripture or was abusing his spiritual position in any way, I have no doubt that the elders in our church would bring him under discipline so fast that it would make your head spin.

  27. Rebecca Miller says:

    I am LDS (aka Mormon). I think it is fascinating to see how many of your followers belong to the same religon as you. During Lent I was suprised to see how many devout Catholic bloggers I follow as well. While doctrinally we have many differences I have realized it is the desire to choose the right and follow the Lord that leads me to follow all of you great christian bloggers. I am curious as many people have commented that in your church large families are not common and often get comments, is that a teaching in your faith- to limit families? Thanks for sharing this blog and thanks for this very interesting topic, I really enjoyed reading it!

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Rebecca,
      Since the church of Christ doesn’t have a creed or catechism, there are no official teachings on any topic. It is up to each member to read the Bible and use examples, commands, and inferences to determine how to live.

    • I have personally found that it is very unusual to find a “contemporary” in the church of Christ that has “many” children. (For the purpose of this example, I’ll define “contemporary” as this generation and the one before it and “many” as 5 or more). In my entire life, I have only met a few – and I do mean very few – contemporary families in the church of Christ who have had more than 5 children. Currently, I can only think of 4. All of those families were homeschoolers. So, in my experience, the large family mindset was more prominent in the homeschooling community. It had nothing to do with religious background. As Connie said, we have no creed on the matter. It just seems to be more a matter of what society considers “normal” these days. Know what I mean?

      OK, now I’m sure hoards of church of Christ blog readers will show up to prove me wrong. LOL! Remember, I said that’s what *I* observed (as a Navy brat and retired Air Force wife, who has attended a lot of congregations).

      Oh, just so ya know, I’m 42. I don’t want the word “retired” to throw you all off. LOL! DH is 7 years older than I am and he retired 7 years ago. Funny, people no longer say that I look way too young to have a husband who is retired from military service. What is up with that? *wink*

  28. I discovered your blog very recently and was so excited to read that you attend the church of Christ. We do too! :) We live in Virginia and attend a small congregation of about 50 regular attendees. Although, recently, we had 70…and it wasn’t even Easter! Whoa! I don’t know how we had room for that many! (Kidding! We have plenty of room for many more than that!)

    We drive 50 minutes ONE WAY to attend the congregation. We chose to go there, instead of attending any of the smaller local congregations, for a variety of reasons (which I won’t get into here). We made the change 3 1/2 years ago and have not looked back! It has been such a relief!

    On the other hand, we are the ONLY homeschoolers (at this time, but there were some in the past) and there are no large families there. I have various friends with large families (one with 12, one with 10, etc.) and I have often joked that we NEED a large family like that to move in. It would double our youth group. LOL! So, it’s cool to read that your family blesses a congregation with your largeness, even if it isn’t us. ;oP

  29. Clarissa says:

    Hello! Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I was ecstatic to find out that you and your family belong to a coC! :)
    I first started attending with my boyfriend about a year and a half ago, and was baptized-saved almost a year ago! Since attending, my life has truly been changed. I have not received such intense Bible study and memorization at any other church I’ve been to (including Methodist, Episcopalian, and “non-denominational”), and I (like you) love the acappella singing and the focus on scriptural worship.
    There aren’t very large families in my church either, but I think, like you’ve said, that that’s more of an “individual conviction” matter.
    Anyway, I’ve loved the insight I get on “big family life” by reading your blog (hope to have a big family of my own one day!) and love it even more now. :) Have a great day, and thanks for sharing!

  30. Smockity,

    Like so many of the other posters, I am thrilled to learn of another sister in Christ who shares our convictions about salvation, worship, children and home education. We attend a small, country congregation in which we are the only homeschooling family with more than twice as many children as the other families there.

  31. Another coC member here! Just discovered your blog… now a follower on Bloglovin. I look forward to learning more about how you do what you do! Mom of just one little, but praying for many more, and will definitely be homeschooling. I am a skirt-wearing, head-covering, Christ-serving wife and mother, and glad to have found you on the web. :) Thanks for your example!

  32. Janie O says:

    I am LDS too and love the moms of many posts!!

  33. I have been to your blog a couple of times. I don’t know if you have ever been to mine, but it is nice to “meet you”.
    My hubby was raised in the church, and we were baptized shortly after we were married. My husband is now a minister, and we have 6 children (so far). We are the only large family/homeschoolers in our congregation as well. It can be especially lonely to be #1 “The Preacher’s Wife” and #2 the only homeschoolers/crazy people who have a big family.
    I too can do those things while nursing, and it is a talent for sure! ;)
    It’s nice to see other members of the church of Christ in your comments :)

  34. I also added your blog to my blog roll :)

  35. I was excited to read this post too! I am a homeschooling mama (of three) and also a member of the church of Christ. My husband is a preacher.

    I loved reading about your history in the church. What a great foundation for you all.

    While my family is not considered large, we are often the only homeschoolers around.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  36. Sorry, I am a little late for this post but, I also attend church of Christ! I will be a follower now ;) I love finding other blogs from those that are cofC. I started homeschooling the year before last and love it! We have 3 other families in our congregation that homeschool also (150 person congregation). One of the ladies formed a c0-op a few years ago so we could all get together! What started as maybe 3 or 4 is now about 12 cofC families homeschooling together! It is WONDERFUL!! So much support and love! I am so glad I found your blog, can’t wait to see what’s in store next :)

  37. Hello!! Sam @ the Kelley Eight pointed me over here and I’m so excited! We’re members of Christ’s church also, HSers and are building a large family (4 sons so far). My husband is a minister and we’re kind of in the same boat as some of the commenters in that we’re the only ones w/ a bunch of kiddos, the only HSers, etc. It’s great to see others out there. So thankful for a brotherhood… err… sisterhood in Christ across the country via the Net. :o)

  38. Hi, I am still catching on on the wonderful posts that I missed. I am so excited to note that you are Church of Christ members as well! I started typing a huge thing and realized I would be preaching to one who already knows:D
    If you could or don’t mind emailing me your home congregation? I’d love to put it on my to do list next time I spend a Sunday in your neck of the woods.

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  1. [...] Headmistress at The Common Room KimC at Life in a Shoe Connie at Smockity Frocks [...]

  2. [...] to whether or not we will go. (Whether we will be there on time is an altogether different matter!) We attend Bible classes and worship services at least twice each [...]

  3. [...] love that our children have heard their grandfather preach sermons to crowded audiences and have seen him baptize [...]

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