Morning by Morning (4/30/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Gods rest.
  2. The image of embrace I see in the father and son in the pictures/paintings of the Prodigal Son story. That embrace is so drawing and stirring to me.
  3. Seeing Fatma, Kendall, Jessica, Grace, and Julia today around the Heart Center. The conversation and friendship are lovely!
  4. Maria Church, one of our new chaplains whose faith and desire to live in Gods love is an encouragement to me.
  5. Affirming the practice and meaning of Ramadan for our Muslim families and staff at TCH.
  6. Being entrusted to be a clergy surrogate at Memorial Hermann for patients who need a voice.
  7. A warm lunch right when I needed it.

Morning by Morning (4/29/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Cynthia Ownby’s wonderful ministry as well as friendship with Liz. A presence of peace, honest faith, and genuine openness to the other. Happy birthday Cynthia!
  2. Our family bike rides in the evening, which is so much easier and fun with Ryan riding independently.
  3. Brittany Koehn. I really appreciate her focus at work, her gentle strength, and the advocacy and standing up for good that she consistently brings.
  4. Justin Pardee. Seeing your reflections on your life makes me aware of living faithfully and honestly and is a good example of the pursuit of a Jesus loving husband and father. I appreciate your passion for principles and thinking through each interaction situation as thoughtfully as possible. Appreciate you!
  5. Laughing at bad luck or failures. I left my window open overnight and there just happened to be a lot of rain…and sharing laughter about it is healing! (To some extent!)
  6. Having the large tree trimmed just before the massive storm last night. There were a lot of branches that fell last night and I think we got lucky.
  7. Easy decisions. With all the info, data, stats, expertise, and opinions around on COVID, I am struck at how few of these decisions and when and what are easy to answer. Thus, easy decisions sound great.

Morning by Morning (4/28/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Snuggles with Liz and Ryan.
  2. Dalia Bashir, whose faith and liveliness I just love. Oh, and awesome physician to boot! Ramadan Kareem friend!
  3. David Taylor. His friendship and curious mind were an encouragement through my time at ACU. He embodies Christian hospitality.
  4. All the fresh fruit and veggies (from locally sourced places) I’ve had this week. Strawberries, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and sugar snap peas. So blessed to eat and support our farmers so close to us.
  5. Memes that get me. And make me laugh out loud.
  6. The Webex call today among my chaplain colleagues at TCH. Good to see them.
  7. The nourishing rain that brought water to our plants in the back yard.

Morning by Morning (4/27/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan trying ground beef tacos! Another win for Liz and I!
  2. Hearing the waves at Sylvan Beach yesterday (even if we couldn’t get in). Waves are healing for us!
  3. Brynn Childers, one of the best dads I know and man whose faith and grit bring great joy to his wife and family. Happy belated birthday Brynn!
  4. Stacey Fletcher, and her compassion and humor that were always a blessing when she was visiting Thornley.
  5. The people who cannot work because of the shutdown and are providing for kids or elderly and caring for their family in general. That’s a tough spot to be in and I am grateful for their courage.
  6. That epic drive across the US that Emeshea and Naomi and I got to experience in 2005. That was awesome!
  7. Getting some of the overgrown trees in our front yard trimmed today.

Morning by Morning (4/26/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Sharing masked fellowship with Phil and Barbara Rice yesterday!! Good godly encouraging fellowship!
  2. The Ehiorobo family. What a lovely crew and people of faith! I am always glad to see them on our virtual church service.
  3. Bridget Hughes Leading virtual worship, and Anna and Brandon and Tom Hughes musical leadership with her.
  4. The stuffed bear in our neighborhood that gives humor and hope.
  5. Ryan getting his haircut and looking quite cute!
  6. Scott Lambert’s ministry, care, and contagious joy as campus minister at Pepperdine. It was partly his encouragement that led me to Lets Start Talking and breaking open my future through that opportunity.
  7. The big field behind my childhood home and the big river bottom area near my friends homes. Those were amazing places to play and be let loose!
  8. Finding good local honey.

Morning by Morning (4/23/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Date nights to the Farmers Market (socially distanced and masked except for picture) with Liz, where we shared some exceptional Peruvian ceviche!!! Lovely date and awesome food!
  2. Rachel Leva, one of my good nurse friends whose smile and hospitality have been great encouragements to me throughout my TCH career. Happy birthday Rachel!
  3. Angela Carriaga, another nurse whose friendship has always brought me great joy. She is hilarious as can be, but her life experience, refreshing genuineness, and her commitment to her daughter is second to none…literally.
  4. Leilani Mijares, one of the most joyous and present people I know. I saw her gift in the PCU and saw her giftedness in leadership. Happy birthday Leilani!
  5. The poem, “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. It was so moving to read today. (https://poets.org/poem/kindness)
  6. My 5 senses. I know I could live and thrive without some of them, but each one brings so much goodness to my life.
  7. A week of good school work for Ryan. It was happier, less stressful (though not stress free), and flowed. Win for the Denham’s!

Morning by Morning (4/22/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Being a teacher for Ryan. It’s very special to be a person in his life that helps him “get it,” whatever it is, and to celebrate him when he does.
  2. My catch up FaceTime yesterday with one of my best friends, Steve Sargent.
  3. Jordana Goldman, one of my favorite physicians whose voice is strong and her bedside manner is excellent. I am always humbled by her ability to navigate complex medical concerns and think through problems and challenges.
  4. The Ratliff family. (Sally!) I am so grateful to have gotten to know them when they were in our neighborhood when I was in college.
  5. Earth Day. I have loved Kolters assignments this week that have connected with Earth day, and I have loved seeing the work of the Houston Zoo and our family and friends that seek to care for the world in which we live.
  6. Stores being continually stocked during this time. Tremendous work by the producers and deliverers!
  7. The Heart Center Leadership efforts at figuring our path forward in these hard times. Dr Caldarone, Dr Penny, Dr Shekerdemian, and our nursing director Carmen are on point.
  8. Making my first sourdough loaf! Thanks to Ann Hightower for the starter!

Morning by Morning (4/20/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Hilarious memes that keep me laughing!
  2. A really good Sunday as a family.
  3. Liz and I getting to have Aiden and Ryan around on Saturday and have quality time, laughter, and play together. I love all the elements of our family!
  4. My good health and the amazing work of lungs. Amazing really.
  5. Shelley Wrobel, one of my most supportive friends at TCH. She welcomed me to the PCU, listened as I celebrated and mourned patients and families, and was a joy to celebrate with as she got married and became a mother. Blessings Shelley!
  6. Ryan’s continuing to learn to ride without training wheels. It’s quite an awesome feeling to be a teacher for him.
  7. Michael Flamenco, a calming and lovely man whose support and encouragement always meant a lot when I was at Arlington CofC.
  8. Joining different worship groups at Bering and catching up with all of our friends.

Morning by Morning (4/17/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Liz’s amazing dinner of stuffed portobello caps last night. Super awesome delicious!
  2. The blessing of being called essential staff and having a stable job.
  3. Rachel Brownson, whose post today gave me the relief to breathe. This last two weeks have felt like endless Friday’s and sometimes I just don’t feel all that resilient.
  4. Andrea Lieblich, one of the sweetest nurses I know. Great to hear about her baking endeavors!!!
  5. Catching up with Megan and Danae sharing laughs about our coping at home! These are my people and I love serving with them!
  6. A full nights rest.
  7. The small businesses Liz and I support that are hanging on and adapting well. Thanks to all who support Kickin Kombucha, Vinology, House of Coffee Beans, Himalaya, and Watershed!
  8. The Houston Zoo’s daily zoo feed that gives up close fun with its animals to those of us who can’t visit.
  9. Getting our monthly pest control. Springtime brings lots of…fun!

Morning by Morning (4/16/20)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Leaders who have vision and bring calm.
  2. Dawn Marie Lucas. She has been a calming and loving presence in my life and has shown immense love to Ryan throughout his life. She is a gem and means the world to me and Liz and Ryan! Happy birthday Dawn Marie!
  3. David McDonald, one of the coolest people I know. He is one badass neighbor, and a better friend.
  4. Bernie Barboza, who with her late husband Robert were people of faith and Holy Spirit and gave themselves so completely to others and their community.
  5. Some of my friends from ACU who I don’t get to see much but who made impacts on me- Wilson McCoy, Brandon Pierce, Geoff Carroll, Austin Brennan, Will Smith, Adam Smith, Chris Boknevitz, Merrill Cotton, and so many others.
  6. The Hubble Telescope, and the sense of wonder it has opened us to.
  7. Being at an organization that has simulations, tabletop simulations, and attempts to imagine all the options in these challenging circumstances.