Tag Archives: Prayer

Wisdom and Dr. Maya


I have mentioned here many times that I am an Oprah fan.  Her show has taught me a lot.  I’ve heard some of the best advice on her show.   I have spoken this advice to myself internally over the years and I’ve shared it with others.

Oprah also has an “Oprah”.  Her name is Dr. Maya Angleou.  You know her.  You’ve heard of her books, read her poetry, seen her speak at Presidential Inaugerations, and seen her on the Oprah show.

Two bits of wisdom that Oprah has shared from Maya that stick with me and will never leave me are:

  1. When people show you who they are, believe them.
  2. When you are in the midst of pain and fear and complaining and worrying and whining…stop…stop and say thank you.


That is some serious wisdom people.

If we lived by those two things, we could live in joy and gratitude. Am I right?

Today I watched Maya do it again.  She is 85 and she was being interviewed on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  She said this:

I am a child of God. It is through Him that I live and move and have my being.  When I know this…I am unstoppable.  When I forget this, I am in danger and I am dangerous.

Go ahead, read it again.

I know, right?

She is soooooo good.

Every time I screw up, every time I lash out, every time have been unkind, it is because I am not operating from this thing I know.  I KNOW I am a child of God. It is in Him that I live and move and have my being. This line comes from Acts 17:28 in the Bible so we have heard it before but I also love the part she added about when we forget, we are in danger and dangerous.  So true.

So my prayer moving forward is this:  Lord, help me to remember who I AM.  Help me to stay connected to you, my source and my strength.  Help me to get out of my own way.  Quiet the voices of competition and striving and accomplishments and lies and betrayals and assumptions and gossip and fear.  Quiet the noise.  Put your loving hand over my ears when I need to not hear.  Put your loving hands over my eyes when I am heading toward seeing what I don’t need to see.  And Lord, PLEASE put your hand over my mouth when I’m about to spew anger and judgment and gossip and slander and nastiness.  Yes, cover up my mouth and protect me.  Keep me safe by shutting me up.  As you know, there are times when this will be a tall order.  However, I know you are up to the task.  Thank you. Amen.

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved       *picture from Pinterest


It’s Good To Be Friends


I picked up my son from Religious Education class (that sounds really formal but here are the other choices…CCD, YC, Sunday school (but not on a Sunday), RE, Catechism…you get the point…no one knows what we are even talking about anymore!)

He gets in the car and hands me this:

friends with god new format

The question is “What is the most important thing you have learned about prayer in your life so far?”  So I asked him what his answer is (we may need to work on sentence structure and punctuation) and he said, “It (prayer) is good to do to be friends with God.”



It was about 7:30 pm when this happened and all I could think was that I better get to bed quick on this MOUNTAINTOP MOMENT OF MOTHERHOOD so we can call the day a major success!  Let’s not tempt fate…in fact, I came home and announced I was going to bed, rushing past my other two children who let’s be honest, at this point seemed like heathens compared to my son…no sense in risking a major turn around…who knows, there could be fighting, doubting, shouting, sassing, demanding…we have tomorrow for that.  This night was about my little guy and his KNOWING that prayer is the pathway to friendship with God.

I shouldn’t be surprised.  Kids know it.  Kids feel Him everywhere.  Kids sense that  friendship with God is there for the taking…freely offered…open hands…open hearts…stunning love in its purest form. They get it.

When is it exactly that we stop “getting this” as adults?

We make it so difficult.

I read this today and wept.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”                      Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

That’s the invitation.  He offers Freedom. Rest. Grace. Friendship.

What do you say?  Are you in?

It’s good to be friends with God.

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





Hope for the Pope

When I was out to lunch on Wednesday and my mom texted me in capitals…THERE IS A NEW POPE!!  I was just like everyone else.  Clueless.  I hadn’t been paying much attention.  But I have to say, I felt very excited and giddy as I was driving home really fast to see who this new Pope would be.  Friends were calling and I had a couple shivery moments.  I had hope.  Here’s why…

I believe in second chances.  And third and fourth.  There is no doubt, my church is damaged.  My church is broken.  My church is hurting.  We are in a time of transition and reconciliation and down on our knees humility.  There has been sin and shame and cover up and we have hung our heads low.  There has been disgust and disgrace and dishonor and moments of “That is so awful, I can’t even believe it’s true.”  Unspeakable sin has occurred and it haunts us.  People have left and people still leave and some people stay.  But even those that stay are not the same.  Things have changed and they must.

I know from my life and from my faith that when I am hurting, when I am deep down confused and unsure and broken…Jesus shows up.  I have to invite Him in.  But when I do, He is there.  The hurt and brokenness aren’t gone, they do not vanish, I am not the same as I once was…but He is.  And He shows me light.  He saves me.  Not once, not twice, but again and again.

He knows that I’m a sinner.  He knows that I am one step away from messing up again. He knows that we all are sinners.  That’s why He came.  And that’s why we still call on Him.

I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about the new Pope.  I’m reading along with the rest of you and watching and hoping.  He has a reputation for being humble and word on the street is that he doesn’t walk around acting like a pompous jerk.  So that’s good.  There are many illustrations of his kindness and humility.  I like that he rides the bus.

pope  bus

I know this is kind of hard to see but that’s the Pope in white.  Can you imagine?  All the other guys are thinking, “If I was him, I’d be in the limo!” I love this!  He’s so cute!

I’m picturing them singing…”What if God was one of us?  Just a stranger on the bus…trying to make his way home…” (I KNOW he’s not God but that song came to mind!) or as others have suggested, maybe  99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall…who knows?  It looks fun.  As first impressions go, I like him.  I have hope.  It feels like a good moment for the church and for our future.

I LOVE that he picked Francis as his name.  I see this as a very good sign.  St. Francis of Assisi is one of everyone’s favorite saints.   I wear a bracelet that has the prayer of St. Francis on it every day.

My prayer of St. Francis bracelet!

My prayer of St. Francis bracelet!

For those of you who don’t know the prayer, here it is:

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury,pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


AMEN, right??!!  Isn’t that SO AWESOME?!

I hope you will join me in praying for the new Pope…even if you are not Catholic…even if you watch all of this pageantry with more than a little skepticism.  If you are one of the people that has walked away from the faith, if you really don’t care or don’t think it matters, if you are one of the people that has doubted and criticized and judged and condemned, if you think everything I’m saying is a total crock, if you don’t know what you believe, if your faith is shaken to its core, if you are afraid…it’s okay…pray anyway.

Remember what I said earlier about Jesus being with us when we are broken?  He never leaves.  He knows our hearts.  He understands.  Let’s pray that this is His way of giving us a new start…a new hope…a new beginning.

Let’s trust Him.

©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo from www.patheos.com