heart · Spirit · truth

Capacitate

Yesterday, I caught myself looking very intently at old photos…. And they gripped me in such a way that I thought, “I don’t even see myself in these photos anymore. The person I see in these photos is just an image… A mirage… A shell of me in a once lived life. A girl who was searching very deeply for identity, security and belonging. A young woman who needed to be completely stripped down and cleansed of her brokenness, confusion, selfishness and deep-rooted pride.”

And now I do realize we don’t all look at our past selves, only in an effort to compare it to our present selves. However, well… I do because I love to track my growth rate.

Which is why sometimes… Sometimes I wish I could travel to the past and tell that girl, “Hey you, you’re gonna go through a lot of challenging processes, but they will refine you. They will develop and mature you. They WILL cause you to grow. Actually they will propel you to grow in such a way that you’ll feel isolated A LOT. And you’ll feel misunderstood even more. However, your capacity…. Amanda, your capacity to move forward with the plans and the will of God… Wow! It will grow! You will be able to take on more than you ever imagined… More than you ever schemed up in all of those phone calls… Yeah, the capacity God’s going to instill and install inside of you will be so voluminous. So don’t stop. Don’t ever stop growing!”

And you know… I say all of this in this moment because I am wrestling deeply with capacity. I’ve been asking God for months to grow it… To give me a greater understanding of how it works… And He’s been very reliable in answering. But the feeling of growth… The amount of pressure it takes for one to reach the maximum amount one can contain or produce… Gosh it is a challenging process.

However, I do believe… I truly, truly believe it is so very healthy to outgrow who we were years ago, months ago or even a few weeks ago. Because if we’re ever going to truly thrive the way God intended us to, then we MUST be willing to capacitate. We must be willing to stare ourselves down in the mirror and say, “I don’t know who you’re becoming or how you’re going to get there, but you will move forward. You will grow. And you will do it with Holy Spirit leading the way!” 🌱 #cultivatelife #keepmovingforward

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

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

Girth Growth…

IMG_2356Does God ever ask you something, but you have absolutely no idea what He means by what He says?… He just flat out says, “I want you to do this, this and that…” And then you’re left thinking, “Great, this, this and that sound lovely… but what do they mean?”…

Well that’s exactly where I find myself in this moment… Trusting, yet again, in what I don’t know, what I don’t understand, and what I don’t know how to apply…

And, in the midst… Well I feel a constant change… A constant, steady shift inside of me…

And there’s something about change… Growth… The desire for increase…

Sure, we all want more… But are we patient enough to wait as the growth takes place inside of us?…

For so many years I’ve looked at growth incorrectly… I’ve thought, “Gosh, it’s time to learn how to trust myself and God again?… I thought I knew how to do that pretty well!”…

Now, I’m learning that both are true… Yes, it is time to learn how to trust myself and Him again… But it’s not like the trust I had before is gone… It’s just expanding in size…

Because, when I think of growth… I think of the girth, or circumference of a tree… At one time, every tree allowed us to place both of our hands around it… Because it’s girth was small, and the tree had not come close to growing to it’s full potential…

But as time went by, the girth of the tree began to get wider… And soon we aren’t able to hug it with both arms touching one another…

To me… That’s spiritual growth…

Yes, it takes a lot of patient nurturing… But I am growing…

Spirit · truth

Spring…. Spiritual Growth 

It’s Spring… And somehow I always tend to forget what Spring means for me spiritually… What’s it’s meant to me for the last 10 years…It usually sneaks up on me in the most unusual way… This area of life that I need growth in… That I need work on…

In one way or another… Well I find the Holg Spirit challenging my soul to grow… To grow deeper and become stronger…

And it’s not always easy… And it’s usually different every Spring… And I usually don’t like it…

Of course in hind sight… Well in hinge sight I’m so grateful for the past Springs of spiritual growth… Because they’ve truly helped shape me into how I’ve become today…

But being in the midst of it… Well that’s a different story…

Because as much as I’d like to be completely confident… Well I see cracks… Areas where I’m not so confident… Where insecurity is leaking all over the place… And I feel like I need a towel to clean the mess of myself up…

But then in the midst… Well I’m reminded that this is part of life… Part of my life specifically… Part of choosing to continue to follow even when I can’t see what next…

And in this moment… Well I am a little nervous… Not as nervous as five years ago… Two years ago… Or even last year… But I’m still nervous…

But I feel like through it all I’m about to press through this season of spiritual growth… Which encourages me to just keep living in today…