Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Toothfairy: How God Turned Failure Into Fame


            My twins were five years old and starting to lose their baby teeth.  I looked forward to being the tooth fairy for them like my mom had done for me.  My mother wrapped a coin in pink, stretchy crepe paper and, while I slept, exchanged the pretty package for my tooth.  I never caught her and she never forgot.  
            My daughter lost the first tooth and I performed right on cue.  Success!  Two lost teeth later I fell asleep on the job, waking up the next morning—neglecting to perform my tooth fairy duties.  I jumped up in a panic and ran to my son’s room.  Luckily, I managed to make the exchange just as he stirred awake.  
            “Mom, what are you doing?” he asked  
            “Oh, I was just checking to see if the tooth fairy came.” I said.
            His eyes popped open as he stuck his arms under his pillow “Yes she did!  Look!”   
            It was a close call but my cover wasn’t blown.
            The next time the tooth fairy was called to duty, I snuck into my daughter’s room a little too soon and her eyes opened as I searched under her pillow for the tooth box. 
            A few more teeth and a few close calls later, I resigned myself to being a sub-par tooth fairy. How could I be so bad at something so simple?  I hoped the kids weren’t on to my secret, but my hopes were dashed one spring day.
            My kids ran in the door from kindergarten, both speaking over each other to tell me a story.  On the playground, a kid was bragging about his mother’s important job and all the other kids had joined in.
            “Mom, Sara’s mom is a nurse,” my daughter said.
            “Mark’s mom is a hair cutter,” my son added. 
            “Jessica’s mom is a teacher.” 
            “John’s mom works at a bank.”
            I could see where this playground conversation had gone and as a stay-at-home mom, I wondered what they had said my job was.
            “What did you say I do?” I asked.
            In unison, they exclaimed, “You’re the tooth fairy!”
            They were elated to have unloaded the secret they’d been keeping for quite some time.  Upon further questioning, I realized that they didn’t think I was just their tooth fairy, but they had assumed that I was the tooth fairy for every child in the world.  The other kids were very impressed.  After I stopped laughing, I told them the truth, that yes, I was the tooth fairy.  They’d caught me. 
            Truth be told, over the course of the previous months of tooth fairy failure, I had grown to dread the words “Mom, I lost a tooth.”  I associated it with another opportunity to drop the ball.  Try as I might, I simply couldn’t get my act together at the end of a long day.  It was one in a string of ways I thought I didn’t quite measure up to other moms.
            When my children told me their story, I was blessed.  God had not used my lackluster tooth fairy skills to point to my inadequacy, He’d used it to build me up. He showed me that my children naturally thought the best of me.  Instead of disappointment that I was a bad tooth fairy, they had thought me an even more excellent tooth fairy.  
            As I mothered my kids to adulthood, the opportunities for guilt and comparison were never lacking.  When frustration with my shortcomings would rear it’s ugly head, the Lord graciously reminded me that I was the tooth fairy.  I remembered that even though I fail in some areas, I am God’s pick for my kids.  He did not make a mistake in assigning me to my children, quite the contrary.  He put us together on purpose—with purpose—that He would be glorified.  God’s grace is not a one-time gift, limited to salvation, it is a daily gift, one that we can choose to receive over and over as we muddle through motherhood.  God lavishes his grace on us, not wanting us to beat ourselves up when we fall short, but sweetly reminding us that His grace is enough.

2 Corinthians 12:9  (ESV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Sourdough Motherhood

I've recently noticed the similarities between baking sourdough bread and motherhood.

Both require a slow, careful process.

In the throes of motherhood, a tantrum can send us off a cliff of overreaction. Schedules can rob a mom of patience. Exhaustion will shorten a temper in no time flat. All of those things (and more) suck the joy out of motherhood and pile on guilt.

And that brings me to the art of sourdough bread.

I tried making sourdough bread 1,532 times before I was successful. 

I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it (just like a 2-year-old...or a tired mama). 

But sourdough is a process. A two-day, slow, tender test of patience to produce a beautiful brown, chewy loaf of goodness. A successful loaf is always worth the time and attention it requires.

I failed 1,532 times because I rushed. I reacted. I was distracted. I didn't plan ahead. 

Mothering little ones takes the same kind of care.

Planning, preparation, tenderness, patience. 

"I don't have time for that!" 

Sloooow dooooown.

I finally wanted to succeed enough that I decided to take a breath and take it slow and plan for sourdough bread. With so many steps in the process, one must be disciplined (I don't like that word). But I realized another thing in the process...I enjoy watching and feeling what happens to a dough ball as the starter worked its' magic. It's interesting. It's satisfying. It's rewarding. The result was amazing. SO worth the time and attention. 

The same can be said of slowing down and paying attention to mothering. Listening to the little voices constantly seeking your attention, stopping what you're doing to watch the wonderful thing they can do, noticing how your slower reactions change the dynamic and encourage softness in them. 

Rushing through the sourdough process produced hard and heavy loaves. Rushing through motherhood produces hard, heavy days.

I made that loaf in the picture. You'll notice that it's not the most beautiful loaf you've ever seen. That's okay. Perfection is a myth. We're all doing our best around here.

I didn't mother my kids perfectly, either. No one can. But we can always keep learning and trying and working to do better.

So be encouraged, mama. Allow yourself more time. 

Cut some things out of the schedule (just do it). 

Remove distractions (that phone). 

Take a breath. 

Slow down. 

Pay attention to the process and enjoy the sweet, warm goodness of sourdough motherhood.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Happy Mother's Day!


This is my mom....and me and my siblings.

She's smiling, but I'll bet she's exhausted. Three kids aged 5 years and under. This photo represents some of the hardest years of mothering.

I had three kids aged five years and under too. First I had boy/girl twins, then 5 years later another daughter. I love, love, loved being a mom of littles, but there were many moments when I lost my joy...all the joy of motherhood. Oooooh, honesty there.

Can I be more honest with you? That's normal. I felt overwhelmed. I felt like I couldn't stand another minute of seemingly senseless tears and tantrums. I wanted to turn in my Mom card and sit on a beach anywhere but where I was at that moment. 

Let me repeat. That's normal.

Since becoming a Nana, I've grown to understand a lot about those years. In the coming posts, I'll share those things with you. 

But now, with Mother's Day a couple of days away, I want to encourage you with this:

You can do it. You are a good mom. A perfect mom? Nope. No one is. Look away from social media and accept that you are exactly who God picked for your kids. You are the perfect mom for them. No one else, no matter if they fix fancy snacks, or keep their laundry washed, or have a clean car, or if their kid's hair is styled one else can do for your kids what you can, and no one else knows what they need as completely as you do. Rest in that this weekend. You are enough for them. 

And they love you.

You are doing good, important work and growing right along with your kids.

These images are from my (en)courage(ment) book for moms.

More encouragement coming soon...

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and to all the moms out there.

I see you!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Summer's Coming!


Summer is coming!

You know what that means, mamas.

It means the kids will be home, forgetting all they learned in school. But you can help by encouraging them to write.

Or maybe you homeschool and need some fresh writing prompts to inspire your kids.

I can help! I created a writing prompt book just for kids ages 6-12. It's full of fun prompts to keep your kids writing during the sultry days of summer.

If you want a book you can hold in your hands, you can find it here.

If you want an instant download, a pdf, you can find that here.

Moms have reported to me that their kids love the prompts and have fun using them. They are wholesome, with some prompts that are faith-based and no hint of current social issues. 

Get yours today!

**Use coupon code THANKYOU to save 10%**

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Let Me Re-Introduce Myself...

I am Heather Morse Alexander.

Wife, mom of three, nana of two boys, disciple of Jesus, encourager, writer, artist, bookworm, vintage photo hoarder, flea market enthusiast, gardener, baker, plant lover, antique shop peruser, coffee drinker, and beachcomber. 

I've recently combined four of my favorite things: Encouraging, writing, art and vintage photos. They all combined into what I like to call The Encouragement Project.

So far, I've produced two (en)courage(ment) books. 

This one is a general encouragement book for everyone because we all need encouragement. Am I right?

This one is for new moms...or moms of littles. Moms probably need encouragement the most!

I have also written a middle-grade novel that I am currently in the process of querying. I love the creativity and work of writing a book, but querying makes me shrink like a wool sweater in the dryer. I am determined to do it, though. (Prayers appreciated!)

Two topics that I'm incredibly interested in writing about on this blog are motherhood and grandparenting. I love both so much, and now that I am a Nana, I am seeing mothering from a completely different angle, and it is amazing and enlightening. Stay tuned for posts about that.

I hope you enjoy what you find here.  Welcome!

Friday, January 14, 2022



The above photo is a collection of what I'm calling Connection Cards.

Connection has become exponentially important over the past two years. 

Face to face chats, pen to paper communication, or a good old fashioned phone call...that's connection.

Connection is life. Without it, we wither. 

About a year ago I left social media. 

Here's one of my biggest take-aways:

When I was on social media, and I'd see one of my "friends" out in the real world, we had little to talk about - we'd already shared our highlights online. We'd quickly exchange small talk and go about our day. "Gee it was good to see so-and-so," I'd think.

Now, we stop and share what's going on in our lives. We catch up. I really don't know how they are and what they've been up to - and I'm curious. I'm interested. I want to know! It's a real-time face-to-face "like" - much more satisfying than a number on a screen.

Curiosity is a big piece of connection. I feel like that's been lost over the past decade. We already know the highlights, so we don't ask anything, we've lost a lot of the skills of conversation and dare I say, how to be real-time interested in another's life. 

So, I present Connection Cards...available in my Etsy shop.

They're a place to start...write a little note to someone and brighten their day. Connect. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas!

We just returned from an early Christmas celebration with family. 

There's just nothing better than having all your kids together in one place...can I get an amen?

We spent two days doing Christmassy things in North Carolina...playing, baking, laughing, eating--all the best was delightful. 

I adore those people. They make my heart sing.

I hope your Christmas is filled with all the best things: Love, laughter, family (if you can stand 'em), friends, good food, fun surprises, and most importantly, peace, joy, and more peace.

May you know the most valuable gift of the season: Jesus. May His perfect peace fill your heart--edging out the fear peddled by the world. 

I love the words of the second verse of Joy to the World:

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love. 


Merry Christmas!

The Toothfairy: How God Turned Failure Into Fame

                     My twins were five years old and starting to lose their baby teeth.    I looked forward to being the tooth fairy for th...