Receiving and Giving

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Three is the magic number.

My son asked me the other day why three is the magic number and I said  “Because of the trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  The rest of my family came up with a bunch of other reasons so we decided it’s the magic number because Schoolhouse Rock said it is.   

I have three things I’m celebrating in the next couple weeks.

1. It’s my Birthday

2. It’s Easter

3. It’s my one year anniversary of becoming a Holy Yoga instructor

Now alone…each of these things is amazing and exciting.  But together…I mean…I’m giddy over here.  And also, it’s Spring and sunny and warm today and my kids (and me and the dog) will hopefully get out of the house.  Yay!

I am so grateful for all of the things on the list.  I want to do something special to celebrate!

What are we celebrating?  Let’s think about each of the things on the list above:

1.  The gift of LIFE

2. The gift of JESUS and His saving GRACE

3. OH MY GOSH LET ME TELL YOU!

So we are born, right?  And then we live and we struggle and we grow and we learn and somewhere along the way, someone tells us about God and Jesus and HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED.  That we are His BELOVED. Which is incredible because we don’t have to do anything accept allow ourselves to BE – LOVED.  Which is the best news ever! And sometimes we remember and other times we toss it all aside and we make mistakes and we reject God and we doubt and we fear and we struggle.

And then, God willing, we get a “shot in the arm” when God brings us someone new, something different, a new way of seeing to renew our  faith and our hope and our dreams and our KNOWING HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED.  He reminds us that we can BE-LOVED and He asks us to  open our hearts to Receive. He reignites our passion for goodness and truth and He shows us the way.  Again. And Again. And again.

Because it’s not a straight line…it’s curvy and bumpy and it has stop signs and detour signs and we get lost.  Sometimes we are good and happy and healthy and we are strolling along easily.  Other times, we get lonely, we get scared, we suffer, we get angry.  But He never leaves us.

And that my friends is a gift I can never repay.

Holy Yoga was a major “shot in the arm” for me last year.  Holy Yoga has reignited my passion to SHARE GOD’S GRACE AND LOVE WITH OTHERS.  I have no idea what that looks like because I don’t know the way.  But Jesus is the way so I’ve decided I will just follow Him.

I am currently in Holy Yoga Leadership training and I am beyond excited to see what great plans God has for this ministry.  Hundreds of people are being trained to share the Gospel with the world through the vehicle of yoga.

The Gospel.  Shared with the World.  Through Holy Yoga.

GREAT.  BIG.  YES!

So, to celebrate, I have three ideas I’d like to share with you.

1.  For the next two weeks, I will be donating all of my class proceeds to the Holy Yoga ministry.  This money will help with the costs of ongoing training and leadership development of Holy Yoga instructors.  Please come to a Class!  The cost is $10.  If you have been wanting to experience Holy Yoga, now is the time.  All are welcome! Even if you have never experienced yoga before, please join us!

2. Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry.  If you would like to donate and you can’t come to class, you can visit www.holyyoga.net:  Go to the DONATE tab.  In notes please include: T3 FUNDRAISING, Instructor name: Sue Bidstrup.  (Holy Yoga is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  All donations qualify as a charitable tax deductible contribution.)

3. Please PRAY for Holy Yoga! The mission of Holy Yoga is to spread the truth of God’s Word and God’s love throughout the entire world. We are a global ministry based on the truth that there is no boundary to what God can do. We believe that He wants Holy Yoga to minister to every tongue, every nation, and every tribe.  We appreciate your prayers.

Thank you! I really hope to see you at class in the next couple weeks.  The schedule is here on the blog under the Holy Yoga Class Schedule tab.   Let’s celebrate together!

Have a blessed Holy Week!

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Keeping it Real – My Messy Beautiful

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

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 When someone asks you how you are, what do you say?

I think it’s easier to tell people you are a mess.  People like to hear that.  It’s more difficult to say you feel beautiful.  Or  your life is beautiful.  Can you imagine if we walked around saying everything was beautiful?  Everything. All the time. People would be like Whatever. You are annoying. Just to remind us.

The good thing is that you can say you are both, a mess and beautiful.  It’s not a one or the other.  It’s a “Yes, I’m messy AND I’m beautiful”.  If we posted the truth on Facebook, it might look like this:  Hey my kids are dirty and stinky and sassy and right now I’m pretty sure they will never amount to anything good but I still love them.  Or:  My husband and I had a rip roaring argument last night and I think I actually hate him right now but marriage can be a beautiful thing and I know I’m learning and growing and we love each other a whole lot.  Or:  I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life.  I really am lost and afraid and I feel alone and I think I may be going crazy but I’m sure I will look back at this as a really beautiful time of searching for me.  The truth is, you may be having a terrible moment but your whole life is not rotten.

We get so used to complaining and commiserating that we tend to choke on the positive words.  Have you ever asked someone how they are doing and they answer, “I’m fantastic! Never been better!”  I love that.  Are they really fantastic?  Are they just trying to convince themselves?  Who cares!  It always makes me smile and I feel pretty fantastic just being around them.  Perception is everything.

AND Marianne Williamson said (so I believe), “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” By this I think she means we should say we are fantastic when we are feeling it and we can say we are a mess when we are feeling that and there will be no shame in either.  Because we all know we are both.  Messy and Beautiful.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Jesus lately and I’ve noticed something.  When I tell Him I feel messy and confused and lost, He tells me I’m beautiful.  When I go to him all puffed up and full of myself and how I’ve totally got this whole life thing together, He immediately shows me my mess.

It’s like with my kids.  If they come to me needy and feeling insecure and they’ve really messed something up, I encourage them and love on them and tell them they are beautiful and wonderful.  But if they come to me all bossy pants telling me how great they are and demanding a bunch of stuff I tell them they are actually really just okay and and then I tell them to go clean their room.  Just to keep it real.

It’s called balance.

So I’ve gotten comfortable with my messiness since it’s the thing that’s gotten me closer to Jesus.  He wants my mess.  I go to Him like a child and crawl up on His lap for a rest, for Him to tell me I’m beautiful.  It’s so comforting I’ve started doing it every day.  You know, checking in to get some love.  Sometimes many times a day.  Like, Hey…are you still there?  I need some love.  And He’s always there.

All those secrets we keep in the darkness, all the messy stuff we hide…Jesus wants that.  He’s like…seriously, bring it.  You don’t scare me.  So we tell Him our secrets and our fears.  We may think they are dark and ominous and scary but when we tell Him, He shines His beautiful light on them and they are transformed.  Maybe not right away transformed but just by the telling…just by saying the bad stuff out loud…we enter into a new freedom.  We receive His grace and we are not scared anymore.  He makes beauty from ashes.   It says so in the Bible which is my absolute favorite book of all books ever.  It’s THE Love letter for all time and all people.  Beauty from ashes. 

I ask Him to help me be brave when I am messy or having a bad day/week/month/year/decade. I ask Him to help me see the beautiful.  And you know what He does?  He gives me brand new eyes.  I start seeing things I never even noticed before. So now I can see the gorgeous shiny light in other people.  All the people.  It’s fun!  Life becomes a big giant party for all the awesome people which is obviously everyone.  It’s the kind of party where you are having so much fun with the music and the dancing and the laughter and the sharing that you don’t even notice the mess (yours or anyone else’s).  And when you wake up the next day you don’t care about the mess because the love is so much bigger.  You are exhausted and sore in a good way from laughing and dancing and telling your stories and being accepted and loved.  You feel safe.

Safe enough to answer the question, “How are you?” with the truth…whatever that may be.

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

Me. It’s complicated. But not really.

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One of my recent posts was about Dr. Seuss and Proverbs both being on my windowsill.

For those of you who know me well, this is not a surprise.

I love Jesus.  I also hope to see the Britney Spears concert in Las Vegas.

My daughter told me the other day, “It’s kind of funny mom…I mean,  you love Jesus so much and you read the Bible and stuff but you just posted something about Justin Timberlake being ‘yummy’”.

To that, I respond…What?? That’s weird?

I think many of us are afraid of putting our faith in Jesus in the middle of our lives.  We put our Christianity in a box.  It’s over there. We take it out on Sunday. It has nothing to do with this party I’m going to or me dancing or me reading People magazine.  Many of us have two separate people in us…the one that goes to church and talks about prayer and scripture and Jesus and the other one.  The Heathen. The one who loves pop culture and having fun and sometimes tweets about Jimmy Fallon.  (I mean seriously, do you LOVE THAT MAN?)

I’m sure some people have rules.  You know, like people who love Jesus shouldn’t be on Facebook or shouldn’t listen to popular music.  Maybe there are lists of TV shows I shouldn’t watch and maybe the Bachelor is on it.  OOPS!

I’m just keeping it real over here for me.  I am not just one thing.  I’m willing to bet you aren’t either. But I do know this…the more I let Jesus into my heart and my life…the more I let Him in to all the nooks and crannies of who I am…the more I breathe Him into the creaky spaces…the bigger He gets.  And then there’s not room for a lot of other stuff that takes me away from Him.

Except Jimmy Fallon.  We’ll find him some space…

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