Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

What I’m Reading & What I’m Loving – February 2020 February 24, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Simply Me,What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 3:13 pm

Here we are! The last week of February! And it’s a Leap Year! Do you have any special plans for your February 29th? Since the end of the month is in sight, let’s talk books and things I’m loving from February 2020!

Books

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  • You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins – a fast but practical read that was recommended to me by an author friend.
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend * – I’m currently working on this book, but should have it finished by the end of the month, so I included it. I’ve owned this book for years and I am re-reading it as a refresher on the principles.
  • Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island by Susan Page Davis * – You’ll find that I love anything PEI. This is a lovely story about when Prince Albert visited the island.
  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker * – I read this book when I was pregnant with Graham and I remember laughing so hard while reading it. I figured it was time to revisit it.
  • Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory –  This book and the next one on the list came recommended by an author I follow on social media. Both books were a little too steamy and had too much language for me to recommend them to others. I’m fairly conservative when it comes to entertainment and these books were a little too PG-13 for my personal taste.
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes –  see my description of Royal Holiday.
  • The Anne of Green Gables Series (minus Anne of Windy Poplars) by L.M. Montgomery * – As you can tell, I love re-reading my home library. It had been a while since read the Anne books. When I read the Anne books it’s like visiting an old friend, a kindred spirit. I’ve decided that Anne of the Island is my favorite because Anne realizes she loves Gilbert and they get engaged at the end. Anne of Windy Poplars fills in the three years between her engagement and her marriage. The plot line doesn’t move forward in this book, so I skip it!

* Books that I’ve read before; just not in the last year.

Things I’m Loving

Keepsake Quilts from Nana – I’ve been in the process of pairing down baby items in my house over the last year or so. I had this idea for making keepsake quilts out of the receiving blankets the boys used. We had SO many! My mother-in-law is a quilter and she took up the task for me. The boys got a sneak preview of their quilts about a week ago and the finished products were delivered to them yesterday. These quilts are such a precious way to preserve a part of their baby days. Graham’s blue blanket has pieces from blankets that Jeremy and his brothers used as babies. Nana even went the extra mile and made the boys matching pillows to go with them!

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 A New Planner – I was gifted this new planner by an author friend to help me on my journey of planning and writing this year. I’m currently using it to keep track of my editing schedule. It’s a dream planner so it has spaces to dream for the year and it also breaks things down into quarterly goals. I learned very quickly when I started to use it that I should write in pencil and not pen. Plans change!

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Girl Scout Cookies – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I have a wonderful Girl Scout in my class of Wednesday night girls and I am happy to support her desire to go to summer camp by buying as many cookies as Jeremy will let me!

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Samoas are my favorite Girl Scout cookie! Do you have a favorite?

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I love adding Thin Mints to my brownies! Such a good combination! 

Honorable Mention:

  • Unsellable Houses on HGTV – One of my close friends knows the twins who host this show. They actually helped her family buy and sell their house a few years ago. I love watching home shows that feature the PNW. And I’ve got Jeremy watching it with me, so that is a bonus as well!
  • Doctor On Demand – I was very pleased with my experience this last month using Doctor On Demand for my sinus infection. I loved that I could video chat with a doctor from the comfort of my home during nap time. As someone who never takes time to go to the doctor, this app is a game changer!

Now for some photos from the last week:

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Grandpa met Owen at the bus stop last week and gave him a ride home on the lawn mower. Such a fun treat!

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Poor Graham has been under the weather this last week!

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Owen and I tagged along on an adventure to help Grandpa buy a new truck. Owen loved being included in the process. 

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Watching space videos while resting in a giant pile of stuffed animals. 

 

A Jolly Holiday Weekend February 18, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 2:57 pm

This last weekend was quite jolly! So many good and wonderful things happened!

Friday was Valentine’s Day. Graham decided to go to school the extra day for his class party. He came home completely jazzed. His first Valentine’s Day party was a major hit. We exchanged chocolate boxes with Owen’s bus driver. We got him a box and he gave us one as well. It was funny and sweet. I experienced a small bit of mom guilt when I realized that my kids were the only ones in their class to give just paper cards.  I’m not too distraught about it and my kids honestly didn’t care, so it’s no big deal. I’ve made a mental note to up my game next year.

Nana & Papa offered to have the boys over for a sleepover on Friday night. I was trying to come up with a way to make Valentine’s Day extra special for them and then Nana & Papa provided the perfect opportunity. Since I’m still recovering from my never-ending cough, Jeremy and I opted for a night in a home alone. We got dinner to go. Jeremy picked up cheesecake from the store. We played a board game, watched a movie and went to bed on-time. Nothing wild or crazy, but it was perfect! It’s not often that Jeremy and I get to hang out alone. It’s been forever since we played a game together, just the two of us. It was so much fun that we even sneaked in another game on Saturday before the boys came home.

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Date night in with my hubby! 

Jeremy has been my Valentine now for 15 years. I love that “love” doesn’t look flashy, expensive, or wild. It’s sweet, thoughtful, and beautiful in all the little ways. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories with Jeremy are the ones were we slowed down and spent quality time together.  Our first Valentine’s Day together happened while I was away at school. Jeremy surprised me by driving down to Portland to have dinner with me at Panda Express. If I remember correctly, we wandered through Home Depot and Target afterward. One year, after a big ministry event, we got pizza and binged watched a season of The Office. I don’t need fancy things, give me quality time and I’m a happy camper.

Saturday and Sunday were social days. Saturday night we had friends over for dinner. Sunday was the kick off our growth group for the spring semester. It was fun to catch up with many friends over the weekend. After the holiday season and lots of illness in 2020, it was nice to invite people back into our home and share our space with others again.

Since Jeremy and I stuck close to home over the weekend, we decided to go on an adventure for our President’s Day holiday. Owen and Graham latched onto the idea of going to the Tillamook Creamery and the plan was put into motion. We started at the Tillamook Creamery and then we headed into Cannon Beach. At the beach, we walked and threw rocks and shells into the ocean. It was a cold day (since it’s February), so the boys listened to our warnings to stay out of the water. After the beach, we packed up for dinner in Astoria on the way home. It the perfect day. It was sunny and our destinations weren’t too busy even though it was a holiday weekend. It was a blessing to have a free day to go off and adventure together.

I kept thinking yesterday, as I watched my boys run and laugh in the sunshine, that these are the best days. I get to raise these boys alongside my wonderful husband and my heart just might burst (cheesy, I know, but it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, so I’m here for all the cheesiness). I wish the boys would stay little forever. I wish I could freeze Monday and live in those moments forever. But I know I can’t. So I will be thankful for each day and I will look forward to all the good memories that are still to be made.

 

 

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Baby Shower February 13, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:00 am

My friend, Jennifer, is expecting twin boys this spring. Jennifer and her family attend our growth group and we’ve enjoyed getting to know them over the last year or so at church. I offered to throw her a baby shower to celebrate the twins. Since she teaches in a local community about a half hour away from my house, we opted to have the shower at her house to be closer to her co-workers.  When I first started planning the shower, I sent Jennifer a list of theme ideas. I wanted her to have say in the theme, but I really had my heart set on one in particular. Lucky for me, she picked the theme I had hoped for! How can you go wrong with a Thing 1 & Thing 2 shower for twin boys? It was so fun to bring this theme to life and to bless my friend as she anticipates the arrival of two baby boys!

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Starting the theme off with these adorable invitations from Esty. I bought a digital copy of the invitation and had them printed on pearl photo paper through Shutterfly. I also purchased themed diaper raffle tickets on Etsy.

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Part of my gift to Jennifer was the decor items – The Cat in the Hat book, Thing 1 & Thing 2 plush toys, and Twin 1 & Twin 2 onesies.

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I got the decor items all from Amazon! 

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The beautiful cake came from Safeway with the sparkly twin boys sign from Amazon. 

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I brought my own white, red, and blue serving ware from home. I was so glad that I already owned the exact colors to match the shower. The plates and napkins were from Party City. I knew that Party City had the exact color of blue to match the Things hair. 

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We played on a game where the ladies had to fill in the blank with candy names that resemble aspects of pregnancy. I wanted another chance to win a prize so I came up with this guess the red and blue M&M game. I was proud of myself for coming up with the riddle on my own.

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Prizes for the two games and the diaper raffle! I got some Bert’s Bees gift sets and truffles for prizes.

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Jennifer and I at the shower! It was such a fun afternoon! 

 

 

Catching Up February 12, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:22 am

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a newsy update with the happenings of our everyday lives.  I had a week in January were I had to cancel plans to stay home with Graham because he had a fever. Most of the plans got rescheduled to the end of January without the knowledge that I would develop bronchitis and a sinus infection at that same time.  The weeks have been full and I’ve felt slow with my brain cells not operating at 100%. Life seems to be like a kid calling over it’s shoulder, “Catch up!”

At the end of January, Owen got to take a field trip to Safety City. A local company opened their building up to local area kindergarten classes. Law enforcement shared with the kids about various forms of safety – boat, bus, train, etc. It’s definitely been on my heart that Owen has someone special to attend his field trips with this year. Since this one was in the afternoon during Graham’s nap time, Jeremy took his lunch hour to go with Owen. He also got to ride the bus to and from the event. I was thankful that Jeremy got to participate and that the bus didn’t leave him behind like it did me back in October (you can read about my past field trip experience here).

Jeremy’s plate has been full with a local home & sportsman show where our church offered inflatables and balloons for the children attending. The event was the weekend of the Super Bowl. Luckily, it wrapped up on Sunday with enough time for him to get home and watch the game. Jeremy and the boys spent the entire game at my parent’s house. I came down for snacks, dinner and dessert. After I nibbled, I went back home to rest between eating times. I was developing my sinus infection that day, so I was grateful for the quiet. Jeremy showed me all the funny commercials later that evening after the boys were in a bed.

It’s also Easter egg prep time at our church. We host a large community event the week before Easter each year. Families join us to hunt roughly 70,000 candy filled eggs. This last week, Jeremy filmed our video announcements for Sunday morning in a giant box of eggs. I love to see my husband and the staff have fun at work. You can tell they enjoyed brainstorming this idea and making it come to life. The announcements were a big hit. Jeremy got so many comments and text messages about it! I feel sorry for whoever has to follow him up this Sunday. He is going to be a hard act to follow.

Going down the list, I feel like I should give an update on Graham. But really there isn’t too much new going on his life. He is living his best life daily. The kid is a balance of silly, sassy, energy, quiet and restfulness. His current life dilemma is if he should go to preschool an extra day this week. He usually doesn’t go to preschool on Fridays, but he has the option this week so he can participate in his class Valentine’s Day party. He really enjoys his Mondays/Fridays with no school. It’s been a tough call for him. He really wants to party, but he isn’t too keen on going to school an extra day. We’ll see what decision he makes.

As for me, I keep bopping from one thing to the next. At the end of January, I got to sit down with an author I greatly admire and talk about writing, ministry, and life. It was an extremely positive meeting. I left our conversation encouraged and with new resources to check out. I have sit down with another author this month. I hope to blog about the writing process later this month and share an update on where I am at with my book.

The last few weeks have been full of MOPS & MOMSnext commitments, volunteering at Owen’s school, and hosting a baby shower for a friend. I also had the final sit down with the bride of the March wedding at church. Things seem to be all in place and ready for a lovely event. I’m excited and a bit nervous for my official wedding as wedding facility coordinator.

With Valentine’s Day at the end of the week, we’ve been in prep mode. The boys each worked on their class valentines. Owen picked The Incredibles and Graham picked Frozen 2. We have small chocolate boxes for the teachers and the bus driver. Around the house, we’ve had hearts on our windows. My mom delivered a large and very silly helium balloon in the shape of a wiener dog. Jeremy contributed tulips for the counter. I put my heart shape cookie cutter to good use and made butter cookies yesterday. I was happy with how the frosting and sugar sprinkles turned out. I’m not a professional baker, but I have a couple friends who are. They inspire me to be extra fancy every now and again.

Our time together always goes so quickly! My next post will be about the baby shower I hosted. After months of planning, it came together well. I can’t wait to share about it soon!

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Safety City Field Trip

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Wrapping up January, our birthday month, with Maggie May! 

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I attempted to edit my book during bath time with distracted kiddos. It only lasted about three minutes before they asked to get out of the tub. 

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Can you tell my husband has fun at work? This would be a egg-cellent profile picture for social media!

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I got to the spend the 100th Day of School volunteering in Owen’s classroom. Here he is with 100 snacks. 

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One of the perks of being a children’s pastor’s kid is that occasionally you get to make leftover crafts from church at home. 

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Making a train on Sunday morning. They choo-choo’d all the way from the van to their classroom doors.

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The sun came out!!! Graham enjoyed riding his bike to the bus stop to meet Owen.

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My heart cookies for class tonight.

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Graham approved! 

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Graham has his valentines all ready to go. Now he just has to decide if he wants to party with his class or not.

 

 

Sabbath Thoughts: Social Life or Mental Health? February 3, 2020

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am
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How I rest best – with a blanket and a book.

I was talking about this concept with a friend the other day. We both are constantly assessing the pace of lives. I realize that I over-do it often. My life seems to swing between two extremes. I’m going full tilt and then I’m slowed down to due to illness – my own or someone in my family. My calendar goes from all the commitments to no commitments and back again. I’m not a fan of the extremes.

January was a slower month due to illness and as the pace picked up leading into February, I realized that I need to be intentional again about making sure I have one full day at home a week. This doesn’t happen every week, but I do best if it happens most weeks.

When it comes to taking a day at home, I struggle with guilt. How many people have the opportunity to claim a day of rest? Some people, due to personality, might not even want a day at home. It might not fill them up in the way it does me. However, in a culture that honors busy, a day at home seems indulgent. I don’t want to be lazy or unproductive. Protecting a day at home can seem selfish when there is so much to do and so many opportunities available. And let’s be real, the things that keep me busy are valuable. They are causes I care about and people I love.

It dawned on me though, this day at home that my soul longs for is biblical. It’s a Sabbath. It’s a time to wear less hats and juggle less plates. When I’m at home, I tend to still be productive, but in a slower way. I get a few things done, but I also make plenty of space for rest. When I’m not exhausted from my pace, I can be present with my family and show up better for them. And as an introvert, time at home way from the public eye is what recharges my battery.

It can often feel like a power struggle between my social/public life and my mental health. Yes, I want to attend all the things and I want to see all the people. I want to be an excellent leader, volunteer, and friend. What if I re-wired my brain to not see this as a power struggle between Social Amy and Homebody Amy? What if I used these two equally valuable sides of myself to compliment each other?

I believe that a rested version of myself is better for the world. Resting, relaxing and withdrawing might not seem like they would make the world a better place. But when they don’t happen, I certainly don’t make the world a better place. My attitude turns to one of obligation. I sigh as I leave my house, longing for my pajamas. My spirit is sad. This is not bringing my best self to the table. I might be able to fake it and pretend like I’m all in, but inwardly, I have one foot out the door. I’m ready to go home before I ever arrive.

When I am mindful to have time at home to rest, I am more willing to go out and give my commitments 100%. I actually have something to offer my people. I have filled myself up. And yes, I will empty myself out. It’s a cycle. Fill up to pour out. You can’t have one without the other. It can’t be all fill and all pour.

I might be a homebody. But I am not called to cultivate my own stand alone kingdom. I’m called to do God’s kingdom work. Part of that takes place in my home. I believe in the power of the home life I am creating for my husband and my children. And while I love the “feeling” of control over my little kingdom, I know that God hasn’t called me to stay hidden away from the world. He has called me out into the harvest field to work alongside him. The hearts in my house matter and so do the hearts that I interact with through church, through the school and through friendship.  In order to be who I am called to be, I need rest and solitude. I need that time of withdraw. I pull back fully knowing that it is for the purpose of going back out.

Maybe you know the feeling of being frazzled and worn out? I know it well. When I hit the wall and have no more to give, I tend to shut down. I want to cancel all the plans for the week, for the month, for the year. I want to hunker down and go into hermit mode.  But what if instead of vacillating between two extremes, I just scheduled more rest instead of scheduling more things? What if I left margin in my days, in my weeks and in my months? I’m positive it would make a difference. The reason I am positive is because I’ve experienced it before. It crazy how we know a truth and yet we learn it over and over again throughout a lifetime.

I will continue to learn the art of Sabbath. I will do my best not to make life a power struggle between two good things. I can be both – social and restful. I will give of myself and I will withdraw myself. Life can be both. Not one way is more correct than the other. They go hand in hand.

How do you make time for Sabbath (a day of rest) in your life? What are some activities that fill you up and renew your energy?

Find a day on the calendar and put a big X over it so it doesn’t fill up. Rest doesn’t happen on accident. If you want margin if your life, you have to create it and protect it.

 

What I’m Loving – January 2020 January 30, 2020

Filed under: What I'm Loving — Amy Scott @ 8:00 am

Welcome to the first edition of What I’m Loving! I try not to be materialistic. I’m not into clutter. I tend to be a minimalist. With that being said, we are post Christmas and January is my birthday month. I have a few new gadgets/goodies that I’ve been enjoying this month. These aren’t my usual splurges, but it’s a special time of year. I promise next month will mostly feature cookies, candy and cake (because of Valentine’s Day and my addiction to sugar).

What I’m Loving – January 2020

Rosie the Roomba – I know I’ve mentioned Rosie in a few posts. I’ve now had a month of her partnering with me to clean my house and my review: she is a complete gem. I love her! She vacuums my hard floors daily and my bedrooms every other day. I love how thorough she is and carpet lines make my heart happy. Rosie is my new best friend! And she acts like a pet to keep track of around the house (bonus: she doesn’t shed).

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Heaven is reading a book while a robot vacuums the room for you.

Fit Bit – My boys got me a Fit Bit for my birthday. I’m all over my house throughout the day, but rarely keep my phone on me to count steps. I love that my Fit Bit validates that I am active. I’m also a slave to it now. I must walk 250 steps each hour, I must get 10,000 steps a day, and I’m always striving to get an excellent sleep score (that one hasn’t happened yet). I love that my Fit Bit encourages healthy habits and movement. And because notifications come up on my Fit Bit from my phone, I don’t feel like I need to find my phone whenever it pings. Very freeing. 

Our Electric Kettle –  I’ve become addicted to having hot chocolate daily (with whipped cream – I’m wild). Jeremy enjoys drinking hot water especially when he is feeling under the weather. We don’t have an instant hot water tap so we thought it would be good to invest in an electric kettle. Brilliant! It looks like I won’t be breaking my addiction to hot chocolate any time soon.

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Our new dining room wall display – When we moved into our house we put up a piece of artwork that was on our old dining room wall despite the fact that it was too small for the new wall. For almost a year we’ve been contemplating buying a personalized US map we saw at a friend’s house and creating our own travel themed wall. With some birthday spending money, we decided to go for it! The map says “The Scott Family Explores America” on the top and we have pushpins to document our travels. The map is surrounded by photos from our travels. The prints are inexpensive so we can change them out as we travel more. And the whole thing is hung with pushpins like a college dorm room to be cost effective. Maybe some day we’ll invest in frames. I love the memories that are displayed on this wall. Seeing the map with so much of the US unexplored gives me a travel bug and makes me want to go on a new adventure!

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Jeremy found the sign at Hobby Lobby. It fits perfectly! I’m a proud wife. The picture of Jeremy and I at Haleakala turned out darker then I expected. I’m using it as a placeholder for pictures from our upcoming summer adventures. 

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Jeremy attempted to color code our adventures! 

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How the display fills the wall by the dining room table. 

Honorable mentions:

  • Sanditon on PBS – My sister-in-law clued me into this show right before it premiered. After reading all of Jane Austen’s novels this fall, I’m shocked to find out that I was unaware of her unfinished novel, Sanditon. I’m a sucker for period dramas, Jane Austen, and PBS.
  • Our local fire station – Our MOPS & MOMSnext group took our annual outing to the fire station this last week.  The kids always love exploring the station. I’m so thankful for the service of our firefighters and the blessing they are to our families by letting us visit.

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Starting Something New January 29, 2020

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 9:40 am

I’m going to start something new on this blog. For the last post of each month, I want to share the books that I read and things that I loved that month. I almost set a goal of trying to read 100 books in 2020, but then I realized that if I made it a mission it might take the fun out of reading. So, I’m possibly shooting to read 100 books this year, but no extra pressure. Right? We’ll see how that goes.

Before I jump into my list, I thought I would share with you how I am able to read so much. The main reason I am able to read so much is that I don’t watch a lot of television. I did the math this week and I watch about 3-4 hours of TV a week. I usually watch one movie and one to two shows a week. I read during nap time which is still a thing in my household. I also read after the kids are in bed at night. I read during down time with my family. The kids might be playing together or watching a movie, I sit down in the middle of the chaos and read a book. I do get interrupted and sometimes it’s hard to focus, but I want to set the example of reading for my kids. I want them to see me doing something I value. They often ask me what I’m reading and it sparks good conversation. On a random note, Graham also really enjoys sniffing my books. The final reason I was able to read so much this month was canceled plans due to sickness. If you can’t leave the house, might as well read!

Books for January 2020:

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  1. The Enneagram Type 1: The Moral Perfectionist by Beth McCord I follow Beth on Instagram and I love learning more about my personality type. While I’ve read most of this content before, I appreciated the journal format for processing.
  2. Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach Tara Beth will be the speaker at a conference I’m attending in March. I heard good things about this book and decided I needed to know for myself. An excellent book for women in ministry!
  3. Never Say No: Raising Big-Picture Kids by Mark & Jan Foreman* – The title of this book might seem controversial, but it’s not about letting your kids have whatever they want, it’s about saying yes to being present with them and walking alongside them as they develop into their God given passions and dreams. As the parents of Jon & Tim Foreman from Switchfoot, I love reading about how they raised their influential sons.
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Borrows* – I loved the Netflix movie and it inspired me to read the book. Such an eye opening look into the occupied channel islands during WWII.
  5. Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White* – This is the equivalent of reading a Hallmark movie but set in 1784. Perfect sick day restful reading.
  6. Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery* – I just added this book to my collection, I’ve had it as an ebook for years, but I wanted to own a physical copy for my bookshelf.
  7. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery* – Quite possibly my favorite work by L.M. Montgomery. Her heroine, Valancy, is my one of my favorite literary characters!
  8. Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings by Mary Henley Rubio – This biography was 600 pages long. I feel like it should count as two books. It was in-depth and thought provoking. I’ve found biographies/autobiographies fascinating in the last year. People lives are interesting and their stories matter.
  9. [Not Pictured] Rethink Communication: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church by Phil Bowdle (my husband is borrowing my copy) – This was a staff read for our church. It was a good reminder that we are living in a digital age and we can use technology to advance the kingdom of God. I also love the reminder to keep things simple. There is a definite balance of not over-communicating so you get tuned out and under-communicating so no one has enough information.
  10. [Not Pictured] The Next Right Thing: A Simple Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions by Emily P. Freeman (read as an ebook) – I will admit that the title of this book made me think of Anna from Frozen II and that might be why I read it. I also like Emily P. Freeman as an author. Since I’m not making a major life decision at the moment, most of the information I read will be stored away for later, but there was lots of useful takeaways for everyday living as well.

Books with an * mean that I have read them before. I have a system for keeping track of the books I read each year. If I haven’t read the book in the last calendar year then it can be included in my yearly reading list. I re-read many books because they are my favorites and I feel like we are friends. I also re-read books for a refresher on useful information and inspiration.

And with that, I’ve taken up my allotted time for today. I’ll have to make another post soon with the things that I loved this month (other than books, of course).

What did you read this month?