Tindell Baldwin »

Sometimes life is just overwhelming. Not in a falling apart kind of way but in an “I just don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other today” kind of way. You know it will get better, you know you will indeed make it, but it’s just all a bit much.

I reached that point at about 1:30 am two nights ago when I had only been asleep for an hour and I heard the sheep like cries of my four week old son. I stumbled into his room fed him and cried wondering how on earth I was going to make it through the next day. I knew the toddler in the next room would not wake up and tell me that “the bags under my eyes looked pretty bad and I should probably go back to sleep while she played quietly in her room.” So I cried because it just seemed too much at 1am when I hadn’t gotten more than a few intervals of sleep in four weeks and my body was still adjusting to not being pregnant.  I cried because I was holding a precious gift in my arms but my selfish self just wanted a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Luckily years of chronic insomnia had prepared me pretty well for the perils of motherhood but we all have our breaking points.

So I did the only thing I know to do at one am when life is just life and it’s not bad, in fact it’s beautiful, but you’ve forgotten that. I asked for his grace to make it through tomorrow (and I thanked him my in laws were in town to help). Because it’s ok to need his daily grace when nothing is particularly horrible but you are just exhausted. The grace that gives us the patience to love when we want to snap, to reach out when we want to hole up, and the grace to see the beauty in even hard circumstances. I begged him for his unyielding love that could pour over me even when I was being selfish. I asked for the endurance to keep going because sometimes you just have to keep moving and when I don’t know how that will happen I beg the one who has put my feet on the right path over and over again.

I debating sharing this little saga with you but I figure someone else needs to know that its OK if you need an extra dose of his grace even when your circumstances aren’t as bad as someone you know, or if you like me you just need to be reminded that even great gifts require hard work. Sometimes we just need to free ourselves up to cry a few tears then put our big girl pants on and keep going. It doesn’t make us less than it makes us human, which is just something we aren’t getting out of. So whatever your reasons are for needing his grace today, embrace it and relish in the fact that it’s just fine to need it.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

  • Katie Smith - As always, your blogs (and book as well) continue to inspire me to deepen my relationship with my Maker. Today, yours words and musings spoke straight into what God is doing in my life currently. Thanks for being someone to look up to! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Anne Kerr - How well I remember those silent tears in the quiet night. I would walk my little one and offer tired prayers for him or her. CS Lewis taught me that since God is outside the realm of time, those prayers we offered years ago still ring in His ears, as fresh as when we first uttered them. Love seeing how you show is to be real is to be beautiful. Hope you get some good rest this week!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Dear Tindell,
    You wrote the most amazing and inspiring book. I am so grateful to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I pray for you! Also, my church played one of you brother’s songs, “Always”. Such a beautiful song. When the artists name came up, I almost screamed, “Mom, Kristian Stanfill, that’s Tindell Baldwin’s brother!” God’s blessings on you, your family, and your little one.ReplyCancel

Almost a month ago it was one year since Popular was released. One year since my heart and soul was bared on pages to receive both criticism and praise. One year of hearing God work through words, one year of coffee dates with parents that made me weep, one year of emails and cards that let me know the power of God. A year that has taken me more places than I ever thought possible, more encouragement that I dreamed of hearing, and meetings that I never imagined sitting in.

And yet….

I wait. I wait to know more will happen. I wait to know what is next. I wait to know if I am done with my dream of writing. Am I done using the gift that I feel God gave me for his glory? A writer friend told me that writing ebbs and flows with seasons of life and I wonder as I am less than 1 month away from delivering our second child if for these days I am done. It’s hard to imagine life without a pen and paper. Hard to imagine not dreaming of the illusive “next.” It’s hard to tell people that, “I don’t know” when they ask if I will write more books. Because the questions isn’t do I want to? Yes I want to. Every day I dream of ideas but I also feel the gentle pull back of the one who called me to this in the beginning. If they aren’t his words, his story, his truth, then I don’t want to write it.

It’s a sobering reminder that our dreams don’t give us life. I had one big “dream” when I graduated from Auburn University in 2009 and it was to write. It was on my bucket list and I thought one day… maybe. Then 3 years later I was signing a piece of paper that made me a “writer” to the rest of the world (or at least to my tiny world). I thought when I saw my book on shelves, or heard girls were reading it, or reached some pinnacle in my head that fulfillment would come rushing in but instead I just feel the lingering question of what now.

As I bury my head in toddler books, try to learn how to cook on a budget (who knew steak wasn’t budget friendly…), maintain a healthy thriving marriage, be a friend to those around me, love well, and enjoy this phase, I am reminded that sacrifice doesn’t always mean suffering. I am reminded that God doesn’t work on a timeline, that maybe I have quite a few more books in me that he will ring out when the time comes but until then I don’t find my joy in what I’ve accomplished but in the one who has called me to be faithful, today… many more books or no more books. And to be thankful because my house might be messy but its full of the fingerprints of a full life, and my to do list might be a mile long but my daughter will go to bed fed and know she is loved, and while I might feel as a big as a bus God gave me another baby that will grace this earth soon (eeekk).

So learn from me… whatever the dream is that you are believing will take you to ultimate fulfillment might come and go and the feeling of wondering what’s next will follow. Be faithful now. Today. And if the dreams are fulfilled praise him but if they aren’t praise him anyway because when life becomes too much about stages and dreams we miss the grace. We miss the right now. We miss the days we are walking in for the dream of what might be ahead and we will miss beautiful life happening right in front of us.

  • Anne - Sweet girl, you have the highest calling as wife and mother, and I applaud you for recognizing that! You will never, ever regret one second of your time spent on those you love, because you’re right, the seasons change, and all too soon your little ones will be grown. May they rise up and call you blessed, because you are! Love your transparency!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - Hi Mrs. Baldwin. I just wanted to express my thanks to you personally for writing this book. A lot of christian authors dodge around sex and alcohol which makes it hard for teens (aka me) to connect. Your book really spoke to me and made me want to praise God for everything he does. He really is amazing! Thank you so much for your testimony and know that there are girls out there who needed to read this more than you know. Thanks!ReplyCancel

When little girls are  young most of them  dream about the kind of man they will marry, the man who will hold their hand forever, the man who will take them on dates, send flowers, and all the other stuff we watch on Hollywood screens since childhood.  I didn’t dream much, not because I didn’t want to get married, I did, one day…. after I had accomplished my long to do list of dreams which included writing for a big publication, like Glamour (I was really into skin creams back then). I thought marriage was the kind of thing that other girls got to do, the sweet girls, the ones that wore lily Pulitzer and knew which side of the plate a fork went on (still can’t tell you). I figured marriage was for the girls who checked off the boxes of being great at organizing, looking divine when they wake up in the morning, and owned at least three monogrammed bags. Now I know this is all very 1950’s but in my tiny brain marriage was simply something for the good girls. Marriage was for the girls who hadn’t screwed up in high school, the girls who didn’t refer to centipedes as cinnomanpedes in their childhood, or butter a cat just to see what happened, the girls who had a grip on their emotions. Those kind of girls I expected to marry.

I was reminded often by my loving family that it would take quite a man to marry someone like me. They didn’t mean it in a bad way more in a, he might have to have actual access to Job to get advice on patience. They knew that it would take a very special individual to look at my Tasmanian devil type of ways and say, “this could be fun.” Because there are just a few realities you learn to accept about yourself as you grow and most of my realities made me a bit of a handful, fun in small doses but a bit much for forever… or so I thought.

Then I met Ben, luckily a few years into my redemption and six months into my no dating for a year pact with God. I wish I could tell you I waited the full six months before letting him take me out but I did wait one week which for someone like me feels like FOREVER (imagine the most dramatic 16 year old girl saying this). Although 5 years of marriage and almost two kids in I think God’s ok that we skipped ahead a bit.

I knew it would take a special man to be by my side but I never anticipated God would blow my expectations out of the water. See I had this past and I thought God reserved the “B list” for girls like me but then there was this man who wanted to marry me and he was so beyond what I was expecting. I remember waiting for it to implode, waiting for him to realize he could do better but he just kept loving me, through crazy family times, through moves and job changes, through depression, through more moves, through our first child and WOW crazy hormones, through almost a second pregnancy and again with the hormones, through a book that details a past most husbands would shudder to see on shelves, through good days bad days and the million in between.  He’s my reminder that God gives great blessings not because we earn them but because he loves us. He reminds me that selfless love can be quiet in its pursuit and that when I serve other I will experience God the most. He cheers me on from front rows of hard talks and in the tears shed when life looks bleak, he champions me in the good and in the bad, and the best is in this crazy life he really believes in me.

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Recently a girl asked me what my husband thought of me writing my book and I remembered this sweet conversation we had when I was about to sign the publishing deal. He had been struggling (as all men would) with the details, the pain, and what it would mean for it to be public but he came to me and said “If one girl has a different story because of this it will be worth it.” What a man.

Today is his birthday and I like to honor people with my words… there’s so much more I could say, so many more words that he deserves but for now I’ll leave it at this, I’m so glad it took a special kind of man to marry me, I would have missed out on so much with ordinary. So happy birthday to the most amazing man who loves me so amazingly well.

  • Cindy Redd - Absolutely beautiful! I cannot adequately express how much I admire your transparency with your story. Thank you so much. I am speaking for so many, I would likely say.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Peterson - I could not love this more.ReplyCancel

  • Lilli Ann Snow - I am so thankful to be on facebook with the Hunkapiller girls now, and you are going to be the icing on this family cake! Want to read your book! Will read your book! What a life you and Ben and your family are blessed to experience and share! Lilli Ann Snow—Diane’s cousin-in-law, and possibly her biggest fan!ReplyCancel

I see the magazines as I wait in line for the bathroom, I’m 28 weeks pregnant so it seems I’m always waiting in line for the bathroom. To my right is a wall lined with the latest month’s editions of fashion, celebrity gossip, home décor, more fashion, and naked woman. One cover shows a woman (she’s incredibly famous so I should know her name but I’m not cool so to me she is woman) in only a skirt arm pressed against her chest to hide the one part of her body that would label the cover as “too provocative”. Another cover shows another famous woman (again you would know who she is because you’re cool but I’m not so she is again woman) and the headline reads “….. finds love and bares all” or something to that effect. She is in stockings nothing else again hand covering the one “private part” (that’s the technical term) that would make the cover have to be behind one of those fuzzy screens.

And I couldn’t help but wonder when the world will stop telling woman that baring it all and dancing with the line of exposure is what makes you intriguing? When will the line stop being pushed and men stop being lured into lust by just standing in line to the bathroom?

The message seems to be yelling, “you are only as beautiful as what you you can bare.” Our bodies seem to be the vessel to which our value is placed. Great body, great hair, great skin, etc then great value. So for girls who don’t fall into the category life can be brutal, unbearable, and confusing. Because while we hear from infancy that God thinks we are beautiful it would be nice if he sent a flesh and blood man to marry us and tell us the same thing.

Claire has this little book where an asparagus is going to a princess party and she is all dressed up but along the way a pea needs help and is stuck in the mud. She helps dislodge him (without any hands which I think is the most impressive part) but gets her beautiful dress all muddy and has to go to the party like that. The end of the book sings this song about how God thinks she’s beautiful and Claire likes to press the button and make me listen to it about 100x which is why that book has suddenly gone missing (so weird how that happens). Here’s the thing though, the asparagus is skinny, tall, has perfect hair, and lips so the mud on the dress really isn’t a big deal. If they really wanted to get the point across they should have used a gourd… just sayin.

My struggle was never to believe I was pretty it was more to believe I had anything else to offer the world. Being labeled as attractive was an addiction I fed nightly in my high school years to the point where I believed everything rode on how I looked. I figured any success or failure I achieved in life was because of this one trait that meant everything to me. I would trade my values, innocence, and reputation for any guy that told me I was beautiful. Here’s the thing though as much as I knew guys that didn’t care about me thought was pretty I was confident God didn’t think the same thing about me. I was trading real beauty for the temporary high of stares, dates, and pick up lines. On the inside I knew the truth though the outside only masked the real ugliness within.

When I came to know Jesus I realized how ugly the inside of me was. How much hate, bitterness, and jealousy had destroyed my heart. I could dress the outside up but the inside was a dead shell, I was a corpse in designer clothing, and I didn’t need a better stylist I needed a savior. As much value as the world had placed on my shell it had told me nothing of my soul, the wellspring of life. So I caked on the ugly inside and bought the perfect lipstick so my mouth would be pretty when the words were not.

Fast forward to now and I have a basketball lodged under my shirt with my second child and the stares I get are more because you can’t miss me more than anything else. I know I will never be able to convince the world to stop telling woman that their worth can be displayed on a magazine cover or that how you look in a very tight dress taking selfies in a candy shop is what really counts (true story) I can reiterate that you won’t find life or love there. That what you are searching for is not for likes or comments but for a beautiful soul. If that sounds cheesy it’s because it is but it’s also true. The world can offer you outward value but Jesus is offering you an inward transformation. He’s telling you that you can be clothed and still be loved. He’s telling you that you are worth so much more.

 

 

Her little eyes dart to mine as she lifts the plastic bead to her mouth….

“Claire harper” I snap, she knows. Its our little battle, the one where she exerts her pint sized will and I remind her of the choking hazard of beads for the 700th time in a voice that sends a message. I thought I had managed to find all the pieces of tiny plastic determined to be lodged in my daughters esophagus but I’m starting to think she has stock piled them for just such occasion. We fight these little battles on most days, but they are little.

Then I sit across from a mom at Starbucks and I hear about the battle she is fighting. With tear filled eyes she says to me, “I just want to keep my daughter alive.” I gasp because the thought never occurred to me that after the little years I might have to circle back to the fight of just keeping them alive but this time it won’t be stairs and crossing the street but boys and drugs.

And so we fight.

We fight the little battles for their little hearts to understand and then later we fight the all-out wars. The big battles that end in counselor’s offices and in prayers lifted more as cries than prayers. We fight the battles of not eating the tiny choking hazards then we graduate to the more advanced combat for our children’s souls.

I left coffee with tears streaming down my face, for this mom, for her daughter, and for the hold Satan has managed to wrap around this young girl. For the first time in a long time I remembered the darkness. The battle is being fought and while I sat in disbelief to hear a young girls story so unlike mine yet so the same I realized what was inspiring me as I listened, the mom knew the battle had already been won.

There had been a cross for her and her daughter, there was a fighter who had already claimed victory, and she had not a shadow of a doubt that God wasn’t going to let her daughter go. I sat shocked because her faith was staggering. I can write words on pages but if my own flesh and blood lived the same path I wrote so boldly about would I have the same faith? Would I remember that the beautiful parts of our stories are only told by the mighty hand of God? Would I remember that addictions are never stronger than the power of Jesus? Would I claim as boldly as I had written that only God numbers our days?

I pray I would. I pray I would fight valiantly like this mother has, knowing at the end of the day I cannot save my daughters soul. I can save her life but soul saving… that is not up to me. I can show her, I can live it out, and I can pray with earnest but I cannot pin her down and force Jesus down her throat. Nor do I want to. So I’ll fight the small battles and I’ll prepare for war that may or may not come and along the way ill remind myself that there is always hope.

 

Ephesians 6:10-13

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Since I embarked on this great journey of motherhood I have sought to be understood. Sought to have someone tell me I’m doing a good job, not just a good job, but a worthy job. I want someone to tell me that the countless hours I spend singing (not on a stage but in a quiet nursery with a babe pressed against me), cleaning, and well… mothering has immense value in this world.

Because let’s be honest… whether you stay at home like me or work a 9-5 the term mother has been made less than what it is. So maybe it’s just me or you too, but I’ve spent the year and a half since that beautiful moment in the delivery room trying to prove to the world that the life I lead is worthy of recognition. Sure there’s a day devoted to us (but dogs also get one), sure my husband comes home and asks me how I managed it all, and I’ve heard a few “I could never do that.” What I have wanted though is for my job, my role, as a mom, to be a valuable one. To be one that is revered right up there with CEO’s, Managers, and big wig company chairs. When I tell people I am a “stay at home mom” I want them to ooh and ahh in wonder as if I have just told them I wrangle tigers. (it’s almost the same) They don’t though, in fact, a few times men have asked me, “what else do you do.” (I complied a detail minute by minute schedule and sent it to them via email with a bible verse…jk)

But why does it matter?

Because I need it? Because its true? Because it makes what I do more important?

I think the reason we drown ourselves in diapers and loose ourselves in all exciting parenting novels and do poop cheers when they poop and it’s been three days. I think what makes every late night lullaby and sleep deprived 3 cup of coffee type of morning worth it will never come in the form of praise from others. It wouldn’t matter if the government started paying me for my 14+ hour days or if men stood in awe when I described in detail the glorious wonder that is my day. It wouldn’t matter if I got to wear clothes that weren’t covered in goldfish residue or enjoy a cup of coffee without having to watch curious George.

Because what I really know is this… Sacrifice doesn’t always mean suffering and while the human in me craves a shred of significance in this tattered world the Jesus inside of me praises God I have the opportunity to raise little hands and feet to sing his praises. The Jesus in me knows that in ten minutes little whimpers followed by the sweetest sound of “ma-ma” will interrupt my world again and I will have to surrender what I am doing to answer the cry of one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. The Jesus in me knows that I have experienced more of his love in the past 17 months that I ever knew existed, the love that compels me to keep moving, keep loving, keep smiling, and keep enjoying even when the world looks on and wonders “what I really do all day.”

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I will do what my mother did and her mother before that and raise little lives. Little lives that will affect many people. Little lives that will turn into big ones, where they will face this big bad world head on and I will spend hours on my knees praying I taught them well. I will take joy in their triumphs and cry in their pain and for as long as they let me I will be an ear to listen and a voice of wisdom (or so I pray). Because if two year olds didn’t turn into adults then my job would be pointless but this is just the start and I only have 18 years before I send them off so there is lots of work to do.

Happy Mothers Day to all, no matter what that looks like, traditional or in a way you never expected, I pray God shows you the immense value of your calling.

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  • susan peterson - Happiest of Mother’s Days to you sweet Tindell!ReplyCancel

  • Malin - Dear sister in Christ. Greetings from Sweden. I am too a stay at home mother 😀 I praise God that you are hearing the Lords calling to do this 🙂 Not many mothers in Sweden stay home more than 6-12 months, but the one that do, it’s a treasure! I hope you have a lot of sisters in your everyday work, that too is at home as you. Gods blessing to you/MalinReplyCancel

Last night my husband and I sat on the back porch in our rocking chairs like something you’d see on leave it to beaver and talked. My brother and sister in law affectionately call this “porching it” and swear it’s the key to a good marriage. So we sat outside, rocked while we looked at our backyard and talked about what most people in their late twenties talk about with a toddler and one more on the way, money. What would be just the right amount? When will we get to the pinnacle illusion amount of “security”, that place where you skip off to work feeling confident that if you lost your job, total your car, or some other tragedy strikes you can feel at peace because there’s “enough” in the bank. The fantasy world where future college tuitions, weddings, proms, and house repairs are no longer the sweat on your brow but a welcomed new adventure because you are “secure”.

I grew up wanting. Not in the sense of basic needs but in the sense that I always wanted more. I wanted a bigger house, I dreamed of my own bathroom that was not filled with three boys and questionable hair findings. I dreamed of Birkenstocks and an off white north face jacket that would keep me warm in Atlanta’s extreme temperatures (sarcasm intended). I dreamed of having things that would give me happiness I thought waited on the other side.

However, there were four kids and my dad was starting his own company and my mom had decided the best place she could be was at home with us so going to the movies as a family was a stretch. In all my “wanting” though my childhood was one of the happiest I can imagine because while our memories weren’t made at 5 star resorts or fancy country clubs we had plenty of good memories. The atmosphere in our home was one of life and joy and dare I be cheesy and say Jesus. Our house was full of life, it was packed to the brim with it, teenage boys running in and out of the house to the latest experiment that would most likely land us in the ER. Our memories were made of rolling a tire down the hill, making bike ramps, and a large front yard swing that would later be called the “so sorry your kid broke his arm at our house” swing. And laughing. We laughed a lot and at night when we were all in our teens we’d pile into our parents room as we came home and catch up. (of course I didn’t realize how great any of this was back then)

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No I didn’t have my own bathroom (can you tell this was a big point of angst for me) and I worked through high school to pay for the extras that I so desperately needed… like skirts that should have been banned in all 50 states. What I learned though was that money didn’t create atmosphere, it wasn’t necessary to create memories, and we didn’t need to have the best vacations in our borrowed 2 bedroom condo in Hilton head. We had joy because we were thankful, we had love, we knew where life came from, and we had each other.

I say all this because now as a grown up (well almost) the trap is to believe that the destination of security will somehow create this mecca of joy. Yet why is it that the richest people in America seem to be the unhappiest? Why is it that the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen were on the faces of some of the poorest in Africa? And why is it that you probably haven’t heard a lot of people say “we have just the right amount of money?”

Because God beckons us to joy not through things, trips, and big numbers but through a redeemed life. He beckons us to joy in trusting in the midst of plenty and little. He beckons us to real joy when we choose to look at a messy house as a house full of life, as shared bathrooms as one more opportunity to be close knit, and as “wanting” to be something that teaches us how to be gracious no matter the circumstance. I never went without growing up, I know that now, but I looked around me and everyone seemed to have fancier things and something inside me craved it. Whenever I’d get one thing though the stakes got higher, the things got more expensive, and the let downs greater. The joy I was searching for couldn’t be purchased.

This morning on Good Morning America they talked about an article that said that we shouldn’t let our kids want for things because it creates “bad self-esteem” and I had to laugh because I am thankful every day I didn’t get just want I wanted (pretty sure my husband is too). I even manage to have a fine self-esteem. Who would have thought!

Colossians 2:7

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

  • Carrie Reynolda - Man I miss that swing, what an awesome blog Tindell!! I struggled/struggle with this, and you nailed it. Love you!!ReplyCancel

  • Susan P - Tindell, you nailed it here. Wondering why I still am learning this lesson. Thank you Lord for your patience with me and for teaching me daily what it means to be content.

    Love you!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa Staley - What a beautiful Tindellism! You have experienced the joy of learning that less is more. Thank you for bringing joy to me during a sleepless night .ReplyCancel

  • Brooke Ventimiglia - Love this, Tindell! Thanks so much for your blog posts. They brighten my day and put me on track to joy in Jesus!ReplyCancel

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If you’re like me and grew up in a Christian home then this weekend comes with a certain sentiment. Easter baskets filled with candy and potentially a very large bunny stuffed animal, you’ve sang “he is risen’ on Sunday with your big pink bow, and took family portraits that always ended up with someone crying from the sugar crash that was occurring. We knew it was important, we knew it mattered, and we knew we were supposed to look our best and try not to get chocolate on our white dress (why they combined a holiday of chocolate eating with the tradition of wearing white is beyond me). It was sweet, it was a family weekend, but it never shook my world.

Its Good Friday today and as I read the verse I’ve read 100 times I pray it hits me in a new way. I pray I don’t roll by this weekend with a sense of familiarity like I have 100x before. I pray I don’t get caught up in the baking, egg hunting, and family pictures, only to forget that the death sentence that had been placed on my life was lifted. The debt I could never erase by my own striving was wiped clean.

“He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, he was beaten so we could be made whole” (Isiah 53:5)

And yet I forget to remember. I forget to be awed because I’ve heard it before. I’ve been breathless and weepy and asked, how could you do this for me? But somehow the farther I get removed from that moment the farther I get from remembering how much I need today. It will never stop being true, I will never need less of Jesus than he gave on the cross. So why should I be moved any less? I don’t become less of a sinner any more than I become less of a human.

So let’s live in our need, live in our dependence for today and that cross and the sinless man that died on our behalf. I pray the story never becomes old or boring. I pray our memories of Good Friday won’t be like a child’s book but like a living breathing man being beaten, wounded, and killed on our behalf. We search for ways to dumb it down for our kids so they can take part in the story but what I want to tell my daughter is the utter suffering that happened on that cross represents a love like no other. I want her to get the pain because our story isn’t nearly as meaningful unless cost was really that high. Let’s not forget the gravity of today, the pain of today, and the love laced in it all. Let’s not breeze by the weekend and forget that under the candy, bunnies, and dresses is the greatest love story we will ever know.

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