Tag Archives: challenge

Freedom, Sunshine and Open Hearts


This is how I feel today.

That’s Jesus breaking out of the tomb. I love how he’s running. He’s free.

We are free too.

That’s the miracle of Easter.  I hope you had a good Easter and I hope you feel God’s amazing power and grace.

Today is a new day.

Just like Jesus, I feel like running.  I feel like running toward the light and breaking the chains…the chains of winter and eating too much sugar and watching too much tv and feeling couped up.  I feel like beginning again.  The sun is out and that changes everything.

I think it has something to do with watching The Bible miniseries too.  I mean…how awesome was that?!?!?! The way the disciples put their lives in danger to speak the truth of Jesus…incredible.  The whole thing was so inspiring.

God set this up perfectly you know.  This whole thing.  All of it.  Lent. Easter. Winter. Spring. Periods of darkness. Great Light. His Truth. Our Hope. Trust. Faith. History. Paul. Matthew. Thomas. Mary. Mary Magdelene.  You. Me.

It’s true.  We are on that list with the disciples.  We don’t see Him but we know.  We are those people Jesus speaks of when he says, “Blessed are those who have not seen but still believe.”  That’s us! He’s calling us!  We are living in this place, at this time, with these people for a reason.

Sometimes we don’t know what the reason is.  Sometimes I sit around and wonder and read and think and ask and try to figure it out.  Sometimes I strive and I reach and I struggle and I want to accomplish.  But today I think it’s about just living.  Just living in the light.  Just doing the “next right thing” as Glennon says on Momastery.com.  (By the way, she was on the Today show this morning which also puts a huge spring in my step- Go Glennon! Her book comes out today!)

Another reason I’m very excited is that I get to go on my Holy Yoga retreat this month! I can’t wait to come back from retreat and start teaching and sharing Holy Yoga with all of you.

In the meantime, I  figure it’s never to early to start sharing something good.  I will be participating in the first Holy Yoga Challenge.  I have no idea what this means but I feel God nudging me to do it.  It’s just like when I signed up for training to teach Holy Yoga.  I had no idea what I was doing but I felt God prompting me to sign up.   And with each of these times (and others) when I have followed my heart and said a GREAT BIG YES! to the things that honor God and help me live my faith…I have never looked back.  I have been richly blessed on these roads even when I don’t know where they are heading.  So I step out again in faith.  I think it’s appropriate the Holy Yoga challenge is about heart openers.  Because to really step out in faith, we don’t need to know it all.  We don’t need to be able to predict the outcome.  We don’t need to strive and reach and accomplish.  We just need to open our hearts.  Here’s to an April filled with open hearts and freedom and lots of sunshine!


Speaking of yoga, I am SO GRATEFUL to BlogHer Health for sharing and promoting my blog post “Humble Warrior” http://www.blogher.com/humble-warrior?page=full – thank you!

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
picture of Jesus from facebook @teenjesusfreaks



Great Change is on the Way!

chaos IT’S FIXED! IT’S FIXED! IT’S FIXED!   Woo- hoo!  We are up and running again thanks to the FABULOUS AMAZING dear friend of mine, Patty Ptacek.  She is the first person I met when I moved here 15 years ago 🙂  and she is lovely and kind and a good friend and she also happens to be A COMPUTER GENIUS.  Contact her if you need a techy/website/computer genius in your life…and who doesn’t?

Here’s a little blub about her and what she does:   Patricia Ptacek has her own web design and consulting business specializing in WordPress websites and all things tech for small businesses and non-profits.  You can read about her at www.patriciaptacek.com and contact her at . 

If you are thinking “What the heck is Sue talking about?”…Things around here have been a little chaotic lately.  The blog was having some issues.

I really am not a techy person so when people start talking about users and codes and hosts and all the other things I don’t understand, my anxiety level goes up.  My brain starts feeling really crowded and I get tired.  So this weekend and all the way up until today, I did some napping in between calls to the techy people.  Oh and I started watching Downton Abbey.  I watched FOUR episodes in a row.  LOVE.

I’m so glad it’s a snow day today because it’s afternoon and I’m still in my jammies and I’m thinking about hunkering down for 4 more episodes.  But first, I’m so excited to write this post.  I realize now what a life saving grace this blog is for me.  When I couldn’t post anything I felt like a caged animal…I must speak, I must write, I must post!  I missed you all so much!

I’m sorry for the emails you may have received saying the blog is under construction.  I realize now a click of a button could send god only knows how many emails out. Note to self. Lots of notes to self. Live and learn people, live and learn.

It has been chaotic.

Do you think all great change is preceded by chaos?

I was thinking about this whole situation and wondering about why it would happen at this time.   I’ve never had a problem with the blog in the past three years.  Why now?

Is it because great change is coming and the enemy is on alert?

Do you believe in the enemy?

I believe there is a battle that wages for our souls every day.  I believe that darkness is real but sometimes it dresses itself up so pretty we don’t recognize it as darkness.  We invite it in, we open up to it, we reveal ourselves.    And it weakens us.  It weakens us through fear and doubt.  We second guess, we quit, we worry.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.                   2 Corinthians 11:14

Sometimes the enemy comes along and offers a break when I need rest.  He sees a weakness in me, he sees an opportunity to plant seeds of doubt, to discourage me and he attacks.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. –1 Peter 5:8

The Lord says He will provide rest and that is true but sometimes I feel like the Lord is asking me for things.  Sometimes the Lord is saying, “Get up Sue, I want you to do this  for me.  I have prepared you.  It’s time.” And sometimes that “thing” looks heavy.  Sometimes that “thing” seems like to much.  Sometimes the computer breaks down or the blog goes a little nutty or the plane is grounded or the kids are home sick or my body feels tired or I get discouraged or I lose confidence or I feel sad and alone.  When those things happen, the enemy whispers that maybe it’s time to quit,  maybe it’s not going to work, maybe those dreams aren’t going to come true.  The enemy tells me to give up and depending on the timing sometimes giving up sounds like a good idea.  But I have to remember the part about good and evil and the battle for my soul.  I have to stay alert.

Because resting is not the same as giving up.

Someone told me once that if I start living for the Lord, if I start really showing up and being bold in my faith and with my life, the attack will begin.  At the time I thought it sounded very dramatic.  Doesn’t the enemy have better things to do than worry about me and my little ministry?  Isn’t he occupied with the louder voices and the people with bigger audiences?

Then I remembered what God said.  He said, “Be Alert!”  He said, “Wake Up!”

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:11-12

I’m praying for the strength of God.  I’m praying and staying in His word so I can “Put on the whole armor of God”.  Because when we are clothed in the armor of God, nothing can hurt us or distract us or derail us.  Not a computer glitch, not a problem we don’t understand, not another person, not a temptation, not fatigue, not doubt, not a setback or a delay.

Next time you are facing chaos, take a deep breath and thank God.  Great change is on the way.  Stay alert!

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved


Failing to Win

All serious daring starts from within.

-Eudora Welty

Many kids attend some type of leadership training when they are in junior high or high school or college.  I always loved these retreats. In the dictionary, it says to lead is to be “in command” or “to guide someone or take someone somewhere”.

Does the “where” have to be physical? 

Does the leading have to be linked to accomplishment and success?

Think of Jesus.  He was a leader.  He led us to the cross.  Hmmm…success?  Now we know the rest of the story but if we didn’t know about Easter, was He a failure or a success in life?  What about Martin Luther King?  He led us to turmoil and conflict and he was murdered.  Success?  Of course, now we know his legacy but do you think he was familiar with failure? 

The dictionary didn’t say where you were leading someone…it didn’t say you are leading them to climb the mountain or to win the race or to be loved by everyone.  It said you are leading them somewhere.  Can that somewhere be intellectual or emotional or spiritual? 

When I think of great leaders in my life, I don’t immediately go to junior high basketball coach.  Our society tends to focus on sports and many leaders are born on the field or in the gym, no doubt.  Politics comes up when we think of leadership too and the military and business.  But I want to talk about a different kind of leader. 

I want to talk about teachers.  After all, we are all teachers.  We teach by example every day.  

I remember hearing a quote once that a doctor has the ability to save a life one person at a time but a teacher has the chance to save 30 lives at a time.  If they have the power to save lives, what else do they have the power to do?   Really.  It’s that serious. 

I had an amazing teacher in 4th grade.  He was demanding and funny and creative and kind.  He taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades together and he pushed all sorts of limits.  It was the 70’s so you can imagine, we were trying all kinds of experimental things including, school meetings in the new “pod” which was really groovy.  He was especially cool to the kids.  He made a little clay figure like “Mr. Bill” on Saturday Night Live and “Mr. Bill” would have all sorts of classroom adventures.  He loved to read to us out loud even though we could read ourselves. One time, he read The Amityville Horror to us (so scary!).   He was always cutting edge and unique and out of the box.  I’m sure he was pushing the administrator’s buttons constantly.  He sang, he danced, and he laughed a lot.  I can imagine him laughing now.  He was engaged.  He loved learning and he loved teaching.  He made school come alive for me and for many other kids. 

On my first test in his class, I got an F…a  32%.  I was devastated.  I had never gotten anything other than an A. I was crying.  I will never forget what he said to me.  He got on his knees in front of my little chair and he looked right into my eyes.  He said, “I would rather have you get all F’s and be challenged than have you get A’s for the rest of your life and never be challenged.” 

He was a leader.  And he developed his students into leaders. 

Because of his words, I am not afraid of an F.  I am not afraid of something not working out.  I’m not afraid to try.  I’m not saying I still don’t cry sometimes when I fail, I just know it will be okay.    I’m not saying I don’t hesitate sometimes or second guess myself but I don’t let fear get the best of me.  He led me to acceptance and courage and confidence.  I’m not afraid to ask questions or embarrassed when I don’t know because I realize that’s how I learn.  I think this came from my experience with him.  With each failing try in my life, I have learned something.

I recently heard Kelly Corrigan (LOVE HER!)  give a graduation speech and she told the graduates that in life, it’s not about not failing, it’s about “failing better next time”. 

 Are we concerned more with the A than with the challenge?  Are we trying to be so perfect, we aren’t growing or learning?  Are we demanding perfection of others?

We can give our kids all kinds of experiences on the outside.  They can climb and run and jump and win…but can they fail?  And when they do, do they have a leader near them, a parent, friend, teacher, or relative (you!) that tells them they are great and brilliant and wonderful and important even when they don’t succeed?

You can take all the young people (and you) all over the world, spend gobs of money, hire many trainers and still not have a leader on your hands.  Because leadership does in fact, start within.  Turns out what’s best for your kids has nothing to do with money or external experiences.  It is about internal strength.  How ironic.  Winning is about failing…early and often. 

Maybe we should ask teachers before we hire them, “How many times have you failed?”  Then we may be able to tell if we are dealing with a leader. 

What about you…fail much?

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved