I am so, so tired. Sleep is this elusive thing these days. At night when the rest of the family is watching a movie (Lately though, the Jeeves and Wooster series) I can't stay awake for it and I always fall asleep. But then about 12:30, 1:00 *bing*! I'm awake. Wide awake and my mind gets going. Sometimes I lie there and worry about elections. But most of the time I just think about stuff. Lots of stuff. I try to stop thinking. I say "OK, one, two, three, stop thinking." Then I lie there and think about not thinking. Can a person not think?
I worry about the kids. When R. and I had S. back when, I was sure I could be the most perfectest mom ever. I wanted so much to raise a bunch of really godly warrior children for Christ. That would go out and take on this dying culture. They would be better prepared than I was to face the onslaught of deathly ideas. I wanted them to have a clear straight eye and confidence in their step. (I still do.) I remember when we had just found out that I was pregnant with #5. Our pastor (Not at our current church) asked us rather incredulously, "So, how many of these do you think you'll have? I mean, how many do you think you can afford?" I felt so sad and discouraged at that. If we had been called onto the mission field, I'm sure he would have been the first to encourage us to have faith and watch for the Lord to provide. But having a family and raising them for the Lord wasn't seen as a "calling" and therefore not a work of faith. But I was sure God would see our desire to please and serve Him and would see us through. And He has, thus far.
I need to keep reminding myself of these things. It is harder to be optimistic and have that faith when you get older, I notice. You are so much more aware of all the things that could go wrong. And all the effort involved. And how limited you are. I worry about making wrong desicions. I worry about the kids not really learning to know the Lord. I know how deceptive sin can be. I worry about them not having a passion to guide their own families to come and that all our efforts would be lost. I know so much better now that it is all God's grace and no effort of my own that will give them real salvation and power for Christ on this earth, and I am so much more familiar with the fact of how little I deserve any of His interest. I worry about my own physical limits. I worry about plain getting tired. I worry about R. and how hard he works. We have put so much into just raising a family and making it day to day. I wonder where we will be in 20 years.
I guess though, learning to be optimistic in the face of real fears is faith. Not the blase, "oh, it will be OK" but knowing that life really does have it's risks, and that God is the God of them all.
And now, the baby is crying, and the kids are sick. And that's "the next thing" (as Elisabeth Elliot would say.)