Losing Teeth and Borrowing Grace


I was loading the dishwasher when Chase appeared in the kitchen, a tiny trail of blood trickling down his lower lip. Because I expected him to be in bed and was shocked about seeing a streak of red on his chin, I let out a gasp.

He practiced a crooked smile and held a treasure toward me. “I lost a tooth!”

Chase’s pink palm held a tiny pearl nugget, his second loose tooth.

“Can you put this in an envelope for the Tooth Fairy? Please, mom?” I carefully clasped the tiny tooth and sent him back into his room with a playful backside swat. Grabbing an envelope from the office, I placed the tooth inside, wrote ‘Chase’ across it with heart-tipped letters, and headed into the boys’ room to put the envelope under Chase’s pillow.

After kissing both boys goodnight again, I padded into the living room, where a glance at my hubby brought on a sharp realization.

The First National Bank of Tooth Fairy was out of cash!

“Do you have any cash on you?” My whispered words were high-pitched. The going rate for a tumbling tooth in our house is two dollars, and my wallet was empty save for a couple of dimes and a handful of pennies. Trevor pulled a lone twenty-dollar bill from his wallet.

Oh no.

A few days prior, Cole lost a tooth one evening before dinner, and I had asked my hubby to bring home singles. Unfortunately, it was already a few minutes past 9:00 that evening, and neither Trev nor I planned to go out again.

Where would the Tooth Fairy get two one-dollar bills to exchange for Chase’s tooth?

I thought about the container of change in the kitchen cabinet, but it was mostly pennies, dimes, and nickels. Worry rippled through my mommy’s heart, until I remembered…there was some cash in our house.

The boys’ wallets.

One Mario, one Star Wars, both wallets oozing with a couple of five dollar bills and a few ones. Cole meticulously counted his cash, but his brother was still learning to count money. Chase didn’t know how many singles he had in his wallet…

Trevor reminded me that Chase wouldn’t know and I could get cash tomorrow to replace the two borrowed dollars. Still I folded inward like a crumpled piece of paper, ready to duck and cover when the parenting police slapped a ‘Bad Mommy’ bumper sticker across my forehead..

Talk about a cheap Tooth Fairy! Chase would be paying for his own tooth!

I was torn between giggling and groaning as I borrowed two dollars from Chase’s wallet and exchanged them for his tiny tooth in their night-light lit bedroom. I was thankful I didn’t have to work the next day, so going to the bank was priority #1 in the morning.

Later, as I was reading in Ephesians, God’s word echoed the situation.

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ~ Ephesians 4:7

Grace. Amazing grace. Never-ending grace, given freely through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus promised Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Matthew Henry said that “Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.”

Because of Jesus Christ, none of us have to borrow grace. God has given us an abundant supply through His Son, and we don’t have to store it up for life’s ups and downs or for difficult days. It’s always there, in abundant supply through our Savior.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” ~ Hebrews 4:16

Tattooed With Grace

I was picking up leftover word search activity sheets when a new family walked into the classroom. I had just taught half a dozen 2nd and 3rd graders about the power of the tongue, from James 3. Another children’s ministry worker, Mary, came in with them and seemed deep in conversation. Unsure whether to make myself scarce or join in, I finished picking up and organizing markers and crayons. Just then, Mary turned and smiled, her face inviting me to join in.

The husband and wife were asking about the Sunday school lesson, so Mary let me take the lead. I shared that my lessons came from the church website, which provides expositional lessons through each book of the bible. This is modeled after Calvary Chapel’s teaching through each book of the bible.

In 2012 we learned about Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts, the Good News of Jesus Christ through Paul’s powerful epistle, Romans, the Biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, as well as portions of the various letters Paul wrote to the churches in the New Testament. I explained that the lessons are Jesus-focused and teach how the Word guides our lives.

As I finished up I sensed deep-seated skepticism from the dad, and a few moments later we found out that this family visited our church a few years back. They had left after the dad encountered unbiblical teaching and he had a disagreement with a pastor. Shock hit me like an unexpected wave; Though I’m no bible scholar and the church staff are fallible humans like the congregation, I do know the Holy Spirit is at work throughout our church.

Most importantly, Jesus is worshipped and the Word is taught in truth and love.

Unbiblical? I waited, curiosity overflowing like a flooded river.

Though the father wasn’t aggressive or rude, he was set solid like a container of old cement about one particular issue. I know Mary also prayed for wisdom and was curious, too. When he finally shared what it was, surprise and bewilderment twisted together into a rope of disbelief.



I’m not a big fan of them, I don’t have any, and I’ll probably never get one, but I have Christian friends with tattoos. I settled my indignation on their behalf, schooling my features as best I could. He explained that he believed salvation was hindered because of a tattoo on a person’s body and he wondered how could God forgive what he expressly forbade.

Old Testament flashed through my mind like a neon sign, and I know Mary had the same thought. The dad believed a verse in the Old Testament about God forbidding tattoos adversely affected a person’s salvation.

Unfortunately, when we gently asked where he found the verse, he wasn’t sure, and both Mary and I needed to wrap up the conversation. We mentioned to him that Old Testament laws weren’t meant to direct our lives presently, but the stumbling block seemed unmovable at his feet.

Later I found the verse about tattoos. Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you; I am the Lord.” I felt sadness for the dad and other people he would come into contact with and judge; the book of Leviticus was written as a guide-book for God’s redeemed people, the Israelites, over a thousand years before Jesus’ birth. It’s a set of rules the Israelites were to live by as they learned to worship and honor God.




“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” ~ John 1:17

Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law. Don’t stumble under rules and self-imposed laws that will weigh your soul down and negate the precious blood Jesus shed for our sin.  It is finished! Through faith in Jesus Christ, our lives are tattooed with His amazing grace and peace with our Creator.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 5:1 & 2