Morning by Morning (7/31/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The nearing of vacation to California. I am excited and anticipating the family time, the being a tourist (although I’m not), Ryan’s time with my family, no humidity, and lots of fun all around.
  2. Stephanie Wade. As a teenager, she has shown strength, faith, resilience, and the power of humor along a tough journey at times, which has included transplant, PICU hospitalizations, and many medical issues. Happy birthday Stephanie!!
  3. The Jensen family and their hilarity and faith. Brett, Kurt, and Eric were always fantastic and while obedient and faithful always brought laughter in sarcasm and wit. 3 of my favorite guys!
  4. The connecting power of music. I have loved talking Rolling Stones or Lizzo or The Mowglis with anyone this past week thanks to watching some performances and singing like crazy!
  5. Martha Clark and her giving spirit. Happy birthday Martha!
  6. Learning from other dads.
  7. The comfortable couches we have in our house.
  8. Easy and close access to a highway. Being born and raised in SoCal has taught me quite a bit and this can be such a blessing!

Morning by Morning (7/30/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The gift of trust from the families and parents I serve. I can only imagine how tough it is to trust your most vulnerable emotions and most precious of things (a child). I am so humbled when families allow me in.
  2. Zahraa al-Lawati. What a great experience it was to see her provide amazing medical care! Further, I am grateful for the way she used her presence and authority gently but powerfully to advocate for the families she served. She is so full of compassion! Happy birthday Zahraa!
  3. Paul Byrd, one of the funniest and perceptive chaplains I know. Very good man I am glad to know. Happy birthday Paul!
  4. The unbelievable complex function of the heart as an organ. Wow, I had no clue until I started in the Heart Center.
  5. The summertime weeks I have Ryan. Weeks like this remind me of the laughs and adventures that we (Liz and I) miss when he isn’t here.
  6. Hearing the rev of an engine…well at least the powerful engines! Beautiful.
  7. The giant windows next to my desk that enable me to have some distraction watching clouds, some spirit lifting seeing the sun, and some reflection with the background of the sky.
  8. The safety and protection that our newish Honda CR-V brings my family. It’s not perfect as any vehicle is not, but it’s enough to appreciate what it provides to me as a parent.

Morning by Morning (7/29/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Family movie night with Finding Nemo! We loved it and loved the relaxing time.
  2. Getting to take engagement photos and look at my beautiful bride to be in her cute dresses!
  3. Phil and Barbara Rice and their beautiful hospitality and joyfulness. They truly give of themselves, but I think what is even better is how genuine and true to themselves they are. I love them so much! Prayers for Phil’s continued recovery.
  4. Glenn Harpers kindness to let me join him for a Skeeters baseball game this week. I look forward to our good hangout time.
  5. Daniel and Elysia Shanks. Their genuineness as a couple and love for laughing are such an encouragement to me.
  6. Celebrating good vacation time for my colleagues and I after long seasons in the hospital. Enjoy vacation Natalie!
  7. Playing Scrabble with Liz. And even winning from time to time!

Morning by Morning (7/27/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ocean waves and sun, together!
  2. Ruben Lopez and Juan Jimenez, my two best friends during the first two years of high school. These guys were hilarious and were more than supportive in showing up during hard times. Love them and their families!
  3. Trips with fellow teens when I was in high school, including road trips to Utah with the Mormon youth, scout camp with my Boy Scout troop (306!), and Bible Bowl trips with Arlington teens anywhere and everywhere southwest US. Just joyful.
  4. The Shipley’s cashier who was so playful and kind to let Ryan pay for our donuts with practice counting the money.
  5. Road trips.
  6. Playing Sorry with Ryan and Liz. Ryan takes after his dad and loves cheating lol!
  7. The love Ryan has for both Reba and Bailey.

Morning by Morning (7/26/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The opportunity to share in meditation with and hear the simple yet profound wisdom of His Eminence Ling Rinpoche at TCH today. It’s simple wisdom, but powerful encouragement towards cultivating compassion and desiring good for others.
  2. The Buddhist nurses and staff I work with whose groundedness and compassion speak volumes.
  3. Mel, a Heart Center nurse who speaks with great love and acumen as a passionate and loving nurse. She lives the kids she cares for and has a special voice in the face of difficult and challenging cases and loves encouraging families in their journey. I have appreciated her welcome to me so much!!
  4. Ryan’s love for water.
  5. Holding a baby that has been in the hospital a long time and whose family is so special to me. His eyes and sweet spirit while I held little C just made my day!
  6. Meaningful 5 minute visits as a chaplain. These can be so helpful and fulfilling for me and helpful to connect with families.
  7. Game playing with the Lucas’s! Love that!
  8. Quality pepperoni pizza.

Morning by Morning (7/25/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The smiles that greet me from Liz and Ryan in the evening when I return from work.
  2. The beautiful girl that calls me fiancée. Love you Liz!
  3. The Pepperdine SLA (Spiritual Life Advisor- like a chaplain for a dorm) program, which I served in from 2003-2005. Both years provided valuable experience in success and failure and walking alongside. It was there I found great mentors like Ezra, Bryan, Brad, Jonathan, Grace, Travis, and others, but also where I found great support myself.
  4. The nurses and their spouses who I have performed weddings for. I regularly think about the beautiful relationships that I officiated for and have so much gratitude for having even a small part in their lives together.
  5. The nursing leadership of the Heart Center, who have such a good pulse on the staff they lead. It reminds me of the amazing nurse leadership I saw in PICU!
  6. Our participation in the Bering Drive CofC young couples and their hospitality towards us and Liz especially
  7. Fresh coffee, fresh being the operative word.
  8. The way sunlight comes through trees and brings beauty in its rays.

Morning by Morning (7/24/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Watching Ryan play with other kids! Fills my heart with joy.
  2. The amazing fall like morning that was so beautiful, sunny, and cool. So awesome to walk out to!
  3. Naomi Walters, an appreciated friend from ACU whose reflection and intentionality reveal a deep faith and discipleship as a woman, a wife, a mother, a preacher, and a friend. Happy birthday Naomi!
  4. The Garza family and the dedicated bonds of family and love that they stand for. Their love for Caleb and each other are enduring and exude joy in all the great ways, and they are the best storytellers!!! I am so touched by how they grieve well for Caleb and remember him so beautifully. (Family is pictured)
  5. The boundless energy of children, healthy and not so healthy, whose spirit is brighter and more powerful than anyone I know. This is true of kids in the hospital as much for the kids I know who are healthy.
  6. Technology that is seamless and is truly easy to use.

Morning by Morning (7/23/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Reading with Ryan, especially when he wants to get silly!
  2. Our family time and game playing together.
  3. DeAndre Gibbs, my favorite teenager and young man. There are few things I love more than watching him play with Ryan and reflect great maturity as a man. Happy birthday DeAndre!
  4. Morgan Sullivan, a child lifer at the hospital whose gifts and compassion have blessed those in the pulm and lung transplant world. I love working with her! Happy birthday Morgan!
  5. The immense efforts Liz gives to our household, through cooking, care of Ryan, laundry, errands, and so many things!
  6. Playing baseball as a kid in the field at our old Crest house. Those were fun times and times that I hope I get to share with Ryan and Aiden in their own ways.
  7. Ryan’s joy being a helper around the house.
  8. Warm showers in the morning. I know that many people in this world don’t even get showers, let alone a warm one.
  9. Nutella at breakfast time.

Morning by Morning (7/22/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The adventurous weekend split between my partner Liz and one of best friends Stephen. They made for a great weekend full of fun!
  2. Ryan’s deep sleep face (see pic)
  3. Ryan Coleman. He’s just good in so many ways. I think about his physician skill, his role as husband, his role as father, and his role as friend, and believe in the goodness he creates around him. Fantastic blessing to know him! Happy birthday Ryan!
  4. Colby H, a PT at TCH who is so playful and encouraging in her therapy with kids. That kind of presence is needed. Happy birthday Colby!
  5. Nirica Borges. I have been very touched and inspired by her generosity and faith as a physician. Serving with her always feels like she is serving families with full hearted ness. I love it. Happy birthday Nirica!
  6. The wind and waves of the Gulf yesterday. I felt the smallness and wonder being out there and appreciated the calm hearing waves and the sway of the water.
  7. Partnership that gives space for individuality and personal time. Thanks Liz!
  8. Hilarious comics (see pic)

Morning by Morning (7/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The surprise gift to eat lunch with Liz and Ryan and Aiden today. I needed the good hugs of Liz and Ryan, Ryan’s energy and excitement for hospital elevators, and Liz’s love and support for Aiden’s baseball and Ryan’s coloring.
  2. Watching kids rehabbing from major heart issues and celebrating their standing up for the first time. I saw this twice this week and it’s amazing!
  3. Shannon Colvin, a doctor at TCH who has always been so friendly and appreciative of chaplains. She’s always cared about listening to the families she serves, and has shown her character to be full of laughter and a refreshing kindness.
  4. Maya, a fellow Pepperdine alum and Lifeline intern back in 2005. I appreciated her friendship and kindness and love seeing her enjoy life in Europe. Happy birthday Maya!
  5. The unbelievable achievement and wonder of a moon landing. It brings me so much wonder to think about the breathless act of stepping on the moon after rocketing out of the atmosphere of Earth and crossing across space to our moon. For the many that worked on every piece of equipment and prepped and prepped and had a part in communicating this awesome thing. So grateful to watch and hear this landing and to celebrate its 50th anniversary!
  6. The widening of the Braes Bayou, since it will help the flooding around my neighborhood.
  7. Vinology, a wine store and tasting bar with a fantastic owner, Ricardo. It’s so fun to see him and listen to him geek on wine.
  8. Beautiful summer red wines.