capacity · change · follow · gift · keep moving forward · mature · Perseverance

Gifts for the Mountain of Maturity

Last Tuesday, Holy Spirit presented me an endless pile of gifts. I saw them in the spirit, wrapped in white paper with giant pink bows and received them with open arms. He told me most of the gifts were locked and needed a key. I asked if I could start opening the gifts that don’t have keys. He said, “Yes.” So, I opened the first one. It was a harness. He said, “The mountain you’ve been climbing is about to get steep. You need this harness. It will ensure your protection and security.” So, I put the harness on. Then, I saw a rope, a hook and a helmet. The angels handed them to me. Holy Spirit said, “You need all of these items to climb to the place, to the top of where you’re going. Yes, it’s steep, but you are protected from an impending fall. You’re protected from hitting the ground. If you come loose from the side of the mountain, grasp hold again and climb. There is a top. There is a peak coming. It’s ahead. You need these gifts to help make the summit easier.” Then I saw a light on the helmet. Holy Spirit said, “The light lets you know you won’t always be climbing in the daylight. You’ll need to keep going through the night. Keep persevering even when you want to stop. If you want to rest, just hang there for a moment on the rope, lean into My goodness and strength and catch your breath. Then keep moving forward.”

Before I could ask Him about the mountain, I saw gloves. He said, “I’ve noticed your thoughts lately. You keep thinking your hands feel weak and tired. These gloves will give your hands the strength they need to keep pulling you up the mountain.” I said, “The gloves look just like my hands. They are a literal copy of my flesh.” He said, “Yes, but they give you strength. Don’t mind their appearance. It is good and necessary. Oh, and one more thing!” Then I saw a tube of lipstick. I laughed, and said, “This seems silly. Why is it here?” He said, “Put it on. It will amplify your voice as you go so others hear you when you speak. It’s forever stay too. You don’t have to reapply it. It just lasts. Everlasting.”

Immediately after receiving the gifts, I asked, “What is this mountain I am climbing?” Holy Spirit said, “The mountain of maturity.”

Then I asked, “How will I change?” He said, “Remember the other day when you had the thought, ‘I don’t know who I see when I look at myself in the mirror? I am changing again and I can see it.” I said, “Yes, I remember.” He said, “Okay, well it’s because you’re stepping into a higher elevation of maturity. Maturity that solely belongs to you. That’s where you’re headed. It’s maturity that’s been marked out for you for a long time. And you’re coming into it now. Best part? You aren’t late growing into it. You’re right on time. 100% on time for this.”

Now, I am tired in so many ways right now. Following Holy Spirit’s lead takes a lot of dedication: spirit, soul, heart and body. And yes, yes, my soul has stepped back in a tremendous way and relied on a place of rest while my spirit takes the lead; however, I am still tired of moving towards what seems like an endless summit to the top of all He’s laid before me.

Still, I put on the harness and gear I need to climb up the steep peak. And, I don’t know what to climb up will entail yet. I don’t know how it will push me and force me to come into a place of full growth. I am kind of nervous, but also very assured with the truth that God has provided me with what I need to climb up. 

I am actually so assured that I asked my angels about the mountain. They’ve been very quiet for the past few weeks. Every time I engage them to converse, they let me know that they can’t speak. They are very busy. However, two days ago, I heard Topucca (my lead advancing angel—who is on assignment to advance the plans of the Kingdom of God into the earth). He came forward. I said, “Where have you been? I haven’t spoken to you in so long. It’s been weeks.” He said, “Yes, I know we’ve been very, very busy. There’s a lot happening in the heavens and earth right now. It’s very good. Don’t pay much attention to the optics you see coming out of the media. Leave it alone. Stay focused on the Father. In Him and through Him all things stand and are new. 

Amanda, God has been prepping your heart for a new level of maturity. It is very good. The gifts He gave you yesterday for this next phase of the climb are good. You need them to summit. They will help you. Remember, the gifts are there to catch you when you begin to feel tired or like you might fall. Also, listen to me. Capacitate. It’s time to capacitate again. It’s time to allow the Father to stretch you into a new dimension of life. You will need this dimension going into the new year. Giants will… Let me repeat myself… Giants will fall next year. It’s time for them to come down all over the world. Specifically in realms you’ve been pursuing.”

Now, I haven’t a clue where you are in your track of cultivation right now. I don’t know how Holy Spirit is working with you to refine, develop, grow and mature every ounce of potential and gifting He’s placed inside of you. But, I do know that He is wanting to provide all of us with the gifts and materials needed to keep moving forward. So where ever you are, pursue His heart, lean into what the Kingdom has for you and then do not be afraid to use what He’s given to it’s full potential. I know I will! 🌱

change · pain

Painless Days

Remember a few months ago when I said I was doing a lot ofoff road following with God?.. Well, guess what?… We’re still “off road” and I honestly have no idea where I’m going…

Plus, to make things a little bit riskier, my “New Year’s resolution” is to not plan… To not think ahead of today… To just be in the now… To let life and God surprise me… To get really up close and personal with the unknown and unfamiliar…

And, although it might sound ridiculous, I’m quickly learning that life is much better like this… There are less things to stress and worry about and more things to enjoy… Because if I’m being completely honest with myself, stress and worry only create unnecessary pain in my life…

And… I don’t really need anymore pain… It’s taken far too long to get rid of the pain of the past… Creating more is just, well it’s exhausting…

But this idea of living one day at a time… Not thinking about tomorrow… Not stressing about next week… Not wondering where I’ll be when this house sells…

This idea is giving me life…

It’s providing me with what seems like more time to rest and relax in the truth that God is going to continue to meet right where I am… That I don’t have to make anything happen any faster than it’s supposed to happen… And, that if I can just continue to stay diligent and disciplined to Him and His ways, well we will continue to make a great team that moves forward in life…

And honestly it’s taken me a long time to be at a place where I can let go of my control… In my mind, my control somehow guarantees I won’t lose in life… Somehow I’ve convinced myself that pain and problems won’t happen if I can predict tomorrow…

But, you know what? Letting go of tomorrow has actually given me the energy to be in today… And if a problem does arise, it’s so much easier to find a solution without the worries of tomorrow and next week getting in my way… My soul feels lighter too, and I can actually think without impending emotions getting in my way…

So, I know it goes against the curve and culture of today, but I’m just fine with just living in the present… I mean, we only have now anyway… Right?

capacity · change · death · healing · process · redeem · restore

Closure…

Why is it so hard to walk away from something we love so much?.. Why did God place a heart inside of us that can so easily find the good in a person, love that person and then ask us to walk away from that goodness?… From relationships that were cultivated so well and meant so much for so long?…

Before this week, if you had asked me if there was closure in this area of my life, I would’ve said, “yes”… Because there would’ve been no doubt in my mind that that chapter of my life had come to an end…

But then, well this week I’ve found myself with all of these thoughts… Constantly pacing around in my mind… Overtaking and smoothering the light from my soul…

It’s been somewhat of a war in me…

And I haven’t wanted to talk about it… I mean, this was supposed to be dead inside of me… Over and in the past… Because I made that clear in my mind when I took a job in California 3 years ago… 

But, maybe I hid the truth from myself… I’ve been known to do that in the past… So I can see how it’s possible…

And that’s why I need to completely lay all of this down now… Before God… And I need his Spirit to come in now and completely fill what’s feels lacking and without… To show me that this continues to be the best decision that I can make in this area of my life…

And I don’t know if you’re going through something similar… A place in life where closure needs to happen so that you can move forward… So that you can have God’s best for your life…

So, if you are going through this, please know that you aren’t alone at all… That deep within me, I’m having to sort through what I feel versus what I know in my soul needs to happen… 

That closure, in this moment, has to become a part of my lifestyle… 

brokenness · challenge · change · fear · justice · pain

Broken Comfort Zone..

Do you ever have those moments when you just want to shake life? Like literally pick it up shake it around and question why it’s acting up?… 

Thats how I feel right now…

Like I need to interigate life for it’s actions… For the pain and injustice I feel… For the confusion and misunderstanding in my soul…

And I believe, deep within, that it will get better… It always does… But in this moment, well life seems so off-balance to me… So misleading… Or maybe not leading to anywhere at all…

I think what I’m trying to say here is that I don’t understand why God places us in the situations He places us in when He does… And in the moments where I think I have it figured out, well I quickly realize that I don’t… That I broke the situation down too far, and now I’m left confused and misled…

And then I don’t know what to do with the confusion I feel because it’s so much sometimes…

But then I’m reminded by Him that I’m right where He needs me to be… Even though this place of being isn’t where I want to be because it’s outside of my comfort zone… It is the best place for me…

Because being outside of a comfort zone of once known security and protection has always been good and life giving for my spirit and soul…

Because… It lets me know that I am growing… The growth is just painful at times…

change · higher way · process

Amanda’s Plan… Gone Wrong…

What happens when the story doesn’t add up the way we planned?… When life takes a turn… And then another turn… And then one more turn… But not in the direction our childhood fantasies ever dreamed…

What happens when those unexpected turns cause us hurt, pain and regret… When we feel like life has become a never ending black hole of disappointment after disappointment?…

And what about the awkwardness of it all?.. The reality that we feel out of place in this ever changing world of chaos and confusion… The truth that, because we followed a plan, well life feels like a strange place to exist in….

How do we cope?… How do we manage through the reality of our lives?… What do we do?…

This is how I feel…

This is how my family feels…

This is how my friends feel…

And I’m not saying life is awful and terrible and full of regret and heartache… Trust me, I can be one of the most logical yet optimistic people around… But I am saying heartache does happen… And sometimes, well a lot of times, it can be coupled with more heartache…

And sometimes we just want to scream at God, or whatever higher-being we might believe in… And we want to scream at Him very loudly… (I do this)…

Because… Well what else are we supposed to do?… All of our human efforts have been exhausted…

And honestly, I wish I could solve the world’s problems… Really I do… Haha… But I can’t…

So, what do I do when my mind constantly tries to navigate and problem solve through the highs and lows of life?..

Honestly, well that’s when I have to rely on my identity… The identity I’ve chosen to accept… The identity I know, at the end of the day, will never leave me… A truth about life I believe supersedes time and space…

Because, I have moments, sometimes everyday… Moments when I just want to scream because one more “thing” has happened… A “thing” that is not according to “Amanda’s Plan” for life…

But then reminding myself of who I am and who I belong too, well it truly does help… I find a level of peace that I didn’t have before… And then I just move on to the next, maybe, chaotic moment…

And I honestly believe that life that doesn’t go according to our plan is good… It’s healthy… Altogether “life-changing,” if we can choose to embrace the reality that life has changed…

Because, without the highs and lows, well life would be boring… Really, really boring… (I hate to be bored)… And I believe we need the ups and downs, because without them… Well how would we ever truly be shaped into authentic beings, who can extend compassion and love to people who are where we’ve been before?…

 

 

change · identity · purpose · shaken

Authentic Identity…

Identity… It’s been like a foreign language to me… I was basically getting by in life because I trusted that those around me would translate what I heard but didn’t understand… Because, with their translations, then I’d feel stable and safe… And who actually cares if what they told me was true?… I mean, I trust those people, places and things… It’s where I was placing my confidence, security and identity…

For many of us, I believe, identity is like a foreign language…

We are in this great, big world searching for meaning, significance and purpose… And most of the time we choose to place our significance in the tangiblableness of life… The relationships, homes and institutes we are certain will always be there… Because they have simply always been there…

And we trust them so much, that we allow them to define who we are, what we do and what we will do one day… Never truly thinking, “what if they collapse?.. what if they fail me?”…

So then when a loved one dies, when we loose our job or when a relationship ends… Well, we don’t have a clue who we are anymore… It’s almost like we look around to listen for familiarity… For the things we are certain will keep us grounded and remind us “it will be alright”… But then we don’t understand what we hear anymore… Nothing makes sense… And so, we feel lost and confused, uncertain of who we are and what we are doing…

I feel like the questioning of “who am I/what am I doing?” has been a constant in my life… But it truly became a reality when I moved to Cali almost 3 years ago… And then it increased when my dad died unexpectedly…

Of course 2016 has truly been a year of it’s own… In January, God told me to leave my job without telling me where my next source of income would be… He basically put me on a “bread crumb” trail that’s led me to this moment (which hasn’t always been fun)… And then my grandparents (whom I’ve always relied on to be there) went into a nursing home, and their 40 year old ministry was closed… Then my mom put our families house on the market, which is so much closure concerning dad… Plus my closest aunt died unexpectedly, causing my mom to become even more depressed and afraid…

And so, in the midst of the instability of life, I’ve begun to realize I can’t really rely on people, places and things to keep me stable and safe anymore… Because they are as unstable as I am… Here one moment, gone the next…

Now, I’m going to be honest… All of the uncertainty has caused me to be a teary-eyed mess at times… To be a little mean and feel a lot of insecurity… Because each time something I believed provided stability has been shaken loose from my foundation, I’ve looked around for something, anything to cling onto…

And it was a learning curve at first, but I believe I’ve actually discovered what I can always rely on… The one source of life that reminds me who I am and gives me confidence to know whatever happens, it will be ok because He will always be who He is…

And I’ve heard it hundreds of thousands of times in church, but no one ever actually taught me what it means to have security in God… To find my identity in Him… I can say it all day long, but it wasn’t until the things I’ve always relied on in life failed me that I experienced this security, confidence and identity…

And too me, well it’s more than just God… Because He is so vast, so complex, so memorizingly authentic at His core… Because identity has so many parts that make it what it is… So having my identity in God means I am drawing my confidence and security from His love, His peace, His patience, His perseverance… From the attributes that make Him who He is… They are actually making me who I am…

Plus, the amazing thing about authentic identity… It’s universal and eternal… I’m learning that it can’t be moved, shaken or destroyed… Because once we grasp it’s authenticity at it’s core, we can be certain we will always be secure and safe… Even when life takes an unexpected turn…

change · cultivation · grow · Spirit

Girth Growth…

IMG_2356Does God ever ask you something, but you have absolutely no idea what He means by what He says?… He just flat out says, “I want you to do this, this and that…” And then you’re left thinking, “Great, this, this and that sound lovely… but what do they mean?”…

Well that’s exactly where I find myself in this moment… Trusting, yet again, in what I don’t know, what I don’t understand, and what I don’t know how to apply…

And, in the midst… Well I feel a constant change… A constant, steady shift inside of me…

And there’s something about change… Growth… The desire for increase…

Sure, we all want more… But are we patient enough to wait as the growth takes place inside of us?…

For so many years I’ve looked at growth incorrectly… I’ve thought, “Gosh, it’s time to learn how to trust myself and God again?… I thought I knew how to do that pretty well!”…

Now, I’m learning that both are true… Yes, it is time to learn how to trust myself and Him again… But it’s not like the trust I had before is gone… It’s just expanding in size…

Because, when I think of growth… I think of the girth, or circumference of a tree… At one time, every tree allowed us to place both of our hands around it… Because it’s girth was small, and the tree had not come close to growing to it’s full potential…

But as time went by, the girth of the tree began to get wider… And soon we aren’t able to hug it with both arms touching one another…

To me… That’s spiritual growth…

Yes, it takes a lot of patient nurturing… But I am growing…

change · refine · shaken · unshaken

Like the Ocean’s Tide…

So it’s been a full week of what I consider serious revelation… Of what feels to be an almost purging of my soul…

And then I had a dream last night… In the dream, at certain periods of the night, water would flood in through cracks in my walls… The water height in the room wasn’t a lot at first… And it drained out like the ocean tide after rushing in…

But as it drained… It would drag things stored under the bed with it…

The floods became multiple… And then big boxes under the bed started to disintegrate…

It’s like I would lay there, hear the water flood in and then watch it rush out as it took things stored underneath with it…

At one point, the water came up to the top of my bed and rushed over the surface…

It tried to pull my journals away… But I grabbed them quickly… Unfortunately the ink on the inside was smeared everywhere… So I had no idea what they said anymore… No idea what my mind was thinking in those moments of life… Or even how I felt…

And I feel like that’s where I am right now spiritually… That this belief system I’m comfortably laying on is going through some serious changes…

That a tide-like thing is washing away what doesn’t need to be there…

And as parts of my belief system disintegrate, they quickly become nothing more than piles of trash, junk…

And then my thoughts that pair with my beliefs… Things I value so much and hold dear… Well it feels like it doesn’t matter how hard I hold onto them… Because, like in the dream, once the water has touched them… They don’t make clear sense anymore…

And this of course makes me somewhat nervous… Because in the midst of it all… Well I feel very detached… Like I’m floating around… And I’m unsure of what is actually solid and stable still…

change · grief · peace · shaken · unshaken

It’s Not Concrete Anymore

IMG_1136

Can I do this day without as much drama as I did yesterday? Can I take the stress I felt from yesterday and decrease it? God how can I truly move onto the next phase of my life if I’m staying so low? That’s what I’m doing right now…. I am staying low because I am lowly in my words, thoughts and actions… but I need to rise above drama and stress… because that’s not the way to live…

It’s not very becoming to be this way…. to continue to stir up a mess and leave myself wound up for no reason at all…. I don’t miss dad like Bridge does right now…. Is something wrong with me?… two weeks ago I cried myself to sleep 3 nights in a row… now I feel empty about the entire life-altering situation…. how do I move forward? do I move forward? or does grief come to me?

I don’t feel worried or stressed for mom either and I don’t really know why… it’s kind of like I just feel like it’s all going to work out… I have to have this kind of attitude about my own life…. so I mineswell have it with mom and bridget’s too… I guess in this strange way we are all using faith like never before… in extremely different ways… ways that are personal and central to us… but none the less very important to each one of us…

And I don’t know where any of this will take us… I don’t know how living in Cali will become a relationship and a family…. I don’t know how Bridge’s living in Cali will become her career and I don’t know how mom’s living in shreveport, moving through the mess and mud will become her new life… it’s all a mystery now… before life seemed simple… it was for sure that dad and mom would alaways be in shreveport with their house and the business….

Now… now all of that has changed… and it’s not concrete anymore…. Nothing in my life is concrete anymore…. I guess it would be wise of me to allow myself to become concrete…. To really know and understand me… For who I am and what I want…. Because if i know me…. if i am continuously familiar with who I am… Well then I will stay true to me…. I won’t really fidget when life begins to change again… I’ll just go with the flow of things and live my life in peace…

That’s what I need God…. to live my life in peace….

awareness · change

Life Cues

IMG_1074What happens when you finally control your own life?… When you feel like no one holds the keys to your future anymore but you?… When everything you were working for isn’t a reality anymore?…

Because I’ve left it…. Walked away and I’m trying to discover my own way…. What my purpose is…

I need more than anything to figure out my purpose…. What I’m created for… Because I know deep down when I do… Well I’ll follow it all the way….

It’s not normal for me to be in this place…. This place were I don’t feel motivated for anything really….

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing…. I feel like I’m a little afraid…. When I look at myself I see someone who is happy, but so afraid… Afraid of taking the next step because I don’t know what the next step is or where it will lead…

But I do know that this spot… This place isn’t where I want to be forever…

So what do I do? Do I simply live in the midst of this moment? Or do I continue to try new things?

So many times I feel behind… Behind the curve… Like I’m always playing catch up in life to all of those around me that I know….

It would be so nice to just shut social media off completely…. To close off the idea of what others are and aren’t doing…. Because watching others is torturing sometimes…

I think, “why do I have to be so behind? Why am I here at this place? Why did I have to be so hard headed and think that I have all of the answers?”

Then I wonder how will I be able to lead my own life when I don’t even know where I’m going… And I think I’m coming back to this place of serendipity… This place where I just followed God and trusted that life was going to pan out well… I feel like that plan was good… That is used to get me places….

But gosh life doesn’t really work on serendipity, coincidental type of moments like it used to… It’s changed it’s course completely…. And I don’t like that sometimes…. I liked the little life cues that showed me I was moving in a healthy, good direction…

And maybe those little cues didn’t leave me… But maybe they changed their clothing a little… Maybe they look different and feel different now and I’m just not trained to pick up on them…

Whatever the case… I really miss those little cues… The ones that reminded me I’m following my arrow…

And I wish they would come back or reveal themselves to me in someway again… Because I need them now… Just to have them to guide me… To guide me through the fear I feel and help keep me on my own path and journey in life…

Because in the end… Death is teaching me, it doesn’t matter how much you watch others and want to follow their lead… Because it’s my journey… It’s my story to tell… It’s mine to live and love and share with others… And if I can’t be open to accepting that it’s my story, and that it shouldn’t look like someone else’s… Well then what’s the point of having a story anyways? What’s the point of living a full life if it’s a replicate?

I think that’s what I need to realize for myself and really tell myself… That it doesn’t matter that my journey doesn’t look like another’s… Because it’s mine… And it will always be mine…