glory · goodness of god · kingdom · Manifestation · stillness

Summer of Stillness

If you followed my writings over the past summer, then you know I shared about stillness and the glory of God a lot. At one point, I mentioned that Holy Spirit said, “How are people going to know that I am truly with you, if you won’t let My stillness rest upon you? It’s okay to be still. It’s okay to not have any movement going on in you. That doesn’t mean things aren’t moving. Instead, it means you’re cultivating a space to carry the weight of My glory, which you’ve never truly carried before. And sure, sure it’s cumbersome. Sure, being still is not your favorite thing because you want to be doing, but I have called you to a life of stillness: spirit, soul, heart and body right now. A life of stillness that mediates on My goodness constantly.”

And so, when I wasn’t working, you could find me sitting in silence without any distractions (phone, TV, computer), commanding my soul to step back and inviting my spirit to come forward so I could engage with the stillness. And, in those moments of stillness, my mind was mostly quiet. I didn’t hear Holy Spirit speaking too often, but I did feel a very significant amount of His presence and glory growing and surrounding me as I mediated on His goodness.

Below are three stories (from the summer) that demonstrate the growing manifestation of His presence.

The Smoke

On June 17, at 2 am I woke up to the smell of thick, thick smoke. The smell was so strong that I was convinced something was on fire. I woke my sister (who is usually awake at 2am) up. She could smell it too. We both firmly agreed something was on fire. So, we hurried towards the windows in back of the apartment. Bridget said, “I don’t smell anything outside of the windows. It’s not coming from over here.” Then she turned on the lights and the room looked kind of hazy, like smoke was definitely in the room. Next, she checked the radiator pipes that run through the apartment for the heat in winter. Again, nothing. I checked the windows in my room. Nothing. We checked the hallway. Nothing. So, it was evident that the smoky smell and haze was isolated to our apartment unit only.

We both kind of laughed about it and confidently decided to go back to sleep. Convinced it was occurring within the spirit realm surrounding us. 

When I woke up the next morning, I consulted Holy Spirit. He led me to Isaiah 4:5. It says, “Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over everything the glory will be a canopy.” Again, I kind of laughed because both of our spirits knew that’s what we had experienced. But, before I could confirm for sure, I called my mom. I told her the story and she said, “You know Amanda, last night I had a dream y’all were in a fire in NYC, but you were okay. When I woke up, I felt a little panicked, but I knew y’all were fine.” 

Why did God reveal Himself to us like this? I still don’t have all of the answers; however, I am confident that we were so confident in the manifested demonstration of His presence that we went back to sleep without a worry or a doubt.

The Tears

During the month of June, my sister was working on a painting of her spirit. She said, “Amanda, there’s water on the floor in front of the painting, but I don’t have a clue where it came from.” I walked over to the painting, and, sure enough, there were several droplets on the floor that resembled tears. We both backtracked the past hour and decided there was no way either one of us was responsible for the water. So again, we knew they manifested from the spirit realm surrounding us. But why? 

Over the next few days, the Father made it clear that He was very overwhelmed with what my sister was bringing to life. It moved Him to tears to see that she was so interested in putting paint to canvas to watch the truth surrounding her spirit come to life.

The Diamond

In mid-July, I had been sitting on the living room couch all day working on my computer. After several hours, I got up and went to my room to sit with Holy Spirit and focus in on being still. After I had been sitting for a while, my sister rushed in my room to tell me Britney Spears was testifying in court and we could listen to the stream on Twitter. So, we both sat on the end of my bed and listened. When it was over, we both gleefully left my room (research the case if you want to know why) and went back to the living room. She sat down on the couch where I had been sitting all day and said, “Amanda, what is this?” In her hand she was holding what looked like a tiny rhinestone. She said, “Did this fall off of a piece of clothing?” We both thought through all of the clothing we own and decided it didn’t. Then she said, “Actually, I don’t think it’s a rhinestone. I think it’s a diamond!” So, she rushed over to her phone and pulled up a YouTube video to verify a diamond. The video said we needed to drop it in a glass of water. If it sank, it was surely a diamond. So, she filled up a clear glass, took it into the bathroom and I dropped the tiny stone into the water. Sure enough, the diamond went straight to the bottom. 

Then we checked every piece of jewelry. Nothing missing. We asked our friends that had been over. They weren’t missing anything. We asked my mom. She wasn’t missing anything. So, again, we laughed. Surely, this did not fall from the spirit realm surrounding us? Or did it? And if so, what was God’s plan for it? To show that the very presence of Heaven is surrounding us at all times? To encourage us to keep engaging Heaven? To demonstrate the realness of the realm of Heaven, that often feels like a caricature of sorts?

And while I don’t have too many answers, I am sure of this… Engagement with our human spirit, paired with stillness and meditation on the goodness of God can bring about some very unique manifested experiences. And while we haven’t stumbled upon another diamond yet, we have had many more experiences with hazy smoke and tears. They just seem to appear in places where we’ve been mediating on the goodness of God, while paving a road for angelic assistance and operating in the gifts, purposes and trading routes Holy Spirit is constantly laying before us.

So if you’re reading this, I want to encourage you to take the time to cultivate a relationship with your human spirit, Holy Spirit and stillness. Take many undistracted moments (moments without technology) to just mediate on areas of your life where you know He provided for, protected, healed, delivered, connected with and loved you. And then see where that takes you. Look around for the growth of His manifested presence within your life. I promise you, you won’t just feel it, you may just see it too! And the best part is, mediating on the goodness of God will become a part of your lifestyle and you will consistently see His glory revealed. 🌱

faith · Fullness of Jesus · glory · goodness of god · keep moving forward

The Jig is Up!

I’ve never told this story on a public platform before…. Three years ago, mom, Bridget and I were sitting in Shreveport, La waiting for our house to sell.

Art… Art wasn’t selling. Our finances were nonexistent. And, we had sold everything of significant financial gain to pay bills on time.

Meaning, life… Life was dark. And, our future… Our future was bankruptcy.

Of course we all three went through a wide range of emotions during that time. And… God was silent for the most part, but He promised me we would not file for bankruptcy. So… I held Him to His word EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Once we sold our last piece of gold and paid our mortgage on time, the jig felt like it was up! So we surrendered the future to God. The miracle we needed was in His hands. There was no more we could do. He would have to uphold the promise He made.

And then, about a week later, we received our first and only offer on the house. It came in the number 5, signifying God’s grace. We were in complete awe and so grateful God made a way. He took us to our ends… To a place where we had to completely and totally rely on Him to see His promises fulfilled.

But the story doesn’t end there… You see we still didn’t have the finances to pay the mortgage until we moved. So AGAIN, we held God to His promises.

And then out of NOWHERE, someone contacted my sister wanting to commission a 5 foot painting of Jesus (again signifying Gods grace). He said, “Name a price.” And so we did, and the finances completely covered us, paid for mom’s move and moved us to NYC.

The best part… We NEVER filed for bankruptcy. God held true to His PROMISES. The miracle came when we least expected it, but when we were most prepared for it in our hearts because we had completely surrendered everything to Him. No man or woman could fix our situation. He had to do it.

And I don’t know who this resonates with right now. However, I want you to know, God is NOT short in finishing what He started. If He made a PROMISE, He will fulfill it in His timing. And… He might just fulfill it in such away that even nonbelievers will see that Jesus is King and God is sovereign. 🌱⚔️🛡#cultivatelife 

challenge · glory · goodness of god · love of god · pride

The Leak Factor

I watched honey run down the side of my breakfast this morning and I immediately thought of a phrase I’ve coined… “The Leak Factor.”

I guess it’s been at least 6 years now since I’ve been using it… And no I didn’t create it, an old friend did.

You see he once said, “Amanda, you have to stay aware of what’s leaking out of you and onto others. Because what’s inside of you will eventually come out. And you want that stuff to be good! You want it to lift people up, not tear them down.”

Now honestly, in the moment I was kind of irritated because I knew he was pointing at the pride, jealousy and insecurity that was “leaking” out of me onto others.

But today… Today I’m really fond of the leak factor. I almost always think of it before I open my mouth or share anything in a social media setting… Because, well, I believe there’s enough hate, brokenness, bitterness, wickedness and insecurity leaking out of people into this world.

And so… I constantly challenge myself to cultivate a heart that’s full of peace, joy and, most importantly, the love found in the heart of Father God.

And I don’t know where you are today? I don’t know what you’re leaking onto others… Hopefully it’s good… Hopefully it’s lovely… Hopefully it promotes life! However, I do challenge you to ask yourself, “What’s leaking out of me and onto others?” 🧐🌱 #cultivatelife

Fullness of Jesus · glory · goodness of god · healing · redeem · refine · restore

What A Wonderful Life

This is my grandmother. You know she was healed in 1975 of a rare bone condition. Yep… On her death bed, in a neck brace and body cast for 19 1/2 years, didn’t have feeling in more than half of her body BUT the power of God’s Holy Spirit transformed her in a single moment.

I miss her. I miss her a lot.

You know… After she was healed, Holy Spirit led she and my grandfather into full-time ministry. She would lay hands on the sick and they were made well through Jesus. She would speak to darkness, demons and things that scare the majority of us and they would flee. People began to live freer, fuller lives after experiencing the power of Holy Spirit inside of her.

You know… If you google “Delores Winder” you probably won’t find much more than a few videos of a tiny woman, with white hair, blue eyes that pierce your soul and a voice that sounds so strange yet captivating.

I always wanted to be just like her. Not the physical attributes… The spiritual ones.

You know… We butted heads a lot. Especially when I’d take the things she taught me and advance them for today’s culture. I always saw the world a little bit different. I always saw so much capacity for restoration, transformation and cultivation on a world-scale.

But gosh… To follow Him like she did… With so much ease that God was “taking care of things.” To have the faith that He would keep providing more than enough because that’s who He is and has always been. To just stay in the present moment and be like Jesus. Those… Those are still goals.

And maybe… Maybe I’m more like her than I even realize; however, I do believe the way she chose to live is one of the main reasons I keep choosing to live like this. To be constantly full of God’s presence, of love, of joy, of peace and of prosperity…. What a wonderful life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

freedom · Fullness of Jesus · goodness of god · healing

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

goodness of god

Why?

Sometimes I don’t understand why God cares so much… Is it that we mutually care? That I come to the table too? That it’s a 50/50 deal where we are both all hands on deck in this thing called life?

I mean, it just doesn’t make sense to me why He’s led me down this road of authenticity, security and identity. It’s like a bread-crumb trail without any real knowledge of what the destination is.

Why do you care so much God? Why are you so into me?

He’s just a very strange dude. But you know? I really do love Him so much. He is SO good, even when life is bad… Even when it’s sucked and been extremely painful to walk through… He’s been good.

And I just want people to know, if you’re willing to go all the way with Him… Then He’s willing to go all the way with you. He’s just the most incredible person I know. ♥️

cultivation · faith · family · goodness of god · grateful · process · seasons

When It’s Finally Over

In the past few months I’ve heard it said at least 20 times now, “Well, hindsight is 20/20.”

And though I do believe that statement is true, I’ve grown to love the confusion and uncertainty built into life. Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t like to be confused and uncertain; however, without the confusion and uncertainty of tomorrow, how would we ever grow? How would we ever learn? How would we ever become more than what we already are today?

Because I believe that the struggle and the fight and wrestling have made me who I am. And though I dont ever like the confusion and uncertainty of the moment or the season, I would truly be utterly lost without them.

It’s almost like God let’s you feel a little bit of confusion for a moment… Almost like He knows that confusion and uncertainty is not His way, but He knows that you feeling that way will end eventually because if you hold to His ways you will come out on the other side with clarity and peace and prosperity.

In my heart, I hope my family never has to walk through what we have ever again. I pray that these past four years, especially this past year and a half are over for good, but gosh I am grateful for every moment of them.

Grateful because they were filled with moments that helped uproot my weaknesses and insecurities. And now that they’ve all wilted away and died down, I can see that what I hated created a beautiful masterpiece of work. Something that I still can’t fully comprehend or wrap my mind around. But something that is good and viable and was extremely worth my time and tears. Because in this time God helped me grow up and truly mature into a woman who cannot and will not be ransacked, shaken or blown away by the realities that are found within the lows of life.

And you know what? I’m ok with it.

death · family · goodness of god · grief · power

Mom-Mom…

img121Not knowing yesterday morning what was in store, I ended my journal entry with the statement that He is “always good”… Fitting for someone who used that line as an honest pillar in her life…

Right now… Now is the time I could easily say, “I don’t know what I’ll do without her”… But that’s not true at all…

Because many, if not most, will miss Delores Winder… The prayer warrior… The one who could heal with the power of God… The one who helped change people’s lives… The one with a powerful, powerful story and testament of true, authentic healing… The one with so much wisdom and love…

But, well… I’ll just miss Mom-Mom… The woman who was my grandmother… The woman no one saw but her family and close, close friends… The one who taught me how to bake, write letters to people and always took the time each year to take my sister and I on vacation with our grandfather… “One day all you’ll have left are these memories of us together,” she would constantly say…

I’m going to miss Mom-Mom like crazy… She was one of the only people that drove me absolutely insane at times, but I still loved her like no one else…

We were so much a like… Bossy, controlling, know-it alls… We both needed to have the “right” answer all the time… Haha!…

She would say, I pushed her buttons a lot… Because if she didn’t have the answer, and I knew deep down there was another way or a better way, well we would argue about it… And I would go on a quest to find it… At first this was a struggle… Me wanting more truth than I’d been given, her telling me that was it… Me believing there was more, discovering the more and then giving it to her…

After a while, well she finally just wanted to know what I’d learned… So we could talk about it together…

So to say I will miss the wisdom God gave her, the way she prayed and the things she taught would be untrue… Because Mom-Mom spent her time pouring every ounce of what she had into mine and my sister’s very beings… She knew that one day she would be gone and we would need it all… To teach others… To love others… To help direct people towards the Holy Spirit and His inner healing…

And so I believe that’s what makes this year so significant for me yet again…

Since entering the nursing home in January, I’ve really had no contact with her… And as pieces of my identity, security and confidence have been shaken from me, well the best choice I’ve found is to just follow God’s lead… Even when I can’t see… And though it’s truly been a shaky year, I believe she would be happy to know that her death hasn’t shaken me at all…

Yes, yes I am very, very sad… But I’m not broken or broken-hearted… More than anything, I feel firmer than ever…

And so I guess, well… I just want to tell her thank you… From the bottom of my very heart, thank you for loving me the way no one has ever loved me before… Thank you for believing in me and what God has given me to do in life… Thank you for teaching me how good God actually is… Thank you for the ups and downs in our relationship, they truly shaped me… Thank you for being my best friend…

And more than anything, thank you for showing me that life cannot be lived to it’s fullest without being healthy and whole from the inside out… That our spirit, soul and body have to be in alignment with Him… And that inner healing, well to me is just another way to say, “it’s time to cultivate life”…

develop · faith · freedom · goodness of god · grow · heart

To Travel is to Learn…

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Travel the world he said… Travel it… Go for it… Move out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try something new…

Over the last few weeks I’ve gone from hectic, crazy busy… To traveling through Europe… Seeing two of the countries I wanted to see the most in life…

And you know what?… It’s been completely satisfying… Because I’ve come to realize… Traveling fills a space in my heart I didn’t even know existed…

Sure I’ve traveled throughout the US… But not until this trip… Not until this present moment did I truly realize how valuable traveling is to me…

And I feel as though it… The experience of being in Austria, Switzerland and Paris… The opportunity to be surrounded by people that don’t speak the same language as me… To see things that aren’t anything close to what I know… Well I feel as though these things will in fact mold me into a different version of myself…

Is it my true self?… Well… That’s the question… And on;y time will tell… Only my choices following this will show me who I am becoming…

Before leaving I began a new journal… Because I wanted to keep my thoughts in a different way…

For years I’ve been journaling my thoughts…. My questions… My truest concerns for life and my life and the world… Well they’ve been inside of my computer… But it’s become a little stale and boring…

So I’ve taken it back to paper and pen… And in the process… Well I’m striving to discover the woman I want to become… Who do I want to transition into?…

And the new journal came at an appropriate time… Because of the opportunity I’ve had to travel…

So… In this moment… Well I’ve learned… I’ve learned so very much…

To continue to stay open… Open to new things… To remain honest with myself… Even when I don’t always want to be honest…

The honesty clause as given me so much… I feel as though being honest allows the universe to give us more of what we want in a way… Because when we are honest… Well we don’t find ourselves trapped in things that don’t bring happiness…

Instead… We find ourselves surrounded with things that bring us joy and peace… Living a life that is pure and free from the frustrations of lying to self…

I’ve also learned that it’s ok that I’m not 100% confident in me… In my lifestyle choices… In the process it’s taking to just be me… And that I need to remain confident in what’s brought me this far… Whether it’s a success or a failure… Something brought me to this moment and I need to be confident in that fact…

And sometimes that’s hard… Pride still eats at me… It tells me that I should take credit for things that I know deep down don’t need validation….

And of course I’ve learned to truly accept the things that cause my heart to feel at home…

The feelings I had in Paris where amazing… And they rang so true to my heart… And maybe it’s because so much of my heritage is from there… My blood is very French…

But then I believe it goes beyond that… Because I feel in love with almost everything I saw… I was captivated and just wanted to soak it all in… But then I felt so submerged…

And I say all of this because I feel like I can boldly say that I am closer to the woman I want to be… Just by accepting and embracing a few simple truths about me…

And at the end of the day… Well it’s good… And it’s inspiring… And it motivates me to just keep living in aims of something far greater than I can even comprehend…

Because I see God… And I see his love for spoiling me… It’s clear… His love for taking care of me always… For always making sure that life is good… That it’s full…

And as long as I keep living… As long as I continue to be… To discover… To explore… Well I believe I will truly gain so much in life….

And… I guess… More than anything… Right now… I’ve learned.. To travel is to learn…