Spirit · truth

Bitter-fully Good

Have you ever faced off with bitterness before?

If so, then you’ll understand the constant, alienating feeling of being “wronged.”

But, what happens when the bitterness you’re experiencing is aimed at God?

You see… I’ve been asking myself this question for two weeks now because He’s called me to a higher level of obedience and trust in Him.

However, my selfish ways want things that oppose His ways. The selfish pieces of my heart keep reminding me of how unjust and unfair I believe He’s being towards me.

And… In all honesty, I’m blinded. Blinded by my self. Blinded by my will. Blinded by my desires and ways.

But… I’m also tired. I’m tired of being hostile with my best friend. I don’t like feeling like He’s wronged me when, deep down, my heart knows He’s truly good.

Actually… His goodness is the very reason I keep giving Him my will and selfish ways and desires. His goodness is what keeps leading pieces of my selfish heart to a place of repentance and peace.

And so… Well that’s why I am sharing this. To remind you, wherever you are, to stay focused on Him at all times. And to choose His will over every other thing that’s presented before you. Because He… He is ALWAYS good! 🌱 #cultivatelife

Mind · Spirit · truth

Deaf Ears?

We’re all speaking. With all of our facts, opinions and restless, chaotic tips and thoughts… The majority of us have something to say. Even if we don’t share about it on a public platform, we’re all talking.

So my question… My question is this…

Who is listening? Who hears Holy Spirit’s voice? And when I say this, I don’t mean the second-hand account spoken from what someone else heard from Him. I mean… Who’s truly seeking Him, listening to Him and following His ways? Who’s choosing to take the risk and live from a place of faith over constant anxiety, restlessness and fear?

And if we are listening… What is He saying to each individual heart? How is He (not the government, religion or any other crumbling system in place) about to lead us as a nation and a royal priesthood founded and designed to belong to His Kingdom alone? 🌱⚔️ #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Get Lost

At the beginning of January I heard Holy Spirit say, “Something very scary is about to happen in the city and the world, but I will protect you and your family. Do not be afraid. Do not live in fear. Just continue to pray. Pray for your family and friends… Pray that I keep my hand on this nation… That my glory sustains it.” A few days later I found myself following the virus in China and knew in my spirit THIS was the scary “something” He was talking about.

And so I’ve prayed. I’ve been violently praying for everyone I love and adore. I’ve been praying for my city, for my country and for my world. It’s what He asked me to do, even before I knew what He was taking about.

And if you know me, then you know I listen, I believe, I follow and I live as I cultivate life with Holy Spirit.

Which is why I want to express something very dear to my heart… Within all the chaos and fear that’s being force-fed to us through the media and social media, I challenge you to “get lost.” Get lost in the isolated presence of God. If you know Him, ask Him to reveal Himself you in an increasingly more powerful way. If you think you know Him and realize you don’t, ask Him to reveal His true self to you… A God that doesn’t pertain to the limits and boundaries religion has taught. And… if you don’t know Him at all, I challenge you to ask Him to reveal His love and peace to you.

Because… Well I believe if we can just stay focused on Him, His Son and Holy Spirit… Well then I believe we will find a place of confidence, authority and security. And, I also believe He will show us HOW TO cultivate life… The life that’s ahead of us as we move forward in these chaotic times 🌱#cultivatelife #justlive

soul · Spirit · truth

Keep The Peace

Keep the peace…. Even when life’s circumstances push you to the limit, remember why you have it… Remember to stay focused on the One that can’t be shaken, moved or truly manipulated.

Keep the peace. Keep it down in you. Hold on to it tight and don’t let it go. I know things can get crazy, hazy and confusing as hell at times, but I hope and pray peace keeps you anchored, grounded and completely secure.

Oh and don’t forget…. You know… The One… The One that holds the peace. Don’t forget about Him.

Always, always, always keep your entire self: spirit, soul and body focused on Him.

You know I never understood that when I was younger… I never understood how my mother, mentors and grandmothers seemed so sure of God. But now… Now that I have a more developed relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit I more so get it. I get what it means to feel fear and choose peace. I see why it’s vital to trust the words of Holy Spirit over what millions upon billions of restless, insecure sources spew out.

And I know our world (and maybe even your own personal world) seems to be spinning into a chaotic mess… A mess that we cannot afford to control… But… Well… Keep the peace 🌱#cultivatelife

Mind · soul · truth

Great Illusion

If you know me well then you know I talk about the will of God A LOT! It’s really vital for me to continue to cultivate a space where I listen, He leads and I follow. And it’s become fairly simple to do these things; however, the one thing that CONSTANTLY gets me hung up are MY feelings.

You see they’re just this sticky web of illusion and confusion. And, when I rely on them over what God has spoken, well I leave myself open to great deception and become a mess of a person.

And it doesn’t have to be like that. I don’t have to turn inside out over what He’s spoken versus what I feel and see.

So I’ve made a choice. Every time I feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances versus what He’s spoken, I choose to stop myself and remind myself of Him, His truth, His words and our relationship as a whole.

You see… God never gave us feeling to enable us to trust Him. He never gave feelings to encourage us to trust Him. We live a lifestyle of faith, which isn’t a feeling but a choice… An action. And I know self wants to live by feeling. But we can’t because it leaves us liable to great deception, believing God will not be true to what He said and promised.

So… If you relate to what I’m saying, please be encouraged to live from what He’s spoken, rather than a place of chaotic, ever changing feeling 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

“Help. Me.”

“Help. Me.” is what I quietly screamed at my sister across the gym yesterday. The weight I tried to load onto my shoulders for lunges was entirely too heavy for me to lift.

Of course she quickly looked at me like, “What am I supposed to do Amanda?! You think I can help you lift 80 pounds?!”

But she did. My sister helped me pick up the weight and then together we placed it on it’s stand.

And that’s what this entire journey has been… A constant series of two sisters helping each other move forward right when the other seems like she might crumble.

Those are the things no one sees though… The moments where we both want to give up because God’s system for living isn’t working the way we imagined it would.

You see it seemed so simple when He showed me a picture of the outcome. But then I didn’t consider that my choices would lead me to a place that would look like this for so long. I didn’t realize there would be years and years and years of refusing to cave.

And I also didn’t realize my response would consistently be… “Well, I consulted God and He said, ‘No. No, don’t do that. Don’t sell out. Don’t go that route. Don’t buy into what’s cheap, fake and entirely insecure. Keep following me. It will all come together in My timing Amanda. You have to keep trusting Me.”

And so I do… We both do. Actually we all three do. Mom included. Even with the soul-ripping, sudden loss of dad. We have chosen to band tighter to God and go even higher with Him and His ways.

And sure… Sure it hasn’t been easy. But I can promise you this… My choice to trust God and take risks with Him and His ways have been the best choices I’ve ever made because they’ve made me confident, secure, whole, complete and at peace with the out-of-control world around me. And no, no He doesn’t always make sense. And yes, yes spirituality is almost always terrifying because it means we have to let go and trust in things we might not believe are real. But I just want to encourage you to trust that He’s there. Trust that He’s waiting to lift the 80 pounds you cannot lift alone off of your shoulders. And trust that He will guide you after the weight is gone so you can #cultivatelife 🌱

soul · Spirit · truth

“She Gambles with God”

“Does trusting the Lord and not worrying mean we’re coping out?”

“No Bill. It just means we’re doing what God told us to do.”

That… That was a conversation my grandparents had several years ago as they continued to follow Holy Spirit wherever He led them.

And… You know, thisThis is exactly how I feel right now. My lack of worry almost makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Like I’m “coping out” on life.

Because, normally, when we say we “trust God,” we still secretly harbor anxiety and worry in our hearts. And then we just keep that “smile” on our faces… You know, the one that says, “I’m good! I’m fine!! I’m trusting God!!!”

However, faith… Faith truly is a lifestyle for me. It’s a real walk that requires so much risk… So much risk that I feel like my forehead constantly reads, “She gambles with God!”

And I guess I’m saying all of this because I want to remind myself and you that it’s okay to wholeheartedly trust God. Actually, it’s 1000% healthy and normal to embrace that initial wave of fear we all feel when we step into the unknown, but then it’s also so healthy to have so much of God within us… So much of Him that we ride over that wave of fear with so much confidence, courage and strength in our hearts… Enough to say, “I will not carry the fear I feel… This fear that would like to collide with my heart and drown me.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

 

 

soul · Spirit · truth

That’s Grotesque

Do you honestly want to know where I’ve been lately and what I’ve been doing?

I’ve been studying… No actually I’ve been deep sea diving for treasure… Treasure God’s been pulling my heart toward.

You know I haven’t wanted to pursue it though. For more than a month I was afraid to go “there,” because going “there” meant I’d have to follow the footsteps of the past. And those footsteps… well they’ve seemed very heavy and almost grotesque to step into.

But… Well I chose to cast my fear aside. I chose to cast it aside and obey God. And when I did He showed me that following the footsteps I was convinced I should follow wasn’t the best choice for me. He showed me that the footsteps would keep me bound to religious, boxed in, manmade ideals of the past. He showed me that His footsteps for me to follow are much freer, endless and boundless.

So… So I’ve been following them. I’ve been stepping into what He says is “simplistic, eternal and yet consistently patient.”

And I can’t really reveal the glory He’s given me yet; however, I do want to encourage you. I want to encourage you to examine your spiritual life… To look at it and really ask yourself who and what is calling the shots. Who and what is dictating your moves? Is it voices of those that have gone before you? Is it words that might be mistranslated and skewed for a time and place? Or is it just Holy Spirit?… You know that inner voice or nudge we all hear/feel to some degree… The one that leads us to higher levels of freedom and love through Jesus Christ. The one that I believe we’re all destined to connect to because He allows us to cultivate life to the best of our ability.

And then… Then when you answer these questions,  please be encouraged to step out. To leave the past, religion and all other voices aside. Because His lead is the best lead we’ll ever encounter. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Foggy Backroad

On Jan 1, 2020 I found myself on a winding, Louisiana backroad. In route to the gym, all I could think was, “Gosh the fog is SO thick this morning. I can barely see what’s in front of me.”

And… You know, that’s how 2020 has appeared to me in real life. It’s foggy. It’s unclear. It’s a winding, twisting, twirling backroad waiting for me to drive down so I can discover what “next” is.

And I don’t know if you feel this way at all; however, if you do… If you don’t know what next is because it’s shrouded in foggy mystery… Well I want to encourage you to move forward. To take one step, one inch or one mile at a time.

And I know our culture promotes knowing what’s next because it helps us attain “success;” however, I believe not knowing what comes next is very humbling and powerful. I believe following the foggy road demonstrates faith because we’re willing to take a risk even when we can’t see ahead.

So, if you do feel like me, have faith, take the risk and be encouraged… Because the foggy road will lead you somewhere 😉🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

Doubtful Disbelief

“Stop what you’re doing!”… That’s what doubt and disbelief scream at me. “Stop what you’re doing and don’t move forward because you’re a fool and this is ridiculous.”

And it’s like that every time I step out in faith… I feel great at first. I feel like, I can “take on the world.” I feel like the hand of cards I placed on the table is being played nicely.

And then… Then huge waves of doubt and disbelief come. And they remind me of the past. They remind me how disappointed I’ve felt at times for excepting one thing and receiving another. They remind me how long the journey has been without the promises fulfilled. They remind me of the isolation I feel for following Holy Spirit instead of listening to man-made systems and structures. They remind me of the death, pain and sacrifice I’ve been through to get today… The people and places I’ve lost and the relationships that went sour. They remind me that I don’t know what I’m actually doing in life, nor do I have any control at all.

I hate doubt and disbelief.

But… Well, without them… Would taking the risk even be a thing? If my past, present and future weren’t all on the table ready to be gambled at my own free-will, then would I even be in God’s will?

And so I step back… I step back with humility, and I remember how much I develop, mature and grow every time I’m faithful. I remind myself that God’s never EVER left my side… If anything we’ve grown closer. I also remind myself how good it feels to flourish on the inside when I’m faced with challenge and adversity that are larger than me. And then… Then I step forward with a positive attitude and a clean, yet faithful heart. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive