The Most Accurate

Truth be told I’m not the best at being selfless… If I hadn’t moved home 2 1/2 years ago to help my mom move forward in life, I don’t think I’d be able to be in this moment right now… A moment where I’ve been able to totally lay down everything I want in life to help manage my sister’s art as she follows her dreams in New York City.

And I know this chapter won’t last forever, but lately I’ve found myself wanting to be selfish. A moment happened the other day that forced me to say, “There’s no ‘ME’ involved anymore. Where I am is a result of following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and so a life of selflessness is what’s been cultivated in my heart.”

You see I’ve come to learn and truly believe that selflessness is the most accurate measure of loving someone. Because when we can let go and lay down all of our self to be there for another, well it kind of kills off our ego, pride, envy, jealousy, anger, bitterness and hatred. Selflessness can’t coexist with any of those things because real, true love can’t coexist with any of those things.

And I don’t know if I’m making sense… And I also don’t know what will come from my choices over the past 2 1/2 years, but I truly hope that following Him has led me into a lifestyle that makes helping others cultivate life that much simpler.

🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

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

Selfless Madness

I’m convinced the most challenging part of being selfless is the reality that you gain virtually nothing from it. Sure there’s some type of intangible lesson learned… But as far as tangible gain, it’s not there.

And that’s where I am right now… Wrestling with God over this idea… Over this lifestyle of being selfless. He told me He’d bring me to this place, a place where I’d be left with nothing more than Him and His wants and needs for my life and others… And so, here I am.

However, He didn’t tell me what came after this place of selflessness. He didn’t tell me I’d have to pitch a tent and live here and that my soul would constantly feel at war. He didn’t tell me that I’d have to grow and adapt and fully embrace every inch of this. He didn’t tell me it would seem confusing, or that I would be frustrated with my reality.

Instead… He just made selflessness sound so good and appealing. He sold me the idea because He knew I’d follow through like I always do.

And so this morning I sat and said, “But what about me?! Don’t I get some kind of something? A reward? Anything?” He said, “No… That’s the point. There’s no reward to being selfless. You have no personal gain. You’re doing this for the gain of others and my Kingdom. It’s not about you. It’s about Me.”

And so… As angry as I wanted to be with Him… I picked myself up and just embraced what He said. I mean He was and always is telling the truth.

And as seemingly frustrated as I feel about where God continues to lead me as I follow, I’m convinced that there has to be some kind of method and outcome to His madness. There just has to be.🌸🌱 #cultivatelife

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