Spirit · truth

The Fortress

If I take you and shake you, will you break? Will you crack under the pressure of things that are out of your control?

If I ask you, “what defines you?” and then searched for that truth would your truth and that truth be synonymous?

Now… When you’re shaken, I hope you don’t move. I hope you’re a fortress. One that’s founded in and surrounded by the glory of God. And, when things are out of your control, I hope you don’t crack under pressure because of fear, stress, worry and anxiety.

Also, when your truth reveals itself to be different than the actual truth hidden in your foundation, I hope you’re humble, brave and honest enough to grasp what’s truly there.

Because to be a fortress, we can let things in but we can’t allow them to rule and reign over our hearts and minds. They can’t become the defining, motivating factors that propel us forward.

So… if being a fortress means we must trust in God, His Kingdom, His system, His Son and His Spirit over the money, power, fame and material success the world offers… Then I do believe we are on a path of righteousness. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Mind · Spirit · truth

Dressed in Lies?

I got on the train this morning and couldn’t help but find myself staring at the young man across from me…. Dressed from head to toe in some of the “best” brands and jewelry around. You could just tell he felt “cool” and “complete” because that’s what those clothing brands stand for. But then I looked into his eyes and I saw some of the deepest pain I’ve ever seen. It really took me a moment to stop staring too because his brokenness was so strong it reached out and touched me.

You see I believe we buy so many lies about what causes us to feel complete in life. Like we honestly believe having more “stuff” will do something for us. However, when I looked into this young man’s eyes, I didn’t see gain… I saw loss. I saw death. I saw brokenness, heartbreak, sadness and lack of security. I saw someone who puts on a fashion facade everyday because that’s what our culture says we should do.

And I don’t mean to sound so honest, but I just wish we would wake up. I wish we could see that we’ve been lied too over and over again. I wish we could see that no amount of tangible possession will ever make us feel whole, complete and loved on the inside.

And I know there are so many clothing brands, lifestyle brands, movements, societies and groups of thought that want to make us feel validated, valuable, worthy and connected. But then every time I look at these things I wonder, “Why can’t we all just see that we, as a culture, are lacking foundational stability and security in God? Why do we keep tip-toeing around the obvious; and why can’t we start opening our eyes to the reality that this entire universe operates off of the intangible, spiritual ways first and foremost?” And, “When will we ever learn that our brokenness, heartache, sadness and insecurity cannot be healed because we decided to buy a new top that supports a positive mindset?”

And I don’t know when we will see the truth; however, I do believe movements, mindsets and brands don’t really stand a chance to the supernatural way of life. If we want to truly feel free, alive, connected, healthy and whole… Then we must be healed in the spiritual, supernatural ways of life first! 🌱 #cultivatelife

Mind · soul · truth

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.

 

Spirit · truth

I Cry

I laid in bed the night before last and wanted to cry because I felt so weak… So emotional… So caught in the chaos and frustration of life.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Life is good. Life is very, very good. But… Sometimes I just want to cry. Sometimes I do cry. I cry about the loss of life my family has experienced. I cry about how God is going to seemingly continue to restore everything and make sense of the pain I feel. I cry because I am weak, and only made strong and stable through Him alone.

It’s funny, people say to me all the time, “Amanda, you’re so strong. You’ve encountered so much and been through so much adversity. You handle it so well. You’re just so strong.”

And as true as my strength appears, none of it… not a single ounce… is found within myself. God literally allowed my world to shake so hard, to the point that there was nothing left to hold onto but Him.

And so when life reminds me of loss… When it reminds me of pain… When I’m left in a constant haze of “why” followed by streams of tears down my face… Well I remember that He’s there. I remember that God is sitting with me while I sit in my closet and cry, hoping for a solution to this madness called life. I remember that my pursuit of Him is the only solution I’ll ever need because He is the only One that keeps me consistently full, at peace and alive! 💃🏻⚔️🎄 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

But Why?

Lately I’ve been questioning God about so many things in my life. I’ve asked Him about things I made peace with that have been stirred up inside of me again… I’ve asked Him why certain things aren’t further along than I expected them to be…. And then of course I’ve questioned Him about why I feel confused deep down about His promises for my life.

And while I feel frustrated that He hasn’t given me a clear answer, I found that my grandmother had a piece of wisdom to contribute to the whole.

Yesterday, in mid conversation, she said, “You know, I don’t believe parents should have to tell their children ‘why.’ If a parent says, ‘Because I said so” then they have more wisdom and knowledge. They know better than the child because they’ve lived life and experienced reality.”

After she said this I just kind of sat there and realized her wisdom was the answer to my unanswered questions.

Because whether I want to trust Him or not, God has my best interest at heart. He knows and understands far better than I do. And although I really, really want an answer to suffice me, I don’t need an answer as much as I think I do.

And I don’t know if you ever feel this way, but I do hope you feel encouraged to simply trust the lack of God’s answer to your constant, “But why?!” 🌷💃🏻 #cultivatelife

Mind · Spirit

Inner Entail

New month… New season… New people… New places… New ideas… The past is gone and all is new now.
I don’t know what is next exactly, but I do intend on following God with my entire heart. I feel a little bit afraid. Actually I’m caught between fear and faith… This place inside of me that says, “You need to chose faith, but you’re leaning towards fear. Come back to the faith. Use it instead.”
It’s strange and somewhat different.
Where am I headed with God though? That is the real question in my heart. That is always the question of my heart. Where are He and I going and what will be gained from the jounrey to the destination? How well will I follow? I’m so unsure of the answers, but I’m so excited to learn what it will all entail… 🌌♥️ #cultivatelife #justlive
Spirit · truth

Why?

Sometimes I don’t understand why God cares so much… Is it that we mutually care? That I come to the table too? That it’s a 50/50 deal where we are both all hands on deck in this thing called life?

I mean, it just doesn’t make sense to me why He’s led me down this road of authenticity, security and identity. It’s like a bread-crumb trail without any real knowledge of what the destination is.

Why do you care so much God? Why are you so into me?

He’s just a very strange dude. But you know? I really do love Him so much. He is SO good, even when life is bad… Even when it’s sucked and been extremely painful to walk through… He’s been good.

And I just want people to know, if you’re willing to go all the way with Him… Then He’s willing to go all the way with you. He’s just the most incredible person I know. ♥️

Mind · soul · Spirit · truth

Should I Stop?

Over the past few days I’ve been back and forth about whether I should keep sharing what God’s giving me to write…

You see I feel like there aren’t too many people who care about Him and His design for life. I believe people aren’t truly trying to cultivate a relationship with Him… But are just interested in fame, power, money, comfortably and false security.

It’s discouraging you know?.. To see mankind so consumed with hate, jealousy, judgement, immorality and insecurity. It’s just sad.

So… In this moment I’m not going to stop sharing what I write because if I stop then I believe I’m allowing evil to win in my life.

But then I do wonder… Why can’t we, as humans, just wake up and realize we are all in troubled place without security in God? Why can’t we stop instigating the evil and promote life instead? Why can’t we see that Jesus isn’t a religion but a relationship that comes with freedom and abundant life? Why are we so deaf, dumb, dead and ignorant?!

And I might seem a little passionate… But I’m just so sick of the distractions we’ve all fallen for. I’m so sick of the war we’re all losing because we aren’t equipped to fight.

So if you hear what I’m saying… Wake up. Pursue God. Accept your forgiveness through Christ. And then cultivate a lifestyle of security in Him and His principles for life… Because not doing so will inevitably cost you your soul.

Spirit · truth

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.

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Square Peg, Round Hole

“Fit in… just fit in Amanda. Figure out how to fit in and then you’ll be happy and confident and secure and complete!!”

This has been a narrative I constantly play out in my head. It’s been a narrative that’s taken possession of every season and chapter of life I’ve ever entered and lived through… This longing, this desire and want to just fit in and fit in well with those around me that are popular and leading the so called “pack” of life.

The funny thing is… It’s never worked.

Fitting in for me has never happened. Ever.

Sure I have dreams of fitting in with the world around me, but then I am left very disappointed when it just doesn’t happen. And then I’m left even more disappointed when I feel like an outsider and a loner because I can’t fit.

After my grandmother was healed she said she always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. And while I’m not trying to take the words from her mouth, this is kind of what it feels like for me.

Funny thing is all of this trying to “fit” has produced A LOT of self-centeredness in my heart and soul…. Because, rather than being confident and secure in the way God has created me… Rather than standing firm in who I am as Amanda, well I find myself doing everything in my power to fit into that round hole.

So now, well I find myself having to set aside this deep want to fit. I find myself having to let go of the source of my insecurity. Because the insecurity has led me down a very unsatisfying road… One filled with endless thoughts in my mind that cause me to feel small and inadequate and unworthy.

However, God keeps telling me to just “stand firm. Stand firm in who I’ve created you to be Amanda and you will stand out as yourself.” And I don’t know if anyone else feels like that right now, in this place where you keep trying to fit to finally feel complete, but I just want you to know it doesn’t work. It’s exhausting and time consuming and ironically very self-centered from the way in which God would like us to be. Because instead, He needs us to stand firm and be secure in who we are in Him. He needs us to be all that HE needs us to be, and not what we see by viewing someone else’s projected life. And yeah, it does feel a little bit uncomfortable at first to let go of this way of life; however, once we’ve done it… Well we’ll find ourselves in more peace and satisfaction than before. Plus, not fitting in might actually cause us to stand out.