Morning by Morning (4/22/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Sharing Easter service at a Catholic Church and Southwest Central CofC. It was quite an honor to share celebration in support of Liz and vice versa.
  2. Loving families at the hospital by leading the Easter service at TCH. The three families I met touched me with their faith in the face of fearful lonely times. I am grateful that God is alive, and that his light shines even in dark places.
  3. The amazing weather of the weekend.
  4. The many workers who provide produce for our meals and food. As I picked strawberries this weekend, I thought about the nameless workers who pick and wash and prepare fruit and vegetables from the fields as a service, not a pleasure. Thank you for this invaluable service to our world!
  5. Having so many good strawberries around.
  1. Ryans Easter egg hunts and all the smiles it brought us.
  2. The courage of apologizing, as I was teaching Ryan yesterday. Saying sorry and giving forgiveness are two sides of a difficult coin, but so worth it.

Morning by Morning (4/20/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The beautiful weather of Friday and Saturday of this Easter weekend. Easter ought to feel like new beginning and grace, and for me, this sunny weather is a reflection on both of those.
  2. Sharing a relationship that is based upon lifelong partnership and commitment to hard work.
    Strawberry picking with Liz and Ryan, and having such beautiful strawberries to use all week long!
    Easter brunch with the Tucker’s, Watson’s, Sargents, Powell’s, Brent Spivey and others from Southwest Central. Ryan got to play with Nora and Cora and even got to play and plant in the Tucker garden! Lovely and full of grace!
    Michael and Laure Tucker, and their hospitality and welcome for all. They have many times opened their home, cooked amazing food, and shared their faith and thoughtfulness with me. I love them so much!
    A good fountain drink soda!
    Ryan’s deep belly laughter, and the joy it fills me with.
    Dates, because they just are good.

Morning by Morning (4/19/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryans Easter egg hunt at school! It’s so fun to see pictures of his bounty and know he had such a fun time!
  2. My CPE colleagues, and how they have had a hand in my development- Tom, Russell, and James M in particular.
  3. Seeing strength in parents at the hospital. They inspire me all the time, like the parents of S, J, and N, and the courageous laughter and tears they have shared throughout the hospitalizations and their pursuit of understanding the medical world that has helped them. Many parents show their strength by their willingness to show up and love all in. I love it!
  4. Longing for the PCN gathering in a week and change. This group of people means a lot to me, which is partly why I have found great joy serving on the Advisory Council. But this year I long for them because it is a crowd that is very good at sharing joy and sharing grief- it is quite easy to be fully myself amongst them.
  5. Our Spiritual Care Department supervisor, Mary T, for her leadership and understanding and clear compassion. She may be interim, but she is really appreciated.
  6. Sunshine that comes after the rain.

Morning by Morning (4/18/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryans haircut smirk!
  2. Holy Week, and the passion narrative I love all week long. It always brings a new and challenging perspective. This week it has been Jesus and the last supper with Judas that has been quite moving.
  3. My morning of play with Ryan, without any shows, for almost 2 hours. I was impressed that he made it all morning and seemed so content the whole time.
  4. Levi Greenly. I love his contagious joy and inclusiveness, but also appreciated the way he holds his friends with such esteem and loyalty. Happy birthday!!
  5. Brent Fairchild, one of my chaplain colleagues at Arkansas Children’s. His gentle faith and loving presence betray a great skill and passion as a chaplain. I love serving PCN with him! Happy birthday Brent!
  6. Watching clouds move fast across the sky. It’s so mesmerizing to me.
  7. Having a haircut so I don’t have to do a thing to my hair in the morning.

Morning by Morning (4/17/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The Trauma And Grief Center at Texas Childrens Hospital, and their amazing and broad work with children who are losing or have lost a parent or sibling, or helping kids after major incidents like Harvey. What a great group of folks!
  2. Our dogs, Bailey and Reba, and their presence and role in our family.
  3. Anytime Ryan wants to read.
  4. Another of Ryans swim classes tonight. The anticipation is helpful for Ryan through the day, but anticipation of learning to swim helps me immensely!
  5. Michelle, a Child Life in the EC who was so helpful and effective in her work with a family, advocating for what was right and needed, and being a great support to me too.
  6. Keeping my mind focused on the present moment!
  7. The joy Ryan brings to opening gifts, like he did his Easter gift from Maria and Paul Bryant, who gave great gifts! Ryans joy for opening and seeing is a beautiful thing to watch!

Morning by Morning (4/16/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryans fashion on Sunday!
  2. The week in California I’m going to have, including a short bit with family, and a bit with pediatric chaplains, but all in SoCal where I am always at home.
  3. Bryan Schackmann, and his exemplifying community through joy, humor, and the all in ness that he brings to everything he does. He was a support to me in Malibu, then in Abilene, and now from SoCal, and he has shown loyalty and inclusiveness the whole way.
  4. Adam Jacobs, who has been a good friend since high school although we did not go to the same school. His friendship has aged well, and I have appreciated that he has allowed me to continue being part of his circle. I have always appreciated his genuineness and willingness to give of himself to his friends.
  5. Jon Burdett, another friend in SoCal, who I continue to grow with. It’s been a pleasure to walk through life with him, and have him as a continual encourager. He too gives of himself, but in all he does, it always has his flair and life to it.
  6. My Florence experience from Pepperdine, which exposed me to the world and what could be had, and all the beauty around the world.
  7. The stretch of drive up PCH from Riverside to Malibu. That’s a beautiful drive and one I can’t wait for!

Morning by Morning (4/15/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan and Aiden’s face when they first saw the beach!!! (Pictured)
  2. Dynamo games and Dynamo victories alongside my love Liz!
  3. Quality time with Ryan and Aiden together yesterday. They play so well together, and their joy abounds. Liz and I were so gifted with the opportunity and the adventures of the day- beach, kombucha run with Aiden, checking out his old Parker school, playing at home, checking out our to be house, and Freddy’s custard while we were out. But to do it all with Ryan and Aiden and their joy was an awesome experience.
  4. Hearing the Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday reading yesterday. Just having it read aloud, beginning to end, letting Holy Week sink in…it was very humbling and challenging.
  5. Bobbie Huebner, and the way she ministers through prayer and Spirit, to me, Southwest Central, her family, and many others.
  6. Joyce Van Houten, and her support and joy for me in my relationship with Liz. Her happiness and spunk are life giving!
  7. The Growers Project Rosato that Liz and I found in Fredericksburg. It’s such a beautiful refreshing, drinkable, and dry wine.
  8. The blue sky and warmth of the sun on my skin on this cool morning.

Morning by Morning (4/11/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Seeing one of the most beautiful end of life situations yesterday, most of all for the way family generations were honored with the dignity of their own solo time to hold and talk and love this boy. This family held joy and sorrow, relief and grief, laughter and silence in ways I have rarely seen. So touching.
  2. Ryan getting to plant a flower at school and getting excited to show his work every time we walk into school.
  3. Wolfies Swim School! Great place! I love the parent upper deck.
  4. Ryans swim teacher, Mr Jonathan, who was patient and playful with Ryan when he was nervous to get in at a strange place, but also when he was scared of putting his face under water. His style was a great thing to watch!
  5. All the unseen people that make Grace Episcopal School fun. Ryans teachers have a huge role, as does Ms Edolia, but those whose name I do not know have a large part in Ryan’s maturation too. To the cooks, the maintenance man, the cleaners, and others- a heartfelt thank you!
  6. Ryan sleeping in his bed till his morning wake up time this morning.
  7. The amount of natural light in Liz and I’s house (only 33 days till move in!)

Morning by Morning (4/10/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Waking up before Ryan and having quiet time.
  2. Julian of Norwich’s quote, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
  3. Crying with a father yesterday who is losing his son, not in a tragic sadness, but a beautiful peaceful grief that rocked my heart so much. That visit, his love, his holy tears…that was Gods presence.
  4. Holding Ryan’s hand across the parking lot at school. It’s such a simple thing but makes my heart race every time he reaches for my hand!
  5. The gift of walking to and from work. I have the health to do so and an enjoyment of the weather, and I just love it.
  6. The cool wind on a warm morning walk.

Morning by Morning (4/9/19)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Peace, for stepping up to babysit Ryan for a bulk of yesterday and having such great playtime with him. I love that she was so willing to love on Ryan and loved that she and Ryan got so imaginative.
  2. The female figures in Ryan’s life (on my side). Liz, my mom, the ladies at small group, his teachers, bible class teachers at church…these ladies are having such an amazing impact on Ryan and opening his mind to God, faith, fun, imagination, reading, play, and love.
  3. All the fun events for Ryan and I this past weekend. Birthday parties, concert, play date, and parks! I love getting to do all these things with him.
  4. Kristen Webernick, a respiratory therapist and a friend who has managed her grief and joy so well over the years, and whose joy with her new baby just makes me so happy for her. I appreciate her openness and courage in faith.
  5. The excitement and nervousness that I feel watching the NCAA tournament and the championship last night. I love watching great games!
  6. Saving a PTO day thanks to Peace and Liz!