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Quiet Time

    by Kasia Kedzia

July 21, 2009

Sometimes, if my life circumstances are not what I would like them to be I can feel like I am being punished. I imagine myself asking God, “Why can’t things be different?” or “Why am I still in this place?” And in my mind He bellows, “Because I said so!”

This past week, a co-worker confided in me that she was leaving after receiving her dream job offer. She had only applied for this one job about six months ago and was not really ‘looking’ to leave the current position when she had applied. I on the other hand had been applying…  ( Click for more )

Walls are built to keep predators out, but if not careful walls can keep the good out along with the bad. Walls can also serve to imprison those inside of them. The more I seek to draw closer to God the more I see how he has been bulldozing right through my walls over the past few months. I have seen how I can trust God with the outside layers but there have been layers deep down inside that I have still managed to hedge off for myself. Whether it has been getting my sense of worth from my accomplishments or my sense of confidence from the attention and affection of others, God has…  ( Click for more )

June 30, 2009

In the same way that I sometimes doubt the voice on an answering machine is really mine when I hear it, I can also fail to see myself the way others view me. Recently, I have been learning how to pause and take the time to see how others may perceive me and what it reveals about my relationship with God.

It came as a challenge I first received at work but quickly saw spill into all areas of my life. The more I have been releasing my control to God the more I have been able to catch glimpses of how others can view me in moments when I respond defensively or out of angst instead…  ( Click for more )

June 9, 2009

I am a fighter. This can be a good thing or it can have its draw backs. It really all depends on what exactly I am fighting for. Recently, I realized I fight sometimes just for the sake of fighting. I want to fight simply to prove a point, or prove myself, or get something I want. I want my own way. I found myself fighting in this way for my job. I have been unhappy there for a while but instead of accepting the situation for what it was and being open to what is to come I found myself fighting to prove myself. It took a wise mentor to point out to me that if I was fighting just to…  ( Click for more )

Sometimes I can feel like I am leaving my prayers on God’s answering machine and waiting for him to check his messages. I start to wonder, “did he listen to it and forget or is it just not as important as someone else’s message at the moment?” When I have these thoughts I know that they come from a fearful place deep inside, a place lacking faith and hope.

Ish 50:10 (NIV) Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

I know I am not…  ( Click for more )

May 19, 2009

I recently returned from a vacation. It was really nice to get some leisure time with family and friends. This trip was also a great time of reflection as it exposed some deep rooted insecurities that reared their ugly heads before I left.

As the trip approached, I neared a spiritual melt down. I began to see how self-focused and super defensive I was becoming. I put up barriers in advance just in case someone might judge me. I expected some form of judgment at work and awaited negative feedback. I would have said I was just being “professional,” but in fact I was…  ( Click for more )

April 21, 2009

I have found that trials and struggles act as the doorway to intimacy with God. When I face trials and feel pressed it exposes my false gods and pushes me back to the one and only true God - the only one able to save me.

Jeremiah 7:27-28 (NIV) 27 They say to wood, 'You are my father,' and to stone, 'You gave me birth.' They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us!' 28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble!

I have recently gone after…  ( Click for more )

March 31, 2009

I recently had a close encounter with a version of myself I thought I had buried. But somehow she discreetly started to sneak in on me when I wasn’t looking. A good friend helped me to see that through my actions I had cracked the door open for her to creep in. Not only that, but to my friend I was clearly ready to throw the door open and let her waltz back in. While in my mind, well, at least the chain was on.

I know this sounds a bit cryptic but the actions and circumstances are not really relevant in this situation. What matters is what went on in my heart when my friend…  ( Click for more )

March 17, 2009

If you knew you were going to die, how would you live your life today? I am dying. I recognize that I am dying every day, and so are you. I decided to hold on to this image this past week and make it as vivid in my mind as possible. It changed my entire attitude and approach to my everyday tasks.

I got sick of letting my crazy thoughts get the best of me and I got sick of letting my insecurities smother me. I let the message sink in, “Each day is NOT promised”, and yet we make plans and promises to ourselves and others as if we have so much time. I have heard these…  ( Click for more )

March 10, 2009

It is easy for me to extend grace to those who are not close to me. However, if you hurt someone I care about, oh I will wish God’s wrath upon you quicker than you can sneeze! If you look like a villain to me, I quickly run out of grace. The more I have been understanding God’s love the more I have been able to understand and implement grace in my heart as well as in my actions. However much we would like not to, we all play the villain sometime. Sometimes it’s not about being the villain or the hero, it’s about asking why. What on earth would push any of…  ( Click for more )

I just celebrated a birthday. I did not throw a party, nor was there one thrown in my honor. I did not remind people as I have done in the past. I did nothing out of the ordinary and I watched it pass. Nothing grand happened, no revelation came - I just got a year older. However, the day after my birthday I gathered a small group of trusted women around me and toasted to the new year ahead. I set goals and asked these women to hold me to them (I know I will be regretting that one).

This year seemed to have literally sliped past me and it had been so much less eventful or memorable…  ( Click for more )

February 24, 2009

I am a generally perceptive person. However, the flip side of perception can often be criticalness and down right arrogance. I can often see the fault in others and see myself blameless. After many years I have learned to be cautions when these thoughts and feelings come. The saying is true - pride does come before the fall. What they don’t tell you is that the fall is not a kind of stumble-and-trip type of fall but rather a smacked-across-the-knee-caps-buckling-in-pain fall. One would think that after a couple of these falls I would have learned my lesson, but sadly and well,…  ( Click for more )

February 17, 2009

Sometimes I think it would be great if we all came with little disclaimer signs. I envision these signs in the form of mood rings. People would be able to look at our rings in order to determine weather it was safe to approach us. This week my disclaimer ring would be the color for, “Approach with caution, this one’s extra punchy at the moment.” As I try to manage and work on aspects of my character, it is sometimes hard for me to continue managing other areas of my life.

As I try to be godly and above reproach at work I can take out my pent up frustrations…  ( Click for more )

February 10, 2009

I am generally an open and transparent person. I try to be honest, speak my mind and too often trust that those around me will do the same. However, I am learning that in the real world, that is in the working world, this is not always the case. So the hard lesson I am learning is that of office politics. Interestingly enough I am also seeing that Jesus did not lack his fair share of dealing with some of the very same politics I can face on a daily basis.

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. …  ( Click for more )

So I had a bad day at work today. In fact it has been a bad couple of months... This past month has been populated with moments which left me feeling absolutely flabbergasted in a someone-just-sucker-punched-me-in-the-stomach-and-I-can’t-catch-my-breath sort of way. When I face hardships like these I often cannot see how God plans to use them for any sort of ultimate good - mine or anyone else’s. I lose site of God’s purpose. I don’t see times of hardship as an opportunity to trust God. During these times when He calls me to bring my trials to Him in an effort…  ( Click for more )

December 9, 2008

I seem to easily forget how my own sense of self worth is related to my sense of understanding of how God defines my value. The closer I draw to God, the more self-worth I have. The more self-worth I possess, out of respect for what is God’s (me), the more I respect what belongs to God and all the more I draw others to myself who also respect what is His (me).

I have been surrounded by such amazing people in my life, however when I have not respected that which is God’s (myself), I have missed the true blessing of these people and have instead focused on those who…  ( Click for more )

December 2, 2008

Sometimes things just don’t go according to my plan. When I think about it, many things have not gone according to my plan in the past, that has not always been a bad thing. Some of those change-of-plans have been blessings in disguise. I am in a position where nothing in my life seems to be going according to plan. In fact there are days when I can feel like I am being crushed. It’s like running on to a train in the nick of time sure that it is going towards your destination and finding a seat, only to find out 10 stops too late that you are not only on the wrong train,…  ( Click for more )

November 18, 2008

I used to think that in order to feel uprooted I had to in fact physically leave one place and move to another. I am learning, however, I can be uprooted and completely turned on my head without moving at all.

I recently read about the transplanting of plants. I know this is quite random but bare with me. Plants are often re-potted multiple times and yet transplanting them does not hurt them. In fact, it is actually good for the ones that survive because it makes their roots stronger. As a result of transplanting the plants’ roots grow deeper.

Often I have felt…  ( Click for more )

October 28, 2008

One would think that a control freak would naturally be good at self control. After all what could be easier to control than oneself? Well, apparently this control freak can attempt to control many things outside her realm of control, but when it comes to self control I often lack the breaks. I began a study on self control when I noticed how easily I could let things slip; my temper, my tongue (what I say), my emotions and so on. The study began by seeking to have a better understanding of anger and really trying not to respond in anger when I am hurt. After multiple encounters…  ( Click for more )

I had to return to a lesson learned a while back this past week. The lesson was on sacrifice. I returned to this lesson because I found myself in a place where I was beginning to forget what true sacrifice was. As far back as I can remember I have fought for something. I remember fighting for approval and acceptance and trying to earn it from those I cared about, even as a child. When I was in High School I was already living on my own and had to work on weekends to save money for collage, in collage I supported myself and again had to work a lot. Long hours of study and work as…  ( Click for more )

Over the past few weeks I have been more busy then usual. This busyness has felt good even when it bordered frustration. It felt good because I felt as though I was accomplishing things, helping people and being productive. Yet, all those warm, fuzzy, good feelings were torn to little peaces and stomped on by this weekend. During my time of ‘the good busyness’ there had been challenges that come up; family crisis that needed to be addressed, friendships that needed extra tending to, household issues left not completely dealt with and of course work challenges. As…  ( Click for more )

“Pride comes before the fall.” But what if it came with a parade and neon signs that marked, “Hi Pride Rolling Through! Get Out the Way”, would we be so quick to fall? The tricky thing about pride is that it is hard to detect and yet even when we detect and address it, like a weed, it can grow back inside you. As I read the following passage of scripture two things stood out to me. The first was the warning that came prior to the king’s fall and the second was how long it took for his pride to really truly peak into undeniable ridiculousness. …  ( Click for more )

September 16, 2008

It has been months since I have returned to the United States and began to re-integrate into my community, my support network and life in all its many nuances. It has been nice and scary all at the same time to try to “settle down” for a period of time. In this process however, those closest to me have begun to move around! Some of my dearest friends, old and new, whom I have really become attached to, have received jobs, gotten into schools, or received marriage proposals all of which have resulted in them moving out of state. It is at this time that I found myself running…  ( Click for more )

September 9, 2008

I had this hard week at work a few weeks back. It wasn’t hard because of the workload or because of someone else, it was hard because I came in on Monday, was called into my supervisor’s office and called out on not doing my best. I was confronted for shoveling work that I did not want to do onto my subordinates (for lack of a better term). However, these young women are not my subordinates, they are my team mates and I could have tried a little harder before just placing the load before me onto them and then complaining bout not feeling challenged. I spent the rest of…  ( Click for more )

What do an old woman, an attractive man and a blind man have in common? For me, these three have one thing in common. Over the past few weeks all three have deepened the lessons I have been learning about overcoming a part of my character that I wish to change. The older woman I am referring to is a woman who shared some powerful lessons from her life at a recent conference I attended. As I sat and listened, her words cut deeper than any had in a long time. She taught me that a wise woman renovates her house. No matter how old I get I will forever be in need of renovating who…  ( Click for more )

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