Tag Archives: grateful

Open Doors

IMG_5427

 

“If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you’re a pretender com sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin
Come in!
Come in!”
― Shel Silverstein

I have always loved this poem.  To me, it is about open doors, new possibilities, welcoming hospitality, community, and encouragement.  It says you are enough, you are chosen, you are invited, you are wanted.  Come in and share life with me.  It’s going to be fun.

I know Shel Silverstein is not Jesus but I can’t help but think Jesus might say the same thing.  Whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, come sit with me, let’s share stories, let’s do life together…come in!

We moved this past week into our new home.  After months of moving and being in temporary housing, it feels good to settle in and unpack. The picture above is of our new house through the front doors.

I love doors.  They hold such possibility.

From both sides.

Maybe you are the one inside, beckoning others to join you…Come in! Come in!

Maybe you are the one on the outside hoping to be invited, filled with curiosity, glimpsing inside…excited about the possibility of new things.

I feel like I’m on both sides right now.

God is opening this new door and saying, Come in! I’ve got great plans for you. Let’s do this.

I am excited. I feel loved and protected.  I say yes. I step through the door. Another new door.

I trust.

And then I feel I must do some inviting of my own:

Jesus, come into this space and fill it up.  Fill us up. Bless each and every corner of this home with your presence and your grace.  Teach us to be more like you. Laugh with us and be with us as we eat, pray, talk, learn, grow and love.  In our early morning grogginess and in our late night prayers…when the sun sets and rises…in our arguments and disappointments and struggles…in our celebrations and our accomplishments and our dreams coming true. In those moments when we wonder and we doubt and we let fear creep in…be there to remind us and to reassure us and to comfort us.  Show us who we are and what we are living for. Come into the messiness and love us.  Right now. As we are. We are in process and you know it and you love us anyway.  We put our faith and trust in you.

We invite you in.

It is because of you that we can step through new doors with bold confidence and joyous expectation.

You are doing a new thing and we are grateful.

Come in! Come in!

FullSizeRender-1

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

I hope you can join us for a virtual Bible Study (0ver the phone!) starting February 9th. We will be exploring The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.  It’s an amazing book filled with so much encouragement! I will be leading the study so if you have any questions about how it works, please email me at suebid@holyyoga.net.  If you want to register, please go to holyyoga.net and then to events and then virtual bible studies.  I would LOVE to study God’s Word with you! 

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clapping and Crying with all the other Moms

I always weep at endings.

The end of the school year slays me every time.

More than any other ending, it marks time for me. The slash on the calendar is dark blood red. This ending has been earned. Yet I don’t want it.

The door closing feels heavy and even though I know I have no power to stop it, I feel like running toward it, asking nicely if it could take it’s time…close slowly…tenderly…give us a few more days.

The slamming seems final. And it is.

Another year of lunches and rides and notes and homework…the cycles of sports and choir and band and art…the friends that hurt and the friends that helped us heal…the joy of newness and the scary stuff…the failing and fumbling and the tears.

All the laughing and running and playing is dying down over here.

No more Barbie Jeep, no more sparkly streamers hanging from handlebars.  No one wants to play on the slip and slide.  I remember days of baby pools and strollers and swing sets…the messiness…the laughter…the living.

Star Wars figures have taken their place on the shelf…dusty and alone.

I’m wandering around the house trying to look busy (to who? I don’t know? The busy police?)…trying to be busy to take my mind off the ending.  But I just wander…not really understanding how I feel.

I look at the bookshelf…a safe place to get lost for a while.  The books mark our journeys from Junie B. Jones to John Green and I can’t seem to part with any.  It’s like a living scrapbook of words that have fed our souls and kept us company.  We will never have too many books. They are our friends…constant and reliable.

I just saw a friend who is moving in a week.  She welcomed us when we moved into the neighborhood 11 years ago.  We have had many a cup of coffee and a glass of wine while the kids played and the years passed. I love her. She was boxing up things and I was in her empty house and I just couldn’t take it.  We both just stood there and cried. No words.

Another ending.

I always weep at endings.

The last of my kids finish up at elementary school this year.  The adorable, loving, little, everyone knows your name elementary school.  The place where they have taught and nurtured and loved my kids for 11 years.  Talk about the end of an era.

We “Clap out” our kids at the end of school.  All the parents line up and clap while the 5th graders march out.  I think they should call it the “Cry out” for me.  I’m anticipating weeping at that ending too.  Hey! We should call it the clap and cry out…clapping and crying at the same time pretty much sums up motherhood.

Weeping seems bad, right? Like I’m unhappy. But I’m not. I swear.

I’m just confused.

How did I go from eagerly anticipating my first baby to having three kids out of grade school (and two in high school!)?

How did I go from spoon feeding peas to worrying about drinking and driving and dating?

My son said the other day that he “hates change”.  He said, “Change is bad”.

Oh no I thought…I have to help him see change in a positive light…change is the only thing we know for sure will happen.  We have to get used to it.  We have to accept it.  It’s not bad…right?

Maybe he thinks it’s bad because I’m over here crying looking at baby pictures.  What have I done?

I specifically remember my mom talking to me about this.  Many times.  It’s an ending sure but it’s a beginning too…or it’s a beginning and it’s exciting and you are happy but the reason you are crying is because it’s an ending too…how many times over the years are we in that space…that in between…the ending and the beginning.

The sadness and the excitement…the saying good-bye and saying hello.  It doesn’t even matter how many times…I always weep at endings.

I remember once I was crying on the phone to my mom during the college years…I was distraught…things were changing…I just had a break up…I was down.  This is what she said to me…no joke…and it worked…”Honey, seriously, stop crying…wash your face, put on some lipstick, get a Diet Coke and Get out there.”

Diet Coke and lipstick…the cure all.

And now I’m the mom. I have to buck up and give the advice now.

Of course I can’t tell my son to put on lipstick.  What’s the equivalent for a boy?

And telling them to have a Diet Coke seems archaic like I didn’t get the memo…so do I say…have an organic green smoothie?  That doesn’t have the same ring to it.

How about this?

Change is part of life.  It’s difficult and it’s okay to cry.  When we cry, we know we are most alive because our heart is feeling things.  When we are sad to move on it means we have loved where we have been and that is a gift.  A treasure.  You are building your story and God is moving you along as you become who you are meant to be.  You take all of this with you.  All of the memories, the people, the experiences, the feelings, the knowledge, the wisdom…you are like a sponge and you absorb it all.  Things are changing yes and so are you – you are ready.  Be grateful. Take a minute.  Let the grateful tears fall…acknowledge that you are a little scared of something new…recognize that you were comfortable and that felt good.  But part of life is getting comfortable being uncomfortable.  Learning that you can do hard things.  Trusting that all will be well.  It’s time to move on now.  You do not go alone.  Dad and I are with you every step of the way.  And God is with you…he knows what you need and He can’t wait to give it to you.  Life is amazingly beautiful. Get out there.

Step joyfully into this new adventure

I will be stepping out with you…clapping and crying all the way.

graduation first step

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

Trust Without Borders

I can’t get enough of this song.

“Spirit, Lead me where my trust is without borders.”

Borders can be anything. They can be in our minds.  Limits we put on ourselves, lies we believe, fear we succumb to.  We can be telling ourselves old stories about where we can go and why  we must stay and how we can’t cross this or that line.  We may still be acting for others.  We may have walls of our own creation trapping us in and holding us hostage.  We may be fighting addictions and strongholds that have held us for decades or generations.  We may be warriors fighting battles in our minds and hearts every day.

Or we may be facing down giants like violence and death and war across actual, physical borders of enemy territory.  We may be the kind of warrior that puts on his or her boots and grabs a gun and fights for freedom and prays for safety.  The kind that carries a picture of loved ones and wears a dog tag and can’t sleep at night.  The kind that takes orders and stands tall and faces fears and dreams of coming home.  The one that has courage that we don’t always understand…passion and purpose and a rare kind of bravery…we are in awe…we see them in the airport and want to say something…we want to say, “thank you” and “you are brave” and “I appreciate you”.  Sometimes we approach them and they are humble and honored and grateful.  God has called them into a trust without borders and they have answered that call.

This song is for all of us.

But on Memorial Day, it’s especially for the warriors who fought valiantly for our freedom and lost their lives while doing so.  It’s for those who “called upon His name” and whose souls now “rest in His embrace”.

Thank you.