faith · heart · love of god · power · strength

Strength… Without Asking

I heard God so clearly a few days ago…

“I am giving you a new level of strength today Amanda. You’ll need it for the next season you’re headed into after the new year. You will need Me in a greater way than ever before. You will need to place all of who you are… Who I have molded you into… Into My hands. You must rely on Me and My strength to lift you up and hold you tight.” He said.

Of course just hearing His words caused my heart to swell with gratitude.

Why? Well, I didn’t exactly ask for more strength. Instead, He saw my impending need for it in my next season of life. And, because I entirely trust Him, I willingly accepted His gift of strength.

You see I’m sharing this because I want to encourage you to lean heavily into a relationship with Him… One that truly causes you to develop, mature and grow. And I also want to encourage you to listen, believe and follow through with where He’s leading you: spirit, heart and soul.

Because… If I’m honest, I know I wouldn’t have made it through this chaotic year without the strength He’s been actively cultivating inside of my spirit, heart and soul for years.

Because of Him… Because I’ve chosen to place my life in His hands, I’ve had so much peace as the storms of 2020 have swirled around all of us.

And that’s what I hope and pray for you. I hope you have the faith, courage and humility to say, “I see that our world is a constant mess. I hear the billions of voices and vices screaming for my attention of the regular… Which is why, I really need to lean into You for strength. I need You to survive so that I may thrive in the Kingdom of God.” 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife

brokenness · challenge · Fullness of Jesus · kingdom · process · relationship · strength

The Fortress

If I take you and shake you, will you break? Will you crack under the pressure of things that are out of your control?

If I ask you, “what defines you?” and then searched for that truth would your truth and that truth be synonymous?

Now… When you’re shaken, I hope you don’t move. I hope you’re a fortress. One that’s founded in and surrounded by the glory of God. And, when things are out of your control, I hope you don’t crack under pressure because of fear, stress, worry and anxiety.

Also, when your truth reveals itself to be different than the actual truth hidden in your foundation, I hope you’re humble, brave and honest enough to grasp what’s truly there.

Because to be a fortress, we can let things in but we can’t allow them to rule and reign over our hearts and minds. They can’t become the defining, motivating factors that propel us forward.

So… if being a fortress means we must trust in God, His Kingdom, His system, His Son and His Spirit over the money, power, fame and material success the world offers… Then I do believe we are on a path of righteousness. 🌱 #cultivatelife

follow · mature · pain · process · strength

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

brokenness · heart · love of god · strength

Broken?

It might be a simple truth… But broken things can be moved. Broken things can be shaken, tossed and turned in several different directions at once.

Which is why I believe the only way to take something broken and make it immovable and unshakable is to let God heal it. His perfect love contains the power to heal the most broken of hearts.

You see I thought my brokenness was gone. I’d given so much of it up. So much to the point that I was convinced that I was so whole in Him. But then… Then an intruder came in and shook me around a little. And, rather than staying secure in Him, I let my guard down. I let it down and discovered there was brokenness deep, deep inside of my heart. Brokenness that God’s been trying to heal.

It’s a challenge to let Him heal it though. Sometimes we can live with pain for so long… So long that we become reliant on the pain because it gives us a false sense of life and security.

But I can’t keep holding onto all of this brokenness anymore. It’s hurting me. It’s causing me to stay weak in others and the past, rather than strong in Him.

So I guess I am to pursue more love. More love than I’ve ever known. He keeps telling me to pursue love. That love will fix what hurts so badly. 🌷🌱 #cultivatelife

love of god · strength

Lovely Perception

Can I be honest for a moment? I honestly see no real need for Valentine’s Day. I mean if you want to spend a day wasting more time, money and energy on those you love to prove you love them… Then go ahead and add pink and red hearts to your narrative. But, you see it’s all really a little much for me.

However, since we’re talking about love, I believe it’s important to mention something I’ve been going through lately.

You see I have this place inside of me that constantly feels like there’s no one there to take care of me. Since I’m unmarried, without a boyfriend and my dad’s dead… Well I constantly feel like no one has my back at all.

Now, I always feel protected by God and the supernatural… But when it comes to feeling like someone cares about my emotional needs and thoughts, well I just feel unsupported.

And I know I’m supposed to gain all of this from Father God, but lately I’ve been really angry with Him about life… So then it’s hard to think that He really cares.

However, the other night some things that could’ve been a complete failure equated to success. And… Well… Honestly, the success had everything to do with God having my back. He was in my corner in a moment when I needed Him the most by making sure everything was seemingly seamless.

So now I find myself in this place…. A place that’s forcing me to admit that I’ve misperceived God and His love for me.

And… Well, I don’t want to do that anymore. I need better perception. 🌱🌷 #cultivatelife

focus · follow · keep moving forward · relationship · strength

Current Chapter

I don’t know where the excitement in my relationship with God has gone. I don’t know where the thrill of following Him went. It was there for years, but now I feel like it’s lost or something.

It’s just… Well our relationship seems to be somewhat stale. And while I talk to Him everyday and He talks back, I just feel like everything is so mundane and routine. And though He’s healed so much of my broken life and brought me through some very challenging seasons of life, well I just don’t understand where the thrill of pursuing Him went.

Sometimes I find myself really frustrated and angry with this too. I love Him so much and I don’t ever want to live life without Him, yet I’m struggling with where our relationship is headed next.

But I guess that means the relationship is real you know? It’s alive because it has highs and lows. I don’t always love the relationship I’m in with Him, but I do love Him.

So then how? How do I move forward? How do I continue to pursue a relationship that kind of feels routine and sometimes like it’s not enough? How do I stay focused on Him and not allow myself to turn and look at the very appealing world around me?… The world that is screaming for me to follow it.

These are the questions my heart constantly faces as I continue to follow. And I don’t have an answer for myself. And it’s tough to turn to others and glean their thoughts and opinions because my relationship with God isn’t the same as someone else’s. We are all on our own journey with Him in life.

However, at this point in my life I feel like I need to fight to stay in my relationship with Him. I need to fight to stand firm and secure. I don’t need to look around and become moved by the world that is constantly setting goals and sprinting past me. I need to walk and remain devoted to Him.

And I know what I’m saying sounds very much like a physical relationship, but it’s the truth. Just like God promises to never leave or forsake me in life, I need to do the same. I need to remain true and pure to Him and Him alone.

You see I believe when we get to these places in our relationship with Him… Places that seem boring and uneventful… We need to stay true. We don’t need to hobbies, Netflix, social media or any other thing to distract us from following. No, we need to keep our eyes focused on Him. We need to keep following, regardless of what we do or do not feel in the relationship. ♥️ #cultivatelife

brokenness · death · family · grief · healing · love of god · pain · restore · strength

I Cry

I laid in bed the night before last and wanted to cry because I felt so weak… So emotional… So caught in the chaos and frustration of life.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life is good. Life is very, very good. But… Sometimes I just want to cry. Sometimes I do cry. I cry about the loss of life my family has experienced. I cry about how God is going to seemingly continue to restore everything and make sense of the pain I feel. I cry because I am weak, and only made strong and stable through Him alone.

It’s funny, people say to me all the time, “Amanda, you’re so strong. You’ve encountered so much and been through so much adversity. You handle it so well. You’re just so strong.”

And as true as my strength appears, none of it… not a single ounce… is found within myself. God literally allowed my world to shake so hard, to the point that there was nothing left to hold onto but Him.

And so when life reminds me of loss… When it reminds me of pain… When I’m left in a constant haze of “why” followed by streams of tears down my face… Well I remember that He’s there. I remember that God is sitting with me while I sit in my closet and cry, hoping for a solution to this madness called life. I remember that my pursuit of Him is the only solution I’ll ever need because He is the only One that keeps me consistently full, at peace and alive! 💃🏻⚔️🎄 #cultivatelife

brokenness · healing · love of god · strength

She Can’t Be Moved

Everything with God feels like a challenge lately. Every part of following His plan for my life continues to come with unscalable walls that I can’t seem to bust through without His help.

And the past two weeks… The past two weeks have had my spirit and soul deeply wondering what I’m truly doing and what’s next.

I also knew I needed to break through something. And… He did tell me a breakthrough was coming; however, I didn’t understand what it was or what would bring it.

And then in the middle of my Monday it appeared. This heavy conversation tried to tear at my heart and soul apart… It tried its hardest to make me feel like I made a mistake, but it was unable to actually succeed.

Instead I found myself resting on truth. I found myself holding onto the reality that God is the only true love I will ever need. Nothing and no one can fill me up like He can. I will only find wholeness and completeness in Him.

And for so long I’ve wanted to believe the opposite is true. I’ve wanted to fill my life with someone that would solve my problem of feeling alone… I’ve wanted someone to just take care of me.

But then how can broken people actually make broken people whole and complete? They cannot. Only a whole and complete God can.

And so… Despite the pain and insecurity that tried their hardest to tear my heart apart, I’m happy to report that I’m standing firm on the only structure and source I know will always keep me safe, protected and truly loved.

challenge · doubt · faith · focus · keep moving forward · strength · weary

Should I Stop?

Over the past few days I’ve been back and forth about whether I should keep sharing what God’s giving me to write…

You see I feel like there aren’t too many people who care about Him and His design for life. I believe people aren’t truly trying to cultivate a relationship with Him… But are just interested in fame, power, money, comfortably and false security.

It’s discouraging you know?.. To see mankind so consumed with hate, jealousy, judgement, immorality and insecurity. It’s just sad.

So… In this moment I’m not going to stop sharing what I write because if I stop then I believe I’m allowing evil to win in my life.

But then I do wonder… Why can’t we, as humans, just wake up and realize we are all in troubled place without security in God? Why can’t we stop instigating the evil and promote life instead? Why can’t we see that Jesus isn’t a religion but a relationship that comes with freedom and abundant life? Why are we so deaf, dumb, dead and ignorant?!

And I might seem a little passionate… But I’m just so sick of the distractions we’ve all fallen for. I’m so sick of the war we’re all losing because we aren’t equipped to fight.

So if you hear what I’m saying… Wake up. Pursue God. Accept your forgiveness through Christ. And then cultivate a lifestyle of security in Him and His principles for life… Because not doing so will inevitably cost you your soul.

capacity · challenge · deposit · perspective · strength · warfare

High Tide…


Do you ever have moments… Really days… That sometimes feel like they’ve morphed into weeks… And weeks that seem like they’ve evolved into months… I’m talking about the kind that continue to roll in on you… The kind that you can’t seem to turn off… And the force of them all together is about to knock you over?…

In so many ways, well I feel like that’s what life is right now… I feel like I am standing on the shoreline and that there is a storm raging around my feet… And all I can seem to do is stand still because standing still is the only hope I have of keeping my balance in the sand as the tide rolls in…

And, at times, I feel like the tide is rolling in faster than I can keep up with… And it’s taking strength that isn’t even my own to stand sturdy… To be strong…

There’s a quote… Well actually a verse out of Proverbs that I’ve continued to live my life by lately, “she is clothed in strength and dignity; and she can laugh without fear of failure at the days to come”…

Because I feel like every ounce of strength and dignity I posses in this moment… This moment where the high tide of life could knock me down… Well I know it’s all coming from God… That He’s allowing me to stand tall… To be firm and secure and not falter in the midst of what feels so equally strong and oppositional…

And then there’s the reality that, after the storm is over, once we’ve made it through and life itself has become a peaceful place… Well then the tide will recede too… And the amazing thing about the tide receding is the reality that there will be a giant deposit left…

On the beach the deposit is a massive amount of sea treasures, like shells, sand dollars and little critters… But I feel like in life the same is true… Because for so many reasons, well if we can simply remain firm in God… In His peace, love, hope, righteousness, confidence and security… If we can be clothed in strength and dignity and wear them well in the storm… Well then we can laugh without fear of failure at the future ahead because we know deep down that a deposit is being made… And that deposit is something very, very, very good… A deposit that only God can leave behind for us… That only He can wash ashore in the midst of the confusion and chaos we feel…

And I don’t know if you feel like life is swirling in an endless circle of doom right now or not… But I feel like that… But in the midst of it all, I trust and believe with everything in me that, when the storm lets up and the water recedes there will be treasure laying in the sand… And at that point, it’s mine to pick up, claim and use in my life and for my future…