heart · Spirit · truth

Containment

I’ve tried to write what’s on my heart so many times. I’ve deleted what I’ve said because of the fear of sounding “harsh.” But… You know what? I have to say what’s jumbling around inside.

Do you ever stop and think, “What’s in God’s heart? How does He see our world? What are His solutions? What kind of life-giving, spirit-driven solution can He provide us with in this moment of time?”

If so, do you ever get an answer? If you do get an answer, do you keep following the narrow path of that answer with more questions? And if you’re still on that path of seeking answers with questions, have the answers produced a life-giving harvest around you and those close to you?

You see I’m asking because I’ve made a commitment to seek what’s contained in His heart in all circumstances. And though it’s challenging… And though I do fail a lot… I’ve promised myself I’ll move forward with my spirit, heart and soul fixated on faithfully following through with His desires. Truly living from each unprecedented milestone to the next.

So, you can then maybe understand why my heart feels grieved when I look around and see that my generation and our culture is completely overrun with materialism, self-centeredness and the goal of becoming a mini-god of sorts.

Y’all… We are missing it. A relationship with God isn’t an “add-on” at the end of the menu. He isn’t a side dish that we consume with the rest of our meals. He’s not our meaningful thought to “feel better” for a moment. And He’s most certainly not intended to revolve around our self-centered nature. 

What happened to relationship with Him? Where did the truth that Jesus heals go? Where is our passion for seeking His glory as a solvent in all situations? Where is our devotion for and submission to following Holy Spirit’s lead, no matter how uncertain it seems? Where is our faith for believing Him for the next step no matter the sacrifice? Where is our trust in believing He will provide us with the strength necessary to carry the weight of what He’s asking us to do? 

It is grieving to see a nation filled with problems He can and will solve, if only we will let Him lead and stop intruding our soulish thoughts and emotions into His processes. 

And again, maybe I am harsh in what I’m saying; however, following Him has never been a disappointment. He has always, always provided a way. He has always provided more than enough finances to meet my every need. And He’s always given the next step, chapter and season when He knows it’s time.

And so, I’m writing this to remind you… Lay down the materialism. Let go of the self-centeredness. Give up the idea of becoming a mini-god. It’s not worth it. As enchanting and illusive as it all seems, it’s not of spiritual value. 

What’s of spiritual value can’t be added up in the tangible. It can’t be purchased with views, likes and comments. What’s of spiritual value is an eternal connection contained inside of a very real, very loving, very vulnerable and very humble God. 🌱

Spirit · truth

Uncertain Growth

The length of the season I’m in seems shorter than ever now. I do realize my path will eventually change course and evolve into something else. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I am certain.

Now, in the midst of the certainty, there is great uncertainty.

You see I am certain of God. I am certain of His character, His love, His fellowship and His grace. I am certain of Jesus and His power that propels us into a greater, fuller, freer, healthier life. And I am most definitely certain of Holy Spirit and His ability to be constantly and consistently present. However, the uncertainty… The uncertainty grows.

Actually, this is uncertain growth. It’s a level of spiritual maturity I wasn’t prepared to encounter and embrace. It’s a paradigm shifting moment where Holy Spirit is saying, “Okay, you’ve followed Me for more than a decade. You’ve followed Me in the midst of your brokenness, insecurities, disappointments, pride and pain. And now, now that you’ve walked through all of that, you are standing in a place of glory. You are standing in a position of holiness that is asking you to leave the past behind and let go of your fear of your future. Follow Me in the fullness of that healing and restoration now.”

And so, you see I can’t consider past pain or future failures anymore. This season of stillness has brought me into a place of inner stillness that promises I will move forward, but my soul will stay still. It will not dig up the past in an attempt to interrogate it on end, and it will not leap forward into a hypothetical future. Instead, I will remain still, steadfast, moving ever so forward.

And I believe there is so much to be gained when we view Holy Spirit through this lens. Because, honestly, He cannot be fully understood or quantified. His integrative power is too focused on moving forward with the Father’s plan to restore and fulfill. 

And I guess what I am trying to say is this… Cultivating a deep-rooted relationship with Holy Spirit takes time. It takes time for us to learn how to trust Him. It takes time for Him to know that He can trust us. And it takes time for His intricate process of restoration and redemption to be worked out inside of us. However, after many seasons of following His process of refinement, we will find ourselves in a place of maturity where He says, “Okay, now follow the uncertain, unexplainable, significant nature of My presence, My glory and My heart. Follow it. Trust it. And know, that no matter how fast or slow it might be moving, it is spectacular and full of life!” 🌱

Spirit · truth

Three Years Later

On Tuesday my sister and I marked 3 years in NYC. If you know me or have followed my writings for a while then you know getting to this chapter of life was a journey for us. We’ve faced more life trials and obstacles than I’d wish on anyone; however, over the past three years, living in NYC has been a different kind of journey.

You see we don’t follow the flow of the cultural norm. We were raised in a household that taught us how to cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit and follow His lead over everything else. So, in life and in business, we make decisions based around what He says is best because that is faith… Fully following where He’s leading without fear, doubt, hesitation or selfishness. 

And it’s been challenging. It is challenging. We both have things we want in life; however, we’re both completely set on following the ideas, concepts, dreams and realities He’s shared with us over everything else.

A year ago, I shared about a mountain He’s asked us to climb. I said, “My sister and I have climbed lots of mountains before… Separately and together. But… THIS… THIS mountain is unique because we must take all that He has deposited inside of us (separately and together), multiply it with a new deposit of His gifts and then produce a finished product. Funny thing… Neither of us have a clue what the finished product will look like! Oh sure… We kind of know what it might feel like. And we definitely know what ideas need to be incorporated into the whole. However… the final outcome is a mystery.”

Since writing that, the mystery has unraveled itself in such a powerful and unexpected way. I am honestly blown away with the insight, revelation, wisdom, understanding, provision and connection He’s provided us with. I am blown away with His goodness to keep this ship fully sailing. I am blown away with who He is and how amazing it’s been to lean on Him in the midst of the extreme isolation that is our reality.

And I’m sharing this with you because I want to encourage you to keep moving forward with Him wherever He is leading. Because when we do… When we fully surrender to the world He sees… Well, then we can reconstruct. We can build. We can unite. We can create. We can help pull His trans-dimensional Kingdom down into this Earth. 🌱⚔️

heart · Spirit · truth

Following Growth

Growth… Growth & I have a love/hate relationship.

Wait… Let me rephrase that. Growth, as amazing as it is, feels like a antagonist in my life sometimes. Do I crave it? Sure I do! I crave growth and the results that come from following through with where I’m being led to develop and mature in life. I crave the feeling of becoming a healthier vessel from the inside out!

And, over the years, I’ve read so many books… You know the ones that encourage you to “Think and Grow Rich.” The ones that encourage you to focus on self-love, manifestations and such… And while those methods for growth have worked in my life, none of them have been as powerful or as long-lasting as following the Holy Spirit and His supernatural growth track.

His system… His ways… His ability to lead me in the best direction, customized and centered around what I need to grow is the most powerful and pure thing I’ve ever encountered.

And sure… Sure it’s filled with a lot of walks through valleys and continual climbing of mountains with a lot of highs and lows… However, the greatest part… The most amazing piece about following the Holy Spirit is the relationship that’s birthed within the process of following. It’s a feeling that’s greater than any self-love or love from another because it meets me at the very core of my spirit, heart and soul. It’s God’s love. His perpetual love makes the growth process worth every inch of the journey.

And I don’t know who I’m speaking to when saying this, but God (in His very essence) is completely interested in growing with US. He needs us as much as we need Him. And if we (I’m mainly speaking to myself) can just continue to follow with a pure and steady heart… A heart that wants to be free from all of the darkness, sickness, depression, fear and anxiety we’re feeling… Then I believe He will continue to help us grow into the most beautiful trees of LIFE… Trees of LIFE firmly planted within His garden of LIFE! 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward

Confidence · heart · soul · Spirit · truth

Strength… Without Asking

I heard God so clearly a few days ago…

“I am giving you a new level of strength today Amanda. You’ll need it for the next season you’re headed into after the new year. You will need Me in a greater way than ever before. You will need to place all of who you are… Who I have molded you into… Into My hands. You must rely on Me and My strength to lift you up and hold you tight.” He said.

Of course just hearing His words caused my heart to swell with gratitude.

Why? Well, I didn’t exactly ask for more strength. Instead, He saw my impending need for it in my next season of life. And, because I entirely trust Him, I willingly accepted His gift of strength.

You see I’m sharing this because I want to encourage you to lean heavily into a relationship with Him… One that truly causes you to develop, mature and grow. And I also want to encourage you to listen, believe and follow through with where He’s leading you: spirit, heart and soul.

Because… If I’m honest, I know I wouldn’t have made it through this chaotic year without the strength He’s been actively cultivating inside of my spirit, heart and soul for years.

Because of Him… Because I’ve chosen to place my life in His hands, I’ve had so much peace as the storms of 2020 have swirled around all of us.

And that’s what I hope and pray for you. I hope you have the faith, courage and humility to say, “I see that our world is a constant mess. I hear the billions of voices and vices screaming for my attention of the regular… Which is why, I really need to lean into You for strength. I need You to survive so that I may thrive in the Kingdom of God.” 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Wall Street

It’s been a year and a half since I started taking the train down to Wall Street to pray for the nation. In some seasons I’d go once a month. Others once a week. And then in one particular month, I went twice a week.

Why? Well because God asked me to.

He showed me some really powerful things about Federal Hall and it’s foundation, and then asked me to empty myself of myself and follow Him into a greater lifestyle of supernatural power, authority, dominion and prayer.

So now you might be wondering why I’m sharing this. Well… If I’m honest, I wouldn’t share this unless He asked me to… Which is why I’m going to say this….

In the eyes of this fast paced world, I’m a nobody. No fame. No fortune. No concrete success to write home about. However, in the eyes of God, I’m His child… A Queen who is richly blessed with a great inheritance, that is readily accessible, in the Kingdom of God. I’m also a faithful follower who is simply willing to let Him continuously empty me of death and decay so His Kingdom can advance far past the kingdom of darkness.

And you know I believe it’s vitally important to rest in what He’s asking of us, rather than what our world is constantly telling us to do. I believe it’s important to listen to His voice and allow it to speak louder than the others. Because, when we do… When we truly, wholeheartedly listen and follow Him… Well He will lead us into a lifestyle that will move spiritual mountains and change the course of the supernatural realms and dimensions of life for the better.

And so I hope… I truly hope you feel so compelled to just follow Him and keep moving forward with each step you take together. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Year 32

Photo by: Corey Rives Visual Art

Year 32… I’m looking at you.

But seriously… The other day I was zipping through Manhattan, watching the buildings pass me by and that’s when God began to remind me of a time… A time when I was 22 yrs old, on a plane, headed somewhere beachy.

As I looked out the plane window, I saw everything below me and I heard Him say, “Take it. Everything can be yours because I’ve given you power, authority and dominion over it. You just have to take it.”

That phrase… What He said to me 10 years ago… It struck me so hard on my subway ride the other day.

Actually, it struck me so hard that I could actually feel this new sense of confidence rise up inside of me. Almost like my human spirit was about to bust out of the seams of my body and take over the world in an effort to spread the most enormous amount of life and love to everyone I encounter. Almost like… Almost like I’d be insane to believe what He told me could ever be a fib.

And in that moment… In that moment I decided, “Okay God, all my cards are on the table again. You lead. I follow. And as always, I don’t know where we’re going, what we’re specifically doing or how we’re going to do it; however, as long as I’ve got You, Jesus and Holy Spirit with me, I know we can conquer everything.” 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

THIS Mountain

I’m climbing THIS mountain in front of me.

Actually… WE are climbing THIS mountain in front of US.

My sister and I have climbed lots of mountains before… Separately and together. But… THIS… THIS mountain is unique because we must take all that He has deposited inside of us (separately and together), multiply it with a new deposit of His gifts and then produce a finished product.

Funny thing… Neither of us have a clue what the finished product will look like! Oh sure… We kind of know what it might feel like. And we definitely know what ideas need to be incorporated into the whole.

However… the final outcome is a mystery.

And… To be completely honest with you… I like it that way because it reveals how much trust is rooted inside of our relationships with God and with each other.

After all… “It’s not always our business to know why God has asked us to do certain things. But it is ALWAYS our business to follow.”

So… If you’re reading this and you truly believe in the Godhead… If they are really the foundation and bedrock of your life: spirit, soul and body, then you MUST FULLY FOLLOW the Holy Spirit’s lead. And… I’ve learned that He doesn’t normally give a 2-step plan, a 5-step plan or a 10-step plan. He more or less says, “Here’s the next step… Now take it.” 🌱 #cultivatelife #bridgetwinderart #windersisters

Confidence · Mind · truth

Circling the Bottom

I don’t want to climb the mountain.
I don’t want to climb the mountain.

Yes I have the strength, the endurance and the capability… But I just don’t want to climb it.

And, so… Rather than climb the mountain, I’ve been circling the bottom for weeks. I’ve been circling it with hopes that He will change His mind.

But He hasn’t. He hasn’t… And so, through all of my whining and complaining, I know I must climb THIS mountain.

I must let go of more selfishness and stubbornness in order to follow Him up.

And I don’t know if you’ve ever truly followed Him before. In today’s culture, a true follow is challenging. We have 72 billion+ reasons to get distracted and misled. However, when we’re willing to go a little bit further with Him, He does open us up to more grace… More wisdom… More peace… And more treasure hidden inside of His heart and His Kingdom alone.

So… Up we go. 🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

Sometimes No

Following the Holy Spirit can be simple…

Following the Holy Spirit can be fun…

Following the Holy Spirit can be a life-changing/life-altering adventure of sorts.

But…. Well, what about when He says, “no?” Why is it so challenging to repeatedly move forward when He says, “No. No. No. That’s not it. Keep moving forward. Keep focusing on Me and my ways. I know what I am doing. You must continue to trust me in EVERY area Amanda.”

And honestly… Honestly I HATE when His response doesn’t make sense at all. I hate when I can’t wrap my head around Him and His thoughts and ways. I hate when He can see ahead of me, but then won’t let me in on the design and details because it will stunt my refinement, development, maturity and growth.

But that’s true submission you know?

The ability to keep moving forward with Him, regardless of fully knowing or understanding the “why.”

And I don’t know where you are in your walk and follow with Him right now; however, I do believe following through with the “no” is just as vital as following through with the “yes.” Because, even though the “no” contradicts the souls wants, it also pulls us into a tighter, more intimate relationship with God. It shows that we will trust His ways… And then have peace within that trust no matter the outcome.

And… I don’t know about you, but who wouldn’t want to be closer to Him? 🌱 #cultivatelife