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Tindell Baldwin »

Ben and I were so adamant about having a different kind of marriage, we wanted to avoid the pit falls that most married couples fell into so that we could continue our passionate love throughout marriage. We wanted to always stay in that place where everything feels great and you always have to be touching and we were convinced we could do it. We were convinced that our marriage would be different, that it would be an adventure, that people look at and wonder how you attain that kind of happiness. We decided we would wait to have kids and live our lives as one great journey together. This is how we ended up in Texas, the idea of exploring a new city far away from our parents would be a great way to keep our focus on our pinnacle marriage idea. We would find new restaurants, meet new people, and spend our nights staying up late staring into each others eyes. Sickening.. isn’t it? When we were dating we were convinced our fights stemmed from not being married and we would always conclude that when we were married it would be different.

Of course all of this was before our budget was implemented, before our dogs decided that there time alone should be spent ripping up trash, before living under one roof equaled wow I’ve never seen mold that color, before restaurants seemed to be more expensive, and before Houston really was 900 miles away from Georgia. Somewhere along the way we realized that our grand adventure wasn’t all that much fun with out friends to share it with, family to laugh with, and good guidance to help us navigate. We woke up from our day dream and realized that God never intended marriage to be a walk in the park love struck and holding hands. He meant for marriage to be hard work, sacrifice, and love that really matters when no one is watching. Marriage creates a love that can never be replicated but only after you have journeyed together to remove any and every human flaw that keeps you from God. There are days where reality is far better than the dream, days when you look at your life and get to say “I am truly blessed” but its only after the hard days that the good ones are so much sweeter. There is a loss of selfishness that you always allowed yourself but in the end you realize never really mattered. In the end you realize that the tiny memories are what really take your breath away, the jokes that always make you laugh, the sweetness of knowing you have someone to talk to about your bad day, and the moments you look around and realize you have someone who loves you unconditionally.
Recently we have come to the end of ourselves and there in lies our saving, when we realize we can only do it with God and while we never knew it would be like this it is also better than we could have imagined. Marriage is not for the faint of heart but it is for anyone who is looking to really understand Gods idea of selflessness.
  • Taylor Stanfill - Wow, that is rich…I love it! Marriage is tough but amazing. We miss you Tindy. Oh, we saw Dear John last night. If you want to travel back to the "top of the world"-"head over heels" phase I highly recommend it…ReplyCancel

I don’t remember life before my mom was sick. I can remember her first episode, as we would come to call them, my dad took us Peidmont park near the hospital and gave us Mcdonalds to ease the pain of spending Saturday in the hospital. I was about six so all I cared about was the toy in the happy meal but it would take quite a few happy meals to get through my child hood and even more visits to the hospital. The doctors deemed her first visit as dehydration and told her to go home and rest, an oxymoron for a woman with four small children. She did her best but it seemed that every time she would start to get better something else would happen and her episodes would come back, Migraines that would last for days, fevers, chills, and extreme fatigue. My childhood was filled with memories of my mother in bed and I quickly appointed myself as her full time nurse. It was all I could do that would give either of us some relief. I had memorized the grocery store isles by the time I was seventeen from all my grocery visits and I had educated my self about health in every way possible. On the really bad days when she couldn’t get out of bed I would sit with her getting new ice packs every time one would get warm. I think I thought I could cure her with Ginger Ale and aspirin. The years flew by as they always do and she spent most of them going from doctor to doctor hoping for some answers. New symptoms would come up every few months and just when they would think they were close something would add up. Each doctor seemed to have a different theory of why she was sick and each doctor was left puzzled by inconclusive test. After a few years they told her she had chronic fatigue, which has no cure and no treatment.
It seemed she would have to spend her life in this condition. Frustration could have ruled my mothers life but if you know her you know that she has strength and grace that could only come from God. She chose to make the best of her life by investing every ounce of her into our family. She attended every soccer game, baseball game, track event, and concert that she could. When I reached my teenage years and began to rebel she did everything she could to show me how much she loved me, including coaching my high school rec league soccer team of fifteen crazy girls. My mom never gave up hope that answers would come and even after a dozen failed attempts at a healthy life she never gave up. We all managed to grow up happy and healthy with a mother who never put her self first. Life seemed to follow a familiar pattern for my brothers and I all the while she was at a standstill, hoping for answers. We grew up, left home, got engaged, married, and moved away.
While our lives seemed to be just starting my moms life work was coming to a close. It was at this point that she took a turn for the worse. Her good days were far and few in between and there were even a few trips to the hospital when her pain was too much to bear. I couldn’t be the nurse my mom needed anymore and I had to learn to trust that God was with her. She was prayed over countless times by our family and church members, we trusted God knew why he had brought her here. Of all the kids I struggled the most amidst my moms illness, I couldn’t face the fact that my God might have allowed this to happen. I couldn’t believe in his holy perfect plan and watch my mom suffer day to day. In the years after high school my mom had become my best friend and watching a friend hurt is harder than dealing with your own pain. Answers were coming though, just not the answers I wanted.
She finally had a test come back positive which lead the doctors to believe that she had a tumor on her adrenal glands and when they did a CT scan it showed a growth on her left adrenal gland. Years of hurting had finally been put to rest. My mom was overjoyed that she might be able to live the life she lost almost 21 years ago. The rest of us were hoping for different answers. Even though it is most likely not cancerous the idea of a tumor is never comforting. While her battle with health might come to a close she has learned something we ofter forget. Faithfulness. My mom had not wavered in her commitment to love God even on her greatest days of pain.
My mom lives out Romans 12:12
“Be Joyful in hope, Patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”

  • David/Laura Elmer - Tindy, I sure do miss you and will be in continual prayer for your mama. Call me if you need anything. Love you.ReplyCancel

  • Shealy - Tindell, you're a great writer- I enjoyed reading this. Romans 12:12 is so good. Thinking about and praying for your mom!ReplyCancel

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