03 November 2008

John 16:33 and Pascal's Wager for CSPP

I blame CSPP for everything. I'm tired, I'm cranky, I never leave, I have no interests, I don't exist, I look awful, my brain has gone to seed, I don't know what to make for supper, everyone's clothes are in baskets in the hall instead of the dressers . . . it's because we have four kids under six, it's because we have two kids under three, it's because I'm nursing, it's because I could be pregnant any day now if I'm not already.

As if my life would be any easier if my kids were older, or there were fewer of them, or I went to work every day and got home five minutes before however many people lived here started sniffing worriedly around the kitchen. A while ago I read The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris, expecting to really, really like it. Instead I found myself thinking the whole time, what is she whining about? She doesn't have any kids! She doesn't have quotidian mysteries, she's eating quotidian cheesecake! I'm supposed to feel sorry for someone whose biggest problems are laundry for two people and writer's block?

What can I say, I'm a jerk. Of course Kathleen's life is hard. Everyone's is. So on to the wager: why not have a bunch of kids? In this world I will have trouble regardless of how many children I have, so I might as well invest myself in some eternal capital. Just think how awe-struck strangers will be seeing our family Christmas picture on our friends' refrigerators a few years from now, DV.


Karin said...

I must admit that I get a little jealous of your honest posts. When I am honest on my blog then I am met with.....silence. Not that I have to have a response from anyone but I don't think I can get away with such honesty without someone misunderstanding my intent.....so either I might get braver and be honest in my posts or I will happily keep reading yours and see it as living vicariously through your posts. Sigh. I feel your pain.

Reb. Mary said...

Rebekah: I've just been trying to convince myself of the same thing.

I read Norris' "Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith" awhile back and also had trouble concentrating--partly for the same reasons you cite, and partly because I've grown rather weary of people being labeled "daring" and "bold" when they write about spiritual matters while softshoeing the cultural commonplaces of tolerance regarding, for instance, homosexuality.

I read "Cloister Walk" years back and remember slightly more impressed; maybe I was just less jaded then. Less jerk-y, perhaps :P

Gauntlets said...

Besides, the more you have the less likely you'll wind up spending your last years in a nursing home. If the urchins are properly brainwashed. ;)

Anna Maschke said...

Just a side note...although I'm not an official blogger on the site, if you would like to add to you "Ablaze" counter, my son was baptized on Sunday...feel free to up your number if so desired.

Rebekah said...

Karin, I think people probably think somebody who has eight kids and is still coherent enough to write about it has her act together more than she's letting on. ;)

RM, quite. I'm reading another one of hers now which I may or may not review here depending on how weary I am of the boldness by the time I get to the end.

Gauntlets, I think mine are more likely to launch me into space in a pod heavily stocked with nutrition pellets.

Anna, yay! Our counter currently tracks the three of us, but I have thought about hosting one for the larger community also . . . maybe after we figure out what happened to the blogroll. :D

Blogversary said...

I am jerk with just two kids. This does not bold well for me.

Anonymous said...

Why is that when we mention that we want another child, more than two, heck six children, we get looked at like we are crazy? I mean hey, we need more Christians in this world and if all the christians are having one or no children at all, then where will Christians be at in twenty years from now. I'm always worried if I get pregnant again and what our parents will say, what our friends will say, what congregation members will say, what neighbors will say. I know I shouldn't think that way, and I shouldn't worry what the world thinks, but it's hard. We want more than two kids, we want six or seven or however many God gives to us.

Pam said...

I continue to be struck by how often my sinful pride still rears its ugly head, and am nothing short of thankful for the fact that my life's hardships continually have me running away screaming--- to the foot of the cross, because there is no other place where comfort is to be found.

My mantra of late? HE KNOWS, God knows what I am going through, He has been there, and He is there with me through it.

I agree Rebekah, if life is just that way, it may as well be with a bunch of sweet little sinner/saints to remind us both of our sinfulness and failings and of the Savior's love, as they so readily forgive their sinful parents, who are perhaps a little more hesitant themselves to let go.

Rebekah said...

Melissa, I hear you. One of the things that I find persistently disheartening is my own fear of breaking the news that we're pregnant again, especially to beloved family members who have made it clear that we're quite wrong on this point. :(

Anonymous said...

I know, it's so disheartening. Our own family doesn't want us to have any children. My own mother told me that she wished she never had four of us, I'm the third child. Gee, thanks, so you're saying I'm not accepted. My MIL said that two is enough and you don't need anymore. But my husband and I want more, he wishes he had more siblings instead of one. I came from a family of four, yes it may have been hard for my mom, but it was fun to have three brothers. But why is it that this world thinks that one or two children is enough? God said to be fruitful and multiply. We are here to be parents, to raise children up and teach them all about God and His love. How can we teach them?:(

Pam said...

I'm thinking we teach by example. And we manage to keep our chins up by engaging in this kind of encouraging support of one another who DO understand and who DO rejoice with us when we are blessed with another child.

I don't know if my family would say we are wrong, but they sure don't seem to understand. Well, but what is a grandparent to say when I ask, "do you mind having so many grandchildren?" Duh. One dear relative was honest enough to admit handling them better a few at a time. I appreciate the honesty, but it is sad.

Did you catch Issues, Etc, when Jennifer Roback Morse said marriage has in the past been child-centered, and now is self-centered on the adults? Very interesting and makes so much sense. But then everything these days is about ME ME ME.

Dh and I have often observed how different things would be if our kind of family were more the norm. All those huge gorgeous houses we drive past, thinking how nice it would be to have room to stretch out a bit more with our group, and who can afford to build/live in them, but people who limit or avoid children and at least stick them in daycare to maintain their self-centered lifestyle. I lament. What's the point of HAVING all that, if you are too busy working like the dickens to be home long enough to enjoy it, and you keep yourself good and lonely by not receiving God's blessing of children... so who is there left with whom to enjoy it all?

We had this conversation yesterday, and I saw an irony in the fact that the only people we saw about in these expensive subdivisions were the hired workers keeping up the grounds, so the wealthy owners could have their nice property kept that way for the little time they are actually there to enjoy the results of others' labors.

And of course the workers will go home to their own more modest abodes, or so I assume.

For what it's worth, the only people I am in a hurry to tell the news when there is a new one on the way are our truly "pro life" friends.