Tag Archives: prayer

Receiving and Giving

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Three is the magic number.

My son asked me the other day why three is the magic number and I said  “Because of the trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  The rest of my family came up with a bunch of other reasons so we decided it’s the magic number because Schoolhouse Rock said it is.   

I have three things I’m celebrating in the next couple weeks.

1. It’s my Birthday

2. It’s Easter

3. It’s my one year anniversary of becoming a Holy Yoga instructor

Now alone…each of these things is amazing and exciting.  But together…I mean…I’m giddy over here.  And also, it’s Spring and sunny and warm today and my kids (and me and the dog) will hopefully get out of the house.  Yay!

I am so grateful for all of the things on the list.  I want to do something special to celebrate!

What are we celebrating?  Let’s think about each of the things on the list above:

1.  The gift of LIFE

2. The gift of JESUS and His saving GRACE

3. OH MY GOSH LET ME TELL YOU!

So we are born, right?  And then we live and we struggle and we grow and we learn and somewhere along the way, someone tells us about God and Jesus and HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED.  That we are His BELOVED. Which is incredible because we don’t have to do anything accept allow ourselves to BE – LOVED.  Which is the best news ever! And sometimes we remember and other times we toss it all aside and we make mistakes and we reject God and we doubt and we fear and we struggle.

And then, God willing, we get a “shot in the arm” when God brings us someone new, something different, a new way of seeing to renew our  faith and our hope and our dreams and our KNOWING HOW MUCH WE ARE LOVED.  He reminds us that we can BE-LOVED and He asks us to  open our hearts to Receive. He reignites our passion for goodness and truth and He shows us the way.  Again. And Again. And again.

Because it’s not a straight line…it’s curvy and bumpy and it has stop signs and detour signs and we get lost.  Sometimes we are good and happy and healthy and we are strolling along easily.  Other times, we get lonely, we get scared, we suffer, we get angry.  But He never leaves us.

And that my friends is a gift I can never repay.

Holy Yoga was a major “shot in the arm” for me last year.  Holy Yoga has reignited my passion to SHARE GOD’S GRACE AND LOVE WITH OTHERS.  I have no idea what that looks like because I don’t know the way.  But Jesus is the way so I’ve decided I will just follow Him.

I am currently in Holy Yoga Leadership training and I am beyond excited to see what great plans God has for this ministry.  Hundreds of people are being trained to share the Gospel with the world through the vehicle of yoga.

The Gospel.  Shared with the World.  Through Holy Yoga.

GREAT.  BIG.  YES!

So, to celebrate, I have three ideas I’d like to share with you.

1.  For the next two weeks, I will be donating all of my class proceeds to the Holy Yoga ministry.  This money will help with the costs of ongoing training and leadership development of Holy Yoga instructors.  Please come to a Class!  The cost is $10.  If you have been wanting to experience Holy Yoga, now is the time.  All are welcome! Even if you have never experienced yoga before, please join us!

2. Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry.  If you would like to donate and you can’t come to class, you can visit www.holyyoga.net:  Go to the DONATE tab.  In notes please include: T3 FUNDRAISING, Instructor name: Sue Bidstrup.  (Holy Yoga is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  All donations qualify as a charitable tax deductible contribution.)

3. Please PRAY for Holy Yoga! The mission of Holy Yoga is to spread the truth of God’s Word and God’s love throughout the entire world. We are a global ministry based on the truth that there is no boundary to what God can do. We believe that He wants Holy Yoga to minister to every tongue, every nation, and every tribe.  We appreciate your prayers.

Thank you! I really hope to see you at class in the next couple weeks.  The schedule is here on the blog under the Holy Yoga Class Schedule tab.   Let’s celebrate together!

Have a blessed Holy Week!

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Jesus is the Intention

Lent is starting.  Ash Wednesday is here.

This brings up a treasure trove of emotions.

Being raised Catholic Lent meant that we wouldn’t eat meat on Fridays and we would “give something up”…meaning chocolate or swearing or complaining. Kind of like a diet.  Temporary, restricting and doesn’t create lasting change.  At least that’s how it felt for me.

There are things I love about Lent…Fish Fry anyone! I mean, seriously, fish and chips! Yay! Let’s think about this.  I’m giving up sweets but I’m shoveling in fish and chips.  Hmmm….

I’ve been seriously considering my motives for what I give up during Lent and I have found them suspect at best.  I tend to give up something I want to give up, something that will ultimately benefit me like chocolate or sweets in general.  I mean think about it, we can lose weight and get healthier and feel holy!  It’s a win/win.

I’ve been praying about this.  I’m looking for God’s direction here.  I don’t want to take part in rituals that have no meaning for me.  I want to understand what I am doing.  I want everything I do, in life and in Lent to lead me to Jesus.  I want to nourish my relationship with Jesus.

So now I ask myself before I do anything “religious” or “churchy”…does it lead me to a closer relationship with Jesus?   Does it lead me to Grace and Joy and Freedom in Christ? Is it helping me become more like Christ?  Am I growing as a Christ follower?

jesus intention

Am I getting to know Him better by reading and contemplating and studying and talking about His word?

Is this leading me to pray more, to spend time in quiet stillness more often, to listen to His voice?

Am I muscling through something with gritted teeth because I feel I “should” or because “that’s what we do” or because I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t do it?

Am I operating out of fear worried about punishment or am I acting out of joy accepting of God’s grace?

Am I trying to earn my way to heaven or am I aware that I cannot earn grace…that it is a free gift given to me by God who loves me?

Why am I doing what I do?

Am I showing everyone how holy I am by suffering in public…putting my “giving up things” out there for everyone to see so they can admire me?

Am I thinking too much about how people see me?

Am I acting different on the outside, externally showing signs of faith while inside closing my heart to His spirit that brings true transformation?

Why do I do what I do?

How am I different because of what I’m doing?  What great work is He doing in me?

Am I letting God in?  Or am I “managing” God and deciding where He is allowed to go?  Am I refusing to open my heart?

Do I trust God?

I have realized that I eat a lot of sweets when I feel stressed.  And when I feel sad.  And when I feel overwhelmed.  And when I feel bored.  And when I feel Stuck.

And never once has the act of eating sweets – be it a pound of M&Ms or a bag of Twizzlers – never once has that taken away stress or sadness or overwhelming feeling or boredom or the feeling of being Stuck.  When I’m done eating I usually feel worse.  I often have regret.  (and a stomachache.)

I think we all have something we turn to when we feel stressed and sad and overwhelmed and bored and stuck.

I believe that’s what we should give up.  That thing that gets in the middle of us and God.  Because here’s the thing.  At times of stress and sadness and overwhelm and boredom and sticky, stuck “ness”, God wants us to turn to him.    He wants us to pray and to read His Word and spend time with Him in quiet stillness.  He wants to fill us up.

That’s what I think He’s telling me.  Give up whatever it is you use to fill up at those times of stress and come to me.  Don’t immediately try to turn off those feelings by stuffing yourself or drinking or shopping or gossiping or surfing the internet or exercising excessively or whatever it is that you do.  Come to me.

Sit with me. Breathe. Feel my love and my grace as we work through some of this stuff. It’s okay.  I get it.  I’m here.

Lent for me this year is an opportunity to put my faith and trust in God.  To loosen the reigns a little and stop muscling through my days and rest in His grace.

In Holy Yoga, one of our favorite sayings is  “Comfortable being uncomfortable”.  It’s okay to not feel perfect all the time, it’s okay to not be “happy” all the time. When we feel “off” it’s our cue to go to God…to replenish…to be loved…to receive His Grace.

Lent can be uncomfortable.  It’s not an easy journey Jesus is on and when we walk with Him, it’s not easy for us either.  We are more serious and somber during Lent.  We go into that desert and we feel thirsty.  We allow ourselves to feel hungry and to feel the “holes” inside of us…we sit in our uncomfortableness and we feel our need for Him.

I need Him.

This Lent I will go to Him to fill me up.

I’m praying for transformation this time.

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

 

Wisdom and Dr. Maya

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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.

Word.

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