Monday, January 31, 2011

Of Pillows and Plans

Sleep is good. The right pillow can make a big difference. After using the same Tempur-Pedic pillows for years, my husband and I decided it was time to invest in some new ones. (I know what you're thinking - using the same pillows for years? Ewwww! But really, they're designed to resist dust mites and allergens, and are too pricey to replace every year...)We decided to go with the same style - neck pillows. According to the company, "The contoured design helps align your head, neck and shoulders for more relaxing and restful sleep." Exactly what we were looking for. We placed our order.

The pillows arrived two days later. Before bed, I slipped them into pillowcases, realizing how worn and flat our old pillows had gotten. But after lying down, we both realized that the new pillows would take some getting used to - they were so much thicker than the old ones, and they were super firm. We both had full schedules the next day, and didn't want to risk a poor night's sleep getting used to new pillows. We peeled off the pillowslips, and welcomed back our old, worn friends. We'd give the new pillows a chance the next night.

I was just as skeptical the next night. But we put the pillowcases back on the new pillows, and laid down. I kept my old pillow by my bedside - just in case. Although the new ones seemed too firm at first, my husband said that the material in them is sensitive to body temperature and after just a few minutes it would adjust to the shape of our heads, while providing the individual support each of us needed. He was right. As I rolled over onto my side, I was amazed that the added height of the pillow took the pressure off my neck and shoulder, allowing my muscles to relax completely. The next morning, I was thrilled I had been willing to give the new pillow another chance. Not only had I slept great, but I felt more refreshed than I had in a long time.

Funny how I get set in my ways. I'm so used to doing things the same way, that when God offers me something different, I hesitate. It seems safer to stick with the familiar, even when God is reaching out His hand, assuring me He's got something far better for me. I just need to trust Him, step forward in faith, and follow His plan.

Remember Gideon? He had grown up under tough circumstances. The Israelites were slaves to the Midianites. Conditions were so bad, that Gideon had to thresh his family's grain in secret, or the Midianites would take it. Because of these extreme difficulties, Gideon doubted the Lord even cared about him. Imagine his shock when the angel of the Lord appeared to him, speaking words full of hope, "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour," (Judges 6:12; KJV).

Gideon's skepticism was clear, "Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites," (Judges 6:13). He wasn't convinced that the Lord had big plans for him!

The Lord's words were reassuring and meant to encourage, "...Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?" (Judges 6:14). Gideon remained skeptical, reminding God that his family was poor and he was a nobody. Although he had endured tough times, Gideon wasn't quite ready to trust a God who was offering he and his people deliverance. He wasn't ready to step out in faith.

Twice, Gideon requested that God prove His deliverance. Twice, God obliged. The rest of the story is nothing short of a miracle. Gideon left his old life behind, finally trusting that God would provide deliverance through him. The Lord used Gideon and his three hundred men, armed with only trumpets, pitchers and lamps, to completely route out the enemy!

It's easy to stick with the familiar. It's comfortable. But just think about the possibilities. God is offering you the adventure of a lifetime. Are you willing to take Him up on it? Take that first step of faith, and seek the Father's best for your life!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess that I often fall into a comfortable routine where I'm no longer looking for Your direction. Help me to trust You and move forward in the plan You have for me. Thank You for loving me. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Monday blessings to you Maria, Loved this post and the analogy. I do need a new pillow and may actually have to try one of these when finances will allow. Thank you as always for weaving His truth through life circumstances-you are a blessing!
    Hugs, Noreen

  2. Oh dear--we've had the same pillows for years!
    WOnderful analogy once again. When I left my steady job years ago to take over a Christian bookstore, that's how I felt. And God provided.

  3. Noreen - Great to see you! Being a simple person, the Lord has to keep analogies on my level! Hope you get to try out the Tempur-Pedic pillow! You'll love it! Have a wonderful week, my friend! God bless!

    Terri - I've heard that pillows are supposed to be changed out every few months - think the pillow manufacturers came up with that one! So neat to hear about your step of faith regarding the Christian bookstore - would love to hear more about it! Have a great week, enjoying God's blessings! :)

    Kristen- Good to see you! Our pillows were long overdue for replacement! Hope you have a fantastic week! God bless!

  4. Hi Maria,
    Loved your post today and the analogy.
    I change my pillows often as I am asthmatic.Love the look of your Tempur-Pedic pillows!
    Hope you have a great rest of the week my friend.God bless you.
    Hugs and blessings.

  5. Maria,
    Great analogy especially since we sell neck pillows in our chiropractic office! They sure do make a difference!

  6. Hi Maria -

    I think that manufacturer is going to see a spike in sales after this post. My pillow needs replacing too.

    We tend to get in a rut, and repeat what we've been doing for years. Thanks for the reminder. He's been pushing me to make some changes.

    Susan :)

  7. I've always wondered about these pillows, as I suffer from a degenerated disc. Thanks for this post, Maria, as usual uplifting.

  8. Linda - So good to see you! Have you finally dug out from all the snow? I think you'd really enjoy this type of pillow - funny what a big difference a good pillow can make! Have a lovely week full of God's blessings! :)

    Susan P. - So neat that you work in a chiropractor's office (Isn't your husband a chiropractor?)! A good pillow definitely can make all the difference. Adjustments play another huge role for me! Have a beautiful week, my friend!

    Susan R. - Ohhh, I hope you get to try one of these pillows (and be assured that I'm not a Tempur-Pedic sales rep!!) - it's made a difference for me! I'm thankful that change comes one step at a time! Looking forward to the amazing work He's doing in you! Have a blessed week!

  9. Ellie - Welcome back, my friend! So good to see you! What a privilege for you to stop by! I'd highly recommend this type of pillow for you - I've got the degenerative disc thing going on too. Between a good pillow and regular adjustments, I don't even notice it though! Hang in there, girlfriend, keep seeking Him! (1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually)

  10. I love this post, Maria. As well as showing how reluctant we are to try new things, it shows us God's infinite patience. Thank you!

  11. Oh yes Maria, how we fight change sometimes... and when we finally allow it, we wonder what took us so long :)

  12. Great analogy with the pillow!! I am a woman of routine and safety blankets. I have a full Temperpedic pillow and it was the best thing I ever bought! I cannot sleep without it and it conforms completely to my head and neck, just how I need it.

    As for the lesson, learned, although it took a very long time. And since I have a poor memory, I'm sure it is one I will be learning again. But the Lord was faithful in showing me how "safe" I felt with my life the way it was and gave me the nudge I needed to take a step of faith. And now I am seeing my dreams, His dreams for me, come to fruition as I'm going to be published. Praise Him!