Tag Archives: discipline

Podcast 23: Greg Hoyte-Immigration, Violence and Grace: An American Story

I am so honored to post this podcast! Listen in as Greg Hoyte shares his story with us.  (Greg is next to his sister in the above picture.)

You will be fascinated by Greg’s story. He shares his journey from his childhood in Guyana, South America to Brooklyn, New York. He moved to New York when he was 14 years old after his parents worked in the US for years to earn enough money for the kids to join them. Initially excited and feeling like a dream came true, he found himself caught up in the violence of the Brooklyn streets as a teenager, filled with fear and rage and thinking there was no way out. But God showed up and provided a way. Looking back Greg can see that God never left him. This is a story of family, immigration, violence, fear, grace and hope. This is an American story.

As he talked, I just sat listening, fascinated.  He “puts skin on” so many things we talk about today – immigration, violence, public education in American cities, gangs, family, friendship, God, faith, race, respect, discipline, the American dream, fear, hope.

Greg lives in Wisconsin now with his beautiful wife Amy and their three amazing kids.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  -Psalm 23:4




Go With The Flow

As many of you know, I have been training to be a Holy Yoga instructor.  I am so excited about this.  Next week is our retreat.  I signed up for the training in the spring and started the class on September 6th.  The retreat has been on my mind for months.  The retreat is the culmination of all the hard work and preparation.  The retreat is where it all comes together.  We (90 women?) practice together for 6 days.

The preparation has included weekly phone calls…webinars…prayer partners.  We read five different books along with the binder filled with Holy Yoga information and of course, the Bible.  I watched 4 DVDs and practiced on the mat 3 times a week at least.

I have prepared my family.  Kid’s schedule on the refrigerator, plans have been made.  Lunch food bought and stocked.  Rides arranged…Halloween under control…costumes, plans, rides, schedules…check.

Bags are packed, new yoga pants, new yoga mat…toes are a pretty red…a fall red…pedicure pretty and ready for the mat.

Heart is open, ready…awake…primed for change and growth and transformation.  Mind is ready to embrace the ideas and the laughter and the wisdom and the grace of the women who will teach and learn with me.

Body is ready.  Not as ready as I’d like it to be but it bends and it flexes and my heart opens and my breath is strong.  I’m not the “playing weight” I’d like to be but I don’t think we ever are…regardless of who we are…it’s a burden we carry as women.  I have worked to lay that burden down and accept with gratitude the way my knees bend and my shoulders carry and my back is strong.  I have learned about the spine…the crown to tail alignment…the beauty of the primary line.  My body is ready.

My spirit is ready too.  It’s ready to  share and open and learn and accept and pray.

Last night I was ready, mind, body, soul, heart…ready.

This morning my flight was cancelled.

There is no way to get to my Holy Yoga retreat.  It’s not going to happen.  Hurricane Sandy is too strong, too scary, too powerful.  People are evacuating, flights are cancelled, there is no going there.  Am I supposed to go into the “eye of the storm”?

I thought of the irony, the political climate is so tense right now with the elections.  The place I was going is a ”battleground” state.  A bunch of women armed with Bibles, practicing yoga,  descending on a “battleground” state in the midst of a massive, powerful, scary storm seemed fitting.  It’s a beautiful image really…Let’s put on the “armor of God” and go in there and be strong, peaceful warriors preaching love and unity.

Yeah…cool image but not happening.  At least not now.  The battle will rage, the storm will rage and we will watch from a distance.  Suit of armor beside us ready for another time.  Or maybe we will wear it for the internal storm that is brewing…the internal storm of unrest, anger at not getting what we want, anxiety, disappointment.

But what about driving?  Renting a car?  The Greyhound bus?  Another airline?  Another airport?  I spent all morning clinging to hope and calling and looking up and connecting and waiting and grasping.  To no avail.  A friend called because her parents live on the East Coast and she told them I was going to drive there and they said, “ABSOLUTELY NOT”.  I kept checking and hoping and praying and planning and talking but I know it now…in my heart…I know it…I’m not going.  I can’t fix this with a phone call.  I can’t change this.  I have to accept it.

What I want is not happening.  What I worked for is not happening.  What I’ve planned for cannot happen now…maybe later but not now.

Is this a test?

I’ve been reading about Jesus and loving me some HOLY and some YOGA and feeling really strong in my faith.  I’ve been hearing about BOLD prayers and courageous faith and I’ve been embracing the need to see all things as sent from God and ordained and Holy.  There have been tears…Holy Spirit tears that have nourished me and cleansed me.  I’ve been working and practicing peace and acceptance and faith and ….TRUST.

But I don’t feel any of that right now.  I feel heartbroken.

I want it and it’s not going to happen.

I do think this, like all things must be from God.  He is trying to say something, to teach me something and I don’t know what it is.  I never fly alone.  I don’t go on trips by myself.  I don’t get trained in things.  I want this.  It’s different.  It’s for God’s glory for God’s sake!


I’m working on acceptance of what is and the master plan.  I can choose to be sad which I will choose for today.  But tomorrow, I will choose TRUST.  I will believe I was not supposed to fly out tomorrow.  I will TRUST that He still has great plans for me but this time, His plans are not my plans.  I will TRUST and I will say thank you.

Okay…here goes…I get it…stop trying to control…Here’s my prayer…my mantra for the week…

Lord, Thank you.  I trust you.  Go ahead…you lead…I’ll follow.

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©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
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New Year’s Resolutions

Oh Boy! It’s almost the New Year. 

We can make a New Start.

It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions!

I always feel a little silly making New Year’s Resolutions.  I plan to work out more.  I plan to eat healthy foods.  It seems cliché and kind of depressing to continually make the same New Year’s Resolutions.  I should have already made those changes, right?

I’ll start out strong.  I’ll be disciplined and healthy and I’ll lose the 5 pounds I gained during the holidays.  Then I’ll get cocky.  I’ll start slipping and relaxing and I’ll find myself here again next year, making the same resolutions.  Usually writing out my intentions for the New year with a chocolate chip cookie in one hand and coffee cake crumbs on my pajamas that I’m still wearing at noon. 

I’m bored with the whole thing.

I’ve decided my resolutions this year will be more meaningful. 

The problem with my New Year’s Resolutions is that I make them so lofty.  Not only will I try to eat less junk, I’ll look like Jillian Michaels by spring break!  Not only will I eat healthy, I’ll buy all the healthy cook books and become an expert at making healthy meals for my family.  (This is from a girl who burns toast.  At my wedding shower, I received a couple of oven gloves and I thought they were for gardening.  It’s sad when all the moms and grandmas and aunts of your fiancée are laughing at you and feeling sorry for your husband to be.  Things have not changed much.  We all have different gifts…)

This year, I plan to make one resolution and here it is.  I plan to love more.

That’s right.  I plan to LOVE MORE.  LOVE in all of its forms.  I plan to love my husband more, love my friends more, love my kids more, love my family more, love my co-workers more, love my home more, love my job more, love God more, love the world more, love the people I disagree with, and the list goes on.  

There will be one question I will ask.  Am I acting out of love?  If not, I will try again. 

I will not kid myself into believing this will be accomplished this month or even this year.  This is a resolution I don’t mind re-making every year.  There is always a chance to love more.  It benefits everyone and isn’t all about me.  I’ll be so busy loving everyone and everything (Am I sounding lofty?), I won’t have time to worry that my jeans are a little snug.  Hopefully I’ll be so filled with love, no one will notice.  They’ll be looking at my smile. 

Every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small.
-Blessed Mother Teresa