Morning by Morning (4/29/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A good set of colleagues at Texas Childrens Hospital.
  2. Dinner group at SWC where I got to chat with Nelson Beckett and Caleb McDaniel.  Those are two very wise and uplifting men.  
  3. All the many people who help babysit Ryan throughout our weeks and months- Belinda, Manny, Mikey, Maddie, etc- who all give him a loving environment and are part of who he will become.

Morning by Morning (4/28/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Becoming part of another’s family, as I was told happened to me after the baptism of a 16year old I know very well at the hospital.  He and his parents wanted me to be a part of their very family centered celebration of his baptism, and that significance is not lost on me.  Humbled indeed!
  2. Making spaghetti and meat sauce with the SWC teens! King, Taylor, DeAndre and Wandly are fantastic and so fun to hang with.
  3. A beautiful, warm, and dry morning with a very light fog- it’s a gorgeous day!

Morning by Morning (4/27/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The moments as a couple when we can take a big deep breath together and acknowledge either the silliness or bizarreness of whatever we just experienced.
  2. Our shelter amidst another Houston storm.  We have had a lot of flooding through the city but at least we are safe and dry once again.
  3. The hilarity of this!

Morning by Morning (4/25/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A really fun afternoon playing disc golf in rainy, muddy, and bizarre conditions with Stephen Lucas and Josh Day.  It was fun to muck it up with good friends!
  2. Spending time on Sunday morning with Xander and his dad Dorian.  I was so honored to hang out with both of them and see Xander participate in a triathlon.  Dorian is a great dad!
  3. Good sleep and the chance to relax last night. I know many parents who have to work many hours and balance so much, so I am grateful for the time that I do get.

Morning by Morning (4/23/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Weddings! Such beautiful occasions to celebrate.
  2. Ryan pretending to use our toilet.  Like seriously, he’s getting that old??? I love him.
  3. Attending a wedding with my bride Elana.  It is a beautiful and peaceful time to be an event with the love of my life.

Morning by Morning (4/21/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Glenn Harper, who I know from church.  He is a very good man and very loyal and devoted to those things he is passionate about, including his faith and commitment to the elderly at our church. I am blessed by him.
  2. Keyshon, a teen at church.  Keyshon brings an element to our church youth group that I wish others got to see.  He has a phenomenal sense of humor and is able to develop a relationship with everyone in the group, from laid back seniors in high school to nerdy junior high boys.  He is gifted in showing care and being supportive.
  3. The book I am currently reading, The Kindness of Strangers. I will blog about my own fun story of the kindness of a stranger to me (and my friends).

Morning by Morning (4/20/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A sunny morning after the torrential downpours and dark clouds of the last three days.  It is nice to see the sun for the first time in quite a while!
  2. Roberto, a TCH PICU staple who works on the cleaning staff.  He is very short, but very gentle and big hearted.  I am riding the rail in with him and he always seems to have a gentle kind aura about him. I am blessed to work with him.
  3. The “909ers”- I remember as a kid the fun in asking where you were from and getting the answer in an area code.  909= Inland Empire!  In sharing that zip code, you shared a great commonality of being from the forgotten region of SoCal between San Diego and LA.  Unfortunately, we got too big and so my family is now 951 and I am in Houston, 832.  Neither have the same ring, but it reminds me of the simple fun in the “909ers” club!

Possessions: A Quick Reflection

I came across this quote a couple weeks ago and I have thought about it quite a bit:

“I have reached the stage now where luxury is not in fine possessions but in carefree possessions, and the greatest luxury of all would be the completely expendable.” 
-Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country

Part of the reason this quote hits so hard is because I work in a place where the things that matter seem so fragile- a son or a daughter, the presence of our family, the love for a baby…I work in a children’s hospital.  This week we lost three kids, and I am struck by the power of those relationships and the importance of clinging to those instead of fine possessions. I love Elana, Aiden and Ryan and want to cherish them.

But I don’t want to cherish them surrounded by fine possessions- I want to cherish them with the things that make those relationships grow brighter.  Because that’s the truth from the quote- that luxury and beauty emerge from the things tha get expended, used, and appreciated.  The things that can be emptied are the things that we cherish more because there isn’t an endless supply of it.  I want the opportunities to play in sand with Ryan, or make cookies with Aiden, or walk to the mailbox with the family.  These are carefree things that  the writer talks about.  

Carefree possessions.  Possessions that find meaning through use, not cost. That’s what makes a family loving and enduring and what I always want for my family. 

But it’s not easy.  It’s something that I wrestle with because those fine possessions bring some momentary joy but tend to lack substance.  That’s actually the reality of expendable possessions: they bring the most long lasting results of joy and peace.

Anyway, the quote above is a great challenge to me everyday as I love my family and as we grow together.

Morning by Morning (4/14/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A really good glass of wine at the end of a night! I had a really good and drinkable wine last night from a good friend Phil.
  2. Steve Sandifer, who is a great support and listener to me. I appreciate him as a person who listens to my hospital stuff with wisdom, and not pity (of me). He is an appreciated brother in Christ.
  3. Time with the teens at church.  It always tends to lift my spirits and put me at ease, because they are fun to be around and also open to Christ in their lives.  This was our project last night: