Abba, I bask in the beauty of your creation, drinking in the fresh morning breeze through the window, the bobbing lemon and violet pansies in the windowbox, and tall sun-splashed leafy trees against an immaculate blue sky. Hot coffee beside me, happy family's voices echo nearby, distant traffic noises float on the summer breeze, evoking a surprisingly sentimental comfort. The sheer curtains in front of me breathe slowly in and out by the morning breeze, and my own breathing slows.
Giving thanks -- this new discipline to learn and practice daily, hourly. I forget so often. Father, forgive me, teach me, transform me, renew my mind. I thank you for your summer beauty in a Duluth neighborhood; for sandy beaches, sunscreen scents and picnics near the sound of waves. Thank you for free bike rental coupons and laughing, shrieking adventures in a single surrey and a red deuce coup on the board walk in Canal Park and on the lighthouse pier. Thank you for shared jokes with my sixteen year old as he confidently steered and veered our single surrey bike. Thank you for an unabashed three year old's stomping in warm summer rain puddles before an audience on the pier, and my tinge of sadness when he noticed them and shyly stopped, hiding his face from their friendly smiles. Thank you for lovely evenings and meals with extended family, board games at the table, movie nights in the living room, and tall glasses of home brewed sun tea with freshly picked mint leaves in abundance.