As a wife, mom, speaker and writer my focus is all the same… just Jesus. I’m a simple girl with eclectic taste. I love a movie that will make me cry and friends who make me laugh until...
“Nicki is an amazing woman of God and dear friend. Her passion for reaching women with the redemptive grace of Jesus is a beautiful thing to watch. Her words captivate,...
Places I’m blessed to share words…. Crosswalk.com http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/nicki-koziarz/ Believe.com http://www.believe.com/articles Proverbs 31 Ministries: She...
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. - John 8:32
Do you ever struggle to love people where they are in life? If so, why do you think this is so hard for us? Leave a comment sharing your thoughts today.Read More
Click here if you cannot see the video.
Question for you: What is something you are finding yourself wanting to run from? I’d love to hear in the comment section.Read More
[If you are visiting today from Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today devotion, welcome!]
Sometimes when I scroll through my social media feeds I feel like there’s a 1000 voices shouting:
Look at me!
My house is beautiful.
My house is a mess.
My marriage is perfect.
My marriage is horrible.
My kids are superstars.
My kids are naughty.
I’m cooking gourmet tonight.
I’m drive-thruing it tonight.
Like, like, like. Share, share, share. Friend, follow, favorite. Unfollow, unfriend, unfavorite.
Oh, what a complicated social media culture we live in.
From generation-to-generation there have always been defining tools the enemy of our souls has used. Things like the mirror, the scale or our financial status. But there’s a new way I see us being defined which is leading a lot of people to a place of discouragement:
Trusting our social media “likes”.
As a struggling writer, I understand this defining tool of the enemy all to well. And I’m seeing that it is something that can become very unsafe to our souls [writer or no writer.]
“A man is a fool to trust himself. But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.” –Proverbs 28:26
I love my social media friends. They offer much support, encouragement and connection. And I love social media as a tool to share life with others we would normally not connect with. It’s so amazing to live in a time where we can say one sentence to a thousand people instantly.
But here’s my struggle: trusting my social media likes is often easier than trusting the voice of God in my life.
Sometimes I hold back what I really feel God leading me to say in fear of loosing followers.
I didn’t start off this way. But all it takes are a few harsh comments. Then, as I sit down to write, I hear those voices. They hold me back from having the courage to say what I know needs to be said.
It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.
And sometimes I’ve said things via social media that was a subliminal message to someone instead of having the courage to say it to the person’s face.
Anyone can sit behind a computer and say something anonymously with guts. But having the courage to have a hard conversation with someone privately often feels like a lost cause. Most of the time these bold subliminal messages seem to resonate with people, which makes things even more complicated.
It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.
But even worse, sometimes I’ve felt less than valued as a writer when I didn’t get all those virtual high-fives for something I’ve written.
Using our “likes” as a tool for measuring what connects with other people isn’t such a bad thing. But we shouldn’t get discouraged when we’ve been obedient to God and it didn’t seem to settle with many people.
It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.
The reality is I don’t know if we live in a culture that allows us to completely disconnect from all social media. Taking a break from it, stepping back and keeping the right perspective are all great things. But as we engage via social media might we hold close the promise today found in Proverbs 26:28.
It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes but we are always protected when we trust God.
So friend, I pray today we might have the courage to say the things we need to say. Hold close the people we need to hold closely. Let go of the people who don’t make us well. And find our value in trusting God’s voice more than ever.
As each of our three daughters continue to grow up finding ideas for fun birthday parties seems a little more challenging. I feel like we’ve done them all. The tea-princess-chuck.e.cheese-bounce-house-hayride-nail-painting-sleepover-cake-baking-pinata-breaking-parties.
So, coming up with something unique for our daughter’s 13th birthday party felt impossible.
But thanks to some combined ideas on Pinterest we were able to come up with a pretty fun and unique party:
A DIY Outdoor Vintage Movie Party
["DIY" is parental lingo for: cheap.]
The Set Up:
The weather ended up being perfect for this! But my plan B was to set it up in the garage. Thankfully we were able to set up on the deck.
I remembered we had some left over wainscoting in the garage. Thanks to a handy husband, we were able to create this cute little set up.
We thought it kinda looked like a counter you’d find at a movie theater.
We displayed the Popcorn maker [which we borrowed], individual candy boxes [found at the dollar store just like the ones you buy at the movie theater!], the punch, old fashioned Coke bottles and some snacks.
Purchasing vintage signs would have cost a LOT. So we made our own. Next week I’ll have a how-to blog post on making these fun vintage signs. So easy! And…you don’t have to be artsy.
These little mason jars were one of my favorite touches to the decorations. We tied some twine around each of the jars and they instantly became punch glasses.
I found the mason jars at the Dollar General store for $2/12!
We also hung party lights throughout the yard and used bales of hay for the seating.
This was by far one of the funnest aspects of the party!
These cute photo booth props were found at Walmart in the party section for $3.
Everyone, even puppy Herman, had fun in the photo booth!
To be quite honest, there wasn’t a lot of movie watching at the party. Everyone was having so much fun just hanging out but a few did sit and watch it.
Making the movie screen was pretty easy. I purchased some stretchy white fabric from Hobby Lobby for $5. And I suppose the right way to do it would be to sew the screen but ahem, we were in a hurry. So hot-glue totally did the trick. [smile]
We did have to purchase a movie projector but we figured we’d use it again. And we have! But if you didn’t want to buy one, I’m sure someone would let you borrow one.
Once it got dark we all did smores, they were a HUGE hit with the kids! Plus the smoke helped keep the mosquitos away.
I did also try out this product to help with mosquito control, it seemed to work very well:
This was such a fun birthday party! It was a lot of work but so worth it. I know it will be one we remember for a long time.
Wow. I’m so blown away by each of your comments from Monday’s No Quitting Giveaway. I wish I had time to respond to every comment because they all deserve a response!
As I was reading the comments, I saw a common thread amongst us…
We are each in process.
This morning I did not want to get out of bed. In fact, I laid there longer than I usually do. I told God all the reasons I didn’t want to get up and writing this blog post was one of them.
Because I wish I was a woman who was finished with this process and was able to cheer each of you on to success. But what I am instead is a woman who is dog-tired of the cycle of defeat.
So I climbed out of my bed, made it, put on a pot of coffee and began another new day. Because its a new 24 hours. And this is my process.
And so today I hold tightly to this promise from our God found in my process:
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8
While I’m no Bible scholar, this verse speaks deeply to my process today. Because the journey to fulfilling the vision God has for our lives is very tiresome. But if we hold tight and keep believing, our hearts will stay pure.
And my friends…together we will see God.
We will see God heal.
We will see God restore.
We will see God extend mercy.
We will see God give passion.
We will see God give Life.
I get 24 hours. You get 24 hours. It’s what we get today on our process. And I pray today we each hold these hours as if they are one of the most valuable things in our lives.
While almost every comment from Monday’s post was worth winning the devotional book and posting on this blog post, I had to choose 3. It was so hard but I pray you are encouraged by these next 3 thoughts from readers:
Laura H. is a single mom.
She said, ”While Sundays and reading the Bible definitely fill my cup, I can’t help but wonder “why is my journey like this? what did I do to deserve this?” while all my friends have families and are stay at home moms.
Her encouragement for other single moms was this:
I’d like to encourage other single moms who don’t have anyone to never give up. Days may turn into years, and tears and longing, and sadness, but there are moments of joy. There are times where it feels good to be a mom who works hard, and I feel like if I can keep it up just a little longer, I might meet someone who loves Jesus and will run the run with me. So don’t give up, stay in the race. Find things you are grateful for, like food, or an apartment, or clothes. Don’t let Satan win.
Ellen is a writer struggling with confidence:
She said, ”My need for encouragement always revolves around confidence. Am I enough? What can I write that would be of interest to anyone? Does what I do matter? Finding my confidence is a constant battle for me.”
Her encouragement for others is:
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard. God is the inventor of brand new endings…
Jennifer is a teacher, struggling through the exhaustion of the classroom:
She said, “I need encouragement to not quit trying to reach the children in my classroom. Today was completely exhausting and fruitless. The guilt of spending too much time with other people’s children and not being there to get my own off the bus is suffocating. I need to remember that I clearly heard God’s call for my life 17 years ago.”
Her encouragement for others is this:
“I need to remember that the gift of teaching and creativity were given to me by my master Teacher and Creator. I need to remember that I asked God to divinely hand-select the little ones that need to experience His love the most and that I am to be His love to them. I need to remember that this year’s smaller paycheck is nothing compared to the treasures being stored in heavenly places. I need to remember not to wear a white knit sweater when painting orange pumpkins!”
O God, help us to fill these 24 hours today with thoughts that reflect Your promises in our lives. May we will seek you in each moment. May we become sensitive to Your presence. Help us to not give up and make today count in our process. Lead us away from the things that waste our time, our energy and our efforts. Keep our hearts pure God so we can indeed…see You.Read More
Today I feel blessed to share words on the Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotion. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, please hop over there so you can know what we are doing on the blog today.
There are so many voices this Monday morning tell me to quit, give up and just walk away. Not just from writing as I shared on the devotion. But many, many areas.
And today, I thought it would be amazing for us to develop a little community support system to start our week off with a NO QUITTING Giveaway.
So here’s how it will work:
1. In the comment section [at the very top of this post], leave a comment sharing ONE thing you need a little encouragement to not give up on right now. Maybe its a thought process, a goal, a dream, or a relationship.
2. Then, in the same comment, leave a thought, prayer, quote or something motivational to inspire someone in our community today. So for example, here’s what mine would say:
Hi guys, I need a little encouragement to not quit on my dream to write a book. And because I want each of you not to quit too, here’s a link to an amazing video message by Eric Thomas that has inspired me to not quit today:
3. On Wednesday, I’ll select 3 of your motivational comments to share on the blog. AND the 3 who are selected will win a copy of the new P31 Encouragement for Today devotional book!
I can’t wait to read and be inspired by all your amazing comments!Read More