Morning by Morning (3/31/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The nurses, doctors, staff, and others who are going into work still. As a chaplain, I am still considered essential, and I am still going but less often, and I respect those that have to continue as normal.
  2. The day being done. Super long day, with meltdowns all around, so this was a well earned evening!
  3. Grace Chang. Just love seeing her Around the CICU and having her refreshing honesty and openness about herself. Happy birthday Grace!
  4. The poem, “The Flower in the Window”. Just brought joy to me tonight.
  5. Ryans cute pic with my hat!
  6. The health of my parents and health of my in laws at this point during social distancing, both physically and mentally hanging in.
  7. Ashley Cobb. She and her family are always on my mind and heart! And happy birthday Ashley!

Morning by Morning (3/30/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The Environmental Services staff that cleans, sanitizes, and protects our patients and staff and often get little credit. Our TCH staff is so grateful for them.
  2. Doug and Ruth Sellers. Dougs simplicity and faith will always be his legacy. And Ruth’s directness, her endurance in her convictions, and smile will always be a reminder of my joy at Oplin CofC.
  3. Bob and Laurie Norris’s humor and integrity in being who they are as people and parents and workers.
  4. Hearing from PCN colleagues in the midst of everything.
  5. Pam K’s consistency brings our Monday morning on call chaplain. Her consistency overall is a blessing, but especially her commitment to Monday’s for the last years has been helpful!
  6. The friends from my Psi U class of 2002, some of whom have made a long ranging impact on me even if we are not as close now- Dan, Kris, Ken, Jay, and Lance to name some.
  7. Ryans computer skills over his short lifetime…lol.

Morning by Morning (3/29/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The Bering “Living Room Church” that Liz and I got to enjoy! It was so lovely to see faces from all around and see the smiles and hear the challenges each of our friends are meeting.
  2. Keeping in touch with all of my family during this time.
  3. The courage of my mom and dad as they work and support each other and so many of my family. It takes a lot to bear the worry of others as my mom does for family and face it in many ways like my dad does as helps keep the homes running with electricity and water of all those social distances folks in Riverside.
  4. Walking the beach (mostly solo) with Liz yesterday and hearing the consistently faithful crashing of the small waves. Soothing.
  5. Public health experts. We need their wisdom, and they are delivering with courage to people who are restless, losing jobs, and scared and still trying to be rooted in their expertise.
  6. The delivery drivers who are keeping the supply chain moving.
  1. Playing Hand and Foot and all the other fun card games. I will always be grateful for that first night I learned with Stephen, Dawn, Belinda, and Sherry.

Morning by Morning (3/28/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The anniversary of our engagement!!! Ryan proposed for me accidentally and that day will always be special for the yes that was given.
  2. My role with the PCN Advisory Council and all the gifted chaplains and compassionate people I have gotten to connect with.
  3. Being a rock and support for Liz.
  4. The support resources that we have for helping healthcare workers, families, and our kids cope through these times. The Schwartz Center, Child Life, NAGC, APC, NACC, and many others are awesome.
  5. Katie Bien. I appreciate how she uses her voice for justice, how she advocates for the nurses, how intuitive she is, and her hearty faith and humor.
  6. The FaceTimes Liz and I get with Ryan when he is not with us.
  7. The birds chirping all around. I love the return of the birds in spring!

Morning by Morning (3/27/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz’s constant gratitude, for things big and small. This is a clear skill set she brings to our partnership.
  2. Ryans love of Gerald and Piggie books.
  3. Sarah Spadaccini, one of Liz’s best friends and one wonderful and very thoughtful mother. Happy birthday Sarah!
  4. Kendall Ramey! Awesome nurse I love working with! Happy birthday Kendall!
  5. Kathy Salvati. Every time I get to catch up we have great chats and I feel encouraged and affirmed and laugh filled!
  6. Kolters structure that has been implemented to keep their students in school and learning. Stunning actually.
  7. A weekend of down time with Liz.
  8. Hearing babies cry. It’s a complete treasure, even when they are upset. Some don’t get to hear those cries at all, and the parents I serve all know that what they hear is not for granted.

Morning by Morning (3/25/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Our chaplain conference call yesterday where I got to almost all of my colleagues and share laughter and check in on our families.
  2. The great joy of telling stories and facilitating story telling, from family and friends and families at the hospital. Stories are the stuff of hope!
  3. Cynthias surprise visit yesterday!
  4. The Persian friends I know that have been blessings in their unique ways- Amir, Sam, and Hussein among others!
  5. Our bikes! They are so fun! (And don’t mind the jazz hands- Ryan caught me at an odd moment!)
  6. Dog walks.
  7. The good wine that Liz and I are enjoying at home these days! Thanks to Vindemia and Vintners Hideaway for their good stuff.

Morning by Morning (3/24/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz’s great cooking during this time of staying home. She is managing her quarantine with delicious food!
  2. Ms Richardson’s guidance and wisdom helping us set up Ryans continuing quarantine education through a school station and activity ideas.
  3. Sarah Knoll Sweeney’s posts you us chaplains deepening and affirming our skill sets as providers of compassion and care during the COVID time.
  4. The patience and peace of God that passes understanding and gives grace to be concerned but faithful in action in anxious times.
  5. The warm weather that is allowing us good outside quality time as a family.
  6. Hearing Ryan say, “I’m proud of myself” instead of simply wanting me to say it to him.
  7. Teaching Ryan to be cleanly, like putting away dishes, vacuuming, hand washing and putting away his toys. I know he will go in and out of these things as a kid, but teaching him is good still.

Morning by Morning (3/23/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz and I getting Ryan back today. It’s always a true joy having our family full and often more exhausted because of the good play.
  2. This beautiful striped Barbados lily that has bloomed in our backyard!
  3. All those who are practicing physical distancing and quarantining.
  4. The relief of knowing I will still be able to work without draining PTO. This is an outright privilege and I don’t take it for granted, especially since I must protect myself so that I am okay to serve others in the hospital.
  5. Naguib Kedeas and his sense of community and Gods steadfast love. I love his smile and warmth and Egyptian hospitality!
  6. Having a small garden. We planted jalapeños, Serrano’s, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and squash, as well as sunflower seeds for Liz and Ryan.
  7. Warm showers and good walks that both make for good mornings.

Morning by Morning (3/22/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The sense that the world is in this together. I wish we weren’t all doing the corona virus thing, but this is a positive.
  2. The creative ways people are finding to serve and support- bringing masks to the hospital, restaurants providing meals to families in the hospitals, food banks adjusting, people making calls to check on others, etc.
  1. Aiden and Ryans quality time together during this time of schools being off. (And notice that Pepperdine hat! Appreciate that too!)
  1. Chris and Natalie Peters, and the truly good friendship they bring Liz and I.
  2. Daniel and Lindsay Marolf, and the joy they carry with them through life.
  3. Our working vehicles that allow us take beautiful drives around Houston and get out of the house while still doing good distancing.
  4. Elizabeth Hawkins, another chaplains whose faith and creativity in the palliative world has been a gift from afar.
  5. Getting our spices organized…and by spices I mean the 200that we had! It’s good feeling like we can find the stuff we need for recipes so easily.

Morning by Morning (3/19/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Those donating blood right now.
  2. Liz’s joy and energy for those who need that positivity in this time, including me of course.
  3. Ryan reading the Bible with me yesterday morning. He was so cute saying that he wanted to bring it to church like daddy brings his bible to church.
  4. Our safe and welcoming neighborhood.
  5. The sweet notes Ryan writes to me so often. He is a sweet boy and those notes are so meaningful.
  6. Scott and Laura Bard, as a couple who Liz and I appreciate for their energy, partnership, and thoughtful faith.
  7. Rolfe and Carol Johnson, who were among the first and probably the most excited to greet us our first weeks at Bering.
  8. Kellie Thiem. She works so hard in the CV and is a gift through her kind hearted ness, sweet spirit, and calm mind. Happy birthday Kellie!