Tag Archives: sons

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

Clapping and Crying with all the other Moms

I always weep at endings.

The end of the school year slays me every time.

More than any other ending, it marks time for me. The slash on the calendar is dark blood red. This ending has been earned. Yet I don’t want it.

The door closing feels heavy and even though I know I have no power to stop it, I feel like running toward it, asking nicely if it could take it’s time…close slowly…tenderly…give us a few more days.

The slamming seems final. And it is.

Another year of lunches and rides and notes and homework…the cycles of sports and choir and band and art…the friends that hurt and the friends that helped us heal…the joy of newness and the scary stuff…the failing and fumbling and the tears.

All the laughing and running and playing is dying down over here.

No more Barbie Jeep, no more sparkly streamers hanging from handlebars.  No one wants to play on the slip and slide.  I remember days of baby pools and strollers and swing sets…the messiness…the laughter…the living.

Star Wars figures have taken their place on the shelf…dusty and alone.

I’m wandering around the house trying to look busy (to who? I don’t know? The busy police?)…trying to be busy to take my mind off the ending.  But I just wander…not really understanding how I feel.

I look at the bookshelf…a safe place to get lost for a while.  The books mark our journeys from Junie B. Jones to John Green and I can’t seem to part with any.  It’s like a living scrapbook of words that have fed our souls and kept us company.  We will never have too many books. They are our friends…constant and reliable.

I just saw a friend who is moving in a week.  She welcomed us when we moved into the neighborhood 11 years ago.  We have had many a cup of coffee and a glass of wine while the kids played and the years passed. I love her. She was boxing up things and I was in her empty house and I just couldn’t take it.  We both just stood there and cried. No words.

Another ending.

I always weep at endings.

The last of my kids finish up at elementary school this year.  The adorable, loving, little, everyone knows your name elementary school.  The place where they have taught and nurtured and loved my kids for 11 years.  Talk about the end of an era.

We “Clap out” our kids at the end of school.  All the parents line up and clap while the 5th graders march out.  I think they should call it the “Cry out” for me.  I’m anticipating weeping at that ending too.  Hey! We should call it the clap and cry out…clapping and crying at the same time pretty much sums up motherhood.

Weeping seems bad, right? Like I’m unhappy. But I’m not. I swear.

I’m just confused.

How did I go from eagerly anticipating my first baby to having three kids out of grade school (and two in high school!)?

How did I go from spoon feeding peas to worrying about drinking and driving and dating?

My son said the other day that he “hates change”.  He said, “Change is bad”.

Oh no I thought…I have to help him see change in a positive light…change is the only thing we know for sure will happen.  We have to get used to it.  We have to accept it.  It’s not bad…right?

Maybe he thinks it’s bad because I’m over here crying looking at baby pictures.  What have I done?

I specifically remember my mom talking to me about this.  Many times.  It’s an ending sure but it’s a beginning too…or it’s a beginning and it’s exciting and you are happy but the reason you are crying is because it’s an ending too…how many times over the years are we in that space…that in between…the ending and the beginning.

The sadness and the excitement…the saying good-bye and saying hello.  It doesn’t even matter how many times…I always weep at endings.

I remember once I was crying on the phone to my mom during the college years…I was distraught…things were changing…I just had a break up…I was down.  This is what she said to me…no joke…and it worked…”Honey, seriously, stop crying…wash your face, put on some lipstick, get a Diet Coke and Get out there.”

Diet Coke and lipstick…the cure all.

And now I’m the mom. I have to buck up and give the advice now.

Of course I can’t tell my son to put on lipstick.  What’s the equivalent for a boy?

And telling them to have a Diet Coke seems archaic like I didn’t get the memo…so do I say…have an organic green smoothie?  That doesn’t have the same ring to it.

How about this?

Change is part of life.  It’s difficult and it’s okay to cry.  When we cry, we know we are most alive because our heart is feeling things.  When we are sad to move on it means we have loved where we have been and that is a gift.  A treasure.  You are building your story and God is moving you along as you become who you are meant to be.  You take all of this with you.  All of the memories, the people, the experiences, the feelings, the knowledge, the wisdom…you are like a sponge and you absorb it all.  Things are changing yes and so are you – you are ready.  Be grateful. Take a minute.  Let the grateful tears fall…acknowledge that you are a little scared of something new…recognize that you were comfortable and that felt good.  But part of life is getting comfortable being uncomfortable.  Learning that you can do hard things.  Trusting that all will be well.  It’s time to move on now.  You do not go alone.  Dad and I are with you every step of the way.  And God is with you…he knows what you need and He can’t wait to give it to you.  Life is amazingly beautiful. Get out there.

Step joyfully into this new adventure

I will be stepping out with you…clapping and crying all the way.

graduation first step

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

The Prayer Project

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I love people.

Thanks for all of you who have sent prayers.  They are beautiful.  You are beautiful.  Your faith is extraordinary.  Thank you for the genuine pleas for grace and help and for trusting that God is that powerful.

Let’s ramp it up.  I’m feeling a Holy Spirit movement here.  If you haven’t sent a prayer yet, please do.

I’ve made it easier!  See the words at the top of the screen under the pretty winter picture?

See where it says Prayer Request?

Okay, click on that and you can put in a prayer request.  You can do it anonymously!  When it asks your name, leave it blank.  When it asks your email, leave it blank.  Or if you prefer, you can put your email and you will receive notifications that others have prayed your prayer too!!

Seriously.  God and the Holy Spirit are in the computer!  They are everywhere!  We are part of a really cool thing – using technology for GOOD.  Using the computer for GRACE.  It’s too much it’s SO AWESOME!

You know when you go to Google something and you are so surprised that someone else has Googled that exact same question even though it seems so obscure and kind of out there?  I love that.  It makes me feel like I’m less silly and weird.

Imagine how I felt when I looked into the blog platform to see if I could link up some prayer requests and there were several ways to do it?  Imagine.  LOTS of people asking for this.  LOTS of creators creating this good, beautiful, faithful, sharing way to be.  It’s like a movement for Grace.  Right in there with all the other stuff on the internet.

Please join in. If you prefer to send an email, that’s good too.  I told the people that I know in town to feel free to drop prayers in my mail box any time as well.  🙂

I don’t know what we should call it.  The Prayer Project?  The Prayer Revolution?  Grace from the keyboard?  Moms who pray together feel less alone?  Moms who realize others have the same concerns suddenly don’t feel so overwhelmed?  Typing for Grace?  Who knows? Any ideas?  I feel like t-shirts and bumper stickers may be in our future.

Please join us.

I was listening to the radio and I heard a speaker talk about when he dropped his daughter off at college.  He said he was crying so hard, he couldn’t even pray for her (he’s a preacher!).  She had to pray for herself!

It made me think of all the moms out there that are crying so hard they can’t pray.  They are tired and weary and scared and lonely and they don’t have the words to even ask for help.  We have to pray for them.  We can be the voice that storms the heavens on their behalf.  We need each other.  Let’s pray for those moms.  Think about it, write it up, share it.

If you are feeling like singing that song, “It’s me, It’s me, It’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Then by all means, pray for yourself.  If you know a friend in need, pray for them.  Pray for babies and young kids and old kids and grandkids, pray for husbands and friends and preachers and leaders. Just do it.  Share your prayer.

When we put it out there to God and we lift up our voices with the expectation and trust that He hears us…well, at that point, it is in His hands and miracles will happen.

Think of the story in the Bible about the friends asking Jesus for help for their paralyzed friend.   (The underlines are mine- you know how I like to POINT THINGS OUT.)

The Help of Friends – Luke 5:17-20

One day Jesus was teaching the people. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there too. They had come from every town in Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. The Lord (God) was giving Jesus the power to heal people. There was a man that was paralyzed (crippled). Some men carried him on a mat. The men tried to bring him and put him down before Jesus. But there were so many people that the men could not find a way to Jesus. So the men went up on the roof and lowered the crippled man down through a hole in the ceiling. They lowered the mat {into the room} so that the crippled man was lying before Jesus. Jesus saw that these men believed. Jesus said to the sick man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Jewish teachers of the law and the Pharisees thought to themselves, “Who is this man (Jesus)? He is saying things that are against God! Only God can forgive sins.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking. He said, “Why do you have these questions in your minds? The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins. But how can I prove this to you? Maybe you are thinking it was easy for me to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ {No one could see if it really happened.} But what if I say to the man, ‘Stand up and walk’? Then you will be able to see that I really have this power.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up! Take your mat and go home!” Then the man stood up before the people there. He picked up his mat and walked home, praising God. All the people were fully amazed. They began to praise God. The people were filled with much respect {for God’s power}. They said, “Today we saw amazing things!”

 — Luke 5:17-26 (ERV)

They didn’t say, “This is too hard” or “We can’t get in”…they LOWERED HIM DOWN THROUGH A HOLE IN THE CEILING!

If they can do that, we can lift our babies and our toddlers and our teenagers and our grown children up in prayer.  We can hold our sisters and mothers and friends and daughters and sons up to Jesus and say, “Help them, love them, protect them.”  We can be voices for women who can’t get out of bed today.  We can literally hold them up in prayer until they can “walk again”.  We can create that space for them to rest and be weak because we know our God is strong…we can carry them to Jesus.

I love the verse in the passage above that says…Jesus saw that these men believed.

Let’s show Him we believe too.

Let’s Pray.

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©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
photo in bedroom from http://spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com/post/9761497268/www-getoutthebox-org
picture of “pray key” from Pinterest