Morning by Morning (2/28/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Waking up feeling loved.
  2. Brittany Avila, an RN I know. Yesterday we got to catch up and I just love her gentleness, openness, and genuine joy.
  3. Standing near a mother in support as she held her precious baby who is dying. I saw as her tears baptized her baby in love. So moving and breathtaking even in tragedy!
  4. Wes, a friend at small group who is so encouraging and other-centered. The kind of faith and thoughtfulness he brings is a welcome gift.
  5. Peace Cowen’s, and her awesome play time with Ryan during small group. She loves him so much and is so sweet with him. It’s a beautiful thing to hear her playing and making Ryan’s night.
  6. Teaching Ryan about deep breaths when we are angry or scared or anxious. This has been fun for me to share a little of my skill set with him as a father.

Morning by Morning (2/27/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. K Pipes, for many things, but today I am reminded of her editing of my board certification papers and just how impactful she was on me through her editing. She helped me see more of myself and grow in my communication so much.
  2. Ruben Lopez, my one remaining friend from high school. He brought so many laughs and so much wisdom for a teenager. And I love watching him mature further as a husband, even if only over Facebook. Happy belated birthday Ruben!
  3. The awesome mushroom risotto that Liz made and served the last two nights. That’s a damn good risotto!
  4. Coming in a hospital room for a chaplain visit at just the right time. Yesterday it happened twice and both times I met teary parents who just needed to verbalize what has been happening and have someone who could simply listen with compassion. So blessed to be that person at the right time.
  5. Aiden. Oh much I miss him as a part of my daily life, but when I see him it’s one of the great joys I get to have.
  6. Serving as one of the leaders for the Pediatric Chaplains Network. Leadership is so humbling for me as I serve my peers and see their passion and skill all the time.
  7. My dog Bailey and his journeying with me now for 7.5-8 years.

Morning by Morning (2/26/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Family nights! We have been watching a couple PJ Mask shows just before bedtime and Ryan has been enjoying us 3 being the 3 PJ masks. Super cute!
  2. The joy Ryan has when he sees me or Liz at school.
  3. Working with a good friend and great pediatric chaplain, Jessica Shannon. I appreciate her tenacity and creativity. Happy birthday Jessica!!
  4. Knowing my parents are surrounded by loving family, uncles, and aunts in SoCal.
  5. The Slay family. I love seeing the resilience of their little girl, the strength of their family, and the milestones I see her reaching. What a treasure!!!
  6. Sunshine after cloudy days.

Morning by Morning (2/25/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The family time with Liz and Ryan after a weekend around parents missing their child who had died and leaning into their partners for support. It was just what I needed.
  2. The friendship, faith, and love of the Sargents, from Steve and Chelsea to Cora. Beautiful souls!
  3. The team of Oncology Child Life Specialists At TCH. They have so much energy and passion for families and are so insightful.
  4. The thoughtful leadership process at Southwest Central this past months. It’s been encouraging to see the prayerful intentional process.
  5. Getting a little over 9 hours of sleep last night. Haven’t had that in months!!!
  6. Being challenged to be a better dad.
  7. A day off after the emotional weekend.

Morning by Morning (2/22/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The anticipation of being at the Retreat of Renewal this weekend, where I get to listen, play, and walk alongside grieving fathers and families from TCH. This is a gift every year and a chance to see what God is doing in hurting lives and watch those people grieve in stunningly beautiful ways.
  2. Ravioli making class with Liz. Not only was it fun but it was messy and aromatic and yummy!!
  3. Catching up with friends.
  4. Every time Ryan smiles and laughs with me. Especially now that he is having fun with making laughter and having laugh competitions.
  5. Liz’s creativity in the kitchen, which has blessed me immensely as she just puts together all sorts of stuff in delicious ways.
  6. Our museum membership that let us experience the Planetarium and butterflies yesterday.
  7. The productivity of errands that makes the late afternoons after errand running feel wide open.

Morning by Morning (2/21/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan dressed as an astronaut last night at small group! Well somewhat. An astronaut construction worker…but awesome still!
  2. The Fullers. My life cannot be told without Dave and Amy showing up somewhere in my Houston part of the story. Hiking Big Bend, children’s ministry at church, coffee runs, over ordering appetizers every time, 242 and it’s Sunday night gatherings, med center lunch gatherings, and so much more. I am so grateful for their fingerprints in my life and how I am a better person for it.
  3. Ken and Peace Cowen’s, from my Wednesday small group. Thoughtful, laughter filled, and compassionate too!
  4. The trust of PICU nurses that I will be helpful and supportive to hurting families. When they call, I feel that trust, and I strive to honor it every time because it is a gift.
  5. The blooming spring flowers that are beginning to make themselves seen.
  6. Fire trucks and ambulances and the first responders they carry.
  7. Ryan’s favorite fruits, brought to you by the color red- apples, strawberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes! I am grateful he will eat fruit as it were, but to have some decent options is great.

Morning by Morning (2/20/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan snuggling with Liz while we do our nighttime routine. I love seeing him bury his shoulder into her and lay on her lap.
  2. Hearing Ryan’s deep breaths during sleep. It’s cute, but also as a pediatric chaplain, I know he is still breathing.
  3. The Childers family, whose life together is grief well done and grief done faithfully. They laugh together, cry together, remember together, and lament together as well. Their little boy is always in their life, never forgotten, but yet they always carry their heartache in a way that balances their joy with genuineness.
  4. All the pulmonology doctors I get to work with. I respect their work so much.
  5. The joy I get when I finish a book.
  6. Seeing the pictures of new babies of my nurse friends. I love love love asking new moms and dads to show me a picture of their baby. I love seeing their face light up with a giant smile!

Morning by Morning (2/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The acceptance and love Ryan carries for Liz now. He sees her a part of our life and family and now includes her in most things, whether puzzles on the floor or sitting between to us to watch a show. It’s so lovely.
  2. Liz’s loyalty and constant care to connect with the things and people I care about.
  3. Will Decker. I am a better parent knowing him, and a more joyful human being whenever I am around him because of his great humor.
  4. All the hugs at church.
  5. The beautiful butterfly we found hiking the other day and floated right by me (pictured)
  6. Forgiveness. The process of forgiveness in the last year has been a profound one, not that I have perfected it, but that it has had a profound effect on me learning to see myself, see others with love, and see the work of God around me.
  7. That feeling of stretching and that relief that comes during and after.

Morning by Morning (2/18/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Having Liz, Ryan, and Aiden at church together and Ryan and Aiden at peace with this beautiful form of family.
  2. All the great activity this weekend, including hiking, soccer, and disc golf. Getting outside is my jam. I love it!
  3. Sustaining friendships with Mike Bell, Ben Snyder, and Stephen Lucas.
  4. Hugging Sherry Lucas yesterday. She is like a mother to me and a wonderful gift, and I appreciate getting to support and encourage during these times of not optimal health.
  5. The cloud formations in the sky this morning. Lazy clouds in odd shapes with blue sky and sunshine all around…and it relaxes me immensely.
  6. Those moments that I don’t have lots of things on my mind. It’s rare but wonderful when I am still and stilled.

Morning by Morning (2/16/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Attending Ryan’s school Valentines party. The joy of 13 kids, the cute homemade Valentines, the pizza, Ryan’s hugs of Liz, Ryan’s smiles and friends…all such great and beautiful God given gifts!
  2. Regina Menard, a PCA friend at the hospital whose faith and smile run so deep. She is quite friendly, warm, helpful, and trusts in God with all her heart. She’s awesome. Happy birthday Regina!
  3. Shannon Barnes, another friend at the hospital. I appreciate working alongside her because of her loyalty to families and the way she is so genuine and open about parenthood. Shannon is a great friend! Happy birthday Shannon!
  4. The hospital fellows I get to work with. So many to name but they are a good group of learners, skilled doctors, and good people as well who welcome spiritual and social support services for families. Much love for them!
  5. Having pediatric chaplain friends across the country!!!
  6. The good news of no cancer for Reba at her appt yesterday. Quite a relief! Good news for her and our family!