addiction · challenge · patient · will of God

Every Single Time

If you were to ask me what I battle with the most today… I wouldn’t say a sugar addiction, body insecurities, the fear of being alone, pride, jealousy and envy or even a broken heart. Instead I would say, “The will… The will of God.”

You know I believe His will is the most complex thing I’ve EVER encountered. It’s just so full of mystery and misunderstanding. And following it, for me, is still challenge.

I mean He keeps asking that I keep giving up everything I’m holding to grasp something higher… Something more evaluated and holy than what my mind possesses.

And yeah, sure that sounds cool… But remember being human means I’m selfish. I still want what I want when I want it. And… I also want to understand why He keeps saying, “Be patient Amanda. Be patient with my timing. And until that time, follow what I say.”

But then He knows… Gosh He knows me so well. And He knows I will chose Him and what He wants EVERY SINGLE TIME.

And I don’t know if you understand this. I hope that you do. I hope that you’ve chosen and continue to chose to follow Holy Spirit with your entire heart. Because when we do… When we actually constantly and consistently follow through with His will and His ways, well I believe we’ve begun to cultivate a lifestyle of following Holy Spirit. And… what’s better than that?! 🌱👑 #cultivatelife #justlive

challenge · focus · listen · will of God

Focused?

If I’m honest… Well then I’d have to say my focus hasn’t been 💯 lately. I feel like I’ve gone from 6-10 moderate responsibilities to 15-20 serious responsibilities.

And it’s not that I don’t want to be focused. Trust me… I know God needs my focus more than ever right now.

But it took me being 6 drinks in (I don’t drink heavy) to hear God screaming at me about my level of focus. Actually it felt like I couldn’t escape His voice in that moment. And I told my sister about it… Her response, “I doubt He was yelling at you Amanda. You were probably just LISTENING! You were focused.”

And since that moment… Well my thoughts have felt more focused and centered. I’m making a mental and emotional effort to really zone in on everything He’s laid in front of me.

And I don’t know where you stand with focusing on the will of God in your life; however, I truly hope you wake up with every intent to pursue His purposes for your life. I mean, I know what He wants usually requires our selflessness… But then, it’s so rewarding to follow… To grow… To truly deepen the fullness of life He’s laid before us. And… Sometimes (when we really give it our all) we actually play a part in making a difference in our world 😉🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive #focus

assignment · capacity · faith · focus · higher way · isolation · keep moving forward · process · will of God

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

assignment · grateful · patient · selflessness · will of God

Place Holder

Living in NY and working for your sister has its benefits… Like sitting on a trash bag in the rain at 6am while your sister sits across the street from you doing the same. Why were we sitting on trash bags in the rain at 6am?! Because two auditions were being held that day, and Bridget wanted to be seen at both of them! So… of course we have to get up early and wait in line, no matter the weather condition.

Now if you knew me 6 months to a year ago I would’ve complained the entire time and the night leading up to it all; however, God has drastically changed my heart… So I waited with a selfless/grateful heart!

And as I waited (number 34 in a line of at least 100+), I watched my sister stand at the head of her line on the other side… And that’s when revelation began to pour into my mind.

My entire life I’ve been told Jesus was selfless enough to take on all of my problems and pain in life so I could stand in the presence of God. And though I mindlessly believed it all because that’s how I was raised, my heart didn’t grasp any of it.

Well that all changed as I sat in the rain on a trash bag.

You see the path I’m on with God right now has continuously asked me to have a very humble, selfless heart… One that thinks of others before myself. So for the first time in my life I’m beginning to actually see what it might’ve been like for Christ to do something so amazing for us… So that we can live healthy, free lives: spirit, soul and body.

And let me tell you, watching my sister from across the street was really, really exciting. She was at the head of her line, promised a place in the audition room because I was willing to wait and be her place holder in the other line.

And did it pay off? Yeah… it did. She was seen at both auditions, and called back for the line she waited in.

And I guess what I’m trying to say is this… I am just so grateful to have a relationship with the God that continues to make me well from the inside out…  And it’s all because Jesus was selfless enough to stand in line for me. 💃🏻🙌🏻 #cultivatelife

follow · will of God

No Plan

Why do we have to have a plan? Why is that a credential to move forward in this world?

Because I don’t remember God ever telling me to have a plan. In fact… Every time I create a plan (even the most masterful and brilliant), He comes in and destroys it and then replaces it with something else.

And sometimes the something else is what I want. And other times the something else is what I need. Either way, He always has my best interest at heart.

And so in a world, where we are consumed with planning to prevent future “surprises” and failure… What if we just took a step back and said, “Ok God. You keep leading. I’ll keep following. Tomorrow belongs to you just like today.”?? 🌷 #justlive #cultivatelife

just live · keep moving forward · will of God

Figure or Follow?

Living from a place where I don’t try to figure it all out… What a way of life!

That’s where I feel like I need to be right now. Having the discernment to see the truth, but trusting deeply that all of the pieces of the puzzle are coming together as I watch them move.

Because I feel like the wind of God has started to blow in my life in a more violent way than ever before. And when the wind blows you cannot stop it… Because the wind is very about you following It’s own path, not It following you. And I very much agree that it’s time for me to stop breaking things down and figuring out how He’s blowing and why He’s blowing, and instead just be moved. I mean… that’s what Jesus did… Right?

Now I’m not saying, “Don’t seek out His will.” Because we do need to have some type of understanding on how to make decisions. However, trying to solve a puzzle God has designed is extremely complicated, exhausting and time consuming. Plus, doing so causes us to get distracted and miss out on the journey!

So if you’re anything like me, slow down on the inside and just follow where you’re led! And even if it gets dark and depressing for a moment, keep following until the light of His wind pushes you forth. It’s worth it! I promise!

death · faith · family · peace · stillness · will of God

Year Four

From the window of mom’s new house I sit in my bed and watch the river flow as the sun rises every morning. Some days it flows left. Other days it flows right. But then there are days when it’s peaceful and still, reflecting the life around it.

Now, I’m not sure what the river is going to teach me about life yet. I still have about a month to spend with it before heading into my next adventure; however, the peacefulness of the river has definitely caught my attention.

You see when looking into a flowing river you can’t really see what’s being reflected very clearly. The current it moving too fast to get a clear perspective, and so it’s easy to believe things are a chaotic mess. But when the current slows down to a pace of nothing, all of a sudden this beautiful image pops back at you.

In so many ways and for so many reasons this is how I feel about the last four years for my family. The river of life has been a constant, yet messy ebb and flow. Some days the wind would move it violently to the right, and then other days it would quickly changes courses and snap it to the left. But then in moment’s like this, when it’s still, well the reflection reveals how beautiful life truly is. It’s at a calm state of being. There’s no wind to tell it which way to go or who to be in that moment. Instead you can sit back and breathe, while taking in the view of God’s goodness.

You see there were times over the last four years that the chaotic wind and current caused me to question if we’d ever make it through. I would sometimes frantically and fearfully wonder, “Will mom would be ok? Where will finances come from? Will we ever stand in the goodness of God as a family again?”

But now, now that the wind has died down I can see that it was imperative that it blew violently and harshly. I can see that it was necessary that we felt the hard struggle of the moving current below. And I can also see that God knew, in time, we would all be starring at a calm and peaceful river of life that reflects only the goodness He ordained and created within the chaos of the flow.

follow · relationship · teamwork · will of God

Working with God…

img_7890Often times, for me, life doesn’t make sense…

Of course, when I look back, it makes sense… I can see all of the dots connected, and I think, “well I guess it was good that I followed the Holy Spirit in that moment… Even when I was unsure about life”…

And that’s how I feel right now… Unsure… Unsure about so many different things about life… Unsure about my family’s and friends’s lives…

Sure of God and all of His promises, but then so unsure about how His promises will play out exactly…

I’ve come to believe that God and His promises are two different things entirely… Because my mind loves to try and figure out, piece together the “how”… How it will all come about…

And honestly, following the Holy Spirit isn’t always easy… Actually it is flat out frustrating at times… Especially when I still want to fix everything… And when I don’t want to be a team player…

Because for so many reasons I believe we can fix ourselves… That we hold the keys to fixing it all… But then, for so many reasons, well we don’t have that kind of power and authority on our own… But with God’s help through Jesus, I believe we do…

So then, for a moment, I rest in the reality of what I choose to believe so strongly… Because it’s what I’ve believed since I was a child, but then wrestled with for about 5-7 years, only to come back to all of it and realize “this is all real”… And that God never took away any of His words or promises at all… And that He is loyal, true… Through and through…

I believe that’s what we forget so often…. Or actually might not realize about the Father… He is as loyal as they come… Always, always, always there… No matter the party we vote for… Or what we believe as an individual… He loves each and everyone of us and sees the good in all of us… Why can’t that be a take home message that we all live our lives by?…

The truth that we are all loved by a creator… That since He created everything, meaning we are created in His image, that that automatically means He is the very foundation of life… The core of everything… The constant that can’t and won’t ever, ever be shaken… But will always be love… And will always love… He’s like a mountain… He never moves from who He is, which means we can rest in the fact that we will always have a identity and security…

And I believe, I believe that it’s really easy right now to throw a lot of hate… A lot of shame… A lot of opinion around…

But the reality, to me… Well, we all have a belief system… How we believe God views things.. And the truth is, I believe we are each holding a piece of the puzzle… All sides… All ethnicities… All religions… All sexual orientations… We all have a piece of the pie… And a lot of the time, we all believe our piece is “it”… The absolute answer…

But what if it’s just a piece?… What if working together is the only true way we all make it at the end of the day?… What if we have to take the outcomes of things like elections and choose to love each other regardless?…

And more than anything… What if part of working together means working with God?… Because I know for a fact that He tries His very, very best to always work with us… So that we can become better versions… So that we can have a greater quality of life…

So instead of sub-coming to fear of our future… Instead of making a big scene over what’s taken place… Why can’t we just come to a place where we realize there are people out there that are in fear… That need love… That need their story to be heard and shared… So that we, with the help of God, can stand together, bridge the gap and actually come through stronger than ever before…

complain · selflessness · teamwork · will of God

Give to Gain

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Why do we complain so much? Why do we willingly choose to be irritated and annoyed when life doesn’t go are way or when… God forbid… We’re “put out.”

Since living in Cali I’ve been working on my selfishness and quite honestly it’s helped me realize how entitled I actually am.

My entitlement has come from several different things, but overall… I believe Americans are entitled. We think we deserve so much and we love the ideas of life and luxury… Of relaxation.

I say all of this because I’m sitting at the spa right now. No, I’m not here for myself. I’m here with the 12 year old girl I nanny for… It’s her birthday and so a 5 hour… Yes 5 hour spa day was part of her gift.

So I sit and wait…. And people keep saying, “I’m so sorry you have to sit and wait.”

But honestly, this is my job and I’m tired of hearing how obnoxious and annoying it must be to sit here and wait.

I mean, what else would I be doing? And I’m in a spa on a Saturday for goodness sake…. But I think that’s part of the American mindset… Constantly thinking of ourselves… Putting self over others…. Wanting everything to work out smoothly in our little world.

But honestly, that’s selfish. It would be selfish and very entitled of me to sit here and complain because I have to wait on another. It’s not like I’m bleeding or dying.

I think that’s something death has taught me. My dad had a reason to complain. He was in pain and he was bleeding and dying. But he wasn’t complaining. He was just living.

And now I get super annoyed with myself and others when I hear whining over petty little things. Over getting paid to sit and watch children or getting called into work and no one being there…. It’s ok people.

Life goes on and honestly, I believe, we should look more into serving others and giving to others than to ourselves. It’s not about us.

And maybe I’m maturing and maybe I’m wrong in all of this….. But I just wish we would all strive a little more to think outside of ourselves for once.

When I took this job, as a nanny, I knew it would teach me a lot and help me out of situations I was in…. However, I didn’t see myself wanting to help, serve and give to others at the capacity that I am now.

I never saw that in helping me, I would be taking me out of the equation….

But in a way, isn’t that a goal of life?

That we all work together for a common goal so that we can see others changed? So that the world becomes a little bit brighter with what we choose to leave behind?

If so, I hope I’m doing just that…. Leaving the light from the inside of me behind… Letting it touch the hearts and souls of those around me so they can become a little brighter too…. Sharing my wealth…

Because at the end of this day, the smile on the birthday girl’s face will say it all. Her happiness and knowledge that I truly care will make her world a little brighter…. Which in return will make my life a little brighter…. And I’m ok with that.