Claudine Phillips

The power in letting others see you at your baby stage

I love to say, “Tell me your story” when I meet someone for the first time. There is no story like a real life story that actually has happened and I am sitting across from the main character! We each have a unique and AWESOME story to tell. A story someone needs to hear.

How this blog and how the name Tatum Layne came about has its own story to tell. When I was pregnant with my third child, the name Tatum Layne was at the top of our list for the GIRL I thought I was having. Shad was not 100% on the fact that we were having a  girl and he tried to reason with me, but have your EVER tried to reason with a pregnant woman about her unborn child. Hint: you will never win.  The name means “cheerful, full of Spirit” and this is exactly what I felt was growing inside of me. A cheerful, full of spirit kinda of being.  Shad and I were in a season of life that was probably to worst we had ever experienced, so hanging on to this name was almost like a life preserver to me at the time.

On the day of Cheerful’s birth, we found that this GIRL, was actually a BOY and suddenly the name just didn’t fit. Not because you can’t name a boy Tatum, it just didn’t seem right.


After three days, we, and I say this loosely, decided on Crosby MacLean. We picked the names because we liked them. Side note, I fell ill to an infection and Shad was pretty much flying solo on naming our newborn son. I think he preferred it this way actually. {sigh} We had no idea what the names meant at the time, yet later found out that Crosby means village with crosses and MacLean means son of the handsome man. So in conclusion, our son will be living in a town of crosses one day and his dad is destined to be on the next GQ cover. Did I mention that Shad picked out these names?

Either way,  it is done.  The name, Tatum Layne, however, would not leave me. I just could not shake it. As months passed and our son grew, so did the name in my heart. It was such a loud voice in my soul that seemed to beckon me to do something about it.  During this time I was doing a bible study that was helping me see my purpose. As you may have read already, I have struggled with not enoughness my whole life and recently was uncovering the truth of who I am in Christ and what He wants me to do with the “who I am.”

I have always loved to write, yet never had the confidence until one day a friend encouraged me to just write. “It doesn’t have to be good,” she said.

Hello, I’m a recovering perfectionist, duh, it must be the most amazing thing anyone has ever read.

She continued, “Just write what’s on your heart and it will give glory to the one that matters. All you have to have is the desire to give glory and he will do the rest.” So I did just that. I wrote. And wrote, and wrote, and wrote.

Tatum Layne THE BLOG was started. It is a place cheerfully waiting for me to put my words down. It doesn’t tell me NOT to write or that my words are WRONG or NOT ENOUGH, it just stares back at me with a generous blank slate and allows me to form my thoughts into words and my stories into essays of life.


As for the “full of spirit” part, I sure have alot of opinions and thoughts and that can seem quit spirited. I like to think that this is where the Holy Spirit and I come together, honestly, boldly, and in a real state of mind. I have been criticized for being passionate most of my life. I am often misunderstood because I believe with every fiber of my being that He is real and He is awesome. He save a messed up kid like me, gave me friends, a family, and now a place to scribble my thoughts.  I had struggled with pride and perfectionism and hid behind ALOT in my life. This is a space I practice being me and the Holy Spirit says, “That’s enough for me.”


Years ago, in a meeting behind closed doors, one of the two incredible Senior Pastors,Paul Basden, of my home church in Texas,  asked me what was my heart’s desire. Without hesitation and with tears in my eyes I said, “To serve and lead women to freedom like he has done for me.” After I left that meeting I never told a soul what I said for fear of being accountable to do exactly what I said….”lead women to freedom.” I thought I would have to have my act together before that ever happened. I thought I needed to have completed seminary school, my marriage problems solved, and my kids raised and off on their own to do a good enough job for Christ. So I shelved this desire and went on to “perfecting” my life so that one day I could do my hearts desire when I was ready.

Fast forward four or so years, the bible study I mentioned before broke me and showed me who I was in Christ and that perfectionism was not on his list of requirements to fulfill before I could take the next steps to “leading women.”

Writing this blog is THE scariest thing I have ever done. I write my heart out. I tell the truth about me, hoping you will see Him. There is no hiding. My belief is that if I step up and WRITE about the REAL, someone else will have the courage to LIVE the REAL.

I will never be ready to do what God trusts me to do. The key is that I will never be ready. I must trust Him back and say yes, even when I don’t feel it. What matters is that He not only feels it, he knows that I am ready.

So here I write, not ready, but believing in His proposal to write in this spacious place*. To engage, equip, and empower through stories.

My belief is if we engage through stories of trial and triumph we will be equipped and empowered to be ridiculously valiant change makers.

Are you ready?

*”He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19

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