Wrestling with myself can be very real struggle


Mrs. Howard invited the Tooth Fairy to come to her school, Betsy Layne Elementary, recently to share with the kindergarten and first-graders about taking care of their teeth.  (This Tooth Fairy is really me all gussied up in pink tulle and glittery wings.)

I get ridiculously excited about seeing the kids.

On the morning of the event, I donned the TF costume but always need help zipping up.  The wings are attached by elastic bands that slide into small slits in the back of the gown.  It’s a bit complicated, let me tell you.  Tulle is everywhere, so the zipper often gets snagged before it goes completely together.  I wear clothes underneath the costume, lest a kid be forever scarred by a wardrobe malfunction. 

To complete the outfit, I wear a white curly wig and pink cat-eye glasses.  One of the girls at Panache, a local salon, helps me get my hair in place each time.  (It takes a village!)  This morning, while at the shop, I decided I could do it myself.  I had it pinned on and thought it looked pretty good.  Thank goodness Megan caught me before I flew off.  I had it on upside down!  The icing on the cake is a liberal spraying of glitter from head to toe.  Glitter is one of my favorite colors!

At the school, I told the kids about traditions in other countries when someone loses a tooth.  Did you know that in Spain they have a Tooth Mouse (El Raton) who leaves money in children’s shoes?!  Yikes!  In some Asian countries, kids throw their teeth on the roof!  Look out!

Then we practiced brushing and flossing without actually touching our teeth.  Germs are EVERYWHERE this time of year!  We did the floss dance and some of the boys said I wasn’t very good at it.

Finally, I read one of my favorite tooth books:  Gilbert and the Lost Tooth by Diane deGroat.

I waved goodbye and headed home in my car.  (They know I can’t fly during the day.) 

Back at home, my beloved unzipped my gown.  I went to the bedroom to begin un-fairying myself.  For some reason, after tugging and pulling, I still couldn’t get the dress off!  “What is WRONG?!” I growled to myself.  More tugging, more pulling.  My arms were stuck!  I couldn’t get it over my head, couldn’t push it down!  A Monarch butterfly has less trouble coming out of a chrysalis!

I am a bit stubborn and didn’t want to ask for help so I continued the struggle alone.  Had the television not been on in the other room, my beloved would have surely heard the scuffle in the back room.  Glitter flew with every tug, every pull.  Finally, I was able to turn the gown around.  NO WONDER I WAS HAVING TROUBLE!!!  The zipper had caught six inches short because it was stuck in tulle! 

The outward wrestling match with the Tooth Fairy gown made me think of the inward wrestling match that goes on inside every now and then.  I love Jesus but still I wrestle with self, sometimes thinking more highly of me than I should.  I need to be more worried about my reflection of Jesus in the world than my reflection in the mirror, more concerned about the condition of my heart than the condition of my hair.  I wrestle with obeying God when I’d occasionally rather head for Tarshish.  I wrestle with comforting others instead of just being comfortable myself, with having faith instead of being fearful.  Whew!  Is it just me or does that sound like you, too?

Ephesians 4:24 reminds me “to put on the new self, created to be like God…”  That means, no matter if I am covered in sparkles or not, I’m supposed to be like Jesus inside and out.  Shine, Jesus, shine!

Going to bed that night, my beloved whispered, “Tomorrow we need to clean the bathroom.” 

Oh no!
I thought.  Had he been sick?!  “Are you OK?” I whispered back.

“Yes,” he answered.  “There’s glitter everywhere, on the floor, on my feet.  And now it’s in the bed.” 

So far, I haven’t found a Bible verse about the awesomeness of glitter. 

awn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at 


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