Sunday, July 26, 2015

A birthday of thanksgiving

I have spent my 44th birthday-week roaming around Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and now Michigan with the family.  I am grateful!
A couple of years ago I read a book titled: "1000 gifts" which encourages readers to write a list of the simple gifts we experience every day. What am I thankful for?
While we have not written in our thankful journal for a few months, it has been a helpful exercise. Vacation is a great time to work on this practice as I am not so distracted with all the day to day responsibilities.
So, on my birthday I am thankful for:
- a beautiful and peaceful sunset over lake Michigan,
- for friends who let us their beach house,
- for tall, majestic trees that line the beach and the roads,
- for the opportunity to experience different places and building memories with my family,
- for special food eaten together and with friends during vacation time,
- for the Eucharist that nourishes our soul. Christ told us He is with us every day and He truly is in the Eucharist.... For the opportunity to attend Mass anywhere we go and for the priests that have offered their life to be the vessels of God's sacraments.
- for being able to walk and jog without pain. And yes, I am also thankful for the period this spring when I hurt my back and could not walk or jog, because it has helped me appreciate one of so many gifts that my body enjoys every day and that I so often used to take for granted.
- for my breathing the fresh Colorado air or the humid air of the Midwest.
- for the lake breeze on my skin,
- for fireflies that sparkle on and off in the evening dusk. I could watch them for hours tying to guess where the next one will appear,
- for the sound of the faraway trains going by in the distance in these Midwest small town. It's such a comforting noise at night and one Norine and I associate with the peace and simple life,
- for waves touching the shore time after time without stopping, like a gentle caress.

And yes, I am also thankful for the loving, responsible and generous soul of each of my children and for the sweet and gentle love of my wife.  You all help me to be a better person, a better father and husband.  You all help me be more generous and less selfish.

Chicago botanical gardens

Norine and Anne

Sunset over Lake Michigan

55 ice-cream flavor choices at Oinks

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