What does the tooth fairy bring to your house?

I’ve heard this question a lot from other parents.

“What does the tooth fairy bring for a tooth?”
I’ll tell you what she brings at our house.
If she remembers to visit. (She has forgotten a couple of times in the past, but she always remembers and visits…eventually)
So, for the very first tooth it’s a whopping $2. 2 whole dollar bills. Nothing super exciting. And, yet we are always really excited to see that she has delivered.
For the second tooth and every tooth thereafter, she pays $1 per tooth.
For 4 kids that comes to roughly $22 per child or $88 total.
That’s plenty, in my opinion and these kids couldn’t be happier with the tooth fairy (at least when she shows up) ūüôā

Lucky for us, she will make an appearance tonight as Trinity lost her second front tooth today. I think she looks adorable and can’t wait for her to sing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!”

What does the tooth fairy bring to your house? is the 20th post this month from El Momma .com where I am blogging every day for the month of July. Follow with the hashtag #elmomma31 Thanks!

Forgiveness in the Church

I’ve thought a lot about what forgiveness looks like.
In our culture, it’s pretty brutal.
Look at just a few of the celebrities caught up in scandals of the last few years:

Paula Deen¬†https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Deen¬†see “Racial epithet controversy”

Lance Armstrong http://time.com/2822189/lance-armstrong-forgive-oprah/


Brian Williams http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-st-politicians-brian-williams-lie-20150214-story.html#page=1

Of course, you can find those who are well known who seem to have been forgiven for their transgressions and welcomed back into successful careers: Rob Lowe, Christian Bale, Hugh Grant, Chris Brown, etc.


But, when our culture decides that enough is enough, we won’t forgive. That transgression is too far. Too much. Too bad. And, we write the person off. That’s all. Until we forget.


On the flip side, what is the picture we get of forgiveness from Jesus?


In Paul’s letter to Ephesus he writes¬†

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,¬†who has blessed us in the heavenly realms¬†with every spiritual blessing in Christ.¬†For he chose us¬†in him before the creation of the world¬†to be holy and blameless¬†in his sight. In love¬†he¬†predestined¬†us to be adopted as his sons¬†through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure¬†and will–to the praise of his glorious grace,¬†which he has freely given us in the One he loves. ¬†In him we have redemption¬†through his blood,¬†the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches¬†of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.¬†And he¬†made known to us the mystery¬†of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed¬†in Christ,¬†to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. ¬†In him we were also chosen,¬†having been predestined¬†according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose¬†of his will,¬†in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.¬†And you also were included in Christ¬†when you heard the word of truth,¬†the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal,¬†the promised Holy Spirit,¬†who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption¬†of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”


I think it is hard for us to accept these words as truth and let them pour over us. But, let’s try. Read this again:
In Him we have redemption¬†through His blood,¬†the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches¬†of God’s grace¬†that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

We have REDEMPTION through his blood

The FORGIVENESS of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…

God’s word gives us further evidence of true forgiveness in Jesus’ teachings. He says in Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins

Whoa. So, God’s Word teaches that we are redeemed because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. He paid the price for our sins and we are forgiven. But, Jesus tells us we must forgive others. To be forgiven, we must forgive.

So, the church’s¬†response is clear- we must forgive. We want to have this unfiltered, direct connection with God that comes through Jesus Christ. And, we are promised that connection. We are promised redemption and forgiveness and we are commanded to forgive.

It sounds simple, but forgiveness, though easy to receive, can be hard to give.




Let Freedom Ring!

Happy Fourth of July, Y’ALL!
We hope you have a wonderful day. 
We hope you will enjoy celebrating with family and friends.
We hope you will be safe.
Don’t get too close to fireworks.
And, uber if you have anything to drink.
Enjoy the best freedoms that being American brings.
For our family, the best freedoms are the ones that allow us to be together. 
To be safe together.
To pray openly together.
To eat ribs and gluten free pizza together (because we can). 
To love each other. 
To be unique.
To be American.
Let Freedom Ring!

2013

2014
2011

Surviving the Storms. Think on This.


Over Memorial Day weekend, Texas was hit hard with storms. There were families literally swept away inside river homes in Wimberley. Precious lives lost. 
Many Houston families’ homes were flooded with inches to 2 feet of water. Neighbors and friends of ours were awakened to rising waters inside their homes and they are still out of their houses.
Only five days later we were hit with another storm with less rainfall, but more lightning and a funnel cloud. We lost shingles on our roof and our ceiling leaked in our bedroom. We had trees on our street ripped up.  The transformer in our backyard went crazy, sparking and sounding like it was blowing. It was minor compared to all that others were going through and are still going through.
But, nonetheless, it was traumatic for our kids.
I saw that last night.
Huddled up on the kitchen floor during yesterday’s thunder and lightning storm and flash flood warning.
We prayed.
And prayed.
And we made butterflies with our legs and pretended to fly while singing a newly made up song:

“fly little butterfly fly
fly little butterfly fly
with your wings up and down
up and down
up and down
fly little butterfly fly”

We sang.
And we giggled. 

But, something has changed. 
I know that my kids are anxious.
I don’t believe that they are naturally anxious beings.
I believe these particular circumstances all within a short period of time have made them anxious.
My job as a parent is to not leave them in that anxious place.
That place that will shape them into someone who is anxious with every lightning strike, every thunder roar, every rain storm or flood watch.
It is okay to be cautious. To be aware. To know where there are dangers and to avoid them.
But, in Philippians 4:4-9 God’s Word tells us: ¬†
<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29430G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.¬†¬†Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29431H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>The Lord is at hand;¬†do not be anxious about anything,¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29432J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>but in everything by prayer and supplication¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29432K" data-link="(K)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.¬†¬†And¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29433L" data-link="(L)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the peace of God,¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29433M" data-link="(M)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.¬†Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.¬†What you have learned and¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29435N" data-link="(N)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>received and heard and seen¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29435O" data-link="(O)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>in me‚ÄĒpractice these things, and¬†<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-29435P" data-link="(P)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>the God of peace will be with you.”


I believe this to be true. 
So, as we were praying and flapping our butterfly leg-wings and making up silly songs, we were living out Philippians 4. 
Focusing on loveliness, goodness, truth…and God gave us His peace.


#elmomma31