The Deadly Seed

“Fear is just a lie running out of breath…” That’s what my best friend said to me a few weeks ago.

She actually said it with such confidence that I began to wonder how to make him actually stop breathing entirely.

You see I believe fear is like faith. Both are small seeds dropped into the ground. The difference is found in how they grow and what they produce in our lives.

While faith grows into something beautiful and produces a flourishing, fulfilling lifestyle, fear’s growth is ugly and often produces a deadly lifestyle.

Now I don’t know where you stand with fear or how you choose to fight through and overcome moments of stress, worry and anxiety; however, I’ve found in increasingly powerful to speak to the areas of my life where I feel fear. I speak to them in Jesus name and command them to stop growing in my life.

And you know, sometimes my spiritual authority feels weak, so then I choose to just surrender the fear and all that I am feeling to God. I choose to allow Him to solve what feels paralyzingly impossible. I ask Him to provide me with peace that surpasses all my understanding. And then the greatest thing begins to happen. I feel at ease, my stress lowers and I have faith that God is in the midst of what looks incredibly frightening. 🌷💃🏻 #cultivatelife

(More in video below)

The Smallest Seed

The smallest seed planted in the garden… The one that is cultivated with hope and love… That’s what faith is.

It’s not always easy. It’s sometimes a challenge. It requires a lot of feeding, sunlight and attention, but I promise you it will grow into something bigger than you imagined.

Faith is lifestyle my friends.

It’s not something we pick up when we’re desperate for healing or an answer. It’s an alive being we coast through life with. It is the foundation which we should all be build upon.

And Jesus… You know that guy everybody seems to argue about. Yeah, He’s kind of like the sun in the sky… Always willing and able to provide the light the seed will continuously need to get up and grow.

So please, please be encouraged to have faith in your heart… Even when conditions look way to dark to develop and grow. 🌸💃🏻 #cultivatelife

(More in video below!)

Just Righteous

What do you see when you look at this photo? I see a sassy, insecure and entitled girl.. I see a girl that is essentially covered in sin and filth and all that distracts me from God’s goodness and truth for my life.

Now what does God see when He looks at this photo? I believe He sees an obedient, secure and righteous woman who is a queen in His Kingdom. I believe He sees a woman clothed in His strength and dignity and goodness for my life.

Now… you might be wondering why I’m saying these things and what it really means… So I’ll tell you.

You see I believe God is a King that humbly stands at the foundation of His Kingdom. He is a King that reigns with righteousness in one hand and justice in the other. And you know what? When He looks at the righteousness He sees grace… He sees that you have right to stand in His Kingdom because of Jesus Christ. And then I believe He looks at the other hand and sees justice.. And the Justice He has in His hand is pure… It’s unfiltered and real. It causes Him to uphold the law of grace that’s in His other hand.

You see I believe we, as humans, look at ourselves and others the way I look at the picture of myself above. But then God doesn’t look at it that way… Because what He holds in His hands causes Him to only see the good… He only sees you operating at your highest and most valuable potential.. Which is to be a child that has been granted access as a king/queen in His Kingdom.

And I’m not sure if this makes complete sense. Honestly it’s blowing my mind as I write it; however, I long to see myself and others the way God does. With a heart of righteousness and justice for all eternity.

This Way Next

Can I be honest? Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep using this key called faith to unlock the doors God’s placed in front of me. And yeah, I get that it’s part of the lifestyle of following the Holy Spirit, but sometimes the door He’s given me to walk through is intimidating.

So… How? How does one walk through a door marked, “This way next” and still feel confident and courageous while doing it?

Well I personally believe you have to come to that place in your travels with the Spirit… I believe He has to walk you through many doors and chambers before you stand in front of the largest door with the biggest key to date. But then the funny thing about God’s doors is the truth that any key will fit. Because sometimes, in the moment, we don’t have the faith we had in previous seasons. Life has somehow hurt us and dashed the way in which we once believed. And so then we find ourselves with this huge door of opportunity(a door we’ve journeyed to over many travels), but afraid of that the tiny key in our hand is too small to unlock the treasure that awaits.

However, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter how big or small that key in your hand is… Because the key of faith is universal. It fits all shapes and sizes, and it can unlock the biggest and best doors God has created for you to step in to. So please, please do not fear what He places in front of you. Instead walk through the door marked, “This way next” with the only key of faith you’ve ever used.

What If?

Why is it that as we get closer to the things of the Lord doubt beings to slip in?

It’s like there are all these years of following and searching and building and hoping and praying… And then right as you can feel the pulse of things starting to come together in a real way, doubt sneaks in. He sticks his head into your mind and says, “But what if? What if you’re wrong? What if it’s not going to happen? What if you’re waisting your time? What if you get disappointed and have to stop completely?”

Actually, now that I think about it, doubt in my life is always a “what if?” But then the words of God are never a “what if?” Actually I don’t think I’ve ever heard God speak in terms of “what if?” He’s a pretty concrete dude…. With many sides and angles, but He’s never there to lead us into a place of “what if?”

So how do I combat the “what if?” Well I believe I fight it with the truth God has actually spoken into my heart and life over the years. And then I choose to stay really close to Him and His voice in moments like this. Because, in truth, I want what He wants because I know it is good and prosperous and for His Kingdom alone.

Square Peg, Round Hole

“Fit in… just fit in Amanda. Figure out how to fit in and then you’ll be happy and confident and secure and complete!!”

This has been a narrative I constantly play out in my head. It’s been a narrative that’s taken possession of every season and chapter of life I’ve ever entered and lived through… This longing, this desire and want to just fit in and fit in well with those around me that are popular and leading the so called “pack” of life.

The funny thing is… It’s never worked.

Fitting in for me has never happened. Ever.

Sure I have dreams of fitting in with the world around me, but then I am left very disappointed when it just doesn’t happen. And then I’m left even more disappointed when I feel like an outsider and a loner because I can’t fit.

After my grandmother was healed she said she always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. And while I’m not trying to take the words from her mouth, this is kind of what it feels like for me.

Funny thing is all of this trying to “fit” has produced A LOT of self-centeredness in my heart and soul…. Because, rather than being confident and secure in the way God has created me… Rather than standing firm in who I am as Amanda, well I find myself doing everything in my power to fit into that round hole.

So now, well I find myself having to set aside this deep want to fit. I find myself having to let go of the source of my insecurity. Because the insecurity has led me down a very unsatisfying road… One filled with endless thoughts in my mind that cause me to feel small and inadequate and unworthy.

However, God keeps telling me to just “stand firm. Stand firm in who I’ve created you to be Amanda and you will stand out as yourself.” And I don’t know if anyone else feels like that right now, in this place where you keep trying to fit to finally feel complete, but I just want you to know it doesn’t work. It’s exhausting and time consuming and ironically very self-centered from the way in which God would like us to be. Because instead, He needs us to stand firm and be secure in who we are in Him. He needs us to be all that HE needs us to be, and not what we see by viewing someone else’s projected life. And yeah, it does feel a little bit uncomfortable at first to let go of this way of life; however, once we’ve done it… Well we’ll find ourselves in more peace and satisfaction than before. Plus, not fitting in might actually cause us to stand out.

Timing of the Trees

I’ve been coming to my grandmother’s house on Cane River my entire life. It’s a place that is 100% country, yet southern.

While sitting on her porch yesterday I found myself very confused about a patch of trees. “Where did they come from? Did they grow over night? Why was I just now noticing them?” This is all I could think… So I asked my grandmother.

And she replied, “Oh they’ve been there for quite a while. Really small things. But you know, just in the last two years they’ve shot up like that and now you can’t see the road or field on the other side of them.”

I just kind of sat there and thought for a moment… To me it was kind of interesting that they’d been growing so long without any notice; however, now they’re tall enough to block the field view and I really notice!

I tell this story because the trees remind me of God’s timing.

You see I believe when we live a life that follows God’s ways we must also follow His timing… And for me, well I’ve always struggled with staying on God’s time table. I want what He’s planted in my life to grow up big and tall right NOW! I don’t like to wait for His process because it seems so long and drawn out at times.

But in reality He needs the time to cultivate and nourish these things inside of me. His ways require that we become strong and sturdy and capable of withstanding a lot. And like those trees it takes many years for this to occur.

But then, at the right time… Well I believe you have a moment like I did yesterday. One where you look over and think, “Where did they come from? They’re so big and tall and full of life that they distract and puzzle my mind.”

And I don’t know what God’s planted in your life in different seasons, but if you just continue to allow Him to cultivate it… If you just allow Him to strength you, give you an identity in Him and make you whole and complete… Well one day I believe you’ll look over and see that all of that time wasn’t a waste because something great did come forth. And now the things planted are taller than you and you can go places with them that you never fathomed.