heart · Spirit · truth

Containment

I’ve tried to write what’s on my heart so many times. I’ve deleted what I’ve said because of the fear of sounding “harsh.” But… You know what? I have to say what’s jumbling around inside.

Do you ever stop and think, “What’s in God’s heart? How does He see our world? What are His solutions? What kind of life-giving, spirit-driven solution can He provide us with in this moment of time?”

If so, do you ever get an answer? If you do get an answer, do you keep following the narrow path of that answer with more questions? And if you’re still on that path of seeking answers with questions, have the answers produced a life-giving harvest around you and those close to you?

You see I’m asking because I’ve made a commitment to seek what’s contained in His heart in all circumstances. And though it’s challenging… And though I do fail a lot… I’ve promised myself I’ll move forward with my spirit, heart and soul fixated on faithfully following through with His desires. Truly living from each unprecedented milestone to the next.

So, you can then maybe understand why my heart feels grieved when I look around and see that my generation and our culture is completely overrun with materialism, self-centeredness and the goal of becoming a mini-god of sorts.

Y’all… We are missing it. A relationship with God isn’t an “add-on” at the end of the menu. He isn’t a side dish that we consume with the rest of our meals. He’s not our meaningful thought to “feel better” for a moment. And He’s most certainly not intended to revolve around our self-centered nature. 

What happened to relationship with Him? Where did the truth that Jesus heals go? Where is our passion for seeking His glory as a solvent in all situations? Where is our devotion for and submission to following Holy Spirit’s lead, no matter how uncertain it seems? Where is our faith for believing Him for the next step no matter the sacrifice? Where is our trust in believing He will provide us with the strength necessary to carry the weight of what He’s asking us to do? 

It is grieving to see a nation filled with problems He can and will solve, if only we will let Him lead and stop intruding our soulish thoughts and emotions into His processes. 

And again, maybe I am harsh in what I’m saying; however, following Him has never been a disappointment. He has always, always provided a way. He has always provided more than enough finances to meet my every need. And He’s always given the next step, chapter and season when He knows it’s time.

And so, I’m writing this to remind you… Lay down the materialism. Let go of the self-centeredness. Give up the idea of becoming a mini-god. It’s not worth it. As enchanting and illusive as it all seems, it’s not of spiritual value. 

What’s of spiritual value can’t be added up in the tangible. It can’t be purchased with views, likes and comments. What’s of spiritual value is an eternal connection contained inside of a very real, very loving, very vulnerable and very humble God. 🌱

dominion · heart · power · truth

Receiver

I walked 16.8 miles last Wednesday, June 2. At the top of my walk, I stumbled on a bed of pink peonies and my heart was immediately elated. I squealed with excitement and joy when I saw them because they are my favorite flower. Everything about them is absolutely lovely. And so, I decided to pick one… But then one didn’t seem like enough, so I picked four more. Of course, I knew I would be walking at least 14 miles, so it seemed silly to pick them. But I didn’t care. I wanted to carry them. I wanted to hold them close to my heart. They were a gift. A gift I knew Father God led me to in a moment when I needed it the most.

Now June 2 is unique to me because it’s the day my life changed forever… It’s the day I lost my dad, but it’s also the day I was thrust into a life of deeper intimacy with God.

You see I had to learn how to rely on Him more than ever before. I had to learn how to be a good receiver of His unconditional love and grace.

And though it was somewhat challenging at first, I’ve learned that it’s far greater to receive than to give. Yes, giving is vital; however, how can we give if we haven’t received from God first? I mean, isn’t the entire gospel a gift within itself for mankind? Something we could never actually afford, but must humbly and graciously receive.

And so, you see, my entire life and relationship with Father God is based around me being a good receiver of Christ first and foremost. Receiving the truth that my entire self: spirit, soul, heart and body was (and in some places still is) languishing, broken and dead until I receive/received the fullness of Christ on a trans-dimensional level. Receiving the truth that my human spirit is now alive, active and capable of kicking ass because she’s been given power, dominion and authority to rule and reign over the heavens and the earth. Receiving the truth that my entire being will forever be in a place of refinement, development, maturity and growth as I cultivate life with Holy Spirit leading me.

And you know, I love that. I love that God, in His absolute nature, is good. So good that He eternally gives just hoping we will eventually receive. 

Because, when we do… When we finally receive enough of Him to refine, restore and redeem all of our brokenness and death, then we can do like I did at the end of my 16.8-mile walk… I tossed my flowers into the Hudson River. I let go of them with the understanding that they had fulfilled their purpose, and now needed to be freely given for someone/something else to freely receive. 🌱

heart · truth

Delighted

I cried myself to sleep last night. And there’s nothing wrong with me in the least bit. Really and truly, I am healthy and seeking more inner refinement, development, maturity and growth daily. All of my needs are being met. I have more than enough and I feel very satisfied with where God is leading me; however, at the very same time, I hear Him asking me to step out in more faith… To follow Him down the jagged path of uncertainty a little bit farther. 

And so, that’s where I find myself. My spirit, who is always eager to blaze a trail forward, says, “Let’s do this! Let’s walk forward! I am ready!!” But then my soul… my soul is definitely a dramatic whiner. I’ve definitely conditioned it to complain about the process of cultivation.

So they have this little duel which starts with me crying, but then ends with me thanking God for His goodness and His intricate way of working things out in me.

Now… You might be wondering what He’s asking of me, and while I do intend to tell you, first I want to remind you of something I shared a few months ago. The writing was entitled “The Vault,” and it focused on Holy Spirit removing a deep-seated lie inside of my heart. A lie I cultivated very, very, very well and then allowed to define me. 

Well, since digging up that deep-seated lie and planting truth on the grounds of my heart, I’ve felt significantly better; however, I still haven’t had the foggiest idea what “truth” was planted. He never really said. He just said, “Plant truth.” So, I picked up a bag marked “truth” and placed the seed in the ground of my heart.

Now it should come as no surprise that the seed is beginning to spring forth…. And I see it. Oh boy do I see it! So, what is it? It’s a truth that’s begging that I only delight in God. 

I hear it saying, “You aren’t here to impress anyone or anything but God. So, stop looking to the left and to the right for approval. Instead, keep your eyes focused on Him. Focus on the projects, businesses and ventures He’s assigned you to. Your life’s goal is to bring delight to Him in all you do. And, that delight, it needs to echo from the frequency of your heart. It needs to etch itself into the very fabric of your soul. It needs to become the very culture you communicate to the world around you.”

And so it will. 🌱 #cultivatelife

heart · Spirit · truth

The Vault

I was in the spirit yesterday morning, praying and talking to God like normal… All of a sudden I saw a large brownish/maroonish/whiteish marbled wall that spanned down a hallway. I didn’t know where I was, so I asked Holy Spirit. He said, “You’re in your Heavenly mansion, and I want to show you something that’s locked inside of the vault of your heart.” 

“Cool!!” I thought. “I wonder what this is all about.”

The next thing I knew I found myself in a very large home my dad built and my family lived in in the early 2000s. As I walked around throughout the house, memories of that season came rushing into my mind. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the past. The way it felt. The way it sounded. The way it smelt. All of it was actively present and alive in front of me. 

As I walked around I began to wonder, “Okay, what’s this all about? Why am I here? God, why did you bring me to my Heavenly mansion to unlock the vault of my heart? And what does this season of my life have to do with what’s hidden inside of the vault?”


Then, He very carefully began to explain Himself. He showed me a huge truth I’d kept hidden from myself… An area where I chose to believe a lie, and then never stopped believing it. And, although, I’ve known the truth for years, I’ve chosen to push it further and further away from me. He said, “Amanda, you’ve allowed this lie to define who you are in this moment, but it cannot define you anymore. I want you to let it go. I want you to repent and renounce for cultivating it within the grounds of your heart. And then, then I want you to pick up the truth, plant it on this refined ground and then walk away from here covered in My boldness, confidence, humility and security.”

And so… So that’s what I did. I repented for holding onto the lie for so long. I renounced any stronghold or demonic entanglement I might be caught up in because of it. And then… Then I planted the seed of truth on the grounds of my heart.

And I tell you this story because I hope it encourages you to continue to follow Holy Spirit into hidden parts of yourself so that He may inspect the depths of your heart. Because, even after years of life-giving cultivation, there are STILL areas of our lives He can and will dig up so that we can flourish. And, I know a lot of the time we don’t want to follow Him into the past because it requires reliving things that are uncomfortable; however, the powerful thing about moving forward with Him is the truth that we will thrive on the other side. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · dominion · heart · power · Spirit

My Word is: Faith

Corey Rives Visual Art

For the past several days I’ve been searching for the best word to describe my experience with 2020… And as I’ve fumbled through the list in my head and heart, the one that’s continued to pop up is “faith.”

And if you’re anything like me, faith might sound so simple. However, it’s my faith and belief in God that’s helped me truly rise above all of the continued uncertainty and chaos of 2020.

And… If I’m 100% honest, I’d have to say I’ve had more peace inside of my heart this year than all years past. 

And while that may sound odd to you, it’s not for me…

Why? Well you see my very being is completely adamant about living a lifestyle of faith. And it’s not a stagnant word, lying dormant in my heart. Instead it’s a key that’s perpetual, living, active and divinely present in my daily life.

My choice to place things I can’t control in God’s hands has taken so much pressure and burden off of my own shoulders. Pressure and burden He never created me to carry… For I am not strong enough… Only He is.

And I see 2021 heading down an increasingly cataclysmic path… One where we must use the ultimate amount of faith that’s rooted deep within our spirits, hearts and souls in order to move forward.

You see I believe more things will feel out of our control than ever before; however, when we choose to constantly engage in relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit… When we choose to activate our spirits and then live a lifestyle of constant and continual faith… Then and only then will we find ourselves in a place of peace and harmony.

And the peace… The peace will rise straight from the ashes of our deepest fears decreeing and declaring, “My God is stronger than this, and His Kingdom is more equip than all that I am facing. So I WILL march forth… I WILL place all of my worries, fears, doubts and cares on Him… And HE WILL show me how to consistently and systematically use the power, dominion and authority He has equip me with to fight forces of darkness and all that’s of evil nature.” 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife 

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

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

For the Love of God

“But the disappointment God… It’s SO heavy. I don’t want to feel it anymore. I don’t want to carry it anymore. Plus… Paired with the anger… The anger that’s still consuming 10% of my heart… Well the anger really makes the disappointment feel all consuming at times.”

This is me. This is me working through more brokenness with God. And… Well… You’d think, at this point, my healing would be complete in this area. But… it’s just SO deep. All of it. The brokenness touches every layer of my essence… From my human spirit, to my soul and then impacts my body in ways that it shouldn’t.

And I’ve forgiven. I’ve forgiven and chosen to move past a lot of the pain and heartache. But sometimes… Gosh sometimes I feel like the disappointment will never go away. And then I can’t seem to quite understand “why?” Why did it have to play out like this?

Actually… I’m not stupid. I understand “why,” but then I’d rather live in the deception of the past. The deception and manipulation was just so fanatical and illusive… Almost like I was living in a dream I’d never wake up from and have to take responsibility for.

But… Then… Well, I woke up from that dream several years ago and was forced to enter a world of truth and disappointment. And, some days (though they are few and far between) I still feel like I’m still waking up to an undiscovered layer of truth and disappointment.

So… what am I to do with layers upon layers of continued disappointment? Well that’s what I’ve been asking God.

And… Do you know what He keeps showing me?

Love.

Of course, it’s been way too simple for me to process at once. But everyday I hear Him say, “My love for you woke you up from the fanatical, illusive dream. My love for you drove out the lies, deception and manipulation you both created. My love protected you. It empowered you. It’s given you the ability to constantly move forward, one whole and complete step at a time. And maybe you still feel angry and disappointed. I don’t blame you. The deception was deep; however, keep focusing on My love. Keep your eyes anchored to My heart. For inside of it you will discover the healing your heart is seeking.” 🌱 #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

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

Again… “What’s In Your Heart?”

“What’s in your heart Amanda?” I hear God say again.

Actually… I’ve heard Him say this to me repeatedly over the past 7 months.

And… It’s become a continuous reminder to keep my insides as empty as possible while focusing on the things of Him and nothing else.

It’s a phrase… It’s a phrase that jerks my attention… It jerks my heart’s attention to stay focused on things on high that are not of this world, time and space. To remain vigilant in protecting what enters and exits my being as a whole. To stay balanced on the inside with the constant, consistent goal of cultivating life from the inside out with Him.