Tag Archives: lift up

The Prayer Project

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I love people.

Thanks for all of you who have sent prayers.  They are beautiful.  You are beautiful.  Your faith is extraordinary.  Thank you for the genuine pleas for grace and help and for trusting that God is that powerful.

Let’s ramp it up.  I’m feeling a Holy Spirit movement here.  If you haven’t sent a prayer yet, please do.

I’ve made it easier!  See the words at the top of the screen under the pretty winter picture?

See where it says Prayer Request?

Okay, click on that and you can put in a prayer request.  You can do it anonymously!  When it asks your name, leave it blank.  When it asks your email, leave it blank.  Or if you prefer, you can put your email and you will receive notifications that others have prayed your prayer too!!

Seriously.  God and the Holy Spirit are in the computer!  They are everywhere!  We are part of a really cool thing – using technology for GOOD.  Using the computer for GRACE.  It’s too much it’s SO AWESOME!

You know when you go to Google something and you are so surprised that someone else has Googled that exact same question even though it seems so obscure and kind of out there?  I love that.  It makes me feel like I’m less silly and weird.

Imagine how I felt when I looked into the blog platform to see if I could link up some prayer requests and there were several ways to do it?  Imagine.  LOTS of people asking for this.  LOTS of creators creating this good, beautiful, faithful, sharing way to be.  It’s like a movement for Grace.  Right in there with all the other stuff on the internet.

Please join in. If you prefer to send an email, that’s good too.  I told the people that I know in town to feel free to drop prayers in my mail box any time as well.  🙂

I don’t know what we should call it.  The Prayer Project?  The Prayer Revolution?  Grace from the keyboard?  Moms who pray together feel less alone?  Moms who realize others have the same concerns suddenly don’t feel so overwhelmed?  Typing for Grace?  Who knows? Any ideas?  I feel like t-shirts and bumper stickers may be in our future.

Please join us.

I was listening to the radio and I heard a speaker talk about when he dropped his daughter off at college.  He said he was crying so hard, he couldn’t even pray for her (he’s a preacher!).  She had to pray for herself!

It made me think of all the moms out there that are crying so hard they can’t pray.  They are tired and weary and scared and lonely and they don’t have the words to even ask for help.  We have to pray for them.  We can be the voice that storms the heavens on their behalf.  We need each other.  Let’s pray for those moms.  Think about it, write it up, share it.

If you are feeling like singing that song, “It’s me, It’s me, It’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Then by all means, pray for yourself.  If you know a friend in need, pray for them.  Pray for babies and young kids and old kids and grandkids, pray for husbands and friends and preachers and leaders. Just do it.  Share your prayer.

When we put it out there to God and we lift up our voices with the expectation and trust that He hears us…well, at that point, it is in His hands and miracles will happen.

Think of the story in the Bible about the friends asking Jesus for help for their paralyzed friend.   (The underlines are mine- you know how I like to POINT THINGS OUT.)

The Help of Friends – Luke 5:17-20

One day Jesus was teaching the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there too. They had come from every town in Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. The Lord (God) was giving Jesus the power to heal people. There was a man that was paralyzed (crippled). Some men carried him on a mat. The men tried to bring him and put him down before Jesus. But there were so many people that the men could not find a way to Jesus. So the men went up on the roof and lowered the crippled man down through a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat {into the room} so that the crippled man was lying before Jesus. Jesus saw that these men believed. Jesus said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Jewish teachers of the law and the Pharisees thought to themselves, “Who is this man (Jesus)? He is saying things that are against God! Only God can forgive sins.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, “Why do you have these questions in your minds? The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ {No one could see if it really happened.} But what if I say to the man, ‘Stand up and walk’? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!” Then the man stood up before the people there. He picked up his mat and walked home, praising God. All the people were fully amazed. They began to praise God. The people were filled with much respect {for God’s power}. They said, “Today we saw amazing things!”

 — Luke 5:17-26 (ERV)

They didn’t say, “This is too hard” or “We can’t get in”…they LOWERED HIM DOWN THROUGH A HOLE IN THE CEILING!

If they can do that, we can lift our babies and our toddlers and our teenagers and our grown children up in prayer.  We can hold our sisters and mothers and friends and daughters and sons up to Jesus and say, “Help them, love them, protect them.”  We can be voices for women who can’t get out of bed today.  We can literally hold them up in prayer until they can “walk again”.  We can create that space for them to rest and be weak because we know our God is strong…we can carry them to Jesus.

I love the verse in the passage above that says…Jesus saw that these men believed.

Let’s show Him we believe too.

Let’s Pray.

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©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo in bedroom from http://spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com/post/9761497268/www-getoutthebox-org
picture of “pray key” from Pinterest

Lessons and Laughs from our Dads

You can do it… “I’ve gotcha”

Thank you all so much for your comments and stories about your dads! I laughed, I cried, I remembered.

Many of you talked about your dad’s sense of humor, saying, “He loved to laugh” or “Sarcasm was his strong suit”. Another reader shared, “My dad is funny and taught me the power of laughter. Once in intensive care and fighting for his life, he insisted on being funny for the nurses and family”.

One friend remembers her dad commenting, “You couldn’t put a down payment on a free lunch.”

Many remembered their dad’s good advice. “Life is precious”, you have to have “balance”, “keep reaching, and “keep the faith”. Some remembered their fathers as “firm but fair”.

There were many comments about being blessed to have our fathers and feeling lucky if our dad is still around.

Many said “he was a great man” or “I miss him”. Some said they miss “his wonderful hugs”. One reader wrote, “The best thing my dad said to me is “I am so proud of you!””

I loved this comment about the high school years. “I was being grilled about the previous night’s activities or a friend he didn’t think was a good influence. He would ask a straight forward simple question. After I answered his question with “I don’t know”, he would raise his voice with exasperation and say,” Well, who should I ask?” This usually lightened the mood and maybe even got a chuckle out of both of us!”

I love the practical advice. “You can win a game on free throws” and “You can’t get lost in Chicago, it’s a grid”. This one makes me laugh because it’s something my husband would say, probably when I am actually lost in Chicago and calling him for help. One friend’s father sat him down to have the “sex” talk and said, “There’s a lot of bad shit out there.” (That’s it, end of story.)

Many fathers said, “The older you get, the smarter your parents get” which is so true. One dad told his daughters to use their heads “for more than a hat rack” and “don’t take yourself too seriously”.

Another good piece of advice, “There is nothing out but trouble after 12 am so be home by midnight Cinderella”. I especially love that he added the “Cinderella”. Many dads had nicknames for their kids. My friend Maggie remembers her dad greeting her with, “What’s your story, morning glory?”

My dad loved to answer with a little quip. When we were out to lunch and someone mentioned a tip, my dad would say, “I’ll give you a tip. Stay out of jail.” One reader commented that when someone would say “Have a good day”, her dad would answer, “I always have a good day, can’t stand the other kind.”

It never failed for us when we were at a restaurant. My dad would get the bill and say, “Whoa…did somebody break a window?”

My friend said her dad would tell her, “I’m going to Minnie’s room to watch the parade” which now she realizes meant he was going to a bar with the guys.

One reader shared that her dad is battling pancreatic cancer yet he continues to fight with humor and grace. She said this has given her a lot of time to think about what he has taught her. Here are some of the lessons she shared: Perspective — as kids, when we were whining he would cut us off with “that is the saddest story I have ever heard”. I find myself using on my kids. Keep it in perspective! Being impressed by hard work — my dad gets choked up by a success of a new restaurant or story in the newspaper. Loyalty — my dad has always been there for me. Always. You are there for others. Humility — though brilliant and “well known” in his field you wouldn’t know it as Dad doesn’t brag of his successes, he makes others feel comfortable. Support — my dad is my biggest fan. That is a great feeling and allows me the courage to move ahead.

I was especially moved by stories about how much dads loved their wives (our moms). It is a real blessing to see this as a child. One friend commented that her dad would always say, “I love that woman” referring to his wife. They were married 49 years before he passed.

Love is the general theme here and of course, laughter too. We don’t always remember the exact words but we remember the feeling. We remember the smiles, the twinkling eyes and the hugs. I remember the feeling of knowing that my dad loved me no matter what happened. There was someone who would always be on my side, rooting for me, cheering me on, and telling me I was beautiful and smart and worthy.

My dad had many great lines including, “Don’t let anyone else spoil your good time”. I loved his simplicity. If I was throwing a temper tantrum about something, he would look at me and say, “Get serious”. Or before Sunday school each week he would ask me very seriously, “Who made the world?” and I would have to answer, “God made the world”.

Simple stuff…yet profound.

Thanks to all the dads out there. To all the dads that are in the midst of the diapers and strollers and bottles and sleepness nights…what you say matters, what you do matters. To all the dads out there in the middle of grade school and homework and sports and coaching…what you say matters, what you do matters. To all you dads in the middle of middle school and high school and hormones and battles and disciplining and wondering and fearing and hoping and praying…what you say matters, what you do matters. To all you dads out there with grown up kids who are dealing with joys and disappointments and college and jobs and marriages and grandkids…what you say matters, what you do matters. Because we never get too old for our dads.

You “lift us up” when we are young and you continue to lift us up as we grow.

I think my favorite thing my dad said was his answer to me when I would tell him I loved him. I would say, “I love you Dad” and he would answer, “I love you MORE.”

What a gift. Thanks Dad.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

The Puzzle

In the world to come I shall not be asked, “Why were you not Moses?” I shall be asked,
“Why were you not Zusya?”
-Rabbi Zusya
 

I must be the best Sue I can be. 

You must be the best YOU can be.

We are not the same.  We are not in a competition.  In fact, you are not in competition with anyone.  You are trying to be the best you and everyone is on your side. When I say everyone, I mean all people, the Universe, God…everyone. 

It doesn’t always feel that way, huh? 

The Bible tells us:

If God is for us, who can be against us?  – Romans 8:31

Even if we know that God is on our side and believe it in our hearts, we may have a more difficult time feeling that all people are on our side.  Why is this?  Have we seen otherwise?  Have we felt others competitive spirits?  Have we ourselves experienced moments of jealousy and envy and feelings of inadequacy? How can we change this?

We must, if we long to see a better world, encourage and uplift each other.  We must demand the best from each other and when we see our friends slipping into self doubt, we must remind them of their gifts.  I am indebted to the people who have done that for me. 

So, how to be the best we can be?  Help each other.  Compliment each other.  Search for the gifts of our friends and tell them.  Encourage our friends to shoot for the moon, to go for it, to be all they can be.  Not in the way of putting more pressure on them to achieve more but allowing them to become more of who they are.  Listen to our friends and family members, listen to their words so we can understand their hearts and then honor them.  Each person is a flower and we as friends and co-workers and earth sharers, can be the sunshine and nourishment they need. 

We should look at life as a puzzle.  We are a piece and each person is another piece.  God is the puzzle maker and He wants us to find a way to put it all together but some of the pieces are not formed yet.  We take on our pre destined shape when we grow into who we are meant to be.  When that happens, the puzzle can be completed.  We can know comfort, peace, joy.  Looking at it that way, we are all a team.  We have to encourage each other to grow into our complete selves so we can all live in harmony.  It’s not all about me or you.  It’s about US. 

We change, we grow, we strive, we learn, we connect and then hopefully, we settle into who we were meant to be.  We become ourselves.  When we are trying to make ourselves fit into a space that isn’t ours, it doesn’t work.  Just like when we are completing a puzzle, we can’t “make” the pieces fit.  When we find ourselves, we have that feeling of recognition.  We are comfortable, it feels right.  We fit.  It is then we can step back and look at the big picture and appreciate how it all works together.  All the different, unique pieces working together to make one amazing image.  Isn’t it beautiful?