Morning by Morning (8/17/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan’s return tonight! My precious boy!!
  2. Having a good mix of single and married friends. This is so important my happiness and my self care.
  3. Jessica Evey, an RN who is a great advocate, a generous person, and a great joy!
  4. The embrace of God that I feel when I get hugged, or get to hug parents at the hospital.
  5. The life flexibility my work offers me.
  6. My ears, for the things I get to hear and the windows it offers me into the world and it’s people.

Morning by Morning (8/16/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Cooking dinner with Liz last night and having fun creating a simple meal. She is quite fun and makes hanging out relaxing.
  2. The OR staff at the hospital who have a giant heart and do phenomenal skilled work with the children that come to them.
  3. Watching Justin Verlander in person on Monday! He is an amazing pitcher and seeing his pitches move in person is crazy.
  4. Bailey’s laidback-ness, which is a perfect personality for my dog.
  5. Seeing my brother Josh, his wife Jacqui, and the three kids, Will, Elijah, and Hayley Mae this weekend. Ryan is going to love it!!!
  6. The comraderie of my colleagues at Texas Childrens.
  7. The power and meaning of compliments of the care I provide staff. Means so much.

Morning by Morning (8/14/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My apartment feeling like home.
  2. Walks around the small lake behind the apartment complex. It’s relaxing to see the calm waters every morning.
  3. The show Scrubs. I have no favorite show and it absolutely made my day this morning to see it on tv before work today.
  4. My brothers Josh and Joe. They are good brothers and good uncles.
  5. Getting to hang out with Liz tonight at an Astros game!
  6. This smile…

Morning by Morning (8/13/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The freefall of skydiving- so amazing and beyond anything I imagined!
  2. Shailendra Das, a physician and friend who is so gifted in so many ways, is both an advocate and a listener, and has a heart of gold for all those he is around and serves. Happy birthday Das!
  3. Kyle Fry, a great friend and a gifted musician and camp leader. I love his humor and love seeing him parent too. Happy birthday Kyle!
  4. That feeling of not wanting to go back to work on a Monday morning. The feeling itself is not awesome, but it usually tells me I had a great weekend and I am grateful to have a case of Monday’s for the cost of having had a good time before.
  5. Spending church service with Ryan in the nursery yesterday. I loved getting to play with him, make him laugh, sing a little to him, and play some make believe. I am missing my little man and that is what the doctor ordered.
  6. Taking my first strums on a guitar last night as I try to learn to play a little bit. (Another bucket list item and self growth sort of thing as I walk forward in my new life)

Morning by Morning (8/11/18)

My daily gratitude for:

Well, I can’t even begin the words for the gratitude I feel tonight. I could mention specific things like being tired because I have been around good friends for a couple days or because I got to play or disc golf or even because I went skydiving today! I could share that I am grateful for the Lucas family, who I got to share lunch with, or guy time with Stephen and Ben tonight.

I could say that I am grateful for talking to my brother and his kids and how we are planning to meet up sometime in the next two weeks. I’m so grateful for it. Or how I got to be encouraged by my parents for the skydiving and congratulated after, and how that was meaningful. Or even that I got to honor my late grandfather who had always wanted to skydive. Those are so meaningful to me.

I feel grateful for the hot weather, the comforting words of friends, the bizarre amount of support, getting to talk to a lady I like every day, and more. But I feel more than grateful for it all.

In spite of the most awful year of my life, I am having one of my best years of my life. And its amazing to be a part of.

You see, when I boarded the plane I got 15 minutes to think and wonder and reflect before I jumped. What a great metaphor for my life!?! It was a window out into what my gratitude really reflects and how gratitude creates courage. Sometimes, life is very hard, very scary, and very much about jumping off and out into the unknown that requires trust and commitment to yourself in no other way. Sometimes, grief and hurt can lock us up, or rather, lock me up. But in jumping out, causing deep pangs in my heart and stomach, and opening my eyes, I adjust then to the large world I can only fully see when you jump out. All of my grief wanted to take the easy way out, and just say no to jumping out. But this is the gift of that experience: knowing I am that kind of guy, with that kind of resilience, who says yes, who jumps because for no other reason than I trust that there is something good, something perhaps even better, if I face the fear of jumping out and falling. Trust, experience, jump.

Yes, I am very grateful. Grateful because I have great friends and finding more along the journey. Grateful because my family loves me to the heights and depths and their love is sustaining. Grateful because I get to explore myself in so many ways. Grateful to face hard and scary, and jump into it. Grateful because I am not alone, because God is with me, my son Ryan is with me, and others are with me. Grateful because no matter how much bad has been experienced, there has been so much good. And if I am willing to jump out, I am grateful because of the incredible good there will be.

Morning by Morning (8/10/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Sleeping in with Ryan by my side. There’s just something special about sleeping in while hearing your child snoozing as well.
  2. Playing with Ryan and knowing that I can make him laugh and smile at any time.
  3. Ryan handling his shots well this morning at the pediatrician.
  4. Hanging with some of favorite friends this afternoon, watching baseball, drinking some beer, talking sports. One of the best afternoons ever.
  5. The anticipation of a friend getting back from her vacation and looking forward to hanging out!
  6. Having the resources to have different kinds of fun and doing new things. It is appreciated and I know it is a blessing.
  7. Playing together with Ryan…

Morning by Morning (8/9/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Gods immense love in the midst of suffering. Every time I see a father or mother gently stroke their child’s face while in the hospital, or when a child feels Gods presence in prayer in the ICU, I marvel at the depth of the love present in hurting people. Yes, there are hard times when that love doesn’t feel as present, but his love is there.
  1. Honey vanilla chamomile tea. Delicious both morning and night.
  2. The amount of exercise I get from work, which I may grumble about from time to time but is actually a gift to keep my energy up on longer days and as exercise and steps help the mood with those tough emotions.
  3. The coming three day weekend, and the fun and joy and rest it represents.
  4. The amazing and delicious mussels in a white wine reduction that I had at Cafe Brussels last night. What an amazing meal!!!
  5. The photos of Ryan at school that Grace shares every day. They sustain me with great smiles!

Morning by Morning (8/8/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Rest. The sleep variety.
  2. The signals my body sends to me when it is tired and done. I rarely listen as well as I could but I see them as a gift nonetheless which can help guide me to what I need.
  3. The peace of my apartment when I arrived home tonight, lacking hospital beeps and sounds and just being quiet.
  4. The relative closeness of my life since the divorce- where I now live, I am close to work, close to Ryan’s school, close to church, close to friends, close to the city, etc. It is so nice!
  5. The guys who service my apartment and the complex. They are so quick to my service orders and they are so great with Ryan and Bailey too.

Morning by Morning (8/7/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My morning prayers on my walks with Bailey. Those prayers always seem a little more raw, a little more honest, and a little more vulnerable, and I treasure them.
  2. A short short commute to work.
  3. Shannon Thomas, a friend from old neighborhood who is so fun and relaxed and easygoing, and just good. She’s the kinda parent another parent enjoys because she seems so relaxed and understanding with her kids. Happy birthday Shannon!
  4. Having a covered parking garage at work and home so my car rarely is super hot when I come back to it.
  5. The people I can vent honestly to and not hear advice.
  6. Pizza. Anytime!
  • Morning by Morning (8/6/18)

    My daily gratitude for:

    1. The formations of clouds on sunny mornings. They often help me get a sense of smallness in a good way.
    2. Meeting some of Ryan’s classmates parents at his party this weekend, and feeling excited about the good relationships that can happen.
    3. The humbling power of acknowledging the sin of our lives and the reconciliation with God and others when we do. Thanks to Chelsea Sargent for bringing that message to us through David, Bathsheba, and Nathan yesterday and speaking into a really bruised part of my life.
    4. Having my brother and his family get to DFW from SoCal safely.
    5. Bobbie Huebner, who I miss a lot at our church. I am grateful for her smile, her hospitality, and her spirited faith.
    6. Cold water.
    7. Seeing Ryan at church yesterday on his birthday. He was otherwise with his mom so seeing him made me smile a bunch.