With Grace and Gratitude

So there I was, sitting in church Sunday, not really paying attention because I kept mentally drifting away trying to come up with my long overdue blog topic. I was in a not-so-pleasant state-of-mind because I actually dread blogging (I will get to that later). But then suddenly, the pastor said something that caught my attention and snapped me back into the moment:

Matthew's Art“For a life to be lived well, it must be with a true sense of gratitude, achieved only in a disciplined and intentional way where you take the time to consider the things that you are grateful for.”

Don’t you just hate it when you go to church and you feel like the pastor is calling you out? It was like he was saying to me directly: “Hey!  Hey you, over there, this message is for you so you might want to pay attention. And, by the way, if you want, feel free to blog about it.”

Message received, loud and clear.

So, in this special season of thanksgiving and sharing, I thought I would share a little about those things that I am grateful for…things I never should – but occasionally do – take for granted.

  • The Gift of Freedom – As an American, I am grateful for the freedoms and liberties that I am afforded that too few in this world will truly know. Freedom for the little things – like expressing my views in a blog – which I too often taken for granted, because let’s be honest, they haven’t really cost me much. But that doesn’t mean a heavy price hasn’t been paid by someone. And because of that, I am grateful to those who have paid that price to provide me that freedom and those who sacrifice even today to protect that freedom – our veterans and current military personnel.
  • Family & Friends Who Make Life Worth Living – I am grateful that I have a family that I adore and a few good friends who accept me for who I am. Good friends who make me laugh and keep me humble because they know the real me, not just the healthcare executive. They enrich my life with their presence.
  • Serving in a Vocation Dedicated to Helping Others – I am grateful for the privilege of working in healthcare and to be able to make a living by providing help to others in their greatest time of need. I sometimes take this privilege for granted as I get caught up in the “business” of healthcare and lose sight of the purpose of healthcare. Moreover, how fortunate I am to be able to pursue my passion for healthcare in a company like Capella Healthcare.
  • A Peace That Surpasses All Understanding – And finally, in a world increasingly marked by chaos and calamity, I am grateful that I have obtained – through no effort on my own but through grace alone – a Peace that surpasses all understanding (James 16:33).

Earlier I said I dreaded blogging (actually all social media) and here’s why. While I love to communicate with others, I hate the unilateral nature of blogging where it’s me “talking” and the reader “listening.” I much prefer an exchange, an interaction, a sharing of thoughts and ideas. Unlike many social media platforms that tend to be author-centric, I don’t presume my thoughts are in any way more interesting or valid than yours. I admit it, I simply don’t get the whole “look at me,” selfie generation.

But you can help me with that, at least this one time.

If you have already wasted five minutes of your life reading this, do me a favor and in the comments section mention something that you are grateful for this season. It could be one word, one paragraph or one page – doesn’t matter. From across Capella, we will take your words of gratitude and create a graphic that conveys our corporate sense of gratitude and I will share with you right before the New Year.

Who knows, I might even write a blog about it…

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to all!


P.S. The art above was drawn by Matthew Hazzard, seven year-old son of Jennifer Hazzard, RN, who works at Southwestern Medical Center in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Matthew, who was one of the Grand Prize winners in Capella’s 2nd Annual Children’s Holiday Art Contest, certainly seems to understand the concept of thankfulness, even at age seven. To see all of the winning art, visit our website:  Children’s Holiday Art Contest.

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45 thoughts on “With Grace and Gratitude

  1. Mandy Bryant says:

    I am thankful that I have the opportunity to help others even though I am not clinical. I figured out a very long time ago I did not have the wiring to be a nurse. I truly respect those who are. I may not provide patient care, but I try every day to maximize the system and minimize the effort so anyone clinical can expend their efforts caring for the patient and not being bogged down by an inefficient system or process. I am thankful that my husband, my son and my friends support my job change after devoting 18 years to our local facility. It blows my mind, that now, I can affect people at eight different facilities at the same time. I am lastly thankful for a God who accepts me even though for many years I did not accept him. I know this comment comes late. I hope you had a Happy Thanks giving and a very Merry Christmas.

  2. Terri (Susie) Clements says:

    Mr. Wiechart, I am grateful for so many things that it would take too long to list them. I am grateful for my only child, my beautiful Daughter Kaylee Michelle who blessed me with my first Grandchild, My beautiful Oakley Alexa. I am going to be called Grammy, because I tell everyone she is my Grammy Award. However at the same time that I am grateful for this blessing I lost my Mother this year. My daughter and granddaughter have moved to Wisconsin and this is going to be a difficult Christmas without the 3 most important ladies in my life. I am grateful that my wonderful husband Larry will be here to help me through it. God Bless you and your family.

  3. Paulette Johnson says:

    For about 16 years I lived a life of not knowing if my one and only daughter would come home or I would get the dreaded call of “she did not make it this time.” I lived with a meth addict. During this time, I worked every day at my job here at NPMC. This job was my salvation, my love, my safe zone. She stole my soul…that is the only way to sum this up. I had to take her children away from her which was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I had to practice “tough love” for the first time ever but when it came to my grandchildren, I had a new found love that is indescribable (if you are not one of the lucky ones to have grandchildren).

    I prayed every day for her not to die and be drug-free; she spent years in jail, I did not see her for almost 2 years. During this extremely tough period in my life, I was so thankful every day I had job to come to that I loved and enjoyed and still do today! During this time, I had support from this hospital, my employees and God. I raised my grandson from birth for over 4 years. During this time Mr Jerry Mabry never once mentioned why were you late today? Why were you out yesterday? He knew what I was dealing with. I am so thankful for that and I will never forget it.

    Today, I thank God everyday for my daughter’s sobriety! She is going on 4 years of being drug free, and is raising her daughter. Her 2 sons are with their Dad but I get to spend every other weekend with them. I thank God for that! My daughter gets to see her son (sons sometimes) every other weekend. I am thankful for that!

    I am so thankful for all my family, my Mother is 87 and in great health! My sister….all my family. I am very thankful for my NPMC family of 24 years! I am so blessed to have friends of over 40 years, not just acquaintances, true friends I am so thankful for.

    I was named Manager of the Year last year at NPMC, and that means the world to me. My job has always been and will continue to be very passionate to me. I have a lot to be thankful for! Especially to work for a company like Capella who cares enough to ask what their employees are thankful for! I share this not because my story is unique but because I want others to know…there is light at the end of the tunnel, pray to God and trust and continue to pray to God, only he can control you or your family’s destiny!

    • Mike says:

      Wow. Just wow! Read this late Thanksgiving night after round 2 at the dinner table and it absolutely made my day. Not just the story, but that you took the time to share it.

      Congrats on your daughter’s wellness…praying that she continues on her path to recovery!

      Mike W.

  4. Monica Scott says:

    First, I am grateful for my Lord and Savior. I am so blessed to have the best church family anywhere and blessed to live in a country that allows me freedom to choose my religion or the freedom from it. I am so grateful for the many soldiers who have fought for that freedom. Especially my grandfathers, my uncles, and my father… all of whom served in active duty in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

    Secondly, I am grateful for my parents and being raised with a firm understanding of the meaning of good character and the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. I am so thankful that they taught me to “do right” even when no one is watching. I am also grateful that they taught me that every person you encounter has equal value. I was taught that the value of a person is not in the position that they hold, not the amount of money they make, not in the materialistic things they possess, but rather the content of their character. Thankfully, I was taught that there was no difference in value between the CEO and the janitor. I believe that other than my faith and my education, that has gotten me further in life than anything else. I am certainly blessed to have the opportunity to attend college and be the first person in my family lineage to attain a college degree.

    I am so blessed to have a God-loving, God-fearing spouse of 23 years who is our spiritual leader. I am blessed beyond measure to have two beautiful, healthy children who are both high school graduates and enrolled in college.

    I am blessed to have had a myriad of physicians, nurses, therapists, and medical staff to have taken care of me from birth. I am also blessed to have had parents and teachers who taught me to make the most of the cards life dealt me and to turn a birth defect into a way to relate to others and, subsequently, a career. I have certainly been through so many medical trials, but with the grace of God and awesome medical teams, I have been healed over and over again.

    I am so blessed to have been called to a career in the medical field and blessed to have gainful employment in times of economic uncertainty. I am grateful for a wonderful team of Nurses and Therapists in Inpatient Rehab. They work tirelessly, not for me, but for the patient’s we serve. Each one of them is a blessing to me. They go above and beyond. They don’t JUST work for a paycheck. They LOVE what they do, and those they serve. They do great therapy, nursing, and doctoring… but it’s the hugs of encouragement, the tears when the patient’s bodies are failing them, the celebrations of rehab graduations, and unfortunately, sometimes the funerals. Those are the things that really count. I can’t count the number of cards, candies, cookies, food trays… we get monthly. Our patients and families love this staff, and for that I am grateful.
    I am grateful to work for RehabCare and our company is blessed to have teamed with National Park Medical Center for 21 years now. I appreciate the financial management that I view daily. You don’t truly appreciate that until you’ve lived through a hospital closure due to finances. It is then you truly appreciate the value of financial stewardship that is evident here.

    Our community is blessed by this hospital, and certainly blessed to be currently expanding our facility to offer cutting edge services to residents of our area.

    Happy Thanksgiving and may The Lord shower you with blessings this holiday season!

  5. being truly grateful for the opportunity I have everyday to be invited to a patient’s vulnerable and sacred circle and help them heal. this is an honor and betters me every time it happens.
    This is my calling, unequivocally. I am lucky to be a nurse.

    • Mike says:

      Nursing is the hardest job there is in healthcare. Its takes a special type of person to work that hard and care so much! I truly admire everything you do!!

      Mike W

  6. Steven Kelly says:

    I’m grateful to be an American living in the greatest country in the world at the greatest time in the history. I feel so lucky to bear witness to the miracles of God and man. I am thankful for the good life.

  7. flora owens says:

    I started my life in this country almost 44 years ago with just one big suitcase and less than 200 dollars in my pocket. today I can honestly say, I have been given opportunities that I probably would not have had had I stayed where I was at. here my spiritual ears and eyes were opened due to the kindness of people who opened their hearts to a stranger who needed a friend. my biases and prejudices were changed due to unexpected kindnesses from others who may have different shades of color on their skin. here doors were opened where I could reach my potential to care for those who are in need and maybe in the darkest time in their lives. I also had the privilege to mentor some who were striving to become nurses someday. today I have several family members who were also given the opportunity to make better future for themselves. i am happy and consider myself fortunate to own a place i call home and have a husband who loves and needs me, go to a place where i can practice my God’s given talent and i am grateful for a country I’ve learned to call my own. i am truly blessed beyond measure, and i thank the Good Lord above all.

    • Mike says:

      What a great story! Reminds me of our founder, Dan Slipkovich, who immigrated to this country by himself when he was 7 years old. America is still the land of opportunity and freedom…thanks for sharing!


  8. JAY GREGORY says:

    I am thankful for the Salvation that God has given me through his Son. I am thankful for family, especially Tobi my wife, and for being able to provide care for others over the past 33 years, even if it has meant inflicting a little pain along the way. “No Pain, No Gain”. Our Freedom must never, ever be taken for granted! I am thankful for friends, and having good friends means being a good friend. Blessings to all.

  9. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and the sacrafice he made for us all. I am blessed to be allowed to live in a country where I can freely speak and serve him, and share him with those who have yet to know him. Not all Christians have that privilege without putting their lives at risk. So to God be the glory

  10. Brenda Crawford says:

    I am thankful for my Lord, Jesus Christ who saved me and redeemed my life, for a God who is in control so I can live with peace, for my family that is such a great blessing in my life and for freedoms that I can enjoy and so often take for granted. I am thankful for the 35 years I have worked in healthcare and for the opportunity I have to do work that is helpful to others and that I enjoy.

  11. Robert says:

    I am thankful to God first, for His grace and for blessing us every day with Eternal Life, Health, and Love for our family and our fellow man. I am so thankful and blessed to be living in a country, where we are truly free. I served for over 20 years in the army, and I’ve come to know what Freedom really means. I’m thankful for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and for the men and women in uniform, which are still serving our country and guarding our freedom and our way of life. I pray that our children and our children’s children will inherit this freedom that we love and hold dear. May God richly bless our Capella family and pray that everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving.

  12. Lisa Tate says:

    I am grateful that God heard my prayers and gave my family strength to help my sister through her Colon-rectal cancer, after she was diagnosed 5 months after our mother passed away. I am grateful for all of the people who have come and gone in my life and left a trail of great memories. I am grateful for my job and my work family. I am grateful for life and love and happiness. :)
    I am grateful that deer hunting was great this year!

  13. I am grateful that no matter what tribulation (s) may come, turmoil that may follow, and trying times we live in, God has forewarned us and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that ALL will be well. I am grateful for that “Rock” to stand on.

  14. Dorene Watson says:

    I am so very grateful for my family, our excellent health, and the freedom we have to make choices, experience adventures and work through opportunities together! I am extremely graced to have a nice home, lots of food and a great place to work with excellent, caring and God loving co-workers! I praise God for the talents he has given me and for the people HE places in my life to make up for the talents I lack! Happy Thanksgiving!! And coming soon….Merry Christmas!

  15. CIndy says:

    I’m thankful there is a God who knows what I need better than I do and who is a God of grace and abundance. I’m also thankful for my grandmother who, while she was living, taught me to be grateful for something every day.

  16. Donna Smith says:

    Why am I grateful? Not enough space on this page to respond to the question, but I will try a condensed version. I am grateful that we live in a land where we have the freedom of worship. My relationship with God is a number one priority in my life, without Him, I am nothing. Religious freedom is often taken for granted, and with the recent events in Paris and Syria, we should be more aware of how fragile life really is. Happy Thanksgiving to you all

  17. Kim says:

    I am blessed with a wonderful family, amazing friends and a job that supports my professional aspirations as well as time with my family. How wonderful to be in a profession of giving; for the last few years I have been on the receiving of nursing care which made me appreciate of the profession of nursing even more. I am thankful for each day, my children and my husband. I am blessed with another wonderful year and a day (a season) dedicated to count blessings and to give thanks.

  18. Sandy says:

    I’m thankful for many things: First and foremost, my savior Jesus Christ. My wonderful daughter, who makes me proud to be her Mom everyday. My husband who has put up with me for 18 years (and counting). My mother, father, sisters, friends, my health, sunrise and sunsets, freedom. The list can go on and on. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us, because it is very easy to take what we have for granted.

  19. Janda Plunk says:

    I am grateful for the safe return of my son and daughter-in-law from their military service in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am grateful for my healthy, happy children and grandchildren.

  20. Bill Southwick says:

    With so much of the world in turmoil, I am grateful for the knowledge that we live in one of the most blessed countries and at one of the best times that has ever existed. Yes, there are difficulties and challenges, but we have been given the tools to rise above this and successfully serve those in need. What a great time to be in healthcare. I am truly happy to be a part of the mission of healthcare and to be a part of the Capella family.

    • Mike says:

      True, seems like things are tough at times but it is still the best country and best time to be in healthcare serving others. So much need, but so much opportunity to meet that need!!



  21. Wendy Felton says:

    I’m also grateful for the opportunity to work in an industry dedicated to helping people. Often times we are able to help our patients in so many ways above and beyond giving them great patient care. I’m not a nurse, but do have occasion to meet with patients one-on-one when I work in our Emergency Department doing patient registration. It’s amazing to me how grateful people are when they are treated with respect and dignity. I love to watch the expression on their faces when I ask if there is anything I can get for them, or a family member to make them more comfortable once I’ve taken their demographic information. I offer warm blankets to the patient and coffee or ice water to the family and assure them that we are here for them should they need anything. Their grateful smiles and warm thanks makes me know in my heart that I’ve chosen the perfect profession!

    • Mike says:

      Loved this comment. We always tend to focus on the clinical care givers first, but truly, many of us in non-clinical roles play just as big of roles in making healthcare great. We are all gifted differently, and kindness and a smile are great gifts!! Thanks for sharing them with your patients in need!!


  22. Kathleen Bowl-Gregg says:

    I am thankful for the love of a wise, kind, and generous man who chose to share himself and his beautiful family with me. I am grateful for the love of my family & friends. Finally, I am hopeful that I will one day learn to love everyone as unconditionally as my dogs love every delivery man, neighbor, and first time visitor to our home. Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings.

    • Mike says:

      OK…had to smile at this! I have said for many years that my dog (Hershey) is the perfect example of how I am suppose to love God. Complete devotion, no expectation for anything other than to just be around me, and unconditional love.

      What’s that old bumper sticker? The more people I meet, the better I like my dog! (LOL)


  23. Terrie Lyons says:

    I am grateful for my family. I am also grateful for my work family. I have been very blessed with my co-workers. They are all so kind and caring.

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