Morning by Morning (3/29/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A weekend to enjoy time alone with Liz.
  2. The chance to support a grieving family yesterday morning at Memorial Hermann. It was unplanned but a sacred gift to listen to the stories about a good man, a good father, and a good grandfather, and help a family begin to share his legacy and celebrate his life after he has died. I am blessed to be trusted to walk into those hard places, blessed to have a partner who encourages those unplanned opportunities, and blessed to listen.
  3. The immense love that has been shown to us since we got engaged. This message is what I want to feel, what I want Liz to feel, and what I want Ryan to feel. The messages of congrats, the sweet encouragement, the joy for me or for Liz…all so beautiful as reflections of Gods work in this world.
  4. Seeing the amazing bluebonnets and other pink, yellow, and orange flowers along the drive. They added such great color to the hill country.
  5. The lovely conversation, and the lovely contented silent time, on Liz and I’s drive to Fredericksburg. Silence with someone you love ought to be as good as time to talk.
  6. Vintners Hideaway in Fredericksburg. They were a welcoming group of folks and an off the beaten path place, but their selection of local wines that have no tasting rooms, the chance to meet a couple of growers, and enjoy a good set of wine was awesome.
  7. The warm water of a shower on a cool morning.

Morning by Morning (3/28/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. This picture of Ryan looking at a lion. I love it.
  2. Finding a beautiful rental house for the next steps of our family. It’s the kind of place I can imagine calling home for a long while.
  3. Gods enduring calm that he gives me around such difficult emotions at work. Yesterday I heard a mother scream full throat for minutes for her dying child. It was heart wrenching for her and that family, but God gave me what I needed to walk with them.
  4. Ryan learning emotions. It’s a hard process but being able to name them is so important as he learns what is behind them.
  5. Gay and Joan Jones. Gay has moved on to life with God and Joan remains here blessing her family with lots of love. They helped buy my first suit, a green one, and seemed so proud of me along with many others at Arlington CofC. They have left a legacy with me!
  6. The power of writing to communicate love. It’s been a blessing to be at churches where encouragement cards and notes are a tool used for building up the body. Words, blessings, prayers, and thoughts of kindness mean everything to me.
  7. The sunshine of our Spring season so far. The start of Spring has been amazing to Houston so far and reminds me of Gods creative beauty.
  8. Sinks where the faucet actually reaches out far enough so hands don’t touch the sink when I wash my hands. Silly small thing but seriously!!

Morning by Morning (3/27/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. House hunting (rental) with Liz. It’s really awesome to begin imagining what life looks like as a family and see visions of life in the places we are looking at.
  2. Growing into the person who sees beauty and growing opportunities in the major struggles of life. Unemployment for a bit before TCH, divorce, painful family drama, children’s lives at the hospital…opportunities to grow into who I am and meant to be.
  3. Morgan Schaefer. She’s been a great privilege to work with for a family I’ve been supporting, and she has managed all the elements with grace and skill and a helpful laidbackness!
  4. JV Estrella. I still remember the first time we met and talked a long time through the night. He came into our family and brought love for my grandparents and a joyful personality. Much love! Happy birthday!
  5. The challenge of trying to minimize the material stuff in my life.
  6. My Ryan boy. Just loving each picture I get of him at school.

Morning by Morning (3/26/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan and Liz making pizza together. I love Ryan’s investment in what he makes.
  2. Ryan’s desire and excitement to read 6 books before bedtime last night. This is so exciting!
  3. Chris Sims as my handoff at shift change. Yesterday was a very hard day and I had the ability to hand off to an evening chaplain and not to be late to Ryan. His presence and my trust in his work was a welcome sight at 5pm, and for that matter, always is!
  4. The words of encouragement from Lavender in our random text conversation yesterday. So so wonderful!
  5. Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff. He and his family prepared a simple feast and provided a reading of a Megillah (Esther) with hamentaschen to celebrate Purim last week. His faithfulness regardless of the number of people attending and a commitment to celebrating and teaching was a privilege.
  6. All the tech that allows me to do my PCN Advisory Council work with much more ease than there could be- like my iPad and my office computer. Without them and their ease, the membership and conference registration would be a mountain of trouble for me.

Morning by Morning (3/25/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Preaching at church again, and having an opportunity to share Christ’ love and presence and for God to work through me in that way.
  2. Liz as a rock for me. This weekend we had two different opportunities for her to support with her strength and encouragement, and both times she did it with class, with courage, and with love.
  3. DeAndre and his girlfriend Carisma. She has brought great beauty to his life and he has brought joy to mine.
  4. Quality time and laughter with all the cousins at the park and butterfly museum. It was a great weekend and great for Ryan to continue to growing in his personality with them. Ryan is more little boy every day and especially with his cousins.
  5. Jacqui’s (sister in law) deep and enduring motherly love for her children.
  6. This hilarious comic about enneagram 9’s and our aversion to conflict!

Morning by Morning (3/22/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s excitement waiting for his cousins to come. That smile for family is just too good.
  2. Developing better relationships between Ryans mom, Liz, and me. It is helpful for us to feel positive and for Ryan to see us all together positively.
  3. Leaving the hospital. Today was a long long day. Just was.
  4. The Little Passports that Liz got for Ryan. Today it arrived for the month and it had painting and explored the art of the world. It was fun to watch Ryan paint and play for a good while tonight.

Morning by Morning (3/21/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s love of our play. Last night I looked at his last 20 news of the week, and 14 of them mentioned our play or something fun we were doing. It was humbling and joy filling at the same time.
  2. The collegiality and flexibility of my 5 colleagues at Texas Childrens. I would not be as sane or well adjusted over 7 years at Texas Childrens without them.
  3. The gift of routine as a parent, both for Ryan and me.
  4. The Fullers, a couple whom I admire for their active faith and far reaching hospitality and thoughtful intentionality in all they do.
  5. Seeing family this weekend and anticipating Ryan’s joy seeing his cousins!!
  6. The colors of blue that fill my apartment, colors of the beach. Blue, aqua, teal, tan, and dark blue. These are the colors of relaxation and calm that I welcome every day.

Morning by Morning (3/20/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The opportunity to preach at Southwest Central this week again. I am humbled to be asked to voice a word from God for this week!
  2. Lauren A, a RN at the hospital who is leaving to work closer to home. It has been such a pleasure to work with her and see her fire for good nursing, her quality and skill as a nurse, and her loyalty and leadership among her PICU team. I appreciate you Lauren!
  1. Gods forgiveness and Ryan’s forgiveness when I lose my temper with Ryan. Last night I had a moment that I wish Ryan didn’t see, but I appreciate their love in the face of it.
  1. The beautiful yellow daisy bouquet in my apartment living area that is bringing color and calm to me.
  2. Ryan’s small collection of cars that we play with many nights.
  3. Toast with butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

Morning by Morning (3/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My playtime with Ryan right after work. Yesterday, it was full of soccer, tball, tag, hide and seek, and lots of running and laughter. That 30 minutes is precious, and while I am not always great at not looking at my phone from time to time, it is still pure joy.
  2. Ryan’s openness and appreciation for Liz picking him up from school.
  3. The sky staying lighter longer. I love this stretch between time changes.
  4. The devotions from Henri Nouwen and Richard Rohr. These both encourage and challenge me as I try to live out my faith.
  5. Seeing a child and his family in the ICU (for a good reason) I haven’t seen in a while. It’s a true gift to celebrate a child’s growth and hear the stories of that child that give their personality life.
  6. Ryan’s love of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The school celebrated it and he made art for it…and we just love it!
  7. The Deer Park and other city firefighters as they protect the people in the area from the chemical fire. It’s pretty crazy but their work is just as good.

Morning by Morning (3/18/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Being loved by Liz. Her love flows in so many ways and blesses me so greatly. Truly blessed to have her as a partner.
  2. The awesome corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes that Liz readied for our dinner last night. So so good!
  3. Serving in PCN with Lindsay Bona, who is so personable and genuine but also wise and funny as all get out. I appreciate her leadership in PCN, leadership at Advocate, and her friendship. Happy birthday Lindsay!
  4. The loving kindness and joy of Luci Bell. Happy birthday Luci!
  5. Daniel and Lindsay Marolf, and the lovely dinner and fellowship we shared last night. I felt so encouraged by the non stop laughter, the storytelling, and the relaxation.
  6. Rolling on the floor laughing with Ryan yesterday. It’s so fun to just focus on play time and hear his pure laughter.
  7. Getting to take the communion every week. It’s such a fundamental part of my life and my faith that I look forward to every Sunday.