Tag Archives: Freedom

For the Love – It’s Time!

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Every once in a while a book comes along that INSPIRES.  Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For the Love” does just that.

This book is for all my friends who are leaders.  That is EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. YOU.

Mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, friends.  You are champions.

Young, old. Single, married, divorced, separated, dating. You are loved.

I’ve seen you do your thing…teaching, writing, preaching, speaking, lawyering, doctoring, hugging, laughing.  You can be a boss in the boardroom and make a mean cupcake for the class party.

You are hand holders and snot wipers.  You offer a shoulder to cry on and a seat at the table.  You laugh freely and love deeply. You offer your heart.

You know things…like how to make a 10 year old boy roll on the floor laughing and how to recognize when your teenage daughter has been slighted by a friend.

You push the swing and swing on the swing and swing the bat. You are comfortable in fancy shoes and cleats and muddy bare feet. Your mission field is the neighborhood, the workplace, the bus, the yoga studio, the coffee shop.

This book is for you.

You know it is more important to be kind than it is to be right. You know when to compromise. You walk through life with open palms, not clenched fists. You understand that vulnerability is a strength. You know the first one to say sorry actually wins.

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We see you in churches and neighborhoods and schools and walking paths and breakfast diners. We see you in the stock market and the business school and the interview. We know you are behind the camera and in front of the camera and you are the camera. You have vision and depth and soul. You create art. You draw people in.

You are on mission. Today. Where you are.

This book is for you.

You have been offered grace. By God, parents, teachers, coaches, friends, many people in your past. Grace is your lifeline and you have been saved. You reach out to offer that grace to others and so others seek you…other grace givers …humble servants and truth tellers.

The older you get you recognize your gifts. You don’t minimize yourself or your talents. You no longer want to sit on the sidelines. You don’t want to read about what others are doing…you want to go to battle. You don’t fear what will happen if you fail, you look forward to what will happen when you succeed. You show up. You are ready to do the deep work. You are free.

 

for the love free

 

This book is for you if sometimes you feel not worthy. You wonder, “Have I done enough?” …”What is my calling?”…”Who am I?”  Jen addresses all of this. She also addresses the church with chapters like, “Dear Church…” and “Dear Christians, Please Stop being so Crappy…” 

This book is for you if sometimes you find yourself wondering if you your family is too crazy (NO), If it really is too difficult for you to crack an egg (NO), if Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez get their beauty supplies at Walgreen’s (NO) and if you should wear yoga pants outside of the house with no shirt covering your bottom. (FOR THE LOVE…NO!) Jen covers all of this beautifully. She’s got your back.

There are recipes and thank you notes and lots of personal anecdotes. She includes Scripture and always leads you back to love and truth and Jesus.

 

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You will love her for her honesty. She becomes your best friend, mentor, teacher, preacher and coach. She tells you it will be okay and you believe her. She holds a mirror up, tells you to take a good long look, assures you that you are beautiful and equipped and then says, “C’mon now, get going!”

This book is a movement.  This book matters. “For the Love” is a battle cry.

We are missionaries. In all the places we live and work and abide. For all the people we see, heal, touch, hear, comfort, teach, love.

Jen reminds us, “You are too vital to lose years to regret or shame or insecurity or fear. We are not slaves to those masters; Jesus saw to that.”

She encourages us, “Take all the hard parts-the failures, the losses, the wounds-and give them to Jesus for glory. He makes magic with those, I tell you.”

Amen.

Let’s go make some magic, shall we?

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

Panic at The Restaurant

You’ve heard of Panic at the Disco?

I panicked at the restaurant.

We went out to eat twice last weekend.  the first time wasn’t so tough. It was a new Austin place outside of the city, rural really. It’s called Proof and Cooper.  The outside was so cool.  Rusty tin roof,  lots of land.

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Inside, you order and then sit.  There was a bar and live music.  Pretty standard Austin stuff.  The best part about Austin is the people (so friendly) and the Vibe.  By that I mean, there were people there in swimsuits.  There were people there in cut off shorts and t-shirts.  I saw tattoos and piercings and dreadlocks. There were kids and parents and groups and cats and chickens.  That last part is no joke.  Here’s a picture of my daughter with one of the baby kittens.

nat and cat

There were 5 kittens and we just couldn’t get enough of them.  Everyone was coming around and chatting about the kittens.  All ages. Some with their cocktails, just wandering around the outside space talking about the rooster that was in the tree. That part is real too.  I swear.

The next day I looked up the place on Facebook and saw that the person playing guitar there was actually “famous” in certain circles.  We talked to him while we were there because he came out to see the kittens and actually laid down on the ground and let a kitten climb on his chest.  My friend’s daughter likes to sing so he asked her about that and said, “I’ll let you sing!” He was so nice.  And calm.  And apparently “important”.  He is the son of some famous music people and he was in the movie, “Walk the Line” and a bunch of other stuff.  His name is Waylon Payne.  See, you have to be careful in Austin.  Famous people hang here but they blend in which is the whole point.

Ordering at this restaurant was easy because it was farm to table.  I had a salad with tomatoes and avocado and fizzy water with a lime.  Yum. It helped that there was a lot going on and it wasn’t all about the food.

However, the next night, Jeff and I went to a restaurant sort of because we “had to”.  We had time to kill.  It was dinner time.  We were far from home but had to pick up our son soon…you get the point.  So already, I felt like I was not in control of my situation.  See, I had it all planned, we were going to go to Chipotle.  We were on that side of town (not our usual side) and I haven’t had Chipotle in a year.  I read on the Whole 30 that you can have the carnitas bowl so I was beyond excited.  I was thinking about the carnitas and the guac.  Literally, running to the door.  We get in and see the sign.  NO CARNITAS AVAILABLE.  There is a shortage. They have stopped working with their suppliers because of the way they treat the animals.  They are looking for a supplier that meets their requirements.  You can google it.  It’s a thing. You guys…I literally almost cried.

We went to a steak joint.  Because we are in Texas.  As I looked at the menu, genuine panic came over me.  All the memories of onion stacks and nachos and beer and wine and french fries…the smells, the music, the dim lighting. Ugh. The menu was not confusing.  Oh no, it was not.  I have learned to know what my body needs to feel good.  THERE WAS NOTHING ON THE MENU FOR ME.  If I was going to keep this Whole30 thing going, I needed to really THINK. And I was getting hungry.  The waiter said he was going to bring us a basket of bread and I jumped down his throat…NO!!!! He’s like, fine lady…chill.  I literally frowned the whole time and felt so testy.  We were sitting at the bar.  For the love of God…why???? I could see myself in the mirror…again, why???? And I looked so sad and confused.  I ordered a salad…no dressing…with a steak on it, dry…which means no rubs or sauces.  It was good and I felt full and I stuck to the plan.  But honestly, everything in the world is dripping in oil and cheese and sour cream and ranch dressing.  The good news is I survived.  And I will be better prepared next time.  I really like just eating at home now.

I have this thing.  I don’t want to be difficult.  I don’t want to special order stuff.  Maybe it goes back to when I was young and I didn’t like the McDonald’s onions on the cheeseburger so I would order it without onions and my family would have to pull the car over and wait for little Susie’s (I’m the youngest and only girl) cheeseburger.  (This is why Burger King is better for me – special orders don’t upset them.) My brothers still discuss it to this day.  I learned that just going with the flow makes people happy.  I like to make people happy.  Which leads to why sometimes I eat cake if someone makes it even if I don’t want it.  And why I say, “Sure, anything is fine!” as people order sausage on a pizza (yuk) or decide we need potato skins with bacon and cheese and sour cream.  I want to be easy and light.  I want to be cool. As LuAnn says, “Be cool.  Don’t be all, like, uncool.”

But here’s the thing I know now.  People thinking I’m easy breezy is no longer my goal.  It is not worth the bad feelings in my body.  I can say no and still be cool.  I think. Right?  I have a feeling some of you know what I’m talking about.  You don’t want to say no to your grandma’s cheesecake.  Or she won’t let you.  She stops just shy of shoving it down your throat!! The pressure and dirty looks from family if you are not stuffing your face…does this happen?  What if you ask for a dry steak and dressing on the side?  Do you hear the groans?  Do people tell you, “You used to be fun”?

WHY IS IT SO TOUGH???

It’s tough because it’s not just the food.  It’s the emotions, the memories, the patterns, the feelings, the history, the relationships, the connections.  It’s not just your body, it’s your brain and your heart and your soul.  Your spirit is wrapped up in this.  That’s why eating the “wrong things” can lead to depression and doubt and shame and guilt.  That’s why eating the “right things” takes a whole rewiring of our thinking.  Not just our thinking but our feeling.  You guys, it’s not easy.

My friend, Tricia, recommended the book Made to Crave.  Thank you Tricia!! I read it right away the day I got it.

Turns out, I’m not the only one who has ever struggled with all of this.
temptation

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Limitations as Invitations

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In our Holy Yoga training the other day, we learned this: “Limitations in our lives equate to freedom”.

We were talking about physical limitations relating to yoga but honestly, that statement just blew me away.  The Truth is that when we accept our limits and need to lean into God’s strength and power, we are transformed.

We all have limitations in our lives. If we listened to the world we would see these limitations as road blocks. We could (and some of us have) allowed these limitations to defeat us.  We throw up our hands and say, “Well, I can’t do that thing (fill in the blank) because I’m too weak, poor, sick, heavy, uneducated, unfit, scared, busy, etc. (fill in the blank).”

Since we all endure different limitations (they can be physical, emotional, spiritual)  and we all have unique dreams, let me just get really general with this statement,   “I can’t fulfill my life’s dream because I am too broken.”

So we give up.

This is where we may go if we see limitations as road blocks.

But here’s the thing.

We are all broken.

Yes.

Not, “Y’all are broken.” But “WE ALL ARE BROKEN.”

Even the people that have fulfilled their dreams. Even the people you think  have it all together. Even the people you see chasing their dreams right now.

Saying you are broken is not admitting defeat, it is declaring VICTORY! It brings FREEDOM.

Freedom from pretending and wearing a false mask and striving and playing God and striving for control.  It means freedom from our sins and our weaknesses and our addictions.  It means that we aren’t supposed to be able to do everything perfectly. When we admit we have limitations and we need God, we can rest and be free from needing to please and protect and be all things to all people. We accept God’s grace. We offer ourselves Grace. We go out into the world and offer Grace to others.

To stand before the Lord and say, “Yah, guess what Lord? I don’t have it altogether. I am not perfect. I can’t figure it out, fix it, mend it, create it, heal it on my own. I need you.  I can’t make good choices all the time. Honestly, Lord, I’m not sure which one is the good choice sometimes. I can’t keep my kids from harm.  I can’t save people. I can’t save myself.  My humanness keeps getting in the way. Broken seems like a harsh word.  It really doesn’t roll off my tongue.  I feel a little squirmy saying it. I say it and then I think, “Wait, I’m not that bad. Broken seems harsh.” I don’t want to say I’m broken because this world has taught me that admitting weakness means I am…well…weak. A fate worse than death here in America Lord. We are bred to brag and achieve and compete and strive and gain and accomplish and never, ever let anyone see us sweat. Lord, I ask you to remove that burden from us. It’s just so tiring Lord. Take it away. Teach us the Truth. You came to turn this world upside down. You came and did a new thing. You said the WEAK will become STRONG. You said BLESSED are the POOR IN SPIRIT.  You, Lord, came and washed feet. You were a servant. You did not demand a King’s robe and crown of jewels. You came as a vulnerable baby and died under a crown of thorns.  Lord, it is really hard for us to let go of what we have learned from this world. We don’t like our limitations. We don’t like it when we feel weak. We are uncomfortable asking for help. We think we long for perfection. We think we long to be rulers of our own little kingdoms but Lord, you know what we really want is peace and joy and love everlasting. We want the freedom that comes from you. So we have limitations. We are human. You are God and we are not. Gosh, what a relief. Can we rest now? Can we just open our hands and except your grace? You’ve got this, right? You’ve got my life and my kids and my marriage and my friendships and my health and my life’s work and my needs…you have this, right? It’s okay if I’m not perfect? Lord, help me today to accept my limitations as an invitation to draw near to you.  Help me to say YES to you so I can taste the Freedom that comes from laying this heavy burden of perfection down. Set me free. Please Lord, set me free.”

Amen.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10(MSG)

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

 
©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved