Tag Archives: Easter

Pounding Fists and Dancing Feet

So, my birthday came and went. I turned 45. Just throwing the number out there…not because it means anything but so you have a point of reference.  I have never really cared about age.  Ever since I was 28, I just kind of stayed 28 in my mind.  To help this perpetual 28 year old-ness, I try not to look in the mirror too much.  I’m just saying, it can be shocking to your 28 year old insides to see your 45 year old outsides.

I felt a little sad this year.  I’m not going to lie. I felt a little, shall we say, melancholy.  I looked up melancholy in the dictionary because I’ve always loved that word.  It says:  soberly thoughtful; pensive and it also says sad and mournful and depressed which is not what I was feeling.  I’ve always appreciated the word because to me, it described the feeling we sometimes have of being  a mixture of happy and sad. I was feeling that mixture of happy and sad.  Like when I used to swing on my swing in the backyard and I would lay on my stomach to feel that feeling you get when you are excited but yet feel like crying.  I would do this on purpose.  I’ve always sort of enjoyed the melancholy.

I guess the thing that really got to me this year is that it was a year of transformation for me.  A year of freedom and joy and renewed passion and purpose.

And what this says to me is that GOD CAN DO ANYTHING AT ANY TIME NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE.

Amen?

On Good Friday, I taught a Holy Yoga class.  It was my regular Holy Yoga class time but it was Good Friday so that changes everything.  I woke up and I felt God calling me to PREACH IT.  I felt this overwhelming need to get on my knees and thank Him for His sacrifice.  I couldn’t even stand it people.  I was bawling reading scripture that morning.  I was newly taken with the story I have known forever.  I was nearer and closer to Jesus because I LET HIM IN this year.

He didn’t change.  But He changed me.

So, little beknownst to me (is that a word?) my awesome friend and owner of the home where I teach Holy Yoga, Eileen,  planned a surprise for me by making sure a lot of people could make it to class and stay for coffee afterwards to celebrate my birthday and my one year Holy Yoga anniversary.  I mean. Oh my gosh. Each person that came into the room just blew me away.  There was this keen awareness of how blessedly important every person in my life is.  How each one of these lovely women has ministered to me, has fed my soul, has nourished me and supported me and given me strength.  I mean, it was almost too much.  My spidey senses were up and I already told you I felt like preaching and tears were flowing freely so you know what happened next.  What happened next had nothing to do with me…it was like we rolled out our mats and created space and let God do His thing and…

Holy yoga was HOLY.

I was pounding the floor talking about IT IS FINISHED.  We were LAYING IT DOWN AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.

You know, I don’t really give a hoot about denomination.  I think God weeps at the way we separate ourselves along man made lines and judge each other.  I think it’s nuts.  But I have to bring it up in this regard.  It’s funny because every single person in the room – I’d say there were about 16 or 17 people- every one of us was raised Catholic.  Now I only mention this because there are a few things the Catholics do like nobody else in my opinion.

One: Funerals.  Two: Good Friday.

I mean, we can mourn and weep and feel loss and regret like nobody’s business.

We can SUFFER.

Now usually, I like to focus on the happy and the positive and the hopeful.  My mom, who was not raised Catholic used to ask not so subtly, “Why all of this emphasis on the crucifixion? It’s all about the Resurrection.” And I get that, I do.  I’m a resurrection girl for sure. But we can’t have Sunday without Friday.  Amen?

I have no idea what I said during that Holy Yoga class but I know it was from my heart and my heart was feeling the Holy Spirit that day.  It was the end of the birthday week, the melancholy, the pensiveness. I was laying it down.

When I think about it, it makes perfect sense.  I had an AHA moment.  His Death and Resurrection reminded me of my own.  Of my many.

This is a holy practice, right?  To not rush to Easter Sunday.  To sit on Friday in the pain and pound our fists and weep and mourn and remember.  And then to sit on Saturday and wait.  To have nothing happen.  To be bored and wander around not knowing what’s coming.  To wonder.

Our need to rush to Sunday kind of stunts us.  It denies us the feeling we need to feel…that death and birth are painful.  They are transformational…but we have to let ourselves experience them in their entirety without sugar coating or rushing it along.

I don’t have to make it “all good” all the time.  Not for me, not for my friends, not for my kids.  It is what it is.  Happy and sad.  New and old.  28 and 45.  Death and Resurrection.  Sorrow and Joy. Pounding fists and dancing feet.  There is love in both and all and every.

 

HY celebration photo

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Freedom, Sunshine and Open Hearts

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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!

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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
 

 

 

The Gift

My mom has always told me, “Faith is a gift”.

I remember her saying this when I was young and then thinking, “Why do some people get the gift and other people don’t?” It didn’t seem fair.

As I’ve gotten older I have begun to see what she means.  Faith is a gift.

St. Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works so one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God’s grace is a gift.  Everyone gets the gift… but not everyone accepts it.

Accept the gift.

It’s not for some of us.  It’s for all of us.  God doesn’t give His gift to certain groups only.  He doesn’t favor the wealthy or the learned. He doesn’t give His gift only to the Baptists or the Catholics.  He doesn’t give grace only to white people or people who live in the United States.  He doesn’t discriminate.  We do but He doesn’t.

This is good news.  God’s grace does not depend on what I look like or how much money I have or if I sit in the front pew of church.  I don’t have to light candles or say the Rosary or give thousands of dollars to the church.   It doesn’t depend on me.  Thank God.  (Literally.)  Because I would really mess it up.  He doesn’t keep a tally sheet and then hand over grace to the “good” people.

Can you imagine if you actually had to earn your way into heaven?  Please.  There is no way to earn it and we don’t have to.  We just have to believe.

I think we tend to make things more difficult than they are.  Of course, there is more to living a life in Christ than just believing in Him.  But that is the first step.  I think we look for transformation first and then we say we’ll believe in God’s promises as in, “I’ll believe it when I see it”.  We stand back and say “prove it”, “show me”, “give me a sign” but we aren’t ready.  We have to say “yes” first and then the transformation starts happening.  If you want it, it’s there for the taking.  You just have to accept the gift.

If you haven’t yet accepted God’s gift of grace, take another look.

Imagine this… it’s Easter morning and you are really looking forward to the Peeps and the Reese’s Easter eggs and piles of jelly means and peanut m&m’s.  You see the basket and you realize that in addition to all the yummy stuff you can’t wait to eat, there is another gift.  It’s the gift of God’s grace.

The basket is filled with all of the things God’s grace brings to us including love, peace, joy, hope, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, new life.  Our baskets are overflowing!

You stop, you hesitate, you think, “Wait a minute, nothing is free, what do I have to do to get all of this?”

You question, you worry, you think…”Why me?” You wonder, “What’s the catch?”

There is no catch.  God loves you and wants to free you from your fears and worries.  He wants to give you a solid foundation to build your life.  He wants you.  You as you are now…not the “you” that is twenty pounds lighter or a million dollars richer, not the “you” that learns to cook or keeps a perfectly clean house or volunteers more often.  He’s not looking for the “you” that you show the world.  He’s looking for the real you.  He wants all your flaws, all your fears, all your sins, all your doubts.  He is that strong and that loving.

He is offering you a gift.  All you have to do is accept it.

 

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo from: http://www.livingdevotionally.com.