Ahh.. In bed by 9:30. Right on target, and perfect for getting up at 5:30.
Sniffles came from the bunk below me, followed by whimpers, more sniffles and soon a deluge of tears.
And back out of bed.
"Guess what?" I asked my baby sister, the seven year old who is wise beyond her years some days.
"Whaaaa *sniff* at?"
"I love you."
"I loove yo *hiccup* ou too!"
The whimpers were turning into wails as she thrashed around in her bed, her mind working through those problems that were affecting her so deeply.
"Hey. Shh... What's wrong?"
"Everythiing!" She wailed, rolling over and burying her head in the pillow.
"Well try to focus on the things that are right, and you'll feel a lot better!" was my sage piece of advice.
I rolled my eyes, quickly losing my patience. This wasn't a quick fix that a hug-and-a-kiss would solve. There were deeper issues going on - the kind I wasn't inclined to deal with. My bed was beckoning, but so was my little sister. No matter how it looked to me, I had to realize that whatever was bothering her was very real and unsolvable in that moment.
I gasped, grabbing her legs through the covers. "Oh my goodness, what is this?!"
She quieted down to see what I was talking about, "What do you mean?"
"What are these things under your blanket that are moving around!?"
It was her turn to roll her eyes at her dumb older sister. "Those are my feet."
"What!?" I said, in pretend shock. "You have two of them!?"
Another younger sister piped up from her bed across the room, "Nick Vujicic doesn't"
All the sisters joined in at that point, telling the littlest all the things that were "right" - a bed to sleep in, two arms, a roof over her head, wise older sisters to comfort and counsel her (okay, so I didn't tell her that one, but I was definitely thinking it.) - telling her that these were God's way of telling her that He loved her.
Then, finally, everything was quiet.
Ahh.. In bed by 9:50. Almost right on target, and perfect - well, do-able for getting up at 5:30.
The sniffles started up again.
"Why doesn't God give the kids in Africa beds!? Doesn't He love them too?"
Okay so my quick fix to get back to sleep turned into a deeper discussion that lasted another twenty minutes, but I woke up this morning feeling rested, humbled and oh so loved.
Flipping open my Bible I read Psalm 116. "Return unto thy rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, kept mine eyes from tears and my feet from falling."
Thank you, Lord, for using my little sister to remind me of Your bounty and the extent of Your love for me.