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The Magnolia Story

Major Announcement for all of you who are not following me on social media! (Mom)

I am so excited to be a part of the:

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Y’all.  For real. We are called the Shiplappers.  I love this so much. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, tune into the show, Fixer Upper, on HGTV.  Do a push up every time someone says Shiplap. 🙂

The darling Chip and Joanna Gaines have written a book, The Magnolia Story,  and I get to help spread the word and give some sneak peeks.  However, I’m challenged on my blog skills and I can’t figure out how to sneak peek over here on the blog.  For that reason, you must join me on Facebook (@GreatBigYES) and/or Instagram (@suebidstrup) and/or Twitter (@greatbigyes) to get all the good stuff.  Mom…I know.  Don’t worry.  I will send you a link in email.

If you don’t know them, Chip and JoJo (we’re best friends now) find houses for people and redesign and remodel and redecorate them.  I want to live in every single one. Gorgeous.

But my favorite thing about them is the way they love each other.  They laugh and are silly and have so much joy in their lives.  Guess what? They LOVE JESUS! So, while I’m excited about shiplap and silos and the farm and Waco and all the things…I’m most excited about the way they love the Lord and each other.  It’s an honor to help share their story.

Here’s an intro:

©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

Hi Feet! It’s Hands!

It has been awhile since I’ve posted here.  There are so many amazing things happening! I’m all over the place so this is going to be long.  Go ahead and get your coffee.  I’ll wait while you do what you need to do to hunker down and spend some time here.  🙂 I’ve missed all of you!

If you are not following Great Big YES on Facebook or following me on Instagram (@suebidstrup) then maybe you have not seen all the fun yoga that is going on over there.  Please take a look and follow me! Our Holy Yoga community is having a Peace on Purpose challenge for January – we are showing a new pose every day!  I’m trying poses I’ve never done before! I’d love to see your pictures too – remember to use #peaceonpurpose.

I just chuckled to myself thinking my mom is reading that last paragraph as if it’s in another language and thinking, “What are you talking about?!?!” #whattheheckisahashtag

I saw this on Facebook and laughed out loud.  Not at you mom, with you…we are all learning and our babies are teaching us!

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Here are some yoga pictures from Instagram in case you are not on social media.  Join the holy yoga community at @holyyogaministries.

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On the note of being all over the place…I’ve been thinking about all of our different personalities and how God really knows what He’s doing.  My son was telling me the other day how he doesn’t like things loud and crazy, he likes to be chill and hang out with one or two friends at a time, he doesn’t like big parties.  This is confusing to me. He doesn’t like big parties? WHY? I love big parties! But since he’s my third child, I am beginning to be a little bit (a wee little bit) wiser and I realize that hey, guess what? MY KIDS AREN’T ME!!! They are their own people! My job is to love them.  Not to try to make them into something they are not.  God doesn’t make mistakes! He gifted us with everything that we are and each and every one of us is a beautiful and necessary part of His plan.

This brings us to our different roles in the body of Christ.  We are all so uniquely and wonderfully made.  But sometimes, truth be told, we don’t love how we are made.  We might be the hands but we wish we were the feet.  We might have gifts that we don’t fully embrace because we are too busy looking over at the people who have the gifts we wish we had. You know what I mean?

Let’s start with the Word.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 

The Message (MSG)

You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.

 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”:

apostles
prophets
teachers
miracle workers
healers
helpers
organizers
those who pray in tongues.

But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts.

But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.

AMEN?!?!

There’s a BETTER WAY!

We should walk around saying, “Hi Feet! It’s hands!  I’m so glad we get to do this thing called life together today!  I appreciate you walking me around! How can I help you today? Let’s get this party (not necessarily a big party but a celebration that we both find comfortable) started!”

I especially love this line: If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 

Who are you in the Body of Christ?

Take some time today to think about your gifts and then embrace who God made you to be.

The world needs you.

©Sue Bidstrup 2014 Great Big Yes ™ All Rights Reserved

If you are in the LaGrange area and want to join me next weekend, I’ll be speaking at the St. Francis of Xavier Catholic Women’s Club luncheon. What an honor! Can’t wait! Here’s the invitation.

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Bold Love

If you follow Great Big Yes on social media – Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – you know that I am participating in a Holy Yoga photo a day challenge.  Each day of the month has a topic and each person posts a picture for that day with #hyphotoaday. It’s fun! So today’s topic is “Calling”.

Being the good rule follower that I am, and reverting back to my Sunday school days when priests would talk about “calling” as this ominous, kind of threatening thing…I immediately went to “What does God want from me?”  What is it that I am supposed to do…perform…achieve…make happen?  What is God calling me to do? Along with that comes the fear, Oh my gosh…what if I don’t do it?  What if I fail?

Then I read this in the Bible.  This is the verse that keeps coming up for me.

I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens.  When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.  Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit.  For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything.  What matters is something far more interior: Faith expressed in love.   -Galatians 5:4-6 (Message)

This reminded me.  I am called to LOVE.

I decided to post this for the challenge:

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Because let’s be honest.  It takes boldness to love.

I’m not talking about the boldness that comes off as brash and know it all.  I’m not talking about the kind of bold that separates people.

God’s kind of bold is about loving.  It’s about being different…unique…standing out.  God’s love reaches out to others.  To love in this way takes courage. This boldness is about vulnerability and authenticity.

In today’s world, when we love like this, we are different. To truly love we must put aside ego and expectation and performance and judgment and grudges and past hurts.  That’s difficult.

But we are not alone.  God doesn’t ask us to do something and leave us.  He equips us.  He walks with us.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV) –Joshua 1:9

What is so exciting about this is that we are all in this together.  Everyone is called to love.

No matter where we are or who we are or what we do for a living…It’s all sacred space filled with sacred people trying to live out their sacred calling.

©Sue Bidstrup, 2013 Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved