*And furthermore ...

"I write not for the greater good; not to better myself, but because there are so many things that keep me up at night." – Christopher Baldwin

Please note this blog is more ramblings of a personal nature. "Official" thoughts on branding, service experiences and the non-profit world can be found at http://dawnnicolebaldwin.wordpress.com/
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Lately I’ve been feeling drained with “Supposed To’s.”

Supposed to…

  • finish this project
  • help my daughter get ready for prom
  • do something special for her graduation. And birthday. And prep the house for the party. 
  • schedule dental appointments more often so everyone doesn’t end up with a zillion cavities
  • keep the house clean. And organized. And go on date nights with my husband (or at least celebrate his birthday with him) 
  • deliver for clients. Actually bill for the work. Spend time with our neighbors. Take my niece out for ice cream. Stay on track with my training schedule so I don’t die during the race this fall. GrowourteamSpendtimewithfamilyBlogmoreoftenFindproactivewaystogrowthebusiness
    MakeclientshappyAvoidamentalbreakdown

Oh—And spend time with God. Everyday. Not just when I’m in desperate need and/or on the verge of a meltdown. 

Granted, I’m probably a unique kind of crazy but can anyone else relate? Have coping mechanisms you’re willing to share? 

(And for the love of all that’s good and pure, please don’t refer me to one of Michael Hyatt’s posts about time management or prioritizing my day. I will poke my eyes out with pencils. Don’t get me wrong—I love the guy—but I have a half-dozen productivity apps, books, inspirational words of wisdom and motivational TED talks. What I really need is some Godiva chocolate & a great glass of zinfandel. Preferably old vines.) 

chrispypaints:

Finally got some photos back from the Ben Carson event! I was hired by the Town Hall Library Association a little while back to paint a portrait of  Dr. Benjamin Carson, (some of you may remember him from the National Prayer Breakfast) who spoke at the Van Wezel in February. I had the opportunity to meet Carson in person and explain the concept of the portrait to him, as well sit in on his lecture, during which he referred to my portrait as, “the best he’s ever had done”!

Dr. Carson is a world-renowned neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, known for his work with twins conjoined at the head. With this in mind I wanted to establish a theme of duality in the portrait, which ultimately led me to choose to split his face down the middle between the two hemispheres of his own brain. Besides providing the viewer with a rare glimpse into the brilliant mind of a neurosurgeon, this also worked to my advantage conceptually in conjunction with the stiletto knife and scalpel by dividing the piece in half.



As a boy Carson once got in a heated argument with a friend over what radio station to listen to, and in a fit of anger lunged at the boy with a knife; a decision that could have ended in tragedy if the blade hadn’t snapped in two on the boy’s belt buckle. Without knowing his friend’s fate, Ben Carson ran and locked himself in his bathroom with a Bible, where he found the passage, Proverbs 16:32: “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”

This moment proved to be a turning point in his life as he learned to control his anger and made the decision to direct his energies into making something of himself. The stiletto knife from his childhood and the scalpel are meant to represent the span of his career, bringing cohesion to an image that would otherwise be cut in two. Just as Carson has healed so many lives through his own method of division, this portrait is meant to celebrate his life and career in the same way.

It has been such an incredible honor and thrilling experience being able to paint Dr. Carson’s portrait, a huge thank you goes out to Jeff Schwartz for helping art direct the project, as well as Lindsey Nickel and Stephanie Grosskreutz for making me feel so welcome at the Van Wezel at the event.

P.S. A huge thank you to all the kind people over at Jessica’s Framing for going above and beyond, the frame is killer!

*Spoiler Alert* Please file under “Mom’s Bragging Rights”

So proud of you, Christopher! Side note: I was really impressed with Dr. Carson’s philosophy & viewpoints. Hoping he runs for office someday. 

The mediums may change but the message still makes my heart smile

Well, at least the scammers are putting forth a bit more effort to mislead folks nowadays.

  • Me to 19 yr old son: "Buy a package of boneless, skinless chicken breast & marinate in buttermilk for an hour" (written on paper for good measure)
  • Results: Purchased a whole chicken and dumped buttermilk on top.

image

Someone I care about has been raising some very good questions about the conflicts between science, God, spirituality and religion. Do they conflict? Contradict? Co-exists? 

"Since neither one of us is really that educated in the sciences, it seems a bit pointless to be having this conversation, don’t you think?", he said to me. 

I had to admit he was right. 

So the rest of my summer (and most likely a good chunk of the fall) are going to be dedicated to educating myself. My journey has been primarily by faith. I hadn’t done that much research because I had experienced God in so many ways firsthand that I KNEW it to be true. 

But if I’m honest with myself, it’s a cop out and just plain lazy. How can any thinking person take me seriously if my answers end with, “Because I just know.”

I’ve shelled out almost $130 in hard copies and wanted a mix of perspectives. Yes, I’m interested in a Christian’s point of view of Intelligent Design but what are the New Atheists thinking? Other popular arguments currently out there? 

Here’s a rundown of what will be arriving this week. Feel free to let me know if you’ve read any or have others to add on the topics of science & God. (In no particular order)

God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? 

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design

Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism

There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind

What the Bleep Do We Know!?(TM): Discovering the Endless Possibilities for Altering Your Everyday Reality

The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

The God Delusion

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

Last night was been difficult. And the truth is, I’m still struggling. 
Not just with the fact my phone has been stolen but realizing the degree to which I became completely unhinged upon learning it was taken. My hands were shaking, I couldn’t focus or think. I called my husband sobbing, asking him to help me use the “Find My iPhone” utility I had installed somewhere but had no idea how to actually use. (The irony of that last part is just hilarious)
I had literally fallen in love with that thing. 
As I crawled into bed, exhausted and still an emotional wreck, I needed to give myself a hard slap in the form of a reality check. 

My husband still loves me and is safe. 
My kids are healthy and still safe. 
The world has, in fact, not come to an end. 

I’m embarrassed to admit how horrifically out of balance my priorities had become. Yes, it is a cool phone but it’s still just a phone. And as much as I hated my Blackberry, it’s still capable of performing basic functions it’ll do until we can afford another iPhone. 
I’d love to start a support group for those of us who’ve either lost or had our phones taken. Perhaps some sort of 12-step recovery program to help get our lives back on track. (And former Blackberry users would get extra therapy since we’ve been exposed to the knowledge phones can actually do more than dial and receive email) 
Feel free to share coping strategies… 

Last night was been difficult. And the truth is, I’m still struggling. 

Not just with the fact my phone has been stolen but realizing the degree to which I became completely unhinged upon learning it was taken. My hands were shaking, I couldn’t focus or think. I called my husband sobbing, asking him to help me use the “Find My iPhone” utility I had installed somewhere but had no idea how to actually use. (The irony of that last part is just hilarious)

I had literally fallen in love with that thing. 

As I crawled into bed, exhausted and still an emotional wreck, I needed to give myself a hard slap in the form of a reality check. 

My husband still loves me and is safe. 

My kids are healthy and still safe. 

The world has, in fact, not come to an end. 

I’m embarrassed to admit how horrifically out of balance my priorities had become. Yes, it is a cool phone but it’s still just a phone. And as much as I hated my Blackberry, it’s still capable of performing basic functions it’ll do until we can afford another iPhone. 

I’d love to start a support group for those of us who’ve either lost or had our phones taken. Perhaps some sort of 12-step recovery program to help get our lives back on track. (And former Blackberry users would get extra therapy since we’ve been exposed to the knowledge phones can actually do more than dial and receive email) 

Feel free to share coping strategies…