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Nicki Koziarz Christian Blog and Commentary

Nicki Koziarz

She Seeks

The bathroom mirror seems to be the culprit of these types of conversations within me. I stand there day after day bushing hair, examining wrinkles and blemishes, looking into my tired-worn-out eyes, while wondering… who are you really becoming?

The truth is, these days I’ve let too much noise in. Understanding who I am becoming feels hard to determine. I feel stuck, like there’s a me trying to get out, but I find myself living in the leftovers of so many life situations.

I guess I always assumed that by the age of thirty-four I would know exactly who I was and where I was going.

But now it seems most days I’m not sure I will ever arrive at that confident place.  

And so, as I try to unstick my life process today, I’m thinking through what it really means to become … me.

I’m giving myself these permissions, these orders, these Ten Authenticity Commandments so to speak… to help me stay true to myself while becoming myself. Maybe if you are feeling a little lost today they might speak to you too…

1.You shall live as though life is a process of becoming.

This process of discovering who we really are isn’t something we simply awaken to one day. Life’s peaks, valleys and plateaus all lead us through this process.  While life has a start line and a finish line, much of the in-between isn’t so definable. But each day has something to offer in the shaping of our souls.

2.You shall pay close attention to the people you are surrounding yourself with.

That saying, “you become most like the five people you spend the most amount of time with,” it’s true. Do you leave the company of those five people feeling inspired and better about yourself or anxious and fearful of everything you said? Choose your five wisely.

3.You shall embrace where you are not where you wish to be.

Life is short. Assume today is all you get. We cannot really live by chasing the “one-day” scenarios. What if this is it?

4.You shall have permission to change your mind.

That color you thought you would love until the grave and now you hate it? It’s ok to change your mind. That job you worked so hard to get but now your just not sure? It’s ok to change your mind. Living as you is messy and complicated. It’s ok to change your mind, even more than once.

5.You shall do something each day that makes you feel alive.

We will lose ourselves no faster than when we stay in the cycle of busy and go. What is it that makes you feel alive? Is it snapping a picture? Feeling dirt beneath your feet? Watching the sunset or rise? Is it laughing until your core hurts? Press pause on busy and make a mad dash each day towards those things that make you feel alive.

6.You shall not believe the life you live is second best.

No matter how small someone makes you feel, what the world screams you need more of or the lack of something you have today, this life is your life and it’s the number one life for you. And it’s a great life —if we see it that way.

7.You shall keep your excuses in check so they will not become reasons to stay the same.

There will always be things you need to work on. Staying healthy, having the right thoughts, working harder, working less… there is always room for personal improvement.

8.You shall love your peculiarities rather than try to hide them.

The way you snort when you laugh. Your expressions on selfies. How you narrate your dogs life. The way you slurp spaghetti noodles. Your really bizarre Starbucks order. These are the beautiful things that make you, you.

9.You shall love yourself in a way that reflects Gods love for you.

Those moments where you just don’t like yourself? They will come. But remember, love covers a multitude of wrongs. [Proverbs 10:12] Give yourself grace.  Grace for your failures, grace for the bent places in your life, grace for the process of becoming you.

10.You shall stay in the shadow of someone long enough to learn what you must learn but then you must move to your own sunlight.

There is a time to learn, a time to sow, and a time to grow. But then there is a time to shine your light and help others find their own. Know when your season of shadow is done.

What about you? Which of these do you need the most in your life right now? I’d love to hear what’s going on with you in the comment section today. 

It’s the same stupid fight again and again.

You were supposed to stop by the store; I was supposed to pick this kid up.

It’s the redundant load of laundry again and again.

The missing socks, the torn jeans, and the spaghetti stained shirt.

It’s the predictable drive to and from work again and again.

Wait for the light to turn green, pause for the train, make that last phone call of the day.

It’s the expected social media feed.

I’m mad at the government, no one likes me, see where I am and you’re not.

Dear life, you can wear a girl’s passion down.

But then that same girl lays her head on her pillow; she drifts off to sleep, dreaming of being in another place, in another season. The moon drifts over her house. And then the sun peeks through her blinds at a very early hour.

And something is stirred within her…

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun. Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” –Isaiah 43:19

 

Sometimes life needs a new rhythm.

{For I am about to do something new.}

Sometimes routines need to be bumped. 

{See, I have already begun.}

Sometimes spreading ourselves so thin makes it impossible to fully involve ourselves with the things we once loved. {Do you not see it?}

When we find ourselves in the ruts of the wilderness need different path. And some days we need to just wake up and with a conscious decision that today is the day something is going to be different.

Because we forget the power of the Gospel message, how following Jesus isn’t meant to just make us feel better. It’s a path of continual renewal.

And when life’s paths become passionless often we replace theology with therapy.

Retail therapy. Vitamin D therapy. Friend therapy. Project therapy. Food therapy.

The world offers us a slew of paths to make our lives more fulfilling. But at the end of each of those paths is the same result: more wilderness.

But we, as followers of Jesus, are not looking for the same path everyone else travels down. We are looking for a new way the midst of normalness.

We need a path that leads from faith to faith.  

{I will make a pathway through the wilderness…}

On the path of faith to faith, we can find God in the mundane-every-day moments of life. 

{I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.}

So today, I’m making a decision to stay on the path of faith to faith. It allows me to find hope in the expectation of the possibility that today can be different.

Today can be the day of new beginnings.

Today can be the day of renewal. 

Today can be the day of an increased presence of God in our lives. 

Today can be the day we just decide, its going to be different. 

I pray you’ll join me…

Conversation: What do you wish could be different about your life today? I'd love for you to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this topic. 

 

 

Dear Impulsive Christian Communicator,

You’ve lost me.

When you chose to use your platform to jump onto a trend-bashing wagon.

You lost me.

When you used your words to tear down, give false information and to deny what God did in someone’s life.

You lost me.

When your words were angry and filled with half-truths.

You lost me.

And now, anything you say, I’m not listening.

Because, you lost me.

Sincerely,

Generation Today

 

The past few weeks the Internet has been filled with controversy after controversy surrounding many churches and pastors.

We’ve called pastor’s cult leaders. We’ve denied the experience's people had with God. And we chose to use our words, filled with half-truth’s, to be part of some social media trending topic.

I’ve read many of the articles, tweets and Facebook comments. And I’ve lost a lot of respect for a few impulsive communicators.

I’m not the only one though and I don’t write this article today to represent myself. There’s an entire generation we [as the Church] are loosing due to our hotheaded religious rants.

A new generation isn’t coming up. It’s now.

And reaching this generation for God has never been more difficult than it is today. Because they are listening to very few of us.

Communicators, please hear my heart…

When controversy in a church rises I get your concerns, anger, questions and frustrations. But I also get how in the midst of church conflict we tend take our religious preferences and turn them into religious laws.

But when we do this, we potentially lose the ability to speak into today’s generation. Because this generation needs a safe place they can bring their views of Jesus and the Church to. If they are constantly met with an opposing force, they’ll stop talking about it.

Which is the worst thing that could happen.

I do believe God wants us all to be part of conversations surrounding the Church. Not hot-tempered debates. Not writing or sharing an article just to jump on a trending topic.

Conversations.

Here are three healthy conversations to consider having during a church controversy:

Conversation One: “Tell me what you’ve experienced.”

There’s nothing more frustrating than someone writing an article or crafting a social media status without getting the facts first-hand. Before we form our opinions about what's happening within a church, may we seek the facts from the right people. 

We can also ask questions without denying the movement of God in someone’s life.

Conversation Two: “Help me understand why things are done this way.”

The bottom line with many church controversies is that things are being done in very different way than in previous generations. And sometimes when our deep historical roots of tradition are messed with, we can start to feel unsettled.

But Jesus isn’t a tradition, He’s a miracle. And who are we to deny the new miraculous ways He’s working in people through this generation?

We can have doubts without throwing rocks of disbelief.

Conversation Three: “Is it okay if I share my perspective with you?”

Are there things being done within church walls we can disagree with? Absolutely. But I’d also love to see a church that does this thing perfectly.

May we be very careful our perspective doesn't reflect a perfect church when we speak up on controversial issues.

And we can speak Truth into this generation without hate.

As communicators are we more concerned with being right and trendy or with being in conversation? It’s something to consider.

While today the waters of controversy might be still, there’s another storm brewing somewhere. When the waters rise, there will be much at stake.

Ask. Listen. Or deny. The conversation choice is ours.

“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” –Ephesians 4:3-6 

Conversation: 

I'd love to hear from you today. When you read an article or social media status bashing a pastor or a church, how do you respond? 

 

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