Tag Archives: childhood

New podcast! Amia Freeman, Inneractivefit


I’m so excited for you to meet Amia Freeman! She is the founder of inneractivefitclub.net and @inneractivefit on Instagram. She is awesome!!  (That is a lot of exclamation points so you know I am really excited!!)

Amia Freeman is a leading expert in group fitness, personal fitness and spiritual growth. She has been taking the fitness world by storm for over 10 years. Amia is inspired to promote and practice diverse health and fitness programs to keep clients motivated, minimize plateaus, and to increase spiritual, physical, and mental strength.

inneractive FITCLUB was birthed from Amia’s passion for bringing women together and developing support systems, resources and a sense of community. Her passion is contagious and clear in her client interactions, group exercise programs, personal training, and nutrition counseling.

Awesome, right?

On the Great Big YES! podcast, I like to get behind all of the “what do you do” questions and find out more about “who you are”.  I’m especially excited that in this conversation, you get to hear her heart. I love that she courageously shares her faith journey and talks about her childhood and how her faith has formed over the years.  We talk about family and church and our kids and red birds and so much more!

Amia is authentic and honest and inspiring. She speaks truth with humor and grace. Listen in and then head over to her website and give her a follow on Instagram! She will be your new best friend!

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

If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?

“It’s my birthday and I’ll _______ if I want to”

See the blank?  I get to fill it today.  I know the song says “cry” but I don’t feel like crying.  With all the caffeine I had this morning, I feel like flying.  Actually, that would be awesome…except I’m a scaredy cat.

My husband went sky diving once and loved it.  He was all jacked up on adrenaline.   I was happy for him but it’s not for me.

My friend asked me today if I was excited it was my birthday.  It reminded me of something.

When I turned 6, I memorized a poem by A.A. Milne.  Here it is and here’s me at six!

When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six.  I’m clever as clever.  I think I’ll stay six now forever and ever.

I used to run around reciting that one.  Obviously, I did not stay six forever and ever.  And I haven’t used the word clever since then.

So, in honor of today, I’d like to offer some new thoughts.

Our life’s work is like building a tree.  (Stick with me here, I’m working up to something.)

Childhood is the trunk of the tree. It takes years to build a steady, solid base.  The trunk has nicks and cuts on it, it is bruised and worn in parts but it is strong.  “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” really makes sense thinking of it this way.  These are the years we build our character.

Young adulthood is where we build the branches.  Each one jutting out in a different direction based on what we choose.  The branches represent school, dating, marriage, children, career, friendships, faith, and passions.  Each individual tree is shaped differently based on our lives.  Please note, in this young adult area, we may build some branches that need to be pruned later.  Just sayin…

When we are in our 40’s and 50’s, we add the leaves.  We beautify the tree.  We add leaves and flowering buds with our works of charity, our loving, our volunteering, our parenting, our guidance, our accomplishments, our listening, our understanding, our wisdom.  Again, some branches may remain empty depending on our mood when someone asks us to volunteer.  I can just picture it now…my beautiful tree and on the branch that says, PTA, it’s void of any life…not even a bud.

This is the stage where we accept that our tree does not look the same as everyone else’s and we embrace it.  We may even try to stand apart by adding a swing or a hammock.  We may get really crazy and offer ourselves up for a tree house!  We laugh more, accept more, embrace more…we get comfortable.

When we are in our 60’s and above, we enjoy the tree.  We can still add if we want to but by now, we have a beautiful, joyful, nurturing, protecting, loving tree.  We are content to sit in the shade it provides or to lay on the hammock it holds or to swing on its swing.   We have built something real, something solid, something sacred.

If we are lucky and God grants us the gift of more birthdays…we can enjoy the tree for many years.  We can continue pruning (getting rid of the rotten buds like anger or resentment or regret) and taking care of it (with love and gratitude)  so we can leave something beautiful and life giving for future generations.

So, back to the question…am I excited about another birthday?  Heck yes!  I’m getting closer to the part where I lay in the hammock.

Life is good.



 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

– Jeremiah 29:11

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo of tree with swing by brittlift.blogspot.com
photo of me at 6 courtesy of my mom 🙂