Posted by: jmdenham | August 16, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/16/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Foster parents of medically complex children.  It’s already hard to be a foster parent, but it’s even harder and as meaningful to care for these children while managing meds, doctor visits, and learning to communicate lovingly with non verbal children.
  2. The little baby boy I got to hold yesterday after he had died.  Holding that boy was full of grace even in spite of the circumstance.  What a humbling privilege!
  3. Time with Aiden this morning- I got to walk with him to work and talk about his thoughts on Trump and Mexicans, his thoughts on life in baseball this week, talk about bayous in Houston, and laugh together. Very much appreciated!
Posted by: jmdenham | August 14, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/14/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The many fellow parents who both challenge and guide me in how to teach my kids about justice, racism, and living a life in line with the compassion and eyes of Jesus.
  2. The elders of our church who have served our church with faith and commitment for a long while. Their recent health struggles weigh heavy on my heart.  They love Jesus, and that is always seen.
  3. The Muslim woman, the black mother, and the white nurse who came in to the chapel to pray (separately) as I was writing this gratitude and reflected faith and humanity in their bowing down in tears.  They are part of the reason I am troubled and discouraged by the events and subsequent rhetoric in speech and Facebook interactions in Charlottesville.  Being human is what we all bring to the table, and justice and beauty is what we are called to seek.  When I am tempted to just be troubled and not lift my voice, I am grateful for them and the human face that needs my voice as well as my prayers.
  4. A great weekend with Ryan.  I love being a dad, and I love being his dad.  
Posted by: jmdenham | August 12, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/12/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A wonderful day with Ryan, including good toilet training, shopping and him pushing the cart, playing in the backyard, the pool, and building a cardboard airplane.  I love my time with him!
  2. Getting to hang out with DeAndre, Keyshon, and Taylor at the pool today. I marvel at their fun and resilience, but I am also very impressed and grateful with their gentle encouraging interaction with Ryan.
  3. Dinner with Elana and Carleigh and Levi! I can’t wait to officiate their wedding and I am so blessed to have gotten to know them outside of TCH!
  4. Japanese Sea Perch sushi.  Really really good!

Posted by: jmdenham | August 11, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/11/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s new birthday gift from my parents! A big wheel jeep!
  2. All the neighbor kids- they have welcomed us and Aiden and Ryan to this neighborhood for almost three years now and they are such wonderful gifts to our family.  They keep us lively!
  3. Our 3 dogs, one of whom consistently wakes me up every morning with his puppy energy.  I get frustrated often with him but he and they are good dogs who are great with kids and love to play.

Posted by: jmdenham | August 9, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/9/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The beautiful sunny morning after a couple days of rain.
  2. Ryan learning to go to the bathroom in the toilet and learning when he needs to go.  It’s so wonderful watching him become a potty trained young boy, cheer him when he gets it right, and ultimately feel independent.
  3. The awesome staff who are working on the System Wide Bereavement Committee at Texas Children’s and who work towards consistent, compassionate care for families and the wonderful children.
  4. The gifted, sassy teenager who I know at the hospital- we will call “Alia”.  Alia is an awesome gift who always brings laughter to me and she is so inspiring in her fight and honesty.  She is a gift from God!
Posted by: jmdenham | August 8, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/8/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My internship in 2005 at Lifeline Chaplaincy that has shaped much of my life since that time.  Virgil, Paul, Ann, Sarah, Rosa, Maya, Josh, and all the others made an impact that I cherish almost daily.
  2. The prayer warriors at our church that I love so much- Robert and Bernardine Barboza, Novie Booker, Ruth Noel, and Betty Grant to name a few. These are the people that I admire and who challenge me in my walk with Christ.
  3. Observing my parents be grandparents.  That’s an amazing gift that I just can’t ever put to words but is so beautiful and joyful to me.
Posted by: jmdenham | August 7, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/7/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A great weekend with a bunch of friends on the beach in Galveston, where we got to laugh a lot together, celebrate Ryan’s birthday, spend lots of time at the pool, spend quality time with Aiden and Ryan, watch Ryan brave waves at the beach, walk hand in hand with Elana along the sand, and enjoy the calming waters with good friends.
  2. A Sonic soda on the way home that helped with the post trip exhaustion.
  3. The Ciudad de Angeles orphanage in Cozumel who does the heroic work or caring for children who need support, and doing it well. I appreciate their work and their love of children and their love of God.  I appreciate our church friends who went to support them earlier this summer.
  4. The voices who encourage compassion towards those with mental health issues and challenge our behaviors and disregard for them.  This weekend reminded me of this with a couple of experiences I observed.
Posted by: jmdenham | August 5, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/5/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan. Wow, 3 years old.  You are amazing my son, and I say that to mean you are a gift from God and my gratitude for you explodes each day, whether watching you nap or play or splash water or vacuum or smile! I love you and wish you a happy birthday! 
  2. Seeing Ryan’s fearlessness on jumping in the water at the pool or the beach.  His courage extends past my comfort level but I marvel nonetheless! Watching Ryan’s joy is priceless.
  3. Hanging with our friends in Galveston for the weekend!
  4. Barbara Brown Taylors book, An Altar in the World.  So thought provoking and meaningful and a book I would encourage for anyone.

Posted by: jmdenham | August 4, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/4/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The people who stand for reflection and peace during these hostile and divisive times.  Self reflection is needed for us to honestly deal with major issues and wounds in this world.  Reflection helps us see our desires for what they are and helps us to see others with the best possible intentions.  Reflection also helps us interpret history while looking into a mirror.  I only pray that we as people of faith are daring enough to be the people who are reflective.
  2. The friends I can count on for support here in Houston- Michael, Steve, Caleb, Stephen, Ben, Dave and others.  Much love!
  3. Opportunities to decompress from the hospital, especially talking through the situations I see. I’m still learning to do this well but each opportunity is still so appreciated and treasured!
Posted by: jmdenham | August 2, 2017

Morning by Morning (8/2/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Feedback from families.  I cannot tell you how awesome it is to have families come back and hug me and share stories and express gratitude.  And also how awesome it is to have someone in the moment of crisis tell me they appreciate my calm and tell I’ve been helpful.
  2. The song Amazing Grace that I sing to Ryan when he needs calming or relaxing whether I am holding him in the shower or not falling asleep. It’s my version of the Jesus Prayer for him and I’m hoping it trains him to think about God when he needs calm.
  3. Mikey Weesner, who celebrated her birthday yesterday and is an all star friend and all star colleague in youth ministry.  She may be quiet and always helpful, but what often goes unmentioned is how she reflects Gods grace through wisdom and self reflection.  She is more respected and loved than she knows or gives herself credit for. Happy birthday!

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