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

What I Am Becoming is Way More Important than What I am Doing!

A bold statement: “What I am becoming is way more important than what I am doing”.

Yet, in reality, it is freeing. It allows me to stop worrying about producing and pay attention to the things I am learning, the ways I’m being stretched, and what is birthed in the way of fruit as a result of the choices I make in life.

We’ve probably all experienced the George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) moments, where we wonder if our having been born really makes much difference at all. These ideas usually come on the tail end of a season of having things seemingly on a downturn. Much of these distractions, if we choose to focus on them, tend to keep us from happily “row row rowing our boat merrily, merrily, merrily, down the stream”. 

If we can consider that perhaps, what we are becoming through the processes of reflection, growth and change in our lives may be more important than whatever it is we are endeavoring to do, we may be able to endure the challenges of life more patiently.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he identifies the difference in our level of expertise in life according to a 10,000-hour rule. This “rule” is that when you have invested 10k hours in doing something, you are truly an expert at it. He parallels the lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others. It is a really good read about some interesting success stories, as well as motivational.

The importance is placed on what we are becoming in light of practicing and reading and engaging in repeated efforts around things we are passionate about.  I think of it like learning to write in cursive, or playing the piano, or whatever we endeavor to do well.  We don’t arrive at “being a master”; the art of mastery is in the becoming…the practice, the conscious thinking and focusing on, the commitment to continuing to get back in the ring, on the bike or horse, or at the keyboard, and the willingness to compete with only one…myself…as a means for improving today over yesterday.

It isn’t a striving; it is a growing process. It is natural like learning to crawl before we walk and like acquiring a taste for new things, whether it be food or adventure.

To enjoy life on a broader scale, be open to all things but attached to none.  Being open doesn’t mean you have to “do” all things; the openness (absence of judgment) frees us mentally to focus on the becoming. We celebrate and feel the exhilaration of what “can be” as opposed to fighting what can’t be or feeling hemmed in by all we “can’t do”.

I recently engaged in a conversation with a good friend as we discussed the “bearing of fruit” in our lives versus “producing fruit”. She had spent some time reflecting on her journey and what God’s Word says regarding the difference and it was very enlightening. We often strive to produce fruit. If we can frame our efforts in the matter of “bearing fruit”, it is a natural progression of building on to a well-laid foundation or a well-watered garden.

So, whatever you are facing at the present moment, if you are tempted to stress over all that you are doing, whether or not it is the right thing to do or try, consider that what you will learn in this season is another piece in what you are becoming. We are able to learn from all choices that we make and we benefit from everything we learn, so you can just go with it and welcome the awareness you now have around the art of becoming.

God has ignited a candle within each of us, a passion with potential to burn brightly in our sphere of influence. As we move into the process of becoming and away from the worry of “doing”, we will have more clarity in the many ways He will work in and through us so that we can take our candle and light our world.

What you do, may be forgotten tomorrow, but what you become will make all the difference!

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

Growing up the little child within …

Within every one of us is a little child who has leftover childhood needs. Many times our parents did not listen to us. Our boundaries [personal limits] have been violated and often result in anger, resentment, procrastination, promiscuity, various physical ailments, introversion, perversion, and even self-destruction.

We lose our ability to communicate during childhood by often being told the “appropriate” thing to do, (what to think as opposed to how to think) therefore, not allowing us to express our true feelings and emotions. As we become adults, the rush of unchecked adult passions, frustrations, and anger can run rampant within us. We may feel ready to explode, yet unable to even cry. We’re hurting too bad to laugh. We may experience rage due to the inability to turn thoughts into words. It is crucial that we develop safe relationships so that we are able to vent emotions and frustrations through appropriate channels.

From childhood, our feelings of not being loved and validated especially from our parents, can leave us tempted to use sex, food, drugs, alcohol, shopping or a host of other vices to temporarily self-medicate the pain we are too afraid to face. We hesitate to grieve the true losses. Grief and acceptance of what we cannot change are the stepping stones to healing and freedom from damaged emotions. It requires courage and a true support system to develop the skills needed to learn to grow from our experiences.

Distorted childhood perceptions and conclusions often bring consuming thoughts of inadequacy, and have the potential to produce a lifetime of insecurity. Fear and insecurity can prevent us from developing an intimate relationship with God. We try to impress Him with our performance, struggling to realize that it is not our “efforts” He is seeking. He is pursuing us with the love we’ve looked so far and wide to find, in order that we can be healed and whole. Our wholeness brings us to a place that we become the conduit whereby He is allowed to love others through us.

“All that I express, speak, and understand is relative to my childhood. You will never understand the man / woman I am on the outside until you have touched the child within me. If you never develop empathy for the little boy or girl in me who is holding a blanket and sucking his thumb in a doorway, watching everyone leave, then you will never understand my erratic behavior on the job, in bed, or with my own children.” (“Loose That Man and Let Him Go” by T.D. Jakes) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child… [1 Cor 13:11]

There are hidden things in us that we belittle other people for. We carefully conceal what lurks in the secret and dark chambers of our hearts — but they are there. Under difficult circumstances, those secret weaknesses can erupt with terrible results. We can be incredibly hypocritical, often strongly condemning others for the very things we are most guilty of. The greatest and most lethal weapon I am challenged with, is ME.

Who I am when no one is looking is who I really am! I am alone anytime I am surrounded by people who don’t know who I am. Anytime I am in a situation where I can’t fully be myself, I am alone. Anytime I have to put on a facade or camouflage who I really am, I am alone and isolated.

God has been calling us through the problems we experience. We may avoid it because we assume that open confrontation with God will be negative. His plan is for us to surrender to His will and purpose for our lives. Regardless of how rough or tough we act, a real friend will look us in the face and say, “I hear you, but you are STILL wrong.” A true friend loves you enough to stand up to you. God comes to stand up to you and to move you away from mediocrity.

True friendship and intimacy are achieved when we feel so comfortable around others that we can be who we really are. We need to stop hiding ourselves and from ourselves. If we don’t, we may lose our true selves and become the lie we’ve pretended to be. We will be more than pleased as we discover the true depth of relationships we can enjoy as we allow our true selves to emerge. The best part is the stress that is reduced when we just “get real”!

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

Secrets to Growing Successfully …

~ Fear is the biggest hindrance to stepping out toward success. It is mental and emotional and can be eliminated. Convert fear to energy by changing thoughts; it is not about the #s or the $$. It’s about being my best.

~ Whenever you purpose to become your best at whatever you do — everything else will show up!

~ The Secret to Success is to Work Hard!

~ Don’t worry about the words or technique — concentrate on the message. Work to make the content compelling.

~You become what you think about all day long.

~Cultivate a minimum of 20 minutes every morning of “think time” to quietly reflect on lessons learned or challenges overcome. Read something from the Bible or an inspirational devotional to renew your mind.

~In meetings and networking, seek immediate engagement by asking questions about the other person.

~Thinking you can and being prepared brings self-confidence. You must have a belief in whatever it is that you do that is so strong that it is impossible to penetrate.

~ Think about creating and keeping loyal clients. Even in groups, it’s all about one on one.

~ You must adopt the belief that a client is better off for having met with you.

~ To enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, we must love what we do and be prepared for each meeting with clients.

~ To get better at marketing day by day, consider that it is a daily journey toward a bigger goal. This is the “science of selling / marketing”.

~ Ask questions that requires others to think. Engaging people at a emotional level is foundational for building authentic relationships.

~People want to know how they can produce, profit and succeed. Be an excellent resource for those in your sphere of influence.

~My job is to uncover motives of why people need coaching and know the answers to each one.

~Ask questions that engage emotions to discover the barriers [unspoken risks] that people experience.

~ Questions are the heart of building a relationship. Ask and then invest time listening. The right questions will aid in determining the right results.

~ Fear is best overcome by preparedness.

~ We can’t truly succeed and fully enjoy it, unless we’ve had a few failures.

~ Develop network skills. Go to where clients are. Pick a charity and invest yourself.

~ Social media is the industry to watch. Facebook, Linked In and Twitter are making a huge impact in influencing how people are determining their needs, wants and purchases. The key is to have something of value to say that can influence decisions.

~ Add pizzazz to voicemail. Decide to be willing to be / do the best you can.

~ Provide info that assist clients in determining their success.

~Writing is the key to the Law of Attraction; be prepared to inform those who are seeking answers.

~ To serve is to rule. Talk to your clients like you would to your grandma.

~Find something personal that speaks to people and make every effort to do something memorable.

~The better the relationship, the better the listening.

~How do I feel about myself? Do I win or whine? My attitude about me determines how successful I can become.

~I need to cultivate a great attitude, a deep belief in, and love for, what I do, continual preparedness, self-confidence and the ability to be a continual student.

~The person who knows how will always have a job; the person who knows the why will always be the leader.

~Don’t quit too soon! Become the best you can be. First Class is a person not a seat!

~Loving what I do makes every day a holiday.

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

Parenting with Success: One Simple Guideline

Having a daughter 26 years old when I barely feel “grown up” myself is a challenge to consider. It has happened.

Thinking back on 26 years of parenting, the most simple, most helpful advice came from my mom. I expected the “50 best ways to parent”; “growing through the steps of parenting”, “how to instill characteristics of quality in children” etc. That is not what my mom said. When my firstborn was one week old and my mom was leaving to return to her home, I questioned my mom, “What do I do now?” Her reply, “Be consistent. Do what you say. Promise only what you intend to deliver.”

I was more than a bit surprised that parenting, which had tons of books written about it, could be summed up in a simple rule. Be consistent. This was going to be easier than I thought. Famous last words of a novice mom.

I found it easy to promise. “You can have that only after…” “If you don’t finish your peas…” “How many times do I have to remind you that if you don’t pick up your toys…” Consistency quickly turned into compromise.

My common excuses included, “maybe I’m expecting too much”, “I’m tired of repeatedly saying the same things”, “what’s the big deal if I let her get away with it just this once?” What I found was that when I neglected training, I often ended up feeling angry, raising my voice, threatening to send her to her room, etc. The point is my lapse in being consistent rarely brought anything but negative results.

Over time, I came to realize that diligence was the greatest requirement in the parenting process, especially in the early years. It was like tending tomato plants; I needed to find a method that worked for us and replicate it. I learned a little more patience. I learned to choose my battles. It wasn’t such a big deal if she wanted an orange bow in her hair with a pink shirt. No one really cared as much as me.

Much of what I stressed over is so funny to reflect back on. It makes perfect sense that consistency in parenting, really in any relationship, builds trust and confidence. When we do what we say and only promise what we will deliver, that strengthens others’ ability to trust that we keep our word.

One thing I’ve observed, if you want to destroy trust and raise a “rebel”, it’s easy. All you have to do is send that child mixed messages. Live one way, preach another. Say one thing and do another. It works like a charm. We reap what we sow. We can’t have our cake and eat it too.

Parenting, like the Peace Corps, may be the toughest job we will ever love. To truly enjoy our children and build strong and lasting relationships, it is imperative that we make being consistent, job one.

We eat right to stay healthy, we need to utilize the same tenacity to establish safe limits in relationships to keep them healthy. Preventative maintenance in the form of consistent and healthy boundaries, conflict resolution, family traditions and the willingness to listen with our hearts are among the greatest efforts we can make to build relationships that will stay the course.

One simple value that I reflect back on as my children were growing up, is the family dinner table. We share so many wonderful memories from dinner to board games to schoolwork. It is amazing how it all seemed so routine then. Now it appears to be the mortar that allowed us to develop wonderful and cherished moments.

The best thing I take away from my years in parenting is that it is easier to build them than it is to mend them. I have done both. Trust me, the less I say, the more I learn and the sooner they come over to my way of thinking.

To Angel, AnnaLynne, and Rachel, thank you for allowing me to grow with you and to rid myself of a lot of unnecessary selfishness. When I saw some of my negative ways in your young lives, it was the best catalyst for my growing as a person. You most definitely have been the teachers, and I, the student.

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