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

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

soul · Spirit · truth

Quit… Today?

I thought about quitting today. I told God, “I can’t do this anymore.” Actually… I’ve been telling Him that for a few weeks now. “I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want your stupid promises! It’s cost so much to get to this place! I don’t care about your will!”

You see my heart is deeply battling. And I want to walk away. I’d give anything to walk away. Walking away would be so much easier in this moment than moving forward.

But, in truth, it’s just my emotions… My feelings are trying to muddle what God, His promises and what He keeps telling me to do.

But when I step back… When I step back and breathe… When I step back long enough to hear His voice say, “I need you to keep moving forward.” Well… I know in my heart I have no other choice but to keep moving forward. 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward

death

Feeling It All…

We’re all entitled to bad days right?… You know the kind where you don’t really want to get up in the morning because you’re tired of life?…

That’s how I feel right now… A little burnt out and confused… Burnt out with work and where I am in life… And confused about where I’m going…

Because right now… Well I just don’t see a clear picture of my life… Then again we never do…

And I still miss my dad so much… So much…

Coming up on a year has me subconsciously sad… Sad and a little confused… Because well I never saw life being at this state…

And normally I’m extremely hopeful and positive… It’s just who I am… But today I feel a little depressed and sad… And annoyed…

And I also feel like life is plateauing out some… That it’s a little flat and dull at the moment… And that I need to keep moving forward for more excitement and growth….

But right now… Well right now I just have so many questions….

So many questions and so many thoughts… And I honestly I hate feeling low… I’m not a low, sad or depressed type of person… But these feelings have me dragging around… And not giving 100%…. The struggle is real…

But a friend encouraged me to just let the grief to continue to happen… To continue to feel all of the sadness, depression and pain that comes with death… And so I guess I will… Because death is strange and what else am I supposed to do?…

Again… Death… Will death is just life…. A big part of life and why we are living and continuing to move forward…

Spirit · truth

The Tulips

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It’s morning… again… a new day… still a new year… still new things to accomplish and come my way… and all along I keep wondering “where will this year take me?”… and I know deep down to not dare ask that question because this year could take me absolutely anywhere possible…
Sometimes though… sometimes my emotions feel like the ones of a tulip… I bought red tulips the other day…  they just looked so pretty sitting in the grocery store… and I love fresh flowers… so I brought them home… and as soon as I got them into a glass of water, they feel over… they wouldn’t stand up for anything… and of course they were closed very tight….
All I could think in that moment was “ok, I just spent $9 on flowers that are wilting…. flowers that haven’t even opened up”… so I decided I try to wrap a rubber band around them… maybe that would help them a little… but it didn’t… so I left them alone and went to work…
But… when I got home that night, the tulips were standing straight up… and they were open… fasciated by their quick change in attitude, I just smiled… I smiled and got ready for bed, thinking “gosh they are so pretty”…
The next day at work flowers were delivered to the house… and guess what… red tulips were inside… that’s when I made a comment to my boss about my tullips… how they had fallen, but now they are standing straight and open… she said, “oh Amanda, that’s what they do. they droop for a while, then stand straight up and open and then droop again when they die”….
I was fascinated once again… and said the flower must be very “emotional” and “bi-polar”…
The funny thing is… as I’ve watched these tulips, they’ve been teaching me something… right now they are so open… so alive and so very attentive to the life around them… anything can come their way and they’d be prepared…
And right now that’s how I feel… when I decided to pick up and change course last year I felt like the tulips looked when I first bought them…. closed and droopy…. but as the year went on… well I began to open up and stand a little taller and firmer on my own… and for the first time really just be me and love myself for the fact that I can just be me…
And now I feel like the tulips I see this morning… more open than I’ve ever been… just waiting for something new and amazing to sweep into my life… just waiting for a ray of sunshine or a tender word from someone to brighten up my day so I can stand a little taller…
Of course I know the tulips will droop again and fade away… but they’ve left such a positive impact on me in this very moment… one that says, “keep standing tall. keep doing what you’re doing. and just stay open to life”….
death · truth

Feelings

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How do I feel right now? I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel, but I’ve been trying to answer this question for myself all morning. I feel something though. I think I feel very optimistic and positive about life. Honestly… I didn’t three months ago, I didn’t think I could do cancer. I flat out told mom, “Mom I can’t do this. I can’t do cancer. It kills people and if dad has it… well I just can’t do it.” Now that I think back on that moment… well, I guess I was saying I can’t do death because I knew death was coming quickly.

But… now that I’m here, 3 months from the words I spoke… well I did cancer and I’m doing death. I didn’t have a choice at all. Even if I ignored it all, I’d still be a part of it. Whether I embraced it or not, it was still going to become a part of my life. I was still going to become a daughter who’s father died of cancer….. and I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t like answering emails and having to say, “my father passed away.” It has gotten easier with time, but it’s still so foreign to me.

Mom thinks the hardest battle for me is ahead. She thinks when I go back to Cali it will be a challenge for me. She thinks this based off of her own experience. I honestly don’t know what will happen. But I do know as the oldest… well as the oldest I feel responsible for so much. I feel like I need to take care of everyone and have everything in some kind of systematic order when I leave. I’ve always felt this way…. like I need to care for those around me and get life done. Dad may be dead, but life is still moving forward. Bills have to be paid, his house has to be finished and someone has to take care of my grandparents.

And I know my mom is going to take care of them…. but she’s young. She’s young and has a life to live too. There’s no telling what’s in front of her and how amazing her life will become after death. I think she has so much curiosity inside of her. So much want to learn and travel and just enjoy life. It’s funny… but through this experience life has been put in such beautiful perspective for me. I’ve begun to realize that my parents used to be young. I know that’s obvious… but I’ve really begun to realize that they were young and had dreams, goals and wants in life. I’ve always looked at their pictures and enjoyed digging through their past… but their youth was never put in perspective for me. Now it is… and it’s strange. I think it’s strange because I’ll be in their place one day. I’ll be talking about my friends to my children. I’ll be telling stories and reliving the past… and I guess I’ve never seen myself doing that.

In so many ways just thinking about having a family and my father not being here… well it hurts. It hurts so badly. Over the last few years my dad was always saying he couldn’t wait until I got married so he could have grandchildren. He wanted that so much. And my response always played like this, “dad… one day. But not yet. I’m young and I want to enjoy my life right now. Not yet.” Now… well I don’t regret that I haven’t checked all the boxes like so many others, but I do kind of wish I had just so my dad could’ve been a part of it all. And so many say he’ll be there in spirit, but it’s not the same.

When I started writing, I didn’t know how I felt… and in truth I’m feeling a lot. Just talking my way through my thoughts is helping me realize my feelings are a lot heavier than I thought and they need to be expressed. It kind of makes me wonder if emotions are this strong for everyone. Do we all feel very strongly about things, but we don’t know how to truly express them so our feelings are ignored? Or do only some of us feel sensitive toward emotions and choose to express them? I think my feelings are a lot deeper than my thoughts. Or maybe not deeper, but just more spread out. There’s a wide range of them.

So I feel a lot of different emotions at once… but I’m not good at expressing them and using them to their full potential. And I need to get better at that. I need to change it up a little and really express how I am feeling and why. It’s good therapy for me and I feel so much better after… lighter and more alive.