Saturday, May 16, 2015

November 13, 2013 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest....

I love bed.  Nothing is better to me at times than lying in a fluffy bed, comfy and warm, with a good book.  Beds have always been important to me.  My first bed that I remember was a standard twin, piled high with a multitude of stuffed animals (for safety, you know).  Then came my waterbed - I picked it out in middle school and adored it, even though I had to sleep on the floor when the power went out (you do NOT want to sleep in an unheated waterbed).  I had the dormitory beds in college, which I made as comfortable as possible until I moved into apartments.  Then I bought a comfy twin bed, which I still had when I met my husband.  I still remember his face when he saw it (he helped me move to a new apartment).  "Ummm.. why is your bed slanted?"  Embarrassed, I had to admit that I was afraid of monsters under the bed (relics from an all-night horror outdoor movie fest that friends brought me to when I was six).  So..... at night I would turn out the light, then run across the room and LEAP onto the bed so as to avoid possible bed monsters who might grab my ankles.  And one night my cheap wooden support box under my mattress broke (because it was not made to support such an assault from a twenty year old)  It wasn't too bad to sleep on, actually.  But very humbling to have to admit how it got broken ;)

I decided that it was time to buy a new bed, and went out to get the bed that would end up lasting me the next twenty years.  It was an awesome bed.  I got it in Durham at a little place that has since gone out of business.  They gave me a pretty killer deal too, since I accidentally bargained hard.  I had pretty severe hypoglycemia at the time, and I felt an attack coming on as I entered the store.  I found the mattress that I wanted and sat down to think (I'd never made such a big purchase before - the set was over $600, which is a fortune to a college student). The sales guys kept talking and offering me lower deals, and I was so low in blood sugar that I just kept sitting there, not speaking.  Finally they said "OK, you drive a hard bargain, but how about half off and free delivery?"  So, I got my bed.  I wish that company was still around - that bed was just as good twenty years later as it was on the day I bought it.

Anyway, when we got rid of everything fifteen months ago, my bed was sold too - it went to a really nice college kid.  Then I spent the next three months sleeping on my mom's sofa, beside my sweet husband (who slept on the floor).  There was a nice sofa bed inside, but it took up the whole room to open it up, and honestly, we were too exhausted to put everything back together, though we tried at first.  We couldn't sleep well anyway - our cats were in a crate right beside us, and they would howl - they were so upset to be in a cage.

Then when we moved into the abandoned house, we graduated to air mattresses. On concrete floors.  What can I say about air mattresses?  Well, they do provide many funny stories.  A wonderful friend had loaned us some air mattresses, which the girls used from the start.  I'm a very light sleeper (oh yeah, did I mention that I suffer from insomnia and am a very light sleeper?), so we decided that my husband and I should not even attempt to share an air mattress.  We got the double tall twin mattresses - and discovered holes.  I should say also that I am extremely claustrophobic (which also has given us some very funny stories).  So, when a double decker air mattress deflates in the middle of the night, you wake up squished, sitting on the ground but kissing your knees.  If you are claustrophobic, then that causes you to panic and do a very funny crazed movement in order to escape said mattress.  We got another, but it also had holes, so we returned them and got the cheaper twins.  Those were ... interesting - always deflating, and one herniated, so I had to sleep curled around a big round section for a couple of nights.  We had several nights where a child would show up at 2am, whispering, "Mommy? My mattress is flat!"  We learned to always have a spare on hand!  And ooooh it was cold on that floor if your mattress went flat - you'd wake up shivering!  But there was still comfort in those crazy beds.  Our church family rallied round us and provided sheets, pillows, blankets, and comforters, so we always went to bed surrounded by love.  And coats.  The heat didn't work too well, so in the winter we didn't always undress to go to bed - sometimes we added hats!

And now we are almost to the photo above!  We moved into our new house and started on air mattresses again.  We bought a chemical free organic wool and cotton mattress, which I slept on to make sure I wouldn't react.  Then we bought everyone one - yeah!  Back with my hubbie for the first time in fifteen months!  Still on the floor, but getting there!  Then we had a hard week where my daughter and I started reacting to the girl's mattresses, so we bagged them, double bagged them, washed and rewashed sheets, to no avail.  The wool in their mattresses was more fresh, thus more fragrant.  So we isolated them in a room and put the gals back on air mattresses.

And then for my birthday, my wonderful hubbie built me a bed!  YEAH!  That's the bed in the photo.  One mattress on slats and a beautiful frame with Ikea feet.  Prettiest bed I ever owned.  And soooo comfy!  The kids have matching beds in twin sizes.  It is absolutely amazing how much more human I feel when I swing out of a regular sized bed, rather than rolling over onto the floor and groaning as I lurch up every morning.  The ceiling is so close!  And the floor is so far away! (a blessing for those of us who have dust mite allergies).  I must admit, the first night I was a little afraid to sleep so high off the ground!  It's been a long time.  Of course, if you combine the amount of sleep that I got the first 2 nights, it may have been three hours (combine my insomnia with a hurting child and sleep melts away), but last night I slept pretty well for a couple of hours (my internal thermostat got messed up with the mold toxicity, so for some unknown reason I hot flash constantly from about 3:30 until 6ish).

Why do I love my bed so much?  Multiple reasons, I think.  I appreciate sleep so much.  About once a year I sleep all the way through the night.  I wake up each time so excited!  Eight hours at one stretch!  Maybe this is the start of a new me!  It never repeats, but I always enjoy that night.  When my sleep is particularly bad, I feel it - my joints ache, my fingers swell, my head hurts. So I REALLY love it if I can get eight hours, even if it takes ten hours to get it.  Bed is comfortable.  When I get up, I will face pain.  Always.  I will see my child hurting.  I will have to ignore my body and get everyone ready, clean house if it's a good day, just get everyone fed if it's a bad day.  We'll do school, I'll train horses.  I'll avoid going to bed so as to try to put off starting it all again.  Put off another night of not sleeping.  Put off the pain.  Funny how that never works, yet I keep thinking it will!  But then when I'm in bed.... ahhhhhhh.  I have books beside my bed.  If it hurts too much, I can crawl into the bath and then back into my bed. I have soft sheets and blankets.  I can watch and marvel at how fast and soundly my hubbie falls into slumber.  I can look at the stars through  my window.  I can enjoy the sunshine of the morning.  I can lie in bed and feel safe.

And I think that this is all a gift.  You do not recognize darkness if you have not seen the light.  And how can you long for rest if you have never experienced it?  We are supposed to long for rest, to want to rest in True peace.  It is a gift to know that I can rest in Him when I cannot sleep.  That my spirit can find healing, even when my body is broken. That my mind can rest on Hope, even when the worries pile up.  There's not a worry on this earth that can befuddle He who Creates.  Living in the world but not of the world is not so hard when this world is hard on you.  And that, my friends, is NOT a curse to know.  It is a blessing.

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you, alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalm 4:8

"It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."
Psalm 127:2

"Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

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