My morning gratitude for:
- Florence, Italy, where I loved for more than a year as a sophomore at Pepperdine.
- The church people in Osaka, Japan, that I got to serve, and in turn taught me through my summer internship and mission trip back in 2002.
- Pizza. I’m feeling very nostalgic for college today, probably because I’m leading a teen retreat this weekend. Nonetheless, I am hungry for pizza, and I love getting to this carb loaded, only good for my soul but definitely not the body tomato sauce pie.
Last night, I had a somewhat long night with Ryan, who now knows how to open doors and thus get out of his room in the middle of the night. He came out twice and then I thought that I might as well go sleep in his room on Aidens bed. At least it’s important to me that he learn that his room is where he sleeps. But so many times I wondered gently in my mind, “Dammit just stay in your bed and sleep child!”
In the midst of the tiredness, I was so grateful for many things- the house that sheltered us, the option of another child’s bed which many families don’t have, the jobs that accept my family responsibilities and understand the slowness (and perhaps grouchiness). But as I looked at him lying next to me sleeping gently, I thought gratefully about the opportunity to be a father. Not everyone is able to have kids, so my son is a humble blessing to begin with. Some men and women are to have children, for multiple health reasons, and some desire to be a father and mother so much but will never realize that dream. So, to have a child my own, to think about his growing up, his future journey and how it would reflect on this little sleeping child- all of it starting with the blessing of even having a son that I call my own, is more than humbling to me.
He is well loved and treasured. He will likely never go without physical and tangible possessions, but his parents love and the love of grandparents and family will shower him more. I am so grateful to be the caretaker for this little gift from God, a gift not everyone gets to share across our world. Ryan is worth every moment.
My morning gratitude for:
- The opportunity to serve as a hospital chaplain with babies, children, teens, and families. It is one hell of an experience that I wish I could communicate well.
- The broad scope of diversity in Houston. I love riding the rail into the Medical Center. It is an amazing and humbling melting pot of great people with very different perspectives.
- Two great students who I got to have lunch with yesterday, Robert Fleming and Natalie Mendieta. They are great chaplains, not just students, and I love their humor and encouragement.