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Quiet Time

    by Kasia Kedzia

December 6, 2016

"Grace demands nothing of us in payment, but everything of us in trust." – Unknown

Understanding grace has been a lifelong struggle for me. As I have leaned into both joy and sorrow this year the very real concept of grace has come up a lot. As I began to talk about it I started to see just how many men and women around me struggle to understand and accept grace also.

Tim Keller says, “Come see a man who saw me to the bottom and loved me to the skies.” To be known and rejected for it, is incredibly painful. It can stifle our trust in grace but it…  ( Click for more )

November 22, 2016

Everyone has a story. Hearing peoples stories can move our hearts, it gives us the opportunity to hear the why behind who they are.During a recent service trip in Africa, with an organization called HOPE World Wide, I was able to hear the stories of both the men and women I served with as well as those we served.

Sometimes people’s stories can be hard to hear. They can brush up against the raw (still healing) pieces of our hearts like an alcohol soaked cloth against an open wound. Other stories can be so beyond our experience or comprehension they stifle us. In these moments…  ( Click for more )

Self-protection is not the same thing as self-care. It took me many years to see how I was self-protecting, and how this self-protection ultimately hurt me, others, but most of all God. Here is how I think of and differentiate between the two:

Self-care: Behavior or process an individual engages to meet his or her own physical, emotional and spiritual needs, in the Christian’s case, as one relies on and places their deepest desires before God. Trusting God with the unknown.

Self-protection: Behavior that at its core is designed to protect an individual from hurts, embarrassment,…  ( Click for more )

September 13, 2016

Sometimes I walk too fast. People who know me laugh at this. Someone once taught me a really valuable lesson using this simple example. When I walk ahead, sometimes I can feel left behind, but it’s up to me to slow down and keep pace with the person I’m walking beside. Slowing down and letting them set the pace, letting them lead, results in me no longer feeling alone, frustrated, or impatient and waiting. Recently, I’ve been learning to slow down and really pause on the phrase, “one day at a time”. When I think too far ahead I can get easily overwhelmed,…  ( Click for more )

September 6, 2016

I often find myself asking, “God what do you want me to do?” I’m such a pragmatic systems person, just tell me what to do, keep it simple and I’m good to go. Jesus’ answer to this question can really frustrate me,

John 6:28-29 (NCV) “The people asked Jesus, ‘What are the things God wants us to do?’ 29 Jesus answered, ‘The work God wants you to do is this: Believe the One he sent.’”

According to this scripture God requires me to believe, to trust. It’s not a neat, here is what you need to do, it’s…  ( Click for more )

August 30, 2016

It’s been a year and a half since I broke up with someone I loved. I can say in full assurance, it was one of the darkest times of my life. I literally thought I was going to die from the pain. Yet, it was one of the best, and most loving decisions I have made both for myself and the other person. This was the beginning of my journey to contentment as a 30 -something single.

I’ve read a lot of blogs over the years about contentment in singlehood, most were written by married women, writing from hindsight. By the very nature of the author’s relationship status…  ( Click for more )

August 23, 2016

It’s been a year and a half since I broke up with someone I loved. I can say in full assurance, it was one of the darkest times of my life. I literally thought I was going to die from the pain. Yet, it was one of the best, and most loving decisions I have made both for myself and the other person. This was the beginning of my journey to contentment as a 30 -something single.

I’ve read a lot of blogs over the years about contentment in singlehood, most were written by married women, writing from hindsight. By the very nature of the author’s relationship status…  ( Click for more )

It’s the moment when your heart aches, as you see someone you love grapple with a question you know the answer to, but it is not your place to answer. It makes no difference if it’s a beloved friend, spouse or your child, when we see someone we love question or struggle on their journey, it can be hard to just let them. Taking my hands off my life means just that sometimes – accepting what is and letting people do their own wrestling while I lay them at the foot of the cross.

Other times, taking my hands off my life is grieving and accepting disappointments…  ( Click for more )

June 21, 2016

Letting go of control and perfectionism can happen in seemingly small ways that can provide an immense amount of freedom and healing. Letting go has come through healing and acceptance of what was and what is. Being able to connect to my past pain, heal, release it and see how I, in my pain hurt others, heal and release that too. I was recently able to experience one of these letting go victories that brought everything together. In the victory I was able to feel immense joy and pain and hand both to God to allow Him to intercede and use it.

Romans 8:26-28 NIV [26] In the same…  ( Click for more )

June 14, 2016

My name is Kasia and I’m a rescuer. This past Sunday, I had the honor to stand before my entire congregation and share the power of the cross in my life and about my rescuing ways.

Rescuing can be a good thing, like saving a child from being hit by a car, but the type of rescuing I am talking about is not what God desires. The type of rescuing I can fall into appears loving, but results in disrespect and resentment. It is trying to save others from the negative consequences of their decisions by doing something I shouldn’t or failing to do something I ought.

Sometimes…  ( Click for more )

June 7, 2016

To blame, is to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong. There are times when I can assign blame instead of seeking to understand or focusing on taking responsibility for my own actions. The only variable I can change is myself. Blaming also spills over into setting and enforcing my own boundaries.

When I was a child most things that were going wrong were my fault, or so I thought. My mother leaving was a result of my behavior. My father’s drinking was due to my inability to be what he needed me to be to stay sober. When something was happening around me the adults…  ( Click for more )

What do you long for from others and from God? What are the motives of your heart? These are the hard, and let me be frank, terrifying questions I am learning to ask myself, the questions God has been prompting me to grapple with so I can entrust all to Him. He asks the questions that get to the root of my heart with such precision, if I let Him in.

C.S Lewis writes, “ the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride [...] Pride leads to every other vice: it is completely anti-God state of mind.”

Prv 11:2 (NCV) “Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble.”…  ( Click for more )

What Should Be vs What Is

Accepting what is vs what should be is a key to unlocking joy and embracing the present with gratitude. It can also be incredibly hard. I battle exchanging my shoulds for my what-is on a daily basis.

Ps32:3-5 (NIV) “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the…  ( Click for more )

April 19, 2016

That moment, when you do things differently, when you break the unhealthy pattern and you can see it, you’ve been transformed.

Romans 12:3-4 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.”

I was on the phone with a colleague. She was following up on a group project due that day and…  ( Click for more )

By the time you read this everything will be different. All the moments I am about to describe will have passed, but right now, right now there is a friend getting ready to put on her wedding dress, another prays for her child to live, yet another boards a plane for a funeral. In this moment I am standing at a traffic light on my way to work as one driver rages and honks at the other from their car. While all this is happening my mind floods with both thoughts and emotions in reaction to each of these events. All the emotions come at once and I bring to mind my own circumstances,…  ( Click for more )

We all have blind spots–those things in our character that limit our ability to love others and ourselves better. In the past when these limitations were exposed I wanted to hide them or make them go away. Now I want to see them so I can embrace them and grow from them in a healthy way.

Ps51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

I used to read the above passage and want to figure out how to perform better for God. I wanted to earn His love. When I asked for mercy I wanted insight on…  ( Click for more )

I’m learning to be more merciful with myself. In order to do this I first had to learn to be honest, admit to myself and others when I’m not where I would want to be, and accept it. Being gracious with yourself can be hard. It takes humility to admit your limits. I’m learning that it takes more courage to do this than to try to muscle through things or try to be someone I am not. I’m not as strong as I want to be sometimes, and that is ok. It is the acceptance of this mercy that allows us to be gracious with others also. Accepting the love, mercy and grace…  ( Click for more )

The strength to forgive repeatedly is rooted in God’s powerful love for us. It’s the forgiveness that says, I forgive and still chose to love even when the offender has not recognized, apologized or atoned for his or her offense. When I truly lean into God’s grace and mercy for me can I find my peace and self-worth in God and love the way Jesus did when he said, “Forgive them for they do not know what they do.”

It’s the moment when you choose grace and mercy even in pain. When you accept that the person you are extending mercy to does not deserve…  ( Click for more )

February 2, 2016

Over the last few weeks the theme of death has come up in a lot of my devotionals. The scriptures I’ve studied out, sermons I’ve heard, and books I have been reading caused me to pause and ask, “God, what are you trying to teach me?” I think there are different types of deaths that need to occur within me in order to open me up to new possibilities and depths of transformation in Christ.

Christianity is life through death made possible through Christ’s resurrection. Jesus’ death was a tragedy, but it made it possible for us to be raised with…  ( Click for more )

January 19, 2016

All of us have convictions, and they come from somewhere. Our experiences mold and influence us.

I grew up expected to take care of others. I was not asked about what I felt, wanted or needed. I was taught to hustle for my worth early on. I grew up feeling inadequate and defective. I was driven by shame and feelings of abandonment. As a result I developed coping mechanisms of control and perfectionism.

I wish I could tell you that once I became a Christian I put these coping mechanisms down, but they came out of the baptism waters with me. They were the guidelines I used for…  ( Click for more )

Every year I choose a word or theme for the year. This past year the word was faith. The year was incredibly faith building, but also extremely painful in many ways--the needed kind. Sometimes endings bleed into new beginnings. I’ve learned that I can feel joy and sadness at the same time, which struck me because I always thought that sadness was the opposite of joy. I learned that the opposite of joy is fear. For 2016, Joy is the New Black.

Ps126:5 “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

The Greek word for joy is chara. It means ‘good…  ( Click for more )

December 22, 2015

Nothing worth having ever comes easy, or cheap for that matter. When you live life with all of who you are it requires great risk and discomfort.

A year ago I set out seeking greater faith, but I was not ready for the journey and the work it would require of me. I wasn’t ready for the sacrifices or the pain. I wanted faith gifted to me. I wanted to muster it up from behind all my defenses. I wanted to control the process. I wanted it to take away all the fear, guilt, shame and anger I felt and, to my shame, acted out towards those closest to me. I wanted God to change me…  ( Click for more )

December 8, 2015

Sometimes I think that I need to do extraordinary things to impact the world. We want a purpose, to impact greater change, to do or be a part of something bigger. We can forget that as Christians, we already are. It’s the small everyday things we can do and say that can change someone’s eternity and show us God.

Ps51:16-17 (msg) “Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”…  ( Click for more )

December 1, 2015

When we serve we often get to experience God in intimate and personal ways. I recently returned from a service trip to South Africa with an organization called HOPE WorldWide. As we worked with children in some of the poorest communities in Johannesburg we gave our entire hearts to these communities but what we received in return was so much more powerful.

Matthew 11:25 (NCV) “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those…  ( Click for more )

October 27, 2015

I confess, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m the girl who looks tough on the outside but is a closet - Hallmark channel watching, Disney song listening, cries during the romantic comedy –hopeless romantic. There is something about the pursuit, the vulnerability and the courage in these stories that to some extent pulls at every heart. It represents our longing for love and belonging. For many years my heart longed for love but I didn’t believe I was worthy of it, so I hid it behind cynicism, control, and outward efficiency. What do you hide behind? Believing we…  ( Click for more )

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