capacity · challenge · follow · grow · keep moving forward · process

I Cried

I cried on the train this morning. I cried on the train this morning because it’s time to take another risk… Another gamble… Another giant leap of faith forward with God.

And you know what? That’s still challenging for me.

It’s still challenging to go, “You want me to do what next?! I’m tired of this journey. It’s long. It feels fruitless and frustrating at times. And do you see the world God? Wickedness is prospering like wildfire. The masses are distracted by the illusion of “life.” People are sick from the inside out. People are claiming “love” when it’s really just tolerance and acceptance. People have forgotten about YOU!!! When does it end? When does your Spirit breakthrough so healing can begin?!?!”

So I cried on the train this morning.

And then I felt a little bit better. And I wiped my tears out from under my big, brownish colored sunglasses. And I moved forward. I moved forward in the best way I know… With all of the faith, hope and love Father God has stored deep inside of me. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

freedom · Fullness of Jesus · goodness of god · healing

One Broken Vessel

Healing and wholeness have always been such a pinnacle part of who I am. And it’s not a mystery to me why I’m drawn to the supernatural power of God. It’s in my spiritual DNA.

Growing up I saw my grandmother lay hands on countless people… People riddled with cancer, sick and dying from the inside out… And after she laid her hands on them, the power of the Holy Spirit transformed them… They walked away completely healed, whole and filled with life and the eternal.

Which is why there are days, like today, when I find myself so caught up on thoughts of restoration… On thoughts of what our country would look like if we would simply lower our prideful, misguided, broken hearts and pursue the healing power of God.

You see I believe healing and wholeness will come when we can truly recognize that we are so much more than flesh and blood… We aren’t our outer appearance. We aren’t race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or political backgrounds and parties. We are eternal. We are spirits with souls… Souls that are longing to be made whole so that we can be led by Holy Spirit into the truth of Jesus Christ.

And I don’t know what it will take for our broken, dying and practically dead nation to see this truth. But I do pray… I pray that Jesus will continue to restore all that we are… One broken vessel at a time. 🌱♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive

brokenness · darkness · death · grief · healing · Spirit

Year Five

Five years ago today I watched my dad take his last breath. All in one moment the reality of death made his appearance in my life.

You see it was evidently clear that I was starring at my dad, but then at the same time I wasn’t.

Every part of him (the smile, the jokes, the instigation I couldn’t stand, the love, the brilliant gifting that made him unique)… It was gone. His essence… His soul… His spirit… The aura that filled his body was gone. And so he was gone.

And so that was the moment… The moment I realized life… Life really, truly is temporal. And our bodies…. Our bodies really are nothing more than the vessel we use to travel in while we’re here on earth.

So now you might be thinking, “Amanda, why are you sharing this?” Well… To be completely honest with you, I just really care about the health of people. Actually, let me rephrase that…. I care about the inner health of people. I care that we are alive on the inside. I care that we thrive on the inside. I care that we find grace, love, forgiveness and healing; and then that we maintain that healing long after our moment of transformation.

You see in today’s culture I believe it’s so easy to get caught up in our outer appearance, race, sexual orientation, religion and political background… But don’t forget, before any of that can matter, we are all intangible on the inside first and foremost. We’re all created with some type of God-spark that makes us eternal and immortal.

And so I guess that’s why I’m writing this…. Because I want to remind you and encourage you to look past the surface of what you can see and shift your focus to what you can spiritually feel. Because the health of that “thing” inside of you, that “thing” we all so casually overlook, is what is truly alive in life. 🌱 #cultivatelife

brokenness · healing · heart · keep moving forward · lies, deception & manipulation

It’s Fixed!

It’s fixed.

My heart… it’s fixed.

How do I know it’s fixed? I know it’s fixed because I moved forward in life. I spoke to the fear that was trying to convince me to not move forward. I told it to sit down and shut up. I told it that it no longer has power in my life. I told it that I am a whole and complete person without the idols and lies of my past. I told it that I don’t need nor welcome it’s company anymore.

And then I did something… I stepped out again. I stepped out and stepped forward into a completely unknown and unfamiliar arena of life.

You see over the past several months I’ve been allowing God to heal my heart of some deep and delicate pain. Pain that I wasn’t really aware was there. I thought it was gone. I thought I’d dealt with my past.

But you know… Allowing God to work with me and help me process the past has really opened me up to my present and my future. I’ve never felt so capable of thriving like I do in this moment.

And I’m sure there will be moments when my past fears try to break in and lurk around in the depth of my heart. But then I’m even more certain that my healthy heart has the ability to really gain strength now. Strength that will tell my past to stay… Well in the past. 🌱 #cultivatelife

authority & dominion · Fullness of Jesus · healing · power

Authority

Do you know what I think about a lot? I think about healing… I think about health. I think about the reality that Jesus gave all who believe the power and authority to heal the sick and speak life into the dead.

And then I think about us… I think about me. I think, “Amanda you’ve seen people dying filled with life again. You’ve seen cancer dry up in so many bodies. You’ve watched people in wheel chairs get up and walk again.” But then I also think, “You know Amanda, you also watched your dad die of cancer. You believed in healing and wholeness. And then he was just gone.”

So what’s the point of my thoughts? Well, authority. I believe having an understanding on our authority through Jesus Christ is the point. And I still don’t understand why my dad died. And it doesn’t really bother me at all… But authority. I just hope we’re using our authority.

That’s all. 🌷 #cultivatelife

brokenness · healing · lies, deception & manipulation

Death of a Lie

Can I tell you the truth? I’ve been purchasing a lie with my free will for most of my life. What’s the lie? Well I’ve been led to believe I can’t be whole and complete without a relationship…

And if you really know me then you’ll understand that I’ve wanted to find someone, be married and start a family. Because in my mind I’d be complete.

However, because of the path the Holy Spirit has put me on that’s not my reality. And I’ve called the path stupid, ridiculous and annoying for so many years… But now, well I’m coming to a new place… A place where this path is actually beginning to make sense.

You see God has taken me on a journey of healing for about a decade. He’s constantly been revealing ways I can be made whole through Him. When life gets rough, He jumps in and saves the day and then makes my pain a place of peace, joy and new life.

And so I am learning that it doesn’t matter how much I think I need a relationship with a man to fill me with confidence and security… Because the only real relationship that will constantly fill me up and never let me down is the one I have with God. Everything else I’ve been taught is simply a lie.

And if I’m making some sense, then I want to encourage you to please find security and confidence and healing in God. Because He and Jesus are the only ones that can truly fill all of the broken places within our hearts and souls. They are the only ones that can make us whole again.

addiction · Body · brokenness · fear · freedom · healing · lies, deception & manipulation · process · restore

Alone and Lied To…

Since the age of 6, I’ve struggled with one core thing…

The fear of being alone…

Deep within the core of me, I began to believe a lie… And that lie told me, “Because of the weight I continued to gain, I would never be enough… I would never be pretty enough… I would never be small enough… I would never be desirable in any way”…

And I believed this lie of my soul… I believed it for 21 years of my life…

And the lie took on mutiple forms…

For at least 13 years I hid behind a veil of physical weight, scared of life outside of the shell…

And then the shell started to break, I lost the weight and gained confidence in the body I worked so hard to cultivate…

But then, well there still wasn’t rest in my soul…

Because I still felt like I’d always be alone and unwanted…

And it didn’t matter what my family, friends, mentors and even the Holy Spirit himself told me… Because I believed this one lie…

And so, the lie encouraged a binge eating disorder inside of me… I would binge on sweets when I felt out of control, alone and undesirable…

It was a constant, brutal cycle to my spirit, soul and body for 10 years… And I was afraid it would never leave…

But then… Then something happened… Because God, He took my situation… He took the children that I nannied and taught be about His love for me… He taught me how to love them unconditionally… Even when they might’ve hurt me… Even when they had a hard time… I loved them…

And then, after He taught me how to love them, Father God showed me how much He loves me…

Over the course of 10 months in Los Angeles… A time where I believed I was doing nothing at all, He was working within me…

Not the Holy Spirit… Not Jesus… But Father God Himself…

It’s like He came down and spent time with me everyday… Showing me how valuable I am to His heart, and that there’s no reason to allow my circumstances to cause me to feel alone… That there’s no reason to binge on sweets to feel a void in my heart… A void that only He could and can fill…

Because, as much as I’ve want to be married and have a family, I now believe gaining those things wouldn’t have filled the void I felt in my heart…

Because that void could and will always only be filled by Him and Him alone…

And so, I hope, this story… This piece of my story and who I am will encourage anyone that fills alone to seek out the very heart of Father God… Because, when we are filled to the brim with His love, from His heart… Well the realness of being alone, it completely falls away…

brokenness · healing · love of god · refine · restore · value & worth

My Story of Scoliosis… 

It was somewhere around two years ago… I was standing in the kitchen of my employer’s home in Beverly Hills… As the eldest child of my employer passed by me she causually said, “I think you have scoliosis”…

Since this was news to me, I quickly responded with, “No I don’t. I don’t have scoliosis at all”…

She continued by pointing out the place in my upper back where the scoliosis was… And then took me upstairs so I could bend over in front of the mirror and see the imbalance in my back…

“See,” she said… “Look at your back… It isn’t straight at all.. This side sticks out farther than that side… You definitely have scoliosis”…

There was no denying what she saw… Something really was off… And I completely believed this 14 year old beauty knew what she was talking about… She’s suffered from scoliosis her entire life… Having to undergo surgery last summer to correct it…

But she had known for years that she had this imbalance in her body… For me… For me, this was news… Something that bothered me deep down…

Because I strive to cultivate a lifestyle of balance, order and health… And knowing the muscles around my back were weak enough in areas to cause my spine to curve really bothered me…

Later that day, I showed my sister… We researched it… And again, my back definitely looked like a case of minor scoliosis…

I really didn’t like the knowledge of this at all… The reality of an imbalance in my body…

Over the course of 7 years I had worked so much to stand up straighter… But apparently it didn’t matter how straight I stood… The curve was still there… Still real… Still apparent…

It made me kind of angry too…

So, in so many ways I ignored it… Knowing it was there, but not wanting to acknowledge the reality of it all…

Over the course of the next 6 months I would consciously sit and stand straighter… And when running I would make sure my back was very straight and that I was running very properly…

Well… Time passed… Life continued to go on… And I put it on the “back-burner” in my mind…

About 6 months ago I felt this pain… It was around the top of my back… Like I was carrying a heavy, heavy weight or something…

I mentioned to a friend and he encouraged me to talk to God about it…

As I began to talk to Him, I realized, in so many ways He hadn’t been able to communicate what it means to be a father to me… I had pushed Him away in that area…

One reason being, I had a good father… And though he wasn’t perfect and complete Father God, he was still good… So I didn’t really see a need to cultivate a relationship with Father God…

But after his death, well I was minus that love… That relationship… And so I cultivated a deeper one with God the Father…

In the midst of discussing the pain in my upper back, a lot of forgiveness took place… And almost instantly the pain and weight left…

A few days later, my sister said, “Your back is so straight… What happened?? I think your scoliosis is gone”…

I almost laughed because I realized, in God’s timing… With His patience in my life, He had removed the pain and weight in my upper back when I gained a closer relationship with Him as my Father…

And the removal of that pain and weight also meant that that my spine no longer revealed a sign of scoliosis… It just revealed an aligned and balanced spine…

There are so many reasons I am telling this story…

And I believe the biggest is, we can run around looking for physical healing all the time… Begging God to give it to us… But I’ve found it increasingly more effective to simply gain a closer relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit… And to live those lives boldly through the power of Jesus’ blood and sacrifice…

So many times I feel like we go to church and try to get closer to God because it’s what’s expected of us… It’s what gives us faith, love and joy…

But more than anything, I believe our spirit and soul needs this connection… That without it we are completely poor on the inside… Imbalanced… Lacking wholeness and genuine connection…

Connection that can only truly be found in Father God… Because our own parents, spouses, siblings and friends will continue to fail us… There will continue to be imbalance in those relationships… But with God we can continue to remain complete, whole and balanced as we just cultivate life…

anointing · courage · faith · family · follow · healing · listen · miracle

Walking with Healing…

The environment I grew up in was one where healing was a common thing…. Probably from the age of two, I was taught that healing is real… And that it’s meant for our world…

Because of my grandmother’s story, I was encouraged to learn all that I could from her about the power of healing…

And over the years I’ve seen lives transformed externally as well as internally…

Well… Three weeks ago I hurt my foot… Unsure of how it happened, I ran on it for 3 days anyway (I am very hardheaded)… Of course the pain was there… And it increased every time I put pressure on it… But I just kept hoping it would go away… Thinking, “oh this won’t last forever”…

By the third day, wearing heels wasn’t even an option… So I settled for sandals and went to church…

Before church even started I heard God start in on me, “Tonight Amanda. I need you to do this tonight”… And by the tone in His voice, I could already tell it wasn’t something I particularly wanted to do…

As the service went on, I knew what He needed and I argued with Him… Back and forth we went over it all… I finally came to a place in my heart and said, “Ok, God… If this is what you want, then you give me your peace and boldness to do it”…

By the end of the service, I decided, “Well, I guess I’ll do it”… So I got up, walked over to the person and spoke exactly what the Holy Spirit put on my heart for the man…

Like that it was done… No more words were spoken, just an in and out type of job…

On the walk back to the car, Bridge and I discussed how happy we were that I finally did this (God put it on my heart 9 months ago)… So I was just happy it was over…

As I sat down in the car, I stretched out my legs and realized… My foot, the pain… It was gone… I rolled my foot around, searching for pain… But nothing was there…

Just a perfectly healthy foot… That ironically was made well, 41 years to the night my grandmother went searching for an answer for my father… But then found herself miraculously healed…

Of course Bridge and I laughed about it all… Especially the irony…

But really, in truth… Well I realized so much that night…

Most importantly, somewhere in the midst of that hour and a half, I let go of a piece of myself… I set my own goals aside for a moment and just followed through with God’s… My thoughts that are always focused on my agenda were laid to the side long enough for me to actually deliver a message for God…

And, in response, my foot was healthy and whole again… Like nothing ever happened before…

And I guess this moment inspires me… Because it’s caused me to look inside of myself and wonder, “Why is my selfish agenda so important?… Why do I constantly need to fulfill what I want?… And how can I create and live a lifestyle that is about fulfilling what God needs?… Also, how can what God needs become what I need too?”…

Spirit

Under the Tent…

IMG_8888

I was raised under a tent… A tent that brings life… A tent that brings comfort… A tent that showed me who my best friend would be for the rest of my life and how he would never leave me… And I would never leave him…

The tent I am referring to is one that contained and still contains the spirit of the most high God…

As children, we don’t always necessarily understand the environment we’re raised in… Because, to us… Well it’s all we know…

And for years I listened… I watched… I knew the Spirit of God was a he and not an it… For to call him an it means “you don’t know him”….

And then there were the years… Few… But impactful… That I spited and loathed the environment that poured and produced religion in my life and the lives of others…

But as all should, I’ve matured… And now I stand at a place where I feel overwhelmingly grateful for the tent I was raised in… Because… Again… It’s all my foundation knows it needs to make it firm and complete…

And now… Now more than ever… I feel encouraged to share what I learned under this tent…

It taught me that it’s not Jesus that lives in my heart… It’s the Spirit of God…. He’s the one that dwells inside of me… That speaks to me… That gives me power to pair with the authority given through the blood of Jesus…

And he’s so tired… Irritated because he’s been forgotten… Frustrated because he’s been mistaken and overlooked… Because it’s his will to lead and direct us in life… Not Jesus and not God… But the Holy Spirit…

So why?… Why do we choose to overlook him so?… Why can’t we simply put down our religion and listen?… Listen to what he gives us everyday…. Because he… He is as real as anything I’ve ever known… And he’s never steered me wrong… Even when I think “this was a mistake”… He’s always been there saying “just trust me”…

So… Today… I hope… I hope all begin to recognize him in his fullness… For he is about to be unleashed from the tent I was raised in… And he’s about to show himself in a powerful way…

And as all best friends should do… I feel grateful and blessed enough to encourage and help him make his works a reality…