faith · Fullness of Jesus · glory · goodness of god · keep moving forward

The Jig is Up!

I’ve never told this story on a public platform before…. Three years ago, mom, Bridget and I were sitting in Shreveport, La waiting for our house to sell.

Art… Art wasn’t selling. Our finances were nonexistent. And, we had sold everything of significant financial gain to pay bills on time.

Meaning, life… Life was dark. And, our future… Our future was bankruptcy.

Of course we all three went through a wide range of emotions during that time. And… God was silent for the most part, but He promised me we would not file for bankruptcy. So… I held Him to His word EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Once we sold our last piece of gold and paid our mortgage on time, the jig felt like it was up! So we surrendered the future to God. The miracle we needed was in His hands. There was no more we could do. He would have to uphold the promise He made.

And then, about a week later, we received our first and only offer on the house. It came in the number 5, signifying God’s grace. We were in complete awe and so grateful God made a way. He took us to our ends… To a place where we had to completely and totally rely on Him to see His promises fulfilled.

But the story doesn’t end there… You see we still didn’t have the finances to pay the mortgage until we moved. So AGAIN, we held God to His promises.

And then out of NOWHERE, someone contacted my sister wanting to commission a 5 foot painting of Jesus (again signifying Gods grace). He said, “Name a price.” And so we did, and the finances completely covered us, paid for mom’s move and moved us to NYC.

The best part… We NEVER filed for bankruptcy. God held true to His PROMISES. The miracle came when we least expected it, but when we were most prepared for it in our hearts because we had completely surrendered everything to Him. No man or woman could fix our situation. He had to do it.

And I don’t know who this resonates with right now. However, I want you to know, God is NOT short in finishing what He started. If He made a PROMISE, He will fulfill it in His timing. And… He might just fulfill it in such away that even nonbelievers will see that Jesus is King and God is sovereign. 🌱⚔️🛡#cultivatelife 

brokenness · death · healing · heart · love of god · refine

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

capacity · focus · grow · heart · process

“Bettering” My Heart

Oh boy… I hear it again, “What’s in your heart Amanda? I’m searching your innermost parts to see what’s planted there and what kind of ground it’s growing on. Are you going to let me have the things that are languishing? Are you going to surrender the fear that’s keeping you from moving forward? And what about the healthy roots that have been established on good ground? Are you going to focus on them and the life they’re giving, or are you going to disregard them because you desire growth in other areas you aren’t ready for yet? Tell me what’s happening inside of you.”

Yes, it’s true. God examines my heart a lot. He inspects the middle ground of my spirit, soul and body more times than I’d like; however, His inspection is always for good measure. He’s always looking to refine areas in me that are broken, afraid and seemingly a little lost. And then He’s constantly prepared to show me other areas that have grown beyond my wildest comprehension.

And, to be quite honest, it’s challenging to listen to God’s plan for “bettering” my heart. But it’s also so good. So good that I have to say, “Okay God, let’s do this! Bring inner healing and deliverance to these areas. Oh, and please teach me how to increase here. I want to thrive at a higher frequency so that I may cultivate a greater capacity for life.

You see I’m sharing this because I hope you have a similar relationship with Him. I hope you live and operate from a real, true spiritual reality, rather than the false reality that’s marketed to us on the regular.

Because living through the lens of God’s reality means that we are constantly and consistently willing to lean into the Kingdom of God and all it has to offer us. It means we meet every challenge He presents us with with gladness in our hearts. Because, when we do… When we truly begin to live from His perspective, well I believe we will cultivate lives (spirit, soul, heart and body) beyond our wildest dreams. 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife

authority & dominion · challenge · follow · heart · listen · power · relationship

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
Spirit

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

freedom · Mind · refine · soul

Dressed in Lies?

I got on the train this morning and couldn’t help but find myself staring at the young man across from me…. Dressed from head to toe in some of the “best” brands and jewelry around. You could just tell he felt “cool” and “complete” because that’s what those clothing brands stand for. But then I looked into his eyes and I saw some of the deepest pain I’ve ever seen. It really took me a moment to stop staring too because his brokenness was so strong it reached out and touched me.

You see I believe we buy so many lies about what causes us to feel complete in life. Like we honestly believe having more “stuff” will do something for us. However, when I looked into this young man’s eyes, I didn’t see gain… I saw loss. I saw death. I saw brokenness, heartbreak, sadness and lack of security. I saw someone who puts on a fashion facade everyday because that’s what our culture says we should do.

And I don’t mean to sound so honest, but I just wish we would wake up. I wish we could see that we’ve been lied too over and over again. I wish we could see that no amount of tangible possession will ever make us feel whole, complete and loved on the inside.

And I know there are so many clothing brands, lifestyle brands, movements, societies and groups of thought that want to make us feel validated, valuable, worthy and connected. But then every time I look at these things I wonder, “Why can’t we all just see that we, as a culture, are lacking foundational stability and security in God? Why do we keep tip-toeing around the obvious; and why can’t we start opening our eyes to the reality that this entire universe operates off of the intangible, spiritual ways first and foremost?” And, “When will we ever learn that our brokenness, heartache, sadness and insecurity cannot be healed because we decided to buy a new top that supports a positive mindset?”

And I don’t know when we will see the truth; however, I do believe movements, mindsets and brands don’t really stand a chance to the supernatural way of life. If we want to truly feel free, alive, connected, healthy and whole… Then we must be healed in the spiritual, supernatural ways of life first! 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit

I Cry

I laid in bed the night before last and wanted to cry because I felt so weak… So emotional… So caught in the chaos and frustration of life.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life is good. Life is very, very good. But… Sometimes I just want to cry. Sometimes I do cry. I cry about the loss of life my family has experienced. I cry about how God is going to seemingly continue to restore everything and make sense of the pain I feel. I cry because I am weak, and only made strong and stable through Him alone.

It’s funny, people say to me all the time, “Amanda, you’re so strong. You’ve encountered so much and been through so much adversity. You handle it so well. You’re just so strong.”

And as true as my strength appears, none of it… not a single ounce… is found within myself. God literally allowed my world to shake so hard, to the point that there was nothing left to hold onto but Him.

And so when life reminds me of loss… When it reminds me of pain… When I’m left in a constant haze of “why” followed by streams of tears down my face… Well I remember that He’s there. I remember that God is sitting with me while I sit in my closet and cry, hoping for a solution to this madness called life. I remember that my pursuit of Him is the only solution I’ll ever need because He is the only One that keeps me consistently full, at peace and alive! 💃🏻⚔️🎄 #cultivatelife

Mind · Spirit

Tired Follower

You know.. Anyone that follows what I write should know by now that I talk about the cultivation of life and following the Spirit. I want it to be known that just living the life He designed for us, filled with passion and purpose, is what’s best.

And of course I love to celebrate life’s victories. And I find joy in plowing through the work God has set before me. But… well sometimes the journey is flat out frustrating! Some days I would like to just curl up in a ball and say, “I’m done. I don’t want to follow anymore. I’m frustrated beyond belief with God and His guidance. I opt out!”

And I get that this the life I’ve chosen… And I see that I am going to continue to learn, develop, mature and grow… But today, today the journey isn’t on my favorite list at all. 🌷💃🏻 #cultivatelife #justlive

(Fuller thoughts in video below)

Spirit

Why?

Sometimes I don’t understand why God cares so much… Is it that we mutually care? That I come to the table too? That it’s a 50/50 deal where we are both all hands on deck in this thing called life?

I mean, it just doesn’t make sense to me why He’s led me down this road of authenticity, security and identity. It’s like a bread-crumb trail without any real knowledge of what the destination is.

Why do you care so much God? Why are you so into me?

He’s just a very strange dude. But you know? I really do love Him so much. He is SO good, even when life is bad… Even when it’s sucked and been extremely painful to walk through… He’s been good.

And I just want people to know, if you’re willing to go all the way with Him… Then He’s willing to go all the way with you. He’s just the most incredible person I know. ♥️

Spirit

Just a Prince

Yesterday I was on the train heading uptown to SoHo… My stop, “Prince Street.”

Right before the train came to a stop, a new thought jumped on board… “If Satan is just a prince of this world, then why are we letting him reign over it?”

Immediately my mind started to ponder the reality.

You see I believe when we accept Jesus Christ we are invited into the Kingdom of God to cultivate life… Funny thing, the life around us (or the world) is ruled by an insecure, yet very crafty prince of darkness. But then God asks us to take on our royalty and to reign over this prince.

Because I believe God’s view of us is higher than the view He has of Satan. It’s kind of like the monarchy in England. Harry and William are both princes. Both respect their grandmother. They do not try to overthrow her. And they also realize William will be given the power and authority to reign over the people after his grandmother and father pass away. And then Harry knows and understands, and hopefully respects his brother’s anointing and given authority too. He would never overstep it or overthrow it.

So then my question is, “Why do we allow Satan (who is just a prince) to overstep our God-given power, anointing and authority? Why do we casually sit back and allow him to reign over our lives and decide what rules and reigns in the world? Why have believers in Christ become insecure, pathetic losers who just sit in a corner and cry, when we could just take back what’s rightfully ours?”

As a body of people who are supposed to represent Christ… I believe we are lame. I believe we are trying too hard to be relevant and hip with the culture of Satan when God says, “UMMM, Hello! I called you to stand out and be different and actually make a freaking impact because you have been given the power and authority.”

You see I believe our power, authority and anointing through Christ should actually set us apart. Not the way we dress or the things we have or the messages we preach… But the glory of God we walk in through the Spirit in every moment.

So if you half-way see what I am saying… Then please, wake up and take back your God-given power and authority back right now.