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

Come Up Here

”Gosh… It’s so beautiful up here. Up here above the chaos below.” That’s what I said to God as I peered out the window from the airplane. It was flying high above what looked like Heaven below.

And He’s been saying, “Come higher with Me.” And I’ve been arguing back, “No. No. NO! Because I don’t know what’s up there. And I have to let go of SO much more of what I want in life. This isn’t fair!”

God’s will… His view of what my life should continue to look like… It’s so freaking complex and misunderstood by my human mind. And… Honestly, it really takes me living through my spirit, rather than my soul and mind to continue to follow Holy Spirit where He’s leading.

But, through the deep struggle in my soul, I push through and relentlessly follow.

And now… Now I can begin to see what He’s been talking about… The reasons why He’s been asking me to, “come higher” and “cultivate life from a state of Heaven.”

And I know it sounds a little strange, but this place we just climbed to has more peace than I ever fathomed could be cultivated within myself. It’s just this constant, weightless feeling that I can’t describe with any single word but “Heavenly.”

Nothing really bothers me up here. My eyes are focused on Him and His will and I’m not overtaken with fear, stress, anxiety and worry. It’s just so still… Even though I have no clue what “next” is.

And I don’t know if this is where you are today. I don’t know what your relationship and path with God look like; however, I just want to speak from a place of encouragement and experience when saying this… Keep following Him. I know He’s frustrating and sees things in such a different WAY than we do, but when we truly trust and follow through wholeheartedly, I believe the destination is so incredibly rewarding. And no, no it doesn’t ever consist of a destination of power, fame or fortune. But it does consist of what we need for basic living… Which are the tools to continue to LIVE and cultivate a healthy lifestyle with Him 🌱 #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

Spirit · truth

Every Single Time

If you were to ask me what I battle with the most today… I wouldn’t say a sugar addiction, body insecurities, the fear of being alone, pride, jealousy and envy or even a broken heart. Instead I would say, “The will… The will of God.”

You know I believe His will is the most complex thing I’ve EVER encountered. It’s just so full of mystery and misunderstanding. And following it, for me, is still challenge.

I mean He keeps asking that I keep giving up everything I’m holding to grasp something higher… Something more evaluated and holy than what my mind possesses.

And yeah, sure that sounds cool… But remember being human means I’m selfish. I still want what I want when I want it. And… I also want to understand why He keeps saying, “Be patient Amanda. Be patient with my timing. And until that time, follow what I say.”

But then He knows… Gosh He knows me so well. And He knows I will chose Him and what He wants EVERY SINGLE TIME.

And I don’t know if you understand this. I hope that you do. I hope that you’ve chosen and continue to chose to follow Holy Spirit with your entire heart. Because when we do… When we actually constantly and consistently follow through with His will and His ways, well I believe we’ve begun to cultivate a lifestyle of following Holy Spirit. And… what’s better than that?! 🌱👑 #cultivatelife #justlive

Spirit · truth

God… Weird Dude

“God… Weird dude.” That’s what one of my closest friends says every time Holy Spirit leads her into something new.

And it’s true ya know? God is an intricately complex being… Full of love, authenticity and vulnerability. But then there’s this insane strangeness to Him… There’s so much mystery surrounding Him and what He truly wants and needs.

Which is why I think we have faith.

Faith is choosing to listen to and follow God into all of His strangeness. It’s leaping off the cliff with every bit of madness He’s led us too. Its going, “Okay dude, You see life differently than me, but I want to become a bigger part of what You see. So You lead and I’ll follow you into this unseen, supernatural world.”

And if that causes our lives to look misunderstood, strange or mad… Well then I guess we’re truly following Him… Because, His quirkinesses is officially our quirkinesses. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Spirit · truth

Keep Following

When God gave me Cultivate Life 10 years ago He told me it would be a “challenge” to “keep moving forward,” but that the challenge would always produce more LIFE.

I believe my constant desire for more life is why I always chose the challenge. I want my world to become a flourishing paradise… One that springs forth with more life, love, peace and joy than one can imagine.

However, sometimes choosing to take on the challenge He presents me with isn’t what I want to do because I know it’s going to ask so much of my free-will.

You see I’ve learned that following Holy Spirit is pretty simple, the only real hang up is whether I will obey or not. Will I keep choosing to let go of my free-will and selfish intent in order to follow His will?

And I don’t know if you’ve experienced this before… We do live in a society that practically makes decisions for us; however, I do hope (if you’re reading this) that you’ll be encouraged to use your free-will to step away from society so that you may have a fuller life! I also hope that you’re always encouraged to take on the challenges Holy Spirit places in front of you.

And, if you don’t know how to follow Him, I hope He begins to open up a world of following to you… One that’s full of life, relationship, mystery and anticipation. And I hope, in this following, you take on every challenge, discovering greater ways to live and love than you ever imagined! 🌴 #cultivatelife #justlive

Body · Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth · Uncategorized

A Decade in the Making

Okay… Today, I hit the decade mark of losing 100 lbs! So… What does it mean to me to look at the girl on the left, the young woman on the right and the woman in the middle? Well… To me the three make up a cultivated lifestyle of restoration and freedom.

When I finished losing the weight, I didn’t realize I’d spend the next 10 years allowing Jesus to refine, develop, mature and grow me as a whole.

So when I look at these three photos I don’t see me… Instead I see Him… I see what He’s done in me.

You see, He’s taken a girl who was incredibly insecure, fearful, anxious, prideful, selfish, jealous and bitter… And He’s transformed her into a woman that’s confident, secure, courageous, at peace with the unknown, humble (I still struggle), selfless, grateful and full of joy towards others and myself!

When I started this journey I thought I knew Jesus. I thought I knew Father God. I thought I knew the Holy Spirit. I grew up believing in them, but life and death have taught me that I didn’t know them at all because I hadn’t experienced them on a personal level.

So today I can confidently say they are my foundation and source of life. Together, they constantly keep me strong, healthy and secure. While the past versions of me desperately searched for identity and security, today I believe I stand still on the truth that I can’t be shaken, tossed or turned. My life and all that I am is in Him.

And while the world around me continues to try to show me why I’m not thin enough, thick enough, tan enough, flawless enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, successful enough or even “godly” enough… Well guess what? His opinion of me is all that matters. And He says, “You’re more than enough Amanda because I’ve helped you become a new creation and given you new life through Christ.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Just Float

I’m not very good at resting.

I don’t struggle with eating nutritiously, working out and connecting to God on a daily basis… But rest… WHY do I need to rest?! I love being “busy!” I love having a list with 100 things to tackle!

And I’ve gone through seasons before where God’s said things like, “Okay Amanda it’s time to rest!” I’ve also gone through seasons where He’s flat out driven me into a place of rest whether I like it or not.

And although I know the truth… that rest is essential to a cultivated lifestyle… I struggle in this area deeply.

Somewhere in my mind I’m driven with the thought that I need to constantly move with my own power and might to make sure everything “happens.” I try to do it all. I don’t want to step back and let God do that difficult stuff. I want to do it. I love the impossible challenge!

Lately though everything has kind of come to a halt. I’ve found myself in one of those seasons where God has practically forced me into a lifestyle of rest.

And honestly it’s uncomfortable. I don’t like to stand back and say, “Everything you’ve led me to belongs to you God. So I’m just gonna stand still and rest because there’s nothing else I can do to move this forward. I’m completely stumped. So… It’s on you!”

And as humbling as it is to let go and embrace the reality that I can’t do the impossible, there’s also something so beautiful about it. It’s like a true test of faith and humility to say, “I’ve done enough. I’ve followed the flow as far as it would go. So now I’m just gonna sit back and float!” 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Confidence · Spirit · truth

How Did I Become Her?

The unpaved path is rough. It’s lined with more obstacles, transition, pain, sacrifice and cultivation than I ever signed up for.

I remember being a kid. I remember what I wanted in my heart. Then I remember the promises God gave me as I got older. I remember the words He spoke directly to my heart and soul. I was attentive. I was aware. I didn’t miss the call He gave me.

I also remember being 17 years old, 235lbs and the most insecure, intimidated person I’d ever known. I remember thinking, “How will I ever become HER?! How will I ever grow into the woman God sees me as?”

I followed the unpaved path. I’ve followed it for years as I’ve listened to His voice. And there have been so many times I wanted to turn around and go “back.” There have been so many times I’ve convinced myself God lied to me about the promise. There have been so many times I said, “Forget the process! His process is too challenging! He’s asked too much of me! I’ve lost too much!”

But I’ve continued to move forward.

And now… Now I find myself hearing random people say, “You’re so intimidating. You’re so secure. The presence you carry with you is intense, but also so beautiful.”

I kind of laugh when I hear these things. I laugh because I know it’s not me they sense. I know it’s HIM! I know He’s consumed so much of my heart that He’s leaking onto each person I come in contact with.

And then sometimes I cry when I hear these things. I cry because I realize I don’t have a male covering or protection in my life anymore. It’s just me… Me and God. Me and Jesus. Me and the Holy Spirit. They’re more than enough you know?

And I think what I’m trying to say is this… I’ve journeyed all this way to become confident, courageous and humble. I’ve climbed mountains, walked through valleys and forged streams just to become a whole person. I’ve listened and followed when it didn’t make sense just to be in a moment where I can stand on my own two feet and think, “Wow, I can’t be moved. I’m solid as a fortress in Him and Him alone.”

And though I don’t know what lies ahead… I do know that all that He’s done in me has helped me truly cultivate LIFE! 🌱 #cultivatelife