soul · Spirit · truth

“She Gambles with God”

“Does trusting the Lord and not worrying mean we’re coping out?”

“No Bill. It just means we’re doing what God told us to do.”

That… That was a conversation my grandparents had several years ago as they continued to follow Holy Spirit wherever He led them.

And… You know, thisThis is exactly how I feel right now. My lack of worry almost makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Like I’m “coping out” on life.

Because, normally, when we say we “trust God,” we still secretly harbor anxiety and worry in our hearts. And then we just keep that “smile” on our faces… You know, the one that says, “I’m good! I’m fine!! I’m trusting God!!!”

However, faith… Faith truly is a lifestyle for me. It’s a real walk that requires so much risk… So much risk that I feel like my forehead constantly reads, “She gambles with God!”

And I guess I’m saying all of this because I want to remind myself and you that it’s okay to wholeheartedly trust God. Actually, it’s 1000% healthy and normal to embrace that initial wave of fear we all feel when we step into the unknown, but then it’s also so healthy to have so much of God within us… So much of Him that we ride over that wave of fear with so much confidence, courage and strength in our hearts… Enough to say, “I will not carry the fear I feel… This fear that would like to collide with my heart and drown me.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

 

 

soul · Spirit · truth

That’s Grotesque

Do you honestly want to know where I’ve been lately and what I’ve been doing?

I’ve been studying… No actually I’ve been deep sea diving for treasure… Treasure God’s been pulling my heart toward.

You know I haven’t wanted to pursue it though. For more than a month I was afraid to go “there,” because going “there” meant I’d have to follow the footsteps of the past. And those footsteps… well they’ve seemed very heavy and almost grotesque to step into.

But… Well I chose to cast my fear aside. I chose to cast it aside and obey God. And when I did He showed me that following the footsteps I was convinced I should follow wasn’t the best choice for me. He showed me that the footsteps would keep me bound to religious, boxed in, manmade ideals of the past. He showed me that His footsteps for me to follow are much freer, endless and boundless.

So… So I’ve been following them. I’ve been stepping into what He says is “simplistic, eternal and yet consistently patient.”

And I can’t really reveal the glory He’s given me yet; however, I do want to encourage you. I want to encourage you to examine your spiritual life… To look at it and really ask yourself who and what is calling the shots. Who and what is dictating your moves? Is it voices of those that have gone before you? Is it words that might be mistranslated and skewed for a time and place? Or is it just Holy Spirit?… You know that inner voice or nudge we all hear/feel to some degree… The one that leads us to higher levels of freedom and love through Jesus Christ. The one that I believe we’re all destined to connect to because He allows us to cultivate life to the best of our ability.

And then… Then when you answer these questions,  please be encouraged to step out. To leave the past, religion and all other voices aside. Because His lead is the best lead we’ll ever encounter. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Foggy Backroad

On Jan 1, 2020 I found myself on a winding, Louisiana backroad. In route to the gym, all I could think was, “Gosh the fog is SO thick this morning. I can barely see what’s in front of me.”

And… You know, that’s how 2020 has appeared to me in real life. It’s foggy. It’s unclear. It’s a winding, twisting, twirling backroad waiting for me to drive down so I can discover what “next” is.

And I don’t know if you feel this way at all; however, if you do… If you don’t know what next is because it’s shrouded in foggy mystery… Well I want to encourage you to move forward. To take one step, one inch or one mile at a time.

And I know our culture promotes knowing what’s next because it helps us attain “success;” however, I believe not knowing what comes next is very humbling and powerful. I believe following the foggy road demonstrates faith because we’re willing to take a risk even when we can’t see ahead.

So, if you do feel like me, have faith, take the risk and be encouraged… Because the foggy road will lead you somewhere 😉🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Isolation: The Reality

This is it. This is a cultivated life. It’s a tree, firmly planted… Growing in isolation from the rest of the forest… One that’s nurtured well, develops, matures and grows properly in due season.

Is the isolation enjoyable? Well of course. It’s nice to live in peace. Is it frustrating? Only when I allow it to be.

But I do believe living in isolation is healthy because it promotes so much time with God…. Time that would otherwise be spent distracted by the noise, nonsense, chaos and division that goes on in this world.

But can I tell you what mainly frustrates me about living in isolation? The reality… The reality that I cannot seem to escape the will of God. It’s just there. It’s constantly there looming over my head. And I know I cannot completely move forward until I follow through with the next step.

But you know… Sometimes I don’t want to take the next step because I feel like it’s leading me absolutely nowhere. It’s like I’m walking down a dark pathway that leads to a wall… And I think “Oh great… Now what?” And then the wall opens up as a passageway to the next step… But then I fear to take the step because I just don’t understand where all of the following is leading. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around what it’s all about.

However, if I don’t… If WE don’t keep following, well then we shut Holy Spirit out. We limit Him. We place Him in a box that says, “Do not touch.” And when we do not touch the things of Him anymore we become very stagnant, much like the chaotic world around us and so disconnected from the spirit that lies deep within.

And I don’t know about you… But I’d rather live in isolation with God all the days of my life then become completely disconnected from Him and the things of Him. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

The Isolated Life

Isolation. Oh gosh, I hate isolation. Actually, I hate the initial feeling of isolation. Have you ever felt it before? It’s this blatant reality that no one completely gets you, who you are or what you’re going through. And it’s deeper than feeling alone because when we’re isolated we aren’t actually “alone”.

You see… When we meet Jesus and begin to follow Holy Spirit, we jump onto an unpaved path scored with separation. It’s just this raw understanding that no one and nothing will understand us the way He does. I mean… There’s just so much intimacy born inside of the truth that no one will ever fully get me. Because, to get me, well… You’d have to be inside of my head and my heart. And I only know one dude that can fully and completely do that… God.

But you see, real, true freedom is the reality that our old self is dead, and now we are only surrounded and protected by God’s Holy Spirit. Jesus cut and will continue to cut us free from all darkness, sickness, disease, bondage and brokenness that we’ve ever experienced. And as He cuts us free, we begin to become more and more separated from who we used to be and what we used to know.

But the freedom… The feeling of living without darkness, decay and death, it’s just so… So good. It’s so good that we MUST embrace the unpaved path of isolation or we will become bound by insecurity and fear of the unknown.

And the isolation isn’t always so raw. As we develop, mature and grow in our relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit we become really chill with being free. It becomes second nature to just sit with Him and be.

And I don’t know if you’re fully grasping where I’m coming from. You see I spend so much time in the undistracted presence of God that He’s captivated my whole heart. And in taking my entire heart I’ve been emptied of all the chaos and calamity that go on in my mind and heart and in our world. So much emptiness has happened that I’m truly free. And it’s the best feeling… A feeling I hope everyone I encounter will experience and receive. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Spirit · truth

Wait-y

Patience… Patience is really, really, really challenging for me.

You see I’ve learned how to be patient with people and situations that are out of my control… But patience with God, myself and my own life…. Well that’s a completely different story.

You see I just don’t like to wait. Waiting… Well waiting seems SO boring and uneventful sometimes. And it doesn’t matter how many times God tells me to “wait” or “just be patient Amanda,” I still find myself complaining to Him like a small child who wants what I want NOW!

But I suppose I’m learning something while I wait. Because I see patience… I see the time that surrounds her is vital and good… And I guess… I guess it’s not so boring and uneventful if I seize this time to focus on other things while I wait.

Because one day… One day the waiting will be over. The waiting will be over and I just don’t want to look back and see that I wasted so much time complaining… Complaining rather than embracing what I have that’s so GOOD right NOW! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

soul · truth

It Is Good

Do you know what it’s like to go through things that are truly agonizing for the spirit and soul? Moments in life where you promise yourself that you will get through “this” and you WILL live to tell about “it?”

Yeah… I believe I’ve lived through so many of these moments. Moments of life that have completely broken my heart, forced me out into the great unknown and left me in a place of complete surrender and freedom.

But then… Well I also believe these moments are interesting because they can lose their shine after a while. Time passes and the experiences aren’t as fresh as they once were. Life balances out and you begin to breathe a grateful breath of fresh air again. And then you hope that life always stays like “this”… That you don’t have to face anymore heartache, agony and pain.

And I don’t know about you, but I think this is where I am right now… Living in a time where life isn’t heart-wrenching, agonizing and grey… But then it’s also not over-the-moon/my heart’s greatest desire fantastic… It’s just… Well, it’s just good.

And in this goodness is so much grace. Grace that reminds me that the past is in the past, and the future is still a mystery to be lived. But today… Today is good. 🌱❄️ #cultivatelife #justlive

 

soul · Spirit · truth

Holiness?

To struggle inwardly and not know or understand it’s true purpose leaves one feeling emotionally exhausted and completely overwhelmed.

And I know there’s a purpose to the struggle I’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks. But… Honestly… Honestly, I can’t begin to tell you what it is. And God seems to be so mysteriously greedy with the details of it all. “Just keep moving forward and trusting me. Be holy as I am holy.” He says.

Holiness… All of this for holiness God?! Really now?!?!

And I get it… Holiness sounds SUPER religious and outdated. So, for just a brief moment, let’s think about it like this…. When I choose to let God empty me of more darkness, it brings more light right? And with that light, I have more space for Holy Spirit right? Okay, so if there’s more Holy Spirit in me because darkness has been let out, then I am holy as He is holy. Right?

Seems simple. Feels… Well the process is a damn struggle on the inside.

But ya know… If darkness never comes out to fight, then how will it ever be conquered by light? And… How can what’s inside of me ever be transformed into true holiness if I’m not willing to surrender and just allow the light to incase the challenge that I feel? 🌱🧐 #cultivatelife #justlive

soul · Spirit · truth

Quit… Today?

I thought about quitting today. I told God, “I can’t do this anymore.” Actually… I’ve been telling Him that for a few weeks now. “I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want your stupid promises! It’s cost so much to get to this place! I don’t care about your will!”

You see my heart is deeply battling. And I want to walk away. I’d give anything to walk away. Walking away would be so much easier in this moment than moving forward.

But, in truth, it’s just my emotions… My feelings are trying to muddle what God, His promises and what He keeps telling me to do.

But when I step back… When I step back and breathe… When I step back long enough to hear His voice say, “I need you to keep moving forward.” Well… I know in my heart I have no other choice but to keep moving forward. 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward

Uncategorized

Hidden Truth?

Is it just me… Or does it seem like the message of Jesus is still somewhat hidden from us? I mean I know He blatantly said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And then He also said, “Love your neighbor as yourself”…

But I believe we (as a whole— the church included) are missing this entirely.

Again, maybe it’s just me… Me and my heart… My heart that’s constantly on a quest for freedom, truth and love.

Yeah… So I guess this is me… Me outwardly vocalizing that I want the actual truth in my life. I don’t want to be deceived, manipulated or led astray by anything my self-righteous, self-absorbed culture has to offer… I want… No I desperately need what’s birthed in isolated moments with God. The moments where He’s the only voice speaking into my head and heart. The time spent with Him where He pours into my very heart and soul.

Because if I’m spending undistracted time in His presence… And I’m truly hearing from Him and not a counterfeit Holy Spirit (that does it exist y’all), then shouldn’t my lifestyle reflect what Jesus commanded? 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive