Tag Archives: Community

There but for the grace of God, go I


Friends, we need to talk.

I was slapped into reality this morning when my friend called to tell me what happened to her son.

He was hit by a car yesterday on his way to school.  He’s okay. Praise God.

The really weird and crazy thing is that her other son was hit by a car a year ago. Same situation.  By the grace of God, he’s okay too.

She called me wondering why this happened twice to the same family.  She wondered all day yesterday if she should tell people about it just as a reminder to be aware, go slow, drive carefully.  She questioned out loud if this was God, with a message. She drove her son to school today and was struck by all of the people driving while texting or looking at their email or talking on the phone in a school zone.

Here’s where this gets tricky.  I have done that.  No wait…I do that. UGH. I’m sitting here with my heart beating fast thinking…I could have hit her son.  That could have been me.

I think of the poor woman who was pulling out of her driveway and couldn’t see maybe because of the fence, maybe because we live so close to each other, maybe her baby was crying in the back, maybe she was in a hurry…there are so many maybes.  But here’s the sure thing…NONE OF US WANTS TO HURT A CHILD.

This is not a condemnation of moms or dads or big cars or cell phones.  This is a reminder for all of us to WAKE UP and LOOK UP and SLOW DOWN.

This is a reminder for me.

Remember when Oprah asked us to sign a petition not to text while driving?  I was so gung ho at the time…all in…stoked…responsible.  But as time has gone on, I have been careless…in a hurry…selfish…self important…forgetful…distracted.  My kids have yelled at me to put the phone down.  Let me repeat that because it’s so awful but it’s the truth and I need to bring it to light…my kids have yelled at me in the car while I was driving to put the cell phone down.

I’m mortified and embarrassed and so, so sorry.

The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt a child.  Not the kids outside the car and not the kids inside the car.  I think of the kids walking and riding bikes and skateboarding and laughing and playing and trusting the adults in their lives to make good choices and keep them safe.

Let’s not disappoint them.

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

Share Your Prayer

Natalie and Jack

I have spent a lot of time over the years praying for my kids.  I don’t think there is any little corner of their lives that I have not covered in prayer.  That is, until something else comes up.  My kids are getting older and as they do, my prayers become different.  All the usuals apply of course, I pray for their health and their protection and their happiness.  But I pray more specific prayers now.

I recently asked a friend to pray for my daughter.  She not only said she would but she emailed me the prayer she was praying for her.  As I sat at my computer screen crying and thanking God for friends who get it…I was struck again by the power of prayer.

We pray because we cannot possibly do this on our own.

We pray because we need God’s power and grace.

We pray because sometimes just putting it out there, releases the tight grip it has on our heart and mind. 

We pray because we don’t know what else to do.

I have been blessed to have many friends (and my mom) with whom I can share my worries and concerns and what I’ve realized lately is that we all have a lot of worries and concerns.

A lot of these things we wrestle with are often not appropriate to talk about at dinner parties and happy hours.  These are private things.  Often we feel we should not share, we are embarrassed,  we don’t want to break our child’s trust – all of that is valid.  But if we don’t get it out, we suffer.

I was talking to my friend, Kate, yesterday…sharing some of my worries with her.  After we hung up, she called back and said, “I think we should write a book – a book about the REAL prayers moms say for their kids.”

So that’s what we are doing.  We want it to be the REAL prayers moms say for their kids, not the polite prayers we think we should be saying.

Honest. Authentic. Vulnerable prayers. Prayers that we say in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep because we are so worried.  What is your prayer for your child?

We are going to collect them and put them together in some form.  I say “some form” because a book is expensive and takes a long time and we need an agent and although that would be amazing, it’s really about the prayers and we are interested in getting this prayer wagon rolling immediately.

We are doing this so we can build a community of moms – a community where we will all feel less alone.  Here’s the thing…everyone has something going on that worries them.  Someone may see your prayer and thank God that they are not alone.  They may realize for the first time that other people are going through similar things.  Imagine all moms feeling less alone.  Incredible.

Here’s how it works.  Send your prayers.  I will not include names in anything.    The whole thing will be anonymous.  Send to or comment on the blog.  I will not “publish” the comment or any names (no one will see who it came from) but I will include it in our compilation of prayers.

We will not edit the prayers.  We are looking for raw unedited prayers.  Please don’t feel like you need to be polite.  Just be you…talking to God.  Some of you may be hesitant to send your honest prayers but in order to be truth tellers and soul sharers, we are going to need courage to speak from our hearts.  I know this can be difficult but we need each other.  We need you.

Not only will we see that others may be struggling with the same thing, but we will be able to pray for them too!  Oh my gosh, the power of this!  Can you imagine!  All of us praying together for each other’s kids!?!?  And for each other?!??

So cool.  Let’s do it.

Please send your prayers.

pray without ceasing

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved                                               picture of my oldest and Kate’s oldest about 10 years ago 🙂










I have tried for the last few days to write something.  I don’t know what to write.

A 14 year old girl in our community was brutally murdered last week. 

I can’t stop thinking about her.

I can’t stop thinking about her mom.

I didn’t know her and I don’t know her mom but it doesn’t matter.  I am a mom.  I understand love.

There is nothing I can write that will make any of this better.  Every time I start to write, the words seem so small.  They seem trite and fake and unimportant.  Since I didn’t know her, even writing about her seems awkward but not writing about her seems worse.  I even thought maybe I should just write about something unrelated, something light or humorous.  But that seemed inappropriate.  It’s as if I can’t move on to anything else until I recognize (in writing) this terrible tragedy. 

She is being honored in many ways in our community and the surrounding communities including tributes and vigils and articles and Facebook pages and signs and white ribbons around trees.  All the schools in the area are wearing her favorite colors.  Rival schools are wearing her school colors. 

Students are seeing each other for what they really are – vulnerable human beings who are doing their best to live a good life.  It doesn’t matter what school they go to or what group they belong to, for now, they are together in their pain. 

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is He said the greatest commandment is to Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  And He said the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.  He leaves no room for doubt.  The answer is love. 

According to friends, Kelli loved.  She was friendly and happy and kind.  She will be remembered in love. 

When I don’t know what to do or what to say, I pray.  So here goes…

“Lord, we stand before you as a community that is burdened and afraid.  We have lost a young, beautiful girl so full of promise and we are shocked and angry.  We do not understand.  We rest in the assurance that you are holding Kelli in your loving embrace and that she is free from pain and surrounded by love.  Please wrap your arms of protection and peace around her family Lord and bring them comfort.  Be with them in their pain.  Heal their wounds and restore hope in the hearts of all those who are hurting.  We pray for the safety and protection of all children and all people everywhere.  We pray for justice and goodness and peace. Amen.”

© 2011 Sue Bidstrup Great Big Yes™  All rights Reserved