Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

What We Wonder August 30, 2017

Filed under: Motherhood,Uncategorized — dayna @ 11:50 pm

He was doing his usual investigations. Under a huge patio umbrella outside a fast food place, eyes big and thinking out loud. “So… you turn this handle around and around and that makes the rods push up and out and the umbrella goes up…” Pleased with himself, he pauses for moment.

“He always wonders about how things work” the oldest muses. “He has to figure it all out and understand why and how things do what they do… Is there something wrong with me that I don’t wonder about that? I mean, I’m not that curious about how things work. I’m just glad that they do,” she finishes simply.

I smile and reassure her. “Not at all, honey. He does wonder about that all the time though, hunh? You’re probably curious about other things.”

“Yeah.” She agrees with her honest confidence. The four of us meander across the parking lot and load up in our van.

“I guess we all wonder about different sorts of things. What do you wonder about?” I continue. Turning onto an unfamiliar street, I’m faced with a large hill off the side of the road. “For example, I wonder where does that street go? What’s up that hill? Can we get to it? How would we get up it?”

“Let’s climb up it!” he suggests excitedly. With nowhere we really need to be, I point the van in the direction of the large empty hill oddly on the outskirts of town.

My oldest continues our easy dialogue as we go. “Well,  I guess I wonder about people. Like when I see someone walking or in their car going somewhere, I wonder where they are going and what their story is. I wonder about their life and the people they know. Or if I see a wall or a gate, I wonder what’s behind it. What’s happening there?”

I’m smiling a bit to myself as the van winds and ascends. Treasuring in my heart the simple self-awareness of this writer-girl.

My little-middle girl pipes up. “I wonder if things are true. I wonder what’s real or not. Like in stories, and legends or things we hear about. I want to know what is true.”

Dazzled, my breath catches a bit. I’m in awe of them and us and the things we talk about.

“That’s true isn’t it, Jo? You do seem to seek what is real and true.” I see her matter-of-fact expression in the rearview mirror as my heart swells gratefully.

We go to that hill, pull to the side of the road and start to head up it on foot.

We discover, as is so often the case, that while from far away it looked green and soft, underfoot it’s rocky and covered in high, sharp weeds. There’s no visible trail and we don’t have the right shoes this night.

After a few minutes of exploring, we add the climb to the list for another day and load back up.

The gentle conversation about “wonderings” resumes and my heart is bursting full- of who they are and what they think.  The profound gleams in the midst of all the ordinary.



Adventures in plant-sitting May 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dayna @ 11:55 pm

“Really?” you say. “A post about plant-sitting?” I know! Doesn’t get much more thrilling than this, folks.

The little ladies and I have had a teensy bit more responsibility lately.

I would love to say we have risen to the challenge, and we kind of have…I guess.

Apparently a green thumb may skip a generation or (ahem) two.

The house is doing okay. The stacks of mail are thriving. The plants, however, are about eighty percent alive.

A co-worker of mine who also happens to be a neighbor has been overseas for a couple of weeks and we have been “helping” out. In all the creative ways you would expect from a team of toddler, pre-schooler, and scatter-brain.

It’s pretty straightforward really.

Here’s how it goes:

Our double jogger swings by our friend’s mailbox on our nearly daily morning walks. We head to the house, drop off the mail, check for packages, and then… divide and conquer.

The big girl proceeds to the kitchen to do serious work rearranging refrigerator magnets into pattern masterpieces. She also busies herself scheming up worthy reasons to climb the two flights of stairs. (It does occur to me what a bizarre up-bringing she is having in our home with its non-magnetic fridge and stair-lessness ).

The little one initially entertained herself playing with the dog toys. (Don’t worry. The dog is safely tucked away at an alternate undisclosed location). But then she got interested in her big sister’s kitchen activities…

Excuse me while I interrupt this post to insert a brief public safety announcement: Ok, moms- your child-free friends are under absolutely no obligation to “child-proof” their homes;)

Yeah, so… I basically blinked and the lightning-fast, freakishly-strong tiny one comes back around the corner lugging a gallon of bleach. She pretty much gets to stay strapped into the jogger since then.

Meanwhile, I “tend” the plants. I have mainly been attempting heroic measures on the poor plant above. I’m thinking maybe too much wet, too much dark in those crucial first few days. She has been relocated and left to dry, but I am sad to report that my attempts to resuscitate her have officially been in vain.

On the bright side, the herb garden is going strong despite my best efforts. So much so, that I am gradually being lulled into believing that maybe I could manage one of my very own…someday.

Yup. We are quite the team. I’m pretty sure you your plants couldn’t afford us.

I was about to enlist your horticulture help to identify the above pitiful plant so I could find a suitable replacement… when my husband informed me that it was a mini schefflera. Well then!

The man has rare talents, indeed.

How’s your houseplant IQ?

* In answer to the countless inquiries we usually get: the big sis is wearing her TwirlyGirl dress courtesy of Stephanie about a year ago. It’s reversible (!) and she would wear it every single day if only her mom did laundry that often;)


Serving those who serve April 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dayna @ 11:43 pm

I’m embarrassed to admit that I had never really given it that much thought.

Deployment just hasn’t been a part of my personal reality.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been appreciative in words, thoughts, or prayers towards military family acquaintances. Or that I haven’t shed tears while watching movies depicting the struggles and transitions of those affected by deployment. Or that I haven’t been completely in awe upon meeting a military spouse juggling family, work, or school.

I just hadn’t given specific thought to the question “How does that work?”

A month or so ago, the girls and I entertained a sweet runaway dog for a few hours while we attempted to locate her owner. Thankfully, she was micro-chipped and after numerous phone calls, we were able to trace her to a temporary home at a neighbor’s house.  The neighbor is a young man serving in the Air Force and trying to contain dog-sit this pony-sized pup while her “mommy” is deployed.

That evening I mused to my husband about how common that situation must be amongst our single young people serving, and how difficult it would be to find someone to care for your pet for such an extended amount of time. I was baffled that it had never occurred to me before.

Recently, a friend’s husband was deployed for the first time in their married life. His wife is a lovely soft-spoken woman who is bright and always incredibly positive. She is a mother to four (!) teenager-ish kids and works outside the home full-time.  She mentioned that this was coming and I tried to be supportive in word and by listening, but… that was pretty much it. Gulp.

And then he went, and there were glimpses that this might be (duh) really hard for her. Another sweet friend sprang into action organizing some meals for the family so that they would have at least one less thing to deal with right now. But beyond the food and the normal friendly attempts at trying to cheer her up and let her know that we are here to listen, I am ashamed to say that I am a bit at a loss.

My brain has been whirring.

How would my family do that? We would have to use so much childcare! How would transportation work? How would everything get done? The details of my (albeit imaginary) scenario quickly grew daunting. And that’s not even considering the emotional toll on a wife…on a family.

So comes the question, “How do we show our appreciation for this family’s willingness to serve?”

I found a few potentially helpful websites. I also found some tough statistics. In a recent Operation Appreciation survey, about 90% of military family members said that they felt that the general public didn’t understand the sacrifices they make.

So I am asking you for your help. Got any ideas?

Have you or your spouse ever been deployed? How did others support you in ways that were really truly helpful? I would love specific ways to support a family during this challenging time. How do we assure our friend that although we know she is strong and competent, ________ is the least we can do…

I hope you will join in the discussion and help me fill in the blanks.

  *In my internet ramblings, I was also led to Ashleigh’s blog where she writes about this experience with courage, honesty, and rare beauty. 



Today: spring (with bling) April 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dayna @ 11:54 pm