Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

And Then God Got Quiet

“And then God got quiet… And He stayed quiet… And I didn’t know what the silence was for or what would happen next.”

He’s quiet. Yeah… We’re definitely having conversations about the world and my world. But… For the most part He’s super still. He doesn’t have much to say other than, “Mirror me. Cultivate an environment of peace Amanda. Let My peace rest deep down inside of you.”

And I believe He’s looking deep into my heart more than anything right now. I believe He’s searching for the darkness that’s rooted deep down in there… He’s looking for the negativity, the gossip, the judgment, the ugliness that’s hiding in my soul.

His peace actually feels like a flashlight… One that’s probing around, demanding all darkness to filter to the surface so that it can be drawn out quickly.

And I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced THIS before… This intrusive, peaceful, deep cleaning of my soul. Usually He drags out the truth or the love to straighten me out… But this time, this time He going with the peace.

And it’s different. I don’t hate it. It’s actually a lot easier to embrace than truth and love because it’s so constant, still and eternally captivating.

And I don’t know if I’m making 100% sense. But I did want to share what’s happening inside of me right now. Because I hope you feel His peace too. I hope, in the midst of the chaos, confusion and calamity… I hope that His peace grabs a hold of your heart, filters through the nonsense and then gives you a sense of confidence to stand tall with a pure and faithful heart.

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Get Lost

At the beginning of January I heard Holy Spirit say, “Something very scary is about to happen in the city and the world, but I will protect you and your family. Do not be afraid. Do not live in fear. Just continue to pray. Pray for your family and friends… Pray that I keep my hand on this nation… That my glory sustains it.” A few days later I found myself following the virus in China and knew in my spirit THIS was the scary “something” He was talking about.

And so I’ve prayed. I’ve been violently praying for everyone I love and adore. I’ve been praying for my city, for my country and for my world. It’s what He asked me to do, even before I knew what He was taking about.

And if you know me, then you know I listen, I believe, I follow and I live as I cultivate life with Holy Spirit.

Which is why I want to express something very dear to my heart… Within all the chaos and fear that’s being force-fed to us through the media and social media, I challenge you to “get lost.” Get lost in the isolated presence of God. If you know Him, ask Him to reveal Himself you in an increasingly more powerful way. If you think you know Him and realize you don’t, ask Him to reveal His true self to you… A God that doesn’t pertain to the limits and boundaries religion has taught. And… if you don’t know Him at all, I challenge you to ask Him to reveal His love and peace to you.

Because… Well I believe if we can just stay focused on Him, His Son and Holy Spirit… Well then I believe we will find a place of confidence, authority and security. And, I also believe He will show us HOW TO cultivate life… The life that’s ahead of us as we move forward in these chaotic times 🌱#cultivatelife #justlive

Confidence · Spirit · truth

“Help. Me.”

“Help. Me.” is what I quietly screamed at my sister across the gym yesterday. The weight I tried to load onto my shoulders for lunges was entirely too heavy for me to lift.

Of course she quickly looked at me like, “What am I supposed to do Amanda?! You think I can help you lift 80 pounds?!”

But she did. My sister helped me pick up the weight and then together we placed it on it’s stand.

And that’s what this entire journey has been… A constant series of two sisters helping each other move forward right when the other seems like she might crumble.

Those are the things no one sees though… The moments where we both want to give up because God’s system for living isn’t working the way we imagined it would.

You see it seemed so simple when He showed me a picture of the outcome. But then I didn’t consider that my choices would lead me to a place that would look like this for so long. I didn’t realize there would be years and years and years of refusing to cave.

And I also didn’t realize my response would consistently be… “Well, I consulted God and He said, ‘No. No, don’t do that. Don’t sell out. Don’t go that route. Don’t buy into what’s cheap, fake and entirely insecure. Keep following me. It will all come together in My timing Amanda. You have to keep trusting Me.”

And so I do… We both do. Actually we all three do. Mom included. Even with the soul-ripping, sudden loss of dad. We have chosen to band tighter to God and go even higher with Him and His ways.

And sure… Sure it hasn’t been easy. But I can promise you this… My choice to trust God and take risks with Him and His ways have been the best choices I’ve ever made because they’ve made me confident, secure, whole, complete and at peace with the out-of-control world around me. And no, no He doesn’t always make sense. And yes, yes spirituality is almost always terrifying because it means we have to let go and trust in things we might not believe are real. But I just want to encourage you to trust that He’s there. Trust that He’s waiting to lift the 80 pounds you cannot lift alone off of your shoulders. And trust that He will guide you after the weight is gone so you can #cultivatelife 🌱

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Sharp Objects

I had a dream about a month ago… I was standing in my living room and from the kitchen a dark figure was standing at my counter throwing knives, swords and other sharp objects at me. In the moment I didn’t know what to do…. So I reached my hand out and surprising caught each one of them by the handle on the other end.

I had a vision this morning… I saw glass and shards of metal coming at my heart… Trying to really penetrate and tear apart this whole and complete substance God’s placed inside of me.

When the vision began, I immediately thought of the dream… So I asked Holy Spirit about both of them. He said, “Amanda, the dream was a foretelling of you handling the shards and metal in the vision. For too many years you’ve allowed manipulation, deception, fear, lies and toxic behavior to tear you down and penetrate your heart. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to stand firm and confidently and courageously catch every sharp tool darkness throws your way. It’s time to be the fortress, in this area of your life, I’ve created you to be.”

And with that… Well I just felt peace. Peace that showed me this chapter is coming to an end because I will no longer be stunned with pain, rejection, fear and confusion of the past.

And I don’t know why I’m sharing this… This is kind of deep and very personal to me on several levels of life. However, I do want you to know, we weren’t created to live in darkness, pain, fear and rejection. Yeah…. Sure we can become so familiar with the darkness that it seems like we should lie down and embrace it as home. But I believe what’s stronger than the darkness that incases us is the light that comes out of us when Jesus truly steps into our story, heals our pain and restores us to full capacity.

And I don’t know about you…. But who wouldn’t want that? 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Mind · soul · Spirit · truth

One Broken Vessel

Healing and wholeness have always been such a pinnacle part of who I am. And it’s not a mystery to me why I’m drawn to the supernatural power of God. It’s in my spiritual DNA.

Growing up I saw my grandmother lay hands on countless people… People riddled with cancer, sick and dying from the inside out… And after she laid her hands on them, the power of the Holy Spirit transformed them… They walked away completely healed, whole and filled with life and the eternal.

Which is why there are days, like today, when I find myself so caught up on thoughts of restoration… On thoughts of what our country would look like if we would simply lower our prideful, misguided, broken hearts and pursue the healing power of God.

You see I believe healing and wholeness will come when we can truly recognize that we are so much more than flesh and blood… We aren’t our outer appearance. We aren’t race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political backgrounds and parties. We are eternal. We are spirits with souls… Souls that are longing to be made whole so that we can be led by Holy Spirit into the truth of Jesus Christ.

And I don’t know what it will take for our broken, dying and practically dead nation to see this truth. But I do pray… I pray that Jesus will continue to restore all that we are… One broken vessel at a time. 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive

Confidence · Spirit · truth

New Assignment

For about a year now it seems as though God’s been emptying me of more… More fear. More idolatry. More selfishness. More hurt and pain. More of me.

And to be completely honest with you, it’s been a challenge for me to let go of more without an understanding of “why?”

I just keep questioning the need for the empty space inside of me, “Why does He need me to be so empty on the inside? Why does He need so much space? What’s your purpose in all of this God?”

Well two weeks ago He began to reveal some things to me… Things I never saw coming. The reason He emptied me of lies, manipulation, idol worship, fear and pain.

You see the new assignment He’s given me is a big responsibility. And so I guess I get it. I get why it was so important to stay focused on the path in front of me. I get why He said, “Don’t look to the right or to the left. Just follow Me. It will all make sense and come together in time. You’ll understand eventually.”

And so I just want to encourage you… Where ever you are in life… Where ever Holy Spirit might be leading you… Just keep following. Even when the process seems challenging, long-winded and misunderstood, He knows what He’s doing.

And what He’s doing will always create and promote the capacity for new life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Body · Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth · Uncategorized

A Decade in the Making

Okay… Today, I hit the decade mark of losing 100 lbs! So… What does it mean to me to look at the girl on the left, the young woman on the right and the woman in the middle? Well… To me the three make up a cultivated lifestyle of restoration and freedom.

When I finished losing the weight, I didn’t realize I’d spend the next 10 years allowing Jesus to refine, develop, mature and grow me as a whole.

So when I look at these three photos I don’t see me… Instead I see Him… I see what He’s done in me.

You see, He’s taken a girl who was incredibly insecure, fearful, anxious, prideful, selfish, jealous and bitter… And He’s transformed her into a woman that’s confident, secure, courageous, at peace with the unknown, humble (I still struggle), selfless, grateful and full of joy towards others and myself!

When I started this journey I thought I knew Jesus. I thought I knew Father God. I thought I knew the Holy Spirit. I grew up believing in them, but life and death have taught me that I didn’t know them at all because I hadn’t experienced them on a personal level.

So today I can confidently say they are my foundation and source of life. Together, they constantly keep me strong, healthy and secure. While the past versions of me desperately searched for identity and security, today I believe I stand still on the truth that I can’t be shaken, tossed or turned. My life and all that I am is in Him.

And while the world around me continues to try to show me why I’m not thin enough, thick enough, tan enough, flawless enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, successful enough or even “godly” enough… Well guess what? His opinion of me is all that matters. And He says, “You’re more than enough Amanda because I’ve helped you become a new creation and given you new life through Christ.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Mind · soul

What Gives God?

How can I confidently stand firm on God and His words and His promises when I have days like yesterday? Moments where I feel impatient and start to flip flop about the promises.

And what about the “bloom?!” God promised I’d see a bloom in my life, but now I feel like He meant the trees around me!!

What gives God? Where are your promises? What’s your delay? What’s the delay? And why do I still have to be still?

In the stillness there’s still growth though… There’s still constant and consistent movement and life.

And even though my soul flips back and forth everyday… I still have hope. I still have joy. I still believe cultivating LIFE in the Kingdom of God is the best way we can choose to live life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Confidence · Spirit · truth

How Did I Become Her?

The unpaved path is rough. It’s lined with more obstacles, transition, pain, sacrifice and cultivation than I ever signed up for.

I remember being a kid. I remember what I wanted in my heart. Then I remember the promises God gave me as I got older. I remember the words He spoke directly to my heart and soul. I was attentive. I was aware. I didn’t miss the call He gave me.

I also remember being 17 years old, 235lbs and the most insecure, intimidated person I’d ever known. I remember thinking, “How will I ever become HER?! How will I ever grow into the woman God sees me as?”

I followed the unpaved path. I’ve followed it for years as I’ve listened to His voice. And there have been so many times I wanted to turn around and go “back.” There have been so many times I’ve convinced myself God lied to me about the promise. There have been so many times I said, “Forget the process! His process is too challenging! He’s asked too much of me! I’ve lost too much!”

But I’ve continued to move forward.

And now… Now I find myself hearing random people say, “You’re so intimidating. You’re so secure. The presence you carry with you is intense, but also so beautiful.”

I kind of laugh when I hear these things. I laugh because I know it’s not me they sense. I know it’s HIM! I know He’s consumed so much of my heart that He’s leaking onto each person I come in contact with.

And then sometimes I cry when I hear these things. I cry because I realize I don’t have a male covering or protection in my life anymore. It’s just me… Me and God. Me and Jesus. Me and the Holy Spirit. They’re more than enough you know?

And I think what I’m trying to say is this… I’ve journeyed all this way to become confident, courageous and humble. I’ve climbed mountains, walked through valleys and forged streams just to become a whole person. I’ve listened and followed when it didn’t make sense just to be in a moment where I can stand on my own two feet and think, “Wow, I can’t be moved. I’m solid as a fortress in Him and Him alone.”

And though I don’t know what lies ahead… I do know that all that He’s done in me has helped me truly cultivate LIFE! 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit

Brave at Heart?

Life is wearisome and burdensome a lot of the time. I’ve come to believe it’s only truly embraced and fully lived by the brave at heart… Those who are constantly willing to lay down all that they have to grow, evolve and change… Those who will not sub-come to the pressures of normality, but will set the tone for new ways of a fuller life.

That’s where I constantly rest in life… Choosing to follow the Holy Spirit and pave this way so I may find more wholeness and freedom through Jesus Christ.

Am I tired of it? Yeah. Is it a constant battle and fight from within? Honestly, yes. It’s constantly a fight for me to let go of my ways of life so I can pursue God and life in a higher way.

However, if I don’t do it… If I don’t practice this lifestyle of laying down and picking up… Well how will I ever reach all that He needs me to be? How will the dreams, visions and realities of life He’s given me ever come to fruition if I don’t keep moving forward?

And I don’t know what version of God you place your faith in today. I don’t know the areas of life He has and hasn’t freed you of; however, I do believe that it’s important that we take a risk with the God that brings us every ounce of freedom and life that we deserve. I believe that it’s vital that we grow in the ways of the Spirit… Not in the ways of the church, religion, social standing or pop culture… But in the ways of the Spirit of God. 🌷🌱 #cultivatelife