Tindell Baldwin »

Late on my Thanks Giving

Well its two days after thanksgiving and i meant to get this post up before thanksgiving so by Tindell standards this is right on time. I have been thinking about what I am thankful for and a facebook status just doesn’t seem to do it justice when I look around at the blessings in my life. I’m not saying I don’t have problems, Lord knows I am not claiming that, but I do have more to be thankful for than I realize. On every other day besides the third week in November I tend to forget how much I really have. I look around at the people with more and I tell myself that next year I will have it all. I keep hoping next year brings what I am lacking this year but then it hit me that the ladder up will never end. I will always find something to improve on, want, or “need”. So this year my goal is not to loose that five pounds that hangs around my thighs, or to stop eating sugar despite my best efforts, but rather to be content in all that I do have instead of the very little that I don’t. So here is my list of the irreplaceable things that make the things I don’t have all the less important.

1. Ben. Yes this may be the ultimate cliche but as the months go by I find even more reasons why I don’t deserve him and why is the biggest blessing God has ever given me. Not only does he put up with my shenagains day after day but he does it with a smile on his face and a giving heart. I have never meant a greater servant or smarter man and his ability to love me astonishes me every day.

2. Growing up with brothers. This may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for but every time I am able to pick myself up off the ground I attribute it to growing up with three boys to encourage me. My brothers never beat up on me or threatened my boyfriends (i think they were more worried about the guy than me) but they did teach me the value of strength and how to let things roll off my back. My guy friends in high school picked on me relentlessly and they always told me “its only because you can take it”. So for all things in life I am glad I can “take it”.

3. A stay at home mother. I don’t think anyone understands the value of a mother until they grow up. My mom left me notes in my lunch, made me breakfast in the morning, and was home to soothe the lies I had been told at school (mostly about my awkward height).

4. A hard working father. My dad taught me the importance of hard work. He was up early and home on time. He formed his business from nothing and taught me what it means to work through what you hate. I didn’t think this was as important when I was young but growing up I have realized that everything worth anything takes hard word. Love, relationships, marriage, family, faith, it all takes hard work.

5. Beth Moore’s bible studies. While it is true that I have a small inclination that we would be best friends if we ever got the chance that’s not the reason I love her bible studies. When I became a Christian five years ago (at one of her talks) her studies taught me to know and Love the Jesus I had just invited to change my life.  She taught me, unknowingly, that woman can stand in the same arena as men and have the same impact for Christ.

6. Laughter. It doesn’t matter how bad life gets, laughing with friends and family can change your entire world.

7. Moving to Houston. Ok, I know anyone who is close to me will laugh at this one but let me get my explanation out before you think I am full of it. Not only did Houston teach me what a brat I am but it taught me how much I needed to change. I am learning everyday to be my own person outside the influence of my family, how to love my husband when I don’t want to, and my passion for writing. If it wasn’t for my unemployment and understanding husband I would have never written the book I had wanted to write for years. Houston has been a great teacher.

8. My friends in Houston. In the midst of some the hardest days of my life they have steeped in and loved me, given me wise advice, or walked with me when I needed to get out. They have taught me the power of true friendships with out expecting anything in return.

9. Traveling to Africa. I got into a bad habit of believing that no matter how hard others had it that I had it worse, awful I know but at least I recognized it. Then I went on this trip and experienced so much conviction that it knocked me back into place. Not only do most people have it worse but I have so much that I could praise instead of complain about. Africa taught me, like most third world countries do, that I have so much to learn from them. Mostly though I needed to learn to be content with all that I had and less. I don’t need to be climbing up but realizing ever step is an undeserved raise.

10. My faith. This year has been one of the hardest of my life and without my savior to carry me through, often kicking and screaming, I would be in quite a mess. My savior, I love calling him that because he literally saved my life, has taught me the power of giving forgiveness and the tangible ways of love. If it weren’t for the “unworldly ways” of the bible then I would have lost most of my important relationships this year.

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