Morning by Morning (8/19/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. PCN friends, like Lavender Kelley, Lindsey Bona, Dan Roberts, Gloria Kroeze, Bob Flory, Mark Brown, etc.  The list is quite long as full of people I am grateful to learn from as we serve and share experiences together.
  2. Getting a haircut…while my scared son melts down in my lap! Oddly enough, it was a reminder of how he thinks of me as safe- he leaned in, burrowed, dug in, all in finding comfort in his daddy.  Though the haircut was stressful, it was a gracious reminder!
  3. Soccer- all forms of it.  I am more and more fascinated and captivated by the skill and nuances of the game, especially as I am going to more Dynamo games.
  4. Living in Houston…what a great place to live!!!
  5. Facetiming my mom and dad and letting them see Ryan!

Morning by Morning (6/21/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Chicken salad with apples and pecans, one of my favorite foods.
  2. When Ryan talks, period.  His vocabulary is expanding and he gets so excited talking!
  3. The little boy I see at TCH every time he has chemo (I see many but I have one who I visited today) and whose energy and smiles and oversized joy is so humbling in the face of his amputated leg.  What an amazing boy and an amazing mother too!
  4. Connecting with PCN people this week!

Morning by Morning (5/26/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My stunningly beautiful wife. I’m proud of her working really hard both professionally and personally to always be a better person.
  2. Ann Haywood Baxter’s hospitality and accompaniment on my flights in and out of Grand Rapids and also our long layover in Baltimore.  She made the trip not just less long but pleasurable. 
  3. Snuggling with Ryan after a long week away.
  4. The comedy of Hasan Minhaj that helped me laugh some and also challenged some cultural assumptions too.

Morning by Morning (5/25/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Random pics texted to me from my mother in law that make me smile. 
  2. The kind words of everyone after my plenary session at PCN yesterday.  I know it was not a mind blowing session, but it was integral to my developing identity as a pediatric chaplain.  The support was great.
  3. The “Cure Violence” program that treats violence as a contagious disease and works with those in the community to heal its spread. I’m fascinated by this group and what they’ve done so far.
  4. PCU (intermediate pediatric care unit) staff who so wonderfully engage developmentally delayed or technology dependent children who cannot communicate in traditional ways.  Those nurses give such dignity in their engagement with the child.

Morning by Morning (5/24/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Elana, Aiden, and Ryan whom I miss so much while at my conference.
  2. Mark Brown, Ann Haywood-Baxter, Bob Flory, Molly Garnett, Patrick Jinks, Gloria Kroeze, Kate Gerne, and Stacey Jutila. They provided great relaxing conversation tonight.
  3. Late nights at PCN!!!
  4. No more presentations for a while.  I can rest easy for the first time in a couple weeks, and I feel my body starting to lean in to that tiredness now.  But some fantastic opportunities have come in these weeks!

Morning by Morning (5/23/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Pediatric chaplains whose humor and compassion is renewing, refreshing, and sustaining for me both personally and professionally.
  2. A beautiful walk in Holland Michigan this morning.  I loved the Dutch homes, the beautiful architecture, the crisp air, and the beautiful trees.
  3. Tiffany Riley, a Funnyatrics clown and fantastic leader of our session last night.  Her familiarity and honesty with the power of play and improv in the lives of the hurting was inspiring and full of joy. But as important as the skills of play for our families, it was joyful and fun! See this clip if you want to know more about Funnyatrics:  https://youtu.be/NfLbK5buDFA 
  4. Pics of Elana and Ryan and Aiden that sustain me while I am away!

Morning by Morning (5/20/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. My wonderful wife Elana who has held down the fort for lots of my schedule adjustments, my late nights, and my upcoming conference.  What a world beater and cute to boot! Thanks love!
  2. Playing strategy board games.  I love Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and Carcassone.  I love being tactical and being competitive.
  3. Watching Ryan mimic me- fixing his car like I fix mine, saying nursery rhymes like I do, sitting similarly, and learning to love what I love.  That is special and humbling.
  4. PCN Conference is here!!!!! Leaving in 7 hours…

Morning by Morning (5/11/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Ryan and Aiden being healthy.  I have watched the loss of many kids the last couple weeks, and it reminds me how much I am grateful for their health, especially since it is something I can’t control much and can change on a dime.  
  2. The nearing PCN Conference which will bring rest, relaxation, and relief from the crazy month of May.
  3. Our upcoming Spiritual Care department retreat.  What a great opportunity to grow together!
  4. Jenna and Ashley, nurses who led the way taking care of a precious baby who was suffering and dying.  They were fantastic, calming, and very compassionate. I loved working with them in caring for this family.

Morning by Morning (3/29/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. The calming presence of Steve Sargent, my minister.
  2. Brenda and Lorena, nurses who I greatly respect both as nurses and mothers.  Happy birthday to you both!
  3. The opportunity to work on the Advisory Council for the Pediatric Chaplains Network.  It is really affirming and encouraging, but also the kind of support and friends I treasure.

Morning by Morning (1/19/17)

My daily gratitude for:

  1. Brittany Veselka, an RN in the PICU who masterfully and compassionately cared for a dying child and his family yesterday.  She earned a ton of respect from the family and honored that boy so wonderfully.
  2. The precious way Belinda plays with her grandkids.  Ryan and Aiden love being silly with her! (Their grandmother by the way)
  3. A good presentation with fellow chaplains on Tuesday.  The chaplains were engaged and gave great feedback, and I was proud getting to represent pediatric ministry regarding validation and affirmation.
  4. Is it the weekend yet?!?