Morning by Morning (9/30/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Gods peace and presence, through the beautiful and challenging alike. His peace truly truly can pass understanding, but it is a gift that I have to return to constantly.
  2. The little hummingbird who visited my parents house on Friday just before we went to the service. Gods little graces all around.
  3. Ryans return to our home from a weekend away. Liz and I love his return and the liveliness and energy and spirit he brings to our family.
  4. Christian Urquidi and our friendship over 5 years at the hospital.
  5. Joseph Cordero, the night chaplain who covers us on weekdays. Every night it feels like he blesses our families with his experience, his perceptiveness, and his deep calm. He is so well versed in rituals of all kinds, and so well received because he loves these families so fully. God bless him.
  6. Seeing Cambry and Justin honor their dads legacy through humor, heart, and storytelling.
  7. Hang out time with Cambry, Adam, and Jon on Friday night.
  8. Participating in the joy of weddings and seeing the uniqueness of each couple through their wedding ceremony and reception.

Morning by Morning (9/26/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Valuing every moment I have with Liz and Ryan. Yesterday and this week on the whole have reminded me of how valuable each breath and heartbeat are.
  2. Jo Sandifer. It takes a whole lot of heart and courage and patience to be married to a minister, but she has been a minister herself to many through honesty, sacred words through cards, supplying the needs of others, and hospitality to those who are sick and hurting. She inspires me to be attentive to the small things for other people because God does.
  3. Dr. Acuff in the Heart Center. There are few better physicians that can engage families, have hard conversations, and put her heart into her healing like she does.
  4. That moment my mom picks you up from the airport that week I’ve had lots of grief. Just right.
  5. Liz’s HCC friends who continue to bless her and bless us as a couple, especially Luis and Kristen. Love these two!
  6. The album “One” from Birdtalker. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich sound and easy vibes.
  7. Watching Ryan learn to manage his fear that he can’t do something. Pretty special.
  8. The kind and gentle El Salvadoran Uber driver this morning. He was perceptive and a better listener than most.
  9. The Phoenix airport. It’s so easy to navigate.

Morning by Morning (9/25/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Being a part of Kolter Elementary family, and getting to show it with Spirit night last night.
  2. The enduring support Liz has given me during my grief for Thornley, Bailey, Stephanie, and Ron. My partner for life!
  3. The memorial for Stephanie Wade. Her love of One Direction, her courage, her honesty, and her commitment to Jesus were honored today by family, friends, and church alike. I was humbly blessed to be there.
  4. Maureen “Mo” Clemens. Her sweet spirit and commitment to community helped my parents neighborhood and gave my parents, especially my dad, great purpose. She’s a gift to my parents undoubtedly. Happy belated birthday Mo!
  5. Ashley Parrott Murray. What a blessing to the PICU she is! Grace, passion, leadership, and glue for the team! I also respect her wisdom and the way joy exudes from her as she reflects Gods presence in the world. Happy birthday Ashley!
  6. Linda Foster, and her gentle love for Doug and the church and her welcome of me many times into her home. Also, her cheese grits was my first exposure as a West Coaster to grits, and they were good. Happy birthday Linda!
  7. Celebrating the Heart Center and Legacy Tower move this time last year. A fruitful move and an honor to be part of both phases of the new tower opening and to be a first hand observer of the great work within.
  8. Playing Candyland with Ryan, and losing way more often than should happen statistically.
  9. Fun memories with friends

Morning by Morning (9/24/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The daily smiley faces on Ryans behavior sheet.
  2. Lauren Myers. She has been a welcoming nurse in the Heart Center, and I love her consistent detail, her acumen, and her focus. I appreciate the opportunity to see her bless these kids.
  3. Transplant physicians and surgeons. They do an amazing work. For the girl I remembering at a memorial, she was blessed twice to receive organs and receive what she called the best care from the transplant docs.
  4. The mesmerizing and humbling sight of seeing a kid with an open chest while they heal from surgery. It is truly amazing.
  5. Vicki Rupe, who has been a good friend since long ago. She hosted me for a summer while I got my head together, shared the joy of baseball with me, and blessed me and the Arlington youth group with her love. Thank you Vicki!
  6. The Ehiorobo family at Bering. Evelyn was perhaps one of the first to engage Ryan and Osasu and the kids are constantly serving. Gods love is strong in them.
  7. The flowers that survived the Tropical Storm.
  8. Sharing the good news of the wedding and married life. Sharing pics, telling stories, bringing smiles- letting the joy of my weekend weekend be a gift that others can share with me.
  9. The Southwest Central teen room. Many good memories there, and many great teens have crossed through there and still do.

Morning by Morning (9/23/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ron Pardee. A good soul, a wise man, and an extremely generous spirit. I remember his love of motorcycles, his love for teaching, and his love for God. But, I remember the way he loved his wife Cyndi, and the giant smile he had when he was around his two sons. I am so thankful to have gotten to know him and be blessed by his life. Ron, you are already missed.
  2. Tripp, one of Ryans friends at Bering and the first friend he made there. Happy birthday Tripp!
  3. Silly photos with my brothers Joe and Josh!
  4. The different learning opportunities Ryan has in Kinder- morning tubs, STEM projects, a poetry folder, family projects, and so many other things.
  5. My eyes. During our gratitude time at bed, Ryan reminded me that his eyes made him happy so he could see. Indeed.
  6. Our new comforter and sheets. Thanks to those who brought them to Liz’s shower!
  7. Watching soccer as a family, and seeing Ryan enjoy the Dynamo game for the first time.
  8. Having homemade pizza.

Morning by Morning (9/21/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Our date night to Down House last night. What great food and a beautiful girl to go out with!
  2. Liz’s memory of everyone I talk about at the hospital.
  3. Ryan learning to love reading!
  4. Peggy Sampson. Her gentleness and kindness are a reflection of God.
  5. Betty Linder, and her quiet faith and love for people. She shows up to love others through hospitality and consistent support.
  6. Jill Ann Jarrell, and her bubbliness and leadership and compassion that she always brings to the practice of physician. We are blessed at TCH with her presence.
  7. Eugenia Lai. The detailed work and passion she gives to the Catholic families at the hospital is exquisite and earns respect all the time.
  8. The presence of my family during my wedding weekend.
  9. The return of the sunshine this weekend.

Morning by Morning (9/20/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My parents and Liz’s parents for being people I share joy with.
  2. Adam Boatz. It was great to see him at the wedding and great to have him as a friend.
  3. Virgil Fry, and for his wise humor and wrestling faith.
  4. Carol Fry, and the way she has made an impact on my life though I only knew her a little. Through Virgil, Kacie, and Kyle, she has left her mark in my life.
  5. A family I know well who is having a memorial service for their teenage superhero today. That young man is a beacon of hope, heart, and inspiration, and his parents showed grace and love to him and to the staff to the fullest extent. So much love for them!
  6. Our lovely, kind, and big hearted neighbors. They have been so nice, and they all love their dogs too!
  7. Liz’s Fulbright and Polish friends I got to meet at the wedding. Stephen, Magda, Aga, Zach, Gabby, Matt, and others were awesome people!
  8. Stephanie Lenoir. I got to know her at TCH and just love her energy and excitement about anything. She is a fantastic RT and even better mother!
  9. A short commute into work!

Morning by Morning (9/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My home being safe in the storms and having no flood damage at this point. TS Imelda was tough- at two points we worries about flooding but thankfully everything is okay for us.
  2. The immense resources that will be provided for the people in East Texas and Beaumont in particular who have been flooded and decimated by TS Imelda. They need them.
  3. Ryans pride in his work at school! And for finally giving a good pic too!
  4. Liz and I getting to play some board games while we waited and watched the rain pour down and water rise in the street.
  5. Alese Henderson, and the friendship she offered during my time at Memorial Hermann. She was always the most lovely, kind, and bubbly nurse, and she was always super fun to work with! Happy birthday Alese!
  6. Our wedding flowers, stunningly and simply designed by HEB. They are so lovely and welcome me into the house every day.
  7. The kindness of colleagues to let me leave early to be home and watch the house and dog during the downpour.
  8. Listening to Thornley Hochs memorial service. What a gift of joy! I loved hearing the stories and the narrative of his life shared by Steve Sandifer.
  9. Bagels with lox cream cheese. I don’t know why I love it so much but I do! Thanks to New York Deli for the awesome bagels that are so good.
  10. Great champagne.

Morning by Morning (9/18/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A successful, effective, and enlightening parent teacher meeting with Ryans teacher. I walked away feeling comfortable, confident he was in good hands, and well informed on how Ryan is doing.
  2. Passing through the tropical storm and having no flood issues around our house or any issues with work either. Grateful for the relief!
  3. The PT’s and OT’s of the Heart Center. They are an inspiring bunch that help patients and families see their inner strength and pursue hope. Love them!
  4. Carlos Sanchez, one of my supervisors at Memorial Hermann. He was so relaxed and had a unique way of mentoring through his narrative and easy going style. And he loves soccer. Thankful for his role in developing my career!
  5. Brent Peery, another mentor chaplain and friend at Memorial Hermann. He is such a good family man and spiritual support to families. I am grateful for the time to shadow and learn from him.
  6. Women in ministry. I am grateful for each woman who has preached and taught and served in ministry and taken risk to do so to share their powerful and profound voice and wisdom. Props and respect to those women reflecting Jesus and following his call- we need them.
  7. Our leftover wedding rehearsal and wedding reception food. Thanks to El Tiempo and Mia Bella! It was so good!
  8. The generosity of so many to help Liz and I stock our house with things/blessings from our registry. People are generous and love us! We are blessed indeed.

Morning by Morning (9/17/19)

My wedding edition daily gratitude for:

  1. Waking up next to Liz Denham! So good.
  2. Liz’s vows, which were funny and deeply heartfelt vows. Let the adventure begin and continue! Indeed.
  3. Ryan walking me down the aisle, and at some point he was walking ahead pulling me with joy. This just was perfect and was exactly what I wanted.
  4. The thoughtful, inspiring, and covenantal ceremony that Steve Sargent wrote and shared over us.
  5. Having Joe and Josh with me over the weekend. My brothers are studs and just awesome guys who go out of their way to help, support, and have fun with others.
  6. The moment we got to look over our wedding party, and see all the family and friend faces that have and still continue to bless us. Parents, brothers, kids, colleagues, church friends, fellow backpackers, prayerful people, friends who are nothing but family…all who are a gift and joy to us.
  7. The photography from Rachel Whittington. She was so kind and generous, always encouraging, and really easy going.
  8. Hosting a rehearsal dinner and bagel brunch at our house. I’m grateful to have a place to host so many people and host it with joy and laughter filling the home.
  9. The playlists and music support I got from Mike Bell. Where would I be without this man in my corner!