Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

the crux January 21, 2012

Filed under: Better life,Faith,Motherhood — dayna @ 12:00 pm

*This post was originally scheduled for the day my father-in-law passed away. When he died so suddenly, I pulled it, uncertain of the timing. In the days to come though, we’ve had many frank discussions with our little girls. Somehow, these conversations I managed to scribble down a few weeks prior seemed to give comfort and provide a starting point for the topics to come…


She’d been talking crosses all day.

Right after we settled the tiny one down for a nap, we were in the middle of picking up the house. I scurried about in anticipation of friends dropping by to exchange belated Christmas gifts.

“But, how did they keep him on the cross, Mommy?” She asks abruptly, as if we were mid-discussion.

Not sure I heard her correctly, I turn to meet her eyes. “What, hon?”

“How did they put Jesus on the cross, Mommy?” she continues insistently.

I’m close to her now. Hands on her shoulders, I drop to my knees to be level. I draw in my breath, buying time with a stumbling, “You really want to know, babe? It’s tough…”

She nods.

I know that this kid, as much as any I have ever met, needs deserves honesty. It’s just the extent of the detail that sometimes wants tempering…

“Well… they nailed him there,” I answer quietly. Her brow furrows, perplexed.

“Big nails…” I gulp to explain. Her eyes are wide.

I feel my face twist a bit. And my tears wanting to stream.

“And it must’ve hurt really bad. But he wanted to do it. He came to do it… You know why?”

“Why?” Earnestly curious.

“Because he loved us so much. He loved you so much. He loved me that much. So, he was willing… so we could be rescued!” (We love that word around here).


Later that night, as we lay in her bed ready for prayers, being mauled by the clambering two-year old, she continues…

“Which one did he die on?”

“What do you mean?”

“Which cross?! All those ones we see when we drive…which one was his?”

Suddenly, I understand. This girl who watches so intently out the mini-van window as the world goes by…thinks she may have been seeing Jesus’ very own cross in every road side memorial! In the little shrines so present in our town that I almost don’t notice them anymore.

I explain that those smaller crosses are markers in memory of other people who have died- perhaps Christ-followers themselves.

Her questions come faster now. I find myself being urged to explain the three crosses on “that page in her Jesus Storybook Bible,” and realizing with shock that she thinks everyone’s life ends on a cross. Her logical pre-schooler questioning continues on into an exploration of varied ways that people can die. Oh my.

Bedtime when you are four and your mind is electric!

And then…

“How do you get to heaven, Mommy?”

She’s a bloodhound sniffing out a trail. She’s pressing me. Certain that this whole cross thing is key.

Then I hear myself talking about telling God we’re sorry. Me. Straight reeking of sinful nature mere minutes after lashing out at my husband and babes in the exhausting “to bed” hustle.

Talking about messing up and forgiveness and about how Jesus is the only perfect. The only way to fix this mess.

To fix us.

“And we can pray and talk to God, right Mommy?” She beams, nodding, and then snuggles in close. Satisfied for a brief moment.

I’m slightly dumbfounded. Her wheels still turn.

Next: “But what were the legs of the manger made out of?” She’s obviously recalling the concrete-stucco trough our pastor produced to show the kids at Christmas Eve service. She grills me for dimensions with her hands spacing, “How big was it? Was it this big? This big?”

I sigh and breathe an “I honestly don’t know, honey. Let’s talk about this more tomorrow, ok? It really is late.”

This year, the connection of the manger to the cross becomes just a little more clear.

We say prayers. Even the tiny two-year old settles, doing her own whispery listing of loved ones.

And the Almighty leans in close to hear their sweet voices lift…


5 Responses to “the crux”

  1. Dayna I am overwhelmed by this amazing glimps into a God moment with your beautiful daughter. The way you articulate this moment took me right there. My friend who I truly go to know the first time on the beaches of Mexico has become the amazing women I always knew you would be. You have a gift with your words, with sharing your faith through your words and all who take the time to read your private thoughts are blessed by them!!

    We have been moved to what seems like opposite sides of the universe and I desperately miss our weekly and bi weekly talks, studies and time together but I know God is actively working and am so happy to see you through this wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing your heart, faith and private moments with us. I lov eyou girl.

  2. Amanda Says:

    That big girl never ceases to amaze me with her intelligence and receptiveness. She is quite amazing and you are raising her up so well. (Would love to see her and the whispery 2 year old pronto by the way) Thanks for inspiring us all with your awesome faith and mommying grace:)

  3. Stephanie Says:

    Children are amazing, aren’t they?

    Our girls have been fascinated by the manger and the whole nativity story ever since Christmas. Now whenever we see a baby on the cover of a book, our littlest says, “Baby Jesus?” She is searching for him everywhere. (As I ought to be).

  4. What this post says to me is that in spite of all that reeking of sinful nature, you are clearly doing something very, very right.

    PS. That last line gave me goosebumps. Good stuff, friend.

    • dayna Says:

      Wow, Darcie. You always seem to know what to say. Your kind words came at just the right moment this morning…

      I don’t know if its just their current ages or the entire parenthood ride- but I am daily equal parts confounded, encouraged, and inspired by these little peeps.

      P.S. My phone auto-corrected to “perps” … I thought you might find that funny- I know I did 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

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