Morning by Morning (3/31/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Kim Najito and her tireless love of her husband and daughter as well as the many families who walk through the PICU. Her great efforts and conscientiousness are amazing and very respected.  I treasure working with her!
  2. Finally getting a haircut.  I had to leave work a tad early so I could try to get to Sports Clips before they closed! It feels so nice to not have to wonder about how my hair is out of control!
  3. The collegiality I have with Tom and Pam and Naguib at work.  There is a compassion and willingness to step up for the other constantly, and often I am so grateful that I know I can get help or even share what’s going on in my life and units. Great chaplains indeed!
  4. Gods gift of grace.  I don’t know how many times I slip up or keep doing life in a way that is not helpful, but I can trust in a welcoming God as I return each time.

Morning by Morning (3/29/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The calming presence of Steve Sargent, my minister.
  2. Brenda and Lorena, nurses who I greatly respect both as nurses and mothers.  Happy birthday to you both!
  3. The opportunity to work on the Advisory Council for the Pediatric Chaplains Network.  It is really affirming and encouraging, but also the kind of support and friends I treasure.

Morning by Morning (3/28/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Doug Sellers, an old friend from Oplin Church of Christ who died some years ago.  This morning I saw my cowboy boots, which was a gift from him and his wife Ruth that “God put on our [their] hearts.” Thanks Doug and Ruth for your gift and your presence of love while I was in Abilene.
  2. Those couples having children among family and friends- Amanda and Keven, Stephanie and Josh, Adam and Carrie! They will be so blessed by their child and will be blessings to their children.
  3. Lunch with my minister and good friend today.
  4. Ryan’s movement from toddler to boy. It’s cute, precious, and encouraging.  The way he is recognizing he must go to the sidewalk when a car comes and the consequent “Wait” he proclaims…the way he jumps on the trampoline with more and more agility…the way he has been learning letters…giving words to his environment…being silly…all a way that he is growing into boyhood. And I cherish seeing the journey!

Morning by Morning (3/27/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Out of the blue group texts from my mom to her kids that we are loved and she’s thinking about us.  They are welcomed messages and little pick me ups!
  2. Planting a garden, well, a tiny garden in the backyard.  We will see if we get any sweet red bell peppers, Anaheim peppers, jalapeños, oregano, basil or cilantro.  Hopefully this will be another good opportunity for Ryan and Aiden and I to get dirty on a project together.
  3. Another beautiful sunny cloudless morning.
  4. Psalm 23 and the way it continues to call me to the shepherd who knows where green pastures and still waters are, just as it has called so many over the last 2 and a half millennia.

Morning by Morning (3/25/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Throwing my best disc golf score ever today, -2.  Tied the record for me and my friends on the Milby course.
  2. Ryan beginning to learn his letters, and especially as he recognizes and can say “W” and “K” and “L”.
  3. Meals with good friends- breakfast with the Vaughns and dinner with Lindsay and Christina (visiting PCN folk) at Down House.
  4. Seeing beautiful flowers at the Garden Center.
  5. For weekends.  There are so many historically and currently who don’t get them because of numerous responsibilities, duties, lack of protections…it’s not taken for granted.

Morning by Morning (3/23/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The clouds I see this morning in the sunny sky.  I cease to be amazed by how they are formed and float and add beauty to the sky. (But to fair, I don’t like the sky full of clouds- sunny with wandering clouds is quite preferred!)
  2. Smiles of my family!
  3. Supporting organ donation at our hospital, where I serve on the Organ Donation Committee and enjoy the challenge and colleagues.

Morning by Morning (3/22/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Blessing bone marrow cells for bone marrow transplants.  The opportunity to share a sacred moment with a family is a cherished one for me, one where families acknowledge the tangible hope, possibility, and promise of those cells.  But those moments also carry the deeply baited breath as parents process the opposite side of hope, and that is sacred too.  As an add on, it’s deeply affirming to be trusted by those families to walk that part of the journey with them. Prayers for you E!
  2. A really encouraging and supportive staff meeting today.  There is a comraderie and appreciation for one another developing, and I am grateful to have had a part in it.
  3. Tears.  They are the words of the heart, and are the words we need when we lack the verbal words. 
  4. A good red wine.
  5. The feeling that I am walking into church and knowing that I am loved. I want that for everybody.

Morning by Morning (3/21/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Breakfast foods.  Eggs, bacon, fruit, French toast, cereal, oatmeal, strawberries, chorizo, bagels and cream cheese, hash browns, etc.  I like to eat, and breakfast I do faithfully.
  2. Crawfish boils with neighbors.  We have a really great set of neighbors!
  3. Ryan learning to get his hands dirty and hold a crawfish!
  4. Our dogs. They are a gift and we don’t always treat them as such. But they love Ryan and Aiden, and always are so energetic.

Morning by Morning (3/18/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Snuggle time with Elana tonight on the couch before she went out for a movie. It was nice and relaxing time.
  2. Having friends who like so many different sports, especially the unique ones like bowling, disc golf and soccer.  It’s so fun for me to talk sport and strategy and technique and stats!
  3. Luci Bell, who celebrates her birthday today.  What makes Luci so special to me is the way she welcomed me and genuinely suppported me into my hospital ministry.  But just get to meet her and you will feel welcomed in her presence.  So nice. Happy birthday Luci!

Sleepless Reflections

Late at night, we are normally deep in sleep and dreaming away.  But sometimes, once in a while, I cant seem to fall asleep and instead I stay up…unable to just fall asleep.  

It’s not that I am a troubled soul, but just that sometimes there are weights I feel or thoughts that cross my mind or ideas that I wonder about.  Often, these are the kinda things that I can’t quite account for in a conversation or when someone asks what I am thinking about.  But they are there. And they return from time or time sit in the back of my mind continually waiting for their moment.

What I’m thinking those days I can’t seem to fall asleep?  I’m 33, near the age where my dad and his twin began having seizures and I lay up at night thinking…will I have them? Will they affect me the same way? Will it skip me and go to Ryan? I think about the helplessness of watching seizures like I saw in my dad, and feel the helplessness of parents who watch their children seize and can only sit clinging to their child’s hand, speaking love to them in their distant state. I think about seizures in general and how they would find me without warning of course. Just like they did my dad and many children I’ve seen.

What I’m thinking those days I can’t seem to fall asleep? I think about failure.  I can’t help but be filled on those nights with what I could do better and how I haven’t done better.  I think about how I fail my wife, fail to talk to her enthusiastically or how I fail to touch her with hugs and kisses so regularly or how I fail to think of her as wife and more as mother.  I think of how I failed to forgive her at times. I often will feel like a failed husband.

What I’m thinking those days I can’t seem to fall asleep? I find myself awake with anger, anger that I haven’t expressed because I am afraid to express any disappointment or hurt. Frustration with a colleague, frustration with someone’s hurtful words, frustration with my wife for she’s intense or how she parents, frustration at myself.  So I hold it and stay up wondering how to process it. 

What I’m thinking those days I can’t seem to fall asleep? I’m thinking about my dreams.  Dreams of visiting national parks or kayaking or moving to California to be with family.  

What I’m thinking those days I can’t seem to fall asleep? I’m thinking about how I have spent all of my emotional energy becoming a chaplain and being a chaplain…and how I often don’t “know” my own desires, feelings, and self.  I think about who I am and what I want to do and how I could do those things.

 But you know what? When I am staying up late thinking these things, draining night to day…

I am glad to be next to Elana.  I need her there as a reflection of Gods presence.