Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Requesting Radio Silence March 25, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 1:37 pm

This next week will be week 4 of 5 in the 5/7 fast. I will be fasting all forms of media. I will only use my computer for work purposes. My cell phone will be off all week. I’m pretty sure that has never happened before! I do plan on keeping it my purse in case of an emergency, but I don’t plan on powering it on unless something major happens (like my car is in a ditch or someone needs immediate medical attention).

Our world revolves around media. We live our lives with screens in front of us. I am guilty of this a lot. In fact, I am this very moment! I’m hoping this break from the ordinary will help free my time from the excess of distractions in my life. I know it won’t be easy.

Top 10 things I will miss during media week (in random order):

  1. The radio – It’s on in my car like 95% of the time. I’ll turn it off when I’m praying in the car, but that is about the only time it goes off. Maybe if I turned the radio off more, I would pray 95% of the time I’m in the car.
  2. My Fitness Pal – This app on my phone has been a good friend of mine for over a year. I’ve learned that without counting calories I eat everything in sight. The bummer thing about not using this app is that it says what you’ve logged in a certain number of days in a row. I’ve gotten over 100 days before, but right now I’m currently at over 90 days in a row. I guess I’ll be starting again at 1 after next week.
  3. Random Text Messaging – I text a lot! I text my sister almost daily. I text Jeremy when he is the same building as me so I can find him. I text pictures of my dog to my mom, sister and Jeremy.
  4. My clock on my phone – I don’t wear a watch so I use my phone to tell time. If I’m late for something next week, I’m sorry! I wasn’t around a clock!
  5. Facebook – How will I know what 350 of my friends are up to at any given time? Breaking ties with Facebook is like becoming a hermit to most people.
  6. Once Upon a Time – I’m addicted to this new show on ABC. Lucky for me, it airs on Sunday so I’ll be able to watch it the day tonight the fast starts and watch the day following the fast. I can be patient, right?
  7. My laptop – I love my laptop. His name is Bartholomew (Bart for short). You know I love something when I name it.
  8. My blog – I’m going to miss sharing my daily adventures with you. Check back in after the media fast to see how it went and see how I’m doing with my personal fast.
  9. Personal Emails – Since a lot of my close friends live out of the area, I email with them a lot… If anyone wishes to catch up with me, I suggest calling my land line (yes, I still have one).
  10. Googling – I look everything up! Who was that one person that played in that one movie? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? If I have a question and Google has an answer.

Honestly, I am excited for the media fast. I love it when Jeremy and I go camping and we disconnect from the world. It’s no longer about always being available every second of the day. It’s about freedom from the things that take up the most of my time. I think I’m going to be blown away by how much time I have free when I don’t fill it in with media. I think life will be a little quieter. I’m a pretty quiet person by nature, so I’m hoping this will be a relaxing change. I look forward to unplugging and living without a screen in front of me! I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programing after next week! See you on the other side!

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

PS – Today is my hubby’s birthday! I couldn’t post a blog without giving him a shout out! We surprised him in Children’s Church with a cake and cards signed by the students! It was awesome! Since we are finished with the food fast, we are now enjoying many yummy and good foods as a way to celebrate!

 

Sneak Peek: The Personal Fast March 24, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 8:32 am

I thought before the media fast started (week four – beginning this Monday), I would share with you what I have decided to do for the personal fast (week five). I’ve put a lot of thought into it. The trickiest thing about this fast is the fact that it’s the week leading up to Easter. Not only is that one of the busiest, most stressful weeks of my life, but there are also several family gatherings to attend (think good food that I want to eat). I wanted to pick something that would be challenging but not take away from the activities at hand. Before I share with you what I decided, let me tell you about the fasts that I decided not to do. I call them the rejected fasts:

  • Caffeinated Soda – No caffeine in my system the week before Eggstravaganza and the day of… that just sounds like a recipe for a slow, tired, cranky Amy if you ask me.
  • No Hot Water – I started to think about all the people who shower using rain water that they’ve collected. I thought about people who can’t even drink their water… I am sad to admit that I don’t have the guts to take cold showers all week.
  • 7 Personal Hygiene Products – I use a lot of products in the morning that keep me clean, smelling good and my hair from looking like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I thought about paring down my supplies to just 7 items, but this proved to be too hard without giving myself freebies. I couldn’t decide that I needed more than the others. Shallow, I know!
  • No Heaters – I thought about not heating our home for the week to save on electricity, but also to be like others in the world who don’t have heated homes. I realized that Jeremy would have to choose this fast as well since it would affect not only me. We briefly talked about turning our power off (except for the fridge), but yet again, cold showers the week of Easter just didn’t sound so good.

Saying good-bye to a few of my favorite things!

Now, I might get made fun of for the fast I have chosen. However, if you know me, you know that this will be a sacrifice. I have decided to not clean my house the entire week. I’m sure some of you think that is no big deal, but I am OCD. I live in a spotless house. I have light carpets that show everything and I vacuum a LOT. Here is a look at my weekly cleaning schedule:

  • Monday: Sweep kitchen floors, sweep entry way floors, vacuum entire house, do general tidying.
  • Tuesday: Nothing but the usually wiping down counters and doing laundry.
  • Wednesday: Wash ALL towels and blankets in my home (fold and put away), sweep and mop all floors, vacuum the entire house, clean both bathrooms, dust the entire house, empty all trash cans, Lysol the entire house, spray Febreze on approved surfaces.
  • Thursday: The usual tidying – nothing major, just maintaining the clean from the day before.
  • Friday/Saturday/Sunday: One of these days I will sweep all the floors, vacuum the entire house and do the general tidying and laundry. Sometimes I will do the floors two days in a row if they look bad.

As you can tell, I put a lot of time and energy into keeping my home clean. It’s something I struggle with. I know that some people get uncomfortable with how clean my house is, so I’ll leave it intentionally messier when I know they are coming over. I’m crazy I know! I realize this…

This week, I will allow myself to wipe down the counters, use the dishwasher and wash clothing. I will not do anything else in my normal routine. I will have to work hard against the guilt of not cleaning. I will feel the urge to clean a lot. I’m hoping that by freeing myself from my cleaning schedule, I can do three things:

  1. Put more time and energy into my job (preparing for Easter Eggstravaganza and Easter services)
  2. Enjoy more down time at home. Instead of feeling like I have to clean, when I am home I can spend time resting, spend time with Jesus, and spend time with my hubby.
  3. Remember that I am blessed by my home and that others in the world would think I live in a palace. Dirty to me doesn’t even come close to what these people live in. I will remember those who live in the streets, in the garbage dumps, and the sewers. I will try not to freak out over a speck of dirt, because I am truly blessed beyond what I can fully comprehend.

 

 

Playing With Your Food March 23, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 8:52 am

A sign of creativity or going crazy?

This is the question I am asking myself! After processing how I was going to eat the ends of my loaf, I decided I was going to have a little fun with it. The foods I picked don’t need much prep and each meal looks the same. Too much repetition is starting to wear me down. I need a little something different. As a way to spark some change into my diet, I decided to make bunny toast! It’s as simple as grabbing a cookie cutter from my drawer that is full of them. Here is were the variety came back into my life!!! Do I want my toast to be the shape of a flower, a gingerbread man, a snowflake, a pumpkin, a heart… etc. CHOICES! OPTIONS! YAY!

I decided to go with the bunny since it’s almost Easter and with Easter being such a big ministry day, it’s been on my mind a lot. Why not start the celebrating off early with a nice piece of bunny toast! I had a little too much fun while I was doing this. Might be some form of 7 food delirium… I cut out my bunnies and then propped them in the toaster so their little heads were sticking out! Then down they went! Once they popped out, they were ready for a nice layer of jam. Yum, yum! I used the end pieces that I blogged about the previous day and guess what??? They tasted just fine! Maybe my rejection of the ends has been all in my head. Can you see the serious growth that is coming from this fast?

Now you might notice that there are some scraps left over after the bunny shape was made. I will admit that I didn’t eat the entire piece, but MOST of it. That has to count for something, right? I took the suggestion of Regina and I gave Jeremy the left over scraps to feed to the birds (he LOVES to feed birds). I also gave my little dog a piece from each bunny – so it really is a win-win-win. Many people benefited from the bunnies and the end pieces. Talk about a happy ending for all!!! (Except for maybe the bunnies, but they are made of bread and probably don’t have feelings)

 

Convicted: Eating It All March 22, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 2:41 pm

Maybe you grew up hearing things like, “You better eat everything on your plate. There are starving children in the world that would love to have that food.” I didn’t really grow up with that mentality, but I feel like that is the back of my mind during this fast. Originally I purchased two loaves of bread going into this week knowing that I would be make making a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as having toast for a snack. I’m just going to be honesty with you… I don’t like the ends on a loaf of bread. They taste like all crust to me. I don’t dislike crust, but I think the amount of crust on a middle piece of bread is great.  The ends of the loaf are a bad ratio to my taste buds.

Now I’m probably going to get mocked and look down of for this, but I usually throw away the ends of the loaf. I know… I’m terrible. I don’t often think anything of this decision. Jeremy and I have a hard time going through bread before it goes bad. Most likely I’ll throw away some dried out pieces along with the ends and replace it with a fresh new loaf. This process repeats itself often our home.

I have gone through an entire loaf of bread this week and I’m on to my second loaf. I still have the bag for the first loaf in my pantry sitting there… with two ends in it. I feel guilty about throwing them away. They are food and I feel like on a week where I am focusing on my excess, I have no excuse for not eating the whole loaf. I know a starving kid in another country would jump at the chance to have those ends, but I can’t bring myself to every eat them.

So I feel great conviction about this. I’m going to eat the ends and use the whole loaf. It’s not my preference, but it is the right thing to do. Food waste is not acceptable this week (and really shouldn’t be on a regular basis). So yes, I’m going to do this… I wish I was excited, but I’m not. I guess I’ll need a lot of peanut butter or jelly to help me get it down.

On an entirely random note, I felt like doing some math – I must have missed it from the weeks before! I have eaten 20 slices of bread this week and 12 things of string cheese! Never before in my life have I eaten so much of one item in such a short period of time. I wonder what the grand total will be by the end of the week… Hmm… These are a just a few of the interesting thoughts that bounce around in my head!

 

Learning From Limitations March 21, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 3:20 pm

Initially I would have told you I that I picked the wrong 7 foods for this week. In a way I still feel like that, but overall I’m changing my mind about how I view this week. I do miss using my microwave, stove top and oven. It was strange for me not to make a baked good for my Wednesday night class this week. Baking for my girls is something I enjoy doing and it is a part of my routine and identity. I thought I was doing myself a favor by choosing foods that had little or no prep work to eat. It made them easy to pack and take along with me this week. However, I’m noticing the limitations of premade food. My options are smaller than if I had chosen ingredients that I could mix and match to make into multiple meals.

I started to think this over today and I want you to know that my conclusions are in no way a judgment against those that have chosen to do things differently than me. I don’t think I’m better than you, because I’m not. With that disclaimer being said, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on my choice to pick very specific items – like a certain type of bread and a certain kind of cheese. Originally, bread and cheese were going to be open categories for me. So if it fell under the definition of bread I could eat it and all forms of cheese would have been fair game (except for processed cheese products that really aren’t natural cheese). When I posted my blog about the 7 items I’ve chosen for the week, I realized that I backed myself into a corner because I explained my reasons for picking very specific items. If I were to eat cheddar cheese or white bread I would now feel like I was breaking the fast.

Since I am only doing this fast for a week and not a month like the book, I am seeing the benefit to making myself stick to my very specific items. I think it would be too easy for me if I could have all forms of bread and all forms of cheese. It wouldn’t be a sacrifice because I would have more variety and would have added more things to my diet that I like. That is not the point of this fast. Honestly, I know the bread I am eating for a week is healthier than the bread I usually eat, but let me tell you, I don’t like it more than my bread made with enriched flour and chemicals. I miss the bread that is bad for me!!! But eating something I don’t love over and over again is making me think more. It’s not the easy road and I think I’m getting more out of it as a result.

I’m amazed at how I’ve seen God move in my life over the last couple of weeks. Not everything in my life revolves around the 5/7 Fast. The truth is that doing these fast experiences have made me think more and pray more. I’m looking forward to God showing up in new ways. I’m out of my comfort zone. I think my increased conversation with God have spilled over into other areas of my life. God has been so present with me these last couple weeks. I really feel like He is more a part of each moment of my life.  It goes beyond just spending time doing devotions. He isn’t someone I spend an hour with and move on from. He has been present and active! I’ve seen prayers answered! I’ve hit speed bumps that have driven me to my knees. I have also felt a deeper sense of peace these last few weeks even in the wake of tough decisions. I know that fasting really softens the heart and makes room for God show up in big ways. My life is proof of that and I am thankful! During a time of paring down excess in my life, I found new abundance in my relationship with the Lord! This is priceless! I don’t want to go back and I don’t want to stop!

 

The Wall March 20, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 6:34 pm

I’ve learned a lot about myself from these fasts. I’m noticing a similarity between week one with the clothing fast and this week. I tend to hit a point where I think I’m going to break. For the clothing fast it was the third day, for the food fast it was the second day. In those moments, I contemplate why I am doing this crazy thing. I really don’t doubt if I can do it, but if I want to do it. However, just like the first week, I continue to do the food fast. I was talking with a fellow staff member, Pastor Scott Collins, and he described this as “the wall”. Once you hit it, you have to decide if you’re going to climb over it or let it stop you. I have found that once I make it over the wall that I seem to embrace the challenge better. I reach a place of acceptance. Instead of letting the wall stop me, I am choosing to climb over it and move forward. Thanks Pastor Scott for the visual!

Here are a few other thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head:

  • Today I had to pack a lunch for my staff meeting. Instead of using Ziplock bags like I did on Sunday, I thought I would do something that would create a little less waste. Instead of bagging my lunch and then throwing the bags away I used storage containers from home. One of Jen’s friends did this during the waste fast (a month of going green and doing things that are better for the environment). While I am not doing a waste fast, I thought it would be a great element to tie into my take-along meal experiences.
  • I have had a couple different discussions on what the Israelites must have felt like when they could only eat manna and quail. They complained so easily about the food that God provided. I pray that my attitude will be better than the Israelites who even when they were taken care of and provided for still complained about their options. This is a lesson in contentment I don’t want to fail to learn.
  • I was going to tell you about how cool I am for only having two sodas a day (on any given day depending on stress I can have 4-5). However, I broke that 2 soda trend today when I had a third. I blame stress… sorry! I am drinking more water though. This is improvement for me.
  • Now I might have reached acceptance today, but let me tell you, I miss my comfort foods. It’s been a stressful day for me and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by some circumstances in my life. If this day would have happened last week, I would have contemplated my life over Girl Scout cookies, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or at least a package of fruit snacks… No such luck for me this week. Munching on wheat bread just doesn’t have the same level of comfort for my soul.

Overall, I’m learning lessons in contentment, in comfort and in perseverance. I love the dialogue that has come from these fasts. I’ve been so blessed by the conversations I’ve shared. Many of you have been so supportive and encouraging. I’ve grown a lot through these experiences and I’ve enjoyed having you along for the journey. I’m almost nearing the halfway point of this 5/7 Fast and I’m praying that each day and each week my eyes are opened to new things. I’m still holding on to the edge of my seat because I know that God’s not done with me yet!

 

40 Hours In! 128 To Go… March 19, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 3:49 pm

I’m 99.9% sure that this fast is going to be hardest one yet. Let me tell you what I’ve been thinking about all day – FOOD I CAN’T HAVE!!! I’ve lost myself in thoughts of Red Robin burgers, Red Lobster cheesy garlic biscuits, pancakes, donuts, clam chowder, Girl Scout cookies, my beloved Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (spirals preferably)… I’ve also had major food jealously of other people who are doing the fast. Jeremy eating turkey, my mother-in-law mentioning that she ate an apple… an apple sounds so good right now! My mind is like a non-stop reel of food commercials. I’m mentally torturing myself. The pain is self-inflicted!

Apart from the non-stop thoughts of food I can’t have, here are some things that have stood out to me a day and half into this food fast:

  • I’m grateful for marionberry jam because it not the same color as my other foods. I’ve managed to pick foods that are all creamy, tan like colors. It’s so boring on a plate. I never thought of myself as a food artist, but I’m learning there is a lot to visual presentation and the simulation it brings. My foods are all too similar in color and that bothers me for some weird reason.
  • I tried to make some healthy choices with my 7 items. I broke away from the health nuttiness when it came to soda. I had a chuckle yesterday in the car (I wasn’t driving, don’t worry) when I looked at the nutrition facts on my Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi. The first thing on can is “Contains No Juice”.  So far from healthy! Nothing like artificial flavors to tickle the taste buds. Sadly, after reading about juice, it made me want juice!
  • Jeremy and I watch “Worst Cooks in America” on Food Network and it airs on Sundays. Last night, I sat down to watch it with a bowl of cereal in hand. While, I didn’t get too much food envy from watching the worst cooks attempt to filet a fish, I’m pretty sure that will be the last of Food Network for me this week. The chefs on Food Network always say things like “I wish you could smell this…” That statement sounds cruel right now!
  • I have taken to using Scentsy room freshener after Jeremy makes a meal. I don’t want the smell of turkey lingering in my house. Not when I can’t eat it!
  • With Easter Eggstravaganza coming up, Jeremy is collecting candy donations and storing them in his office. He opened a huge bag full of the classiest looking peanut butter cups I’ve seen. The smell filled the office as he emptied the bag into our storage container. Too bad chocolate isn’t on my list or I would have sampled one (just to make sure they are safe for the children).

Jen Hatmaker mentioned in her book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess that the food fast was the best fast for her to do first. Thinking about her sacrifice was never farther away than her next meal. The food fast has taken up the most of my mental attention today. I am constantly thinking about food. I have reminded myself several times that I am not starving. I used to think of myself as a pretty easy going eater. I don’t like a ton of variety and I thought I would be fine eating the same things over and over again. Turns out, I like having 5 or 6 snack options, I like having 5 or 6 meal options at any time. I like being able to go out to eat or go to the store when I don’t like what’s currently in my house. I’m realizing my spoiled nature. I never thought it would be this hard and that it would set in this quickly. I’m praying that God will break me of my comforts. I want to use each moment I think about food to pray for others who don’t have it.  More than the food commercials running through my mind, I want faces of people who are malnourished to claim my thoughts. I want to lift them up in prayer and I want to fight on my knees for their well-being. I don’t want this week to be me complaining about the never-ending desires of my stomach. Pray for me!