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 · 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

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

 

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

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

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

Mind · soul · truth

How Did I Get Here?

Last night I sat at a cabaret performance… Which is generally not my chosen cup of tea. And… All in one moment I began to think, “How did I get here? How is this my life? I never asked for this at all, but this is my life.” Then I said it to my sister and she laughed really hard. But it’s true… How on earth did I get here?

You see that’s how I feel a lot of the time… I feel like I’ve lived so many different lives because I’ve moved around so much. Constantly I feel like nothing is ever truly stable. Almost like God keeps me at something until He decides my mission is complete and then He moves me on to something else. At times that means a new city with new people… A new way of life.

And it’s not easy. There are at least 10 times a day when I want what I want… Nothing more or less. And then there are at least 5 times a day when I think, “I should be following my own will and way. I should be creating the goals and calling the shots. Not God. What does He even know? I feel farther away from my hopes, dreams and passion than ever before.” But then I know… I know deep, deep down that I must follow Him. No matter what anyone else tells me they think I should be doing… or what they think God thinks I should be doing… I am going to listen to the Holy Spirit for myself.

And so I guess this is when my hard-headedness comes in. Because I’m going to keep pushing forward. And although it doesn’t make a lick of sense in the tangible, I really truly believe something amazing is happening in the supernatural.

So call me crazy. Maybe I am. But I just have to keep moving forward with Him.

 

soul · Spirit · truth

Selfless Madness

I’m convinced the most challenging part of being selfless is the reality that you gain virtually nothing from it. Sure there’s some type of intangible lesson learned… But as far as tangible gain, it’s not there.

And that’s where I am right now… Wrestling with God over this idea… Over this lifestyle of being selfless. He told me He’d bring me to this place, a place where I’d be left with nothing more than Him and His wants and needs for my life and others… And so, here I am.

However, He didn’t tell me what came after this place of selflessness. He didn’t tell me I’d have to pitch a tent and live here and that my soul would constantly feel at war. He didn’t tell me that I’d have to grow and adapt and fully embrace every inch of this. He didn’t tell me it would seem confusing, or that I would be frustrated with my reality.

Instead… He just made selflessness sound so good and appealing. He sold me the idea because He knew I’d follow through like I always do.

And so this morning I sat and said, “But what about me?! Don’t I get some kind of something? A reward? Anything?” He said, “No… That’s the point. There’s no reward to being selfless. You have no personal gain. You’re doing this for the gain of others and my Kingdom. It’s not about you. It’s about Me.”

And so… As angry as I wanted to be with Him… I picked myself up and just embraced what He said. I mean He was and always is telling the truth.

And as seemingly frustrated as I feel about where God continues to lead me as I follow, I’m convinced that there has to be some kind of method and outcome to His madness. There just has to be.🌸🌱 #cultivatelife