Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

golden March 21, 2011

Filed under: Favorites,Motherhood — dayna @ 4:55 pm

Some days with the girls just seem to shine like gold. Not that the entire day is perfect. There are these moments though, that simply glow. Moments when I am consciously trying to burn images of them in this gorgeous golden sunlight as memories so deep I will never forget.

Last weekend our little family attended the Tucson Festival of Books. Yeah- that’s right. A festival… of books! I know you’re jealous. I mean, what more could a nerdy girl ask for? An Arizona spring day, university campus, festival trappings of food and music, and ahhh- the books.

I worked my night shift and then was picked up by my husband and the girls. The little ladies were wearing sunhats(!), sunscreen (!!), and shorts under their dresses (!!!). He is totally getting this “daddy-to-girls” thing down.

We traipse across the mall, reminiscing about our somewhat brief collegiate experiences. We visit wildcat statues, people-watch, dog-visit, and enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch.

We’re drawn in to a performance by a local high school’s band. They’re playing  “Higher Love” on a slew of steel drums. (I didn’t even know I liked that song, but on the steel drums it’s amazing).  And I sway and I bounce the tiny grinning toddler on my hip. I watch as the preschooler gleefully picks her way through the crowd to get closer to the danceable beat.

 And suddenly I am overcome. 

Goosebumps in the morning sun. I’m not sure if it is the sleep deprivation, the sweetly metallic music, or the Americano that I downed after work, but I have tears of  joy at seeing my girls experience these sights and sounds. 

The band starts in on the requisite but always chill Bob Marley, and after a few minutes, we move on. We have important literary figures to meet (Curious George, Madeline, Pigs with Pancakes- you know the type).

And Irish step dancing to watch. Song after song of it. The big sis just can’t get enough of Irish step dancing. Who can blame her?

When I remember this day, I am thankful that I ambled camera-less. I was there. With my mind’s eye and all my senses snapping images faster and more indelible than any fancy camera could.

They lead the way. These little girls, already with their opinions about fashion, food, and (apparently) festivals. I follow behind their sweet sun-hat clad heads. Watching smiles warm the faces of the people who notice them. Watching their trailing ribbons and bouncing girlishness as they explore their world with complete wonder. Watching their strong, confident legs striding, almost skipping.

And I am in awe.

In awe of these precious ones who, not too long ago, were as close as a heartbeat; growing inside my very core.

And somehow they will always be in there… and yet, they are out here.

This aching joy.

This drawing close. This letting go.

This is motherhood.

It is the purest gold.

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran


You may never know February 3, 2011

Filed under: Favorites,My night job — dayna @ 7:19 am

A note from this PICU RN to the parents of my young patients:

Dear Parents,

You may never know your full impact during your time of crisis.  Although it is most certainly not your intention, you are profoundly affecting those around you and your child. 

Including me.

When you kiss your baby as you send them into surgery, I learn about surrender and trust.

When your family suffers due to an accident, I want to strive to make the world a safer place.

When your acts of violence or cruelty sent your child into my care, I tremble in anger at injustice and ignorance.

When you educate me on the specifics of your chronically ill child, I know that every child is unique, precious, and deserves unfailing love.

When you joke with me on a night I really didn’t want to come in to work, you lighten my load.

When you incomprehensibly ask me about my day in the midst of your tragedy, you teach me about selflessness.

When your friends and family rally around you and lift you up, I see love and community in action.

When you reach for your Bible in your hour of greatest need, you point me to the Source of all hope.

When you involve me in the most intimate of goodbyes, I am humbled to be on sacred ground.

When hope is lost for your child’s life and you bring up the ultimate gift  before being approached, my knees buckle in awe.

When you leave the unit with aching empty arms, I know that I must cherish every single moment with my loved ones.

When you commend my co-workers, I recognize that I am shoulder-to-shoulder with greatness.

When you express gratitude for the care that I am giving, I dig deeper to give more than I knew I could.

When you send pictures of your now healthy child or stop by for a visit, I remember why I chose this profession and specialty.

Dear parents, you may never know who you are affecting in the very times that you feel the most helpless.

Often your grace and faith in those unspeakable circumstances can astound even the “seasoned” professionals surrounding you and your child. You affect us, and you affect your community.

You force us to face our worst fears and inspire us to step forward with courage into this heartbreaking but hopeful world.

Has your child ever been hospitalized? What made their stay easier or more difficult?


Inspiration December 29, 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Favorites,Motherhood — dayna @ 4:37 am

My sweethearts...

Motherhood took me completely by surprise.  Becoming a mother was, without a doubt, the second most transformative experience in my life.  I never expected to be so madly in love.  To feel so alive, so challenged, so creative, so keenly aware of the beauty and pain of this existence.

Life suddenly became endlessly more complicated and simultaneously so simple.  So pure.  Priorities so true and clear. 

Laundry basket tickles

So the main inspiration for this blogging venture is right here… flowing from these two wiggling, giggling, squealing little girls. You’ll have to excuse me if this blog first and foremost attempts to document our lives together. It is going by way too fast and deserves to be recorded!  So chalk some of this up to the virtual scrap-booking category, because I sure can’t seem to get to the actual thing…

This gorgeous job of mothering is not without its glitches. One of them being the sort of surreal isolation that can creep in.  Especially after the arrival of my second daughter, I found that a mom can find herself missing some of those good old “heart to hearts” with a girlfriend. Ok, a girl can miss finishing a complete sentence, let alone a thought, sometimes. In the midst of all the doing, saying, teaching, one realizes she doesn’t know what is really going on with her mom friends, and they may not know what is really going on with her.  I am thankful for so many great “in the flesh”  friends to love, but I sure do enjoy reading what is going on with the cyber moms.

The blog world is a place for the complete conversation. While reading around out here, I found an amazing dialog, a sense of humor, and a fresh perspective on the significance, (and sometimes silly insignificance), of what we are doing.  I have found my faith strengthened & my hope renewed. Here mommies can formulate a thought, share their heart, and weave a tale that makes me laugh out loud, weep, or just nod in agreement.

While there are so many fabulous blogs I have peeked at, my two “go-to” blogs, (the girls I simply can’t get enough of), are Stephanie at Metropolitan Mama and Darcie at Such the Spot. You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not hooked on your blog just yet. Give me some time & please feel free to share a link…

Stephanie’s Metropolitan Mama is a resource for all things mom. She is a fantastic writer, an amazing mother, and a woman full of determination and daring. Oh yeah- did I mention that her family is changing the world? Check out their new adventure at Give Every Day as they travel the country in their RV living out l-o-v-e. In real life, Stephanie is just as savvy, pulled together, kind, and generous as you would expect.  To quote E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer” (emphasis mine).  Stephanie is both. 

Now over to Darcie at Such the Spot… this girl can WRITE.  As a lover of fiction, I’m here to tell you that Darcie can tell a tale like no other- even her true ones read like the very best fiction! If she wrote cereal boxes I would devour every word- oh, who am I kidding?  I read those anyway.  But if Darcie wrote them, they would be really gripping!  I recently had the privilege of meeting her in person, and she is a delight; just as warm, witty, & literate as you would expect from her “spot”.

As for Mommying Grace… right now- nothing more ambitious than chronicling our lives, gaining some perspective, processing my jumble of ideas, and connecting with you in your phase of life. Yikes! This may be a bit ambitious after all…

Thanks for reading.  Hang in there.

What are your favorite blogs and why do you read them?


Hence the name… November 29, 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Favorites,Motherhood — dayna @ 10:49 pm


A little more than three years ago I sat on a hospital bed, morning sunlight streaming through the window and my newborn daughter swaddled in my lap. After her overnight stay in the NICU and the wealth of warm visitors, we were blissfully alone for the first time.

There are so many things that are a blur about those early days, but I will NEVER forget my thoughts & emotions that morning. The one that I keep coming back to in my mind is the humbling awareness of the significance of what was taking place. This most beautiful, most precious, sweetly breathing tiny person had been entrusted to me. ME. The disbelief and awe still washes over me in hot tears.

The concept and sensation of grace had never been more tangible. THIS was grace. Yes, grace in the definition of new life as a thing of inexplicable beauty, but mostly grace in the sense of unmerited favor. I was completely humbled and literally brought to my knees with both the blessing of her arrival and the weight of such awesome responsibility.

What could I possibly have done to deserve the gift of her life? What could I possibly have done to prove myself a person worthy to care for her? Nothing. Plain and simple. Unmerited. Grace by definition is not earned.

I also had an instantaneous awareness of the grace that was going to be necessary to move forward from that moment. There was no way I was capable of this “mommy gig” on my own. I knew in the deepest part of my soul that I would need to rely heavily on the grace of others. My husband, my extended family members, my friends, but most of all the grace of this child and the grace of the Lord who had entrusted her to me.

I breathed that most difficult, but completely necessary mother’s prayer- “I know she is Yours. I know I can’t do this alone.  Please help me.”

I rely daily on this new kind of grace. Some “mommying grace”. I pray you experience it in your life as well.

Breathing her in...