The Music

It’s interesting. I just posted that I won’t be able to post that often and here I am posting.

Something came up.

A lot of things actually.

A lot of pain in the world and death and destruction.

There is a lot to talk about and a lot of people are talking and writing and spouting off what they think and politicizing tragedy.  I’m not going to do that.

I’m interested in people’s hearts and souls and stories.

My best friend from childhood’s brother passed away yesterday. They lived across the street from us all the years I lived at home (18 years). He was a big presence. He was a state champion wrestler and a football player. Mostly I remember him as a musician. He was in a band in high school and I remember when we were young, he played everything by ear.  I can visualize him sitting down at the piano and just playing something he heard on the radio. I also remember walking into their house and hearing the drums being played in the basement.  It was loud.

We looked up to him.  He was 3 years older than us and so cool.  He didn’t care about being cool which made him that much cooler.  He was a really, really kind soul.

I had a lot of drama in high school.  Much of it created by me.  I remember him telling me one time, “Sue, you have to ignore what other people think and say.  Just be yourself.” That meant a lot to me of course because I needed to hear it. I cared (care?) too much what people think.  I want everyone to like me and it was way worse in high school.  I’m learning. But he was just himself. Always.

Yesterday when I heard he passed I cried. We hadn’t talked in years and like I say, he was my best friend’s brother so he was like a side story to my friendship with her really.  I mean, to him, I was just his little sister’s friend.  I’m sure much of the time, super annoying. What I realize now is that often it’s those people on the periphery that affect us.  God works in the margins, amen?

Also, when he was around, he became the main event.  Honestly, he had charisma and charm and talent and kindness and the coolness just oozed out of him.

I didn’t know a house filled with live music being played except for theirs until now – my husband plays the guitar and my kids have all played at one time or another.  Music is a big part of our household now.  Thinking back on this makes me realize how much we are all part of each other’s stories.  How much we can affect someone with a kind word, some music, a song. I have no doubt he affected many.

It was fitting last night that I was at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony while they honored great songwriters and musicians.  I thought of him and his love of music. Music brings people together.  It’s a balm for weary souls.

I don’t know much about his life after high school except the updates I received from his sister.  From the outpouring yesterday, I know he had a family and friends who loved him deeply. I do know he still played and sang.  And that brings me comfort.

There are a million memories of neighborhood shenanigans but the memory that will stick with me forever happened just about a year (or two?) ago.  We were at his father’s funeral.  He went up and sang a song for his dad.  He played the guitar and sang, “Why Me Lord?”  Afterwards I went up to him to say how great it was and he was humble as ever, he said, “I hope it was what he wanted.  He asked me to sing that one for him.”

I want to share it with you. I cried like a baby.

To Dan. Thanks.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

What’s next?

 

open palm

 

Okay. I have a whole bunch of exciting announcements.  Woo-hoo!

I have a new role with Holy Yoga. My title is “Instructor Training Enrollment Specialist”.  There are three of us on this team and we are thrilled to be able to serve the Lord in this way.  If someone goes to the website to become a Holy Yoga instructor and downloads the packet of information and starts the process, the next step is to set up a phone interview with one of the Enrollment Specialists.  It is such an honor to be able to speak to people as they are discerning what the Lord is calling them to do with their lives.  As you know, Holy Yoga has been extremely powerful in my life, helping me to know God more deeply and to worship in a new way.  Through the last few years, the Lord has transformed me from the inside out and Holy Yoga has been a huge part of that process.  The training, the community, the Bible studies, and the practice – whether teaching or attending a class, God continues to meet me on my mat.  I am grateful.

For those of you who may be interested, we have some amazing training programs. We train on the 95hr, 225hr, and 500hr levels, as well as multiple specialties and a unique Holy Yoga Therapy program. There is always room for growth and education within Holy Yoga and we want to extend an invitation to you. Come train with us – dig into our yoga resources, our in depth Bible Studies, and our expansive community. The door is wide open. You don’t have to have a yoga background or an amazing practice. You just need to be called.

Download an information packet at holyyoga.net and start your journey!

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  I’d love to talk to you about Holy Yoga!

I recently finished my Holy Yoga Master’s training and the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga training so if you are already an instructor and have questions about either of those, please reach out.  I have grown immensely through those trainings and I would love to share.  My hope is that I will be able to use the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga Training to teach Holy Yoga to survivors of sex trafficking here in Austin. If you want to follow what’s happening with that, please follow me on Facebook. (If you click on that word Facebook, it’s a live link and will direct you to the Great Big Yes Facebook page.) I will post updates there as the journey unfolds. I would be grateful if you would join me in prayer for The Refuge and for all the victims of sex trafficking and all the people working to rescue them.  Thank you.

Another amazing thing that is happening is something I want to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! I get to be a part of the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For the Love” (comes out in August but you can pre-order).  That is wonderful in and of itself but here’s the KICKER!!! Jen has invited us all (500 of us!) to her house for a PARTY!! You guys…the one that was on HGTV when she was renovating it!! She lives right here near me in Texas! Woo hoo!! I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting A LOT of pictures so tune in on Instagram and Facebook. And just in case this has you worried about what I’m going to wear, don’t worry, these awesome ladies on the team already thought of that and I am covered.

for the love

 

Thank God for women who like to plan and make things.  All these crafty, organized, lovely women.  It’s really fun.  Also, see my palms in the picture, they are up and open!

It’s like we are saying, “I’m ready God, go ahead, give me some good stuff! Make me laugh and get excited and have new opportunities.  Bring me some good people who make shirts and who are kind and fun and invite me to some parties.”  Pretty good prayer, right?

Everything is not all t-shirts and parties though. Of course, there is all the usual stuff with kids and family and end of the school year and decorating a new home and repairing a whole lot of hail damage.  (Lord, the Texas weather lately, what the heck?)  We are all busy with life.  I guess that’s why I wanted to talk about living with palms open.  I never want to be too busy to be open to new things.  And I never want to be so reliant on what I have or what I’m doing that my fists are clenching tight to hold on, not allowing things to change.  

Or God forbid, I don’t want to live with my palms all balled up in a fist.  Palms open sounds easy but sometimes we forget and we look down and we have fists or we have our arms folded over our chests protecting our hearts. And then we go, wait, what happened? When did I become so closed off? Lord, help us to be open. Open our palms to receive and when it’s time, keep them open to let go.

When I first moved to Texas I felt so alive.  I was intensely aware of every person, every conversation, every moment.  I did not have any pre-conceived perception of anyone.  I had no expectations. I did not know anything. And it was BEAUTIFUL.

My palms were open.

I was needy. Literally, asking for handouts of information, knowledge, help. I was humble.

I was excited. Gladly meeting new people and engaging in conversation, I took my time.

I was ready.  Open to new things, new people, new experiences.  I was a beginner.

I have said Yes more times in this last year than ever before. And here I am saying yes again to a lot of new adventures. I have no idea what is going to happen next but I trust God knows.  As I move forward, I’m going to stick with what God taught me when I first got to Texas.

Be humble.

Take your time.

Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.

And also, when people call you ma’am it is not an insult.  It does not mean they think you are an old lady.  It’s a sign of respect in Texas. Embrace it.

I know I haven’t been posting as much here as in the past and I miss y’all.  It has been 5 years since I started the blog and for about four of those, I posted once a week.  At this point, posting that often is not possible.  I’ll still be posting here but if you want more updates hop on over to – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  I’ll be there.  Thank you so much for sticking with me on this journey. I’m grateful.

I’ll leave you with this. This morning my husband and I tried something new – we went canoeing on Lady Bird Lake in Austin with our dog.  It was so great. I took this picture of my dog, Gus.  Isn’t he just the best?  He was so brave. Getting in that boat. He had to hang on of course so his palms are down but  I just know without a doubt, in his heart and in his spirit, his palms were open. He was ready.

gusboat

 

gusboat2

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

I Am Woman Hear Me Preach

rise up holy yoga

 

This article inspired me today.  Check it out. http://sarahbessey.com/why-not-have-a-woman-preach/

In this article Sarah Bessey is asking the question, “Why not have a woman preach?”

I remember when I was younger my mom read me a book.  It was one of those golden books and it had a sweet girl on the front I think.  I can’t remember the details but I remember there were characters in the book doing different jobs.  There was a mailman, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, etc.  The doctor was a woman. That must have been pretty radical for the 70’s but it wasn’t radical for me. It wasn’t radical for my mom.  My mom told me I could do anything. My mom preached.

My dad preached too.  With his kindness and his belief in me.  I saw no difference in the amount of love that could be given from a man or a woman.  There was no difference.  They loved equally and powerfully.

My mom told me about Jesus and His plans for me.  She taught me right from wrong.  She modeled kindness.  She hugged and laughed a lot too. She welcomed people in to our home. Make no mistake, she preached.

As I got older, I had teachers that told me I could do anything, be anything, achieve anything.  They encouraged me.  They were men and women. They preached. They preached about opportunity and possibility and hard work and dedication and taking risks and trying my best and believing in myself. Men and women, they preached.

These people did not need permission.  They did not need a degree in encouragement.  They did not need a board of directors or a council of decorated clergymen to tell them they were good enough.  They knew it.  God approved them. God. Not man. And He gave them an assignment.  He said, “Go love the people in front of you”.  AND THEN HE PUT THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THEM! They heard His voice saying, “Encourage that child”, “show up”, “be an example”.  They did not wait.  They could not wait. It was time.

All we have is this moment. Are you going to wait? For permission to preach? From whom?

In college, I knew a sorority sister that preached. She talked about Jesus, she shared His Word and His promises. She encouraged us to know Him. It was the early 90’s. She was 19 or 20 and did not yet have a college degree. Age and education have nothing to do with preaching.

My kids preach to me!  The other day my oldest daughter laughed at me when I said I’m not a hypocrite.  She laughed.  I asked her why she was laughing and she said, “Mom, did you not hear what the preacher said?  We are all hypocrites!” BOOM.

That’s my girl.  Preach!

As an adult, there have been so many! There are women pastors who have made an impact on my life.  There are writers and speakers and organizers and women fighting for the victims of sex trafficking.  Women are on the front lines wiping tears and fighting for justice.  Some are in the court room and some are in the church.  Together we preach.

I have been abundantly blessed by everyone in Holy Yoga. That is some serious preaching. Mind, Body, Soul preaching! All the women who have been set free by Jesus and know His love and grace can’t help but preach!

There are too many to name here.  Think about the women that have helped you.  Think about the moments of grace.  Consider the examples in your life and thank them for their obedience.  Because when they were called to be an example, they answered that call.  Many of them did it afraid.

I would not be who I am today without these preachers. Whether they ever stand behind a pulpit or speak on a large stage or publish their writings…it does not matter.  God gave them gifts and opportunities and they answered with a GREAT BIG YES! Yes I will love that person.  Yes I will listen. Yes I will tell them about Jesus.  Yes I will encourage them. Yes I will be kind. Yes I will forgive.  Yes I will repent.  Yes I will pray. Yes I will read Scripture. Yes I will spend time alone with God. Yes I will listen for His voice. Yes I will live in joy.  Yes I will be grateful.  Yes I will open my home and my heart and my life. Yes.

And if you call me to it Lord, I will preach with words on a blog and on a stage and from a yoga mat.  I will get to know you so I can hear your voice.  I will not shrink back.  I will not be afraid. You go before me and show me the way. Yes, Lord, I will follow you.

See, God does not speak only in the church. He does not only use priests as conduits for sharing the faith. He does not speak differently to men and women. He is speaking to you and me right now.

Our humanness makes us look to the center stage waiting for direction from someone who is “smarter” or “more important” or “ordained” or “better than us”.  But God is standing there, in the margins, in the hallway, by the bathroom door, beckoning us.

Preaching looks like helping with homework and making dinner and loving your spouse.  Preaching is a hug before school or a ride in the rain.  It’s a phone call and a text and a Facebook post.  It’s cheering from the stands and standing at the gravesite and bringing flowers to a friend.  Preaching is sharing coffee or wine or chocolate.  Preaching is putting down the phone and listening with your eyes.  Preaching is holding your tongue and choosing kindness.  Preaching is staying home and staying out of trouble.  Preaching is standing in the gap for your friend who no longer believes  and reaching out to God on her behalf.  Preaching is choosing to be different so others see that they can be too.  Preaching is honoring commitments for the long haul.  Preaching is seeing the good in others and pointing it out to them and everyone else.  Preaching is not competition.  Preaching is love.

So in answer to the question, “Why can’t women preach?”  I say, they can and they do and they will.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV) it says, “Do not quench the spirit.”

I was in a Beth Moore study and she always has a great way of explaining things. She was talking about what happens when someone is on fire with the Holy Spirit and the people around them (or maybe one, big, powerful person) come in like the fireman with the hose and just start spraying to put out that fire!! What a shame! People…that is not our job! Let the Holy Spirit work through all people as God sees fit.  Guess what? Man does not decide who is promoted to speak God’s Word and encourage others. GOD DECIDES.

Now go. Preach.

The world needs you.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved
photograph by Stephanie Moors Photography
video by Echo Star Cinema