Tag Archives: celebrate

My Joy Story

stars light up the night. big Texas sky covers us graciously. tucking us in for a story. campfire burns. we stare. mesmerized by light and warmth. notes play as voices sing. sharing loss and desire. we understand each other.  universal stories. contentment.  joyful noise.

he reaches out for my hand as we walk. stomach flutters. unsure of what’s next. heart beating in my throat. hoping he’ll tell me who he is. what he loves. where he hurts. eager to be let in. listening intently. story unfolding. joy coming.

bright lights. lots of people. noise. doctors racing. nurses talking. my feet are cold. searing pain. fear. hurry. worry. wait. wonder. why. there will be no cry they say. do not be afraid. clean out mouth and take away…trusting. listening. it’s okay they say. scared. mom? who is here? what time is it? so much pain. hear a cry. relief. tears. laughter. joy delivered.

big tree with tire swing. golf carts and trampoline. bikes against the fence. hoop too high for me. brother lifts me. leaves crunch. hide and seek. running. pool. stories. who said what. who did what. who do you like. where are you going. friends.laughter. long lazy days of summer. joy remembered.

entering in. unrolling my mat. chanting om. movement. breath. meditation. inner journey. awakening. light. calm. peace. community. safety. wellness. health. grace. prayer. new life. joyful freedom.

___________________________________________________________________

These are just some of my Joy Stories.  I have asked God to give me more joy in my original design..more joy in who He has made me to be…more joy in my unique story. I’ll be looking back and looking ahead with joy this year.  I will be praying for eyes to see and ears to hear the joy that is around me in the present moment.  I will be celebrating the way joy continues to show up.

Joy is our birthright and our destiny.  We must claim it.  Own it.

Do you see it? Did you feel it? Can you remember it?

Where do you find joy?

Let’s tell that story.

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. -Psalm 126:2

IMG_3710 3

Party!

IMG_2072

 

Front porch of the Hatmaker house!

 

Maybe you watched them renovate it on “My Big Family Renovation” on HGTV.  I know I did.  I watched and laughed and cheered them on.  Jen Hatmaker and her family are fun and real and hilarious and Jesus lovin’ Texas Rock stars in my book.

Here’s the thing.  The house. The family. As good as they looked on TV, they are a million times better in person.

I had a chance to go to their house for the launch party for the book, “For The Love” because I was on the launch team.  (See earlier posts and millions of Facebook updates.)  This team not only launched a successful book – hello number 1!! But also connected women (and 4 men #bandoffour) across the globe who love Jesus and writing and books!  This launch team ended up raising money for all kinds of things and supporting each other in prayer.  It would take months to tell you all the details but to sum it up…this group was kind and generous and supportive and helpful and holy.  Jen  brought us together to help launch her book and then we ended up launching each other and ourselves.  That’s what good leaders do.  They remind you who you are in Christ…worthy, called, redeemed, ready…and then they launch you off to do your thing.  To play your note.  To shine your light.

I tried to take some good pictures for y’all but I was also trying to be in the moment.  There were people taking pics and Periscoping and Tweeting and Facebooking all night.  I posted several on Facebook with friends so if you want more, tune in there.  Here is a picture of the farmhouse.  This is me and my friend, Erin, over to the left.  Isn’t the house so cute!

 

 

IMG_2046

 

Jen took time to talk to EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. THERE.  She has to be absolutely exhausted.  She is darling.  She would not say that.  She would say she is SPICY.  I say she is warm and kind and comfortable and doing her thing like a boss.

Can I just explain?

Her whole entire family was there.  Husband and kids and brother and mom and dad and more! And do you see the TV behind us on the porch?  The UT game was on.  There were actually two TV areas outside.  This is Austin friends.  This is how they do things.  Faith, Family, Friends, Football. It felt like we literally were just her friends invited over to hang on a Saturday night.  Her kids are adorable and her mom.  I can’t. You know I love my mom.  Moms are so amazing. I was talking to her mom and I said, “You did good”.  And she said, “Yeah, she’s pretty great.”  And I pictured my mom, always thinking I’m great no matter what. LOVE THAT. As a mom, you just would be so proud.  Or maybe one day someone saying sweet things to me about my daughter (s) (please God). I pictured how it feels to have someone tell you your daughter has inspired them and led them closer to Jesus.  I can’t even.

Of course, I told my mom about this…”Jen’s mom is so cute, she reminded me of you…” and she said, “Of course her mom would be great.  You wonderful daughters didn’t fall of a tree.” So…just giving credit where credit is due.  Thanks to all the moms out there.

Here are some fun pictures.  Isn’t she so cute? I’m so happy for her and her success.  But honestly, the book and the book tour and the TV show appearances and the speaking gigs…all of it is just the icing on the cake.  The real stuff…Jesus, her family, her home, her marriage, her children…that’s what real success is and she knows it.  Being there was so fun because it was cozy and authentic and relaxed.  This isn’t fake, friends. She is the real deal.

IMG_2063

 

 

 

IMG_2065

IMG_2064

IMG_2067

 

She has a chapter in her book called “Porches as Altars” and I have to say, on this night, her porch, her lawn…all of it…was holy.  Offered up in friendship and neighborly love.  So I took the opportunity to do some yoga on her porch.  Of course.  Duh.

IMG_1404

 

All of this “launching” is over now.  At least for Jen.  She is successfully “launched”.   But this “team” thing is here to stay.  Let’s keep cheering each other on.  Let’s live well together.  All of us. For the LOVE.

FullSizeRender

© 2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes, All rights reserved™

BOOM! I finished the Whole30!

finished-the-w30-IG

 

Yep. It’s done.

I did it.

I didn’t cheat once. Not a lick, not a taste, not a sip of off-limits food.

I’ve never felt so accomplished.  Honestly, college, jobs, motherhood, races, triathlons, yoga certification, career, speaking to groups, starting a business, writing, teaching, studying, learning, blogging, growing, parenting…who cares about any of it…the fact that I could go 30 days with no sugar and no gluten and all the other stuff I said no to…Y’all…it’s darn near a miracle.

Here’s what I know now.

When you eat sugar, you want more sugar. Just say no.  #tamethesugardragon

You have a clearer mind when you eat healthy and drink never.

Habits are hard to break but not impossible.

You are in control of what you eat.

You may hear the Lord talk to you in this battle with food. You pray, “Lord, please make a huge gusty wind blow these chips out of my hand” and you hear Him say back to you…”Just put them down beloved.” It’s a convicting experience.

Sleep more and lose the snark.

Cream in coffee is overrated.

Sweet potatoes are my best friend.

It is not that hard to buy real food and cook it.

If you get the #tigerblood, you will need to buy new running bras.  The ones from 1999 aren’t cutting it. Also, it doesn’t look good if you are running with your hands over your boobs.

I survived movies with no popcorn, a meal out at a restaurant without an appetizer, a boat ride without a beer,  TV watching without Twizzlers/M&Ms, Starbucks without cream, and a McDonald’s drive thru without ordering a Diet Coke (Iced tea is okay! Unsweetened).

It can be done.

So, day 31 came and I planned to go out to eat Mexican food with the family.  I really wanted tortilla chips.  They were just fine. Not great. So I had a few, ordered a salad and decided maybe all the things I want aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Maybe the thing we think we can’t live without will just be “eh” when we get it.

Maybe all of this is just an exercise in figuring out what is “worth it”.

Turns out, I am. Worth it.

So are you.

medicine food

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

Whole30 graphic from Whole30