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

Humble Faith

“Humble yourself Amanda.”

That’s what I hear God saying in this moment.

“Humble yourself so you can move forward with Me.”

And I’m not always the best at being humble. It’s honestly something I find myself making a mental note to pursue everyday.

However when I discovered the area that needed humility.. I thought, “This is strange… Strange but interesting.”

You see, my faith needs humility. My belief system and very way of taking a risk with God needs to be brought low.

Because I’m learning that I still operate off of a belief that I have to keep working really hard in my giftings in order for God to bless what He’s given me.

For some reason I don’t want to just embrace the gifts of God. I keep pushing them away with this attitude that says, “I got this God. Let me work. I’ll give you the glory and the credit, but let me work myself into the ground until I’m exhausted. But then don’t forget I deserve something in return too!!”

It’s really twisted.

And in this moment I don’t know what to do about it all. However, I’m pretty confident that the solution is Jesus. It’s simply believing that all that God has given and all that He continues to give is wrapped up in the lifestyle I pursue with Jesus. Because I don’t deserve the freedom and giftings I have, but then in the same breathe I do. I do because He made it possible for me to cultivate this lifestyle! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Place Holder

Living in NY and working for your sister has its benefits… Like sitting on a trash bag in the rain at 6am while your sister sits across the street from you doing the same. Why were we sitting on trash bags in the rain at 6am?! Because two auditions were being held that day, and Bridget wanted to be seen at both of them! So… of course we have to get up early and wait in line, no matter the weather condition.

Now if you knew me 6 months to a year ago I would’ve complained the entire time and the night leading up to it all; however, God has drastically changed my heart… So I waited with a selfless/grateful heart!

And as I waited (number 34 in a line of at least 100+), I watched my sister stand at the head of her line on the other side… And that’s when revelation began to pour into my mind.

My entire life I’ve been told Jesus was selfless enough to take on all of my problems and pain in life so I could stand in the presence of God. And though I mindlessly believed it all because that’s how I was raised, my heart didn’t grasp any of it.

Well that all changed as I sat in the rain on a trash bag.

You see the path I’m on with God right now has continuously asked me to have a very humble, selfless heart… One that thinks of others before myself. So for the first time in my life I’m beginning to actually see what it might’ve been like for Christ to do something so amazing for us… So that we can live healthy, free lives: spirit, soul and body.

And let me tell you, watching my sister from across the street was really, really exciting. She was at the head of her line, promised a place in the audition room because I was willing to wait and be her place holder in the other line.

And did it pay off? Yeah… it did. She was seen at both auditions, and called back for the line she waited in.

And I guess what I’m trying to say is this… I am just so grateful to have a relationship with the God that continues to make me well from the inside out…  And it’s all because Jesus was selfless enough to stand in line for me. 💃🏻🙌🏻 #cultivatelife

The Smallest Seed

The smallest seed planted in the garden… The one that is cultivated with hope and love… That’s what faith is.

It’s not always easy. It’s sometimes a challenge. It requires a lot of feeding, sunlight and attention, but I promise you it will grow into something bigger than you imagined.

Faith is lifestyle my friends.

It’s not something we pick up when we’re desperate for healing or an answer. It’s an alive being we coast through life with. It is the foundation which we should all be build upon.

And Jesus… You know that guy everybody seems to argue about. Yeah, He’s kind of like the sun in the sky… Always willing and able to provide the light the seed will continuously need to get up and grow.

So please, please be encouraged to have faith in your heart… Even when conditions look way to dark to develop and grow. 🌸💃🏻 #cultivatelife

(More in video below!)

Spiritual Warfare

When I was a kid I always thought spiritual warfare was this thing that was over when the war was won. And while that’s true, I never really considered how many wars and battles could go on at one time. I also never considered that spiritual warfare is a lifestyle. It’s not a fad we pick up for a moment and then toss to the side when the war has been won or (God forbid) we’re tired because we’ve been praying for days on end.

You see there is a constant war between dark and light/good and evil going on around us. And although most of us can’t see it, it’s very real and extremely intense.

So… how do we fight in this war? Well when you believe in Jesus Christ that means you’re filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. His power is actually stronger than the powers of darkness and evil. However, we can’t use His power unless we are willing to speak in the name of Jesus.

Jesus’s name is basically like the sword we fight with in the war.

So next time you feel overwhelmed in your mind… Next time you know you’re up against something a human being alone cannot solve… Then speak to the darkness that surrounds you. Tell the evil it can’t come any further because you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. And then please be encouraged to make this your lifestyle ⚔️💃🏻 #cultivatelife

(Video below for more)

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

Intentional

Freedom through Christ… It’s an interesting concept to ponder… But it’s an even more interesting concept to experience and fully live.

You see I’ve come to a place in life where I feel very liberated: spirit, soul and body. I feel like God has made me whole and set me free of so much oppression and spiritual sickness, death and disease.

However, now I’m beginning to wonder, “How does one sustain and maintain his or her freedom? How am I supposed to move forward in the Kingdom of God… especially when it’s a constant unknown?

And I don’t know if I’m making complete sense; however, what I mean to say is… How does a free person stay free from the things that once bound him or her, but then cultivate life on top of that freedom?

And I don’t have an answer in this moment… I am truly seeking one with all of my heart. However, I am beginning to wonder if it’s time to become more intentional with the Holy Spirit and the things of God. Because I believe we can come to a place in our relationship with Him where we can converse with Him in such a detailed way… An intentionally detailed way.