Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

June Ends In Gray June 30, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:41 am

The View from My Window

June started gray and it looks like it’s going to end gray. I know it seems strange, but I’m okay with that. Especially this morning, the gray seems calming and comforting. It has created a stillness. The clouds are almost like a blanket that reminds me to slow down and enjoy the quiet moments. Gray days can be good days.

This morning started off with my hubby heading out to wander the woods. He and his brother, Nathan, have trail cameras set up in their favorite hunting grounds. Jeremy loves checking his camera to find out if anything has walked in front of it. I know that he really enjoys this time with family and nature, so I’m happy he can be out and about doing something he loves.

This leaves the puppy and myself here at the house. It really has been the perfect morning for the two of us. Toby has enjoyed looking out the window as I tidy the house. I love mornings where there is nothing that has to get done. I do what I do because I want to not because I feel like I have to. I quietly cleaned the floors, unloaded the dishwasher, folded some laundry. I have the windows open so I can hear the birds chirping and soft drizzle from time to time. Toby, of course, barks at anyone who might walk down our road.

Toby’s Treat

I decided that Toby and I both deserved a special treat on this quiet, gray morning. We purchased a four pack of dog toys from Costco ages ago and we’ve slowly been giving Toby a toy out of the pack. The problem about these toys is that they have stuffing. Toby loves to kill his toys and rip out the stuffing. Which means my floor becomes covered in toy fluff. However, I was feeling generous and I decided that I could handle the mess. So Toby was awarded a new toy to spend the morning killing. At this time, he has opted for looking at the sliding glass door just a few feet away from me. Maybe he is comforted by the gray, just as I am.

My Treat

My special treat was a breakfast of Strawberry Shortcake – one of my favorite desserts! Jeremy’s strawberry patch has been doing excellent this year and we are reaping the rewards! Last week, Jeremy made a ton of sweet strawberry jam. I’ve discovered how wonderful it is put on top of desserts since it’s really more like strawberry syrup in flavor and texture. I started to create my masterpiece from the ground up. Base layer – shortcake. Next layer, jam. Around the shortcake, strawberries from the garden in a circle. End with whipped cream on top! Yum! It was a great treat after a morning of cleaning.

Now I must pull my thoughts a different direction and get them focused on some work. My quiet time alone in the house is only for so long and I have some work related tasks I want to get done before Jeremy emerges from the forest. This is the perfect environment to focus and get stuff done. If I can stop daydreaming about the weather! If not, oh well! God has made this delightfully gray day and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

 

Draw Bridges, Oregon Zoo, Flat Tire, Chinese Food June 29, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 11:54 am

Okay, that title pretty much sums up my day yesterday! It certainly was a whirlwind of fun activities and strange experiences!

The Whole Zoo Group!

We left “almost” on time for the Oregon Zoo. My van only had 4 people in it… which has a funny story behind it! I kept saying we’re the Fab Five and the one student in the vehicle felt the need to keep her mouth shut. She didn’t have the heart to tell me we had only 4 people in our van. Upon further reflection, I was saying this in light of the fact that Jesus is always with us. So yes, counting Jesus, were the Fab Five! On the ride down we played the alphabet game as a group (trying to find a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet on signs and cars). Once we got to the Vancouver area, we noticed signs saying the draw bridge was up. As a result the freeway turned into a parking lot. The craziest part, was the leaders from our church vehicles started to get out and talk… ON THE FREEWAY! I was freaking out in the front seat of a church van. There was no way I was getting out onto the freeway, even if it was a parking lot. The guys were examining something that was going wrong with our shuttle’s muffler. So I guess that makes it okay. The kids in the shuttle thought for sure that they were parked next to Justin Bieber. One of the leaders got and asked to take picture with the person (who turned out to be a lady) just so the kids who think it was really him. After they all figured out it was a women, they called her Justine Bieber for the rest of the day. Too weird! Even more strange, she ended up at the Zoo just like us! So we saw a lot of “Justine”.

After a quick bathroom stop, we made it to the zoo. Just a little bit later than we had expected. From there it was make a plan and meet up in an hour for lunch. My sister and I led a group of 5 girls and we had a blast. There were moments where I was laughing so hard! For example, after lunch we headed to Africa. The girls asked us how we would get there and I said by plane.  That is the only way to get to Africa. As we started to walk, I made a comment that April was the pilot and on the girls was her co-pilot since they were up front. The next girl said she was in first class, me and two other girls behind her claimed we were in coach and the one girl behind us said that she must be in the bathroom because she was it the back of the plane! I also died! It was so funny!

Changing a flat tire!

The sunny hours at the zoo turned into a cloudy late afternoon as we left and headed home. A little sunburned and a little tired, we arrived back at Bethel Church. My brothter-in-law, Andrew, met us there so the four of us could go to dinner. But first, we had an issue of a flat tire from the day before that needed to be dealt with. I walked April and Andrew back to the car to show them the tire and before long the three of us were changing the tire. I should mention that none of us had ever removed a tire or placed a spare tire on a car before. We found the equipment in the trunk, which I was happy to learn that all stuff was located back there! Once we had the tools, we need to the know how. Being tech savvy, I pulled up YouTube on my phone and started to watch videos about changing tires. The video helped a little, but we decided we needed the owner’s manual. Once the manual was out, we got down to business! We had the tire changed by the time Jeremy got done seeing all the kids off from the zoo trip!

We left the church in a caravan to take the car to our local tire place.  The car was left in the care of trusty professionals and we headed of to Peking House for dinner. Taking kids around the zoo sure builds an appetite and we were starving! I think this might be our third time of getting Chinese food after the zoo trip, so it’s starting to become a tradition. It was a very tasty way to end a crazy, weird, educational, busy day!

 

The Not so Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer June 27, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 1:25 pm

It’s official been “Summer” for a week… even though the weather in Washington State seems to disagree! It’s been a rainy and cold month of June. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I have lived here my whole life. Summer really is July-September for us if you’re going off of the weather. However, at this moment the sun is shining and I can see blue sky. It makes me my heart happy!

Now summer is usually a time where people slow down, rest, sip lemonade… but not for me. Summer is one of our busiest seasons in children’s ministry. The kids are out of school and parents want activities to keep their kiddos active and engaged. A lot of fun stuff happens at the church during the summer, but as an administrative assistant, most of these fun activities come with permission slips, registration deadlines, reminder emails, reminder postcards, etc. Events don’t just throw themselves together. It gets busy around the office!

This Sunday was our first official registration deadline. We’re going to the Oregon Zoo tomorrow. This is always a fun, full day with the kids. We leave the church around at 8:00am and usually get back around 5:00pm (depends on Portland traffic which in some years has been bad – like detour around the state bad). The Zoo Trip is one of my favorite activities because of how relational it is. There is something special about spending the entire day out and about doing an activity with the kids. You get to learn a lot about the kids by spending time with them outside of the church walls. Lots of laughter and smiles happen at the zoo. As well as comments like, “I’m hungry” and “My feet hurt”, but I try not focus on those as much.

The rest of the summer seems completely full before it even started! The 4th of July, my Dad’s birthday, Jeremy and I’s anniversary, Family VBA, a road trip to San Francisio & the Redwoods, a new niece or nephew, kid’s camp, a leadership conference, a 5th grade graduation trip to the Mariner’s game, and a camping trip! I won’t be bored this summer! That’s for sure! It’s important for to remember that while all these are good things, I’m still going to need those down moments. I need a relaxed day here or there. Having slow, quiet times don’t just happen. They are intentional created.

A big bonus to this summer is Jeremy and I are actually going to take a trip! Most of the time I treat the summer as work only. It’s hard in between all of the events to find a time to get away. However, my hubby surprised me with the random idea of maybe going on a short road trip. I’m always game to go some place I’ve never been before, so we finally settled on the San Francisco area. Jeremy grew up outside of the city and I’m excited to see some places from his childhood. We’ll be driving home through the Redwood Forests, so we decided to camp for a few days there. I can’t think of any place cooler to camp than the Redwoods.  Most summers we get a weekend camping trip in, but this summer we get a 5 day road trip in July and a weekend camping trip in August. I feel like one blessed lady! I can hardly wait to pack up and go!

I know that the summer of 2012 is going to hold a lot of great memories and I’m excited to start making them!

 

If It Looks Complicated… June 26, 2012

Filed under: Cooking Experiments — Amy Scott @ 7:09 pm

The Inspiration!

It probably is!

Oh, Food Network Magazine… It’s been my inspiration for so many baking projects as of late. I always get excited when the magazine arrives. I carefully pour over each page and note all the things that I think I could make (aka bake – that’s the only thing that really catches my eye… something about the sugar content…hmm). As always, there was a project that I wanted to try. I couldn’t pass up the fun idea of a pie cake! It’s a layered project where you bake yellow cake and take it out while it’s still wobbly. You add your fruit layer. Then you add the pie crust and finish baking it. I looked at the picture and it seemed complicated. However, I’ve been pretty successful with my other attempts from FNM so I guess I got a little cocky. I thought I could handle it. Sadly, my dessert looks nothing like the picture. I’m pretty sure it will taste okay, but that desired appearance means a lot to me and I flopped it.

So my first problem… I probably used too much batter. It’s hard to judge filling the pan pie 2/3 of the way full. Unless it’s labeled, I’m really bad at eye-balling things. Next problem, I decided to use cherry pie filling instead of strawberries. I tired to get as much of the cherry goo off as possible, but I didn’t work out in my favor. The cherries just weighed too much and they penetrated the baked layer of the cake causing the unbaked insides to ooze out. Not pretty… trust me. This made for a mixture of cherries and cake batter on top. The whole point is to hide the cake underneath the berries, but that didn’t work out so well. So much for the surprise element. I also probably needed another can of cherries to cover the top completely. I just assumed 2 cans was enough.

The End Result

This was  my first attempt at lattice work on the pie crust. I didn’t do such a super job of cutting the strips evenly. I knew I should have used a ruler! Anyway, for some reason the crust didn’t want to brown too much and I had a fear that I would bake all the moisture out the cake. After resetting the timer numerous times, I figured things were as good as they were going to get.

Like I said before, I’m sure it’s going to taste fine. However, I try to make all my goodies look phenomenal when serving them to my 5th/6th grade girls. Let’s be honest, kids can be picky. They can make a decision about something just from looking at it. I really want them to give it a chance. I might need to have a back up snack just in case for some reason this pie cake was a total flop.

I might have to try this again and redeem myself. Maybe now I’ll be able to pull off the picture perfect pie cake. Or maybe this is just how my cooking experiments will go… try it… mess it up… move on. I still have many other fun treats to create. Maybe pie cakes won’t be my specialty.  Oh well. Jesus still loves me!

 

Not Without Doubt June 25, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Recollections — Amy Scott @ 3:17 pm

I finished You Lost Me by David Kinnaman this last week. There is so much good information in that book that I’ll probably have to read it again. I know in a previous blog I talked about my thoughts from just reading the first half of the book (Current Reading: You Lost Me). Now I would like to share something that resonated with me from the second half of the book.

The book is divided up into three parts. The first part focuses on the dropouts – who they are. The second part looks at where they are disconnecting from the church. While I could comment on each disconnect studied, I’m going to share with my thoughts on the final disconnect entitled “Doubtless”.

The lost generation views the church as a doubtless place. A place where doubts are seen as shameful. A place were answers are not found. A place were questions are not asked. I think for a long time we’ve used simple cliches and slogans to keep people on track. However, there are some complex questions out there that can’t be answered simply. We need to acknowledged this instead of pretending to know it all. We don’t. At least, I don’t.

I started to dream as I read this chapter. I thought about what the church would look like if we really partnered with the next generation. What would it look like if they could really come to us with their questions, with their doubts. Instead of giving them a lecture using our trusted slogans and simple answers, what if we wrestled through the issues with them. What if we did the research alongside of them instead of just giving them the standard answer. What if we took off the mask of having it all together. What if we didn’t act like we knew it all. What if the church wasn’t a place where doubt was seen as the opposite of faith.

As I was reading this chapter, I was reminded of a season of doubt in my life. I haven’t talked about it much because honestly, I didn’t want to freak anyone out. I was the good Christian girl, at the good Christian college and I was engaged to a pastor. So you can guess why I kept my doubts to myself. At the time I was in my sophomore year of college at Multnomah Bible College. I loved my classes, but my relationships at the school were lacking. I knew I was getting married that summer and that I wouldn’t be returning the following year. Instead of engaging in deeper friendships, I had pulled back and focused on getting through school so I could get home. My heart was really in Chehalis. I wanted to be close to Jeremy. I wanted to be serving the girls that I had fallen in love with the summer before. My weeks were lonely. I lived for the weekends when Jeremy would come down to visit or I would head home.

I was also interning at the church attended in Vancouver, WA. The year before I had worked in their youth department, but I had moved out of that role into more of a pastoral internship. I met weekly with the senior pastor and the youth pastor (their entire pastoral team).  While it was great to poured into by these men on a weekly basis, the expectations of my internship were very unclear. They wanted me to create a database for them and work on assimilation. The word assimilation is a big word that  means keeping people in the church once they start attending. At that time my church leadership experience was all youth group based and one summer as the Bethel Church receptionist. I was 19-20 and trying to figure out things that pastors with degrees are still trying to work through. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the task at hand. I appreciated being seen as an equal and treated like one, but I was young and inexperienced and it showed.

The combination of stress and loneliness really did a number on me. I started to feel like I was losing my grip on sanity. I started to doubt why I was doing this. What if this whole Christianity thing wasn’t real? What if there was no God? What if I’m wasting my life on something that might not even exist? I wrestled with a lot of questions and doubts. I wrote out a huge list of all my questions (pages long). Things that I wanted answered. Things that I didn’t understand. The act of just writing them out really helped get them out of my head. I could see them. I knew they were real. I also knew that unless God sent me an email or dropped me a letter, I was probably not going to get my answers.

Because I was a good Christian girl, I didn’t feel like I could share my doubts. What am I supposed to say? I’m taking all these classes on the Bible and ministry and now I’m doubting why. I was engaged to Jeremy and what would people say if one of the pastors was going to marry a girl who was losing her grip on faith. I was honest with Jeremy during this season and I expected him to run for the hills. But he didn’t! Praise the Lord.  I was already on a lonely path and I felt like I couldn’t be real because people would freak out.

How did I come back from this experience? I realized that with all the stress and loneliness, I had placed myself in a situation where I wasn’t in a healthy place. I realized that a lot of my doubts were induced by stress. I didn’t feel God in those moments because I was drowning my own mess of emotions. I was able to look at my past and know that God really did show up in my life. I hadn’t made him up or followed him blindly. I learned a lot about staying the course even when my emotions didn’t feel like it. As I kept moving forward, I felt like God peeled back the layers and allowed me to be me. My mess didn’t scare him, even though it scared me.

This season of doubt probably won’t be my last, but I know that it’s okay. I know that my doubt doesn’t mean I’ve lost my faith. I can see from that time until now has God has shown up big in my life. He hasn’t left me and I know he won’t. Even when I feel like I’m lost, I know that I’m not. I hope that I can be more honest about my doubts so that way when the arise I’m not battling them alone. I desire people who will walk alongside me and journey through the mess with me. I also deeply desire to that person for others. I don’t want to give simple answers to complex questions. I want to get into the trenches and wrestle with the doubts of others. I want to help them walk out their faith in a real way, an expressive way. There is no shame in searching, wondering, and doubting.

 

Worth Highlighting June 24, 2012

Filed under: Bible — Amy Scott @ 1:24 pm

I was reading my Bible this morning and I come across a couple sentences that I had highlighted a long time ago. I’m always amazed that something I’ve forgotten about years ago continues to jump out at me. Reading the Bible isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a life long experience. It still speaks to me even though I’ve already read it. It reminds me of where I’ve been. It reminds me who I am. It gives me hope and makes me feel less lonely. I went through this before and survived. I can do it again. I’ll forever be a student, learning these lessons. So here is the verse that gripped my heart this morning. It was too good not to share. It spoke right to me today!

My troubles turned out all for the best—
      they forced me to learn from your textbook.
   Truth from your mouth means more to me
      than striking it rich in a gold mine.

Psalms 119:71-72 (MSG)

 

Funny Story June 23, 2012

Filed under: Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:45 pm

I’ve been looking forward to this morning for a couple of weeks. Why? Because I was looking forward to a morning where I didn’t have to set an alarm. I love to sleep in! The busy pace of the last couple weeks was really catching up with me, so that made this morning stand out as even more important to me. I was going to protect it all costs!

Then, I found that family was going to be in town and a brunch was scheduled for 10:00am. For most that wouldn’t be a problem, but for me, sleeping in means getting up between 9:00-10:00am. What was I to do? I wanted to sleep in so badly, but I don’t get to see our Ellensburg family all that often. Talk about inner conflict.

I decided that this was just family. All of them had seen me unshowered while camping, so I was just going to roll out of bed in time to head to the brunch -throw on some jeans and put my hair in a pony tail. This is a big deal for those who know me well. If we’ve learned anything from the 5/7 Fasts this spring, my personal appearance means something to me (although I wish it didn’t).

As I was sleepily waking out the door this morning, I couldn’t help but feel blah because that is how I looked. When we started down the road to Jeremy’s parent’s house, we noticed his aunt and uncle were walking down the driveway. Then we notice another car in the driveway as well. I thought this was going to be an immediate family gathering and it turned out to be a little bigger than I expected.

Now, I know that no one cares that I showed up with bedhead. If the did, at least they didn’t voice it. However, I felt icky about it. I know I shouldn’t. I know I needed the sleep and I’m not ashamed of that. I guess I just have to be real and accept that I won’t always portray the perfect image at all times. Oh well! Still learning this lesson!