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

One Present Moment

Can I be honest?… I think about life and death A LOT!

Seriously though… I think about the reality of mortality and what it means to be fully alive on the inside constantly.

Now, recently the Holy Spirit said, “Just live this summer Amanda. Take the next three months and really focus your attention on living.” Of course I needed to know what He meant… So I asked, and this is what He said…

“When you focus your attention on the past, you’re focusing on death. When you focus your attention on the future, you’re too focused on life. I’m asking you to focus your attention… To focus all of who you are on living. And to focus yourself on living is to focus on just being. I know it’s a lot to ask… Especially with your culture, and the anticipation it has to be in tomorrow. But I just need you to do this. I need you to continue to cultivate this habit until it becomes your lifestyle.”

And I don’t really know how this will shift who I am; however; I’ve already begun to realize how stupid I am for ignoring the present.

You see if you’re anything like me then you’ll understand what it feels like to be miserably obsessed with getting to tomorrow. It’s a constant state of not allowing today to be enough because we’ve been taught to fear being content with the present. It’s almost like it’s taboo to say, “I’m choosing to be fully present today.”

But you know… If I can’t get my mind off of tomorrow and I’m constantly thinking about what it will produce, well then I think I’ll wake up one day in my 70s and realize I’ve wasted my life away by being too concerned about tomorrow. I’ll miss the opportunity life gave me to just live and be fully alive from the inside out.

And I’m not saying choosing to just live means I’m going to become lazy or inactive… But what I am saying is I’m trying to make a better attempt at fully leaving the past in the past and allowing the future to unfold one present moment at a time. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Look Up

Do you ever have those days where you keep looking down? You know the ones where you focus on the bad… On the things you don’t have and haven’t achieved yet, rather than focusing on the opposite?

Yeah, that’s where I’ve been for 3 days now. In this constant spiral of looking down on life… on my own life.

But ya know?… This morning I woke up and heard God say, “Amanda, look at your victories. Look at the mountain tops you’ve stood on with me. Look how far we’ve come together and how much we’ve accomplished as you’ve chosen to keep moving forward with my plans in mind. Ok, now stop looking at what’s below and the climb in front of you and focus on where you’re headed next with me. I know it’s going to be a journey, but I need you focus.”

So I chose to look up with focus. 💃🏻⛰ #cultivatelife #justlive

Doubtful Focus

It’s funny.. The Lord has never failed me in what He’s spoken to my heart, yet I still doubt what He says is to come.

You see He has a pretty good track record of being right. Actually He’s never wrong. He’s always 100% correct when telling me what’s to come.

So why do I still doubt? You’d think I’d flat out believe everything He tells me by now. The good. The evil. The right. The wrong. But I don’t. Instead, I doubt. I get discouraged in my heart and look at the reality of the situation surrounding me.

And I know doubt is the opposite of faith, but I can’t help it. It’s like I almost feel gun-shy about accepting the goodness He says is coming into my life soon.

But I shouldn’t feel gun-shy at all. No, I should hold my head high and keep my focus on Him… On Jesus… On the Father… On the God-head who so willingly leads me through the mountains, hills and valleys of life.

You see to focus on Jesus constantly is an awfully challenging task. There are so many things that try to distract and distress us. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to even understand what it means to focus on Him. But I’m learning that to focus on Him is to focus on faith, hope, love, joy, goodness and peace. It’s choosing to place my entire life in His hands knowing deep down all that I am is because of Him.

And when my ever-so wondering mind strolls down a path of doubt and fear… Well I have to quickly remind myself that I’ve never been peacefully successful on that road. And that it’s time to be led back down the only road that leaves me mysteriously reliant on an intangible God that has never failed me before.

Staying Focused

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I don’t know what I’ve been feeling for the past few days. I feel like I’m feeling so much, but I’m kind of ignoring it all…. trying to get settled in and readjusted to life on the West Coast.

And don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love it out here… but I feel like I’m forgetting that dad’s even dead. Like it doesn’t cross my mind in the way that I think it should…. which leads me to believe I’m in denial of the entire situation, not knowing what to do with all of it.

I told my sister yesterday that I don’t know what to do with any of it. Life is moving forward but that situation is still real and alive… and I know deep down I’m grieving…. but what am I supposed to do? Walk around dwelling on it all day? Cry just to cry? For the dramatics of it all?

None of those options feel right and healthy. I did have my moment yesterday when I was leaving work. I wanted to call dad to tell him all about it and so I decided I would call his cell and just leave a message…. But then my mom answered… which I figured she would and I wanted to talk to her, but parts of me wanted to just pretend like dad was there in leaving a voicemail. And then a song came on the radio and I lost it.

Then of course comforting my sister and mom seem to be the hardest because there is absolutely nothing I can do to make the situation better. I hate hearing my sister say things like, “we had so many plans. He was going to be my date to the Oscars. He was supposed to be here for me and see everything we’ve both worked for happen.”

And then she followed it with what I feel too… that it doesn’t matter when people says “he’ll be there in spirit.” It’s just not the same at all. It’s really not the same. I don’t ever feel dad around…. ever. Like I wish with all of my heart I could, and maybe one day I will…. but right now I don’t.

But… I do think life continues to move forward and develops into much greater things. I believe with everything in me that I’ll look back in several years and see how this all fits together and how the death of my father really, truly propelled me into my future and my destiny.

I know a lot of times life seems to suck… we don’t get to do the things we want. We get disappointed. We are confused and out of focus with life. We can’t see the big picture and it’s frustrating. We just know that certain things can and are preparing us for our future… and if you’re like me, you’re hoping that that future is exactly what you want deep down…. even if you can’t give a detailed description of it.

And I say all of this because I think… a long with feeling grateful and overwhelmingly blessed… I’m also feeling this need to make sure I stay focused on what I want. Because in the long run I will be so happy I did just that.