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

How Did I Get Here?

Last night I sat at a cabaret performance… Which is generally not my chosen cup of tea. And… All in one moment I began to think, “How did I get here? How is this my life? I never asked for this at all, but this is my life.” Then I said it to my sister and she laughed really hard. But it’s true… How on earth did I get here?

You see that’s how I feel a lot of the time… I feel like I’ve lived so many different lives because I’ve moved around so much. Constantly I feel like nothing is ever truly stable. Almost like God keeps me at something until He decides my mission is complete and then He moves me on to something else. At times that means a new city with new people… A new way of life.

And it’s not easy. There are at least 10 times a day when I want what I want… Nothing more or less. And then there are at least 5 times a day when I think, “I should be following my own will and way. I should be creating the goals and calling the shots. Not God. What does He even know? I feel farther away from my hopes, dreams and passion than ever before.” But then I know… I know deep, deep down that I must follow Him. No matter what anyone else tells me they think I should be doing… or what they think God thinks I should be doing… I am going to listen to the Holy Spirit for myself.

And so I guess this is when my hard-headedness comes in. Because I’m going to keep pushing forward. And although it doesn’t make a lick of sense in the tangible, I really truly believe something amazing is happening in the supernatural.

So call me crazy. Maybe I am. But I just have to keep moving forward with Him.

 

When the War Wages

Do you ever feel like your mind… that your soul is being completely assaulted?

Yeah… That’s where I’ve been for at least three weeks now. In this on and off war, and what (at times) feels like a complete assassination of my being.

It’s not fun. It’s ugly. It’s torturous at times. But mostly, it’s spiritual warfare.

I keep fighting back with truth…. The truth of Christ, but the war still manages to wage on.

And my enemy… You know the one of my soul, he continues to attack three particular areas.

First and foremost, he always goes for my body image…. Or the way I physically view myself. I think he knows attempting to destroy me in this area will ultimately destroy me in the other areas because I’ve build up so much false security here in the past.

However, if he can’t get me here… Well then he reminds me that I don’t operate off of the world’s system for attaining provision, wealth and financial security. He shows me that I could have more if I would simply hustle my way to the top of his kingdom.

And if he still cannot get me to crack… Well then he probes at my identity, Cultivate Life and all that God has promised for it. And then he proceeds to remind me how much of a failure he believes I am for trusting in God and His plans, rather than following the world and it’s schemes for getting ahead.

This is always a deep blow.

And… so I am usually left in a puddle on the floor. A complete puddle of frustration and tears. You see I can usually handle him in one or two areas, but when he comes after all three I seem to crack.

I don’t like it at all. It’s cruel and unjust to who I am at my core as a child of God.

So… How do I overcome it? Well, though I’m not the best… I simply remind the enemy of my soul of truth. If he comes after my body image, I remind him that I don’t place value in my body, but in God and His undying love and acceptance of me. If he attempts to remind me that I can make more money and attain more through his system, then I remind him that God has always done far better… And that I need more than what money can provide. I need faith, peace, love and joy. And then… if he tries to assassinate my identity and Cultivate Life, well by that point I’m so tired, frustrated and done with him that I usually demand and command that he leaves in Jesus name.

And then he leaves… And I’m exhausted. But… a battle within the war is won through the name of Jesus ⚔️ #cultivatelife

Simply Alive

Being alive… What a thought… I mean, you are alive right?!?

I hope you’re always growing: spirit, soul and body. I hope you’re always open to development, maturity and growth from the inside out.

Because it’s a challenge to do that today ya know? Our world is filled with technology. And while it’s good in some respects, it really has stripped the world of it’s natural process to just be alive and thrive from a spiritual perspective.

You see being alive to me has always meant that we are connected to a source… We have to bring our failures and mistakes to God. We have to rely on Him to help us get through the lowest of the lows. And then we also must allow Him to supply us with everything we need, day in and out.

And I know it seems like a funny way to be… A strange way to live. And I’m sure I sound strange to some… But it’s just because I’ve chosen to live differently. I’ve chosen to keep my heart and mind open to the things of God, rather than the things of the world and the church.

Because I believe there’s a time coming (it might even be here now) where we’ll need to have an authentic, real and unaltered connection to the divine. Something that is stable and secure… Something that the world and the church didn’t build for us, but that we worked with God in relationship to structure.

And I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I hope that you’re growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I hope you’re not on autopilot just waiting for your next instruction from some higher up social figure. I hope that you are simply alive! 🌷🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

(See video for more!)

Walk

Walking… Walking has produced more life and goodness in my life than I ever thought possible.

Now I don’t mean physical walking; although it’s great too.

I mean spiritual walking.

I mean the walk of life.

You see I believe the cultivation of life is a process that takes time, and it’s also a process that asks us to just walk. Not to run. Not to sprint. Not to become overly stressed, anxious and afraid that we’re moving too slow because the world around us is moving so fast… But to just walk. To just take in the reality that we are created to be and to take one step forward (no matter how big or small) at a time.

So if you feel overwhelmed… If you feel like you aren’t doing enough… If you feel like you’re missing out on peace and harmony… Then just know God’s only ever asked us to walk.

*See video for more about the walking journey of life!

Process: Seasonal

How many times have you heard, “God works in seasons?” Because I’ve heard it for as long as I can remember. And though I don’t fully understand why He created the world to experience seasons…. I do see that our existence as humans is very similar.

Now, the catch is to stay moving with the seasons… To not become stagnant, but to keep moving forward as the Spirit leads.

So then what does it mean to move with His process? Well I believe we have to embrace what He’s given us within each moment.

You see if you’re anything like me then you’re constantly anticipating the future. I live in the future most of the time…. Hoping and creating something much more exciting than my present. However, we can’t get to the future God has for us if we can’t complete the season He’s placed us in in the present.

And I get it… It’s a challenge to be in certain seasons of life He’s placed us in because the growth is challenging and uncomfortable. But you know?… I’ve also learned that if we just choose to submit to where He has us then we will learn the lesson and then be able to move forward to the next season quickly.

Yeah… That’s right. I believe if we can just embrace the healing, restoration, growth and maturity that needs to take place inside of us, then He’ll move us forward to the next thing.

And I know it’s not always a walk in the park. Some seasons of life are like Summer… They’re warm, bright and very friendly… But then others are like Winter… Dark, depressing and oh so cold.

But if we can just live in them fully, we will get to the next destination of our journey with life and God. 🌷 #cultivatelife #justlive

Present Future

“Stay in today Amanda. It’s more than enough. You are more than enough.”

That’s been my constant vibe for the past two days. A resounding of “You have to move forward, but you need to be fully present in every moment.”

Is it tricky? Yeah, honestly it is. It’s very tricky to set goals and move towards more, all while being present in the moment.

But yea know? I believe it can become easier as I move with it. I believe that the trickiness of the present, paired with the future can become a simple way of life.

So, I’m going to try it a little longer… Being here, while I want to be there. Taking life one little step at a time. 🌼🌿💃🏻