a simplified life, Contentment, encouragement, Love Others

Radical Obedience

I am a member of a church I love! It feels so much like family that I believe it provides a glimpse of what heaven will be like when we are all gathered in His Presence.

I delight in being a part of a fellowship that keeps me awakened to having a heart of mercy and compassion. My challenge comes when I consider how at times I have allowed myself to be lulled into thinking that what happens for God for good only happens inside the church building at a worship service.

Looking back at where I have been I am acutely aware that great things happen at church and this is where we are equipped and raised up to go into our little corners of the world and influence others to become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ.

Out of the brokenness in the journey of my life, I have a stronger sense of what I believe to be the call of Christ on us as His church. I like to think of it as radical obedience. I believe this is a a call to make a difference in our world by reaching out to connect and get to know our neighbors in ways that may seem radical in our culture. We are all busy doing life but not necessarily enjoying it. Perhaps, this could be the game-changer!

Some time back, I rode through a neighborhood of older homes which housed families of fixed or limited incomes. Many were gathered on front porches, children were playing in the yards and on sidewalks together and though the means appeared to be limited, the genuine care and nurturing of one another was anything but lacking. It made me smile to remember many such times gathered together with folks on my grandmother’s front porch.

This image in my mind has convinced me that this is the picture of the true church. It is connecting where we live, work and play and not just where we go and all sit in the same building on Sunday. This is how a true family is built where time is spent building genuine, loving relationships. This is where we gain vision, encouragement, and support. And much needed guidance.

In these relationships the love of Christ is evident as we seek to develop a fellowship first with God and then taking what we hear in our quiet places and sharing that message with the world.

Once we experience the simple beauty of the sacred fellowship that comes when two or more are gathered together and realize He is in our midst, it adds a richness to our lives that we will not want to live without.

It is a depth that goes beyond the tradition of the church to a relationship with an untamed God, who is radical in His great love for us! It is an invitation to live trembling with joy in the presence of a holy God with a radical obedience, having the experience of a radical grace that compels us to know and serve this amazing God all of the days of our lives.

I have reflected on these ideas as a result of having a season of R E S T as I prepared for and said goodbye to my mother, as she recently passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. God wastes nothing and I’ve needed each season that He has allowed in my life, even the ones that are difficult.

What is it that God may be calling YOU to be radical about? And what are you preparing as your answer to Him?

Radical things happen in our own lives when we say “Yes, God”!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

a simplified life, Contentment, encouragement, make better choices, Path of Peace

A Simplified Life

I’m uncertain as to when or how it started. I think it may have always been present with me. The day my life forever changed….

I realized that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life! I am most content in the space of routine and ordinary. It’s here where I recognize the truly spectacular events may be a rainy afternoon and a good book, or a lingering lunch with a friend or loved one where we reminisce about the goodness of God in our lives or the moments that He has given that have taken our breath away. It’s where my calm lives.

I have chosen a lifestyle of moderation and I have peace with that. I like the ease in managing stress and learning to choose the paths and places that maintain this level of quiet in my life. It allows me to reserve my energy for the unplanned and unexpected moments where calm is a true asset for responding in a manner I will be happy with now and in the future.

The world can be a noisy place with loud voices pushing or driving for me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. Make a huge impact in everything I do. Make my life count.

All the striving for excellence can leave me drained of joy and wondering if I am simply not enough. And when I stop spinning and listen for God’s still, small voice, I hear Him whispering for me to ‘cease’ striving and know that He is God.

What if I never really achieve accolades beyond the people who are my primary circle of impact, consistently letting them know they are loved and I would choose them again? What if life as I have chosen it is good, even amazing, in light of the fact that my heart is fully engaged?

What if I simply write as God brings His reflections of beauty to my soul? And what if I have come to accept that the greatest joys and fulfillment come from offering the gifts I have to the community of women I care about encouraging them that bigger isn’t always better? What if I can simply remind those that I invest in that their gifts and influence are far more valuable than what is understood at the time?

What if I simply remain calm and centered and help others to see that they are enough? And, that God in us, provides great hope for others?

What if I just accept this ordinary body of mine that is neither big nor small? And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me.

What if I am a home manager who rarely dusts or vacuums and mostly maintains order and makes real food but sometimes buys pizza and after giving thanks to God for all things, I simply enjoy and do not feel guilty?

What if I make plans and budgets and then occasionally break my own rules and push back against rigidity. Is it really a big deal if I’m not into fancy or expensive things? Or that I like a small and safe home?

Since leaving the frantic pace of life and learning to not keep up, I have found that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy.

Having given up my former dogmatic state of being, I have found great delight in sharing my deeply rooted faith, doubts and insecurities, in quiet ways and through genuine relationship. I have some very special women in my life who have guided me to this and each of you know who you are!

We haven’t had a fairy tale romance and I follow hard after God to be the wife that will always be for Jeff’s best. This keeps me humble and I need it!

I am a mom who delights in her girls and in knowing they are free to choose their appointments with life. I consider it a special privilege to affirm and support them in their passions?

I seek the Lord often to learn to embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. I am at peace with who I am and what I need and believe it to be an amazing gift of God to walk in this knowledge.

I want a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life.

And for me, it is enough!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach / Mentor, Realtor, Writer, Wife & Mom.

Life Coaching, Path of Peace, Simple Living

Being in Control ~ Real or Illusion

Letting go of the need for control is one of the (many) things I have to consistently work on to achieve positive results.

My default setting is that I want to feel in control of how things will turn out — control of a trip that I’m on, of a project I’m handling, how a conversation will go or even getting my dogs to “go” in a timely manner..

Often, it becomes more frustrating than the way I had imagined it could be ~ IF I were truly in control.

For starters, I don’t think we can ever really control how things will turn out. We might think we do, but how often do things actually turn out exactly the way we’ve planned?

I know my life has been a series of unexpected outcomes, despite my best intentions to get to certain goals. Even the goals that I reach turn out to be much different once I achieve them than I had originally planned.

This has mostly been the case for this year — 2015. When we rolled over into a new year on January 1, I had no idea what this year would bring… health concerns for my mom resulting in 19 trips to Savannah so I could handle things in her best interest, the sale of our home in Roswell, a relocation and relaunch of our Real Estate Careers in Savannah, and a myriad of smaller less notable but certainly definable changes. Had I known, I may have rolled over and covered up my head :).

Through this journey, I’ve found that when I want to control the outcome of things, I become more anxious and tense. I’m less happy with how other people do things, less happy with myself, and less relaxed in the moments that I ordinarily would be able to enjoy. My relationships and responsibilities suffer because I am preoccupied with how I “think” things ought to be or how they ought to turn out.

So how do I deal with this reoccurring struggle? What I am discovering is that I am unable to stop myself from wanting to control things. I can’t even stop the urge to control outcomes from coming up in me. So I have to just notice the desire to control things, and let the urge happen. I have learned that I don’t have to act on urges that arise in me, especially if they are truly not the best for me or for the ones most important to me.

I’ve found this to be easier said, than done. My goal is to remind myself to see the urge, not as a command that I am required to follow, but simply a suggestion from the child within me. I can then be aware to look for the good things that can come from the situation, even if it’s uncontrolled. I don’t need to control things to enjoy them, I can just let them happen.

That said, I still take action. There are things I can control that have a positive effect on me and hopefully, on those important to me. I can look up information regarding a trip I’ll be taking simply because I’m curious and can then be aware of what opportunities may be available to me on a new adventure. I can be free to let conversations flow naturally. And my furry friends can take their leisure in enjoying being outside without me pressuring them to “hurry up”. These are all simply stress-management exercises from which I can greatly benefit.

I can experience the freedom of letting go when I realize I have a choice: I can choose to try to control the outcome, or I can trust in the moment.

I choose trust.

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Wife and Mom

Contentment, Life Coaching, Path of Peace

Recognizing Procrastination: 4 Steps to Getting Free …

Why We Procrastinate
Instant gratification. Reading, checking email or Facebook is easier than doing that project you’ve been putting off. Eating out or convenience foods are more appealing than planning a menu and cooking from whole food recipes. Watching TV as opposed to cleaning the house is certainly more enjoyable.

Fear or Dread. We might not write that chapter in our book because we are trying to come up with the perfect title, or we don’t have all the dots connected on publishing it or putting the chapters in correct order. We are afraid of the unknown, which has more power because it just lurks in the back of our minds making us dread tasks and making them more difficult than necessary.

Avoiding negative consequences. There are no immediate negative consequences to watching TV, using the internet, playing games, or doing other procrastination tasks. We will pay for it later, but right now, we feel in control.

Overestimating how we will manage our time. We may have a list of things we plan to accomplish in the future because we believe we will be more productive and focused when we are rested, have someone else to help, are not as stressed, etc.. The reality can be worse than expected because we are assuming that even though we follow the same processes, we will experience different results.

4 Steps to Managing Procrastination

1 ~ Stop and think. When we allow certain thoughts to take up residence in our minds without really being conscious of them, we procrastinate. Instant gratification via goofing off or eating comfort foods can lead to future problems. Fears are only assumptions that immobilize us if we bow to them. Not having negative consequences now doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences later.

2 ~ Review the process.  Usually we dread something before we actually are fully engaged in it. If we are willing to really consider how well it will work for us, we can learn to enjoy it and eliminate our dread of doing it.  If you want to take a walk, avoid thinking too much on it — just do it and enjoy the simplicity of the action. This process can be done with anything, from washing dishes to writing or sweeping the porch. Enjoy yourself in the moment and the activity can be very pleasant and even fun. If you can change your perspective you won’t have the inclination to put it off.

3 ~ Find a partner in accountability. If no one is looking over our shoulder, we may cut ourselves more slack than we should. Find people to hold you accountable.  Ideally, involving a friend who has the same desire to overcome something could be inspiring and helpful for both.

4 ~ Focus on the benefits you will receive. Think about how much you will enjoy the new color in your bathroom when the painting is all done. Consider how nice it will be to enter the holiday season having lost the 10 pounds — it may be all the motivation you need to eat in moderation. Find what can work and it helps you eliminate what doesn’t.  Focus on what excited you about the project originally and hold that thought.

Characteristics for Determining if Procrastination is a Problem

Procrastination to some can be a minor problem; with others it is a source of considerable stress and anxiety.

Low Self-Confidence – Some may struggle with feelings of low self-confidence / low self-esteem, and insist upon a high level of performance (perfectionism) making the task more difficult than necessary.

Stubbornness – Procrastination may be used as an expression of stubbornness or pride. The person may feel he is able to eliminate his perceived control by others who he may think are trying to dictate his life. If we are unhappy or have unresolved issues with someone, we may withhold our best efforts in a project.

Manipulation – Procrastination may be used to control / manipulate others or it may be an effort to appear in control.  Deliberately delaying a project can drive others crazy.

Coping with Pressures – Overcoming procrastination may be difficult because it may have become the choice method of coping with day-to-day pressures. This may provide a false sense of being in control when actually the opposite is true.

Benefits to Overcoming Procrastination

~ Peace of mind, a feeling of strength and purpose.

~ Healthy feeling of being in charge of your life.

~ Eliminates feeling weak, useless, and helpless.

~ Taking charge of your life helps you feel strong, competent, and capable.

~ Active participation tends to give you a positive attitude toward the activity.
~ You actually gain true, personal freedom.

It is possible to overcome procrastination and it’s negative impact on you. Take time to savor even the smallest of victories, so you will remember how good it feels. This will help the next time you need encouragement.

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom