Tag Archives: safety

New Podcast! Brooke Crowder of The Refuge

Hi Friends, this is the last podcast of the year! I will be taking December off from posting  podcasts but will return in January with many amazing stories to share! Please reach out to me if you have a story you would like to tell or you know someone who has said “YES!” to a greater calling on their lives!

I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to Brooke Crowder. Brooke is the founder of The Refuge.  The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) has a very specific mission: To provide trauma-informed, long-term restoration shelter and services to girls 11-17 years old, who have been exploited through sex trafficking.

I first met Brooke when I saw a video in our church of a survivor sharing her story and I couldn’t get her off my mind.  Brooke and I met for coffee and talked about the plans for The Refuge and the possibility of me teaching Holy Yoga there.  Listen in to the podcast to hear Brooke’s story of how God called her to create The Refuge!

Visit the website at: https://therefugeaustin.org There are many ways to donate and volunteer and support The Refuge.  Please join us in prayer as they are in the building stage now and eager to be able to have beds available for girls who need one. I’m so grateful to Brooke for her work and for sharing her story here!

A Mother’s Prayer


She woke up today with a heavy heart.

Anxiety pierced her chest.

Slushing through the breakfast routine she wondered why.

Fell asleep reading a book about minors being stolen and trafficked.

Could wreak havoc on even the most hopeful mind.

Studying, learning, praying, demanding some sort of safe haven for these sweet souls bought and sold. Bought and sold. Mercy Lord. Your daughters and sons. Like property.

Her stomach hurts and she considers going back to bed. 

Nagging uncomfortable feeling persists and she remembers more.

Good people she knows looking for son. He’s lost. Find him Lord.

Other mothers that are dear mourn their lost children.

Friends struggle through teaching right and wrong. Boundaries. You are worthy. You are loved.

This too shall pass.

It will be better in the morning.

Except when it’s not.

I was told motherhood is the great equalizer and that is true. You pray for me I’ll pray for you.

It’s all we can do really.

Money, connections, family, friends, education, they don’t guarantee anything.

It’s a rocky road we travel. It’s an unsteady balance beam and we can’t strut here.

We walk tentatively. We focus our gaze.On you Lord.


Like Peter we lose focus, we look away. We fall. This reminds us to look at you again. We regain balance.

Only you know Lord. And you love us. You love our kids more than we do. Although I can’t imagine.

We read books and we share what we know and we love and we hold and we pray.

We tuck in and we snuggle and we laugh and we do homework and make sandwiches and drive and text and call and do laundry.

We cheer from the stands and we cry in cars alone. We buy things and fix things and anxiously await results.

We teach and we hug and we provide and we pray some more.

Lord, protect my baby.

Stay right there beside him even when he’s six feet tall.

Don’t ever leave her.

Remind him who he is when he forgets.

Love her when I’m not there Lord.

Have his back.

Guard her heart.

I’m sorry for complaining when I was tired or angry or hungry or lonely.

Lord, this gift. This gift.

Thank you. 



©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

There but for the grace of God, go I


Friends, we need to talk.

I was slapped into reality this morning when my friend called to tell me what happened to her son.

He was hit by a car yesterday on his way to school.  He’s okay. Praise God.

The really weird and crazy thing is that her other son was hit by a car a year ago. Same situation.  By the grace of God, he’s okay too.

She called me wondering why this happened twice to the same family.  She wondered all day yesterday if she should tell people about it just as a reminder to be aware, go slow, drive carefully.  She questioned out loud if this was God, with a message. She drove her son to school today and was struck by all of the people driving while texting or looking at their email or talking on the phone in a school zone.

Here’s where this gets tricky.  I have done that.  No wait…I do that. UGH. I’m sitting here with my heart beating fast thinking…I could have hit her son.  That could have been me.

I think of the poor woman who was pulling out of her driveway and couldn’t see maybe because of the fence, maybe because we live so close to each other, maybe her baby was crying in the back, maybe she was in a hurry…there are so many maybes.  But here’s the sure thing…NONE OF US WANTS TO HURT A CHILD.

This is not a condemnation of moms or dads or big cars or cell phones.  This is a reminder for all of us to WAKE UP and LOOK UP and SLOW DOWN.

This is a reminder for me.

Remember when Oprah asked us to sign a petition not to text while driving?  I was so gung ho at the time…all in…stoked…responsible.  But as time has gone on, I have been careless…in a hurry…selfish…self important…forgetful…distracted.  My kids have yelled at me to put the phone down.  Let me repeat that because it’s so awful but it’s the truth and I need to bring it to light…my kids have yelled at me in the car while I was driving to put the cell phone down.

I’m mortified and embarrassed and so, so sorry.

The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt a child.  Not the kids outside the car and not the kids inside the car.  I think of the kids walking and riding bikes and skateboarding and laughing and playing and trusting the adults in their lives to make good choices and keep them safe.

Let’s not disappoint them.

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