It happens all the time. This morning, I felt warm sun during our first morning walk in weeks (it wasn't -30, hooray!), so I turned my face to the sun and offered up a quick prayer of gratitude. I lie in bed at night and before sleep takes over, I try to make sure my last thoughts are spent giving thanks for what happened that day, good and bad. I send prayers for those suffering: fervent, pleading ones, hoping that when things spin out of our control that there is someone else at the helm. I say them during yoga, when I feel immense admiration for the physical body I've been given, thankful for what it allows me to do. I say them when I tuck my sleeping girls into bed, giving them back over to God's watch while I sleep at night.
I also have come to find a few special places where I can sit and feel even closer to God, and it is in these places I ask the hard questions. I rarely get answers, of course, but being in these places gives me peace. In Whitehorse, this place was a clearing on a trail behind my house with a view of the mountains. In this place, I felt small and humble. I asked a lot of tough questions in this spot. Walking with Skylar by my side, I would cry and pray for things that I didn't have the courage to face anywhere else.
Here, that place is the river. I go to it when I need clarity, or at least the peace that comes with surrender. It is especially beautiful in winter, moving water alongside frozen banks in a grayscale landscape. I feel things here that I can cling to when the going gets rough. I celebrate here, and feel assured that small joys are absolutely worth treasuring. I come here to my church, and though the soundtrack is limited to the songs in my head, the sermon is always inspiring. I bring the messages and feelings of peace home with me into my days.