snowy tree

Image courtesy of  dan/

I’ve hit a writer’s block these last couple of days. I don’t know why. I am “pretty sure,” as we say in the Arkansas Ozarks where I grew up, that I cannot blame my block on the icy cold weather we’re having. I filled my car up yesterday and by the time I finished and paid for my fuel the end of my thumb   on my right hand was so cold it was numb and I couldn’t feel it. I am sure you folks who live up north are used to that sort of thing, but it was a personal revelation to me of how only  brief exposure to temperatures like we have been having can be dangerous. Then, tonight, I just heard on the news that they tried to put a house fire out in a nearby town and had to go to about four or fire hydrants before they could find one that was not frozen. I must admit I’ve never thought about how difficult it must be to fight fires when everything water-related is frozen.

I am insulated from the “cold reality” here in my little 60 year old house–my pipes haven’t frozen, and I keep things at a constant chilly 63 degrees. The dogs all wear sweaters or jackets, and I wear sweats or leggings—and layer with layers of socks, sweaters, and vests. I don’t see how the homeless can survive when temperatures get this low. I am grateful we have what we need to stay warm, dry, and inside.

I don’t exactly know where this is going in terms of a “spiritual theme”—-but where it seems to be taking me is to a sense of deep gratitude that I was born into the life I have had. I am grateful that though I don’t have a lot, I have enough. I may not get all my “wants, ” but God has made sure my needs are met. And in meeting those needs, God has taught me I can trust him; and I am extremely grateful for the gift of “growing trust.”

We were talking at a meeting the other night about how one needs to be able to trust to work AA’s 12 steps, and our conversation went from there to how do you learn to trust. Sadly, I think it is easier for me to describe all the incidents in my life that make it hard for me to trust. It is much harder to describe how I have learned trust. What I said in the meeting, and what I still believe, is that I think I’ve learned just a little bit more trust every time I turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power—-because when I do so, in spite of my fears of letting go of control, I always get “good things” and “good experiences” in return.  I have learned to trust God, too, because he has been there with me to see me safely through the various crises I’ve experienced. You can’t be “hauled back in from the brink of death” as many times as I have without knowing that God can be trusted.

The trust I’ve developed over the years is for God and not necessarily for other humans.  However, I am noticing that the more I trust God, the more I trust the God I believe is within all of us. In the past I have had a tendency to trust the wrong people—usually for wrong reasons. Now, when I find myself trusting people it is more for the right reasons—–reasons that are spiritually based rather than coming from a needy co-dependent place that needs validation from others . Now that I am involved in an active, ongoing relationship with God, I am no longer needy, and I am definitely less co-dependent. I have not yet learned to totally trust my  judgment of others, but I am beginning to believe that if I allow God to lead me instead of my self-will, I will know when it is safe to trust someone and when I need to back off.

Well, looks like today’s blog meandered its way around to the topics of gratitude and trust. A couple of traits I am glad I have been cultivating these past few decades. I am a slow learner! May God bless and keep you.