Those of us, who live in Kearney, or a small town like it, know that there are certain blessings that accompany small-town life! Typically, a trip to the grocery store is going to mean running into at least a few friends and neighbors. Whenever my parents visit from San Diego my mom always remarks how we can’t ever go anywhere without running into people we know. (She sees this as an aggravation, adding to the time it takes to run errands, but I LOVE IT!!!!)

As we sat in Mass last Sunday I looked around the church at all the families. There are many familiar faces…most of us sit in the same spot week after week as if we had a seating chart 😉 All three altar servers were boys I had taught in Religious Ed throughout the years, the choir leaders were neighbors, the readers were friends of ours, and many of the Eucharistic Ministers were friends or parents of past students, or maybe the parents of our children’s friends….but what really caught my attention this week was how many faces I saw at church that were medical professionals that had been caring for my father-in-law or that had stopped me at the hospital over the past few weeks to see how we were doing.

One special blessing of our little community is how entwined we all are. Each day when the nurse would come in to meet us for the day, it was either someone we knew or someone whose family we knew. It brought me much comfort to know the people caring for my loved one. Throughout our time there at Good Samaritan Hospital, we were really blessed to have the best care possible! Every staff member from housekeeping, admissions, and respiratory, nursing, food services….everyone for the most part really made a point of caring for us. They didn’t just meet the needs of the patient, but they took time to sit and talk to him, his family and really embrace what we were going through.

We are blessed to have a wonderful family doctor and the care he has given our family over the years is special, he’s been through some tough times with us. When it comes to our health having a doctor that takes the time to share the burden with you makes all the difference in the world! We met a few new doctors and we have found that they are such loving and supportive caregivers that it makes dealing with difficult health issues less complicated. When a surgeon will take the time to hold your hand and comfort you and not just spew medical terminology your way, bad news seems a bit easier to swallow. I have already thanked our staff on a personal level. They are aware of how grateful I am to them, so this is just my way of telling the world how truly blessed we are here in Kearney to have such wonderful medical personnel and to share our churches, schools, restaurants and shops with these fine examples of angels on earth. We each have talents that God has given us, it is up to us to discover, nourish and share them with the world!

We have a prayer for stewardship that was shared with us at our church last week and our family has found it the perfect prayer to say in the evenings as a family. I hope you all take a moment today to truly discover your gifts and always be grateful for those who take the time to share theirs with you.

Loving God,

           You have chosen me to be your steward.

          Thank you for trusting me enough to shower me with many blessings.

          Let me be quiet enough with you so I can hear your whisper in my heart.

          Please give me the courage to use your generous gifts in the way that you intended.

          Help me to turn away from the temptation of this world so that I may have more time to spend with you,

          more willingness to offer a helping hand where it is needed, more financial resources to support your

         work in my parish, community, and around the world.

          Teach me your ways, so that I can graciously fulfill your plans for all that you have entrusted to my care.


Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity.