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Tindell Baldwin »

I wanted to share with my favorite readers a piece I just wrote for my new job. Feedback welcome!

I have re-watched the Charlie Sheen interview four times now and every time the sign on his forehead gets bigger to me. However, each time I watch the interview I force myself to see a little more of myself in his inability to be self-aware. Have you ever asked yourself what you might look like if you were interviewed on TV? Hey, you might not be asked to take a urine test after then interview but then again you might be. Charlie Sheen’s interview is just an exaggerated version of what our own interview might look like. We are all somewhat on the Charlie Sheen drug, or as I like to call it we all have the Charlie Sheen syndrome. We can’t see ourselves as clearly as others can. 

Here’s the problem, if we don’t ask others what the sign above our heads looks like then we will never know. This is the problem with the sign, it’s only readable by others and we can spend our lives avoiding feedback that might give us a clue as to what our sign says. This is another reason Charlie can’t see his own sign, he can pay people to lie to him about the flashing neon sign above his head that clearly reads, “danger ahead.” Have you ever really looked in the mirror though and asked yourself, what do others see when they look at me? Are you the goon on TV that everyone laughs at but no one has the courage to confront or are you the guy that people tune in to listen to? Are you Oprah or Charlie Sheen?

How can we figure out what our sign says though, if you are really curious take the journey with me to find out. First ask your friends, the ones that won’t lie to you, how you come across. Which guy are you at the party? The one who always has to have all of the attention or the one who people want to talk to, If you think you are the one everyone want’s to talk to then you are probably not him. Second, listen to yourself. If you are always the one talking and if you use the word win more than once then you need to check your sign. Third, receive honest feedback gracefully, if you want to be someone that people can talk honestly to then create an environment where people can talk openly to you. Do you get defensive every time someone wants to give you feedback, if so then you have created an environment that is inhospitable for honest communication. If you don’t believe me ask people around you for honest opinions and watch them cower in fear.

For example, I talk too much in a crowd so my sign reads, “I don’t care what you have to say.” Is this the message I want to send, definitely not, but I am sending it. Now that I know this information I can either blame everyone else (ie Charlie Sheen) or I can take what I know about myself and make changes. So now that you have the tools to see your sign what will you do with what you know? Will you change who you are or will you blame everyone around you and take the Charlie Sheen drug?

  • Jennifer - This is a great post. I'm encouraged to ask for some feedback from my friends on how I come across. Excelent!ReplyCancel

I recently bought a actual website for my blog. The new address will be but it could take a new days to transfer! Until then you might experience some technical difficulties but it should go back to normal in a few days!



Its that time of year again when my mom turns another year older and I realize I couldn’t live without this wonderful woman in my life. She is fifty tomorrow and writing a blog about her hardly seems to do her justice but for now its all I can do. 

My mom is the true Proverbs 31 woman and each year when her birthday rolls around we all claim this verse as our own. 

Proverbs 31:26-31
 She speaks with wisdom, 
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 
 She watches over the affairs of her household 
   and does not eat the bread of idleness. 
Her children arise and call her blessed; 
   her husband also, and he praises her: 
 “Many women do noble things, 
   but you surpass them all.” 
 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; 
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 
 Honor her for all that her hands have done, 
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

This year to honor my mom I want to focus in on verse 28: Her children arise and call her blessed. My mom has been blessed with a hard life, she isn’t one of those tennis moms that you meet that considers a hard day breaking a nail. My mom works hard to keep her family together. Married at 21 she worked hard for her marriage, hard for money, and hard for a family that would one day rise up and call her blessed. As many of you know my mom has been sick since I was two, since my youngest brother was born. The doctors can only tell her that she is has an auto immune disease that is slowly tearing her body apart. She wakes up sick on most days in fact her daily battle is to get out of bed. Through all of this though, my mom has been blessed. Her marriage has been hard, getting married young and fast won”t make for an easy honeymoon and having a baby in your first year of marriage won’t make for an easy newlywed season. Many people told my parents they would never make it but almost thirty years down the road there isn’t a marriage I respect more than my parents. My mom has been blessed. Four kids, most people saw my moms caravan of four kids under the age of six and called her crazy, she called herself lucky. Three boys who loved to jump off things, light things on fire, and sleep outside (ok that was all Taylor but Kristian did love to try on her clothes and Brett wouldnt leave her side) and my mom called her self blessed. One daughter who would terrorize her way through high school and my mom called her self blessed. 

By the worlds standards my mom has not been blessed. By the worlds standards my mom has had a hard life full of trials, pain, and heartache but today we all call her blessed. We call her blessed not because of the things she doesn’t have but because of the gifts that God has given her. God has given her a family that would die for her, a husband who will fight to the death for her, and a savior that made it all ok. My mom has been blessed because one day she will live in heaven with no pain and no heartache. My mom has been blessed because she can see past this life and its trails into a time where suffering will cease and praising our heavenly father will never end. My mom has been blessed because she knows this. Tomorrow her health may fail her but I can tell you three things that wont, her children, her husband, and her God. 

Praise Jesus. 

  • Caroline - Tindell, reading this truly brings tears to my eyes. Reason #1 because I've been fortunate enough to know your mom the past several years and see these traits you've mentioned. Reason #2 the eloquent way you wrote from your heart with zero pretense. I admire you and your mom for always being 100% genuine. Praise Jesus for the Stanfill (and Baldwin) women.ReplyCancel

  • Brandon - Gotta be thankful for our great moms!ReplyCancel

  • Writingfor5 - Tindell, I love ALL your posts. I cried too, I love this one especially because God has really put such a place in my heart for your mom from the moment I met her. I am so thankful to hear and see your beautiful relationship with her and hope that my girls and I can have a relationship of love, respect and adoration the way you two have. Happy Late birthday Claire. She is blessed to have you as her daughter.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I feel the same way about my mother. She has 6 kids…which doesn't make for a life of ease. But she will tell you that she is so blessed to have each one of us, she is blessed even though she has been through so many trials, through losing babies, and she is blessed because of the Savior.

    Thanks so much for this post!ReplyCancel

  • Tindell Baldwin - Im so glad we can all bless our mothers! Thanks for everyones support!ReplyCancel

  • lisa taylor - I really don't have words to write after reading about your MOM, but I do have eyes full of tears and a heart that is about to burst! Thank you for giving us your picture piece of "Claire"……….the amazing godly woman you call your MOM! I hope I get to meet her some day! lisaReplyCancel

I dont like depending on people, things, or really anything besides me. I have one of those wonderfully annoying personalities that thinks I can do everything better myself. Its not true of course, nor is it good for a husband wife relationship. In fact I can do little better than Ben with the exception of putting on make up, making the bed, and painting my nails (not trying to be cliche just stating facts). Right now I can only walk around using crutches and i’m supposed to limit that, however the bruises under my armpits tell a different story. I have to depend on Ben for everything, right down to helping me get dressed. Most wives would love for their husbands to have to take care of them for a week I on the other hand feel annoying. I hate constantly asking him for ice packs, water, pills, and Popsicles. He on the other hand thinks its a nice change of pace rather than me always telling him I can do it myself, which most of the time isn’t even true. Ben loves helping and always tells me “you just have to ask”.

I started thinking today that God is up there thinking the same thing about me, “why don’t you ask for my help”. Life on earth is filled with times of crutches and God is there to be our helper in these hard times, in the bible it even talks about him carrying us in the hard times. Boy could I use that this week. The problem is we would rather crutch around on our own than be dependent on something other than ourselves. I find it much easier to hobble through life sometimes than to stop and ask him for help. God isn’t idle but he also isn’t a pusher. He walks along side us waiting, all along the rough patches whispering to us, “If you would just ask me”. Most people are like me though, we just keep hobbling knowing eventually we can make it, even if we are broken and in pain. Why do we have such a hard time humbling ourselves before God and asking for help?

It’s just a thought I had as I fell again this morning trying to do something Ben is supposed to help me with. A little frustrated he said, “why won’t you just ask me” and if i’m honest the truth is because I want to do it on my own. Do we really think the same way about God? Do we really tell him, no Thanks, I mean you made me and all but I got this one?

Pslams 28:6-8
Praise be to the LORD, 
   for he has heard my cry for mercy. 
 The LORD is my strength and my shield; 
   my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. 
My heart leaps for joy, 
   and with my song I praise him.

My other little helper 

  • David/Laura Elmer - Such a sweet post, but I really love this LAST picture. Miss you Aiden!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Sweet Tindell, I "offically" signed up to be a follower of your blog, even though I haven't missed any of your writings which have all been amazing. You have a gift to write and I love your transparency, reflections and how you are glorifying God with your writing.

    I was laid up and on crutches for 8 weeks with a triple broken ankle and so relate to all you said. I'm praying extra for you. You are loved!ReplyCancel

Day two post surgery and I doing great! The pain is manageable and whats better my hospital experience was wonderful. I told the doctors all about my dreams as I was coming out anesthesia and asked my anesthesiologist if I could hire him full time for when I can’t sleep at home. (Ben took a video of me which I will not be sharing with the class) While I was asleep I dreamed that my family was in the room with me making sure the doctors did their job correctly.

So after all my worrying my greatest fears were unfounded and nothing went wrong. My doctor put three screws into my bone and was able to move my toe over 6mm and you can already see the difference. Im sure  I will be going stir crazy after two weeks of laying in bed but i’m sure i can find someway to entertain myself. Ben has been by my side night and day making sure i’m not walking (which is big no no unless i have to go to the bathroom) and giving me all my meds. Aiden is doing his best not to jump on my foot and so far he’s done pretty good. I have felt very blessed these past two days and am thankful to have been covered in prayer during surgery. Now heres some pictures for a good laugh



my xrays (i now get to experience all the TSA has to offer at the airport since I have metal screws in my foot
  • Sally - so glad you are doing well! And so glad you have purple toe nail polish and a purple gown on in these pictures 🙂ReplyCancel

  • cait - Remember Logan's dinosaur collar bone, with the metal plate? Everyone told him he would have to go through all this stuff at the airport, but his never goes off. Maybe yours won't either :)! love you!ReplyCancel

I woke up at 7:30 this morning in a panic, my surgery is tomorrow. I don’t like needles, pain, hospitals, or anything where people mess with  my bones. It has to be done though, my left toe is growing the wrong way and the bone sticks out so much I can’t wear most shoes. (beautiful I know) So this morning I got on bible and just typed in the word fear. I knew there would be a million verses but I also knew God is sovereign and he would calm my nerves. I was sorting through genesis when a friend of mine sent me this one,

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 

and then i found this one 

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
   but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, 
   not one of them will be broken.

I almost fell out of chair it was so perfect. Not only will he hold my hand but he will protect my bones. I said a few months ago that I struggle with depression, well along with that comes anxiety a lot of times. Today I am feeling anxiety but I have one of two choices I can take my emergency medication or I can pray through my fear. Please dont hear me say that this is always the case but for me today it is. Who will I take my fear to? Will i take it to my savior who knew what fear was the night before he was crucified sweating blood in the garden, or do I internalize it and hope I can figure it out. (By the way jesus never had aesthetics) Today I will choose to take it to my Savior and know that he can handle all of my rational and irrational fears. 

I can just picture him tomorrow in the room with me holding my hand and guiding the doctors hand, thats what is great about God he can do both. I know he will be there with me every step of the way, before, during, and afterwards. Today I choose to take my fear up the hill to calvary where a very brave God hung on a cross for me.  

I spend a lot of time at the dog park. My energetic Beaglier or fancy mutt has a lot of energy and our one bedroom loft doesn’t give him a whole lot of space, so i spend a lot of time at the dog park. I am always entertained by the different types of dogs and their unique personalities (a lot of times as unique as their owners) and I love watching how each of them react to each other. Aiden is a sniffer, he likes to get a good sniff in all the wrong places and then head on his way, some dogs are biters, see my tweet from two days ago, and some are players (in a non jersey shore type of way). No matter what type of dog they are though their are certain characteristics God made them with that we can’t flush out. Like my male dog who likes to mark his territory on every bush that has ever had a root or a great Dane I saw that literally came to my chest. Yesterday I saw a pack of husky’s that were all running perfectly in sync and all I could think was that I would love to hook up a sled to them. I wonder if that’s what God was thinking when he crafted them, they do seem perfect for a good sleigh ride. It got me thinking though, these dogs have God given traits they don’t try to erase, no matter how hard we try, but we can’t seem to master the same idea.

God gave us each strengths and weaknesses but we seem to always want to acquire someone elses God-given strengths. For example,  I was born a great Dane, most people come up to my chest, but I want to be a malti-poo all cute and cuddly. I just wasn’t made to be that way. I will do anything I can to look smaller, meeker, and more compliant but then my mask comes off and I yell too loud, I say whatever I think, and there is no bone in my body that is meek. We all want to be something we are not but what if we embraced who God made us to be and ran with it. We seem to all want to fit into a mold but God doesn’t have molds, he is forever creative and we are unique to our breed. We weren’t made to blend in with others but be unique in who we are. Right now my four best friends all want new jobs but they are all scared to pursue the talents God gave them and as I was pushing them last night to be who God made them to be I realized if I follow my own advice I have to stop slouching in public.

This is the one of those rare moments where everyone in my family is gathered in one place. It’s been two years sense we could all get away together, blame it on a family of 13, but this weekend we are all together. I am in heaven. 

This morning we are sitting around listening to Kristian’s Cd (he’s not here yet) and doing our quiet times. The words are hitting me like a gust of mountain wind. I love my brother’s new Cd but not just because he is my brother. The words are so rich and they are perfect praise for a morning so wonderful as this. There are a few highlights I wanted to outline for you. If you don’t have it yet please proceed to Itunes or amazon and buy it NOW, no really go away. 

1. From song #9 (my favorite) 
“I am yours and you are mine forever. Never taken from your side. My father. I will be with you forever. Things that were once wild alarms,cannot now disturb my rest”. Not only are those amazing words they are written from truth. God has promised you a place beside him. We can rest, the bible tells us God has given us rest on “every side” which I believe means he can handle our problems and we can rest. 

 1 kings 5:4 says 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. 

2. From song #4  “All things are possible its true that you are unstoppable. Your light will never fade, your promises remain unchanged. Oh great God there is power in your name. Oh great God we are rising up to say we believe!” I know we all know the verse all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me but do we really believe that. Are we living like that? It is true that God’s promises remains unchanged and we can live a life that reflects that. What if we all lived like God was stronger than us? I believe the stress levels might sink just a little, but that’s just my guess. 

1Chronicles 16:10-12 
10Glory in his holy name;
   let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
11A)”>(A) Seek the LORD and his strength;
   seek his presence continually!
12B)”>(B) Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
   C)”>(C) his miracles and the judgments he uttered,

3. From song Reward
I love this whole song because it talks about what happens after you make that long walk down the isle to meet jesus. I’ll high light a few of my favorites though
“I give my life again, every breath I have. Jesus’ you are my reward all i’m living for. Jesus, here I am with open hands lifted high to you. Could my heart contain all your love for me. Nothing compares to knowing you” 

Again do we believe that? I know i struggle with it, so many things seem so good but nothing compares to knowing God and if you really live for him you will experience that. I know I lived for myself and only me for around 5 years and it was miserable. It is a useless life with no payoff except for brief moments of hapiness. Living for God is a reward. 
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