death · Spirit · truth

Reliability

Corey Rives Visual Arts

After I lost my dad, one of my biggest challenges was the reality that I felt like there wasn’t anyone there to take care of “me” anymore.

For 25 years he was ALWAYS there… In my corner… Watching out for me… Protecting me from potential harm.

So it was challenging to say the least to lose him. And then to lose my grandparents. And then mom was in a serious healing phase, so at times it felt like she couldn’t be there for me either because she had to be there for herself.

And you know, those feelings… They were dark. So dark that I’d sit and cry a lot! I’d cry about my loss. I’d cry about my lack. And more than anything I’d cry about HOW in the world I’d ever feel like someone was looking out for me again.

And I knew in my heart it was possible to fully rely on God, His love and His kingdom for protection and support. I knew in my heart that He was the One that was always designated to fulfill that role inside of me; however, I didn’t believe it because I didn’t “need” it.

In my head, that role was rightfully filled by dad.

But gosh… I was wrong. You see I learned through experience that I needed God’s reliability more than I ever needed dad’s. Sure dad’s was superb, but God’s is unmatched!

And so this is where I stand today… My entire world has shifted. I no longer feel the innate need for a human being to be there for me because my heart believes in and relies on God’s ability to always be there for me. Over the past 6 1/2 years, He’s stepped in and showed me that I can constantly  rely on Him for ALL that I need. And honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Would you? 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife

authority · dominion · power · Spirit · truth

That is Your Superpower

“You need to stay focused on Me. That is your superpower. I AM your superpower.”

And this superpower isn’t anything I’m aiming to keep a secret… My ability to remain focused on God, His goodness and His kingdom is the most vital thing I can continue to do right now.

Why?

Well because the kingdom of darkness is trying its very hardest to usurp the Kingdom of God. But, it won’t. Why? Well because the Kingdom of God is much, much stronger. How? Well because Jesus rules & reigns; and He has given us power, dominion & authority so that we may rule & reign with Him.

And I do realize I have been writing about this a lot lately. But… You see it’s just so important that I keep expressing this truth. It’s so vital that we live from a place of power, dominion & authority over the death and darkness that’s pushing its agenda on mankind.

It’s not enough in the least bit anymore to stand around and proclaim faith in Jesus, but then to sit back and not operate in all He has equip us with.

Because I believe… I believe when our human spirits are healthy and active we have the ability to become like superheroes in the unseen realms of life. I believe… Actually I live from this place on the regular. A place of power. A place where I am praying and speaking into matters of the unseen, so that they may change in the unseen and then flow into the seen.

And so… As always, I want to encourage you to continue to focus on God, His goodness and His Kingdom. I want to encourage you to live from a place of divine alignment (spirit, soul, heart and body) with His kingdom so that you may rule & reign as you operate in power, dominion and authority. And, most importantly I want to continue to see the kingdom of darkness squelched by the life of Christ that’s flowing through each one of us that believes in Him. 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife #ruleandreign

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Are You Ready for It?

When I write, I try to give the most accurate view of what’s happening in my heart in that given moment. I mean… That is the goal of this blog. To stay as vulnerable as possible with the ups and downs of my life as I follow Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit’s lead.

So today… Well today my heart as been focused on how grateful I am for 2020.

And I know a lot of people might disagree; however, this year has been a good one because my strength to withstand the waves is found in Him.

You see the past 7 years of my life have felt like a constant and at times violent push from God. He’s single handily walked me up and down mountains and valleys of life and into a place where I can’t rely on anything but Him for everything. Which means my life, my family, my career, my ministry, my finances, my entire world has landed in His hands for protection and provision.

He’s actually allowed the past 7 years to become a place where the waves of life have knocked me down, drug me under and forced me to learn how to get up and stand firm and strong in the face of death, darkness, turmoil, chaos, adversity and division.

And because of this… Because of His training, molding and refinement… Well I’ve been able to truly and heart-fully say, “God is at my right hand. I will not be shaken or fear anything dark that comes into my spiritual realm and dimension of space and time.”

Because you see I believe the shaking and transition that’s happening is good. I believe, beneath all of the politics and opinions, God has a plan to bring repentance, restoration and healing to our broken nation and world. And as people begin to wake up and focus their attention on Him… Not on political parties, disasters that have overtaken us or arguments that divide us… I believe we will begin to truly see a new world that reveals the Kingdom of God and the glory of His Kingdom on this earth.

And so… The question is, “Are you ready for it?!”🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

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

 

soul · truth

Money or God?

As many of you know, I always try to be as transparent as I can when I share anything. However, there’s one topic in my life I don’t share about too often because the war with it has been long and intense at times.

You see I’ve been wagging war with money for a while now. It’s been this constant dance of, “Who will Amanda foundationaly worship and praise: Money or God?”

And I get it… Social media makes things look like I have it all together in this area; however, what if I told you my life constantly asks that I take a gamble with God every single day for provision? What if I told you that I don’t have the promise of a paycheck, but that I completely trust He is going to provide what I need when I need it? What if I told you I’ve learned I don’t need more than half of the things my culture keeps telling me I need?

Then what would you think?

You see I’ve come to a place in life where my cost of living is low. Money doesn’t move me with excitement or fear the way it used to. And the idea of living large is so unappealing. Actually living large at the cost of my doing sounds more like a prison than a palace. It sounds like an endless lifestyle of death and destruction… Something that gives a false illusion of power, based around the way I choose to hustle in life.

But then there’s this other path… This path to prosperity. And when I say prosperity, I mean having more than what I need. Which doesn’t include 6 cars, 2 boats and 3 houses. It more so means having more than enough in a simple setting… Like two shades of lipstick to choose from over one. Or, three beverage options in my fridge over two.

And I don’t know if you get where I’m coming from at all… But I do believe if we are ever going to truly allow God to be the foundation, security and focal point of our lives, then we have to let go of this idea of having money as a savior, lover or intimate friend. We have to be willing to constantly live around our needs, rather than our dire wants. And, most importantly, we have to be willing to trust Him when He says, “I will provide. Just create, live and cultivate life to the best of your ability.” 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

 

death · soul · Spirit · truth

Year Five

Five years ago today I watched my dad take his last breath. All in one moment the reality of death made his appearance in my life.

You see it was evidently clear that I was starring at my dad, but then at the same time I wasn’t.

Every part of him (the smile, the jokes, the instigation I couldn’t stand, the love, the brilliant gifting that made him unique)… It was gone. His essence… His soul… His spirit… The aura that filled his body was gone. And so he was gone.

And so that was the moment… The moment I realized life… Life really, truly is temporal. And our bodies…. Our bodies really are nothing more than the vessel we use to travel in while we’re here on earth.

So now you might be thinking, “Amanda, why are you sharing this?” Well… To be completely honest with you, I just really care about the health of people. Actually, let me rephrase that…. I care about the inner health of people. I care that we are alive on the inside. I care that we thrive on the inside. I care that we find grace, love, forgiveness and healing; and then that we maintain that healing long after our moment of transformation.

You see in today’s culture I believe it’s so easy to get caught up in our outer appearance, race, sexual orientation, religion and political background… But don’t forget, before any of that can matter, we are all intangible on the inside first and foremost. We’re all created with some type of God-spark that makes us eternal and immortal.

And so I guess that’s why I’m writing this…. Because I want to remind you and encourage you to look past the surface of what you can see and shift your focus to what you can spiritually feel. Because the health of that “thing” inside of you, that “thing” we all so casually overlook, is what is truly alive in life. 🌱 #cultivatelife

death · Spirit · truth

Jaded Heart?

Unfortunately, it’s been quite a challenge to accept God’s love lately. I’ve just been so caught up in pain, anger, bitterness and sorrow. And, for a brief moment, I almost let them talk me into hardening my heart.

You see… I could feel this wave of emotion and constant thought trying to push their way into my heart so that they could completely own it. I knew the feelings and thoughts weren’t my own though. In my heart I knew they belonged to an outside threat. Something wickedly supernatural that was begging me to follow it over the love of God.

And I do suppose the pain, anger, bitterness and sorrow are a direct result of loss. Sometimes I just feel like I’ve lost so much that I focus on my losses far more than my gains. I look at the past and how painful things have been, rather than focusing my attention to the present where love is.

However, I’m happy to report that my heart hasn’t been overtaken by these dark forces. Instead, I’ve chosen to place my constant focus on forgiveness, grace and love.

And… Honestly, that route has been a challenge too because life and death keep giving me reasons to become angry, bitter and somewhat jaded. But, well I just can’t stand the feeling of their presence anymore.

You see I enjoy feeling the love of God and then giving it back to others way more than I enjoy sulking around like the plague. And so I hope, I genuinely hope the pursuit of forgiveness, grace and love I am focused towards takes me places I never imagined to go. I hope they open avenues, windows and doors I never dreamed of walking through . And… most importantly, I hope they remain my constant way of life. ♥️ #cultivatelife

death · soul · Spirit · truth

Thanks Death

I’m not one to wallow and get down about life and what I’ve lost, but lately I’ve found myself missing my dad more than I can explain. It’s sometimes unsettling the way he’s constantly on my mind, and then I’m forced to think about my reality. My mind begins to remind me that death happened, but that life has continued to go on around me.

And though it is so challenging to understand why he died so young. And though I miss him and the life my family had before he was taken from this earth… Well I am still so grateful to have experienced death.

You see there’s just something so motivating to me about death. I believe death is a being, and I believe anytime we experience him we must respect him even though he’s been so seemingly disrespectful to us.

You see death left an imprint on my life. He left an imprint so wide and so deep that it sometimes felt unbearable to breathe again.

However, since my dad’s death I’ve been thrusted into this place of living. A place that’s forced me to stare down death and decide that I will not allow my experience with him to define me in a negative way, but in a positive one.

Because of death I live freer. I love harder. I think more in-depth. I take risks. I consider others. And though he’s helped toss my world upside down, I give more. I’ve gained more. I stop and think of others and where they might be in life because there is a compassion inside of me that wasn’t there before I met him.

And… Although it’s so challenging to not become angry and bitter with God, I’ve found myself more connected to Him than ever before. He’s shown me what true love is. And within that true love I never feel truly broken or without.

And though I don’t know where you stand today, what you’ve lost or how utterly broken you may feel… Please know this. I believe it’s very healthy to feel every ounce of death. But then I also believe it’s so healthy to live life to it’s very fullest. To love with every part of our hearts we can love with. And though it’s challenging to forgive and not become angry with God, I’ve found that He will fill in the broken and battered pieces when we’re ready to let Him in again.

Spirit · truth

Death of a Lie

Can I tell you the truth? I’ve been purchasing a lie with my free will for most of my life. What’s the lie? Well I’ve been led to believe I can’t be whole and complete without a relationship…

And if you really know me then you’ll understand that I’ve wanted to find someone, be married and start a family. Because in my mind I’d be complete.

However, because of the path the Holy Spirit has put me on that’s not my reality. And I’ve called the path stupid, ridiculous and annoying for so many years… But now, well I’m coming to a new place… A place where this path is actually beginning to make sense.

You see God has taken me on a journey of healing for about a decade. He’s constantly been revealing ways I can be made whole through Him. When life gets rough, He jumps in and saves the day and then makes my pain a place of peace, joy and new life.

And so I am learning that it doesn’t matter how much I think I need a relationship with a man to fill me with confidence and security… Because the only real relationship that will constantly fill me up and never let me down is the one I have with God. Everything else I’ve been taught is simply a lie.

And if I’m making some sense, then I want to encourage you to please find security and confidence and healing in God. Because He and Jesus are the only ones that can truly fill all of the broken places within our hearts and souls. They are the only ones that can make us whole again.

death · truth

Resurrected Life

You know 5 years ago this fall I decided Cultivate Life and I weren’t for each other. I was filled with utter confusion and deep pain as I found myself in the darkest season of my life. I promised myself I’d never allow anything to hurt me like that again because the pain I felt as I watched my hopes and dreams die was heart wrenching.

And then I set sail on a new journey in Cali… Making new a new life and choosing to forget about what I felt was my destiny and purpose. The funny thing is, God had an adventure waiting for me in L.A. that would bring me full circle with Cultivate Life.

He picked me up and put me back together in the craziest environment I’d ever experienced. And the, after He glued my heart back together and saw that I was a whole person, He chose to drop Cultivate Life back into my life again. He resurrected it all.

You see I’ve learned that God is power. I’ve learned that living a life with Him but without His resurrection power is not living at all. I don’t ever want to go another day where I don’t see His Holy Spirit activated and moving in my life. And I realize we don’t always get to this place of power over night… But what I’m trying to say is… If you feel like your life is duller than it should be… If you feel like you’re missing something large and grand and powerful… Then please be encouraged to lean into the life-giving resurrection power of God. Because He alone can take what was dead and buried in the ground and restore it again. He alone can cause parts of your life to become fresh and whole again like never before. And… it all starts as we choose to cultivate life in the Kingdom of God.