Morning by Morning (8/31/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Tom Sharon, the chaplain who I served rideout with.  It was an absolute privilege and humbling to serve with a faithful and compassionate man who carries himself with understanding, wisdom, and commitment.  I couldn’t have served with someone more encouraging! The Cardiovasular Units are so blessed to have him!
  2. Doug Foster, one of my Church History professors at ACU. Doug was also a mentor and encourager.  I remember he would make us do weekly essays and grade them 1-5, and  5’s were rare but given when deserved.  He helped me learn to write integrating info and history, not just repeating it.  I owe a lot of personal growth to him.
  3. Jeff Childers, another of my history professors at ACU.  He taught more of the history of the NT and religious history.  It was Jeff who helped me integrate and think about other faiths with perspective.  Also, he helped me see that history has many facets and lenses. And that history is fun!
  4. The HBO series From The Earth To The Moon, which I started watching again yesterday and gripped me with fascination.  Well made!
  5. Nick Matthews, an RN who I deeply respect and love for his passion while being laid back.  Happy birthday! (And prayers for your heartache now Nick!)

Morning by Morning (8/30/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Being home around family after a long week.
  2. Hearing Ryan’s invitation to play with him over and over, “Come on, daddy” 
  3. Seeing the glorious sun rising over Houston this morning!
  4. The relief brought by colleague chaplains at TCH yesterday that allowed me to go home.  Their navigation of waterlogged streets and leaving their families to help me is so appreciated. Thank you Pam and Naguib!
  5. The PICU nurses I served with who serve with humor and perspective in crisis.  I love getting to be a part of them.
  6. My father in law and his wife Ibi and the love and welcome they provide my family, especially as they rode out Harvey and needed a place real close for play.
  7. Living in Houston. It’s a great place that I call home, even with all this flooding chaos!

Morning by Morning (8/28/17)

Today, I am at the hospital riding out Hurricane Harvey while Houston gets inundated by water.  There are many things to be grateful for in the face of this devastating hurricane:

  1. Elana, Elana, Elana.  Her ability to watch Ryan while I am required to serve at Texas Children’s is humbling in the least.  She is covering me as she usually does and covering more than her fair share and loving on Ryan as a great mother while I work.  It’s not lost on me and while I am here I feel awful about not supporting her at home during this weather, but fundamentally I am grateful for her.  I love her!
  2. Praying with staff who are desperate for news of safety for their family and their homes.  During these prayers and times of gathering around the units, I find that there are people who are handling so much trauma, so much uncertainty, so much crisis during this time and yet emerging resilient.  Their strength and their love reflected in tears is beautiful inasmuch as the grief is heartbreaking.
  3. Assisting physicians do free writing as a way to manage their own stress and overwhelming emotions.  Today, I got to watch a physician lead his own fellow physicians into places of vulnerability, and it was a privilege to be there for support and encouragement and listening.
  4. The pictures of Ryan that Elana sends that sustain me with smiles and comfort.
  5. All the people and friends who have contacted me and sought out to send their prayers and thoughts my way.

Surrounded by Family!

Today was my birthday, and of course, Hurricane Harvey had to join the party.  So I got called in to work for the day and stay through the storm, however long it will be. It’s not exactly my dream birthday.  I mean, work anxiety on Friday and staff worry and leaving the family behind.  Not exactly dreamy.

But two things happened that made the day great.

First, I didn’t get called in on Friday night so I got to hang out with Elana and Ryan and spend quality time with Ryan this morning. Elana was sweet. Ryan was active and playful and imaginative.  We played in the pooled water in the park.  I got to be surrounded by my family, even in the face of rain and thunder and cloudy skies.  I love my family.

Second, I got to work and walked into the PICU and got to be treated to 40 people wishing me happy birthday, one well wish and smile at a time.  Someone bought me pizza (thanks Jill!). Someone brought me a soda. The nurses were wonderful and appreciative and I was humbled by them.  I got to spend quality time with night shift staff and be treated to a cup of coffee, laughter, and collegiality and friendship. Even some families I know got into the act and made me feel wonderful. It felt like family, and I was surrounded by them. 

The joy of my immediate family and welcome and care of my PICU family made for a great birthday, full of encouragement and love.  

I might be at the hospital, sleeping on a cot, with the heavens pouring down rain, but it’s been a good birthday because I have been surrounded by my family. Love it!

Morning by Morning (8/25/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The surprise birthday party that Elana threw for me last night!!!! It was awesome to have everyone greet me as I opened the door and hear the singing of happy birthday and receive the awesome gifts and feel the humbling love of everyone around me.  What an awesome blessing!!!
  2. The way the staff in the PICU cope with everything that comes their way with flexibility, strength, hilarity, and big hearts for little kids.  I’m glad that if I have to come to the hospital this weekend, I will be enduring a storm alongside them.
  3. The disc golf bag I received from Elana- i feel like school kid with a new back pack!
  4. The opportunities I get to celebrate Ryan’s growth and development, and not missing them by things feeling life is going too fast.  “Good job Ryan” is a great phrase to share and I love his feeling of joy when he hears his father and mother be proud of him.

Morning by Morning (8/24/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Jae Kim, a friend from Pepperdine who I always looked up to and admired for his vision, his wisdom, and his loyalty to his friends.  He moved up to Seattle and became quite the adventurer and I continue to marvel at his life continues to be shaped by his passions.
  2. My colleagues at the hospital who provided me with birthday pound cake and berries to go on top! I appreciate their support and joy!
  3. Elana’s flexibility, since I might be pulled to the hospital this weekend for the tropical storm and she’s willing to adjust and watch Ryan during the weekend if need be.
  4. The many kids who are ventilator or teach dependent and regardless of developmental levels, live courageously and reflect Gods beauty. I believe God speaks through them as much as anyone, and I am humbled to meet some of them.

Morning by Morning (8/23/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. E, S, and J, the three boys my sons age who have leukemia.  These boys and their parents mean the world to me as people who persevere and see purpose and faith in the midst of tough times.  
  2. Chris Sims and his wonderful, responsible and meaningful service to the PICU during this last year.  I have very much appreciated his presence and support!
  3. My 11-7:30 shift, which has helped me sleep till whenever the kids let me, play with Ryan in the mornings, be at the hospital when my unit can use me best, and lets me have lots of fun with staff.
  4. Ryan’s realizing that it is cool for dragons to eat people- see pic below!

Morning by Morning (8/21/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The excitement around the first day of school in the neighborhood.  Maybe it’s the parents relief or actual excitement from the kids, but it’s always a fun time seeing the kids look for school busses, share about their teachers, and plan their days at school!
  2. Ryan talking more and more. It’s really cute to hear him talking in sentences and developing even more personality!
  3. Andrea and David Engle who have started my birthday week off with the first card.  It’s an early gift of joy and I’m grateful for how attentive Andrea is to both these small things and the Word of God.
  4. The parents and kids who courageously stare down all sorts of disorders, diagnoses, and diseases and dare to live life their way still.  I marvel at them and the way enact Gods grace.

Morning by Morning (8/19/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. PCN friends, like Lavender Kelley, Lindsey Bona, Dan Roberts, Gloria Kroeze, Bob Flory, Mark Brown, etc.  The list is quite long as full of people I am grateful to learn from as we serve and share experiences together.
  2. Getting a haircut…while my scared son melts down in my lap! Oddly enough, it was a reminder of how he thinks of me as safe- he leaned in, burrowed, dug in, all in finding comfort in his daddy.  Though the haircut was stressful, it was a gracious reminder!
  3. Soccer- all forms of it.  I am more and more fascinated and captivated by the skill and nuances of the game, especially as I am going to more Dynamo games.
  4. Living in Houston…what a great place to live!!!
  5. Facetiming my mom and dad and letting them see Ryan!

Morning by Morning (8/17/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The many voices for justice and speaking truth to racism and systemic inequalities.  Our failures and flaws in this country are insidious and must be met. May the prophetic voices find root where they need to, including continued growth in me.
  2. The new GN’s of the PICU who I can’t wait to meet and then watch them care so compassionately for our families!
  3. Lifeline Chaplaincy, for so many reasons.  They are built into my life and the passions that Lifeline stands for are my foundations.
  4. Ryan’s emotion changes when presented with fruit snacks- from night to day, tears to smiles!