The Continuing Saga of the Tooth Fairy

Yesterday, I had a mom fail. A huge one. The tooth fairy forgot to come and trade my son’s first lost tooth for money.

My son was devastated. Like, sobbing and crawling up in my lap devastated. And I felt horrible. I blogged about it. After I blogged, the Tooth Fairy Saga continued…

Yesterday afternoon we went to lengths to ensure that the tooth fairy did not forget my son again. He asked his older sister how the tooth fairy is supposed to know when he loses a tooth, and she gave him a rather, well, unconventional answer: apparently, the tooth fairy has installed a mini-cam in his nose that extends down to his mouth and watches his teeth. Prepared with that knowledge, he wrote the tooth fairy a note.

Six-year-old boy holding handwritten note.

Let me give you a close-up of that note:

Handwritten note that says, “Tooth fairy you forgot my tooth. My sister said you put a mini-cam up my nose and when I pick my nose you will repair it. I love you! P.S. Please come tonight!

There’s no other way to say this than with emoticons: 😂😂😂

At the suggestion of a dear friend, I also posted my own note to the tooth fairy along with these pictures on my Facebook account. After all, perhaps my daughter is wrong about the mini-cam? Perhaps the tooth fairy uses social media instead.

It’s now 7:42 a.m. on Saturday and my son has still not awaken, but something tells me the tooth fairy remembered him this time. We shall see tomorrow, with the Conclusion of the Tooth Fairy Saga…

Life, Miracles, & God’s Faithfulness

Three weeks since I’ve blogged—wait, what? Three weeks? But as I look back on them, it’s understandable. A lot has happened in three weeks.

A little over three weeks ago, my son graduated from kindergarten and my daughter finished fourth grade. Both were given awards for their artistic and creative abilities—something so precious to this mama’s heart! I am a creative at heart, and love seeing creativity shine through my children.A teacher and kindergarten graduate in a kindergarten classroomAnother teacher and kindergarten graduate in a kindergarten classroomA fourth-turning-fifth grader and her teacher outside the school on the last day of fourth grade
The following week, VBS happened—Vacation Bible School—and during that week we also

    *had an attempted sleepover with one of my daughter’s friends (she went home, and I later discovered she has never spent the night anywhere before—still it broke my daughter’s heart because she thought there was something wrong with her that made her friend leave)
    *went to the sprinkler park with some cousins
    *made my son’s second batch of cupcakes for the summer (he’s working through a magazine of 100 different cupcakes, and wanted to make all of them this summer! I told him it would take a bit longer than that)
    *had an actual sleepover with another cousin to make up for the attempted one.

I also got some adult time in with two of my oldest, dearest friends—we haven’t been able to get together for 2.5 years!

Six year old boy and ten year old girl making goofy faces at a park

Life only got busier, faster, and slower all at once after that. This has been a season of graduations, with two in my family, and between VBS and my daughter’s sleep-away camp (coming up next) we attended the second of the graduation parties for my cousins’ children. We weren’t even there ten minutes when near-tragedy hit. One of my aunts, now in her seventies (but I have no idea how—my aunts and uncles are not that old! They can’t be!) but still full of life, somehow tripped coming down the stairs and hit her head on the wall opposite. Then she stopped breathing and responding to anything until her sister gave her CPR. Away in an ambulance to a nearby hospital she went, with her sister and her daughter’s family, who had arrived right after the ambulance did.

The next several hours were full of conflicting reports from the various doctors running the tests and coming in to observe her. Scans revealed she had broken her C1 vertebra, and one report said she would need surgery or could face paralysis. Just then, back home and having just splashed boiling water on my stomach when the macaroni for my son’s dinner stuck in the bottom of the pan while I was stirring it, I broke down in tears and begged God for a miracle. I confessed my mustard-seed sized faith in the modern medical miracle—I know God can perform miracles of healing, but I often doubt that he will, telling myself that he has allowed the condition for some reason—and asked for one, also confessing that my motive was completely selfish. I am not ready to lose my mom’s siblings; I lost her early enough. And I asked for my aunt to have the peace that passes understanding as she went through this. I knew she was conscious, and I couldn’t imagine what she was going through.

The following morning, having not heard many more specifics other than that things might have been better than expected with my aunt, I took my daughter to a Christian camp for the third year in a row (six days, five nights). My son and I headed to another aunt’s house for a few days, where I discovered I had no cell service (seems crippling after having grown familiar with it these past twenty years or so). My daughter made friends, had fun, and grew closer to God—and was once again recognized for her creativity—and my son and I relaxed into life at a different pace for a few days.

10 year old girl in life jacket on a dock at a lake at campSix year old boy eating lunch, playing on a tablet, and making a goofy face sitting at a kitchen island

While my aunt, son, and I relaxed, my injured aunt came home. When I was able to talk with her I made an amazing discovery—God had granted my miracle. The neurosurgeon, the “final authority” as he told my relatives, started the consultation before he sent her home with the bad news: “You broke your neck.” Then he continued with the amazing, miraculous news: “You have to wear a brace for two weeks, and then you should be good as new.” He explained that she probably didn’t even need the brace and it was just a precaution. And my aunt, speaking to me, told me she was peaceful and calm in the hospital.

Thank God for miracles, great and small.

Finally, this past week, spent at home, has been a never-ending battle to catch up and deal with one small mishap at another. Without having to run here and there and play the chauffeur, I thought it might be one of the more relaxing weeks of the summer. Instead, it’s been the week of small attacks I think were meant to bring me down—the low after the high of witnessing a miracle. The housecleaning that usually takes me five hours on a Monday never got completely done, probably because I kept adding things to my agenda like trying to get the second of my two vegetable gardens cleared of the pineapple sage that has overtaken it (probably no veggies in that one this year—we’ll see. That garden is still a work in progress). I also decided to begin shampooing our carpets, and did my bedroom and the hallway (pictured in my Instagram feed on the left). That night, my senior dog peed in her sleep for the first time in months—on the bedroom carpet—and the following night she threw up on it. The next day our kitten decided to knock over a bowl that had the remnants of chocolate ice cream in it (yes, on the carpet). And this morning I broke a coffee pot full of water while trying to make my coffee (so thankful for the spare coffee pot!).

Garden overrun by pineapple sageProgress made clearing the pineapple sage from the gardenTomato garden planted

I can’t help but think that all of the little mishaps are small efforts to attack my faith. It’s not just those small things; I’ve also learned that two friends who previously beat cancer have had (or may have had, for one) it return in different forms. At a time in my life when I’m trying to lean on God, follow his direction, and hoping he’ll let me and lead me into an entirely new adventure, I am being hit with things large and small to take me down in the day-to-day. At those times, though, I just need to sit and remember and see how faithful God is in the day-to-day. To see the things listed in this post, how much I have to be thankful for in just the past three weeks. And I know that God will remain faithful, will remain performing miracles—large and small—in the day to day of my life.

I am thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

God’s Shadow, Our Shelter

This afternoon I reluctantly attempted to write the chorus for a worship song. I never felt the pull to write it, but I did feel the pull to at least try. And it was in the trying that God taught me a bit more about himself. I love how God does that.

Why was I attempting this, especially if I was reluctant to do so? I was following a prompt from a devotional for a small group I’m in. The prompt directed readers to use the working title Shelter, and to read Psalm 91 as inspiration. The minute I picked up my Bible and started reading, I knew why God had given me the pull to try: he wanted to bring Psalm 91:1 to my attention.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1, NIV)

That’s an image that never appealed to me much. I hate being cold, but love sitting and resting in a warm patch of sun, like a cat finding the sunniest spot to nap in from the light streaming in through the window. So the thought of resting in a shadow—one I think of as dark and cold—never seemed attractive. But as I read this, I thought about that shadow, that resting place. And a thought occurred to me: But God is light.

How can light have a shadow?

True, without light there are no shadows. But the light itself does not have a shadow; the only thing that truly casts a shadow is something standing in the way of the light; that is what gives shape to the shadow. The shadow belongs to the thing blocking the light.

What does it mean, then, to be in the shadow of light? Of the source of light? Not just the source, but just—light?

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5, NIV)

If there is no darkness in him at all, if there is just light, then it stands to reason that the shadow of light is light.

The picture this has always invoked in my mind changed. Rather than sitting in the dark, the coldness, this shadow—the Almighty’s shadow—is a place to which one can run and be bathed in light and warmth. Those who need shelter and rest can turn toward him and feel the light. Because to be in his shadow is to be in light, not darkness; in warmth, not coldness. I saw a picture of a warm embrace, of light and love and truth bathing the one who longs for shelter with peace and rest for the soul.

As these thoughts came to mind, so did one of my friends. This friend is in deep mourning for her sister and is longing for his light.

Friend, you are in it. She is in it. It may not feel like it right now, but God’s shadow is light, and I have no doubt you and your family, who have run to him, are wrapped in his arms and bathed in his light. I pray that you will feel the warmth of his tears—he grieves with you, as he grieved with the family of Lazarus—and feel the warmth of his embrace as he consoles you and cares for you. Know that in him there is no darkness, only light; there is no death, only life.