Morning by Morning (9/21/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Our date night to Down House last night. What great food and a beautiful girl to go out with!
  2. Liz’s memory of everyone I talk about at the hospital.
  3. Ryan learning to love reading!
  4. Peggy Sampson. Her gentleness and kindness are a reflection of God.
  5. Betty Linder, and her quiet faith and love for people. She shows up to love others through hospitality and consistent support.
  6. Jill Ann Jarrell, and her bubbliness and leadership and compassion that she always brings to the practice of physician. We are blessed at TCH with her presence.
  7. Eugenia Lai. The detailed work and passion she gives to the Catholic families at the hospital is exquisite and earns respect all the time.
  8. The presence of my family during my wedding weekend.
  9. The return of the sunshine this weekend.

Morning by Morning (9/20/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My parents and Liz’s parents for being people I share joy with.
  2. Adam Boatz. It was great to see him at the wedding and great to have him as a friend.
  3. Virgil Fry, and for his wise humor and wrestling faith.
  4. Carol Fry, and the way she has made an impact on my life though I only knew her a little. Through Virgil, Kacie, and Kyle, she has left her mark in my life.
  5. A family I know well who is having a memorial service for their teenage superhero today. That young man is a beacon of hope, heart, and inspiration, and his parents showed grace and love to him and to the staff to the fullest extent. So much love for them!
  6. Our lovely, kind, and big hearted neighbors. They have been so nice, and they all love their dogs too!
  7. Liz’s Fulbright and Polish friends I got to meet at the wedding. Stephen, Magda, Aga, Zach, Gabby, Matt, and others were awesome people!
  8. Stephanie Lenoir. I got to know her at TCH and just love her energy and excitement about anything. She is a fantastic RT and even better mother!
  9. A short commute into work!

Morning by Morning (9/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My home being safe in the storms and having no flood damage at this point. TS Imelda was tough- at two points we worries about flooding but thankfully everything is okay for us.
  2. The immense resources that will be provided for the people in East Texas and Beaumont in particular who have been flooded and decimated by TS Imelda. They need them.
  3. Ryans pride in his work at school! And for finally giving a good pic too!
  4. Liz and I getting to play some board games while we waited and watched the rain pour down and water rise in the street.
  5. Alese Henderson, and the friendship she offered during my time at Memorial Hermann. She was always the most lovely, kind, and bubbly nurse, and she was always super fun to work with! Happy birthday Alese!
  6. Our wedding flowers, stunningly and simply designed by HEB. They are so lovely and welcome me into the house every day.
  7. The kindness of colleagues to let me leave early to be home and watch the house and dog during the downpour.
  8. Listening to Thornley Hochs memorial service. What a gift of joy! I loved hearing the stories and the narrative of his life shared by Steve Sandifer.
  9. Bagels with lox cream cheese. I don’t know why I love it so much but I do! Thanks to New York Deli for the awesome bagels that are so good.
  10. Great champagne.

Morning by Morning (9/18/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A successful, effective, and enlightening parent teacher meeting with Ryans teacher. I walked away feeling comfortable, confident he was in good hands, and well informed on how Ryan is doing.
  2. Passing through the tropical storm and having no flood issues around our house or any issues with work either. Grateful for the relief!
  3. The PT’s and OT’s of the Heart Center. They are an inspiring bunch that help patients and families see their inner strength and pursue hope. Love them!
  4. Carlos Sanchez, one of my supervisors at Memorial Hermann. He was so relaxed and had a unique way of mentoring through his narrative and easy going style. And he loves soccer. Thankful for his role in developing my career!
  5. Brent Peery, another mentor chaplain and friend at Memorial Hermann. He is such a good family man and spiritual support to families. I am grateful for the time to shadow and learn from him.
  6. Women in ministry. I am grateful for each woman who has preached and taught and served in ministry and taken risk to do so to share their powerful and profound voice and wisdom. Props and respect to those women reflecting Jesus and following his call- we need them.
  7. Our leftover wedding rehearsal and wedding reception food. Thanks to El Tiempo and Mia Bella! It was so good!
  8. The generosity of so many to help Liz and I stock our house with things/blessings from our registry. People are generous and love us! We are blessed indeed.

Morning by Morning (9/17/19)

My wedding edition daily gratitude for:

  1. Waking up next to Liz Denham! So good.
  2. Liz’s vows, which were funny and deeply heartfelt vows. Let the adventure begin and continue! Indeed.
  3. Ryan walking me down the aisle, and at some point he was walking ahead pulling me with joy. This just was perfect and was exactly what I wanted.
  4. The thoughtful, inspiring, and covenantal ceremony that Steve Sargent wrote and shared over us.
  5. Having Joe and Josh with me over the weekend. My brothers are studs and just awesome guys who go out of their way to help, support, and have fun with others.
  6. The moment we got to look over our wedding party, and see all the family and friend faces that have and still continue to bless us. Parents, brothers, kids, colleagues, church friends, fellow backpackers, prayerful people, friends who are nothing but family…all who are a gift and joy to us.
  7. The photography from Rachel Whittington. She was so kind and generous, always encouraging, and really easy going.
  8. Hosting a rehearsal dinner and bagel brunch at our house. I’m grateful to have a place to host so many people and host it with joy and laughter filling the home.
  9. The playlists and music support I got from Mike Bell. Where would I be without this man in my corner!

Morning by Morning (9/12/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Josh Denham, my brother and friend for whom I am so proud. I love how he has become father and husband, and I love his sense of adventure and playfulness. Love you and happy birthday bro!
  2. Heider Suarez, one for the friends who really helped me get through the months of chaos almost 2 years ago and following because of his love of soccer and fatherhood, and who is still a person whose joy I love seeing. Happy birthday Heider!
  3. Paul and Maria Bryant, and the love they shower Liz and I and Ryan with. last night it was a gift to watch Ryan interact and play with them, and for him to call her Grandma and let Paul give him a bath and play. So so sweet!
  4. My fancy napkins and lovely cake celebration at work yesterday. My spiritual care team does it with hilarity every time!
  5. The excitement of family and friends descending on Houston. These are the people we are thrilled to start our marriage off with.
  6. The calm and quiet at the house now. I am really loving this morning.
  7. Attending open house last night at Kolter Elementary. It was a real treat to learn Ryan’s school routine, see his classroom, hear the things they are learning, and trust he is off to a great start in Kinder.
  8. Lauren Salinas, Miranda Rodrigues, and James and their leadership in the Heart Center as nurses, friends, and supports for the nursing staff.

Morning by Morning (9/11/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The first responders in NYC, DC, and Pennsylvania who responded to the plane crashes there on 9/11. Heroes who rarely think of themselves as such. They served with great compassion before, during, and after. I can’t speak for politics, but I can speak for their immense and self efforts.
  2. Mary Ann Lassig, one of my long time nurse friends whose gentleness is second to none. What great care and attention she gives to all of her families! Happy birthday Mary Ann!
  3. Getting to know Vivian, a nurse in the CV whose chill nature, love for plants, appreciation for faith, and liveliness were a gift today.
  4. My Spiritual Care colleagues and their love and support over the last years and this week. They have been amazing encouragements as I prepare for my wedding.
  5. Safe travels for both sets of our parents yesterday and today.
  6. Laughing with staff. Just the best.
  7. The wonderful card of support (for Bailey) I received from a couple of charge nurses in CV.
  8. Thornley Hochs “Heya James.” I miss that phrase and grieve with joy that I got to know this man.

Morning by Morning (9/10/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Bens timely visit last night to support me and Liz after a rough evening.
  2. My Bailey. Miss him already.
  3. Ryans responsive and understanding teacher.
  4. Jon Fuller. God he is hilarious…and beyond wise. Happy birthday Jon!
  5. Louis Vargas, a neighbor and friend whose excitement and kindness and thoughtfulness has always been great to me. Happy birthday to one of the best!
  6. Nikki Cornett. At TCH her smile and kind welcome were so consistent and her willingness to help others and flow compassionately with everything made her a phenomenal nurse and colleague. Happy birthday Nikki!
  7. The new roses and mums in our front yard. Flavio did a phenomenal job to make it look great.
  8. The softness of the veterinarian who helped with Bailey yesterday. Those are not easy moments and he handled it very well and with love.
  9. Our parents travel beginnings today for the wedding festivities. It is beginning!!!
  10. IPA’s. I love this style of beer currently. Never saw that coming.

Morning by Morning (9/9/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. That phrase, “Be still, and know that I am God”
  2. Delia Waterhouse, a friend from Pepperdine who I was always so happy to know. Her voice rang out in our Songfest show and I was amazed. Her guidance and faith were strong for young students. I just loved her inner joy and the reflection of God she is to many.
  3. Brad Kitchens, and the life he brings through photography and appreciation for the simple things and good food and fatherhood. He seeks Gods beauty and finds it often.
  4. The immense love and celebration that many ladies of Houston showered on Liz yesterday at her wedding shower. We have great friends, we are loved, and Gods grace surrounds us.
  5. The Bering CofC summer reading program, and its prize and announcement at Bering yesterday. Ryan enjoyed going into their library and picking books every week. And he was not hesitant to go in front of the church to go get his prize and be cheered by the church!
  6. The advocates for cancer and CHD (congenital heart disease) who are parents and have lost their children to those things. These advocates require great courage to open up their vulnerable and grief stricken hearts to deal to give voice to issues so important.
  7. Anytime Bailey can get up and walk some and eat some. It’s hope giving and at least gives us some peace that he is not overwhelmed by pain at this point.
  8. Listening to records with music experts and fanatics. Humbling and fun!
  9. Clearing our yard of all the dead brush and overgrown trees/bushes.

Morning by Morning (9/7/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. 7 days left to our wedding!! Yay!
  2. The ordinary stuff of hospital ministry, and being at the right place at the right time with some distraught families and hurting mothers. I don’t have the best words, but I love being Gods tool for showering his world in love.
  3. Carleigh Greenly. What a great friend and couple (with Levi) and how awesome she has been to me! I love her effortless skill, her endless sense of energy, and her love for her colleagues. Happy birthday Carleigh!!
  4. Danielle Martinez, who I celebrate because of her zest for life and the way she brings such deep joy to my friend Cody. Happy birthday Danielle!
  5. Bailey, my dog who has been sick all week and seems to have really hurt his back half somehow. He has been and continues to be a great partner to our family.
  6. Pepperdine’s Step Forward Day and the shared service and community it builds. I love that Ryan will have these opportunities as he grows up in our household. Ryan even made a friend at the community garden and tried rice cakes (and maybe Greek yogurt).
  7. The continued recovery of our family from sicknesses and colds all week.
  8. College football watching on the weekends. I love this time of year.
  9. Popping bubble wrap. It is great for Ryan and great for anyone watching.