heart · truth

Look for Him!

“You talk about God too much.”

It’s a statement I’ve heard a lot lately. And… If I’m 100% honest, it doesn’t bother me.

Why? Well because He’s very much a part of my life and my world… He’s sewn very deeply into the fabric of who I am.

So… So why wouldn’t I talk about Him. I mean… Most of us talk about things that are important to us right? 

We talk about our relationships, our kids, our jobs, our future aspirations… We talk about our current realities and how they ebb and flow.

So, it’s normal for me to discuss Him.

But now you might be thinking, “Okay, then show me where He’s ‘etched’ into your life?” And so I will.

I find Him… I find Him in EVERYTHING. I find Him when I sit and listen to friends and family talk. He’s there, showing the wide range of gifts and talents He’s deposited into each one of them. 

I find Him woven into moments that are dark, decrepit and unbearably difficult to handle. You know, the moments where you want to give up? Yeah, I find Him there ready and able to offer a strong, sturdy and secure branch to lean against.

You know where else I find Him? In moments that are completely still… Moments that are motionless. The ones that make you feel like, “Gosh, everything feels as it should be!” Yeah,  He’s right there.

However, I do believe my favorite place to find Him is that “place.” You know the “place” between where you are and where you’re trying to get too. The “place” that makes you acutely aware to look for every clue He might be leaving and how it might significantly connect to the current destination you’re seeking. Yeah, I love finding Him in all of those “places.” It’s just so pure… So divine… Almost like magic! 

So, before I leave you… Before I sign off and begin to get caught up in my reality of communing with and talking to God again… Let me leave you with this… Look for Him. Even if you don’t know Him, or only know a few things about Him. Become a seeker of life, beauty and grace. Open yourself up to the possibility that God might be WAY more than what He is to you in this present moment… I mean I believe He’s WAY more than He is to me in this present moment.

And then, then when you do discover Him in a new way. Lean into all of it. Become submerged in every ounce of goodness, fellowship and awe that you find! I know I will! 🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

Power Source

Is the world dark? Is fear an absolute in the minds and hearts of multitudes? Does it seem like there won’t ever be an end to the chaos, confusion and division in our current world?

Now… If you answered “yes” to my questions, then answer this: What perspective are you viewing life from? Are you looking from your spirit or your soul? And, if you’re looking from a spiritual plane, is it broken and imbalanced, or have you allowed the Godhead to restore it while bringing new life and health to you as a whole?

You see I’m asking these questions because I’ve opened my heart and allowed God to refine my spirit and soul. So, what my spirit perceives is from the Kingdom of God, where power, glory and goodness reside. And, honestly, it’s very challenging for me to believe darkness will win because I believe in and actively use a power source that is stronger than what the physical world is currently experiencing.

I believe in the supernatural power of Jesus Christ.

And, in this eternal moment, He is King; and He has given every single person that calls out to Him power, authority and dominion to trample darkness and every evil agenda that comes his/her way.

You see Jesus isn’t an act, a game or a religious pursuit. Instead, He is entirely alive, real, active and close to those who are accessing Him through his/her human spirit.

And my God, why wouldn’t we want to access Him? Why wouldn’t we want to pursue an agenda that offers us the ability to become a new creation: spirit, soul, heart and body? Why wouldn’t we want to thrive in all that we’re doing, saying and thinking?

And I’ll end with this… I understand Jesus is 100% misunderstood. I get that He’s been misconstrued by religious heads and figures of our days. And honestly, I am very sorry for that. I’m sorry that He’s been given a pathetic, heinous reputation; however, it’s time to do away with the way He’s been perceived. It’s time to lean heavily into the power coming from the Kingdom of God. Because, I truly believe with my entire heart, we won’t make it in the days that are coming if we are living without His great power. 🌱 #cultivatelife

 

Spirit · truth

Bitter-fully Good

Have you ever faced off with bitterness before?

If so, then you’ll understand the constant, alienating feeling of being “wronged.”

But, what happens when the bitterness you’re experiencing is aimed at God?

You see… I’ve been asking myself this question for two weeks now because He’s called me to a higher level of obedience and trust in Him.

However, my selfish ways want things that oppose His ways. The selfish pieces of my heart keep reminding me of how unjust and unfair I believe He’s being towards me.

And… In all honesty, I’m blinded. Blinded by my self. Blinded by my will. Blinded by my desires and ways.

But… I’m also tired. I’m tired of being hostile with my best friend. I don’t like feeling like He’s wronged me when, deep down, my heart knows He’s truly good.

Actually… His goodness is the very reason I keep giving Him my will and selfish ways and desires. His goodness is what keeps leading pieces of my selfish heart to a place of repentance and peace.

And so… Well that’s why I am sharing this. To remind you, wherever you are, to stay focused on Him at all times. And to choose His will over every other thing that’s presented before you. Because He… He is ALWAYS good! 🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Wait-y

Patience… Patience is really, really, really challenging for me.

You see I’ve learned how to be patient with people and situations that are out of my control… But patience with God, myself and my own life…. Well that’s a completely different story.

You see I just don’t like to wait. Waiting… Well waiting seems SO boring and uneventful sometimes. And it doesn’t matter how many times God tells me to “wait” or “just be patient Amanda,” I still find myself complaining to Him like a small child who wants what I want NOW!

But I suppose I’m learning something while I wait. Because I see patience… I see the time that surrounds her is vital and good… And I guess… I guess it’s not so boring and uneventful if I seize this time to focus on other things while I wait.

Because one day… One day the waiting will be over. The waiting will be over and I just don’t want to look back and see that I wasted so much time complaining… Complaining rather than embracing what I have that’s so GOOD right NOW! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

soul · truth

It Is Good

Do you know what it’s like to go through things that are truly agonizing for the spirit and soul? Moments in life where you promise yourself that you will get through “this” and you WILL live to tell about “it?”

Yeah… I believe I’ve lived through so many of these moments. Moments of life that have completely broken my heart, forced me out into the great unknown and left me in a place of complete surrender and freedom.

But then… Well I also believe these moments are interesting because they can lose their shine after a while. Time passes and the experiences aren’t as fresh as they once were. Life balances out and you begin to breathe a grateful breath of fresh air again. And then you hope that life always stays like “this”… That you don’t have to face anymore heartache, agony and pain.

And I don’t know about you, but I think this is where I am right now… Living in a time where life isn’t heart-wrenching, agonizing and grey… But then it’s also not over-the-moon/my heart’s greatest desire fantastic… It’s just… Well, it’s just good.

And in this goodness is so much grace. Grace that reminds me that the past is in the past, and the future is still a mystery to be lived. But today… Today is good. 🌱❄️ #cultivatelife #justlive

 

Spirit · truth

The Leak Factor

I watched honey run down the side of my breakfast this morning and I immediately thought of a phrase I’ve coined… “The Leak Factor.”

I guess it’s been at least 6 years now since I’ve been using it… And no I didn’t create it, an old friend did.

You see he once said, “Amanda, you have to stay aware of what’s leaking out of you and onto others. Because what’s inside of you will eventually come out. And you want that stuff to be good! You want it to lift people up, not tear them down.”

Now honestly, in the moment I was kind of irritated because I knew he was pointing at the pride, jealousy and insecurity that was “leaking” out of me onto others.

But today… Today I’m really fond of the leak factor. I almost always think of it before I open my mouth or share anything in a social media setting… Because, well, I believe there’s enough hate, brokenness, bitterness, wickedness and insecurity leaking out of people into this world.

And so… I constantly challenge myself to cultivate a heart that’s full of peace, joy and, most importantly, the love found in the heart of Father God.

And I don’t know where you are today? I don’t know what you’re leaking onto others… Hopefully it’s good… Hopefully it’s lovely… Hopefully it promotes life! However, I do challenge you to ask yourself, “What’s leaking out of me and onto others?” 🧐🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

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

Potential in the Good…

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“Love is not boastful”…
Love is not prideful… That’s what that means to me…
And it means it in the most obvious and clear way possible… It’s important that I learn this and learn it well right now… Because I need to clearly love without saying a word…
And for some reason that is a bit of a challenge for me… Because it takes me back to a thought of who God is to me right now… In this moment… In this chapter in my life… And I am reminded that he is simply found in the hearts of people… specifically children…
Now that doesn’t mean I don’t talk to him anymore because I do… But something hit me last night in a clear way… I actually haven’t had something hit me this clear in a while…
And it went a long with the comment I made to a 12-year-old… She was carrying on about an adult she doesn’t like… And describing her plans to foil the woman’s life because she dislikes her…
In the midst of it all… Well I stopped her and said, “Just be kind. Be kind and find the good in her. That’s your mission for the week. Everyone has good in them, so find the good in her”…
And that conversation led me to a thought… Hours later I realized… Right now… At this moment in my life… Well I find God when I see some type of goodness in people… Because it encourages me… It gives me hope… It allows me to see that there is potential there to work with… It helps me understand that not all is lost… That one day that person can become an incredibly loving, good, positive light for the world around them…
And I think in this moment it’s good that I saw that… Because I feel a little challenged… I feel very hopeful… But I feel challegened and kind of question whether or not I can do what God has asked me to do… But in the midst of it I want to follow the advice I gave the 12-year-old… Find the goodness… Find it and focus on it and allow it to lead me to the next part of my mission…
And for some reason.. Well I feel like focusing on the good in a person… Looking towards their strength… Well I feel like that’s what God is to me in a way right now… That I can find him within anyone around me if I am just willing to look hard enough…
And for now… Well for now that’s good enough…
Confidence · Spirit

Value Found

2015/01/img_2107.jpgIt’s taken a moment… But I’m learning that as my self-worth grows… As I begin to value me more and more… Well I don’t put up with those who undervalue me anymore…

A year ago… Moving to the west coast… Starting a new life… A new job… Being around everything new… Well I was at a place where I didn’t appreciate me at all…

And during the first six months of being here I grew but my self-worth didn’t…

So standing in this place now… Being here and feeling like I’m undervalued in a place of work… Well I don’t know what to do with it…

I feel like I woke up one day and realized “oh, I’ve changed. And I’ve been weak. And I’ve allowed people to push me around long enough.”

And within this realization I begin to see how much I go out of my way because I want to… And then it’s never appreciated… And I don’t do things to be appreciated… But how far is too far?…

When do I begin to set limits and boundaries?… And how do I stay true to myself and make sure my value doesn’t get looked over?… And that I don’t look over it myself?…

Because I used to say things… But now I just do them… And I don’t complain… But I find myself frustrated with moments…

And then when I think about the fact of getting a raise at work… And what that means…

Well I realize that money doesn’t determine my value… That you can’t place a price on someone… That money won’t really change my intangible life in any way… Because I’m already at a place of happiness and contentment… A place of peace… So as nice as it is to receive something like that… Well it doesn’t really determine my value…

And I think this is a good place for me to be… In this moment… This week… To realize that an increase in pay isn’t going to change the way people I work for and with view me… That I’m still going to be undervalued… And that things aren’t going to change here…

But then the important thing is that I’ve changed for the better… That I finally value me… Me for just being me… No more no less… And that I finally see what others that value me have seen for so long… And that it’s good…

And I don’t know what drives a person to remove themselves from an environment where they’re not cared for and appreciated… But I do know that when God says “move”… When he says “it’s time to move forward and close this chapter of your life”… Well I’ll do it with a grateful heart… One that finally values and appreciates me more than ever before…

And more than anything I feel like I’ll finally move forward with more of me than I’ve ever had before…

Confidence · Mind · soul · Spirit · truth

God

2015/01/img_2324.jpgOver the years my relationship with God has changed… It’s evolved so very much…

When I was a kid… Well he was the one all the adults around me talked about… The one I’d hear it was important to have a relationship with… And my grandmother taught me so much about the Spirit of God and how he was the one I should cultivate a very personal and intimate relationship with…

As I grew up… Well God became more of something instead of a someone… I learned more and more about him through people than for myself… At school, in church, at Bible Studies… It was my responsibility to have a relationship I knew… But everyone kept telling me what theirs was like so I watched as listen… Never truly trying to cultivate a relationship with him… Because I thought I knew… I thought I had all the answers…

Then when I turned 17 I began to hear the voice of God for the first time… And I realized how prideful I was in thinking I had so many answers… That I knew the personality of God, when all I truly knew was based on other experiences….

So I started cultivating my own relationship with him… Unfortunately I will still listening to those around me too much… It was still more about what I thought I knew versus what was real…

So not until I turned 21 did I truly begin to cultivate a relationship with him… And for the next 4-5 years I would stay on this amazing journey… Learning about God in ways of never thought about him before… And he’d speak to me and tell me things in the realist way I knew…

And I enjoyed that relationship so much… I learned for myself that I strongly disliked the church for what it had taught me about God… And that I strongly disliked the school I grew up in for the same reasons… And then I found myself strongly disliking my grandmother and her ministry too…

Of course I’ve had to come full-circle with all of it… Realizing that I was gaining something of my own… Not something that was someone else’s… Not something that was borrowed and then passed out and expected to be believed by everyone… But a relationship that truly belonged to me…

And then came the time that I realized that I wanted to study Jewish teachings and learn more principles about the way God designed the earth… And those things were and still are cool and so real to me…

And as I did that my relationship with him changed even more because I grew more annoyed by what I was being told versus what I knew God was directly saying to me…

In a way I can compare my relationship with God like the one I experience at work… I feel like God’s a celebrity… He’s printed about in the tabloids and everyone thinks they know him and who he is and what he stands for and does… But those that truly know him… The ones that talk to him on a daily basis like I do with my boss… Well they know for a fact that God is who they experience on a moment by moment basis…

So now… Now I’ve come this far… And being out here in Cali… Well I’m disconnected from the religion I was raised in… Meaning… I’m alone… And nothing is really familiar… So I’ve tried to connect myself to what I knew… To jump into a church… Something familiar…

And you know what I’ve learned… Well I’ve learned that my relationship with God is changing… It’s still not what I hear the preacher preach about… And honestly I still find myself annoyed with church as a whole…

I don’t read my Bible… I haven’t read my Bible in years… I don’t find anything really intriguing and interesting… Maybe it’s because of the years it was crammed down my throat through a Christian upbringing, Christian school and the Bible college…

It’s just not for me…

But you know where I do find God?… Where I feel like our relationship is at its realist?… Where I am at my realist right now?…

It’s in my drive to work… Or my drive anywhere for that matter… Of course I can always talk to him… But my relationship with him has changed because I’ve changed… I’ve changed through what I see… And what I see on a daily basis is so spectacular… The mountains… The hills… The trees… The sunsets… The 24/7 greenery…. The colors of a flower blooming year round…

God stopped becoming what’s in a book and what other people were telling me… He stopped becoming what he told me he was and what I assumed he’d always be… He became something more when he showed me the simplicity of his creation… When he opened an opportunity for me to move to Cali and stand in awe of his creation… Well that’s when it got real…

And even more than that… It became so much more real when I got this job and became a kind of mother to three kids… Because I’ve learned so many principles from them… And I stand in awe of the way love can overpower anger, hate and jealousy in a child and home… As long as I stay patient and willing…

So too me… Right now… Within my relationship with God… Well, I thought it was real before… But as I continue to live… Well I realized it’s so much more… And it’s truly alive now… More than ever before…

Because it’s no longer him talking to me while I sit behind a computer and piece information together… It’s no longer laying in bed at night and talking to him… It’s no longer the long walks to class I used to have in college… And it’s definitely not what everyone else is saying…

Because for the first time it’s a realness through what I see… And through what I experience through helping children learn and grow… It’s so real… It’s so much God that God isn’t even mentioned within it… I just know he’s there and I thank him for it…

And if being in awe is what this relationship is right now… If it’s what’s keeping me full on a constant basis… Well then I’m ok with that… Because I honestly don’t want to read another scripture or hear another message… I’m ok with just where I am…

And the best part is… It’s mine… It’s my relationship… Based on where I am in life… Standing in awe constantly… And I’m so ok with that…