Today was the Branch Conference for our little Branch. I always enjoy Conference: the visits from the Stake leaders, the excellent talks, the Spirit, the change in routine...it's all lovely.
As an added bonus, our Branch likes to have a "potluck" dinner immediately after Church every time we have Branch Conference. It is a little tricky getting food together on top of getting children and myself to Church on time, lessons prepared and hair brushed and diaper bag packed, etc.
But it really is worth it.
The moment the final "amen" is uttered, we rush like mad to set up tables and chairs, fill pitchers with water, shuffle Crock Pots and brownie platters, find enough ladles and spatulas for everything. Then the food is blessed, and it's every Saint for him/herself.
Not really, though. Everyone is very gracious. Little ones are given a helping hand (and maybe an extra helping) and those who have traveled the farthest are given first place in line. Today, a very pregnant woman was modestly making conversation at the far back of the food line. Our Relief Society president walked back to her, and ushered her all the way to the front.
And then, instead of scurrying off with our families to our homes and our lunches, we sit and eat and visit and laugh and share. I love it. I don't get enough of my Church family. It's really not appropriate to visit during church services, and everyone is so busy that I don't ever feel like I can visit too much or even nearly enough with these people that I love so much. To sit and enjoy the fellowship and the yummy potluck is a real treat to my body and soul. I never know who I am going to end up sitting by, but I always get to talk and listen and visit. So it's potluck food and potluck visiting.
I am grateful for potluck, because I don't have to rush home and throw myself into feeding my family immediately after Church. I am grateful for all the talented cooks in our congregation who like showing off their skills at the potlucks. I am grateful for the wonderful people I am blessed to know, and for any opportunity I get to visit and enjoy their excellent company.