Tag Archives: future

My Joy Story

stars light up the night. big Texas sky covers us graciously. tucking us in for a story. campfire burns. we stare. mesmerized by light and warmth. notes play as voices sing. sharing loss and desire. we understand each other.  universal stories. contentment.  joyful noise.

he reaches out for my hand as we walk. stomach flutters. unsure of what’s next. heart beating in my throat. hoping he’ll tell me who he is. what he loves. where he hurts. eager to be let in. listening intently. story unfolding. joy coming.

bright lights. lots of people. noise. doctors racing. nurses talking. my feet are cold. searing pain. fear. hurry. worry. wait. wonder. why. there will be no cry they say. do not be afraid. clean out mouth and take away…trusting. listening. it’s okay they say. scared. mom? who is here? what time is it? so much pain. hear a cry. relief. tears. laughter. joy delivered.

big tree with tire swing. golf carts and trampoline. bikes against the fence. hoop too high for me. brother lifts me. leaves crunch. hide and seek. running. pool. stories. who said what. who did what. who do you like. where are you going. friends.laughter. long lazy days of summer. joy remembered.

entering in. unrolling my mat. chanting om. movement. breath. meditation. inner journey. awakening. light. calm. peace. community. safety. wellness. health. grace. prayer. new life. joyful freedom.


These are just some of my Joy Stories.  I have asked God to give me more joy in my original design..more joy in who He has made me to be…more joy in my unique story. I’ll be looking back and looking ahead with joy this year.  I will be praying for eyes to see and ears to hear the joy that is around me in the present moment.  I will be celebrating the way joy continues to show up.

Joy is our birthright and our destiny.  We must claim it.  Own it.

Do you see it? Did you feel it? Can you remember it?

Where do you find joy?

Let’s tell that story.

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. -Psalm 126:2

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I am…

The other day we were teaching our seventh grade religion class. We were talking about inner monologue and how important it is to speak kind words in your heart and mind. We went around the room and had everyone say…”I am blessed”. This was very powerful. I loved watching them say it out loud!

Then today I was watching Oprah’s Life Class with Joel Osteen and it was all about “I am…” He said however you finish that sentence will be what you attract in your life. If you walk around saying “I am fat” or “I am broke” or “I am tired”. You will attract those things.

The opposite is true too. By saying “I am blessed” you attract blessings. He offered up new words for people, new ways to finish the sentence. One woman said, “I am at the bottom” and he asked her to change that to be positive and she said, “I am at the bottom and I am looking up”. LOVE IT!

He had everyone stand and repeat after him. Some words he added were (“I am….”) equipped, confident, creative, ready, beautiful, blessed, and victorious. I was standing there in front of the TV with my hands raised like a preacher repeating after him. When I said, “I am victorious” I had some Holy Spirit tears. I’m not gonna lie, I am loving me some Joel Osteen…and I love Oprah of course which should go without saying. She’s there shouting out personal affirmations along with everyone else. Who doesn’t need to hear this message?!?!

What is your inner voice telling you? How do you finish the sentence “I am…”?

Remember…if you don’t like the story you are telling yourself…change it. You have that power. Do it. Change it. Be good to yourself.

This will be fun! Respond in the comments section.

Let’s help each other use words of affirmation. We can literally change our future.

I’ll start.

“I am… excited to see so many responses!”

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
image from pinterest and http://absolutelyinlovewithhim.tumblr.com/

If you were a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?

“It’s my birthday and I’ll _______ if I want to”

See the blank?  I get to fill it today.  I know the song says “cry” but I don’t feel like crying.  With all the caffeine I had this morning, I feel like flying.  Actually, that would be awesome…except I’m a scaredy cat.

My husband went sky diving once and loved it.  He was all jacked up on adrenaline.   I was happy for him but it’s not for me.

My friend asked me today if I was excited it was my birthday.  It reminded me of something.

When I turned 6, I memorized a poem by A.A. Milne.  Here it is and here’s me at six!

When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six.  I’m clever as clever.  I think I’ll stay six now forever and ever.

I used to run around reciting that one.  Obviously, I did not stay six forever and ever.  And I haven’t used the word clever since then.

So, in honor of today, I’d like to offer some new thoughts.

Our life’s work is like building a tree.  (Stick with me here, I’m working up to something.)

Childhood is the trunk of the tree. It takes years to build a steady, solid base.  The trunk has nicks and cuts on it, it is bruised and worn in parts but it is strong.  “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” really makes sense thinking of it this way.  These are the years we build our character.

Young adulthood is where we build the branches.  Each one jutting out in a different direction based on what we choose.  The branches represent school, dating, marriage, children, career, friendships, faith, and passions.  Each individual tree is shaped differently based on our lives.  Please note, in this young adult area, we may build some branches that need to be pruned later.  Just sayin…

When we are in our 40’s and 50’s, we add the leaves.  We beautify the tree.  We add leaves and flowering buds with our works of charity, our loving, our volunteering, our parenting, our guidance, our accomplishments, our listening, our understanding, our wisdom.  Again, some branches may remain empty depending on our mood when someone asks us to volunteer.  I can just picture it now…my beautiful tree and on the branch that says, PTA, it’s void of any life…not even a bud.

This is the stage where we accept that our tree does not look the same as everyone else’s and we embrace it.  We may even try to stand apart by adding a swing or a hammock.  We may get really crazy and offer ourselves up for a tree house!  We laugh more, accept more, embrace more…we get comfortable.

When we are in our 60’s and above, we enjoy the tree.  We can still add if we want to but by now, we have a beautiful, joyful, nurturing, protecting, loving tree.  We are content to sit in the shade it provides or to lay on the hammock it holds or to swing on its swing.   We have built something real, something solid, something sacred.

If we are lucky and God grants us the gift of more birthdays…we can enjoy the tree for many years.  We can continue pruning (getting rid of the rotten buds like anger or resentment or regret) and taking care of it (with love and gratitude)  so we can leave something beautiful and life giving for future generations.

So, back to the question…am I excited about another birthday?  Heck yes!  I’m getting closer to the part where I lay in the hammock.

Life is good.



 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

– Jeremiah 29:11

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo of tree with swing by brittlift.blogspot.com
photo of me at 6 courtesy of my mom 🙂