Tag Archives: Siblings

The Gift I Really Want for Mother’s Day

 

Mother’s Day has me looking through old photographs, reminiscing.  My kids are older now, 19, 17 and 14. They aren’t thrilled to have their picture taken. I have so many good ones from when they were kids.  I love the pictures of them all together, the way they hang on each other, lean in to one another and show up as a team.  That’s a mother’s heart, right? That her kids would support one another and walk together through life. I was thinking about Mother’s Day and what I really want.  I think we all really want reassurance that the way we mother and have mothered is good enough.  We want a nod from the future telling us it’s all going to be okay.  We want to know the kids are alright. Amen?

So, here’s my letter to my kids this year about what I really want for Mother’s Day.

Don’t worry about getting me a trinket for Mother’s Day. Here is my heart’s desire.

I pray that you like yourself. That you feel content in the deepest recesses of your heart. That you know how loved, how wanted, how cherished you are. That you live fully and love deeply and spill kindness out of your pores. That God’s light would wrap you up and keep you warm and propel you to shine. I pray you show up with every ounce of your being. That you love honestly and with integrity and with purpose. That people leave your presence feeling good about themselves…that you have a generous spirit.  That you will greet each day as an adventure and an opportunity and that even in the boring and tough days you will laugh and see it all unfolding as it should.

Will you gift this to me? Are you willing to acknowledge this dream of mine? This longing in my heart? Will you live your life…full, authentic, honest, expectant and joyous? That’s what I want.

I want to know that my mistakes and blunders and outbursts only added flashes of temporary color to the memories but no permanent stain. That in my humanness you witness a redeemed soul, far from perfect but living real…my heart set on being better every day. That you receive life as a gift. Precious but not too much so. That you allow yourself to get dirty and take the tough knocks and come out standing, victorious. I pray you jump in the puddles and dance on the table and laugh with abandon. I pray that you listen intently and stay awake to the world while staying apart from it in your heart, careful to not be snared into foolish traps. I pray you find stillness and contentment and joy. I pray that grace would lead in your language and your actions. That faith will always be your cornerstone…deep abiding trust that all is well.

That is what I want for Mother’s Day.

I want you…fully alive and present for the life that awaits you.

This is your gift to me.

 

 

©2017 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™ All Rights Reserved

Podcast 23: Greg Hoyte-Immigration, Violence and Grace: An American Story

I am so honored to post this podcast! Listen in as Greg Hoyte shares his story with us.  (Greg is next to his sister in the above picture.)

You will be fascinated by Greg’s story. He shares his journey from his childhood in Guyana, South America to Brooklyn, New York. He moved to New York when he was 14 years old after his parents worked in the US for years to earn enough money for the kids to join them. Initially excited and feeling like a dream came true, he found himself caught up in the violence of the Brooklyn streets as a teenager, filled with fear and rage and thinking there was no way out. But God showed up and provided a way. Looking back Greg can see that God never left him. This is a story of family, immigration, violence, fear, grace and hope. This is an American story.

As he talked, I just sat listening, fascinated.  He “puts skin on” so many things we talk about today – immigration, violence, public education in American cities, gangs, family, friendship, God, faith, race, respect, discipline, the American dream, fear, hope.

Greg lives in Wisconsin now with his beautiful wife Amy and their three amazing kids.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  -Psalm 23:4

 

 

 

Podcast #20- Carrie Strachan, Parenting a Child With Special Needs

Oh y’all… This one is so good!! I cried a little during our conversation. I know that probably comes as no surprise to you. This is a HOLY conversation about parenting a child with special needs.  I am speaking with my friend, Carrie Strachan.  She has four beautiful children and her son Matthew has Down Syndrome. He is 20 years old now.  This will bless you if you have a child with special needs no doubt but also if you don’t.  Because Carrie is a blessing.  She is wise and kind and thoughtful.  She is my friend through Holy Yoga and I was mentioning to another friend from Holy Yoga that we were recording a podcast and that friend said, “Don’t you love her?  Don’t you just want to crawl up on the couch with her and have her talk to you and make you feel like everything is going to be alright?” Uh…yes. So consider yourself curled up on the couch with us, listening and sharing and drinking coffee and feeling less alone. That’s my hope…that you will feel a part of this conversation among friends.

Moms…we see you…we feel you.  When we talk about living out a greater calling on  your life, there is no greater calling than that of being a mom. I know some days it really feels like drudgery.  I can’t tell you how often I think, “Why do these people need to eat again?” My mom gave me a magnet once that says, “Who are these people and why are they calling me mom?” Honestly, it’s just so ordinary and routine and downright boring at times.

But God. He is so in this.  And if you let Him in, the results, the outcome of all your years of hard work…the kids grown…you grown…your marriage grown…it’s just downright spectacular.  Amazing.

This motherhood thing never ends, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are.  In addition to parenting, we are usually trying to figure out all the other tough stuff including marriage, career, and faith life.  Or if you are like me you might still be trying to figure out how to do laundry well and what’s for dinner.  Half the time we are just wondering, “Is everyone going to turn out alright?  Am I even all right? Who put me in charge?”

I’ve heard it said that our kids pick us. I don’t think that necessarily but I do trust that God picks us. He specifically gives us the children who need us and who we need.  Our children force us to lean into God because we don’t have all the answers.  And there He is.  Loving us.  Transforming us.

He loves our children more than we do.  They were His first.  He knows every hair on their head and He calls them good.  Every single unique child, born to change the world. Isn’t it miraculous?

I’m grateful for this conversation.  I hope you will listen in and be encouraged!

Happy Valentine’s day!