Tag Archives: dreams

Here We Go Again

Last year I wrote a post on the first day of high school for my daughter.  We survived the first year. So of course there are new things I hope for her and for my other kids which we can get to later.  Today, I’m posting the letter again in case you missed it or in case you have a child beginning high school this year.  It was from my heart and every word still holds true.  I think it’s a good way to start.

 Letter to My Daughter on her First Day of High School*



I woke up this morning thinking “Where did the time go?”

I remember the day you were born.  Well, actually, I’ll be honest, it’s a blur.  After being induced and then going through 24 hours of labor, I was exhausted.  And then upon seeing you, I was exhilarated… and scared…and overwhelmed.  I felt a keen sense of “everything is different now”.  I felt blessed and terrified.

I realize now, that’s what parenting feels like.  You alternate between feeling blessed and terrified.

And on your first day of high school, that describes my emotional state.

First, I want to thank you.  You have taught me so much.  I am certain now that God uses children to shape and form and teach us.  You have taught me and you continue to do so.  I am humbled and honored to be your mom.

As you enter those halls filled with thousands of other high schoolers there are some things I want  you to know.  Since you act mortified when I try to sit you down to “talk”, I figured I’d write instead and you can read it when you want to.  Plus, I don’t have time to put you in the car and drive around which seems to be the only place we can have a meaningful conversation.

Here’s what I want you to know.

There are days that will be fun and exciting and days that will really stink.  And this is okay.  It is all part of growing up and becoming who you are meant to be.  We cannot enjoy the mountaintop without the climb.

If you are going through tough times, remember, there is always hope.   There is a rainbow waiting for you at the end of the storm.  Always have faith.

Whatever is happening to you, matters to me and dad and it matters to God.  Talk to us.  You are never alone.

Sometimes people are nice and sometimes they are mean.  This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  Stay nice.

Boys that are cute on the outside aren’t always so cute on the inside.  Trust your instincts.  Character matters.  If you feel something’s not right, it’s not.  Go with your gut.

Drugs are bad.  I say it every day and I know you are rolling your eyes right now but I’m serious.  Don’t even try them.  Say no.  Say it again.  Say it louder.  You are precious and your body and mind and soul will be destroyed by drugs.  Don’t even start.  Don’t even try.  If you see them in the room, leave.  This cannot be emphasized enough.  I don’t care if you need to blame me and make up outlandish excuses to get out of there – leave…run.  On that note, anyone who offers you drugs is not your friend.  End of story.

There will be all kinds of people at high school.  This will give you a glimpse of what the world feels like.  There will be lots of new faces and you will be tempted to compare yourself to others.  Don’t do it.  Comparison is the tool of the devil.  See, the fact is, there is no comparison.  Each person is unique and beautiful and created by God who loves them.  We come in all shapes and sizes…we excel in different things…we have different gifts but we are all important and vital parts of this world.  We were created for a reason and God has great plans for us.  We can’t compare ourselves because our journeys are so different.  It’s like a giant puzzle…we all look different but without one of us, the big picture would not be complete.

You have to try.  You have to try to get good grades, you have to try to make friends, you have to try to get involved, you have to try.  You have to put yourself out there to grow.  You cannot wait for life to come to you, you have to go out and get it.  This can be scary but the more you do it, the easier it gets.  Get out there…opportunities await.

Have fun.  There is no rush to grow up.  Laugh, meet new people, listen and engage.  In every situation, there is some way to eek a little fun out of it…even math class.  Life is what you bring to it so bring joy.

Believe in yourself.  This sounds trite but it’s true.  I believe in you, Dad believes in you, God believes in you but what really matters is that you believe in you.  When you believe you deserve great things, the universe will conspire to give them to you.  When you pray for good things with the expectation that they will happen, God will hear you and answer you.

I’ve heard it said that we should pray BOLD PRAYERS – that we should not ask for a C, we should ask for an A.   So here’s my bold prayer for you.

Lord, I ask for great things for my daughter…I do not ask for her to just “get by” and “do okay”.  I ask that you bless her abundantly.  I ask that you give her strength and courage and determination.  I ask that you give her eyes to see her own beauty and the beauty in the world around her.  I ask that you put her in situations that are positive and life affirming and that you give her the right words and the right actions to succeed and to thrive.  I ask for good people in her life…good friends, kind classmates, and inspiring teachers.  I ask for teachers that can light a fire in her heart and soul and make her want to shine.  I ask for teachers that understand and encourage and inspire.  Be with her.  Give her signs to know you are with her.  Burrow deep into her heart so she knows she belongs to you.  Protect her.  I ask for all of these things with the expectation that you will provide.  I trust you.

Oh, and Lord, before I end this…thank you.  Thank you for the gift of my daughter.  Thanks for knowing I need her and she needs me.  Thanks for putting us together. 

*originally posted 8/19/2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes  All Rights Reserved
©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes  All Rights Reserved

Dream On

Does anyone else feel like all hell is breaking loose?

Every time I turn on the TV, there is more bad news.  Death, terrorism, destruction, violence, unemployment, strikes, misery, the list goes on and on.

Sometimes we need to break up the serious with the silly.  Here’s one thing I love about September.  Every September, no matter what else is going on, Vogue puts out their SEPTEMBER ISSUE.  It makes me so happy!  I think it weighs 10 pounds!

Need another fun nugget?

I’ve got one word for you.



Look at the colors!

I know you are so happy right now but I’ve got more.  Here’s one to get you home…perfect, new colored pencils.

Life is good.

Whenever you are in doubt of this fact, make a trip to the book store or to the office supply store.

No joke.  Those are my happy places.

Because you know as well as I do when it comes to books and magazines and art supplies…the possibilities are endless.

Dream on.

Happy Birthday to my artist daughter, Natalie.  Keep dreaming  and drawing…the possibilities are truly endless.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

The List

Okay so I was feeling pretty sorry for myself the other day.  It was one of those “down in the dumps” days.

Someone asked me what I was doing now that I wasn’t “working” and I had a little hissy fit.  Inside.  I try not to have hissy fits on the outside. 

Inside I was screaming, “Leave me alone! I’m getting the laundry done and food is on the table!” She asked about a book and when is it coming and what have I been writing, etc….she started to sound like the parents on the Peanuts.  “Waaa…waaaa….waaa…”

So I did a little “waa-ing” of my own in my head (Why isn’t the book published? Why isn’t the company making millions?  Why isn’t the bathroom redone?  What have I been doing with my time????)   and then proceeded to be irritated the rest of the day.

Clearly, this brought up some issues for me.

Women have it tough today. I know men have it tough too but I can only write about one at a time and today it’s about the ladies.  Here is what’s on the list for the moms of today:

  1. Look good (Yes, I realize I put this first and it’s pathetic but really, if you do everything else on the list and you look like crap, you have failed in today’s world)
  2. Be skinny (see above)
  3. Be a kind and loving mother (who is also a teacher, doctor, therapist, preacher, cook, trainer, driver)
  4. Be intelligent and educated  (they are not the same and both are expected)
  5. Remember birthdays
  6. Make money in a career that you love and are passionate about
  7. Dress well
  8. Have a beautifully decorated home
  9. Volunteer
  10. Have great sex with your husband
  11. Be a compassionate and available friend
  12. Go out socially for drinks with friends and other couples on a regular basis and text, email and call said friends on a regular basis
  13. Read and be able to discuss everything
  14. Go to church and nurture the spiritual life of your family
  15. Do something important (as in write a book, feed the hungry, go on a mission, go on Oprah, sell out Madison Square Garden, score Justin Beiber concert tickets…) and be able to smile politely when the neighbor brags that she has done all of that and ran 5 miles this morning
  16. Plan ginormous birthday parties for your kids
  17. Keep up with the upkeep – nails, waxing, highlighting, working out, possibly nipping and tucking and botoxing, yoga-ing, breathing, meditating, shopping…the list goes on
  18. Sign up for 3000 camps which means being online and ready for the competitive sign up and find a way to pay for all of it
  19. Plan a carpool that involves spreadsheets and year in advance planning
  20. Plan vacations that will thrill and excite everyone in the family and will impress the neighbors and find a way to pay for it
  21. Eat right and feed your family healthy meals every minute of every day while smiling and asking them about their day
  22. Doctors, eye doctors, dentists, orthodontists, dermatologists, OT, PT, speech, tutors, haircuts – make and keep these appointments for multiple children and yourself and your husband
  23. Play dates – don’t get me started with this one – what ever happened to “Go out and play and don’t come home until dinner” (I think it went away with “Honey, be a doll and fix daddy a martini for the road.”)
  24. Keep up on your kids texts, emails, facebook, twitter, instagram and whatever new way they are communicating with the world

I realize we have choices and we do not have to buy into the culture that tells us to do all of this.  However, even if we have the strength and clarity to be counter-cultural in this arena, we are not immune from questioning ourselves and our choices.  Many women wonder…Am I doing enough?  Am I enough? 

When I was young, I wanted to be a mom.  I really did.  I didn’t think about any of those things on the list.  Only about the love I would give and the love I would get.  Being a mom is sacred business.  I don’t want my kids watching me turning it into a burden and a competition.  I don’t want them to see a mom that isn’t satisfied.  Because the truth is, my dreams did come true. 

I didn’t dream about any of  those things on the list.  I dreamed about love.  And I got it. 


My daughters asked me the other day about when I was young.  They asked me what I had hoped to be “when I grew up”.  It was an enlightening moment.  My answer was really uncool and not want they wanted to hear. I wrote a poem about it.   I want to share it with you.  It’s kind of sad but absolutely true and I believe a sign of our times.  It makes me wonder what will be on the “list” for our daughters if and when they have children of their own.   


My daughters asked me “What did you want to be?”
“A mom” I said.
“But what else?” they asked.
“Nothing” I answered.
“C’mon, nothing else? What did you want to do?” they pressed.
“I wanted you that’s all.  All my dreams came true,” I said with tears in my eyes, stunned by this new realization.
They just walked away.
©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved


©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved