Tag Archives: training

The Coach

I was walking yesterday and listening to a podcast about all of us being in training and God being the coach. It got me thinking about working out and eating and the vicious defeating cycle that we call “health” in America. Gluten free, no carb, low fat, low calorie, starvation, shakes, programs, points, packaged meals, DIEts, juices, cleanses, running, weight lifting, yoga, crunches, six packs, squats, torture, exhaustion, competition,never enough, too big, too small, too weak, too slow. I’ve decided to ask God to be my coach. I long to hear His voice above all others. I am crying out to Him, “Feed me and Lead me!” He will show me where to go. I believe Him. I’m ready for His training. For firm muscles and strong bones that come from heeding His voice. Feed me and lead me Lord- or in other words, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!!”

I posted that on instagram and Facebook yesterday with this verse from Isaiah 58:11

isaiah 58-11


After that, my mom and I were talking on the phone about Weight Watchers and her struggles to eat well and she said, “It’s hard for everyone right? Even you young girls…it’s just tough.” I agreed. And I remembered that my mom is not on social media so she didn’t see the post. Which reminded me to write on the blog which is what she prefers because she doesn’t really understand Facebook and typical Mom fashion, she says, “Honey, honestly, do I really need all that?” Which is a good point. So I thought I’d post here because this is a conversation for everyone – all ages and sizes…everyone who has felt like throwing up their hands and laying on the couch with some chips and chocolate and giving up.

I’ve been praying all day…”Feed me and Lead me Lord”.

I love the image of Jesus as a coach. He’s not like Bobby Knight throwing chairs or like my high school volleyball coach who told me my thighs are “way too big” and I should run stairs and do squats every day or “I’ll be sorry”.   (I’m clearly over that.) Jesus knows love is a greater motivator than fear.  He doesn’t shame us or scare us or use violence to get His point across.

I told my friend the other day that I was disgusted with myself and my lack of discipline with working out and eating. She very clearly and slowly spoke truth to me. She said, “He is not disgusted with you. He is not disappointed in you. You are beautiful and loved.”

Maybe you need to hear that today.  It’s for you too.  See we put that crap on ourselves. If society shames us enough, we will buy their program.  If we feel like we are never enough, we will invest in their schemes. There is money in making us feel less than.

But Jesus’s currency is love.

Sure, He wants us to be disciplined and practice self control but as long as we are reeling and competing and full of fear, none of that is possible.

He is not the God of chaos but of order. Harmony. Peace.

We must seek Him first.

You are not your body but let’s be honest. Our bodies play a big part in how we see ourselves. The words we say when we look in the mirror sink in to our hearts and souls and minds. We forget whose we are.

Scripture tells us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) 

I need Jesus to come in and coach me. I need to hear His voice above the others even when I’m in a loud gym or on the even louder internet. The patterns of this world with regards to health are messy and confusing and overwhelming and extreme and often just plain out wrong. What is His will?

Feed me and Lead me Lord.

I don’t think the answer is another advertising campaign celebrating itself for using “real” models this time.

I don’t think the answer is a new diet, a juice cleanse or a protein shake meal replacement plan.

I don’t think the answer is a longer run or more weights or planking in the kitchen waiting for the water to boil.

The answer is Jesus.

To be honest, I wanted my friend to tell me what to do, what plan to follow, how to lose weight.  I wanted her to tell me what was “wrong” with me so I could fix it. But she is wise, so she didn’t. She just reminded me that I am beautiful and loved.

We all are.

I think that’s an amazing place to start.


I love this chart. If you are hearing a voice in your head, check it against this list to see if it’s God’s voice. Remember, He is for you.

god's voice2


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



What’s next?


open palm


Okay. I have a whole bunch of exciting announcements.  Woo-hoo!

I have a new role with Holy Yoga. My title is “Instructor Training Enrollment Specialist”.  There are three of us on this team and we are thrilled to be able to serve the Lord in this way.  If someone goes to the website to become a Holy Yoga instructor and downloads the packet of information and starts the process, the next step is to set up a phone interview with one of the Enrollment Specialists.  It is such an honor to be able to speak to people as they are discerning what the Lord is calling them to do with their lives.  As you know, Holy Yoga has been extremely powerful in my life, helping me to know God more deeply and to worship in a new way.  Through the last few years, the Lord has transformed me from the inside out and Holy Yoga has been a huge part of that process.  The training, the community, the Bible studies, and the practice – whether teaching or attending a class, God continues to meet me on my mat.  I am grateful.

For those of you who may be interested, we have some amazing training programs. We train on the 95hr, 225hr, and 500hr levels, as well as multiple specialties and a unique Holy Yoga Therapy program. There is always room for growth and education within Holy Yoga and we want to extend an invitation to you. Come train with us – dig into our yoga resources, our in depth Bible Studies, and our expansive community. The door is wide open. You don’t have to have a yoga background or an amazing practice. You just need to be called.

Download an information packet at holyyoga.net and start your journey!

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  I’d love to talk to you about Holy Yoga!

I recently finished my Holy Yoga Master’s training and the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga training so if you are already an instructor and have questions about either of those, please reach out.  I have grown immensely through those trainings and I would love to share.  My hope is that I will be able to use the Trauma Sensitive Holy Yoga Training to teach Holy Yoga to survivors of sex trafficking here in Austin. If you want to follow what’s happening with that, please follow me on Facebook. (If you click on that word Facebook, it’s a live link and will direct you to the Great Big Yes Facebook page.) I will post updates there as the journey unfolds. I would be grateful if you would join me in prayer for The Refuge and for all the victims of sex trafficking and all the people working to rescue them.  Thank you.

Another amazing thing that is happening is something I want to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! I get to be a part of the launch team for Jen Hatmaker’s new book, “For the Love” (comes out in August but you can pre-order).  That is wonderful in and of itself but here’s the KICKER!!! Jen has invited us all (500 of us!) to her house for a PARTY!! You guys…the one that was on HGTV when she was renovating it!! She lives right here near me in Texas! Woo hoo!! I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting A LOT of pictures so tune in on Instagram and Facebook. And just in case this has you worried about what I’m going to wear, don’t worry, these awesome ladies on the team already thought of that and I am covered.

for the love


Thank God for women who like to plan and make things.  All these crafty, organized, lovely women.  It’s really fun.  Also, see my palms in the picture, they are up and open!

It’s like we are saying, “I’m ready God, go ahead, give me some good stuff! Make me laugh and get excited and have new opportunities.  Bring me some good people who make shirts and who are kind and fun and invite me to some parties.”  Pretty good prayer, right?

Everything is not all t-shirts and parties though. Of course, there is all the usual stuff with kids and family and end of the school year and decorating a new home and repairing a whole lot of hail damage.  (Lord, the Texas weather lately, what the heck?)  We are all busy with life.  I guess that’s why I wanted to talk about living with palms open.  I never want to be too busy to be open to new things.  And I never want to be so reliant on what I have or what I’m doing that my fists are clenching tight to hold on, not allowing things to change.  

Or God forbid, I don’t want to live with my palms all balled up in a fist.  Palms open sounds easy but sometimes we forget and we look down and we have fists or we have our arms folded over our chests protecting our hearts. And then we go, wait, what happened? When did I become so closed off? Lord, help us to be open. Open our palms to receive and when it’s time, keep them open to let go.

When I first moved to Texas I felt so alive.  I was intensely aware of every person, every conversation, every moment.  I did not have any pre-conceived perception of anyone.  I had no expectations. I did not know anything. And it was BEAUTIFUL.

My palms were open.

I was needy. Literally, asking for handouts of information, knowledge, help. I was humble.

I was excited. Gladly meeting new people and engaging in conversation, I took my time.

I was ready.  Open to new things, new people, new experiences.  I was a beginner.

I have said Yes more times in this last year than ever before. And here I am saying yes again to a lot of new adventures. I have no idea what is going to happen next but I trust God knows.  As I move forward, I’m going to stick with what God taught me when I first got to Texas.

Be humble.

Take your time.

Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.

And also, when people call you ma’am it is not an insult.  It does not mean they think you are an old lady.  It’s a sign of respect in Texas. Embrace it.

I know I haven’t been posting as much here as in the past and I miss y’all.  It has been 5 years since I started the blog and for about four of those, I posted once a week.  At this point, posting that often is not possible.  I’ll still be posting here but if you want more updates hop on over to – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.  I’ll be there.  Thank you so much for sticking with me on this journey. I’m grateful.

I’ll leave you with this. This morning my husband and I tried something new – we went canoeing on Lady Bird Lake in Austin with our dog.  It was so great. I took this picture of my dog, Gus.  Isn’t he just the best?  He was so brave. Getting in that boat. He had to hang on of course so his palms are down but  I just know without a doubt, in his heart and in his spirit, his palms were open. He was ready.




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


Failing to Win

All serious daring starts from within.

-Eudora Welty

Many kids attend some type of leadership training when they are in junior high or high school or college.  I always loved these retreats. In the dictionary, it says to lead is to be “in command” or “to guide someone or take someone somewhere”.

Does the “where” have to be physical? 

Does the leading have to be linked to accomplishment and success?

Think of Jesus.  He was a leader.  He led us to the cross.  Hmmm…success?  Now we know the rest of the story but if we didn’t know about Easter, was He a failure or a success in life?  What about Martin Luther King?  He led us to turmoil and conflict and he was murdered.  Success?  Of course, now we know his legacy but do you think he was familiar with failure? 

The dictionary didn’t say where you were leading someone…it didn’t say you are leading them to climb the mountain or to win the race or to be loved by everyone.  It said you are leading them somewhere.  Can that somewhere be intellectual or emotional or spiritual? 

When I think of great leaders in my life, I don’t immediately go to junior high basketball coach.  Our society tends to focus on sports and many leaders are born on the field or in the gym, no doubt.  Politics comes up when we think of leadership too and the military and business.  But I want to talk about a different kind of leader. 

I want to talk about teachers.  After all, we are all teachers.  We teach by example every day.  

I remember hearing a quote once that a doctor has the ability to save a life one person at a time but a teacher has the chance to save 30 lives at a time.  If they have the power to save lives, what else do they have the power to do?   Really.  It’s that serious. 

I had an amazing teacher in 4th grade.  He was demanding and funny and creative and kind.  He taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades together and he pushed all sorts of limits.  It was the 70’s so you can imagine, we were trying all kinds of experimental things including, school meetings in the new “pod” which was really groovy.  He was especially cool to the kids.  He made a little clay figure like “Mr. Bill” on Saturday Night Live and “Mr. Bill” would have all sorts of classroom adventures.  He loved to read to us out loud even though we could read ourselves. One time, he read The Amityville Horror to us (so scary!).   He was always cutting edge and unique and out of the box.  I’m sure he was pushing the administrator’s buttons constantly.  He sang, he danced, and he laughed a lot.  I can imagine him laughing now.  He was engaged.  He loved learning and he loved teaching.  He made school come alive for me and for many other kids. 

On my first test in his class, I got an F…a  32%.  I was devastated.  I had never gotten anything other than an A. I was crying.  I will never forget what he said to me.  He got on his knees in front of my little chair and he looked right into my eyes.  He said, “I would rather have you get all F’s and be challenged than have you get A’s for the rest of your life and never be challenged.” 

He was a leader.  And he developed his students into leaders. 

Because of his words, I am not afraid of an F.  I am not afraid of something not working out.  I’m not afraid to try.  I’m not saying I still don’t cry sometimes when I fail, I just know it will be okay.    I’m not saying I don’t hesitate sometimes or second guess myself but I don’t let fear get the best of me.  He led me to acceptance and courage and confidence.  I’m not afraid to ask questions or embarrassed when I don’t know because I realize that’s how I learn.  I think this came from my experience with him.  With each failing try in my life, I have learned something.

I recently heard Kelly Corrigan (LOVE HER!)  give a graduation speech and she told the graduates that in life, it’s not about not failing, it’s about “failing better next time”. 

 Are we concerned more with the A than with the challenge?  Are we trying to be so perfect, we aren’t growing or learning?  Are we demanding perfection of others?

We can give our kids all kinds of experiences on the outside.  They can climb and run and jump and win…but can they fail?  And when they do, do they have a leader near them, a parent, friend, teacher, or relative (you!) that tells them they are great and brilliant and wonderful and important even when they don’t succeed?

You can take all the young people (and you) all over the world, spend gobs of money, hire many trainers and still not have a leader on your hands.  Because leadership does in fact, start within.  Turns out what’s best for your kids has nothing to do with money or external experiences.  It is about internal strength.  How ironic.  Winning is about failing…early and often. 

Maybe we should ask teachers before we hire them, “How many times have you failed?”  Then we may be able to tell if we are dealing with a leader. 

What about you…fail much?

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved