Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?

In order to grow, one of the most important lessons that we can invest time in learning is how to sit calmly and wait in our discomfort. This is a temporary task, but not an easy one. We are not in control of the timeframe. But God is. 

The most fertile ground for growth in our life, spiritually and emotionally, is during our times of uncertainty. The moment of perfect certainty for any decision or choice we are faced with, NEVER comes. But, hindsight is 20/20. 

When we are in school as children, we received our lessons and then we were given the test. That's not so much the way it works in our adult worlds. We typically are faced with the test, and then we get the lesson.

God, not principles, doctrines, habits or routines is our greatest Source of Life and Love.  His plan is for true connection and deep relationships. The determining factors of true connectedness are genuine, healthy relatedness, the ability to be vulnerable and having close relationships where we are not ashamed of being who we truly are. To grow we need to be in relationship with God and with safe people we can trust, whose character we know to be reliable.

Many of our struggles can stem from trying to control things outside of our control. When we focus on this effort, we often lose control of ourselves.  God is in control of the big picture … we are to maintain self-control of our own lives and what He has given to us.

Praying the Serenity Prayer helps us regain control of our lives. "God grant me the Serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference". 

The Fall reversed God's order of things, leaving us looking to become independent from God, our Source:
~A desire to be like God.
~A desire to gain life outside of relationship with God.
~An assumption that wisdom and knowledge could be gained apart from God, the True Source.
~A step away from the role of dependence on God.

In addition to becoming independent of God, Adam & Eve lost their relationship with Him and with each other. Death meant separation from Him, who is Life!  They entered a state of becoming enemies of God and lost their intimacy and vulnerability with each other … naked & ashamed.

The impact on us personally is that love became much harder to find and even harder to sustain.

Thankfully, God, in Christ, offers reconciliation for all things. This happens in every one who applies it to their life. The process of growth itself is the returning of everything to it’s rightful and righteous place before God. Solving life’s problems and growing spiritually are one and the same thing! In redemption, we come back to God as the Source of Life. 

We seek Him first. He is the One who adds life. We come back to full dependence on God alone. He is the Source of healing and growth. Redemption helps us get to the end or our attempt to provide for ourselves, and turn our full focus to God for strength, truth, healing, care, correction, etc. 

To return to the created order means to get back into relationship with God and with each other.  Everything in life depends on loving God and loving others. Redemption reconciles us into right relationship with God by faith and forgiveness, and re-establishes connection. Secondly, redemption reverses our alienation and isolation from each other and get us rightly connected.  It is a surrender to God as Lord in every area of our life.  

As we grow spiritually by deepening our intimacy with God and being in true connection to others who are safe for us, we cease making destructive choices, and begin to do things that lead to a better life. We give up control, initiate self-control and allow others to be who they were meant to be. 

In essence, we stop making up our own rules and live the life God has designed us to live. 

Our expectations can cause us to hold rigid standards in how we judge others, as opposed to offering them the grace that we all receive by surrendering our will to God. When we focus on the faults of others and not on their hearts, we lose out on learning their fears, vulnerabilities and the things they are passionate about. 

When we hold space for others, we provide a safe place where’s there’s enough grace to open up and bring things into the light where they can be healed. When we act in a way that displeases God, He doesn’t condemn, He connects with our heart, and offers us grace.

As we discover and acknowlege that God is for us and not against us, we can grow because we are able to shift from a natural human view of God to a real, Biblical view of God. We shift from seeing a God of Law to a God of Grace. We are then able to see Him as One who loves us and not someone we need to avoid when we fail.

Once our view of God shifts, we can learn to love as He has loved us. We are able to offer grace as well as lovingly confront when needed. We can accept responsibility for our lives and choices and allow others to do the same. We practice self-control and not other-control. This enables us to become safe people who have a strong connection to God as well as healthy boundaries to receive what is good and to eliminate what is bad in our lives.

We demonstrate that we are a safe person for others by respecting their boundaries, as well as allowing them to bear the consequences of their choices. Most of the process involves learning to become aware, responsive and dependent on Jesus on a daily basis… thus being built up in the faith.

One way to bear the necessary pain of growth is to be humble. We then become willing to allow something uncomfortable to happen to us, if it’s the right thing to do. To be comforted, understood and strengthened, we need God and others in our life. Jesus modeled dependence on God and on His inner circle. When Jesus was hurt by others, he didn’t focus on the injurer, giving control of His life to them. He didn’t allow His hurts to alter His direction or values in life. 

If we deny our emotional hurts, we remain injured. In painful times, the temptation comes to get our needs met in ways other than what is God’s best for us. 

Our desire to grow or change is initiated by God. Growth begins in a secure relationship and in alignment with God. The Holy Spirit will always be with us and will search our hearts and show us what we need to change. He will give us the ability to do the things we need to do.

The power of the Holy Spirit often draws us toward His truth, when we are facing an issue. He will often allow this 'concern' to stay with us, simply camped out in our minds, waiting for us to deal with it. This usually means doing the 'next basic right thing'. This is a time to commit to pray until we sense His gentle press in how we should move or respond. Prayer changes things, either instantly or over time.

Our most basic need in life is for relationship. Acceptance builds trust and relationship. We cannot grow unless we are sure that we are known and loved. Relationships where we receive warmth and the permission to be ourselves, allow us to become more vulnerable and bring parts of ourselves to light, that need to be connected. The connection to relationship itself fuels growth in us, because we have the support that we need.

Support enables each of us to go through our times of grief, trials, growth and a whole host of other challenges. To support others during their difficult times, we offer acceptance and grace and patiently wait as God uses us to encourage them in their walk. As we learn to trust each other, we are open to share vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We feel less empty and isolated. Confession opens the soul to being loved by others. Eventually our wings will heal and we will, once again, soar as God intended! 

We all have coping mechanisms to cover pain, help us deal with fear, manage relational inabilities, and help us hold it all together. Trials and suffering push those mechanisms past the breaking point so we can find where we need to grow. Then true spiritual growth begins at deeper levels and we are healed.

Once we are moving on a path toward healing, righteousness and character take the place of coping, and the prize we win is character. We stretch to grow by pushing through fear, vulnerability and pain. We gain strength when we ask God the question, “What can I learn from this?” When we look to God for wisdom and the steps to maturity, and complete the steps we don't have to repeat the lesson.

Pain that prohibits us from healing, comes from ruminating, recounting and repeating old patterns of attempting to avoid the suffering it would take to change them. We can suffer greatly because of personal character faults. We have to avoid the enemy’s temptation to medicate the pain and continue to repeat the mistakes. While pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

Self-medication methods such as performance, perfectionism, materialism, busyness, control, etc., deceive us into believing we can avoid suffering. However, these vices cannot carry the weight of the problems they try to mask. 

Often, the underlying reasons why people demonstrate defensive character patterns such as detaching when things get heated and / or withdrawing when things get uncomfortable are because of fear or hurt. The best way to feel powerful in a relationship is to stand there and be honest.

To reach higher levels of emotional health and maturity, we have to give back better than we receive, regardless of how we are treated. We are able to choose to overcome evil with good. This is how we are saved from other people’s problems and their outcomes. 

We are only as healthy as our ability to relate as God relates; He is honest, loving, forgiving, communicates well and is able to be vulnerable, real and transparent. He confronts hurtful behavior in loving ways when necessary, and allows for consequences so lasting change can occur.

Grief is God’s cure for what is not right and it is the toughest pain we have to deal with. Grief does not 'happen' to us, we must enter into it. It is the one type of pain that heals all the others. Grief is our lament (prayer expressing sorrow, pain or confusion), for what we have lost and it allows us to mourn so we can be restored and comforted when things have gone wrong.

Grief is God’s way of us getting finished with the bad stuff of life. It is the process by which we get over it, and are able to let it go. The soul is freed from painful experiences and released for new and better experiences. 

Allow yourself to cry it out and it will get out and be over! And, consider journaling your thoughts... at least, the ones that open you up to hope, heal and trust that God has a plan and it is never to harm us!

The life we want is found in doing things God’s way. We learn to do life on God’s terms by relinquishing our old, flawed way of doing things and look to Him for guidance and insight into what is His best for us. He wants to teach us some critical skills that will change everything. 

He wants us to understand that honesty is not only a virtue; it is the only way to enjoy intimacy. Confession and owning our faults is the only way to grow and reach our life goals. Listening to feedback and correction is a gift that brings life. Forgiving others is our path to healing, freedom and reconciliation. 

Remember, getting aligned with God and getting healthy are one and the same thing!

When you build a life and stand on what Jesus taught, regardless of what happens you will make it through. 

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Points to Ponder:

What is God saying to you through what you have just read? Connect with me and share your thoughts. 

***Relationship coaching can help you eliminate negative beliefs and unhealthy habits, and create joy-filled relationships. For more information on a Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships Coaching Group, or to Join the WaitList for pre-enrollment pricing, send a message (see below).

Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


Spread the Love by Clicking the Share Link at the Top Left of this Post!

Have You Allowed False Assumptions to Harm Your Significant Relationships?

Have you ever spent time with your spouse, parent, son or daughter, or a close friend and mentioned an idea only to have them either respond with silence or a host of questions? Or perhaps, they have mentioned something about your idea that brought some anxiety or concern to them? 

What happens next? Do you calmly try to ease their minds by providing additional info or holding space for them to share their thoughts or concerns? Or, like many of us, do you assume the worst... 'they think my idea is bad', or 'they are angry at me for suggesting this' or 'they really are not open to try anything different', etc.? Are we too easy to jump to conclusions on situations because we read too much into them?

Let's consider for a moment that they may simply be processing their thoughts and want to learn more about the specifics of what you are sharing with them? Maybe it isn't that they are unwilling, but simply that their personality may naturally just be one that is more curious and they prefer having more details.

Mama always told me to "Never assume!" You may have heard that before as well. However, my mother was not one to use the word 'never' because she believed that 'we should never say never because we never know!' So, when she said not to assume numerous times, it was something I paid close attention to. 

She had a little pun to add to it. I won't write it here but I'll give you a little riddle. The first three letters in the word 'assume' describe the King James term for a donkey. The last three letters tell who is made out to be the animal described in the first three letters. So, have a little fun and you will figure it out. If not, reach out to me in the comments below (You will need to click the link to my site at the bottom of this email. The comment form is displayed at the bottom of the post on my site). 

I am a verbal processor so I will often repeat back a thought or an idea that is suggested to me. Sometimes, I make sound like a parrot, LOL! This is the only way I have been able to internalize what I've heard. Without verbal processing, it is also difficult for me to remember what I hear. I'm a little weird in that way!

Internal processors (they need to 'think' on it), can get really annoyed by folks who process the way I do. In fact, when we need to think on things, often it can be a real challenge to avoid assuming because we don't always experience our curiousity right out of the gate. The challenge presents itself later when questions come to mind and whoever shared the idea with us may no longer be around to provide the clarity that is needed. 

We typically view the world through the lens of our own experiences, history, personality, temperament and perhaps, through the way we were raised. Additionally, we interpret words and body language in similar ways as well. 

What this means in significant relationships, is that we tend to routinely misunderstand or misread what is said or done. And more importantly, we may take it personally! And then, take offense. (Note here: offenses are taken, not given, so think on that a bit). 

Wrong assumptions and mistaken perceptions typically increase conflict in relationships, and can often lead to damaging arguments. This is especially true in marriage and other close relationships.

Here are some negative patterns to be on the look out for, in order to avoid negative relational issues:

1) Pay attention to your thoughts and perceptions. When you notice you are making assumptions, ask yourself, "Is this perception accurate? Or am I reading too much into this?"

2) Be aware of the lenses that you are seeing life through. When my oldest daughter was a teenager, she once stated to me a simple but profound truth. She said, "Life is a perception issue, Mom. It is what we perceive it to be, whether or not it is true". Such wisdom! Our perspectives can be accurate or they can be terribly distorted at times. Consider the experiences that you've had that have shaped the way you view life: anger, fear, loss or rejection, shame or guilt, hopelessness, perfectionism, people pleasing, avoidance, or withdrawal, etc. When you are processing what someone may mean when they are saying or doing something that you are uncertain about, ask yourself if you are observing their words or actions through any of these lenses that may have caused much difficulty for you.

3) Identify negative thoughts and feelings that may surface as you listen to what your loved one is saying. (One major issue to be aware of here is to be sure you are actively listening. Active listening means not interrupting and not focusing on what or how you will respond... just listen!) Bring your negative thoughts or feelings out in the open and pose them as questions to gain greater clarity and avoid the risk of harming the relational connection. 

4) Make the effort to move your thoughts in a more accurate direction. Our thoughts have a lot of power to move us forward or mislead us in destructive ways that hold us back. This is especially important to remember. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:15, "Take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ". If you find that you are tempted to make wrong or negative assumptions, pause before you react, and consider if the lens you are viewing the situation through may be distorted.

By putting these strategies into practice, you can avoid rocky relationships. Letting go of your assumptions and focusing on what your loved one is actually trying to communicate helps clear up false assumptions and expectations that lead to misunderstandings, and provide for more pleasant and joy-filled relationships!

If this is an encouragement for you, please share with the other amazing women in your life!

-Sheri xo 
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


Spread the Love by Clicking the Share Link at the Top Left of this Post!

Have You Ever Felt Guilty for Quitting When Things Get Tough?

When we were in school, we got the lesson and then the test. It is not always the same out here in real life. It's more like, we get the test and then the lesson.
Read more...

What Role Do Our Children Really Play in Our Lives?

This is a special tribute to my three amazing daughters .... who have forged a path for me to gain wisdom.... You are my child, my teacher, my friend..... 

Dear Angel, AnnaLynne & Rachel…

From the moment I first saw your face, you gazing with eyes not yet focused, me gazing with eyes filled with wonder...until the moment when I watched you fly from the nest to meet your appointments with life, I am certain that being your mom has been the most rewarding, fearful and joyful experience I could ever hope to have. 

I am convinced that it is you who has been the teacher, and it is I, who has been the student.

You began making sentences, with "Why, Mama?" Later in your teen years, you changed it to, "Why not, Mom?" Your stream of endless questions kept your thirst for life as a continual quest. You never tired of learning and growing and exploring and dreaming and creating.

All I had to do was comment that I wasn't sure how or if a particular thing could work the way you hoped, to set you in motion. You put your whole heart into the things you are passionate about. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned from watching you, is to be passionate about what and who you love!

Even before you could speak, your eyes asked questions and your tiny hands reached to touch, learn, taste and see.

I was amazed at the thirst you had to learn numbers, letters, animals, colors, textures, foods, shapes, trees, flowers, stars, and clouds.

We read books and you became the much-loved characters. Your imagination was infinite. You would lead, and I would follow. 

I grew so much more aware of the world around me through the wonder in your eyes.

You taught me trust, delight, and hope. You gave my life meaning and purpose.

You held a mirror before each of my attitudes and you role-played all my reactions.You became the reason for me to make better choices, to mean what I said, to live what I believe, and to internalize all that is good in my life. It is you, who connected the dots for me.

In a sense, I grew up right along with you. I wanted to be more like you. AndI still do!

I understood why God said that to get into heaven, I would need to become as a little child.

I learned that your spontaneous way of doing life was so much more freeing than the legalistic and controlled way I had attempted to live it.

You wiped away the dust from my daily routine and colored the common things with fresh ideas and showered me with delight to hear your giggles and laughter.

You made things new and gave me a desire to live authentically and become the best version of myself.

You gave me eyes to appreciate and see the value in people, whether they were aged or from different cultures. 

You saw the beauty in the plain and creativity in those timid or challenged. You gave me an open path to tap into my creative energies! 

In this season of our lives, I am simply grateful to be here for you, to support, encourage, cheerlead, and experience all that is important to You....  

You have become the most beautiful young women, not so much my children, as my friends, and truthfully, my instructors in how to love the life I live!!

You have taught me that love is my commitment to the welfare of another.

You are the reason that it all makes sense for me now. 

I love you always !

Your Forever Fan, Mommy =)



Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


Spread the Love by Clicking the Share Link at the Top Left of this Post!

Have You Ever Felt that You are a Magnet for Difficult People?

For most situations in my life, I would be willing to say 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 been willing to go the extra mile in work or projects where I truly wanted to succeed, without expecting anyone else to tow the line for me. I have basically tried to take ownership of my life.

However, I have continually been challenged in my thinking regarding 'difficult' people in my world, due to a longstanding false belief that their impact on my life has more to do with their issues than with mine.

Since I coach and facilitate groups around creating healthier relationships and healthy boundaries, I have finally 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 the actions or behavior of others and making excuses for the way I react to them, I am not "getting it". I have not been afforded the opportunity to order every piece of my environment so that it is perfected for my convenience. There are places inside my soul that need to be healed from expectations I've had that the world revolves around me and my comfort. Tough lesson. Much needed. 

My grandmother often said "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, and I continue to allow it to go on in my life unaddressed, this 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? If I am intent on faking 'fine', I am choosing to 'accept' the behavior and actions of someone with whom I may need to find the courage to have that difficult conversation I have been avoiding.

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? If we are not pro-active to protect our peace and calm, who else will be?

The 'blame' game, which is me believing that my reactions are somehow someone else's fault or responsibility, only keeps the cycle of chaos going. The relationship doesn't heal and neither can I. Taking responsibility and ownership of what we choose and what we allow into our lives, goes much farther in getting us out of destructive cycles. 

God gave us free will and the ability and strength to manage 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. This provides the greatest opportunity for the relationship to move through the painful or awkward phase and into a breakthrough where it can be restored, often to a closer, more intimate bond. Breakdowns and places where we are most resistant are often the places where we will have the greatest breakthroughs.

Even if we are unable, at this point, to get the relationship back on track, we can be free of the control we allow it to have over our lives when we choose to forgive. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. The other person may not even be aware of our choice. I've often heard it said that choosing not to forgive someone, which isn't saying that what they did was okay, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It’s never going to happen. 

What I do know from my own experience when going through the divorce of a 19-year marriage is that not forgiving someone basically gives them free rent inside my head.

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, what we need, or how and when we desire to give our time or resources to help another person . 

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!

PS. If you have enjoyed this post, please share with other fabulous women who are ready to do Life-by-God’s-Design!

Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


Spread the Love by Clicking the Share Link at the Top Left of this Post!
 
Read Older Updates