heart · Spirit · truth

Containment

I’ve tried to write what’s on my heart so many times. I’ve deleted what I’ve said because of the fear of sounding “harsh.” But… You know what? I have to say what’s jumbling around inside.

Do you ever stop and think, “What’s in God’s heart? How does He see our world? What are His solutions? What kind of life-giving, spirit-driven solution can He provide us with in this moment of time?”

If so, do you ever get an answer? If you do get an answer, do you keep following the narrow path of that answer with more questions? And if you’re still on that path of seeking answers with questions, have the answers produced a life-giving harvest around you and those close to you?

You see I’m asking because I’ve made a commitment to seek what’s contained in His heart in all circumstances. And though it’s challenging… And though I do fail a lot… I’ve promised myself I’ll move forward with my spirit, heart and soul fixated on faithfully following through with His desires. Truly living from each unprecedented milestone to the next.

So, you can then maybe understand why my heart feels grieved when I look around and see that my generation and our culture is completely overrun with materialism, self-centeredness and the goal of becoming a mini-god of sorts.

Y’all… We are missing it. A relationship with God isn’t an “add-on” at the end of the menu. He isn’t a side dish that we consume with the rest of our meals. He’s not our meaningful thought to “feel better” for a moment. And He’s most certainly not intended to revolve around our self-centered nature. 

What happened to relationship with Him? Where did the truth that Jesus heals go? Where is our passion for seeking His glory as a solvent in all situations? Where is our devotion for and submission to following Holy Spirit’s lead, no matter how uncertain it seems? Where is our faith for believing Him for the next step no matter the sacrifice? Where is our trust in believing He will provide us with the strength necessary to carry the weight of what He’s asking us to do? 

It is grieving to see a nation filled with problems He can and will solve, if only we will let Him lead and stop intruding our soulish thoughts and emotions into His processes. 

And again, maybe I am harsh in what I’m saying; however, following Him has never been a disappointment. He has always, always provided a way. He has always provided more than enough finances to meet my every need. And He’s always given the next step, chapter and season when He knows it’s time.

And so, I’m writing this to remind you… Lay down the materialism. Let go of the self-centeredness. Give up the idea of becoming a mini-god. It’s not worth it. As enchanting and illusive as it all seems, it’s not of spiritual value. 

What’s of spiritual value can’t be added up in the tangible. It can’t be purchased with views, likes and comments. What’s of spiritual value is an eternal connection contained inside of a very real, very loving, very vulnerable and very humble God. 🌱

heart · soul · Spirit

Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

Over the past week or so my soul has been pushing me to cave and capitulate. I hear my thoughts. I feel my emotions. And they… They have decided that this jagged, uncomfortable path of stillness leading to God’s glory is just too much for them.

Now, I truly do not want to get off of the path. My spirit and my heart are truly dead set on the direction I’m being led; however, my soul… My soul gets really distracted sometimes. Actually, if I’m not conscious of and self-disciplined about what I’m feeding my soul, then it begins to get annoyed. It begins to lose sight of the goodness of God and the place of power, dominion and authority Holy Spirit has seated me in. 

And the annoyance… Well, it opens up an unwanted avenue of doubt inside of me. And then the doubt begins to conduct its full-fledged plan to captivate my heart. Actually, the doubt is so wise that it starts speaking to me about the past. It tries to remind me why I should choose to fear disappointment… “You’ve been so disappointed before. You stuck to the path, and people that you trusted very deeply and intimately with the things of God let you down. So, how do you know you won’t get disappointed again? Why would you keep trusting this path, Amanda? Why would you keep relying on the goodness of God and all of His promises and provision when you’ve been so deeply wounded before?”

But then… Then I hear Holy Spirit say, “Amanda, I am not human. I am God. I have never left you. Even in the depth of your brokenness, loss and deep insecurities, I was there offering up a strong pillar of hope and love to lean on. And, I will never leave you or disappoint your heart. So, keep putting your faith in Me. Keep your identity in the truth that you live from a place of right standing through Christ. Keep your eyes focused on the spirit realm. Keep your expectations on Me and on things flowing from above. I am always working. Even when you are completely still, I am working. Do not forget about My glory. This is the last and final stretch of this season. Bring it home! Do it well! Finish it completely with honor, dignity and respect. Do it from a place of incessant faith and trust in Me. Do not fear. Do not doubt. Do not live from a place of lack: spirit, soul, heart and body. Instead, live in the fullness of Me.”

And you know, when I hear Holy Spirit speak, well His confidence and assurance in Himself and in me, it really motivates and strengths me. It truly gives me the courage to silence my soul and focus my attention on where He’s leading me. Rather than on where distraction leads me. 

And I don’t know if you ever go through this. I don’t know if you can sort through yourself from the inside out and differentiate between the voice of your spirit, soul, heart and God’s. I don’t know if you can recognize when fear and doubt try their best to take advantage of your weaknesses while interloping themselves into the mix of voices within you. However, I hope you are willing to let Holy Spirit lead you into this place of maturity. I hope that when you feel overwhelmed with doubt and fear you can stop yourself and say, “My foundation is rooted in what flows from above. So, I am choosing to press past all of the noise and keep moving forward with where I am being led. I will reach the end of this challenging season with grace, confidence and complete assurance that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.” 🌱

dominion · heart · power · truth

Receiver

I walked 16.8 miles last Wednesday, June 2. At the top of my walk, I stumbled on a bed of pink peonies and my heart was immediately elated. I squealed with excitement and joy when I saw them because they are my favorite flower. Everything about them is absolutely lovely. And so, I decided to pick one… But then one didn’t seem like enough, so I picked four more. Of course, I knew I would be walking at least 14 miles, so it seemed silly to pick them. But I didn’t care. I wanted to carry them. I wanted to hold them close to my heart. They were a gift. A gift I knew Father God led me to in a moment when I needed it the most.

Now June 2 is unique to me because it’s the day my life changed forever… It’s the day I lost my dad, but it’s also the day I was thrust into a life of deeper intimacy with God.

You see I had to learn how to rely on Him more than ever before. I had to learn how to be a good receiver of His unconditional love and grace.

And though it was somewhat challenging at first, I’ve learned that it’s far greater to receive than to give. Yes, giving is vital; however, how can we give if we haven’t received from God first? I mean, isn’t the entire gospel a gift within itself for mankind? Something we could never actually afford, but must humbly and graciously receive.

And so, you see, my entire life and relationship with Father God is based around me being a good receiver of Christ first and foremost. Receiving the truth that my entire self: spirit, soul, heart and body was (and in some places still is) languishing, broken and dead until I receive/received the fullness of Christ on a trans-dimensional level. Receiving the truth that my human spirit is now alive, active and capable of kicking ass because she’s been given power, dominion and authority to rule and reign over the heavens and the earth. Receiving the truth that my entire being will forever be in a place of refinement, development, maturity and growth as I cultivate life with Holy Spirit leading me.

And you know, I love that. I love that God, in His absolute nature, is good. So good that He eternally gives just hoping we will eventually receive. 

Because, when we do… When we finally receive enough of Him to refine, restore and redeem all of our brokenness and death, then we can do like I did at the end of my 16.8-mile walk… I tossed my flowers into the Hudson River. I let go of them with the understanding that they had fulfilled their purpose, and now needed to be freely given for someone/something else to freely receive. 🌱

heart · Mind

Stillness

Remember how I challenged you in my last writing to “sit still” in the presence of God? Remember how I expressed that I believe stillness is the direct path Holy Spirit is leading those that are wholeheartedly following Him down? Remember when I described the path of stillness as an intense and somewhat cumbersome direction of cultivated maturity? 

Okay, if you remember, then you should be able to follow what I’m going to share next.

You see I’m learning that stillness is different than peace. It’s almost a higher level of peace. Peace… Peace is the absence of conflict. We can live in peace amidst conflict. Our souls and hearts can be at peace, even when our worlds are spinning mad or the world is spinning mad. However, stillness… Stillness is literally a supernatural interface with Heaven. It’s a weighty stature of God’s presence made available to us when our human spirit’s reach the paradigm shifting place of true intimacy and wholeness with the Godhead.

Recently, in regards to this, 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 that’s where I find myself… Constantly focused on remaining empty of the complaints, frustrations and pettiness of my world and the world. Constantly choosing to accept and embrace the reality that we must continue to cultivate a deep-seated relationship with Holy Spirit and our own human spirits so that we may gain solutions for combatting the darkness in our world. And constantly focusing on Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and the goodness they eternally supply through grace. 

And as challenging as it was to get to “here”… As challenging as it’s been to walk down this “jagged path” for a season, this place of inner stillness is worth it. 

And so, again, I challenge you to just sit still. 🌱

heart

Sit Still

Very few people know this about me, but something I’ve practiced for years is the skill of sitting in the stillness of God’s presence. Usually, I sit for an hour every morning and just listen and converse while I pray; however, lately the amount of time I’ve been spending with Him has increased. I find myself sitting still for 2 hours in the morning and then other sporadic moments throughout the day. 

And the goodness of God keeps swelling up in me in these moments! It swells in me, consumes my heart and then is heard from the overflow of my lips.

Yesterday morning while I sat, I heard Him say, “I want to supply you with something I’ve been housing in a storehouse.” Then I watched as He led me to a boarded-up shack in the middle of a backyard. And I watched as the wind of His presence tore the boards off of the doors. Once the boards came off, the doors flung open very quickly and this gold-colored flow of energy in the shape of a long scarf came rushing out. I watched as it beautifully moved towards me, swirled around my entire being in a playful-like way and then rested on my shoulders like a tallit. Once it rested, it just sat there… Swaying back and forth with a very, very strong sentience.  

I asked God, “Why was such a beautiful thing being stored in a boarded-up shack?!” He said, “Because you had to truly seek me in the stillness of my presence until you found it. I placed such a treasure in a place that looked undesirable, but now… Now that you’ve come into a deeper place of understanding and self-control, it’s yours to carry. It’s yours to move throughout life with, but it’s only truly activated with the power of my presence when your heart remains in alignment with my eternal goodness.”

Now, if I’m honest, I felt so overwhelmed that I just sat there and cried. It was just such a beautiful moment, full of life and genuine spontaneity. 

And I’m sharing this with you because it complements the direction Holy Spirit is leading those who are whole-heartily following Him. You see this intense direction is pleading with us to follow the path of maturity with our entire selves: spirit, soul, heart and body. And yes, yes it is rough and somewhat unpaved; however, we won’t be able to continually bear His light and the weight of His glory if we don’t keep moving forward on the path.

So, as challenging as it might be, I want to encourage you to sit still. 🌱

heart · Spirit · truth

Radiate

I sat down to write something encouraging and inspiring about how it’s been 12 years since I reached my goal of losing 100 pounds. But… As soon as I started typing, my spirit took over and said, “We are writing something else!” So here we go… 

God is good. Even when life is dark, decrepit and unbearably challenging to forge a path through, He is good. And I know it can be challenging to see His goodness. Especially when life is constantly caving in all around; however, that’s what’s so impressive about Him. In the midst of our fear, worry, doubt, heartache and trouble, He is there to offer up a strong shoulder to lean on. He is there to listen to the deepest cry of our heart that says, “I don’t know how much longer this is going to last! I can’t take it anymore.” 

And I’m speaking of God’s goodness because I’ve come into a place over the past few months where I find myself sitting in the stillness of His reverential presence, just meditating on that goodness. 

I just can’t get enough of it. He’s just there in such a heavy way that I feel Him resting on me.

And the heaviness… It’s different than being trapped in demonic entanglements, grids and frequencies. It’s different than the exhausting after-effect of dismantling structures the kingdom of darkness once empowered and occupied. 

Yeah, this weight… This weight is light… I feel like my spirit is floating in a blinding cloud-like substance that is very over-powering. It fills the very depth of my spirit, and brings a flow of living-water to the very heart of my root system.

And in this place of heaviness, I am constantly reminded of victories. I’m reminded of where I was when I was 5 with asthma, but then experienced healing. I’m reminded of where I was when I was 17, yearning to experience God in a more transformative way and then I did! I’m reminded of who I was when I was 20, fresh off the path of losing that weight, searching for confidence, only to have someone come a long and push me. And then I remember when I was 25, watching my dad dramatically take his last breath. Certain I’d survive, but how? How would I heal? How would my family and I pick up the pieces and move forward without feeling forever shattered and lost? But here we are today… The Winder Women, powered up with the joy of Holy Spirit.

Honestly, I could go on and on about the victories. About the in places in me that were languishing, dead and dying, only to be transformed by the power of Holy Spirit and His ability to lead me straight into a cultivated life.

So, now, where I am going with all of this? Well, if you feel lost, dead and alone on the inside, please be encouraged to know that God is good. Yes, the world’s systems are a failing and chaotically destructive, but God, His Kingdom, His presence, His ways… They are good. He is good. And so, it’s very helpful to lean into His goodness and His grace, even when you feel like your world is going to implode in seconds. Because, eventually, eventually (if our heart is open) He will come in and fill the brokenness and the void with love, peace and joy.

But then, some of you might know this. Some of you might’ve even experienced it. So, for those that have… Please be encouraged to keep pursuing His presence. Remain in the stillness of it. Meditate on His goodness, and continue to allow your trans-dimensional human spirit to interface with His presence that rests on Zion. Because, I believe, the more we spend time in His presence, meditating on His goodness, the more we will find ourselves endowed with the ability to radiate that very presence. And the more we radiate His presence, the more we can share… And the more we share, the more we will see signs and wonders, miracles, healings and deliverance take place. 

But… It all starts with our heart’s desire to focus on the the goodness of God and remain still in His presence. 🌱

heart · truth

Delighted

I cried myself to sleep last night. And there’s nothing wrong with me in the least bit. Really and truly, I am healthy and seeking more inner refinement, development, maturity and growth daily. All of my needs are being met. I have more than enough and I feel very satisfied with where God is leading me; however, at the very same time, I hear Him asking me to step out in more faith… To follow Him down the jagged path of uncertainty a little bit farther. 

And so, that’s where I find myself. My spirit, who is always eager to blaze a trail forward, says, “Let’s do this! Let’s walk forward! I am ready!!” But then my soul… my soul is definitely a dramatic whiner. I’ve definitely conditioned it to complain about the process of cultivation.

So they have this little duel which starts with me crying, but then ends with me thanking God for His goodness and His intricate way of working things out in me.

Now… You might be wondering what He’s asking of me, and while I do intend to tell you, first I want to remind you of something I shared a few months ago. The writing was entitled “The Vault,” and it focused on Holy Spirit removing a deep-seated lie inside of my heart. A lie I cultivated very, very, very well and then allowed to define me. 

Well, since digging up that deep-seated lie and planting truth on the grounds of my heart, I’ve felt significantly better; however, I still haven’t had the foggiest idea what “truth” was planted. He never really said. He just said, “Plant truth.” So, I picked up a bag marked “truth” and placed the seed in the ground of my heart.

Now it should come as no surprise that the seed is beginning to spring forth…. And I see it. Oh boy do I see it! So, what is it? It’s a truth that’s begging that I only delight in God. 

I hear it saying, “You aren’t here to impress anyone or anything but God. So, stop looking to the left and to the right for approval. Instead, keep your eyes focused on Him. Focus on the projects, businesses and ventures He’s assigned you to. Your life’s goal is to bring delight to Him in all you do. And, that delight, it needs to echo from the frequency of your heart. It needs to etch itself into the very fabric of your soul. It needs to become the very culture you communicate to the world around you.”

And so it will. 🌱 #cultivatelife

authority · heart · soul · Spirit

Weary for Nothing

“Ew… You’re whining and complaining again Amanda!! Remember, we’ve outgrown this place. And I know it’s challenging to understand where Holy Spirit is leading and why He’s pointing “that way next,” but we don’t whine and complain because of our heart and soul’s lack of understanding. Instead we power up the giftings and tools He’s equipped us with and move forward.”

And so… There it is… The continuous conversation I will have with myself until my heart and soul learn how align with my spirit and then persevere past this place of obvious weakness.

And I don’t know about you, but perseverance can be very exhausting. Which is why I found it very interesting when I heard Holy Spirit say, “I want you to be weary for nothing. You must come to a place in Me where you don’t become tired with moving forward. You must get up and go at all times.”

“Oh okay… Amazing. So you want me to ignore my soul’s weariness even though I am fully aware that I don’t know what “next” is. And you want me to do it in my 30s… A time when my entire life is laying before me and I still want to do what I want to do, but I won’t because my heart’s desire has become to fully follow You no matter what… Okay…. I will do it.”

It’s been like this with Him lately. He’s been opening up vast realms and dimensions of His Kingdom to me, all while pushing me to fully participate in them at once. Why? Well because I am an active player in His Kingdom. And, when you’re an active player (we all should be), you don’t get to go sit on the sidelines and rest when you’re tired. Instead, you keep moving forward when He says, “KEEP GOING.”

And so now you might be wondering, “Okay, Amanda… How do you move forward then? How do you find the energy, the will and the tenacity to stay His course?”

Well, first and foremost, I plug my human spirit into the presence of God as much as possible. Yeah, that’s right. I get into His presence and allow Him to pour more of His energy and power into me. And then… Then I operate from my human spirit as much as possible because it contains the energy, will and tenacity to keep going.

And it’s been a process to learn how to do this; however, I’ve learned that the more I allow my spirit to lead, the less likely my soul will scheme up an escape plan because my spirit’s strength outweighs my soul. And the more my heart aligns with the heart of Father God, the more confident, secure and at peace I become in my purpose in any given moment.

Also, cultivating a lifestyle that continually combats the kingdom of darkness has revolutionized my world and those around me. I just don’t give myself excuses anymore when it comes to spiritual warfare. Instead, I allow my spirit to be the “superhero” God intended her to be. I give her the reins when speaking to principalities, demons on assignment and demonic weaponized energy sources. I let her rule and reign from the throne God has entrusted her with, all while channeling what He’s deposited deep within.

And I know this might all sound weird; however, this is how I live. Actually this is how I’ve gradually lived as I’ve learned how to cultivate the lifestyle I am currently living from. And sure… Give it some time and there will be a higher level of where I am right now, but today… Today, we persevere. 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward

Confidence · heart · Spirit · truth

This is Who I Am

I sat down to pout. I sat down to sulk. I sat down to complain about how frustrated I felt. And then… All in one moment… I stopped myself. I stopped myself and said, “Amanda, you don’t do this anymore. You’ve outgrown this place where you get upset over things that are out of your control. You’ve moved past feeling overwhelmed with “the follow” and where He’s leading you. You no longer contain the capacity to roll your eyes and then sarcastically walk down a somewhat fearful, self-paved road screaming, “What’s next?!?!” You’ve reached a place of maturity and you MUST continually live in it!!!”

Yeah…. That was the inner dialogue between my spirit, heart and soul. My spirit reminding my heart and soul that we don’t sulk around anymore about where God is taking us. Instead, we suit up, take hold of His ever-evolving assignments and move forward like the Warrior Queen He’s been cultivating.

And I don’t know if this resonates with you at all; however, I’m learning that maturity is one of the most attractive virtues to possess because of its steadfastness. It’s just this grand assurance and unwavering confidence, rooted so deeply within that it billows out, “This is who I am!”

And sure, sure maturity seems as though it takes eons to cultivate; however, once we’ve entered that place… Once we’ve come into that promised land, well it’s as if the fruit is everlasting because we have the capacity to stop ourselves when parts of us want to act childish, self-centered or unruly. We can stop ourselves and say, “I’ve been down this road before and it doesn’t produce any good fruit, so I mustn’t go forward.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

heart · Spirit · truth

The Vault

I was in the spirit yesterday morning, praying and talking to God like normal… All of a sudden I saw a large brownish/maroonish/whiteish marbled wall that spanned down a hallway. I didn’t know where I was, so I asked Holy Spirit. He said, “You’re in your Heavenly mansion, and I want to show you something that’s locked inside of the vault of your heart.” 

“Cool!!” I thought. “I wonder what this is all about.”

The next thing I knew I found myself in a very large home my dad built and my family lived in in the early 2000s. As I walked around throughout the house, memories of that season came rushing into my mind. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the past. The way it felt. The way it sounded. The way it smelt. All of it was actively present and alive in front of me. 

As I walked around I began to wonder, “Okay, what’s this all about? Why am I here? God, why did you bring me to my Heavenly mansion to unlock the vault of my heart? And what does this season of my life have to do with what’s hidden inside of the vault?”


Then, He very carefully began to explain Himself. He showed me a huge truth I’d kept hidden from myself… An area where I chose to believe a lie, and then never stopped believing it. And, although, I’ve known the truth for years, I’ve chosen to push it further and further away from me. He said, “Amanda, you’ve allowed this lie to define who you are in this moment, but it cannot define you anymore. I want you to let it go. I want you to repent and renounce for cultivating it within the grounds of your heart. And then, then I want you to pick up the truth, plant it on this refined ground and then walk away from here covered in My boldness, confidence, humility and security.”

And so… So that’s what I did. I repented for holding onto the lie for so long. I renounced any stronghold or demonic entanglement I might be caught up in because of it. And then… Then I planted the seed of truth on the grounds of my heart.

And I tell you this story because I hope it encourages you to continue to follow Holy Spirit into hidden parts of yourself so that He may inspect the depths of your heart. Because, even after years of life-giving cultivation, there are STILL areas of our lives He can and will dig up so that we can flourish. And, I know a lot of the time we don’t want to follow Him into the past because it requires reliving things that are uncomfortable; however, the powerful thing about moving forward with Him is the truth that we will thrive on the other side. 🌱 #cultivatelife