Tag Archives: God

The Beginning

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.

-1 Corinthians 14:33

The other day,  I learned a little more about the first book of Genesis.  How wonderful that God created the light and then He created the sun and moon and stars to bring the light.  He created the sea and the sky and then the fish and the birds to dwell in them.  He created land and vegetation and then he created animals and humans to live on the land and take care of the land. 

Two things I love about this. 

  1.  Everything has a purpose.   
  2. It is all good. 

Can you picture it?  God steps onto the scene and it’s black and formless and empty.  (I want to point out here that the Bible says “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”.  So the Spirit was already there which helps make my point that the Spirit is everywhere and always has been.)  Back to the scene…God says, “Let there be light” and there is light.  Ta – Da!!!

We could spend hours, days, months, years discussing the account of Creation in Genesis.  Scholars can argue over whether it’s true or myth or just a made up sweet story.  You can tell me it doesn’t make sense or try to figure out if a day really means 24 hours.  We can talk about the significance of 7 days.  We can talk about evolution.  We can ponder the dark void that was and wonder how long God let that go on.  We can try to explain where God came from and why He’s called the alpha and the omega.  But let’s not. 

Let’s get back to my two points. 

  1. Everything has a purpose.
  2. It is all good.

They say when you read the Bible, you should think of 3 things: What does this passage tell me about God?  What does this passage tell me about human beings?  What does it tell me a Christian should do?  In other words, we should observe, interpret and apply.

I could go through these questions and I will during my study but for today, I’d like to just start at the beginning and what that beginning has to do with me…here…in my kitchen on my computer…in 2011. 

God created me.  He loves me.  He has a divine purpose and plan for me.  I have all I need.  I am good. 

Same goes for you…and for all of us. 

It’s the beginning of His story and it’s the beginning of our story too…and it’s all good.     

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

Love and Marriage…Love and Marriage…

I figured I should write about marriage this week for two reasons.

  1. It’s my wedding anniversary this weekend. 
  2. In Bible study this week, we talked about when God created man and woman and how they were meant to fit together like a puzzle.  (Those are my words but it’s what I felt when I read the passage.)  

Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

 – Genesis 2:22-24

 Sounds great.  Eden.  No shame (yet). United. One flesh.

No talk of kids and housework and bills to pay and jobs and disagreements and doubts and sin and annoyances and differences and tempers  and sickness and needs and desires and pain and histories and betrayals and forgiveness and tears and fears and the unknown.

God didn’t say “Marriage is hard work”. 

But my mom did.  She told me that early on and she was right. It’s like parenting- you don’t always know what you are getting into.  You may (who are we kidding, you absolutely will) need to get advice, pray, read some books and learn. 

Speaking of books…A friend asked me recently if I’ve heard of The Five Love Languages.  Are you kidding?  I love that book!

Some of my good friends will attest to the fact that when I first read it, I could not stop talking about it.  I needed to explain it to everyone and then we all had to tell which “love language” we spoke. 

This is a great book for married couples.  The premise is that we all speak different love languages.  In order to have a “more perfect union”, we need to know which language our partner speaks. 

There are five love languages.  They are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

First, you take a test to find out what your primary love language is.  You can find the test and all the other information at www.5lovelanguages.com

Here’s what I propose…take the test.  Have your husband, wife or significant other take the test.  Discuss.  You may get a lot of eye rolling and complaining at first but it can be fun.  Really, I swear.  It’s not only good for marriage but can help you better understand friendship and parenting as well.

I realized my love language is Words of Affirmation.  This means if my husband buys me a fancy gift, I will not be as excited as if he tells me what a great wife (person, mother) I am.  This is good news for my husband!  Save your money and tell me how great I am!  Everyone is happy!

Some people would rather have their husbands do the dishes (acts of service) or go on a walk with them (quality time).  Knowing this information can prevent a lot of marital strife.  You know when your spouse gets you something or does something for you and they are all excited about it and you are irritated for some reason?  You know you should be happy with their effort but you feel they don’t understand you. They give you a gift and you are mad.  You go storming off and they’re thinking, “Whatever…I just bought you something…I guess I can’t do anything right!”

This is because you are speaking different love languages. 

Read the book, take the test.  No more excuses. 

Wedded bliss all over the place.    

And to Jeff…Happy Anniversary.  Thank you for 17 years of the good stuff…  love, laughter, support, encouragement, generosity, friendship, understanding, respect, growth, honesty, authenticity, dependability, adventure and fun.  I’m so glad we are on this journey together.  I can’t wait to see what’s next!

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.”

— Goethe
 
©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
drawing by Mary Engelbreit

Your life…a movie?

I read somewhere to think of your life as a movie and to think of God as the audience.

Uh oh.

Really? 

Well, I can see that.  I do know He is watching and I do hope He is pleased.  I guess it’s a reminder.

I wonder what genre my life would fall under.  Is it a drama…a comedy…a tragedy?

Is He falling asleep with boredom?  Is He laughing? Is He confused, wondering “Why would she say that?” Is He angry, thinking “Seriously, she’s doing that again?  When will she learn?”

Is He frantically trying to rewrite the script?  Does He need an intermission? Is He embarrassed? Shocked? Annoyed? Does He get annoyed?

This really has me thinking. 

If this is my movie and I’m the main character, then is God the director?  Is He the director and the audience? 

Who is in charge here?

The more I think about it, I like this idea.  In a movie, there is usually a small core group of people that are integral to the story.  These are the lifelong friends, the family-people who the main character knows intimately. 

Sometimes we get so focused on other people and what they are doing and their opinions, it’s not productive.  If it’s my movie, I get to decide who the core people will be.  If I remember I’m the main character who is hopefully by the end of the movie, going to evolve and grow and be happy, then I can stay focused on my journey. 

I went on a retreat once and I had to write a witness talk.  This is where you write down the details of your faith journey and then share it with the group.  I loved writing the witness but when it came time to say it out loud, I could barely get the words out.  I was reading it to my husband and he said, “Sue, I can’t hear a word you are saying through the tears.” 

I practiced and read it to a group of about 20 women.  The other women in my group did the same.  It was a defining moment for me.  The writing, the telling, and the listening were so powerful, if I wrote my witness story now that experience would be in there for sure.   

It’s a moving exercise to look back on your life and pick out the defining moments.  It’s fascinating and very reassuring to recognize God’s presence all along your journey. 

Try it.  What’s your story?  What’s the general theme?  Who are the main characters? What role does your faith play in it?  What are the conflicts?  When have you changed?  What are the defining moments? Where’s this headed? What about the ending? 

C’mon, it’s your story…what do you want it to be?

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