Bedtime Prayers

When Johnny travels, all is askew in our home. I stay up too late. I watch too much mind-sucking TV. I drink an extra glass of merlot when one was sufficient. I (attempt to) wear out the cat by dragging his favorite yellow string toy across the floor like a frenetic, slithering snake on a plane.

I finally turn off the TV, still laughing at That 70's Show reruns. I leave the living room lamp turned on, confusing Harley to expect Johnny home at any minute. I brush the wine off my teeth and fall into bed. I read several pages of a novel missing Johnny's adjacent warmth. I place a few drops of lavender oil on my pillow right where my nose will land when I turn from side to side. I reach for the small blue prayer book I keep on a hand-me-down table, charming with cracked white paint.

After praying The Lord's Prayer, I read a few Psalms aloud. I gravitate toward Psalms 3, 4, and 91 - the latter remains open, speaking to the darkness once I turn off the light. Last night I read Psalm 4, finding solace, "I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Then I flipped back to Psalm 3, "I lay down and slept; I awoke for the Lord sustained me."

The nocturnal to early morning hours were tranquil until 6:30 am. I heard Harley banging the mini-blinds against the back door. He figured out a clever method of balancing his back legs on the 4th level of his new cat tower, and reaching out with his front paws to bat at the blinds, simultaneously sticking his head underneath to peer outside. I scolded him twice, and threw back the covers to squirt him with water. After his punishment, he grumpily jumped from a bookshelf to the top of our black Chinese armoire and glared at me as I drifted back into three more hours of needed sleep.

I rejoiced in another morning the Lord made. I brewed aromatic coffee, thankful my body is handling it well. I lit morning incense, turned off the A/C, and opened the back door for our demanding feline. I poured a bowl of granola, drizzled honey, covered it with milk, and watched the news, thankful to not hear of a terrorist tragedy as some predicted for this day.

Remaining grateful, I grabbed our Church's prayer book and a Bible. I laid tummy-down on our bed and read today's readings from the lectionary including Psalms 3 and 4. Last night they were a prayer. Today they are thanksgiving for sleep, safety, and the answer to the question, where is God in our chaotic world? Psalm 5 makes evident what evil men can anticipate. I sleep well as God's child. The Psalmist David did, too, and he faced direful events. God hears our laments and comes to our rescue.

Not five minutes ago, I watched amber light descend to its current dark hue. Granted porch access again, Harley warned me of a pending storm. Johnny will arrive home tonight to a sleeping wife, but I will wake momentarily as he kisses my cheek, shakes up a martini, checks his e-mail, and slides into bed. All will be right in our home, all will be right in the world. "The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him."


Christine said...

Beautiful, Jenni. I SO needed to read that as my husband has been gone too. It's hard adjusting to the cold bed after getting used to a warm body. But your blog made me feel peaceful. I will call upon those verses tonight as I'm fighting loneliness.

allison said...

Beautiful post. One question--did Harley snap that photo? Cheeky kitty.

Jenni said...

Harley is not that talented.....yet. I took both photos, the "sleeping" one quite a feat, I think.