Tindell Baldwin »

From five to seven pm in our house pretty much anything goes. I am normally trying to soothe one child while convincing the other one that her dinner doesn’t have poison in it. I can only assume she thinks I poison her food because she looks at all of it like it might kill her. If it’s not made in a factory she’s not interested. The littlest Baldwin is indefinitely teething and cries pretty much from 3pm to 7pm. Hes over tired, over hungry, and there just aren’t enough hands. I know that nobody with small kids can relate(wink wink).

Anyway just setting the scene for what took place at approximately 6:02. Ben was trying to soothe Briggs, I was trying to keep the dog from eating the poison meatloaf (its not really poisoned please don’t call your local defax.. unless they will send help from 5pm-7pm and in that case go right ahead) when I realized Claire was missing and quiet. When a two year old is quiet and unseen you should expect something to be broken or explode. So I walked upstairs to find her in the kids bathroom sucking the remaining Tylenol out of one of those syringes like a real addict. She looked straight up at me, syringe in hand, red liquid dripping from her mouth and says.

“I’m not drinking the medicine, I’m not”

To hold back both tears and laughter I sent her to her room where I promise one parent will come talk to her when one parent has enough patience and dignity to do so (I didn’t say all that but you can convey a lot with your eyes).

She walked off crying mostly because she had been caught but she also is one of those weird kids who really wants us to be happy with her (my husband’s genetics at play here). I wish I could tell you we had this great talk about lying and she repented and an angel flew into her bedroom and congratulated us on the stellar job we were doing as parents. But as I said it was between the hours of 5-7pm so we mumbled something about how the Baldwin’s never lie (which is a lie) and made her apologize.

As I was going to bed and thinking about her guilty little face I realized at just a little over two she already needs Jesus. I have heard a lot of people say that they believe people are overall good but make poor choices. I really could believe that until I started raising a two year old who only relies on human nature. Let me tell you about the beauty of human nature when its stripped down to its purest form.

We want what we want when we want it. We HATE to share. We lie instead of tell the truth when we think consequences are on the line. We want to be first and we want all the attention. That is human nature at its finest. I know because I live with this pint sized human who has no filter and doesn’t know what is and isn’t socially acceptable. That’s my job. I have to teach her that kicking her brother in the head isn’t a great way to release frustration. I have to show her that you have to let other people go before you, that loving others means sharing, and our current favorite that you cannot in fact poop in your pants your whole life. Luckily I have my expensive out of state college education to rely on for such lessons (sorry dad).

For some reason being caught in the act of disobedience and seeing her respond with a bold lie made me so thankful for what Easter truly means. It makes me thankful that I have Jesus to point her to and a cross that bears the weight of even her tiny lies. It gives me great joy that we are not hopeless and lost in our sin. Because I know she won’t outgrow her humanity but she can grow into God’s grace. I have really been struggling with how to share God with her, she’s starting to really see the world around her and ask questions and everything I say sounds too churchy or not real enough. I have said over and over that because of my past my goal is to make God real to her not just an answer she gives as to why the grass is green and sky is blue. However in the stage of life I am in it’s hard for me to see God as the personal God I know he is. So I just started telling her God loves her no matter what she does, just like mommy, and a few days ago she asked me..

“Mommy loves Claire no matter what?” and I said “yes baby no matter what.” And then she asked , “God loves claire?” and with tears in my eyes I answered, “Yes baby no matter what.” Because I don’t know all the answers but I know that’s true.

You know what I’m not good at? Loaded question, but the one thing I really embraced today… sewing.

Let me give you some back story. My son loves to sleep with a blanket at night but since people look at me like I said he likes to sleep with knives, I decided to try for a “safe” alternative and cut his blanket in half to make a security blanket. This way he gets his blanket and I stop getting judged (and worrying at night). I figured easy enough. I will just cut it in half and sew a ribbon on. Right? WRONG. This hour long process that ended in a security blanket that looked like it was made by a drunken monkey put some things in perspective. Who knew the ugliest blanket ever to be created would result in self-revelation?

See I don’t handle details well, actually that’s a gross overstatement, what I meant to say is that I don’t know what details are. I don’t like to take my time to do things (which is why after a horrific painting accident involving the misuse of that annoying blue tape I’m not allowed near our walls with a paintbrush). If there’s an option to just prime something through amazon I almost always take it. When it comes to cooking I’m more of a “pour until it looks like a teaspoon” type of girl. I have ADD which means the only thing I focus on well is whatever catches my attention. I remember people asking me if I was making my own baby food after Claire was born… I laughed (until I realized they were serious) and then told them I leave that to aisle 7 at target.

Sewing, pinterest projects, and baby food making almost always leaves me feeling like a failure. Its just not who I am. I actually took sewing lessons, have spent far too much money on fabric (sorry babe), and the only thing I have to show from it is a sewing machine collecting dust and a pretty funny picture of our dog in homemade pj pants. I want to be crafty but about the only thing my personality does well when doing crafts is making a mess and ruining said craft.

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I used to be kind of sad that my kids would never have adorable homemade clothes or perfect pinterest birthday parties but what made me even sadder was not using the gifts God had actually given me for my kids. I love to communicate and have talked to Claire since she was a baby and now at 2+ we communicate pretty well. There are a few things I feel like God has given me to benefit my family and until I stop harping on the things I can’t do I’ll never see the gifts he gave uniquely for me.

No matter where you are in life there’s pressure to fit into a box. The world and even sometimes church says, this is what you should enjoy doing, exceed at, live like, drive, etc… now climb in that box and suffocate. When our gifts and talents start excluding other people from our life then I think we need to reassess. I think it’s awesome if you are the perfect Pinterest mom, I envy you. Your kids are probably dressed cuter, your dinner taste better, and I bet your house is cleaner (I pretty much use a magic eraser for every household chore). Either way we can learn from each other. Either way let’s not let our hobbies or even beliefs get in the way of loving other people. Let’s not let our lives become one big ugly baby blanket where you spend all your energy trying to be gifted at what other people are. Lets put away the sewing machines and embrace whatever gifts God gave us (unless its sewing… then you can keep yours… or have mine).

Sophomore year of college Kristian told my parents he wanted to drop out, get married, and become a singer/songwriter. They could have so easily freaked out and told him to fit into the box 90% of people fit into, instead they saw his talent and his love for Kerri and said “we believe in you.” Four kids and many albums later there’s a lot of people who are glad he made his own box.

bblog                                                                   (He didnt even care how ugly it was)

  • Kory McDaniel - Love this story…. I can so relate!!!!ReplyCancel

I was a horrible performer growing up. What I mean is that I didn’t do a great job at being a “good kid.” My parents learned early on that I was a horrible liar and even worse at faking it when I didn’t want to be in certain situations. I told my grandparents friends who owned waffle house that I didn’t want to eat at waffle house because the food was gross (to be fair I was 10 and how was I supposed to know they owned it.. I have since changed my tune). I asked my mom when I found her wedding dress why it looked like something from little house on the prairie. When my parents put Andy Stanley sermons on during road trips when I was a teenager I blared bone thugs through my Walkman (sorry Andy… I listen to all your sermons now). I guess honesty is a good characteristic to people but there is a delicate way to share opinions and I just have never mastered it.

Ben- “babe do you like this shirt”

Me- “no”… moving on

As a parent now I love when my kids perform… I mean behave. I love when briggs smiles at strangers, I love when Claire acts all happy in front of other people, and I love when she says please and thank you. I pat myself on the back and think “I’ve really mastered this parenting thing… I don’t know why people say this is so hard.” (I never say that…. Ever…ever.) Then Claire growls at a target employee, briggs yells at me for a straight hour because he only speaks baby and I don’t know what he wants, and Claire throws a toy at her brother because its Monday. Then I reevaluate my calling, my life, and my decision to not drink during the day (its a joke people).

It’s all small stuff right now though, and I pretty much get a pass at most things because they are toddlers/babies and those words are synonymous with tears and tantrums. But what about when they get bigger and it’s not about the Elsa coloring book it’s about clothes that are too tight, cell phone usage, and God forbid dating. What will I do if like my mom I have to hear others critique my parenting skills because my kids are bad performers?

IMG_0269Today is my mom’s birthday and each year I reflect on the woman and mom she is. Pretty much every year I feel more grateful that she parented and loved me the way she did. This year, as I struggle to remind myself that I am raising two tiny imperfect humans, I am reminded of the first time I realized that my mom had to say she cared more about a relationship with me than what her friends thought of her. She cared more about me experiencing the love of Jesus than she did about what others thought of her parenting skills. I am so glad she chose me over her reputation. I’m so glad she listened to what God said about loving me rather than what others said about how to raise me. I am so glad she didn’t care about her image. I’m so glad she threw it all aside and loved me back to a relationship with God.  I’m so glad she was able to grasp that my performance wasn’t tied to her ability to be a good mom.

Pretty much every time I talk to parents they want to know what my parents could have done differently. They want to know what would have “cured” my rebellion. More grounding? Stricter rules? Dad answering the door with a shotgun when guys came over? Sadly I have to inform them I don’t believe anything would have helped me (although the shot gun thing sounds promising), but I know what wouldn’t have helped, my mom thinking of me as an embarrassment. I always knew they loved me, its probably why I came back. Unconditional love is contagious.

So fellow moms, as we struggle down this road called parenting lets surrender to the fact that we cannot control our kids. Lets accept that we will screw up. We will fail. Our kids will be lousy performers. But our love can define us. Our love can change lives especially the little ones down the hall. Lets drop the act, if you see my kids looking all cute and acting just right then you caught me on an off day. We are all lousy performers.

Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for always being the mom my imperfect heart needed!

 

If anyone is like me and grew up in Sunday school they remember hearing, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I used to cling to that, pretty sure I had it written on my trapper keeper, but then life came and I found that I had far more than I could handle. Hurts came, loss came, lies came, and the words in cursive letters on my middle school notebooks didn’t hold up. I had far more than I could ever handle.

I’m not really one to ask for help, I like to tell everyone about my life but I don’t like asking other people to step into my mess. Independence has always been my mantra, most likely a product of being the third child in a house full of boys but relying on others has always felt scary. So I liked the idea that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle because then I could keep my faith and trust in myself.

Then I became an adult.

I don’t know when it actually happened, it’s a lot like puberty, it sneaks up on you one day at a time. It was probably somewhere between the marriage and two kids.  I realized that while the Sunday school answer looked really pretty on my binders it wasn’t true. Blame it on God or just life but we constantly have more than we can handle. Our worlds are full and busy and a lot of time they are full of pain and burdened with worry. I have come to learn, after many a break down, that the point isn’t to be able to handle it, the point is to rely on our heavenly father to get through it all. Now I know, that sounds equally as churchy but there is something beautiful about realizing you need help. When we stop trying to hold all the pieces of our life in place we accept the beautiful surrender of a life full of God.

When I started this whole writing bit I was 23… I was newly married, in a town where I knew no one, and worked part time. I spent most of my time writing at Starbucks and snuggling with the dog who now lives outside. I was so anxious for God to use me. My schedule was wide open and I pretty much spent two years waiting on a Yes. Then the book happened, babies happened, sleep deprivation happened, and all the sudden I had plenty of people asking me if I would say yes. However all I wanted to do is stay in my yoga pants and drink copious amounts of coffee and hope it inspires me to get out of the house.

Right now, I am in a season of not being able to handle all that comes across my plate and I am constantly asking God why. Why not three years ago when I didn’t have kids and had an open schedule? Why now when I have so little energy and emotion to give? Why now when all the good babysitters seem to have vanished (joking)?

His answer always seems to be the same…. Because you need me now. And its true. Safe in my cozy pre kid life, I was ready to do ministry… for me. I didn’t have bad intentions or dreams of fame but I wanted to perform. Now I just want a solid night’s sleep… kidding… what I really want is a faith that will change my family (and a solid nights sleep). I honestly don’t care at all if my “ministry” fails as long as my need for God doesn’t diminish. I might have started with a slightly skewed view of what my future held but, in my new reality, I have come to accept that I can’t do this thing without God. Any of it. I can’t be a good wife, I can’t be the mom my kids need, and I have no message to give without his grace, love, and mercy pouring out on me. So each day I’ll offer up my desperate prayers and thank him for knowing that my life will only be as great as my need for him is.

  • Susan Peterson - Such beautiful truth Tindell! Oh how I need Him!!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Doster - Amen, I am feeling the need big time during this season of motherhood. So hard, yet so amazing, we need Jesus!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Miller - Tindell, What a blessing you are! My daughter and I attended Boys, booze, and Jesus in Cartersville. She is 18 and about to graduate high school. She really was not thrilled about going, but I told her it would be good. She has finished the book (in about 2 days!). She shared some with her SS class the following Sunday. Her ‘story’ is a beautiful one right now. I pray it will stay that way. She really listened and has loved your book. I, among many others, are so thankful that you chose to share your ‘story’. We are thinking about having a ‘girls weekend’ at our home and using your book and study guide as our bible study! Thank you again for all that you are doing! Blessings to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Deb - Such a good word. Thank you for sharing this.ReplyCancel

There was a saying in my house growing up, “if one person tells you that you are a horse ignore them, but if three people tell you that you are a horse buy a saddle.” So whenever I was being a brat but insisting that I was not in-fact being a brat my brothers would all start saying “saddle up Tindell, saddle up.” It was really infuriating because, despite my best attempts to annoy them by stomping around and exhaling loudly they would just yell “saddle up.” I like to think I’m a better person because of incidents like this but in reality I think it just made them grateful they didn’t marry dramatic women.

Anyway back to the saddle, there is this epidemic going on where honest feedback is no longer welcomed. In fact there seems to be a new policy, I won’t tell you that you’re being a brat if you don’ tell me I’m being a brat. Let me just go ahead and say we all need a good talking to every now and then. Honest feedback is the breeding ground for real change.

There are so many times I have looked back in life and thought why did no one tell me?! Like when I was wearing a skirt to my oldest brothers rehearsal dinner that looked like I was taking a lunch break from hooters. Or when I was dating a guy in college who was all wrong me and yet I wasted a lot of time, energy, and journal pages wondering if it was just “part of being in real relationship?”  Or when I got a dog in college after another broken heart and he was a terror to my roommates and now terrorizes my current home (he is currently seeking a new home to terrorize… interested?). I looked back and asked WHERE WERE MY REAL FRIENDS? To which their response was always the same, you weren’t open to real feedback. In my dad’s words I was a “porcupine that needed a hug.”

As Christians we have to stop thinking we are all this separate entity that can function just fine on its own and if we fail, oh yea… grace abounds. Do we have to listen to every voice that comes across our social media accounts? No! But if your entire small group is saying don’t date him maybe listen. If your best friends are warning you that you might not want the dog in 10 years when he is STILL peeing on your carpet, maybe take that into consideration. And if the skirt doesn’t come past the top of your thigh… ok that one should be common sense.  In the words of my brother’s…saddle up. There are things we need to hear from people that love us. There are things we can’t see when we are emotionally involved. There are times when we need to hear while grace does abound, there are consequences.

However, you have to be willing to ask along with willing to listen. You have to come humbly before God with your questions instead of pretending to have all the answers. Because sometimes in the midst of our greatest turmoil there is a quiet voice beckoning us to look honestly at the role we play in our own disaster.

 

 

  • Sherri Helmich - I first want to let you know that this is the first comment I have ever made to any one in internet land. . I just had to let you know how much I enjoy your writing and how much I appreciate your perspectives.

    I have read your book and in some ways have learned from it more than I ever wanted to know. I have four daughters and your book helped me become aware of things I needed to know. I am especially praying for my sixteen year old daughter who professes to be a Christian, but seems to be treading on shaky ground in some of the ways she is choosing.

    One thing that is so apparent from your writings is your love for God and your commitment to Him. Thanks for your humility, humor, and wisdom. I would like to extend a hug and a thanks to you, and a prayer that God will continue to bless your writingsReplyCancel

  • Gloria Butler - Very well said. I guess pride rears it’s ugly head at times.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - You make some very good points and I think most of us can relate. Like you said, the key is to be open and ready to listen to others. There was a point my parents tried to tell me some things I needed to know and unfortunately I just dismissed and possibly resented them for it. Hindsight is 20/20, right? It takes some growing and turning to The LORD to be able to see our errant ways. Thanks for your insight on this blog. You are very wise for your age! It is clear that you have turned to The LORD. :). God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle Garrett - Love this Tindell! Very well written.ReplyCancel

We all have accomplishments we secretly hope our kids make, I know this is true because my kids are only two and five months and, if I’m really honest, I have dreamed of things for them. For Claire (who is two) I have dreamed of a life of grace… I was not a graceful person. In fact in college my sorority nominated me for a pageant which involved a VERY simple (I’m talking spirit fingers kind of simple) choreographed dance and the teacher would constantly have to circle back around and ask if my uncoordinated 5’10 frame could do the the very entry level move. I couldn’t and I can promise you I was never asked to do such things again. I joked that my head was just too far from my feet. So for her I have dreamed of grace because if I’m honest I was always lacking on it. For Briggs I picture Friday night football games and us cheering him on from the stands. I don’t know why it just feels very picturesque, like what you imagine having babies is like before you actually have babies. Truthfully, I will cheer my kids on from whatever stands they let me cheer from. I don’t care if Claire decides she likes softball instead of ballet (which is more likely since she currently runs into walls… genetics are so unforgiving) or if Briggs loves chess instead of football what matters is that they let me come.

However we all have certain things we are dreaming off…real life stuff, the stuff that really matters. Stuff like planning a wedding with your daughter, or watching a graduation, welcoming your first grandbaby, or just seeing them settled into a life they love. The list in my head of check marks that will let me rest as a parent are long. Then today as I sat with my arm around my two year old, her little hands clutching her bunny and her new Kermit the frog stuffed animal, I realized I really only have one dream that matters. I don’t care about the sports I get to see, the degrees on the wall, the stands I might cheer from, or even picking out that perfect wedding dress.

The walk I want to see them make is that walk down the aisle towards a commitment with a savior. The stand I want to see her take is when she stands in some church or prays a prayer on bended knee that asks the question that will change the whole trajectory of her life. I want to see my kids put their faith in Jesus. I don’t say this because it’s Christmas or because it’s the right answer I say it because my life wouldn’t have any merit if I hadn’t found Jesus or more accuracy if he hadn’t saved me. I say that because as I watched parents and their children walk down the aisle today acknowledging acceptance of Jesus into their heart I prayed a simple prayer, “God please let me get to see my kids come to know you.” Because of all the dreams I hold this is the only one that gives them life. Of all the prayers I make this is the only one that gives me hope. Of all the things I wish for them I know that none of it matters without a relationship with a God that made himself human for us. There are very few things I would say without hesitation or questioning but this I know to be true, a life lived without Jesus is not a life worth living.

Tonight as a I wrap up tiny presents for my babies I am praying to a huge God who made himself so small for us. Not small in glory and not small in significance but small so we could behold him in a way that made him real. Small that made him tangible. This Christmas that is my real wish that one day I would get celebrate this holy night with their hearts that fully understand.

Matthew 1:23

23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[a] (which means “God with us”).

  • Gloria Butler - I pray with you for your hearts desire for your children. There truly is no greater joy for a parent than to know that her children walk in truth! Merry Christmas to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • deirdre - So beautifully written. My daughter walked the aisle yesterday at Passion City . She is a senior in high school and we have been praying for that moment for a long time ! We are thrilled and so blessed ! Thank you for all you do for teenage girls !!ReplyCancel

  • Anna Etheriedge - And so it begins… like Paul said with almost a mother’s heart, “My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you…” It is a beautiful (sometimes wrenching) journey to behold 🙂 Blessings to your precious family, AnnaReplyCancel

I had a friend tell me when I was pregnant with Claire that you either get rocked by one baby or rocked by two. I was shaken by one for sure but for the most part I loved being a mom. I had a new found love for this little life and caring for her. I loved watching her experience new things, take her first steps, and her little personality grow each day. It was a sort of beautiful adjustment that went pretty seamlessly.

I handled the first baby so well I figured why not expanding my mothering skills by adding another baby to grace this world. Since you know… I had this under control (this would be the part of the plot chart where we have hit the top of the hill and are making the decent down). I had the house clean enough most of the time, had date nights on a regular basis, was reading through the bible in a year with ben, and was taking extra time to teach Claire about Jesus. I was giving myself mental pats on the back for keeping life under control and I was enjoying it too. Inside the little book we all keep in our heads that evaluates how well we are doing at life I was checking my boxes.

Then Briggs was born. Another amazing gift that surprised us when he arrived three weeks early (key word surprised.. like my hospital bag wasn’t packed) and I knew it would be hard but I thought I’d still be able to check my boxes. However, whereas Claire had molded my world with her tiny hands Briggs had cracked it right apart. I couldn’t perform or pretend to have it all together. I couldn’t create images that looked shiny and pretty most days because I was in a haze of toddler toys and baby screams. I was (and still am thanks to a new wave of sickness) sleep deprived and frustrated. I was cranky most nights. I was bitter that going to the grocery store was a big outing for me and I was angry that pretty much all of my dreams would have to be put on hold for a while. I loved Briggs so much but my selfish nature flared up and I was just lost. Plus my favorite pair of jeans didn’t fit (you see how bad things were…. Sarcasm…. A lot of it)

So one night when I had sort of reached the pinnacle of my frustration and danced at my own pity party for far too long I took out my journal and wrote that I just felt like I was getting an F in every category. I could no longer check all of my boxes and my new reality was just too much. The rest of the world around me seemed to be handling their 2 OR MORE kids just fine and I was drowning. I sat in silence and heard the quite reminder of the gospel tell me that he never needed my performance. He wasn’t asking me to check off my mental boxes that decided whether I was doing ok or not, he was asking me to lean into him and let his love free me.

So if you are like me and have entered a season where you have been cracked apart and can’t hold it together let the truth of Jesus’s words wash over you, “I have come so that you have life, and have it to the full” (john 10:10) the first part of that verse we know well it’s the second part we forget. The first part says, “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.” The enemy comes whispering that God has expectations of perfection over Jesus’s invitation to simply come. He comes telling us that God needs all of our boxes checked instead of the truth that God loves us the same no matter the mess. Boxes checked or big fat F by the world’s standards does not change the degree to which he loved you… to death.

No matter if life is easy or hard we need God. We need him to make us new, make us whole, and remind us that our best performance doesn’t make us a Christian. Our best performance doesn’t earn us his love or his respect, it just exhausts us. So lets change our boxes not from whether the house is clean but did our kids feel like a gift from above. Not from did we say the right thing but did we love the right way. Let’s change our attitude from do we have it all together to, do we sit and listen to the one who sent his son as a baby to enter our world. Until we really see Jesus as the savior that walked into our mess, we will spend our efforts trying to clean up for him however, our best attempts are nothing more than a manger bed for the king of the world.

So if the Christmas card you sent feels a little fake and the real story is you are a mess then I know just the guy. He tells you to stop the cleaning and sit at his feet just for a moment. Be made new not because he is impressed by your performance or your efforts but because he loved you enough to come for you.

  • Jeff Manget - Great reminder for this Christmas Season!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - Dear Tindell,

    Thank you for this reminder about the true meaning of Christmas. It is not just ticking off the boxes for buying presents and preparing for the Christmas dinners with family and friends. It is preparing our hearts to yield to God, who has sent his only beloved Son to us. And God wants us to come ‘as is’, without having to tidy up our lives or the heavy make-up. God accepts us as we are, loves us as we are. It’s about time we do too! Amen.ReplyCancel

Fight or flight? It’s what we were taught in school as the two responses to danger. I’d argue that it isn’t just our response to danger but rather just life because who really lives a completely “safe” life. I always knew which one I was. I flew. Far away from what was scaring me. I ended relationships by doing things that caused the other person to end it. I stopped calling friends back when it was too hard because part of me always believed running away was easier than fighting.

There are very few people in my life I have really fought for, mostly they are the ones who sit around my dinner table at Christmas and I like to remind them that they aren’t getting rid of me no matter how hard they try. Early in life I realized that pain hurt (ground breaking I know) but what hurt less was causing the pain. Walking away yourself seemed less painful than what I always thought was the “inevitable” leaving.  Blame it on bad boyfriends or deep seated insecurities either way for a little while it was how I operated.

Fast forward to marriage, where running wasn’t an option. Fast forward to kids, who had no agenda besides spending 24/7 with me. Fast forward to obeying a call I felt God put on my life and realizing responsibilities came with the calling. And here I sit wondering why I want nothing more than to bolt to the nearest Starbucks and just escape for a few hours. I never learned how to fight. I taught myself how to make it easy but what do you do when easy isn’t an option?

What do you do when you can’t outrun your current season? When the laundry won’t fold itself, the words won’t write themselves,  and the kids don’t dress or bath themselves (yet), what do you do when you can’t actually scream into your pillow because your two year old will say “it’s ok mama” making you feel 100% worse. What do you do when there is no actual answer but to fight?

Fight for sanity, fight for love, fight for what you believe in, have been called to, and are doing. Fight to be the woman God has made you to be when the path is hard and you feel utterly alone. Fight when no one else understands except the people who love you most. Fight when you want to crawl back into bed and say, “I’m sorry I’m not here right now please try again when my sanity (or a venti latte) has arrived”, what do you do when life “inevitably” requires a fight? When the job is ending, when the emails are pressing, when the kids are whiny, when life is well…. Worth fighting for.

As a woman I so dearly respect put it “you live a life that requires God” (Jennie Allen Restless). In all my years of flying I never had Jesus to tell me I wouldn’t be fighting alone. I never had the comfort of knowing that he who began a good work in me would finish it (Philippians 1:6) . I didn’t know I was his workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) or that he was my ever present help in times of trouble (psalm 46). I am learning now that a life lived to please God is a life lived fighting, whether it’s against the patterns of this world, the father or lies, or just our own selfish nature, a life lived for God is one that requires much more of us. But I have come to find that what is better than avoiding pain is staying and fighting for a God who has already won for me.

  • Ruth - This is everything the Lord is teaching me right now. We must be freedom fighters for ourselves, our children, our marriages and our futures. Beautiful post, and so confirming for my heart. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Anna - TERRIFIC!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Doster - Love this Tindell. Words I needed to hear!ReplyCancel

    • Tindell Baldwin - Thank you Rebecca! So glad it could encourage you 🙂ReplyCancel

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