Dawn Tolbert

Writer
Patchwork quilt. Part of patchwork quilt as background. Handmade.
Faith Reflections Personal Growth

A Pile of Blankets & One Uncovered Foot

On chilly nights when I was little, I’d snuggle deep under a pile of quilts my great-grandmother made. Sometimes, I asked for so many I could barely move. Their warmth and weight kept out the cold and kept me feeling safe and secure.

I’m all grown up now, but it’s still hard for me to go to sleep without having covers around me. Even in the heat of the summer, I’ll draw the sheet over my arms and tuck in my chin before I can drift off to sleep.

Of course, it’s usually not long–even in winter–before I wake up too warm in my blanketed shroud. Throwing off the covers would likely make me cold again, but most of the time, it’s enough to stick one foot outside the cocoon.

The cooler air on my toes is often just the perfect balance to send me comfortably back to sleep.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about other adjustments we make in life, these tiny steps of self-regulation that help keep us on track. I’m trying to make small changes in my relationship with my hubby, with coworkers, and in how I interact with the people I meet on a daily basis — even those I don’t know.

I’m asking myself, “What tiny adjustments can I make to keep my temperature regulated?”

Like that one cool foot outside of the covers, taking an extra breath or two before responding can allow my internal temperature to drop. In those breaths, I try to echo David’s prayer for Psalm 139:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Did you catch that?

See if there’s any offensive way

In.

Me.

To be honest, sometimes my prayers are more likely to start with, “Lord, did you see that? Can you believe what that person did to me?”

But the man after God’s own heart models asking God to show me where I need to change.

Jesus put it this way: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

I’m beginning today asking God to show me my blind spots in my own life and to forgive me for the many times I’ve rushed to blame others when my own temperature needed adjusting.

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