My Bed, My Deep Thoughts

Last night I slept in a nice bed. The mattresses are really high-quality, given to us as a wedding gift by someone who works in the business. They even have our names embroidered on the side! Oh yes. You read that correctly. The frame is wrought iron and bought from a friend when they were moving. Just for fun I bought a bunch of paint and made it red. So, my bed is comfy AND pretty. The sheets, while not a crazy-high thread count, are also nice and I chose a pretty cute style on them…small red flowers. I have a pillow that cost something like $30. For a pillow! It’s a memory-foam pillow that was originally Trent’s, which he loaned to me when I was pregnant with Carson and having trouble sleeping…and which I never gave back. I love that thing and take it everywhere.

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When we got in bed, it was pretty warm, so we had the a/c on low. I read for quite a while. Just for enjoyment, with a light sitting on my nightstand. I didn’t doubt for a second that the light would turn on, or think about the electricity bill. Then before I fell asleep, I turned the a/c off, and just let the ceiling fan blowing on us. It has 3 speeds, so we chose the medium speed. Then in the middle of the night, I was a bit chilly, so I covered up with one of my 3 blankets.

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My kids each cried out in the night once (maybe twice?). It didn’t startle or worry me. I knew they were safe and they, too, have pretty comfy beds. And their own rooms, decorated especially for them. Full of toys and clothes. One just wanted to be re-tucked in and one needed to go to the bathroom. So I took her across the hall to our bathroom, where she and her brother had both been washed clean in the tub earlier that night. We flushed away her pee and didn’t have to think about it again. Even in our sleepiness, we washed our hands with soap and water, because it’s a habit. I tucked her in where she quickly fell asleep without a care in the world, except for the 1.5 seconds she couldn’t find her lovey. Then I got back in my comfy bed and realized: this nightly routine is just a scratch on the surface of a life of abundance that I take so for granted.

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How many millions of people in this world do not have a bed to sleep on? Do they have a roof over their heads–and if so, is it more than a piece of corrugated metal or a blue canopy? What are their pillows made of? What do they do when it is too hot? How many blankets can they choose from when it is too cold? How do they keep the possibly-diseased-infected insects away from their children while they sleep? And in many places, vicious insects are the least of the predators putting their children at risk–the human kind being the most terrifying. When they have to go to the bathroom in the night, how far do they walk? And how easily is the human waste removed from their daily activities? How difficult is it and how often can they bathe their children in clean water? Can they wash away germs with the flick of a faucet and the squirt of liquid soap? What nightmares do these children suffer through, and are their minds so greatly eased when they wake up to reality?

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As I laid in bed, a feeling of gratitude washed over me. A sharp ache of the undeserving. And the unmistakable sting of conviction. See, I’m having some people over tonight, some of whom have never been to our house. And all weekend I’ve been kind of pouting and stressing that our house is…inadequate. It’s really small and the floor-plan is strange. Our furniture is the same it was over 10 years ago, and the decor is also the same. There are dents and scratches in the wall and the laminate is warped. Don’t even get me started on the carpet stains! Having a bunch of people over often sends me into furies of discontentment. But it took an uneventful 2 am potty break to snap me back to the truth: I am rich. Our family is blessed beyond measure, and a majority of people in this world could only dream of living in a house this nice, this large.

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And because I think God has a sense of humor, and maybe he wanted me to connect in a more personal way with those families who live so differently than us…Trent and I each woke up with some bug bites. It seems some little insect (although I doubt disease-carrying) found its way into our peaceful bed. Ew! I was a little creeped out, but instead of being mad, I just smiled as I stripped those pretty red flowers, threw them into my automatic washing machine, which I can put on a HOT cycle, and thanked God that I am fortunate enough to have an extra set of sheets.

I AM BLESSED.