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

Spirit · truth

Heaven’s Pace

Last week I told you that God was examining my heart again…

Of course, in the moment I didn’t really understand what the examination was all about. I mean… He does inspect it quite often, but this time… This time felt different. 

So, in true “Amanda form,” I questioned Him about it.

His response, “I’m checking out your capacity. You’ve been asking me for two months to increase your capacity, and I’m ready to do it. So, here I am inspecting the middle ground of your being to make sure it’s prepared to handle the increase of responsibilities I’m sending your way.”

Okay… When I heard this, I was truly excited!

You see over the years I’ve learned that God will not give us more than we contain. Sure, the world’s system has a way of offering us piles of things we aren’t prepared for, but God… God is unique in the fact that He never wants to overwhelm our refinement, development, maturity and growth. Meaning, we can incessantly ask for things, but He’s probably not going to hand them over until we’ve matured into the version of self that He needs us to be.

His process is holy you know?.. It offers us the grace to go at Heaven’s pace. And sure… Sure it takes times to get where we’re going; however, when we do get there, we are able to contain the weight of the responsibilities He’s entrusted us with because we have the capacity to hold it.

And I don’t know if I’m making perfect sense when explaining this; however, I do hope and pray you are inspired to remain focused with where He has you right now. I hope you don’t settle and begin to chase after systems that will ultimately lead to death and destruction of your spirit, soul and heart. Because, I believe, the refinement, development maturity and growth He’s taking you through will provide you with the capacity you need to move forward in every aspect of life. 🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

“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

Spirit · truth

Don’t Stop. Do Wait.

Corey Rives Visual Art

About two months ago I wrote about a spiritual mountain I didn’t want to climb. I explained that the mountain would require me to exercise more faith in God and His ways than ever before. I also shared that more faith required me to exchange more of my selfish, stubborn wants and ways for His path forward.

Well, I’m truly happy to report that the climb up is going VERY well.

You see with each step I take I am reminded of the truth that faith… Faith is a lifestyle.

To me faith isn’t simply believing in God and His Kingdom. Instead, it’s an action. It requires us to continuously and consistently step outside of our comfort zone to do the things He’s asked of us, even when we don’t see immediate results in the physical.

And sure, it’s very easy to do what works for us because we’re selfish, stubborn people who like the idea of having control over the situation; however, if we can’t fully follow through with where God is leading and be patient in the process, then we will most definitely become stagnant, frustrated and completely overwhelmed with “why” things aren’t “working out.”

And I guess I’m sharing this because I want to encourage you to keep moving forward in the things of God, but also to be very patient with His leading. A lifestyle of faithfulness doesn’t produce a harvest overnight, especially if He’s asking you to do big things for His Kingdom. Instead, it takes many, many moments of stepping out and stepping forward before we reach the destination He’s promised us.

So, if you feel like I have, please don’t stop, but do wait. 🌱 #cultivatelife

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

 

soul · Spirit · truth

Keep The Peace

Keep the peace…. Even when life’s circumstances push you to the limit, remember why you have it… Remember to stay focused on the One that can’t be shaken, moved or truly manipulated.

Keep the peace. Keep it down in you. Hold on to it tight and don’t let it go. I know things can get crazy, hazy and confusing as hell at times, but I hope and pray peace keeps you anchored, grounded and completely secure.

Oh and don’t forget…. You know… The One… The One that holds the peace. Don’t forget about Him.

Always, always, always keep your entire self: spirit, soul and body focused on Him.

You know I never understood that when I was younger… I never understood how my mother, mentors and grandmothers seemed so sure of God. But now… Now that I have a more developed relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit I more so get it. I get what it means to feel fear and choose peace. I see why it’s vital to trust the words of Holy Spirit over what millions upon billions of restless, insecure sources spew out.

And I know our world (and maybe even your own personal world) seems to be spinning into a chaotic mess… A mess that we cannot afford to control… But… Well… Keep the peace 🌱#cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

Ever-Growing

What’s real? What’s true? What’s eternally lovely and ever-growing? That… That is love.

However… It’s not human love. For human love is too faulty. Too futile. It’s too fatal.

You see this love, this love is pure. This love is whole and complete because it’s structured for one place and one place only.

What’s that place you may ask? That place is the heart.

Deep beneath the surface of the skin… Beneath the layers of the ill-beaten soul lies the heart. And it… It is THE prime real estate of the spirit. A place so deep and intimate I’m convinced no man or woman can fully know it.

You see I believe our hearts are created to contain a love that’s so powerful, so magnificent, so great that we cannot help but constantly be overrun with the joy of the Lord when we are consumed with it.

For this love… His love… It brings healing. It brings peace. It brings restoration. It stops anxiety and depression and calamity of all sorts in its tracks. It can stand on every single battlefield and win the war when darkness seems to overshadow life.

It’s the love of Father God. It’s the love that Jesus walked this earth in. It’s what I feel coming off of Holy Spirit when I’m in His presence. It’s the sweetest, most beautiful thing I’ve ever known. And it’s made… It crafted for me and for YOU! ♥️🌱 #cultivatelife #cultivatelove

Confidence · Spirit · truth

New Assignment

For about a year now it seems as though God’s been emptying me of more… More fear. More idolatry. More selfishness. More hurt and pain. More of me.

And to be completely honest with you, it’s been a challenge for me to let go of more without an understanding of “why?”

I just keep questioning the need for the empty space inside of me, “Why does He need me to be so empty on the inside? Why does He need so much space? What’s your purpose in all of this God?”

Well two weeks ago He began to reveal some things to me… Things I never saw coming. The reason He emptied me of lies, manipulation, idol worship, fear and pain.

You see the new assignment He’s given me is a big responsibility. And so I guess I get it. I get why it was so important to stay focused on the path in front of me. I get why He said, “Don’t look to the right or to the left. Just follow Me. It will all make sense and come together in time. You’ll understand eventually.”

And so I just want to encourage you… Where ever you are in life… Where ever Holy Spirit might be leading you… Just keep following. Even when the process seems challenging, long-winded and misunderstood, He knows what He’s doing.

And what He’s doing will always create and promote the capacity for new life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Mind · soul · truth

Kingdom of Lies

Lies… Deception… Manipulation… Layers upon layers rest upon my soul. And so my soul feels confused.

But then, my soul doesn’t want a fragment of falseness. My soul wants truth. My heart and spirit crave truth too. But then my mind fears the truth because the lies sound so good and feel so powerful and strong. The lies have been given so much weight and support with my thoughts and my words. I’ve helped cultivate this kingdom of lies.

But the fruit… It isn’t good. The fruit just causes more pain, heartache and disappointment. And even when I try to believe the pain is for a purpose, I find myself more manipulated and deceived than I was before. Constantly pacing in mental hell as I scream, “Why?!!!”

But I hear God. I hear Him clearly when He says, “Why would I lead you down a path of deception and manipulation? Why would I bring pain and confusion to your soul? I want you healthy and whole. So let go.”

And so… I let go. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

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