by Kasia Kedzia
What causes you to waver in your faith? I don’t mean in the major ways, like questioning the existence of God, but in the little ways: the hesitation to serve because you don’t feel like it, questioning of someone’s intentions or motives and the countless other little things that bubble-up a desire for self-protection instead of an open heart and mind. For me it’s trials. When I face the consequences of a hasty choice I tend to want to protect myself in other areas of my life. I start to try to guard myself instead of give of myself.
How is this a sign ( Click for more )
A little over a year ago I wrote about how I am not a Super Hero. I discussed my realization that in life, especially in the harder moments, I need to face things with people by my side instead of having them meet me on the other end. I also acknowledged that when I feel overwhelmed or anxious I can simply try to push through it, as it’s a lot easier to share with a friend “How I handled it,” after the fact. So you can imagine my surprise as I found myself in a familiar point reflecting on the last few weeks: feeling anxious and overwhelmed and trying to deal with ( Click for more )
There are moments when I can feel as though I have been treated unfairly. Sometimes these moments pass and I’m able to quickly let go. At other times they linger and when they do my heart is in danger of becoming embittered. It stirs something familiar, but not pleasant at all. When others fall short of my expectations it can cause disappointment that’s unintentional but still stir bitterness. Bitterness is another word for resentment and the definition of resentment is indignation at having been treated unfairly.
Pv 14:10 (NIV) “Each heart knows its own bitterness, ( Click for more )
Contentment is one of the hardest things to strive for. Contentment is characterized as serenity, satisfaction and happiness. I used to get contentment confused with apathy. I was scared to be content out of fear that it would somehow mute my ambitions. I now have a different understanding of contentment. Throw gratitude into this mix and contentment takes on an entirely new meaning that doesn’t hinder my ambitions at all but rather checks that they are aligned with right motives.
Jh 4:14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give ( Click for more )
I like compliments. Whether your single or married, male or female, we are all susceptible to a little ego boost via a genuine compliment or some flattery. The value I place on the compliment depends on who gives it. Honestly, sometimes I give these compliments more value than I ought to. If the person complimenting me is someone I find attractive, care about, or is in a position of influence, I internalize the compliment differently. For those of us who enjoy, and to some degree interpret love through words or affirmation, this can become sticky territory. If I hang on someone’s ( Click for more )
There are moments in my life when I think I have all the pieces. In these moments God often likes to rock my boat. Just when I think I know the direction he is taking me I want to start to run ahead only to find myself tripping all over my own feet. Yet, he’s been incredibly gentle with me as he’s been teaching me that part of walking by faith is recognizing that there is always an X factor- a crucial yet unknown factor. My level of trust in God will often expose exactly how I choose to calculate for X.
As I read Timothy Keller’s, Jesus the King, I am reminded ( Click for more )
It’s that moment after a long, hard day when you just want to hear someone say,”It’s all going to be worth it, you are worth it.” If those words don’t come, what do you turn to? Sometimes it’s ok, we just shrug it off confident in who we are and look forward to a new day. Yet, other times the feeling of loneliness can seep in and with it, bring self-doubt. In these moments I long for comfort in this world in the form of my performance, praise from a boss, or affection from a friend. I can put my hope in the things I want in this world: promotion, ( Click for more )
Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes it can feel as though it’s running us instead of us running it. It’s as though someone has cranked up the speed and I can’t seem to catch up. In these times I can start to doubt God’s presence in my life. It’s like he’s stepped out for a moment and the auto-pilot malfunctioned. I can start to think, “Well, I don’t like the way this is going so I think I’m going to take things into my own hands, thank you.” I start to question if I’ve been made for more than this.
James ( Click for more )
I realized recently that my expectations of myself can be unrealistic. We all have expectations of ourselves and others but when we take the time to pause and examine them, are they really in line with the expectations God has of us?
Micah6:8 The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
As I continue to read Holley Gerth’s, You’re Already Amazing, I was convicted and relieved by her insight into the scriptures on expectations. I needed the reminder and perspective ( Click for more )
We need tension to stretch and grow. However, how I respond and engage that tension is very important. To learn from the experiences I am faced with I must be willing to go through it completely. This includes acknowledging the emotions the experience invokes. As I juggled multiple changes in my life my first response was one of optimism. However, as time went on I encountered the pressure of not dealing with the things I was feeling. Keeping things in perspective is important, but acknowledging what I feel through it all is crucial.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of ( Click for more )
I long for safety so much more when it comes to my heart than when it comes to my physical wellbeing. In my work I’ve traveled to politically unstable countries without flinching (while those closest to me counted the days until my safe return). However, if you place me in a room with a man who gives me butterflies or across from a colleague to whom I must present an idea to, then I’m reaching for the Kevlar vest and looking for a place to take cover.
Psalm 144:2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge. ( Click for more )
You know that feeling where your heart is about to explode in your chest, but in a good way? Where everything seems to align and you are clearly in the favor of God and man; then something happens and you begin to question it? One minute you’re unstoppable and the next moment you find yourself punking out. That’s exactly how I felt this week when the things I have prayed for were coming out of someone else's mouth. It was an incredible moment. I was so confident of what was happening and certain it was right, and yet mere hours later I was questioning it. It’s what ( Click for more )
Perfection is an unattainable goal. I have these moments when I set up my own standards to live up to. Yet, when the measuring scale is my own or how others may perceive me, I end up stuck in a Chinese finger trap - the harder I try the tighter the pressure.
Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” My ways are not perfect and they don’t have to be because God’s ways are. Sometimes He stops me dead in my path and redirects me. Other times, He just wants me to slow down ( Click for more )
New seasons in life, new friendships or new career opportunities can all be exciting, but they can also be terrifying. We invest our hearts in things we want and hope for. I know I do. However, I can’t invest my heart without emotions. Sometimes my emotions have nothing to do with reality. I constantly have to filter them through God’s truth to see what is real.
Part of the filter God gives us is spiritual armor. In a physical battle it is clear what equipment to use and how to use it to protect vital organs from injury. Yet, oftentimes, in the spiritual battle, we ( Click for more )
There are few things in our lives that are constants. With the turning of the season, a couple of people have asked me about my goals for the upcoming year. However, in order to know where I want to go I first need to know where I am.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
God is the same but we are constantly changing, re-inventing ourselves and learning new things about him and ourselves. I took some time to reflect on this past year, searched for patterns, themes in lessons learned or repeated, and experiences that have shaped me.
In ( Click for more )
We have all had them, one of those days. You know the kind that starts off ok and then at some point takes a major dive off a giant cliff? There are two ways I can respond to this type of day: 1) I can throw a big pity party, become totally self focused, and hate the world, or 2) I can reflect on when exactly I stepped off the cliff and be reminded what I’m really standing on. On days like this all I want to do is hit the gym, and blow off some steam, but even that was a major fail. I realized what I really need when I’m having one of these days is hope. Hebrews ( Click for more )
Am I enough? It’s a question asked in many of the Christian books I have read over the years. Life’s circumstances and disappointments can sometimes lead me, and those around me, to doubt the true answer to this question. You are more than enough. you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are deeply loved. You are a child of God. I’ve joked in the past and said, “I know, I’m amazing,” but sometimes I can doubt it. When I’m disappointed or fearful of how something will turn out, I can doubt that I’m enough and question if God still ( Click for more )
What’s the worst quality a person can possess? This was the topic of dinner conversation between a colleague and I. What we came up with: backbiting. We both agreed that one of the nastiest qualities exhibited was a person who slandered, gossiped or just plain talked down about someone else in their absence. Then we got real, we admitted to doing it too. It didn’t take long for me to pull an example from the previous week, by seeing someone I previously worked with. I did not have fond memories of this individual or how they treated me. Although I thought I had forgiven ( Click for more )
My first years as a Christian, my knowledge of God was based more on knowing of him and his teachings than on actually knowing Him. The relationship was kind of sterile. The former, has often left me frustrated and guilty over my inability to perform or change. The latter, however, begins to change me from within. Instead of being motivated by my own goodness, I am motivated by grace.
Jeremiah 31:33-35 “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, ( Click for more )
Being a Christian has been a constant shift in how I think, how I view myself, what I value, and what I reach for when I need comfort. Primarily this constant shift deals with growth in my personal relationship with God, as well as devoting the necessary time to that relationship.
An intimate relationship takes time to build and time to maintain. Intimacy is close, personal, dynamic, and powerful. It takes truth, in order to grow and maintain my intimacy with God. I need to be real with him, honest with myself and others. Specifically, I need to be real about the parts of ( Click for more )
When my life gets a bit more unpredictable for my comfort level I tend to kick into self- reliance mode. A recent sports injury, my grandparents declining health, and uncertainty in my next career steps are only a few of the things that began to press more heavily on my heart and mind lately. In these moments my instinct is to do something, anything to help me feel a sense of control. I begin to doubt that God is working because my circumstances don’t look like what I would have them be. As a result, I become more self-reliant and less God-reliant. If I allow it, unpredictability ( Click for more )
As a person with a big appetite for life and food, the concept of a portion is one that causes me to pause. Lately, I have been trying to strike the right balance between being content with what I have, my portion, and not losing hope for the things I desire..
Ps16:5-6 “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” My portion is customized by an all knowing God, just for me. Yet I can sometimes find myself dissatisfied with ( Click for more )
One of my favorite e-card greeting cards reads, “You are not responding in the way I imagined you would respond when I acted out this conversation in my head. Stop it.”
I think this is hilarious because it’s so true. I have these moments. Moments, where I get frustrated or react out of emotion. In these moments I can be snappy, and impatient. These moments expose my lack of control in a given situation. They also point out that I am putting myself at the center of the situation instead of stepping away and looking through a wider lens. It can take the form ( Click for more )
Meeting new people can expose insecurities. Although I realize God uses such opportunities to teach me something about myself and others, it is still as comfortable as getting a physical by a new doctor. When we find ourselves faced with interacting with someone who impresses us and who we want to impress our insecurities get exposed. Technology only makes it worse (interpreting an email, text or instant message), adding to the already over-read, in-person, and/or phone conversations. Did he/she get my email? Why haven’t they responded? Did that come off weird? Did they get ( Click for more )
I once read that a myth is fiction that looks like the truth. What I deem true on any given day I am called to filter through God’s truth for confirmation. If it is indeed true it is in line with God’s word and character. If it is not in line with God’s word and character then it is a myth.
Sometimes I stop seeking God or praying for certain things because on some subconscious level I feel like it’s not as important to God as it is to me. In my faithlessness I can turn on God.
Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke ( Click for more )
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