Morning by Morning (12/18/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. when joy wins. Because as a Christian, a father, a son, a pediatric chaplain…joy does triumph. For those who don’t celebrate Advent or Christmas, joy still triumphs. It’s the human gift that can’t be contained.
  1. Not having car payments right now.
  2. The thick fog we have this morning. Fog always fills me with me with wonder and gives the crisp morning added flair.
  3. Great friendship with Adam Boatz and his girlfriend Samantha. It’s always pleasure seeing him and seeing him doing well.
  4. Kombucha from Kickin Konbucha. Love the company and the folks who work there, and love the kombucha just as much!
  5. Today being my last full day of work before Christmas vacation!!
  6. Beautiful flowers around the apartment complex…signs of grace if I can notice as I walk around or drive through.

Morning by Morning (12/17/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Opening our first Christmas gifts of the season with the Lucas family! I love the joy and care they always put into our gifts.
  2. Michael Bell. He’s a devoted and thoughtful husband and father and friend. What he loves he loves so fully! I want to be like that too.
  3. The amazing world of space and it’s exploration. NASA was so amazing to explore this weekend.
  1. Connecting with parents from the Retreat of Renewal and having a sense of mutual care and love. These parents are grieving still, and their love for their child gets richer and richer. I privileged to walk the journey over years with them, through small moments here and there.
  2. Matt and Brittany, and their two kids. I really enjoyed our lunch after church yesterday and laughing and storytelling through our parenthood!
  3. Random interactions with strangers about being a hospital chaplain. I really love the opportunity to proclaim the good work we pediatric chaplains do.
  4. Eggs for breakfast!
  5. Ryan’s first Christmas gift, a track with motorized cars…he loves it with unbridled passion!I get to watch with wonder 🙂

Morning by Morning (12/13/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The beautiful dusk walk that felt exactly like fall- the chilly breeze, the leaves spread like a carpet, gorgeous clouds spotting the sky with the sunset behind them. It just felt quite wonder filled.
  2. Nearing when my parents fly into town. I am so excited to see them and have lots of fun with them!
  3. Chris Sims, who has always been a good friend and is a great listening ear.
  4. Seeing old patients walking through the hospital months or years out from their trials. They look different and act slightly differently, all good things because I get to see them more themselves than I ever did.
  5. The penguin nativity that I got from Liz. It’s cute, but it’s also a lovely reminder of Christmas.
  6. Adam Jacobs, because I love his humor.
  7. Trusting God will take care of me financially.

Morning by Morning (12/12/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The endless bargaining and negotiating phase Ryan is in. It is…exhausting and exasperating…”one more story” “one more minute” and “why” litter my days now. Yet, it is a sign that his world is one step less wooden, one step more open to possibility. It is also another sign of Ryan exerting his own self and finding his identity apart from mine, which I absolutely love and treasure.
  2. Amanda Ellsworth, my cousin and fantastic friend who is so grown up being married and having a beautiful daughter. I think often about how she was such a warm and inviting presence as a cousin, and showed her generosity and laughter as gifts for others. Happy birthday Amanda!
  3. Advent calendars and the way they keep Ryan and I on schedule! They are also super fun ways to think about waiting for Christmas.
  4. The potential of going to bed before 11 tonight!!! Even potential is exciting…
  5. Celebrating Christmas with work friends at the PICU Christmas party where I felt such a sense of belonging, while also being able to introduce Liz to my friends there and let them see this lovely lady who has been bringing me great joy. The shared joy of celebration and connecting Liz to my friends is so lovely.
  6. Being entrusted to hear the pain or hurt or grief of colleagues or staff.

Morning by Morning (12/11/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The opportunity to teach my son compassion, generosity, and giving to others through the Angel Tree at his school. We went shopping for that child last night and in the best way I could I tried to shop together and talk through why we were buying gifts for another child. It’s an important task but a privilege in every way.
  2. Martha Haun, a teacher at UH and a good friend to me and Ryan. I appreciate her hugs, I appreciate her love, and I appreciate her refreshing honesty about life. Happy birthday Martha!!!
  3. Hearing Ryan and Liz playing together yesterday and hearing Ryan’s laughter.
  4. The snuggles I get with Ryan when he is sick.
  5. The schedule flexibility I get from my work. TCH has been more than awesome with my family needs and changes.
  6. Observing the resilience and strength in grief of dear parents I have cared for. Those I keep in touch with reflect strength in their broken-hearted ness and show that light never can be overcome by darkness. I love them so much.
  7. Ryan’s friends at school. They help him feel at ease and home there, even though he doesn’t always show his joy for pictures!!

Morning by Morning (12/10/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. A beautiful memorial and candle lighting with so many families and staff. Remembering hundreds of children and sharing tears of joy and speaking a reflection and litany…it was all a touching and moving experience.
  1. Getting to do lots of visits in the PICU and meet plenty of wonderful parents and grandparents. It’s such a gift to have unstructured free time in the ICU.
  2. Wrapping presents and adding to the Christmas excitement! I am excited to wrap a gift for Ryan’s mom with Ryan.
  3. A lovely lunch and conversation with Torrey and Ashley and Shannon! Our time is full of hilarity and laughs.
  4. Sherry Lucas and her hospitality and “adoption” of me as a son.
  5. Snuggling with Liz at the end of the day.
  6. The cute art Ryan makes in our church kids bible class!

Morning by Morning (12/8/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Hot tea and hot coffee and hot chocolate on cold days. I so appreciate the warmth they bring as they did this morning and evening.
  2. The gathering of family at Christmas. I look forward to the joy and chaos every year!
  3. Observing the memorialization of the late President George H W Bush. I have counted it a blessing to hear all the stories and hear peaceful cross the aisle comments that have applauded and commended a good man. He is not perfect and I did not agree with him in all, but he was a good man and I have been blessed to hear his story this week.
  4. The beautiful spread of the Russian meal I ate with Liz this afternoon that included borscht and golubsty. I loved it and loved the little Russian eatery!
  5. Having a partner who desires to take care of me through and through when I don’t feel well. Liz is so caring and attentive in these times.
  6. All the Christmas family photos…both the beautifully serious and beautifully funny! They all bring such joy!

Morning by Morning (12/7/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The encouragement of sitting and laughing and storytelling with other young chaplains last night! Natalie and Lindsay are wonderful!
  2. The sheer joy and laughter of my social work and child life friends in the PICU. Every time we are together we have a good time, and it feels good to be around “my people.”
  3. The coming weekend. I’m ready for a good weekend with Liz and other friends.
  4. The Christmas joy of getting packages almost every day…
  5. The painted picture of the dog that is in the PICU. It brings me a lot of joy!
  6. Funny memes about meals!!!

Morning by Morning (12/5/18)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. That cute moment when we walk into school and Ryan daily hugs Alex, one of his friends there and tells me this is his friend Alex! It just melts my heart in joy to see Ryan have his first true friend.
  2. The apartment manager Anthony who I’ve worked with this past week. He’s been awesome and quite kind!
  3. The workers who maintain our apartment facilities and keep it clean and working. It is a thankless and unending job and they are super awesome to me and Ryan.
  4. The string of beautiful chilly sunny days. It just feels like fall/winter.
  5. The celebration of Hanukkah and sharing the joy of this season with the Jewish people.
  6. Getting a new mattress! So welcomed!