Charissa Steyn Life Coaching

What God Is Trying to Tell Us Through Our Social Media Addiction

What is the strange and gripping desire in me- and perhaps in you too- to scroll through photos and scan the updates on our social media feeds…to look on little screens under our covers before bed, to smile at small square images popping up every few minutes, to sneak away and peruse people’s lives near and far…what is this? What is it that we want so badly? What are we hunting for and hoping to find each day through these images and these words?

Some people like to call it an addiction or an obsession. Social media is dangerous- it’s destroying our lives and our generation, they say. But what if it is God?

What if our desire to see pictures of friends’ birthdays and holiday celebrations, or our longing to see childrens’ smiles and delicious plates of food or breathtaking scenery is all about God? What if the real reason behind wanting to hear of answered prayers, intentional living, life-changing revelations, beautiful days, or surprising breakthroughs all comes back to our divine design?

What if God, through all of our obsession with scrolling through our social media feeds at any and every moment of the day, is trying to talk to us? What if He is trying to reveal Himself and who we were created to be?

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I think it’s safe to say that I am addicted to social media. There I said it.

I don’t want to miss out on hearing or seeing good news in people’s lives. Babies being born, prayers being answered, redemptive and miraculous stories unfolding, the list goes on. I want to be in the midst of the laughter and rejoicing and dancing. {And social media makes me feel like I am!}  I desire to be in a community of people who celebrate life, share their excitement, and capture the beauty around them. A community that breathes good news. Even though I get a taste of this in my real life, the craving never dies. I still want more. More and more good news. I cannot get enough.

Perhaps you could say the same about yourself? Maybe on some level you are hungering for more too- and you’re looking everywhere- in your kids, good deeds, in your parties, or in your hobbies, in your work, in your emails or your social media feeds. You want joy, peace, hope, life, passion, an encounter with the miraculous.

I believe at the core of our addiction is this:

You and I we were created for Good News!

And this is good news! But it gets better.

We were not only created to see or hear good news. We were created to live and experience This Good News everyday.  

This Good News is the Gospel.

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There is a Gospel hole inside each of us- dare I say it is gaping wide! We are desperately longing to be filled at all hours of the day with Good News, especially in our crazy world today.

The Gospel is God’s story of hope and restoration. The Gospel, this Good News, declares God’s kindness and love. His rescue and redemption for everyone, everywhere. The Gospel is God’s freeing truth, His gentle whisper, that He has come to us. He is not far off. He is here. His kingdom is now.

If God had a social media feed it would be this- the Gospel. It would be a string of NEVER ENDING GOOD NEWS! Hope. Peace. Joy. Restoration. New Life. The images, the stories, the words-all of it would leave us breathless. But it wouldn’t stop there…

God Himself would invite us to join in. To experience and live out this Gospel with Him. To literally feed on it and let it nourish, sustain, and change our lives.

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If you are like me and feeling that urge to see if you can find some hope, some glimmer of heaven, some good news to give you joy, or give you a rush of excitement whether in social media or somewhere else, then I dare you {and myself} to turn to God’s social media- and feed on His Gospel.  The world- the oceans, the rivers, the skies- display His goodness! People- their hearts, their eyes, their faces- declare His glory! 

His Gospel is alive!

Feast on this Goodness. Stand in awe of the Beauty. Let the Greatest News you will ever hear, see, or experience wash over your weary heart. It is for everyone, everywhere. 

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His Gospel is the answer to the Good News all of us are seeking. If we let it, this Good News will keep us up late at night because it’s so thrilling and refreshing, but it will also give us rest. Every picture and every word touching us deeply, drawing us into His heart, inspiring our creativity, and leading us into the mystery of faith. Instead of bring jealousy or despair, it would bring more life and transformation.

What if we let our hungry-for-good-news hearts find their fix in the Gospel not in the scrolling of our computer screens or phones?

What if we let our fascination with social media pull us straight into the real Good News today, The Gospel?

What if we spent our day desiring to catch a spare moment here or there, to hide away under our blankets, to steal away a second while our kids are playing, to just hear, see, and experience the Real Good News … the Gospel- the story of God’s love for you and me?

What if this is what God is trying to tell us through our obsession with social media, the modern-day well of our society?10817523_1514678038803283_1796238368_n.jpg  923824_397021167140824_1280986724_n.jpg
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What if He is trying to show us that HE is the epitome of Good News and that our hearts were made to be steeped in His Gospel all the time, so that we can pour it out on other thirsty souls?

What if we made this Good News our addiction?

What if we, like the shepherds and the scholars, set out on a pilgrimage to find this Good News, to earnestly desire  all that our hearts are longing for and always believed was true?

“…a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.” (Matthew 2)

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. (Luke 2) 

 

How Am I Really Doing? {aka: My Least Favorite Question}

Lots and LOTS of people have been asking me this question over the past few weeks, “So…How are you really doing?” I’ve been asked in messages, over the phone, at the park, in coffee shops. I’ve been asked by friends, people who don’t really know me, by family, and my husband.

I admit, I don’t always like this question because I never know how to respond.  Do I just smile and give the usual, good.

I never know if the person who asked will actually have the time to listen. How much do I share, how many layers do I unravel, how deep do I go?

This question also sends me down the road of worry. “Oh no, what’s wrong with me? I guess I’m not okay! What are they seeing that I’m not?” I often start to make up issues that don’t actually exist.

“How are you really doing” can be an intimidating question. This question demands something more than a socially acceptable, “Fine, thanks, and you?”

Perhaps you are dying for someone to see past your mask and desire to know the real you. Perhaps you want to avoid this question for fear of what others will think when they see what is behind your clean house and pretty face.

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How am I really doing?  Well, I’m definitely not going to pour every ounce of that response out here. But I do want to share some of what I’m going through in hopes that as I go first, you will be freed up to be more of who you really are and to help someone else do the same. 

The answer is a long one of course. Our hearts are never really good at keeping things brief. How could they? Our hearts hold the essence of who we are, everything about us. Indeed our hearts are rich with stories, we are complex, beautiful beings.

If we could sit in my living room with blankets and cups of tea you might hear me say this:

Living in another country is hard. Being the foreigner takes its toll on my soul quickly. Not understanding the people around me leave can leave me feeling lonely at the end of the day. I miss my family, my friends, all normal longings of those living outside their places of familiarity. I forget how long it takes to make new friends, to penetrate a community, to feel known, and to make a difference.

You would hear me talk about how motherhood brings me the max of what I can give every single day. It’s more challenging than I ever imagined.  I yell at my kids. I lose my temper just like they do. I turn into a crazy mother monster if I don’t get my sleep. But somehow I also manage to remind myself daily that, amidst my failings, blowout diapers, and walks to the park that all of this, although a quiet and invisible work, is of eternal significance.

You would probably see the tears run down my cheeks too. I wouldn’t hide from you that I feel a bit confused and disappointed in this season. But I wouldn’t stop there because although God is pruning areas He is also bringing exciting growth and breathing life into my heart and instilling confidence in me I never had before. And I would tell you about that too…about God and what I feel him speaking and showing me. His unending grace. His unconditional love. His presence in my life. 

You would probably hear more than you care to know about my marriage, my mistakes, and my mundane. I’m not afraid of sharing my life with others.

I’ve seen it far too many times… when the response to how I am really doing collides with open ears and a compassionate friend- I am changed. Walking through our hearts, unearthing its treasures, and sifting through the dirt, always brings healing.

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So to all of you who have asked whether in a conversation on my couch or over letters on a screen: Thank you for daring to ask that big question and really wanting know the answer. In your simple asking I find healing and hope and encouragement. And I am strengthened to ask the same of others, “So…How are you really  doing?”

It’s not my favorite question, but it’s a freeing question. I become more of who God has called me to be when I look beneath the hurry and haste of my heart. 

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THE CHALLENGE

You don’t have to wait for someone to ask you today. It may sound silly but ask yourself, “How am I really doing?”  Take 10 minutes and journal your response or at least dare to go there for a moment in your thoughts.

And then I want to also challenge you to…

1)      Open your heart up to God.  See Him as He truly is- looking at you across the table with love in His eyes. Share how you’re really doing…your honest struggles and heart’s desires, where you feel broken and beyond repair, where you feel expectant and filled with dreams. Lay it all out for Him, your tears and triumphs, your questions and fears. Nothing will surprise Him. Tell him how you are really doing first. He will patiently listen without judgment and understand every word you share or don’t share. He loves your heart.

2)      Find just one person you trust and share with them too. Again, don’t wait for someone to come to your front door. Call. Write. Knock on their door. Dare to say more than… I’m fine. Challenge yourself to pry off the mask. To share that unspoken dream. To let the tears fall or let the excitement show. Don’t worry about what they think or how they respond. The act of opening up with others, reminds us we are alive, passionate, and fragile people in need of God and each other.

When was the last time you were asked, “How are you really doing?” If it’s been awhile consider your response right now…

Who can you ask that to today without any other agenda than listening?

 

 

From Advent to Adventure! {& New Life Coaching Group Starting!}

This season of Advent reminds us that our soul’s deepest longings are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We quiet down our busy lives and remember that it is not in our doing or work, but in our delighting and worship that we find our true purpose in life.

Advent means “the coming.” And so we hush our hearts to hear the sound of God’s heartbeat. We wait, all wonder-filled and wide-eyed, like a child, for the coming of our Savior…when the divine collides with the dirt-covered earth. Advent symbolizes that our long-awaited rescue has come and will come again.

But more importantly, God comes to us each day, inviting us to seek His presence. The bright star on the horizon, glimmering with hope and lighting our hearts on fire beckons us to come. All the shimmering newness of the world can never compare to the new life Jesus desires to give us.  

What if all the beautiful parts of this magical season- this gift-giving generosity, the sparkling lights, the giddy excitement, the quiet anticipation, the renewed sense of expectation, the pure desire, and unfettered hope, could be experienced the whole year through?

What if Advent- the preparation of His coming- is more about an invitation to a way of life?

An invitation into a place of rest and longing. Of expectation and stillness. Of warmth and wonder.

An invitation not just to celebrate Advent, but to live in a continual adventure?

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What would our lives look like if you and I said yes to this adventure?

What if…

we decided to go on a pilgrimage of seeking Him. Leaving behind the rush of the world and and embracing the pristine paths of life that He longs to give us.

…we held His hand with the excitement of a little child on Christmas morning and let Him lead us into surprises and mystery.

…we allowed ourselves to be captivated again with His selfless love everyday of our lives.

…we clung to hope and expectation, prepared our hearts to receive His revelations, and stepped out of our hand-fashioned fears and comforts, and drew closer to the Coming One- Jesus.

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Saying yes to adventure is no small decision. It means trusting Him to take us out into the deeper waters of our desire, where we find Him, our real Life. There is genuine risk and faith involved on every level. But there is mesmerizing beauty and glistening wonder lighting every step of the way.

What if you responded to God’s invitation to continual adventure during this Advent season? How would your life look different?

Instead of fearing what is to come what if you could feast on His glory in your everyday, real life? This is Advent. But it’s also Adventure. One is for a month long celebration, the other is a lifestyle of continued adoration and expectation, leading you out of your comfort zones and closer to Him.

Jesus is coming. He is coming to you. And to me. He is coming to invite us into a life of adventure…

What will be your response?

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There is nothing special about January, but I am so excited to be opening up the doors of
my first official Discover your Adventure coaching group just in time for the start of 2015!

If you are ready to leave your comfort zones and fears behind, journey closer to Jesus and into the beautiful adventure He has for you, then I would love for you to join us. {In effort to give you the best experience, the group is limited to 10 ladies.}

I’m sure you have more questions, so please check out this page for more details and to sign up!

::Four Ways I Overcome *Those* Days::

Life is painful and difficult. There are challenges around every corner. There are bumps, we get bruises. There are holes, we fall in. There are battles, and we lose.

Life is not easy. We get moments and sometimes days {seasons?!} where everything feels smooth and sweet like frosting on a cake. We could just eat life up; we can’t get enough!

Then there are those times… You know them well I’m sure, perhaps too well. Where everything is out of sync. Life feels messy and you have stains and scrapes to prove it. I don’t know if it’s just me but oftentimes those times feel like they are the ruling majority.

It’s simple to make it through the days where a smile is plastered across our face, but what about the days where we feel tempted to hide under the covers and not talk to anyone? What about the days where you motivation has been flushed down the toilet and God feels like a distant relative?

What about those days?

Is it possible that those days don’t have to dictate the direction of our lives and leave us dreading the future?

Those ugly days, those frustrating, overwhelming, emotionally exhausting, bad news kind of days can actually be used to propel us deeper into relationship with God and the dreams He has planned for us.

Life may not always be sweet and smooth, but it can still be savored and enjoyed.

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Here a few ways that are helping me to use my bad days as a launch pad for diving into God’s goodness and greatness, and slowly savoring every day of life instead of wishing it would just be over:

  1. Redefine Success. {Toss out your to-do list!}

It does my heart good to remind myself that success is not how much money I make, how many friends I have, or how beautiful my house is decorated. Success is not wrapped up in my achievements or performance, or checking of all the boxes on my to-do list. Usually those days where I feel tired and overwhelmed, confused and irritated with my life, I need to let the truth of His words bring new perspective to what I deem successful. A life given over to love, a life led by the promptings and nudges of His Spirit. Success in life is not something I works towards but something I receive as I put our trust in Him.

Does your definition of success free you to be yourself or burden you with the need to constantly achieve and produce?

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  1. Stop Comparing. {Be Yourself!}

A sure way to ruin a day is to start comparing myself with others. Within seconds, I’m hunched over in self-pity and wishing I was someone else. I hate it when I mindlessly scroll through social media taking in everyone’s life for the pure sake of comparing myself. That never ends well. Most of the time, my ideas, my life, my dreams seems too simple, small, and stupid compared with all those other people.  I’ve realized the day-changer happens when I celebrate others instead of competing against them.

How can you turn your hidden jealousy of someone into an outward celebration of them?

 

  1. Give Thanks. {Open your hands!}

Those blah days we’re talking about, where you just feel like you have a cold in your soul, sometimes the cure is in our own hands- giving thanks. This will snap me out of a funk in no time. Being thankful mends our hearts to wholeness because we begin to realize there is nothing we are lacking. We can sigh in satisfaction knowing that we are literally enveloped with gifts from God’s hand. Most precious of all- His love. All we have to do is receive them freely. As hard as life can be, there is never a day so bad where His goodness can’t dry our tears, or His hope can’t fill the holes.

What gifts is he pouring into your lap these days that you need to be thankful for?

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  1. Step Out. {Just do it!}

I dare myself every morning to take a risk. To expose myself to something that scares me. To take a step of faith- however little or big it may seem. Inevitably when I step out, I am met- by faith, by excitement, by confidence, by dreams…by God. He is there reaching out. I never regret a time when I’ve taken God’s hand. I always remember this, “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you always got.” If we are struggling through our day, aching on the inside, longing for change, there’s no mystery to be solved. Simply put, it’s time we take a step out of our comforts and peer around the corner. 

What step do you need to take today?

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We all have them. Those days. But they do not define us. We are His children. We are made for more than what our feelings often tell us. 

May our bad days actually draw us closer to God- the Giver of all Good Things. 

Welcome!

Hi Friends!

I started life coaching with you in mind.

I have a dream and passion to come alongside women and help you discover & embark on God’s adventure for your life.

I believe the adventure starts today, right where you are at…all we have to do is say yes!

God’s invitation into adventure is really an invitation for a life full of beauty, not boredom. A life bursting with His abundance instead of our own busy-ness.

Within these pages you will find out how coaching can help you step out of your comfort zones and live out the adventure God has for your life.

You can also read about my heart as a coach and my desire to take daring steps with you and see your heart come fully alive.

If you’d like to experience coaching for yourself then I’d love to give you a free 30 minute consultation!

Please contact me here.

I look forward to hearing from you!