Monday, February 23, 2009

Sleeping Comfortably

If you have ever been pregnant, you know what I mean when I say it can be difficult to get comfortable.

I have recently started dreaming of a deluxe pillow (maybe something like this Leachco Back 'N Belly pillow) that will cushion and support my entire body without making it impossible to snuggle my husband. The Big V Pillow that I loved while pregnant with Donny was later recalled as a suffocation hazard, and when the tiny pellet filling began to leak everywhere, I decided it was time to part with it. Right now, I usually curl up against Don's body pillow - which he periodically reminds me is HIS, and that *I* am the one who banned it from the bed due to its bulkiness - and tuck the end around so that I can elevate my feet at the same time, which is supposed to help with the varicose veins. It's not ideal, but it works to keep me propped in the recommended left-side position without discomfort.

I have also had the thought lately that I might like a weighted blanket - you know, the kind that are recommended for children with autism or sensory disorders? Being a rather sensitive person myself, I think I would find the added weight comforting. It looks like there are a few choices in companies who make bed-size blankets that are basically giant Beanie Babies, stuffed with polypropylene pellets. Just imagine how cozy I would be in a nest made of U-shaped pillows and heavy blankets...I might have trouble ever getting out of bed in the morning!

My children have their own ideas about how to sleep comfortably. As a toddler, Donny liked to burrow. When the three of us were sharing a room, Don and I would often find him buried under the pillows at the head of our bed. In fact, sometimes it took a few minutes to find him. At three years old, he slept curled up with a sheet, and only a sheet, regardless of the temperature in his bedroom. Now, at four, he has consented to tucking his sheet in at the end of his bed and the use of additional least some of the time. Other times, he prefers his "sleeping pillowcase," a Christmas gift that my grandmother created from black fabric emblazoned with a treasure chest print. Though it doesn't match anything in his room and is much larger than his pillow anyway, Donny likes to make use of the pillowcase as a sleeping bag. I guess I should be thankful that he at least sleeps in his bed now, since this is the boy who has often napped in a box, basket, or any other bizarre place he could squeeze his body into. I have an entire folder of pictures on my computer of places I have found Donny sleeping!

Hayden, on the other hand, usually refuses to sleep with any blankets. He may or may not want to be covered up at bedtime, but when I check on him later in the evening, I inevitably find him uncovered. Last night, he was stretched out with his feet on his pillow and his face perilously close to the edge of the mattress. I turned him around and - despite knowing that he would probably wriggle out of them again - pulled up his sheet and quilt. I feel better knowing that he is properly tucked in, safe and warm in his bed.

Whether we, like Jacob, lay our head on a rock (um, ouch!) or snuggle up on a pillow-top mattress surrounded by luxurious sleeping aids, we all need rest. I may have an unending lists of tasks to tackle each day, but eventually I need a break before I can go any further. My body's inability to work non-stop is a reminder of my humanness, my frailty. My flesh is weak. I cannot do it all. And even if I have to leave some things undone, I do look forward to going to sleep. There is something very comforting about curling up in my own familiar bed, snuggling under my favorite quilt, and drifting off to sleep beside my favorite man in the world.

Sleep reminds me that my children are only human, too. No matter what stresses, messes, or moments of exhaustion a day may hold, it all seems to melt away in the peaceful darkness of watching them sleep. They are precious little people who have been entrusted to my care, dependent on me for their earthly comforts and sense of security. As I pray over them before I head to bed each night, I tuck them under their sheets and baby quilts once more - not because they want covers, or even need them, but because I want to do this. It is my privilege as a parent to delay my own sleep long enough to snuggle, soothe, pray, and realize that these moments are fleeting. I won't always be pregnant. I won't always have little ones to tuck into bed. There won't always be cries of "Mumma!" until 9pm or a pitter-patter of little feet invading my bedroom in the wee hours of the morning.

And I won't always be comfortable.

Living as a Christian in a broken world, I cannot hope or expect to live a completely comfortable life, but the God of All Comfort is always with me. No matter what the circumstances, I am held safe in His everlasting arms. He gives me the privelege of rest and of daily work and of quiet moments to seek Him. He blesses me with a deep satisfaction in my role as a wife and mother. He fills my busy days with meaning and purpose that I could never otherwise find. And at the end of the day, with or without the latest advances in sleeping technology, I can rest peacefully, knowing that my Heavenly Father can comfort me as nothing else can.

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you...
Isaiah 66:13a


  1. I love the image of the U shaped pillow and weighted blanket. That is one of my favorite times of day, snuggling down under my blanket and pulling Heath in close to me knowing that for a time my family is safe from the harsh realities of the world and off in lands of rest sprinkled with peace.

  2. I just got to work, and I am already looking forward to snuggling in tonight with all of the warm and cozy images you gave me :)