Tag Archives: Pain

Blinking Lights on the Dashboard

blinking lights photo

Yesterday was a bad day.  Emotionally. Spiritually. I felt heavy and burdened but I knew I was doing the burdening to myself. My mind was creating pain. So on top of feeling like crap, I felt guilty for feeling that way so I just decided to watch the Housewives of New York City reunion and eat popcorn. I’m pretty sure they call that numbing.

This morning I was up early because I had to take people places and then take my car in to be looked at.  The engine light had been on for weeks, maybe months, and I had been ignoring it.  I just kept driving, turning the music up louder so I couldn’t hear the “ding” of the dashboard as the blinking light warned me of impending doom.

What a metaphor, eh?  I was even numbing the pain of my car.

So, there I was this morning…facing the blinking light.  I took my car into the dealer and waited.  I knew I would be in the waiting room for awhile and realized there were no magazines.  The news was on and I watched for a few minutes but then got bored and depressed and frankly, rather annoyed they were reporting on the Justin Beiber/Orlando Bloom fight that took place while Lindsay Lohan and some others were watching.  I started thinking, “This is news? There are real problems in the world!” And then I realized I need to cut the news people some slack, they are numbing too.  And their audiences are begging to be numbed.  We all need a break from what is actually going on I guess.

Anyway, I have Kindle on my phone and many months ago (maybe a year ago?) I had downloaded, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  I love Donald Miller.  For some reason, I had never read this book.

God had saved it for today. He knew I needed it. Today.

I had never started the book.  It was just waiting there on my Kindle.  But when I clicked it, it took me to Chapter 18.  Normally I would click back and start at the beginning.  It’s just not like me to start in the middle of a book.  I’m the person who has to finish all books even if I hate them in the first Chapter.  I’m organized with my reading.  I like to go in order and finish what I start, etc.  That’s why this was for sure a God’s timing thing.

I’ve learned that God’s timing things are a gift.  The best kind of gift.  So, I just started reading right there in Chapter 18.

“It is always the simple things that change our lives.  And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.  Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so.  You feel like running, but life is on a stroll.  This is how God does things.” 

That was the first passage I highlighted.  There is so much more in the book that resonated with me.  I came home and finished the entire book today. I laughed, I cried. I felt understood. You know?

I guess I’m telling you this because I’m better today.  And because I cried in the waiting room at the car repair shop and I feel like that needs to be noted.  I didn’t bawl like a baby but there were some Holy Spirit tears.   There was a part in the book where he was writing about how we all come to a point in life where we have to face ourselves.  He says, “The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”  I was thinking, “Oh my gosh, you mean I’m not alone in this?  You have a needy beast in you too?”  He was getting at what I was struggling with…What are my motives? Why do I do what I do? Why do the same things keep coming up for me? What is God showing me?

God is doing a work in me.  I think when we decide to follow Him, we let Him speak into our lives and He transforms us.  It’s not immediate and sometimes it’s not fun but if we are open to it, He will use everything and anything to get to our hearts and help us see who we really are and then He will help us to become more like Him.  I mean, He will use anything…books, people, music, radio, internet, nature…even blinking lights on the dashboard.

Isn’t it pretty cool that God gives us what we need when we need it? I guess I was supposed to ignore the blinking light until today.  Because God had something to show me on my Kindle.  And today was the day I was ready to see it.

Timing is everything.

 

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

 

 

Pounding Fists and Dancing Feet

So, my birthday came and went. I turned 45. Just throwing the number out there…not because it means anything but so you have a point of reference.  I have never really cared about age.  Ever since I was 28, I just kind of stayed 28 in my mind.  To help this perpetual 28 year old-ness, I try not to look in the mirror too much.  I’m just saying, it can be shocking to your 28 year old insides to see your 45 year old outsides.

I felt a little sad this year.  I’m not going to lie. I felt a little, shall we say, melancholy.  I looked up melancholy in the dictionary because I’ve always loved that word.  It says:  soberly thoughtful; pensive and it also says sad and mournful and depressed which is not what I was feeling.  I’ve always appreciated the word because to me, it described the feeling we sometimes have of being  a mixture of happy and sad. I was feeling that mixture of happy and sad.  Like when I used to swing on my swing in the backyard and I would lay on my stomach to feel that feeling you get when you are excited but yet feel like crying.  I would do this on purpose.  I’ve always sort of enjoyed the melancholy.

I guess the thing that really got to me this year is that it was a year of transformation for me.  A year of freedom and joy and renewed passion and purpose.

And what this says to me is that GOD CAN DO ANYTHING AT ANY TIME NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE.

Amen?

On Good Friday, I taught a Holy Yoga class.  It was my regular Holy Yoga class time but it was Good Friday so that changes everything.  I woke up and I felt God calling me to PREACH IT.  I felt this overwhelming need to get on my knees and thank Him for His sacrifice.  I couldn’t even stand it people.  I was bawling reading scripture that morning.  I was newly taken with the story I have known forever.  I was nearer and closer to Jesus because I LET HIM IN this year.

He didn’t change.  But He changed me.

So, little beknownst to me (is that a word?) my awesome friend and owner of the home where I teach Holy Yoga, Eileen,  planned a surprise for me by making sure a lot of people could make it to class and stay for coffee afterwards to celebrate my birthday and my one year Holy Yoga anniversary.  I mean. Oh my gosh. Each person that came into the room just blew me away.  There was this keen awareness of how blessedly important every person in my life is.  How each one of these lovely women has ministered to me, has fed my soul, has nourished me and supported me and given me strength.  I mean, it was almost too much.  My spidey senses were up and I already told you I felt like preaching and tears were flowing freely so you know what happened next.  What happened next had nothing to do with me…it was like we rolled out our mats and created space and let God do His thing and…

Holy yoga was HOLY.

I was pounding the floor talking about IT IS FINISHED.  We were LAYING IT DOWN AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.

You know, I don’t really give a hoot about denomination.  I think God weeps at the way we separate ourselves along man made lines and judge each other.  I think it’s nuts.  But I have to bring it up in this regard.  It’s funny because every single person in the room – I’d say there were about 16 or 17 people- every one of us was raised Catholic.  Now I only mention this because there are a few things the Catholics do like nobody else in my opinion.

One: Funerals.  Two: Good Friday.

I mean, we can mourn and weep and feel loss and regret like nobody’s business.

We can SUFFER.

Now usually, I like to focus on the happy and the positive and the hopeful.  My mom, who was not raised Catholic used to ask not so subtly, “Why all of this emphasis on the crucifixion? It’s all about the Resurrection.” And I get that, I do.  I’m a resurrection girl for sure. But we can’t have Sunday without Friday.  Amen?

I have no idea what I said during that Holy Yoga class but I know it was from my heart and my heart was feeling the Holy Spirit that day.  It was the end of the birthday week, the melancholy, the pensiveness. I was laying it down.

When I think about it, it makes perfect sense.  I had an AHA moment.  His Death and Resurrection reminded me of my own.  Of my many.

This is a holy practice, right?  To not rush to Easter Sunday.  To sit on Friday in the pain and pound our fists and weep and mourn and remember.  And then to sit on Saturday and wait.  To have nothing happen.  To be bored and wander around not knowing what’s coming.  To wonder.

Our need to rush to Sunday kind of stunts us.  It denies us the feeling we need to feel…that death and birth are painful.  They are transformational…but we have to let ourselves experience them in their entirety without sugar coating or rushing it along.

I don’t have to make it “all good” all the time.  Not for me, not for my friends, not for my kids.  It is what it is.  Happy and sad.  New and old.  28 and 45.  Death and Resurrection.  Sorrow and Joy. Pounding fists and dancing feet.  There is love in both and all and every.

 

HY celebration photo

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

 

 

 

 

Shaking My Can on the Corner

I know, it doesn’t sound pretty.

What I mean is that I was “shaking a can” for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on the corner this morning.  It was amazing.

I saw a lot of volunteers standing in the rain to help!

I witnessed generosity in spades.

There were lots of people saying, “God Bless!” which of course, I loved and immediately responded with “GOD BLESS YOU TOO”.  I think that’s one of the nicest things you can say to someone.  We all need to be blessed.

I saw kids reaching out their hands from the back seat with coins to share.

I met people who shared their stories of loved ones lost to this terrible disease.

There was a woman who came back around in her car after she went home to get more money.

I saw a priest who stopped to contribute and told me a story about a fellow priest who suffered from ALS.

There were Mercedes and beat up cars and Cadillacs and delivery trucks and motorcycles and teenagers learning to drive.  There were people with dogs and families together and babies in back.  There were older couples.  There were people dressed up and people who were sweaty coming straight from a work out.  There were women who just finished running a race for breast cancer.

A hospice nurse stopped to tell me to check out her bumper sticker which said “Stamp out  ALS”.  Her eyes were so kind and I got the feeling she knew this disease intimately.  I thanked her for what she does every day…hospice nurses are angels.

It choked me up.

I got a glimpse today.  I got a glimpse of goodness.  Actually, I feel like I got a gallon of goodness.  What a blessing.

This disease is bad.  Do what you can to help. Give. Pray. Smile at people who are on the corner shaking their can.  Even if you don’t give money, look  up and make eye contact, wave and acknowledge.  There are people in pain.  There is suffering.

But in the midst of suffering, there is grace.

We are in this together.  Thank God.

To all the moms out there – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.  Thank you for your love and your healing and your smiles and your warm cozy hugs.  Thank you for dancing in the kitchen and picking us up at 3 am.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for advocating for us.  Thank you for running out to Walgreen’s late at night because we forgot we needed posterboard.  Thank you for your wisdom.  Thank you for your understanding.  Thank you for holding our hair back when we puke and for wiping our tears.  Thank you for changing our diapers and feeding us and feeding us and feeding us.  Thank you for listening. Thank you for sweeping and cleaning and shoveling and planting and decorating.  Thank you for sharing your faith and your knowledge and your hope and your dreams.  Thank you for your courage.

This is big.  Because when you got into this thing called motherhood, maybe you didn’t know what it was.  Nobody told you because nobody could.  It’s different for all of us.  It’s joy and it’s laughter and it’s pain and it’s worry and it’s fear.  Deep down fear.  Fear of failure and fear of our babies not being safe.  But it’s faith too.  It’s faith in something bigger and something better and something really real.  It’s faith in LOVE.  It’s faith that when we share our love, we create something beautiful.  We share, then our kids share and then the world shares and we are all so much brighter.

Thank you to all the moms.  Mine, yours, you, me, everyone.  Here’s a poem I received when I was awaiting the arrival of my first baby.  Oh man…it kills me.

BABY ASKS GOD, “THEY TELL ME YOU ARE SENDING ME TO EARTH TOMMORROW,  BUT HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE THERE BEING SO SMALL AND HELPLESS?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.”
THE CHILD FURTHER INQUIRED, “BUT TELL ME, HERE IN HEAVEN I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING BUT SING AND SMILE TO BE HAPPY.”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL SING FOR YOU AND WILL ALSO SMILE FOR YOU.” AND YOU WILL FEEL YOUR ANGEL’S LOVE AND BE VERY HAPPY.”
AGAIN THE CHILD ASKED, “AND HOW AM I GOING TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHEN PEOPLE TALK TO ME IF I DON’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL TELL YOU THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND SWEET WORDS YOU WILL EVER HEAR, AND WITH MUCH PATIENCE AND CARE, YOUR ANGEL WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO SPEAK.”
“AND WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WHEN I WANT TO TALK TO YOU?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL PLACE YOUR HANDS TOGETHER AND TEACH YOU HOW TO PRAY.”
“WHO WILL PROTECT ME?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL PROTECT YOU EVEN IF IT MEANS RISKING HER LIFE.”
“BUT I WILL ALWAYS BE SAD BECAUSE I WILL NOT SEE YOU ANYMORE.”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL ALWAYS TALK TO YOU ABOUT ME AND WILL TEACH YOU THE WAY TO COME BACK TO ME, EVEN THOUGH I WILL ALWAYS BE NEXT TO YOU.”
 AT THAT MOMENT THERE WAS MUCH PEACE IN HEAVEN, BUT VOICES FROM EARTH COULD BE HEARD AND THE CHILD HURRIEDLY ASKED, “GOD, IF I AM TO LEAVE NOW, PLEASE TELL ME MY ANGELS NAME.”
 GOD SAID, YOU WILL SIMPLY CALL HER, “MOM.”

Angels indeed.   Enjoy your day Moms!

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