It’s Okay

My mom told me a story once.  It was about me in grade school.  My teacher, Mr. G, told my mom what happened.  He said he was helping me zip up my coat and the zipper broke.  He said, “Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry” and he said he felt really bad like it might be his fault.  But he told my mom that I made him feel so much better.  I just looked at him and calmly said, “It’s okay. My mom won’t be mad.”

This story has always stuck with me. Now that I’m a Mom I realize she shared that story with me because she is proud of that moment.  I couldn’t have explained grace or kindness at that young of an age but I knew it because my mom taught me.  Just by the way she lived.

I want to be that kind of mom.

As you know, we moved to Texas a few months ago and it has been amazing.  I am  processing so many things, it’s tough to write about it.  I start and stop because there is so much to say and I want to say it all but I don’t think it’s time yet. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I’ve been trying all along to just roll with whatever is going on.  I don’t always succeed.  I’ve been saying, “It’s okay” to the kids a lot.  I’ve been showing up, meeting people, asking questions, laughing, staying open, trying to manage my expectations.  All along, saying to my kids, “it’s okay” and trying not to fly off the handle at the little things.

The other day I went grocery shopping and the refrigerator was loaded to the max.  I opened the door to get something out and strawberries and blueberries flew everywhere! I was not calm.  I yelled, “OH S**T – NO -UGH!”

You know what happened?

All three of my kids came running.  They saw me on the floor and they got down with me to pick up the fruit.  They said, “It’s okay Mom”, “It’s no big deal Mom”, “Don’t worry, we can wash the fruit Mom”.

I couldn’t have been prouder at that moment.  Or more grateful.

I will remind them of that story one day.

The way they offered me kindness and grace and understanding.

It was just a tiny moment, but to me…it was huge.

I don’t know where they will go to college or what their jobs will be or who they will marry or where they will live.

But I do know they will be okay.

They know it too.

And that gives my heart rest.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

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Are you Willing?

lead me

 

Amen?

Or no?

Do we really want to say this? Do we really believe this? Because I just got moved to Austin. I say, “got moved” because that is how it feels. I feel God’s hand moving me. And my family. And my dog. And now I’m searching for a place to board the dog so we can go “home” to visit.

When will we stop calling it “home”?

Maybe it’s not a physical move.  Maybe God’s moving you internally.  Personally. Maybe relationally.

One of our big prayers at Holy Yoga is, “God, show me me.”  When we pray this, we have to be ready, right? I mean, who knows what He will show us? We can be sure that what He reveals, He will heal. So we enter in, unafraid.

Right?

Not so right.

It’s really scary to be revealed. We spend most of our lives trying to hide. Even in our bravado or our need to be relevant and fabulous…even when we are “out there” with our bold selves, even then…it’s sorta fake right?

We learn what is appropriate to reveal, we learn what society sees as acceptable weakness…we show the world our sometimes false humility as we admit our shortcomings…the ones we know aren’t “so bad” and then we pat ourselves on the back for being humble.  We stop there because going deeper is not polite and people are like, “keep that stuff to yourself” and “TMI” and we look around going…this is all just really fake and weird and my mask is starting to hurt…so we turn to God and ask Him, “What’s the deal here?” and He starts to show us…us.

The shallow, fake kind of revealing is not what God does.  It’s not the kind of unveiling that happens when we ask God…our creator…the One who knows every hair on our head…the only One who understands our every thought, need, whim, fault, sin…when we ask Him for revelation, it is SCARY.

And not.

Because He never leaves.

You know how with people, you can ask for truth and then become so defensive, you decide to sever the relationship?  It’s easier to walk away from the relationship than to face the truth.  So we leave.  And others leave.  Because it’s just too messy to stay.

God’s not like that.

He stays, waits, reveals, peels the layers back gently, speaks Truth, holds us, loves us, stays in the mess so He can save us from ourselves. He makes the scary safe.

In Yoga, there is so much that comes up for people because they are in a space of really listening and bringing awareness to their bodies and their minds and souls.  This is terrifying for some people because honestly, they may not be ready to be revealed or healed.  That’s why many people run from yoga.  They say they don’t sweat enough or they need more cardio or it’s not enough of a work out or they can’t be still that long or they are “bored”.  Sometimes those things are true and they should just go for a run.  Other times, I believe a lot of these arguments come from an unwillingness to go deep.  A fear of revelation of self.  The best thing about Holy Yoga is that when revelation of self comes, we have a Savior that guides us through it.  We don’t need to just “give it up” to the “universe”, we have a mighty conquering all powerful God who can take it.  He says, “Here it is…take a look…now give it back to me…I’ve got strong shoulders…I can handle it.”

We can lay it down friends. That’s why it’s no longer scary…We are not alone.

He initiates change in us.  Once he grabs ahold of our hearts, we can’t stay the same.  It’s not possible.

My friend, Clare, sent me this song when I found out I was moving and it just resonated with me so much.

(I want to share with you and found this video but it goes a little long for my tastes. If you need to cut it short, 3:00 is a good spot to end it.) 

 

Sometimes we don’t even know where we are going or what is happening but we know we are being called to something new…internally and sometimes externally…He is calling us to move.

Where is He leading you?

Will you go?

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Go ahead, surprise me…

Since I’m a blogger, I really want to write about everything.  I experience things and when they are powerful or meaningful in some way, I want to share them. But lately I’ve started wondering if God intends some things to just be for me.  If He frowns upon me running to my computer to upload photos of everything to Facebook and Instagram.  This came to a head for me when I was singing along with the worship band in church and tears were streaming down my face and I thought, “I should take a picture of the band and share it on Great Big Yes!”

Ummm. No.

Maybe that’s the challenge.  If something happened but it’s not posted, did it really happen?

How are our kids going to know when it’s right to just sit in something…to just receive it…be it love or affection or a compliment or a holy spirit moment…how will they know what is sacred? private? not appropriate to share?

I struggle with that.  I’m hoping that my words bring you closer to God.  I’m hoping to share His Word with you and the hope and peace and joy that comes from the radical love of Jesus.  Nobody needs more Sue.  The whole world needs more Jesus.  So, I want to be part of that.  Bringing some Jesus to you.  The Grace and Mercy that He brings.  Healing. Freedom.

When we found out we were moving, I called a Holy Yoga sister and I told her.  I was crying and talking fast and worrying and anticipating and trying to control.  She listened so kindly and then said something that changed me forever.  She said, “You know this is not a surprise to God, right?”

Silence.

He goes before me.

Omniscient. Omnipotent. Omnipresent.

Now I think of all things through that lens.  Nothing is a surprise to God.

When my daughter came home and said she is joining a Bible Study, it was a surprise to me but not to Him.

When my husband met people at work for the first time and they told him they have “been praying for him and his family” this was a surprise to my husband because people just don’t say stuff like that in Chicago…but God…He knew.  He heard those prayers and He planned for those words to fall on my husband’s surprised but grateful heart.

When I was standing in that church weeping with the worship music, arms raised and heart open…He was not surprised.

With every box unpacked, each rental place (there have been 2), buying a home, selling a home, meeting new people, new schools, figuring it all out…through every single moment, He is not surprised.  He is present and aware. He goes before me and makes a path for me.  He protects me and provides for me.

He can be trusted.

But He can’t be surprised.

I find immense comfort in this.  I hope you do too.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

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