Kingdom of Lies

Lies… Deception… Manipulation… Layers upon layers rest upon my soul. And so my soul feels confused.

But then, my soul doesn’t want a fragment of falseness. My soul wants truth. My heart and spirit crave truth too. But then my mind fears the truth because the lies sound so good and feel so powerful and strong. The lies have been given so much weight and support with my thoughts and my words. I’ve helped cultivate this kingdom of lies.

But the fruit… It isn’t good. The fruit just causes more pain, heartache and disappointment. And even when I try to believe the pain is for a purpose, I find myself more manipulated and deceived than I was before. Constantly pacing in mental hell as I scream, “Why?!!!”

But I hear God. I hear Him clearly when He says, “Why would I lead you down a path of deception and manipulation? Why would I bring pain and confusion to your soul? I want you healthy and whole. So let go.”

And so… I let go. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

One Present Moment

Can I be honest?… I think about life and death A LOT!

Seriously though… I think about the reality of mortality and what it means to be fully alive on the inside constantly.

Now, recently the Holy Spirit said, “Just live this summer Amanda. Take the next three months and really focus your attention on living.” Of course I needed to know what He meant… So I asked, and this is what He said…

“When you focus your attention on the past, you’re focusing on death. When you focus your attention on the future, you’re too focused on life. I’m asking you to focus your attention… To focus all of who you are on living. And to focus yourself on living is to focus on just being. I know it’s a lot to ask… Especially with your culture, and the anticipation it has to be in tomorrow. But I just need you to do this. I need you to continue to cultivate this habit until it becomes your lifestyle.”

And I don’t really know how this will shift who I am; however; I’ve already begun to realize how stupid I am for ignoring the present.

You see if you’re anything like me then you’ll understand what it feels like to be miserably obsessed with getting to tomorrow. It’s a constant state of not allowing today to be enough because we’ve been taught to fear being content with the present. It’s almost like it’s taboo to say, “I’m choosing to be fully present today.”

But you know… If I can’t get my mind off of tomorrow and I’m constantly thinking about what it will produce, well then I think I’ll wake up one day in my 70s and realize I’ve wasted my life away by being too concerned about tomorrow. I’ll miss the opportunity life gave me to just live and be fully alive from the inside out.

And I’m not saying choosing to just live means I’m going to become lazy or inactive… But what I am saying is I’m trying to make a better attempt at fully leaving the past in the past and allowing the future to unfold one present moment at a time. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

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

What Gives God?

How can I confidently stand firm on God and His words and His promises when I have days like yesterday? Moments where I feel impatient and start to flip flop about the promises.

And what about the “bloom?!” God promised I’d see a bloom in my life, but now I feel like He meant the trees around me!!

What gives God? Where are your promises? What’s your delay? What’s the delay? And why do I still have to be still?

In the stillness there’s still growth though… There’s still constant and consistent movement and life.

And even though my soul flips back and forth everyday… I still have hope. I still have joy. I still believe cultivating LIFE in the Kingdom of God is the best way we can choose to live life! 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

She Can’t Be Moved

Everything with God feels like a challenge lately. Every part of following His plan for my life continues to come with unscalable walls that I can’t seem to bust through without His help.

And the past two weeks… The past two weeks have had my spirit and soul deeply wondering what I’m truly doing and what’s next.

I also knew I needed to break through something. And… He did tell me a breakthrough was coming; however, I didn’t understand what it was or what would bring it.

And then in the middle of my Monday it appeared. This heavy conversation tried to tear at my heart and soul apart… It tried its hardest to make me feel like I made a mistake, but it was unable to actually succeed.

Instead I found myself resting on truth. I found myself holding onto the reality that God is the only true love I will ever need. Nothing and no one can fill me up like He can. I will only find wholeness and completeness in Him.

And for so long I’ve wanted to believe the opposite is true. I’ve wanted to fill my life with someone that would solve my problem of feeling alone… I’ve wanted someone to just take care of me.

But then how can broken people actually make broken people whole and complete? They cannot. Only a whole and complete God can.

And so… Despite the pain and insecurity that tried their hardest to tear my heart apart, I’m happy to report that I’m standing firm on the only structure and source I know will always keep me safe, protected and truly loved.

Thanks Death

I’m not one to wallow and get down about life and what I’ve lost, but lately I’ve found myself missing my dad more than I can explain. It’s sometimes unsettling the way he’s constantly on my mind, and then I’m forced to think about my reality. My mind begins to remind me that death happened, but that life has continued to go on around me.

And though it is so challenging to understand why he died so young. And though I miss him and the life my family had before he was taken from this earth… Well I am still so grateful to have experienced death.

You see there’s just something so motivating to me about death. I believe death is a being, and I believe anytime we experience him we must respect him even though he’s been so seemingly disrespectful to us.

You see death left an imprint on my life. He left an imprint so wide and so deep that it sometimes felt unbearable to breathe again.

However, since my dad’s death I’ve been thrusted into this place of living. A place that’s forced me to stare down death and decide that I will not allow my experience with him to define me in a negative way, but in a positive one.

Because of death I live freer. I love harder. I think more in-depth. I take risks. I consider others. And though he’s helped toss my world upside down, I give more. I’ve gained more. I stop and think of others and where they might be in life because there is a compassion inside of me that wasn’t there before I met him.

And… Although it’s so challenging to not become angry and bitter with God, I’ve found myself more connected to Him than ever before. He’s shown me what true love is. And within that true love I never feel truly broken or without.

And though I don’t know where you stand today, what you’ve lost or how utterly broken you may feel… Please know this. I believe it’s very healthy to feel every ounce of death. But then I also believe it’s so healthy to live life to it’s very fullest. To love with every part of our hearts we can love with. And though it’s challenging to forgive and not become angry with God, I’ve found that He will fill in the broken and battered pieces when we’re ready to let Him in again.

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