Tag Archives: joy

HELP! Tell your stories! #unleashoptimism

Friends, great Big YES on Instagram and Facebook will be running stories of hope and optimism. Please share yours!! Tag with #unleashoptimism and @greatbigyes and I will repost on Great Big YES! I know there are MANY amazing stories. They don’t have to be long or perfect just real. Why do you have hope?  Let’s talk about the good stuff! There is so much good in the world!  We can share stories of hope and possibility and faith and optimism. Please join me!  (If you want to just share a story in the comments or email me, I will format and share on social media (mom 🙂 ) also if you don’t understand what I’m talking about let me know and I’ll help you.  All you need is the story.

Where do you find hope? What lessons have you learned from your parents? What do you dream and hope for your kids? What are your favorite parts of this beautiful country? Did you have military family? Are you military? Who was your favorite teacher? What’s your greatest lesson learned? Why are you powerful?  Where do you find God? What brings you joy? What creative pursuits do you love? Why do you fly the flag? What’s your favorite poem? Who is your favorite American author? What American stories do you love? Where do you vacation in America? What do you remember about history and government being taught in school? What lights you up about our freedoms? What makes you happy? What are you grateful for? Who has helped you in your life?

I posted one of mine today on Instagram and Facebook:

 

Claim your freedom. Celebrate! Feeling so grateful for parents who told me I can do anything I want, be anything I want…no limits. And then they showed me what hard work looks like. They taught me manners and discipline and kindness. More than once it was said, “There’s no free lunch” and “be part of the solution” and “be grateful” and “be kind”. We laughed and celebrated and enjoyed each other. Because life is good and God is good and America is the best country on earth. My dad fought in World War 2 and he didn’t have time or patience for disrespect of flag or country. He was an intelligent, kind man who loved God and loved me completely. When I told him that I wanted to marry someone like him because he knew everything, he said “No, you want someone to marry you because YOU know everything.” I never felt limits or fear or anger. Just joy and humility and gratitude and possibility. I had a voice in my family. They believe(d) in me. This will never leave me. I will choose it every day. Darkness has no hold on me. I am the daughter of the King of Kings and the daughter of an earthly father who loved me well. I am free.  #unleashoptimism @greatbigyes

Love you people of light and goodness.  I believe in us. And in the US.

Nothing Good Gets Away

steinbeck

 

I just discovered this letter. It took my breath away. I had to share.

John Steinbeck wrote it to his son.  His son was at boarding school and had written to his father to tell him he was falling in love.

This is so beautiful and tender and true.

It brings tears to my eyes because I had a father that wrote letters to me.  My dad wrote me once a week when I was in college…his beautiful handwriting on thick paper folded neatly into a matching envelope.  Always addressed, “Dearest Susan” and always ending with, “Love, Your Father”. He was gentle and kind. I miss him.  I’m so grateful he was mine.

All of this has me thinking about the things we tell our kids.  The advice we give and the way we shape their views through our responses.  Oh Lord I pray for the right words to tell my kids. I hope that I have offered (and will offer!) words that will give hope and encourage.

Here’s the letter.  Enjoy.

New York

November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind.
The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable.

The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa

I know. Take a moment. Reread. NOTHING GOOD GETS AWAY.

I’d love to read your comments. What advice did your parents give you that encouraged you?

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

Sharing Light

image001 light bulb

Okay, it’s pretty clear that I love to read Christian books written by women.  I’ve been sharing them with you as I discover them.

I also love blogs and social media accounts that inspire and lead people to Christ.  Of course I would, it’s what I hope to do with mine.  But I’ve noticed a trend all over the internet.  It’s not new but I feel God nudging me to bring some light to it.

There’s a lot of whining.

I remember when everyone in college was watching “Thirtysomething” and my mom said to me, “Why are they all so whiney? They are healthy and beautiful and have great lives, what are they complaining about all the time and why would you want to watch it?”

Now my mom is a cheerful, “everything is fine” person and that’s not always the truth, is it? However, I get her point.

When we dwell on what’s wrong, we will be stuck in what’s wrong.

When we meditate and think about and talk about and read/write about the things that are right, then we will be more hopeful and content.

We must train our minds.

We must take every thought captive for Christ.

We have a rule in our house that a certain “news show” is not allowed.  The host sets out to make his viewers angry. Honestly, his montages about anything will have you believing the venom he is spewing in no time. Even the most critical “news” watcher can fall down a dark hole watching that guy. I just can’t. He’s not allowed. Bad for the soul.

I’m quoting my mom a lot lately but here’s another gem from her:  “Crap goes in, crap comes out”. Amen?

My point is this. If you want to be hopeful, you can’t focus on all the things that are wrong.

Any conversation between Christians should be hopeful.  We don’t get to believe and understand grace and the Good News and walk around fearful and depressed.  Sure, we can have moments of sadness, confusion, despair, anger…all of it.  Sure, we can discuss with our friends and seek to understand and share stories to help others but those stories don’t help others unless they have a promise of hope in them.  Right?

If you think there is no hope, you are wrong. Jesus is your hope.  We know how the story ends friends.  Even in your sadness and challenges and wilderness seasons, you can claim victory.

We have to be the people telling the story of victory.  We can be the voice that leads others to freedom.  We don’t have to pretend everything is perfect, we can be real and authentic and compassionate but at a certain point, we have to encourage faith and hope and the promises of God.

The world needs truth tellers and hope spreaders.  So many people are pontificating about what we need. They are planning all the ways we can save ourselves.  It’s not more of US we need, it’s more of GOD.

We will always fall short of the glory of God.  Always. We have problems today because we are sinners. We will always be sinners. The conversation will never change until we get that, repent and receive God’s grace.

Our books, our words, our posts, our shows, our culture, all of it reflects the status of our hearts.  There is a lot of darkness there.  We have been talking about and writing about the darkness for a long time.

It’s high time we see the light. And share it.

lady liberty

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