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

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…

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…