Bedtime Lessons

The other day my husband made our bed. While this gesture isn't noteworthy in and of itself, my reaction to it is.

To give you some background, Barry grew up with a mom who made his bed every day. When he joined the Air Force and had to make up his bunk, he paid people to do it for him (or so he says). Then he married me, a compulsive, neurotic bed-maker.

Our system works well for us. As long as I can make the bed every morning exactly how I like it, life can go on.

Over the past 32 years, Barry has learned not to touch the daytime pillows I've carefully, precisely arranged: one white pillow on the bottom, a taupe-and-white striped one on top of that, and a dusty blue one on top of that. Our sleeping pillows remain in a closet during the day.

It's a control thing; a therapist probably would have a field day with me. But it makes me happy. Because life is often messy and out of control, knowing I can control how my bed's made lets me maintain the illusion—or delusion—that I can control the rest of the chaos. Obviously, God's still working on this with me.

But I'm getting better. A few years ago, I went to Atlanta to speak at a women's retreat. My husband worked out of town back then and usually worked on the weekends I traveled. This time, however, he decided to return home—and I panicked.

Unable to stand the thought of my bed lying disheveled for an entire weekend, I asked my daughter who lived nearby if she'd pleeeeeeeze go over Saturday and Sunday to make my bed. She called me a lunatic—but agreed to do it.

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May 25

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