soul · Spirit · truth


I told my mom what God told me about blooming. She, who is always wiser than me, said, “Amanda, I know you’re excited, but remember this is going to be a PROCESS. Just like all of the growth you’ve experienced, blooming will take time. A bud doesn’t open overnight. It takes time to expand as it reveals the colorful world inside.”

You know… She’s absolutely right!

While most growth is painful, blooming is not. BUT it does require expansion. Which, like my mom said, takes TIME.

And if you know me, I get caught up with the time things take to get to where they need to be. Sure, I’ve gotten better over the years, but for the most part I still want things to happen faster than they do.

Blame it on our culture that’s centered on instant gratification I guess.

But in really, I’m not up for playing the blame game. I’m more into learning about the expansion process of the bloom!

It’s interesting too. It seems like all of a sudden timing is right. Timing is good. Timing is in season. So many pieces and parts I’ve hoped and prayed would come together are TRULY coming together.

And though there’s a place in me that’s nervous all the pieces coming together might separate again, I’m choosing to stay uplifted. I’m choosing to be strong in my mind, in my heart and in spirit. Because I believe it’s enough as life continues to expand and bloom.

Mind · soul

Looking Back…

You need to write… that’s what he says to me… write… express what you’re thinking… express how you feel about life and the place you are in right now… and honestly… well I don’t know what to say about life… about this year… about all that it has been….
Looking back 2014 has been a year I’ll forever remember… and honestly…. though I’ve experienced a tragedy…. well it’s been a good year…
This time last year I was depressed, disappointed and didn’t know what my life would come too… I honestly didn’t have any idea where I would go next… but I knew I hated where I was… actually… hate might not even be the right word for what I was feeling… I loathed the person I’d become…
And so I wonder to this day if picking up my life and moving it to Cali was the best decision… it sure feels like it… but I have my days… and my insecurities keep me questioning if I’m doing this whole life thing right…
I mean most people I know are married with kids or heading that way… and so comparing myself is an issue…
But in all… I guess this year has taught me that life is pretty amazing… that you don’t need much to live and be happy… that the people in my life… the ones I continue to surround myself with are the ones that matter… and that you can be happy anywhere once you’re happy with yourself…
And I think that’s the biggest thing for me this year… that I’m finally just happy with myself… happy to just be… and to just be me…
I’m happy and at peace… and those are too things I want to maintain in my life… I feel like I should be saying i want to maintain a relationship or the payment on something… but to me… well to me maintaining my happiness and peace are the most important things right now… because I feel like they will certainly help lead me to other things I genuinely want in life…
And these two things cost me so much… but they are good…
And who knows what 2015 will bring…. or what I may loose… 2014 brought death and I lost my father… but it also opened up the opportunity for me to start writing again in the most real way I know how to today….
Of course I’m a little scared… just the thought of entering a new year full of new unknowns… living in a city and state I know I don’t want to stay in forever… and working a job I don’t want forever either… the transition and end of those things do frighten me some and cause me to wonder “what’s next?”….
But at the same time… this all went smoothly… once I finally got on my own path… my own road marked “Amanda’s Journey”… once I got off of everyone else’s and started my own… well it feels like it’s been smooth sailing… even when waves have been rough and i’ve had some raw moments…
And I think because of this…. because I’m finally on the road marked “Amanda Winder”… well I think that means I should continue to move forward… and I should continue to just be me… and i’m honestly so ok with that…

With Time


Will we still be having the same conversation 5-20 years from now? Will we still be ever so curious…. wondering how life without dad is a reality? Will it ever feel real? Or will it all set in with time?

I’ve been living and moving through life for the past few days…. missing dad but pursuing what’s in front of me and thinking about it as little as possible….. but then I was smacked in the face with reality on the way to a concert last night.

All it took was my 15 year old cousin to post a status about how much he misses my dad and thought about him throughout his first day as a high school freshman….. and honestly seeing the words he wrote made me crumble a little on the inside.

Collin and dad had this weird love/hate relationship where they picked on each other constantly…. I mean it was brutal at times… And as he grew up, their relationship became a friendship…. and dad said on multiple occasions he would do anything for my three cousins… anything. He loved them that much.

And I didn’t really see it coming…. how heartbroken Collin would be with the loss of my dad. Honestly, I feel like he was more crushed than I was. At the viewing he burst into tears, showing how great his heart and compassion really are… and at the funeral he cried the whole time.

I hate that he’s so upset over the situation… so crushed and missing my dad so very much.

It’s strange how these raw moments come to life. You think you’re fine and then a Facebook status reminds you that you’re not…. that it’s real… that dad is gone.

My sister and I talked about it all last night…. She was reliving moments and so was I…. and it’s just hard to realize that he’s gone. We both agreed that death is so strange. That it’s still baffles both of us how the breathe is so necessary for our life here on earth to be a reality….

I think standing in the hospital room when he passed will always be in our memories… or at least mine. I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I wasn’t thinking that I would watch my dad die in my mom’s arms. I wasn’t really thinking at all….

We also talked about how crazy it is to think he lived with it for 5-10 years…. I mean, 10 years ago I was 15…. 15 and going into my sophomore year of high school…. 15 with a permit…. 15 and we still lived on Yarbrough…. and I still had braces…. so many things have happened in 10 years. I didn’t have confidence 10 years ago. I hadn’t lost 100 pounds or studied Hebrew, Greek and the Bible… I hadn’t graduated high school or spent time at BPCC… Christ for the Nations wasn’t a reality yet and neither was BAMA….

So many things have happened in life in 10 years… so many….. and in 5 years…. well, 5 years ago I was preparing to move to Dallas to go to Christ for the Nations…. BAMA wasn’t even on my radar. I thought I wanted a life in ministry….

And now… here I am. Here I am 5-10 years later in Los Angeles, CA…. and I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m living I suppose…..

But all of those years…. all of those years dad was living with cancer…. his body was at war on the inside trying to preserve years…. life. And in the end he died prematurely. So would it have been better for him to have known?

I mean, the man was building houses… walking on framing and roofs… he was snow skiing…. he was investing his time and money into our happiness… he was living like he was dying and he didn’t even know it.

In a way…. in a way that’s pretty impressive, but it still sucks…. and I do want him back so much…. but I can’t have that.

I had another dream last night that he came back to life…. it’s the second one I’ve had… and I don’t know why I keep having these dreams…. but in this one he had been dead for a few days and then right before the funeral he came back to life. The entire dream was freaky in so many ways…. like out of a horror movie…. without the blood and creepy music or course…

I don’t know what to do with these dreams though. I must really want my dad back though…. on some kind of subconscious level. But I guess that’s impossible….. I mean I did watch his breathe leave his body…. meaning he’s gone forever.

So…. where do I go from here? What do I do with all of this? And how do I figure out why I keep having these dreams? I guess I’ll figure it out…. and until then, move forward and watch it get better with time.