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

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.

What I Love About….Coming Home

What I love about Sundays:

The meaningful conversations that can happen when we unplug from the weekday routine.

Today, Mama wanted to talk about her cancer and God wanted to encourage my heart through the words and bonding that occurred.

This the the 2-year Anniversary Month of my coming back home to a world I grew up in and having heard all my life that “you can never go back home”, I have to say that (if God leads), I wholeheartedly DISAGREE!

Although, I didn’t roam too far (Atlanta), I find that the culture and speed of life here in Savannah is where my heart truly has always resided.

In our ‘Friendly City’, folks still take time to ‘shoot the breeze’ and take time for the simple treasures. Everywhere I go, (Grocery store, Church, my neighborhood), people are pooling resources to send to the many folks affected by Hurricane Harvey.

In my neighborhood, folks stop and chat and watch out for one another. It’s a treat to welcome new neighbors and help them get to know other neighbors.

My church has truly become Family and the ladies in my Connect Group have become an amazing support system for me.

I’m close to my brother and sister-in-law and get to enjoy being a part of the lives of two very special nieces! ❤️

My lifelong (since 2nd grade) friend helped me to bridge the years and feel as though I’d never left.

I’ve been blessed with 3 dear women who are CareGiver’s for my mom and they have learned a lot about me and still love me! 😊

And in my work, I am part of a Real Estate Team that I feel a sense of belonging, more like family and ‘Cheers’ and not so much like we are competing against one another.

It’s a joy to be a part of a community where folks open doors, offer umbrellas and say ‘Please and Thank You’ routinely.

The closest thing to heaven that I’ve experienced so far, is coming home! Thank YOU, Lord!

And can someone please pass the Grits! 😊❤️

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

The Voice that Speaks for Me is … My Own

For the most part, I would argue that I don’t blame other people for things that happen to me. I’ve managed to survive divorce without making it all someone else’s fault.  I’ve managed to grow up without feeling I’m entitled because of something my parents did or did not do in line with my expectations. I have basically tried to take ownership of my life.

However, in my continuing education as a Life Coach, I have determined that I have continually looked at difficult people in my world and felt that their impact on me, and thus, my response had more to do with their issues than with mine. Since I coach around creating healthier relationships, I have come to realize that difficult people are the sandpaper God allows into my life to smooth out my rough edges. If I am looking at their actions or behavior and making excuses from the challenges that present themselves in the discourse, I am not “getting it”.

My grandmother would say “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. Meaning that after I’ve observed the attitudes and reactions of a difficult, angry, controlling, irresponsible or otherwise annoying personality, to continue to allow it to go on in my life unaddressed is something I am responsible for.  If you are standing on my toe and I’m too “scared, embarrassed, fearful” to find my voice and tell you, is this really your problem?

I am learning that the voice that speaks for me is and should be ONLY my own.  If I expect you to protect my feelings, talents, emotions, ideas etc. and I do nothing to communicate my hurt feelings when you trample them, how is this something that you can be held responsible for. If you ask for truth and I gloss it over with the “oh no, I’m fine”, how are you supposed to know?

Often, I have witnessed people, years after a relational breakdown continue to speak about how the person did such and such to them.  They recount and relive every detail as though they are still living it.  All the while, holding the other party fully responsible. Never coming to the realization that if it was a continual process, they were partly responsible for enabling it to continue as long as they did. How tragic, because this behavior impacts future relationships and hinders forgiveness and the ability to move on from the wounds.

While some recognize the truth in “we have seen the enemy and it is us”, many do not realize that enabling a relationship to continue without addressing issues that have hurt and wounded us is very self-destructive. Somehow they manage to relieve the guilt by blaming the other person for being so difficult, controlling, angry, threatening yada yada yada.  When in reality, all along, confrontation was necessary.  We excuse our challenges by saying that we dislike confrontations.  With tongue in cheek here, I ask, which do you dislike more, confrontations or having someone trample all over the things you value and feeling powerless to do anything about it?

God gave us free will and the ability and strength to steward our lives. We must own up to the responsibility of saying, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me” when it comes to using our voice to establish safe limits on what we will allow into our lives and what we will eliminate from our lives.  No one can do this for us.  We alone know the impact someone else’s words or actions have on us and we have the right and responsibility to calmly make them aware of our feelings around their actions.

If you don’t want to continue to get what you have always received, you must change the methods in which you respond to and handle the same issues. We cannot change or control another person. I can’t say to you, “you will not speak to me this way” and really expect that you will simply season your words with kindness.  A better approach is to say, “if you choose to act in this manner, I will not be present. I refuse to allow myself to be treated this way”. This seems somewhat scary depending on the significance of the relationship in our lives. However, what kind of relationship is it anyway, if we are merely showing up to be treated poorly?  Distancing ourselves from someone’s outbursts requires them to reflect on the relationship and take responsibility for their actions, if the relationship is important to them.  What if they walk away, you may ask? Well, the sooner you know the better, right?

It is okay to set limits on the way you are treated, how much time you will spend helping another person, and in the commitments you make.  The important thing is that we give and serve from a cheerful heart.  If we do it for any other purpose rather than out of love, we will feel obligated and resentful.

We may be thinking we are actually helping someone, but that simply isn’t true if we have expectations or strings attached to the time or gifts we give.  Giving from a cheerful heart requires that we do our kind deeds from a heart of love and not out of fear of the other person’s reactions.

Freedom to be who we are, requires finding our voice to speak for what we can or can’t do, will or won’t do, need, or how and when we desire to give of ourselves for another.  It is much better to spend time with someone who wants to help than with someone who is edgy and resentful because they really do not want to do what they have signed on for.  Offer your support out of a sincere desire to serve. Say no when you cannot give without stress or resentment.  Enjoy the difference!

Also remember, if you decline an opportunity and find later than you can get on board, it is much easier to turn your “no” into a “yes” than the reverse. You will truly experience better and safer relationships.  People don’t remember what we say or do ~ they remember the way we make them feel.

Find where you can serve joyously and go spread the joy!

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

 

Kindness & Respect: Key to Happy Relationships

* Being really good friends is a gift

* Laugh at yourself; don’t take yourself too seriously; you will become much easier to be around

* Kindness is one or the primary ingredients in nourishing a warm feeling between two people

* Kindness is about treating your partner and others the way you would like to be treated.

* Kindness practiced daily is key to a lifetime partnership.

* When your heart is open and you’re sharing your love with others, you’ll draw love of all kinds in your direction

* Pausing a moment when our partner is finished speaking to think before we speak is the essence of having a loving relationship that doesn’t have to be so complicated.

* The characteristics that define a loving relationship are a loving heart, thoughtfulness, generosity, a lack of jealousy, kindness, shared values, trust, integrity, etc. Own your own stuff.

* Happy, non-frustrated couples tend to do things their own way and make up their own set of rules. Instead of looking over their shoulders to see if they are getting approval from others, they discover for themselves what brings them joy, and they live their lives their own way.

* When you respond with love, you’re in a position to experience loving interaction and a successful partnership. You’ll be non-defensive, non-reactive and accepting. You will find that everything important in your relationship will auto-magically fall in place, including the difficulties.

* Love heals. When you respond with love, your partner respects you, loves you, wants to be with you, and wants you to be happy. Responding with love helps your partner to see his or her flaws w/o feeling defensive or threatened. Respond with love and all will be well.

* If your partner isn’t free to share his dreams with you w/o criticism, he will stop sharing – guaranteed. If you can’t share your fears w/o being lectured, you’ll turn to others who will listen.

* There is tremendous freedom that comes with the acceptance of change. Embracing change means that you stop demanding that life be anything other than it really is in the moment.

* When you over-analyze anything that bothers you, you’ll end up a little discouraged, frustrated or angry. As you back off negative thinking, your irritation begins to diminish and your loving feelings will return.

* A happy person is more likely to be easier to be with, a better listener, a more passionate lover, more inclined to share in the joy of others, more giving and compassionate and more likely to make decisions that enhance the quality of a relationship.

* Sharing your dreams, hopes, and desires with each other deeply connects two people.

* When your heart is filled with love, your partner will sense it, drop his defenses and usually return to a more loving feeling.

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

Mental-Pause for a Moment

The dog looks at me hopefully. Trouble is, I can’t remember if I fed him already. Or is it that I haven’t taken him out yet today? I have a clear memory of getting his food, filling his bowl with water, and placing it on the kitchen floor, but was that today or yesterday morning?

Recently in a restaurant, Jeff took my hand and prayed over our meal. Moments later, before taking my first bite, I asked if he was going to pray over our meal. Needless to say, he asked if I was okay. Okay, define okay. I’m here. It’s today. What do I have to do or say or jump through to determine if I’m okay?

These kinds of memory lapses have been increasing as I travel through perimenopause. I walk into a room and forget why I’m there, which happens all the time. I put names and phone numbers in my blackberry but for the life of me can’t recall who these people are nor why I have their name in my phone.

My issues with menopause, which everyone who knows me is aware that I have diagnosed  as “mental-pause” can have me look at a lamp and forget the word for it. I have called the dogs in by the names of my kids. I am for the most part, a work-at-home mom, which helps because fortunately it is my two dogs, Sam and Bailey who would have the greatest stories about my mental-pause days (daze).

Things like the hot tea I made three hours ago that is still sitting on the pedestal at the one-cup-at-a-time coffee maker we have. Or the cup of tea I roam around two floors looking for only to find the cup washed and in the sink drain with no recollection whatsoever as to whether or not I made tea, drank it and washed my cup or if perhaps, I never even made it in the first place.

Then there’s email – I have checked my email archives trying to remember if I responded to someone on a particular issue from days ago. And there are days when I just stay in my pjs and work with my laptop in my bed. Something I would never have done 10 years ago.  I can go all day till around 1 pm and not even think about food.  The next day I’m hungry every 15 minutes.

I think the most difficult is that I can be angry or in tears so easily. I can have trouble getting an extension cord unplugged from the outlet and actually sit in the floor and sob about it. My poor dogs don’t know what to think, but they faithfully come to where I am and sit with me during my “moments”.

Or sometimes if Jeff doesn’t answer his cell phone right away, I feel angry and abandoned. I have even told him so. Or at least I think I have.  A benefit to mental-pause is that my husband is learning that I definitely cannot read his mind when most days I may be discovered actually searching for mine.

Our brains need estrogen, but as those levels decrease, are we doomed to live in a state of forgetfulness? No. According to Barbara Strauch, health and science editor of The New York Times, many of the stereotypes of the aging brain are wrong, and in reality, our problem-solving ability is far better in mid life than in our 20s. But while menopause is “an enormous bumpy road” memory-wise, according to Strauch, our adaptable brains function just as well — if not better — after menopause. Another benefit of the aging brain? Well-being peaks in later years. Now if I can only remember that.Regardless of this strange season of life, the prognosis for survival is good. The better news is there are support groups if that is something that you think could be helpful. There is also a host of interesting articles and books on the subject that can make you feel a little more “normal” in this otherwise abnormal state.  Menopause can be a good time in life to look forward to getting older, which means you will be through all the symptoms both known and unknown and the overall discomfort.Sharing this article with the special people in your life may help them understand that you are still you and that you will get “okay” again – you just aren’t exactly sure when. It can help us to also remember our own moms and smile at some things we may have thought about behavior from them that seemed a little out-of-the-ordinary.  So have fun and enjoy being in a new character role occasionally.  After all, variety can be a spice to life ;)Common symptoms of menopause include:

  • Heart pounding or racing
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Skin flushing
  • Sleeping problems (insomnia)

Other symptoms of menopause may include:

  • Decreased interest in sex, possibly decreased response to sexual stimulation
  • Forgetfulness (in some women)
  • Headaches
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Mood swings including irritability, depression, and anxiety
  • Urine leakage
  • Vaginal dryness and painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal infections
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Irregular heartbeat (palpitations)

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

Simplicity is the Key to Establishing Better Habits

Getting started on a new plan, venture, habit, exercise program, reading plan etc is not always the biggest obstacle. It’s the sticking-to-it that’s difficult.

The acronym K.I.S.S. can be a good fit here, reminding us to “keep it simple”.  Many times we are fearful to start something because we are afraid we won’t finish it. And we are right; if we don’t start it, we will NOT finish it. So the process to begin should be easy.

Do you have a treadmill or maybe a plan to walk every day? Have you been toying with it in your mind but so far no action has been taken? Consider giving up the approach of 30 minutes a day and make the earnest effort to do 5 minutes. You may be surprised how easily you can form the new habit if it isn’t overwhelming. Also, ask yourself, how likely am I to start big (walk for 30 minutes) and stay the course? What if I start small (treadmill for 5 minutes) and build from there, or simply incorporate the freedom that some days I will have 5 minutes to spend on it and other days I will have the flexibility to go for 30 minutes.

Often if we start with the 30 minute plan and the day comes when it doesn’t work out, we are tempted to quit altogether because we feel like a failure. Think about the fact that even 5 minutes on a walk each day is better than sitting home and beating yourself up for not doing 30 minutes. It is all in how you look at it.

It’s the same with saving money. You may not have $1000 to commit to a savings plan, but what about $100 or $10. The hardest part of any journey or new habit is the very first step.
 
And whether it is exercising or starting a savings plan, if you start simple, you will like it, love it, and then want more of it. It becomes a bit of an addiction ~ a healthy one, I will add!

Your tendency, as mine, may be that you want to do much more, because you’re excited. I still will encourage you to start as simply as possible. Staying with the program is much easier if you are changing or adding only a simple task to your regular routine.

So make it so incredibly simple that you cannot fail. After you have established that wonderful adrenaline rush from doing your new habit, you can build it to whatever level you desire.

Life is good ~ work, saving, exercising, living and loving doesn’t have to be difficult – set yourself up for success. Don’t allow failure to be an option!

My mom always tells me that “Winners are the ones who won’t quit”!  

Go on, get out there, you can do it! 

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