Morning by Morning (5/27/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. An upcoming three day weekend that is beyond needed!
  2. Other parents of toddlers who give you the nod and affirming empathetic eyes as we both deal with toddlers being toddlers (a la dinner group last night with two other toddlers who had reached the end of their night and mine who was screaming because he couldn’t walk into the busy street that sits right off a freeway).  I love my fellow compassionate parents!
  3. Ryan sleeping in, which doesn’t do anymore but when he does I am very appreciative!
  4. A welcome beautiful sunny morning!  I need the lift of a warm sun in place of the dark rain clouds of the past couple days.

Morning by Morning (5/26/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The Critical Care Fellows that I get to work with day in and day out. They are a fantastic group of young doctors who I learn from daily.
  2. PICU nurses who poured out their heart for a mother whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer yesterday.  Their compassion is something I am more than grateful for- blessed by!
  3. The pharmacists and doctors who manage the ethics and emotional struggles of drug and chemo shortages.  These folks work for patients and families in so many ways that will never be possible.

Morning by Morning (5/25/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Aidens dismissal of my humor and sarcasm.  It’s quite funny to see Aiden shake aside my silliness and maintain his serious demeanor.
  2. The CNN series: The Sixties.  I have really enjoyed and been fascinated by this historical documentary.  I am grateful to learn about how culture was shaped for years to come by Vietnam, JFK, the space program, the British band invasion, and the Civil Rights movement.
  3. Stephen Lucas, birthday boy yesterday and good friend.  He is a really good man and quite loyal and caring- he always remembers my struggles or lows and wants to hear about how I am doing.

Morning by Morning (5/24/2016)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My Mom coming to Houston in August, and did the great time she will have with Ryan!
  2. Remembering Colton, a child who died this year in the ICU, with all of the PICU staff and with my family too last night.  
  3. The lighter traffic on the commute this week! Come summer!
  4. Carson Henley, who is now a certified graduated dentist and more importantly a very good friend. He and his wife will be missed as they move to West Virginia.

Morning by Morning (5/23/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A wonderful retreat with the kids from Southwest Central CofC.  We had a great lock in and lots of fun, but more importantly I am grateful to have ministered to those kids and to be a part in their growth into Gods image!
  2. The proclamation of God over Jesus at his baptism: “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  I am grateful this morning for it because I believe he proclaims this over me as well and it keeps me grounded in who I really am. 
  3. The chance to get to know Terry Frame and Markquill Easter (adults at our teen retreat) just a little bit more this weekend. I am very appreciative of their presence at our church and with the teens.
  4. Ryan’s laugh!

Morning by Morning (5/20/16)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Florence, Italy, where I loved for more than a year as a sophomore at Pepperdine.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Morning by Morning (5/19/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Chad and Sara Lukkason, missionaries and good friends in Chile.  I enjoyed getting to know them so well in Abilene as they prepared for their life of mission work.  I am grateful for their faithful hearts and for Chad’s love of sports, both of which grew our friendship.
  2. Chuck and Cora Miller, from Oplin, TX.  Really good salt of the earth people who are so gentle and loving.
  3. How involved Elana (my wife) is in her professional world: the president of an educational fraternity, on the board at Braes Interfaith Ministries, involved with Bright Futures, and always passionate about helping teens and young adults have a successful and good life.
  4. Randomly, cookies n cream ice cream.

Morning by Morning (5/17/16)

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.

Morning by Morning (5/16/16)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. These boys!
  2. Silly humor with Ryan. Who needs toys!
  3. Being a father.  Being a father defines me more than any other relationship I have, which can be a big issue as a husband. Yet there is something about being a father that is mysteriously joyful while being unbelievably meaningful and humbling.
  4. The nurses on the Progressive Care Unit at Texas Childrens Hospital.  Thems’ good people!

Morning by Morning (5/10/16)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.