Tag Archives: football




Front porch of the Hatmaker house!


Maybe you watched them renovate it on “My Big Family Renovation” on HGTV.  I know I did.  I watched and laughed and cheered them on.  Jen Hatmaker and her family are fun and real and hilarious and Jesus lovin’ Texas Rock stars in my book.

Here’s the thing.  The house. The family. As good as they looked on TV, they are a million times better in person.

I had a chance to go to their house for the launch party for the book, “For The Love” because I was on the launch team.  (See earlier posts and millions of Facebook updates.)  This team not only launched a successful book – hello number 1!! But also connected women (and 4 men #bandoffour) across the globe who love Jesus and writing and books!  This launch team ended up raising money for all kinds of things and supporting each other in prayer.  It would take months to tell you all the details but to sum it up…this group was kind and generous and supportive and helpful and holy.  Jen  brought us together to help launch her book and then we ended up launching each other and ourselves.  That’s what good leaders do.  They remind you who you are in Christ…worthy, called, redeemed, ready…and then they launch you off to do your thing.  To play your note.  To shine your light.

I tried to take some good pictures for y’all but I was also trying to be in the moment.  There were people taking pics and Periscoping and Tweeting and Facebooking all night.  I posted several on Facebook with friends so if you want more, tune in there.  Here is a picture of the farmhouse.  This is me and my friend, Erin, over to the left.  Isn’t the house so cute!





Jen took time to talk to EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. THERE.  She has to be absolutely exhausted.  She is darling.  She would not say that.  She would say she is SPICY.  I say she is warm and kind and comfortable and doing her thing like a boss.

Can I just explain?

Her whole entire family was there.  Husband and kids and brother and mom and dad and more! And do you see the TV behind us on the porch?  The UT game was on.  There were actually two TV areas outside.  This is Austin friends.  This is how they do things.  Faith, Family, Friends, Football. It felt like we literally were just her friends invited over to hang on a Saturday night.  Her kids are adorable and her mom.  I can’t. You know I love my mom.  Moms are so amazing. I was talking to her mom and I said, “You did good”.  And she said, “Yeah, she’s pretty great.”  And I pictured my mom, always thinking I’m great no matter what. LOVE THAT. As a mom, you just would be so proud.  Or maybe one day someone saying sweet things to me about my daughter (s) (please God). I pictured how it feels to have someone tell you your daughter has inspired them and led them closer to Jesus.  I can’t even.

Of course, I told my mom about this…”Jen’s mom is so cute, she reminded me of you…” and she said, “Of course her mom would be great.  You wonderful daughters didn’t fall of a tree.” So…just giving credit where credit is due.  Thanks to all the moms out there.

Here are some fun pictures.  Isn’t she so cute? I’m so happy for her and her success.  But honestly, the book and the book tour and the TV show appearances and the speaking gigs…all of it is just the icing on the cake.  The real stuff…Jesus, her family, her home, her marriage, her children…that’s what real success is and she knows it.  Being there was so fun because it was cozy and authentic and relaxed.  This isn’t fake, friends. She is the real deal.









She has a chapter in her book called “Porches as Altars” and I have to say, on this night, her porch, her lawn…all of it…was holy.  Offered up in friendship and neighborly love.  So I took the opportunity to do some yoga on her porch.  Of course.  Duh.



All of this “launching” is over now.  At least for Jen.  She is successfully “launched”.   But this “team” thing is here to stay.  Let’s keep cheering each other on.  Let’s live well together.  All of us. For the LOVE.


© 2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes, All rights reserved™

Alone in a crowded room?


I read a review of a book in the Tribune today.  It’s written by a veteran of the Iraq war.  I read the interview with him and he talked about how it’s difficult when you get back from war and you feel like you don’t fit in, like nobody understands you.

I also read a blog today that talked about the high school lunch room – a mom was writing it and talking about how when she walked into the lunch room as an adult, she described it as “terrifying”.  Meaning, now, as a mom, it’s still terrifying.

Then I was at my son’s football game and a mom came over and started talking about how her son is from out of town and he doesn’t know “a soul” on the team.  She didn’t put any judgment on this – she didn’t say it was good or bad but I could feel the underlying anxiety.

Those examples are just from today.

Every day holds its own capacity to make us feel alone.  Separated.  Unknown.  Every situation requires us to show up, step out, and hold our head up.  It’s exhausting.

What comes up for you when you are reading this?

Put yourself in the position of walking into that lunch room or that party or the PTA meeting or the open house or the new job or the football game or the new class or the new church group.  How do you feel?  How do you show up?

A friend told me to pay close attention to what comes up for me in these situations because that is what I need to wrestle with and uncover.

Here’s what comes up for me.

I want to be known so I get super talkative and friendly.  I want to be heard so sometimes I get loud.  I want to be liked so I don’t say anything remotely important.  I want to fit in so I dress nice and clean up that day – sometimes I’m literally uncomfortable with too low jeans or too high heels or spanx that make it hard to breathe but I look relatively good and I fit in with all the other ladies (who I’m guessing may also be uncomfortable).

So…In summary, I want to be known, I want to be heard, I want to be liked and I want to fit in.  (Geez,  I’m trying not to judge myself but that looks really sad in writing.)  The problem is sometimes these things get in the way of me being what I really want to be which is honest, real, vulnerable and connected to others in an authentic way.

I’ve been paying close attention to this stuff for a while now because I’d say a few years ago, I became aware of feeling “not good” sometimes when I was out in groups.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but I felt not like myself.  Not supported.  Not real.

I’m sure many of us have felt alone in a room full of people.

I got sick of the conversation.  I got sick of hearing about how everyone else’s kids were “thriving” while I felt like mine were just struggling to find their way.  I got sick of hearing about the Ivy League college scholarships that were being pursued while I was still dealing with speech therapy and trying to get my kids to brush their teeth.  I didn’t want to talk about traveling soccer or the 20 camps other people’s kids were in.  I didn’t want to complain about how much I was driving and how much it all costs.   It felt like a competition I did not sign up for.  I was bored and kind of irritated.

This is not an indictment of other people.   I could make it that.  I’ve tried to make it that.  I’ve tried to complain that the problem is this town and its affluence or this culture and its shallowness or this world and its lack of direction.  But none of that is true.

The first step to real transformation is truth.  And the truth is I wasn’t living authentically.  Nobody made me go to those events or have those conversations or wear those jeans.  Those were choices I made even if they didn’t make me feel good.  And sometimes, truth be told, a lot of those times were fun and I did feel good.  It worked until it didn’t.

As I’ve gotten older, I have felt the need to regroup and reconsider and redirect.  I have had the nagging suspicion that there was more to life…that there might be a more genuine way for me to show up.  I’ve realized I can make choices that lead me to live the life I really want…the one with honesty and vulnerability and authentic connection with others.

All of those feelings that come up…those are promptings from God…little holy nudges…asking us to bring awareness to how we feel and to make changes if they are warranted.

I’m not saying we will never again feel lonely in a crowded room but maybe we won’t feel that way as often.

The good news?  This is not Junior High or High School.  You do not have to do what everyone else is doing.  You do not have to change in order to find a seat at the lunch table.  You can create your own lunch table…your own life.  And when you create a life from a place of authenticity…people will be lining up to sit with you.  And that will be a lot more people sitting together, feeling less alone.  And that’s a really, really good thing.

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On that note…Flourish starts this week!  Woo-hoo can’t wait!! It’s not too late to join us! 

On another note…I’m sorry I’m not including audio each time like I said I would.  It’s too difficult to find quiet time to record it!  You would be hearing dishes clanging, children talking, tv noise, music, the washing machine… who knows what!  I will just have to include audio when I can find some quiet time to record. (This is just until my husband buys me that farmhouse with a renovated barn/office/ yoga studio) 🙂 .  Thanks for understanding. 

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
Pictures from Pinterest http://pinterest.com/greatbigyes/

Tebow is in the flow

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Sorry but I can’t help myself.  I need to write about Tebow again.  I’m captivated!

Tebow is in the flow. (Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.)

This is his time.We don’t know how long it will last but it’s thrilling and fascinating and inspiring.  Just sit back and watch and enjoy.  His message is positive.  He is filled with optimism and gratitude and generosity of spirit.  Grab the kids, pop some popcorn and turn on the Broncos. 

He has everyone talking and writing about him.   Which means they are talking and writing about faith and Jesus and witnessing and evangelizing and praying.  This is a really good thing.  This conversation is important.  Even if you don’t agree with what he believes in, he is authentic and his faith is real and you can feel it. 

This is about Tebow from an article written by Frank Bruni of the New York Times:

He reminds us that strength comes in many forms and some people have what can be described only as a gift for winning, which isn’t synonymous with any spreadsheet inventory of what it supposedly takes to win.

This gift usually involves hope, confidence and a special composure, all of which keep a person in the game long enough, with enough energy and stability, so that a fickle entity known as luck might break his or her way. For Tebow that state of mind comes from his particular relationship with his chosen God and is a matter of religion. For someone else it might be understood and experienced as the power of positive thinking, and is a matter of psychology. Either way it boils down to stubborn optimism and bequeaths a spark. A swagger.  An edge.

Click here for a link to a video essay by Bob Costas about Tebow.  http://video.nbcsports.msnbc.com/nbc-sports/45636229#null

Watching Tebow after the game last night, I was most struck by his generosity and his gratitude (and his smile).  He said his receivers “make me look better than I am”.  He thanked Jesus and complimented all of his teammates and did not take the credit.  He literally smiled the entire time.  You can tell he is really enjoying this!

Isn’t that half the battle?  It makes me wonder…is he enjoying himself because he’s winning or is he winning because he’s enjoying himself? Either way, it’s fun to watch.   

The truth is that “It’s all good”.  Until you believe that, you will be clawing and fighting your way to “winning” which will remain out of your reach as long as you are clawing and fighting. 

 Be positive. Smile. Thank God.  Thank others. Praise others. Hope for the best. Imagine yourself succeeding.  Expect the best of yourself and others. Trust. Hope. Believe.

It’s not difficult to figure out what to do but it’s very difficult to do it.  That’s why we are so drawn to him.  He is different and we can feel it.  His unbridled enthusiasm and sincerity are rare.  He’s showing us what faith in action looks like with his charities and his leadership and his testimony and his being

Thanks for the reminder Tim. Keep it up!  The whole world is watching. 

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved