Tag Archives: story

My Joy Story

stars light up the night. big Texas sky covers us graciously. tucking us in for a story. campfire burns. we stare. mesmerized by light and warmth. notes play as voices sing. sharing loss and desire. we understand each other.  universal stories. contentment.  joyful noise.

he reaches out for my hand as we walk. stomach flutters. unsure of what’s next. heart beating in my throat. hoping he’ll tell me who he is. what he loves. where he hurts. eager to be let in. listening intently. story unfolding. joy coming.

bright lights. lots of people. noise. doctors racing. nurses talking. my feet are cold. searing pain. fear. hurry. worry. wait. wonder. why. there will be no cry they say. do not be afraid. clean out mouth and take away…trusting. listening. it’s okay they say. scared. mom? who is here? what time is it? so much pain. hear a cry. relief. tears. laughter. joy delivered.

big tree with tire swing. golf carts and trampoline. bikes against the fence. hoop too high for me. brother lifts me. leaves crunch. hide and seek. running. pool. stories. who said what. who did what. who do you like. where are you going. friends.laughter. long lazy days of summer. joy remembered.

entering in. unrolling my mat. chanting om. movement. breath. meditation. inner journey. awakening. light. calm. peace. community. safety. wellness. health. grace. prayer. new life. joyful freedom.

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These are just some of my Joy Stories.  I have asked God to give me more joy in my original design..more joy in who He has made me to be…more joy in my unique story. I’ll be looking back and looking ahead with joy this year.  I will be praying for eyes to see and ears to hear the joy that is around me in the present moment.  I will be celebrating the way joy continues to show up.

Joy is our birthright and our destiny.  We must claim it.  Own it.

Do you see it? Did you feel it? Can you remember it?

Where do you find joy?

Let’s tell that story.

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. -Psalm 126:2

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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

Be Brave

I have been reading momastery.com for a long time now – following Glennon from blogger mom in her yoga pants at home with a small following to super duper star on the Today show out promoting her fancy new book.  I’m so happy for her and excited for her! Not only because I’m a blogger in my yoga pants at home who would love to be on the Today show but because she is BRAVE.

I like to celebrate brave women. So I went to meet her to tell her “thank you” for being brave and for helping me to be brave too. It was fun.  It made me feel more courageous.  It made me want to write more and laugh more and mostly, it made me want to “be me” more.

sue and glennon

I couldn’t help but think of the hundreds of women in the room, every single one of them has a story.  Their story is beautiful and scary and sad and funny and hopeful.  Every woman has something to teach and something to write and something to share.  And the beautiful thing is that when we (if we) open up and actually share as our true selves…we make other women braver.  Words and women are so powerful.

The book is Carry On, Warrior Thoughts on Life Unarmed and I have an extra copy.  I’m hoping to share this copy with all of you.  I mentioned this to her, I told her I wanted to give the copy to someone and then that someone passes to someone else, etc.  She loved this and her sister (love sister!) said “Oh, like the sisterhood of the traveling pants!” and I said, “Yes but not… because pants can be dirty and stinky and that’s kind of gross”.  We all laughed.  Glennon signed it for us.  For you.  Who wants it?  Comment if you want it and I will send it to the first person.  After you read it, you can put your name on the page opposite of where Glennon signed.  Then you pass it on (to a friend, mom, sister, neighbor) and the next person does that same thing.  Also, whoever reads it can email me or comment on blog or facebook me that you are reading it maybe with a comment about it.  Does this sound fun?  We can instagram pictures too…like this:

chair pose

But you don’t have to stand on chairs.  You don’t even have to take a picture.  There is no pressure… do whatever brings you joy.  This book will bring you joy.  And tears.  And it will inspire you to be brave.

Because I think the world needs more brave women.  Mothers and sisters and daughters and friends who are living authentic lives.  Women who can listen and “get it” and maybe even offer up a “me too”.  Because to hear “you are not alone”, “it’s okay”, “I get it”…those words are life lines.  Those words can save.  Those words are like salve for weary souls.

Thank you Glennon for being brave.  And thanks to all those other women out there being brave too – telling their stories and holding space for all of us to tell ours. This is important because it’s true…women and words are so powerful.

brave

 

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