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Tindell Baldwin »

Sometimes I get to do really cool things, OK to some people they aren’t that cool but for a stay at home mom who sometimes writes they feel pretty cool. Sunday my wonderfully talented literary agent was in town and he had a meeting with my dad. The Stanfill’s are kind of like the Christian mafia, if you work with one of us you are going to end up working with the rest of us in some way, shape, or form. So I was basically there to say hi and sit in while they talked business. Well joining us was the CEO of Open Doors.

We started talking and He began telling me about the persecuted church overseas and the great lengths they were going to at great personal risk to spread the gospel.  As he began to tell me story after story of men and woman who risked their lives day after day I realized what he was talking about was far more biblical than the fancy dinner I was sitting at. So I asked him, “Do you believe Americans face persecution” very confidently he said, “No, we face temptation and we face the question that everyone who is persecuted for their faith already knows the answer to.” I was eager at this point, I wanted the answer. I wanted to be on the inside (again stay at home mom so this is the most adult conversation I’ve had in awhile) He said.

“They already know that Jesus is enough but we might never get to the point where we have to truly know that” (I am paraphrasing but this was the gist)

This is a man who has traveled the world, met very influential people and biblical scholars. He knows the gospel and he just summed up my problem in one sentence. Will I ever know that Jesus is enough? In my four bedroom house filled with comfort, will I ever know how much I truly need Jesus?  In my day to day where I love on my daughter, spend precious time with my husband, and am surrounded by family and friends, will I ever know that all that truly matters is Jesus?

I hear about people like Paul and Stephan who were killed for their faith so many years ago and I tell myself but that was so long ago, things were so different. It was an inhumane time. Is it really any better though? Have things really changed? 27 million slaves in the world and I call this a more “humane” time. People dying daily for their faith and I say things have changed. No truth remains truth, when you really fully understand how full and rich a life with Jesus is you will go to any lengths to make others understand. (and I thought giving the passion CD to the lady at Starbucks was doing my due diligence)

Sometimes it feels like I’ve made such a impenetrable comfort bubble that he can’t get through and if I am honest I’m scared to ask him to show me because I fear, no I know, it would involve being uncomfortable and that would disrupt my happiness.

I realized that as much as I hunger for a life filled with him I want it to be a comfortable life filled with him. I want him to come sit on my plush couch have coffee with me while we discuss who we are “praying for”.  I want a Jesus who doesn’t ask me to change, go, or trust. I want Jesus to be the friendly old lady at church who is completely satisfied if I come have tea with her once a week.

This isn’t the God I serve though, this isn’t all he asking of me. He’s asking a lot and I believe I can either stay in my bubble and answers the questions right and say the right things or I can get uncomfortable with people not knowing about Jesus and do something about it. Until I am willing to do whatever, go wherever, and say whatever he asks I am proclaiming that Jesus is not enough.

  • Anna Etheriedge - I loved your blog and I agree that Americans rarely face persecution, but I can assure you that somewhere along the line you too will be able to answer the question, “Is Jesus enough for me.” After nearly 25 years of marriage and having faced 3 miscarriages, my husband’s colon cancer, drug addiction with one of our kids, mental illness with a grandparent and now dementia with my parents… the question is posed through suffering of other kinds. God sifts all His children! However a time of persecution is coming that world has never seen before- may we be ready! Thank you for writing, can’t wait for your book.ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - That is very true! I have not faced anything as challenging personally and that was my heartbeat behind this message! I can only imagine when more life is lived that Jesus will reveal himself to me even more! Thank you for your insight! God Bless ~TindellReplyCancel

  • TS - Tindy, I dont have words other than AMEN!! I love your heart and God loves when we are honest with him becuase he knows what we are thinking anyway. I have so far to go but all we can do is say “here I am, Lord” and let him lead us where he wants us to go. Let him take us on the adventure of following HIM. Let him shape our character through our own suffering. If I’m not willing, I’m asking that he change my heart. If I’m scared, I’m asking him to give me courage. If I doubt, I’m asking him to show up and strengthen my faith. If you want to be further challenged in this, I recommend you read “Heavenly Man”.ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Great thoughts Tay Tay! Heavenly man is on my list! You should look at David Platts “Follow me” its great too!! Love you tons bro!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Very powerful message. Thank you for sharing, Tindell.ReplyCancel

  • Tindell Baldwin - I struggle with the same thing everyday! Its a daily battle to face this world and not want what is easy and comfortable but rather what God has called us to. David Platts book “follow me” is great at really hashing it out!


When I first thought about being a writer I loved the idea that I could have words but no face, that someone would know me for something I had said rather than what I looked like. Cause I will be honest, I am a Hot mess, minus the hot.

I spend most of my days covered in spit up. If I had a uniform it would be yoga pants and my husbands t shirt. I don’t go to cool events or lunch with important people, I am a mom to a four month old, a wife to an amazing (and might I add attractive) man, a friend to some amazing woman, a sister to some life changing people, and a daughter to wonderful parents. Some days I spend more time on you tube looking up videos of baby wombats than i’d care to admit (ok thats never ok to admit). I don’t see my girl friends as much as I would like. I spend less time in the bible than I should. Life is life. Its messy and crazy and most days I collapse into bed at 10 o clock and just thank God for the chance to shower.

I’m not even one of those creative moms that makes bible characters out of left over Popsicle sticks and tin foil (not sure if this is a thing but im sure pintrest would prove that it is). I cook sub par meals and my husband and I are totally great with that. I have my gifts sure, but my place in life right now is at home with my girl. This means I won’t be important to many people and that is exactly what God wants from me in this season. I believe he has called me to serve my family, my husband, and my daughter.

I have learned that the world is telling most woman in situations like mine, that this is not ok.The world says that to be valued means I need to be important to a lot of people. To be important I have to be recognized for an accomplishment or a title I hold. This is a lie.

God says being important doesn’t matter, being last matters. Serving matters more than leading and if I find myself in a position to lead it is only by his grace. God says his acceptance and love of me is more valuable than any position I might be placed in on this earth, and oh by the way if I am placed in a position he did it.

I believe when God said “go and make disciples” he meant my daughter and who better to influence her than someone with her DNA( Poor baby she had no choice) . This is the kind of stuff I want to teach her but what will I do when that precious little face looks up at me one day and says, “but mommy you are never last”.

Its a learning curve I am on. Making progress day by day mostly because I am forced to but I know this is one of the most important lessons I will learn. I am learning that when I am serving at my greatest capacity is when I am in the best position to lead.

  • jackie - Awesome! For sure, I am right with you on this.ReplyCancel

  • Jana Abbott - Tindell,
    I absolutely agree with you! I have been a stay at home mom for 14yrs now to my 4 boys! Would not trade that for any title or any position!!!! I pray when I meet Jesus face to face I can say without a doubt I have gave my all to raise my boys to serve Him!! My oldest has already surrendered to the call of ministry for Him and I could not be more proud!!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Taking the road to put God and your family first is not a “popular” choice on this side of heaven but on the other side I know we will rejoice and be glad we did it!!!!!
    Serving Him,

    • Tindell Baldwin - Great Word Jana! So good to know that its always worth it from a mom who has been there!
      God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Key - The spit up days change to whatever projects or special event we’re cooking for…and you still crave that shower! Thanks for these words…they met me just where I am today!ReplyCancel

  • tiffany - great post! i can definitely relate. miss you and love you, sweet friend!!ReplyCancel

Its resurrection week, I was just reminded by my sister in law on an email in the midst of trying to solve a parenting debacle. Its resurrection week, let me repeat for emphasis, its resurrection week. I don’t know about you but the words don’t strike me quite like they used to. It is the week that our Savior died on a cross for our sins and then rose from the grave so that we could all be redeemed. Sinners like you and me.

If you are like me and grew up in church then you know this, you’ve celebrated Easter quite a few times, you’ve gotten the Easter dress, cried on Good Friday, and sang “he is risen” on Sunday. You’ve hunted Easter eggs and bought peeps and prayed for a sunny day so the kids can play outside and you can snap a few adorable pictures.  I wonder if God saw the creation of peeps and said to himself, “I’m so glad they finally got a marshmallow candy to represent this momentous occasion.” Don’t get me wrong I love peeps but how is it that this week comes around and I have to remind myself how huge it is.

How have I become so numb to something so life altering?

This week means everything to me, if he hadn’t died and risen I would still be trying to make right all of the wrong I have done. He did though. The son of God came and died and rose again and yet I can pass this around casually in conversation without the slightest bit of reverence.

My only answer is to remember, remember and be in awe of a few things. One, that he loved me enough to endure the cross. Two, that my sins really are forgotten and finally that my calling is let other people know the same message. Because here is the thing, when I really remember how life changing the cross is I want people to experience the freedom and healing that I did when I embraced what God did for me that day.

He is risen, not just this Sunday but every day. You are washed clean, and not just this Sunday.

And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words,

Luke 24:5-8

  • C. S. Specht - Love this!! Exactly how I feel. Sometimes I just feel like yelling at people, “He’s alive! HE’S ALIVE!! How can that not change you?!”
    Always good to hear that others are indeed moved. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

Laundry in the washer, I am showered with enough make up to be presentable, baby toys are thrown in corners not as visible, dog resting on my bed, baby napping, dishes done, bible open. I read the words that mean everything to me

“Fear not, For I have redeemed you; I have called you by name… you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

No matter what the rest of my day holds this is enough for me right now. Its not overly poetic and the meaning screams at you. I don’t have to dig to understand it. It is my momentary grace, the words I need to resonate over me each day because when the demons come closer and the world starts to crumble and the brokenness is too much to bear my assurance is written in these words… Fear not. Oh but Lord there is so much to fear, health, bills, taxes, the economy… Fear not. He asks it of me so I must respond. He did not put in me a heart of fear but an overwhelming peace.

“For I have redeemed you”, those sweet words carry me far when my memories wander to the life I had before Christ. None of it matters now because, “for I have redeemed you” is my banner. It will be written on my soul for the rest of my days. He has redeemed me. I have no one who can judge because the God of this broken world sees me blemish free.

“I have called you by name”, he knows my name and yours. He doesn’t make a blanket call to all his sons and daughters he calls us by name. He knows each hair on my head, he knows my insecurities and my wants and even knowing all of that his final proclamation to me is simply this, “you are mine”. Such ownership, such joy, is there anything better than being claimed by someone. Its like the winning team has just asked me to join them (which if you have seen me doing anything athletic you know the true fantasy of this scenario). Despite my flaws, my failures, and my short comings, he calls me his. Today that is enough.

  • jackie - Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for writing this. I admire how you can put your thoughts into words so eloquently. Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Micah Barrales - Thank you for this post!! It is very powerful and much needed!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Etheriedge - Perfectly filling and sweet to the taste. Thank you for sharing your heart, AnnaReplyCancel

  • Lynn - Thank you for reminding me who I belong to! I’ve been much too afraid of things that “might” happen. I can hear Him whispering to me, “Fear not” throughout this post. Thank you for being His messenger today! I will not fear!!ReplyCancel

download (2)-001Well Folks, its that time of the year. That wonderful day when I write a somewhat sappy and almost always tearful message to my mom on her birthday. I thought this year I might for go it because lets be honest only a select few of  you will make it past these lines and 90% of that select few will have either shared a last name or a house with me. This year is different though as almost all of you know from my ridiculous amount of pictures, I am a mom this year.

You see your mom in a new light when you hold your own daughter in your arms after sweat and tears to bring her into the world. (except no tears for me thanks to the advances of modern medicine) All the sudden all those late nights she spent praying make sense. The tears she shed when I asked her to drop me off around the corner from school for the first time seem far more personal. All the sudden the sheer wonder of how she has managed to love me for all these years isnt quite a wonder anymore. I get it because when I hold my daughter in my arms I know with out a shout of doubt that there is nothing I wouldnt do for her, including the tough stuff.

You see my mom and I went through the wonderful mother daughter tribulation that comes with teenagedom and from years 14-18 our speaking was on a need to know kinda basis. We fought with a vengeance but she never gave up. Through late nights and one too many parties I threw when they were out of town she fought. Not always with me, but for me. She fought to have a relationship, she backed off when she needed to and she went to battle when she needed to. She read my journal when needed also. She fought for me because while their were some battles worth letting go, like the time I wore a dress I am now ashamed of to my brothers rehearsal dinner (praise Jesus baggy and long is in style these days), when it came to my heart my mom was going to win. So while 14-18 were rough years as soon as I left the house ( I have theory about too much estrogen in one household) I realized how much I truly loved my mom and her valiant fighting payed off.

Fast forward to 2013 and my little girl, affectionatly named after the woman who has done far for me than I care to admit, Claire sleeps in her crib. My desperate prayer for her seems to be the same each day, the same prayer I believe my mother prayed for me. Lord let me child know you with a kind of awe inspiring love that will change her life, oh and God if you could make her like me too that would be great. I know there are many battles ahead of me and many that will cause her to run to her room screaming that she hates me (like all great mother daughter relationships before us) but I cling to the hope that my fighting will not be in vain.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

So happy birthday mom, so glad that on this parenting journey I have your wisdom and grace and lets be honest, a babysitter when it all is too much.



  • Claire stanfill - I’m honored, tearful, beaming and excited… For all that we have made it through, for all that we enjoy daily now, and for all the joy that is to come as we get to do life together as mother and daughter! We both learned and grew from all we went through and after all isn’t that what life is all about!? Learning from, growing because of and in the end allowing God to mold and make us more into His image through all trials and joys! You (and your little family) are one of my most treasured blessings! I Love youReplyCancel

  • Katara Patton - Happy Birthday to your mom, Tindell! What a beautiful tributeReplyCancel

My daughter is 8 weeks old today, which means I am sleep deprived, slightly malnourished, almost always coming down with something,  and blissfully unaware of anything except my daughters smile. I know in the back of my mind though that this phase is short and that every day she gets one step closer to the mean world that awaits her. She gets one day closer to boys who want all the wrong things and magazines that tell her she is fat if she wears anything besides a size zero.

It hit me especially hard this morning when I read an article about a teenager girl who feel from her window when asking a boy to delete the dirty video he had pressured her to make. She was once 8 weeks old, she was once cuddled in the arms of her mother safe from the pressures of the world. I have yet to find a way to stop time, and each day that my daughter gets closer to teenagedom I have to ask myself “what on earth am I going to do to make sure she is different.”

How can I make her believe she is beautiful when culture is constantly telling her that she needs to be curvy yet thin, and tall but not too tall, and do it all in high heels that in my opinion are torture devices. It’s too much, at any age the pressure put on teenagers to fit a mold that only a small number happen to fit into is destructive. So where do they tend to go when they don’t fit the mold, the only place that gives them validation that they are in fact pretty enough, boys.

Boys who have grown up in a culture that has told them woman are only good for their bodies, a culture that has typically showed them pornography by the age of four, and a society that finds any and every excuse to put woman in some type of leather onesie.  Throw in a few dozen batches of hormones and you have a recipe for disaster.

Every day i read about this disaster, girls are buying the lie that men validate them with sexual love and men buy into the lie that woman are there for sexual purposes only. We don’t need proof that culture is broken, its thrown into our face every day what we need is hope, because facts and realities don’t change the truth that Jesus is the only Savior that can mend our hearts and a culture that is not immersed in that truth is a broken culture.

This is my plan for my daughter, every day I am going to tell her not only how much her father and I love her but how much Jesus loves her. Every day I will do my absolute best to make sure she sees truth in our home. I will be on my knees in prayer for her tender heart that could be crushed so easily. I will show her true love in all its forms by keeping my marriage in tact so one day when she meets a boy she will have a standard he must meet. Because at the end of the day I can’t protect her from everything but I can show her a better way, I can show her a life that is full of love, and I can take the road less traveled and not worry about being her friend but be intentional about being her parent.  In the end this might still not be enough, it wasn’t for me, but I still have the hope that Jesus is sovereign and he can use even the most grotesque of situations for his good.

Psalm 42:5

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

The article I read that inspired this post can be found here

  • Rae Ann - I am a mother with a 12 year old and an 8 year old both are girls. I really enjoyed this. It reminded me no matter how trying things get with your daughter that Jesus is always there to help you through it. Just tell them you love them and show them Jesus and let him do the rest.ReplyCancel

  • Rae Ann - I have a 12 year old and an 8 year old both are girls. This is so true. All we can do is raise them up letting them know they are loved and show them Jesus. Then no matter how hard it gets sometimes always know that Jesus is there, as long as we rely on Him.ReplyCancel

I’ll never forget the anticipation leading up to our 20 week ultrasound. We had gone over and over in our head boy or girl and I was convinced it was a girl until the day before and ben was unwavering in his girl prediction (from day one I might add). If I was honest I wanted a girl, something about hair bows and tea parties sounded appealing for our first baby but I knew i’d be happy either way (classic party line). The minute the ultrasound began I knew.. it was a girl. I had goggled enough “girl ultrasound pictures” to know, just in case the ultrasound tech missed that day of class. I was ecstatic, visions of purple erupted in my brain. I had my daughter.

Then reality hit… I was going to have a daughter. My initial joy was clouded by flashbacks of blue eye shadow and skirts that were way too short. “God please let her be like ben” was all I could manage. Well she is here now and under baby personalities I’d put her as fiesty :). Not quite the people pleasing baby I was praying for but better. She is wonderfully made no matter how that turns out to be and as I prayed for her this morning I realized no matter what she goes through, God is never changing and powerful and her story will be her own. So instead of praying she wont have a story like mine I am praying she has the story God designed for her. So here is my prayer for her

A Prayer for my daughter 
God here lies my darling girl
hands so small heart still so pure
today will pass and tomorrow will too
but first there are a few things I must ask of you
Please keep her safe wherever she may go
and make those places you and her know 
grow her tall so when she stands
all can see the works of your hands
give her grace to laugh with life 
because when hardships come you are still by her side
let her care for those who need you 
yes the widows, the orphans, but her classmates too
give her a smile that lights up a room
so when others see her they also see you
give her your passion to stand for what is right
so when the world becomes tempting 
she is ready for the fight 
show her the love you pour on your children
so on days she doubts she matters she has your assurance
Lord I pray she knows my desperate prayer
that in times of great pain you will always be there
Lord keep her innocence firmly intact 
shelter her heart from Satans attacks 
and when life throws her against the wall
give her your great strength you offer to us all
God please teach her that life is all about you
so when everyone tells her differently she will know what is true
give her a desire to change the world 
because when we live in your love we can do nothing more 

Me and claireMy daughter is 18 days old. On paper it doesn’t sound like long but the truth is I feel like shes been here much longer, mostly because I’m running a 24 hour shift with a few breaks so in mother years she is 36 days old. I knew having a baby would be challenging but like most things in life I counted myself lucky that I had loving support and of course my iron clad will to make it through these tough days. The first 5 days were bliss, Ben was home and we laid around watching movies and talking about how perfect she was. There were challenges but I was still hopped up on adrenaline, hormones, and whatever else they sent home with me from the hospital. Then Ben had to go back to work and Christmas came and she woke up to the world and gave those vocal chords a run for their money. The first week I was convinced I got the only baby that cried only when needed, but after a week filled with awestruck relatives I know that is not true. I realized that not only does she cry but she is like me, she pitches fits when things don’t go her way. The difference is I’m an adult and know better and she is not. The more the days went on the more I saw my flesh, my selfishness, and was once again reminded how much I need my savior.

I thought being a mom would come easy. After all I have a wonderful example for one, two sister in laws who have graciously shared their kids and their experiences, and years working in daycare (in the infant room no less). So becoming a mom didn’t scare me, it should have. While I can deal with the ins and outs of a newborn, diaper changes, feeding, and bathing, I struggle to forget myself in all of this and be the servant God has called me to be in this time of my life. Like all great teachable moments, I have come to realize, through nights of tears, that taking care of a newborn and loving my daughter like Christ loves me are vastly different things. I can take care of her which she very much needs but to truly love her I must forget myself and remember who I live for.  I am supposed to be a servant in this life but I have never really had to fully live that out until this season. I must serve her when no one is looking, I must take care of her with no benefit to myself, and I must sacrifice what I want for her good. For someone so filled with sin that is hard.

This morning though as I drink down my allotted cup of coffee I remember that my Savior did that and much more for me, his daughter. He humbled himself and became a servant for his children. I rarely thank him and often when I offer up praise it is generally because I want something in return. I am human in every sense of the word and he is God but he loves me anyway. Not only does he love me but he has blessed with his child whom I get to love and raise so while the nights might be hard and the days can run together I know that being his servant, even in these little ways, truly represent living for him.

  • Brooke - Beautiful. Thank you for posting and being so transparent. God is using you for His glory!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith Stuart - So glad you wrote this. So glad to know its not just me! Miss you Tindell and I’ll be praying for you and your sweet baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Katara - What a sweet prayer!ReplyCancel

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