death · flourishing · heart · languishing

If Truth Called, Would You Answer?

If truth called, would you answer?

Could you tell her what’s happening inside of you right now?

Could you explain to her what you believe in, who you believe in and why you believe?

Would you be able to examine your life and explain who/what placed these beliefs in your mind and why?

And what about your spirit and soul? If you opened up to truth would she find death, decay and a life that’s languishing? Or would she find a glorious, pure and flourishing life that’s capable of giving more life to those around him/her?

And… Most importantly, if truth called, would you be able to boldly say, “My beliefs drive me closer to human connection and the divine rather than farther away?”

I ask all of these questions because I believe having an honest, transparent answer to each one is vital. I also believe truth… Truth is searching for individuals that are confident enough to answer her call with a bold heart ♥️🌱 #cultivatelife

 

challenge · flourishing · freedom · heart · justice · lies, deception & manipulation · vulnerability

What’s Going On In There?

I don’t want to write. Honest to God, I don’t want to at all. It’s become somewhat of a challenge to keep moving forward in this area.

But I must… I must mustard up what’s inside of me to get this done because it’s what Holy Spirit is asking.

Which makes me wonder… Where is my heart right now in the midst of everything? What’s it saying? What’s it doing? How alive and thriving is it? Am I passing constant judgment based around what I see others doing or not doing? Am I talking about people behind their back because it’s in “private,” so they’ll never truly know? Am I praying for those in real, true need? Am I using my God-given dominion and authority to speak to darkness and death and command them to be still and come no further?

What’s going on in there?

And the answer is simple. I am doing all of the above. I am alive. I am thriving. I am passing judgment. I am talking about people behind their back. I am praying for those in real, true need. I am using my God-given dominion and authority to speak to darkness and death.

So… A lot is happening in my heart.

And maybe that’s too honest for you. Hey… Maybe that’s too honest for me. But, well… It’s the truth. And I live by the truth because it sets me free.

Which is why… Deep down, past all of the dark and light inside of me, I want to encourage you to pursue truth. Truth that sets you free from any pride, fear, bitterness, deception or manipulation that have control over your heart. And, in the midst of that, I hope the freedom leads you straight to the heart of God. Because His heart… His heart has the love to heal and restore our newly freed hearts 🌱 #cultivatelife

faith · flourishing · follow · Fullness of Jesus · keep moving forward

J Man

This is J Man… Most know Him as Jesus.

He was created a year ago by my ever-so gifted and talented sister Bridget. (The stories on how He was created and why would blow your mind- Maybe I’ll share them one day)

You know… He’s moved with us all over NYC. Yep, each borough we’ve lived in, He’s been with us!

At first it seemed absurd to carry this 5ft canvas with us everywhere we’ve lived, but 6 moves later we’re just grateful that He’s finally in His new home in Queens.

You know… The past 3 weeks have been full of failure upon failure. And there have definitely been moments when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and tell God, “I’m out ✌🏻.” But then this morning, while I was praying, I looked up and saw J Man… J Man and His big ole bobble head floating above me. And instead of feeling discouraged, doubtful and in disbelief, I was reminded that He’s literally been on this journey with us the entire time. Through all of the moments we’ve wondered if we’d “make it” or if we’re still on the “path,” He’s been a friendly reminder to keep moving forward.

And you know… I don’t know where you are in life today. I don’t know how many failures and disappointments you’ve experienced; however, I do know J Man is real. He’s real and He’s alive when we let Him, Father God and Holy Spirit take the lead in our lives. And I know that’s challenging almost all the time, but I’ve learned every failure is an open door to the next opportunity He wants to lead us too. And even when we make mistakes (like the BIG spiritual one I recently made) He’s ALWAYS there to reroute the path and make up for what was lost.

So where ever you are, and how ever the divine presents Himself to you, please always be willing to follow! It’s 100% worth every step you take! 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive #bridgetwinderart #jman

capacity · cultivation · develop · expansion · flourishing · grow · isolation · process

Expansion

I told my mom what God told me about blooming. She, who is always wiser than me, said, “Amanda, I know you’re excited, but remember this is going to be a PROCESS. Just like all of the growth you’ve experienced, blooming will take time. A bud doesn’t open overnight. It takes time to expand as it reveals the colorful world inside.”

You know… She’s absolutely right!

While most growth is painful, blooming is not. BUT it does require expansion. Which, like my mom said, takes TIME.

And if you know me, I get caught up with the time things take to get to where they need to be. Sure, I’ve gotten better over the years, but for the most part I still want things to happen faster than they do.

Blame it on our culture that’s centered on instant gratification I guess.

But in really, I’m not up for playing the blame game. I’m more into learning about the expansion process of the bloom!

It’s interesting too. It seems like all of a sudden timing is right. Timing is good. Timing is in season. So many pieces and parts I’ve hoped and prayed would come together are TRULY coming together.

And though there’s a place in me that’s nervous all the pieces coming together might separate again, I’m choosing to stay uplifted. I’m choosing to be strong in my mind, in my heart and in spirit. Because I believe it’s enough as life continues to expand and bloom.

flourishing · freedom · Fullness of Jesus

Intentional

Freedom through Christ… It’s an interesting concept to ponder… But it’s an even more interesting concept to experience and fully live.

You see I’ve come to a place in life where I feel very liberated: spirit, soul and body. I feel like God has made me whole and set me free of so much oppression and spiritual sickness, death and disease.

However, now I’m beginning to wonder, “How does one sustain and maintain his or her freedom? How am I supposed to move forward in the Kingdom of God… especially when it’s a constant unknown?

And I don’t know if I’m making complete sense; however, what I mean to say is… How does a free person stay free from the things that once bound him or her, but then cultivate life on top of that freedom?

And I don’t have an answer in this moment… I am truly seeking one with all of my heart. However, I am beginning to wonder if it’s time to become more intentional with the Holy Spirit and the things of God. Because I believe we can come to a place in our relationship with Him where we can converse with Him in such a detailed way… An intentionally detailed way.

cultivation · develop · expansion · flourishing · grow · mature · refine

Timing of the Trees

I’ve been coming to my grandmother’s house on Cane River my entire life. It’s a place that is 100% country, yet southern.

While sitting on her porch yesterday I found myself very confused about a patch of trees. “Where did they come from? Did they grow over night? Why was I just now noticing them?” This is all I could think… So I asked my grandmother.

And she replied, “Oh they’ve been there for quite a while. Really small things. But you know, just in the last two years they’ve shot up like that and now you can’t see the road or field on the other side of them.”

I just kind of sat there and thought for a moment… To me it was kind of interesting that they’d been growing so long without any notice; however, now they’re tall enough to block the field view and I really notice!

I tell this story because the trees remind me of God’s timing.

You see I believe when we live a life that follows God’s ways we must also follow His timing… And for me, well I’ve always struggled with staying on God’s time table. I want what He’s planted in my life to grow up big and tall right NOW! I don’t like to wait for His process because it seems so long and drawn out at times.

But in reality He needs the time to cultivate and nourish these things inside of me. His ways require that we become strong and sturdy and capable of withstanding a lot. And like those trees it takes many years for this to occur.

But then, at the right time… Well I believe you have a moment like I did yesterday. One where you look over and think, “Where did they come from? They’re so big and tall and full of life that they distract and puzzle my mind.”

And I don’t know what God’s planted in your life in different seasons, but if you just continue to allow Him to cultivate it… If you just allow Him to strength you, give you an identity in Him and make you whole and complete… Well one day I believe you’ll look over and see that all of that time wasn’t a waste because something great did come forth. And now the things planted are taller than you and you can go places with them that you never fathomed.

flourishing · life · process · seasons

Life, the process…

img_2628Life… A journey… A process… A continual climbing of mountains and walks through valleys, with a lot of highs and lows…

I believe every person on earth experiences it… This thing called life…

And while some are flourishing and truly thriving, others are languishing and searching for significance…

I also believe it’s possible to thrive in several areas, but then completely coast through and feel lost and confused in others…

For me, well it’s a moment-by-moment choice… And some moments feel longer and more confusing than others…

And with the cultivation of life, I also believe a change in seasons happens a lot… And some of those seasons can seem so long and boring… And their length requires patience…

Patience of the soul… Because our minds, emotions and the human will want to control it all… They want to move forward with the way the rest of the world is moving…

And in an age of instant gratification… Well, sometimes it’s truly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle… To feel like we have to move from one thing to another, without slowing down to rest…

In this season of life, I’ve learned that rest is so important…

Because for me, well rest can often times feel uncomfortable… I like to be around people… I like to be doing a million things at once… I left an environment full of constant, quick motion… Always running and running…

And so slowing down, well it’s been a bit of a challenge for me…

It’s been a challenge to take every day as it’s given, and trust that God is going to reveal everything I need in that day, for that day… And that I’m going to grow accordingly…

And honestly… Honestly, I have no idea how long this season is going to last… But in the midst of it all my heart has changed so very much…

Because the ups and downs of the mountain I am on have allowed me to see life in a way I’ve never seen it before… I feel like a different person… I closer version of myself than I’ve ever been before… Truly, more authentic to the way I was actually created to be…

And, so… Though I have no idea how much longer this will all last, I am confident that the change inside of me is real, genuine and true… And because of that, well I’ll just keep firm to the process…