It is a breath of fresh air to meet someone sold out to principles of justice as God sees and not legalism. Despite this somehow remains clear on her order of priorities. This week we interview none other than Taryn Hinton. A top woman for God in all respects and one who ticks these boxes.
How would you describe what you currently do?
I own a law practice, Hinton Lee Attorneys. In addition I am the Operating Officer of both the Umholi Development Trust and the Inhlakanipho Education and Development Trust. I consult to Media Monitoring Africa, a human rights based media watchdog and co-developed and run the Wits/MMA Accredited Honours Level Course: Reporting on Children in the Media aimed at training Journalists on how to report more ethically and responsibly on children.
What were things like 10 years ago?
Ten Years ago I was a Senior Associate at one of South Africa’s largest Law Firms. I was also on the cusp of marrying the love of my life and making some seriously life altering decisions.
At 27 I knew that God had called me out of a career as a Corporate Litigator but I had no idea what He had called me into, I took a leap of faith and quit my job without having any clear idea what the next step was. The journey that He has taken me on over the past 10 years has been nothing short of miraculous, not only am I running my own law practice but I have become an expert in an area of law that I never even studied at university let alone practiced once qualified. Looking back, I realise that although God had called me to take a leap of faith and at that time, just quitting my job was the most massive leap of faith that “A-type Me” had ever made, the God that I was trusting was too small (in my eyes). Now, I would tell myself to think bigger and to aim higher for “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:8-10.
Wow, what would you say to your younger ‘A-type’ self?
Ten years older and ten years wiser I would like to tell the 27 year-old me the following:
1) You are not what you do. Don’t define yourself by a job title or profession.
My value and worth is more than what I do or how much I bill clients in a month and it cannot be encapsulated in a work title – and as long as I look to others instead of God to give me that value, I will always have times of feeling valueless. I would tell myself to look to the author and perfecter of my faith for my value and worth.
2) Don’t limit yourself…God doesn’t…dream Big but make sure that you are dreaming Big with God.
At 27 one of my life mottos was, “If I can imagine it, I can achieve it, if I can dream it, I can become it”. Note the emphasis on “I” and in true form I believed that falling pregnant and becoming a mother was just another thing that I could achieve. Things didn’t quite work out that way and it took seemingly endless years before I fell pregnant with our daughter. I had many prophecies that encouraged me during that dry season but if I could tell myself one thing it would be to place my hope and faith in the Lord, to trust Him completely and to realise that there are some things that I cannot will into existence through determination, focus and hard work…God’s timing is perfect and He will not be hurried by impatient little me. Which leads me to the next two.
3) God’s timing is not always convenient but it is always perfect. Learn patience from the things that are out of your control or that you have to wait for.
4) You will be a wife before you become a mother…never forget that or forget that your husband comes first.
5) Learn to “be in the moment” when you are with your children and family…don’t rush into the future or delve into the past in your mind while with them in the present.
Becoming a mother taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life to date…how to be “in the moment”, how to fully focus on a present moment with my children or spouse without rushing into the future in my mind or being trapped in the past. But what I would tell that young mother is to have more fun not take things so seriously and take mental snapshots as the time flies past so quickly.
6) Remember that the season of small children is hectically intense but also hectically short…be ok with saying “no” to people but to quote Andy Stanley, “understand that ‘no’ for now is not ‘no’ forever”.
Being a wife and mother changed the priority of important things in my life…first God then husband then children and then everything else. This really challenged me in my leadership roles both in my community and work and in the church. Looking back I would tell myself to stop agonising over what other people want me to do (even church leaders) and not to do things out of fear of man. I would tell myself, listen to God, serve where He calls me to serve and start serving and ministering in my home first. I would share Andy Stanley’s wisdom about saying no during certain stages of life…”understand that ‘no’ for now is not ‘no’ forever” and have peace with the fact that I am answerable to God and then my husband and my role is first to disciple and lead my children before I lead further afield.
7) Motherhood is not for sissies but it definitely works best if shared with good Mommy Friends.
Find a group of like-minded Christian moms who can keep you grounded and share good Godly advice with you but continue to press into relational discipleship with friends and families and acquaintances as this will be the way that I will most effectively share the Gospel and encourage those I meet and I will encourage the younger me to never cease praying for those who are yet to be saved (yes, my parents will both get saved after praying for them for them for more than 2 decades!).
8) Take every opportunity to retreat with God and to enjoy unhurried time with Him because the season of small children is tough and requires a firm foundation of faith and relationship with our Lord.
9) Never forget that life is an adventure and sometimes God uses adversity in our lives to bring us to a better place.
10) And finally, don’t take life so seriously…laugh, love and travel!
I would encourage my soon to be married 27 year old self to never forget that life is an adventure, sometimes God uses adversity in our lives, I must never stop working on my marriage as I was a wife before I became a mother and to always find time to laugh and have fun.
About Taryn Hinton
Taryn Hinton obtained her BA LLB (cum laude) from Natal University and after practicing law at Bowman Gilfillan for 6 years, commenced working in the non-profit environment as a consultant. She specializes in forming and running BEE and educational trusts, non-profit companies and public benefit organisations and currently runs her own law practice, Hinton Lee Attorneys. Taryn is the Operating Officer of both the Umholi Development Trust and the Inhlakanipho Education and Development Trust. Taryn Hinton also consults to Media Monitoring Africa, a human rights based media watchdog and co-developed and runs the Wits/MMA Accredited Honours Level Course: Reporting on Children in the Media aimed at training Journalists on how to report more ethically and responsibly on children. Taryn is happily married to Michael Hinton and they have two beautiful children, Kelly aged 4 and David aged 2.