Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

What I’ve Been Up To… September 29, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 2:22 pm

So, I sort of dropped off the blogging scene this week. I love to blog and I really do miss it when I don’t. The week started off very full and has ended quietly. I don’t mind. It’s been a good balance of spending time with family, doing things I love and resting. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Jeremy has family visiting from South Dakota. They are staying with his parents so we’ve made many treks over to their house for family gatherings! Lots of good food, fun games and time spent catching up with family. We usually get to see Jeremy’s grandma and Aunt Sandy once a year and it’s always a special treat. We had them over for dinner and games on Tuesday night at our place. It was fun to play hostess. Overall, it was a great time to see them so often while they were in town. We had to make the most of the time we had with them!

Recent Reads

When I haven’t been with family, I’ve been reading a lot this week. I finished two new books! The first was Cottage by the Sea by Robin Jones Gunn. She’s my favorite author and I always love to read her latest work. This novel was about a lady who ends up taking care of her dying father after he suffers from a severe stroke. It was sad, but good. It also had a peek into the lives of one of Gunn’s other characters that I know and love. It gives a glimpse into Sierra Jensen’s happily ever after. I know people who have had to take care of aging parents will really relate the main character, Erin. It remind me of my own family and how they cared for Jeremy’s grandpa in his failing health.

The next book I read was Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson. I followed Shawn during the 2008 Olympics because I think that gymnastics are the highlight of the summer Olympics. I also rooted for her on Dancing with the Stars. Now that she’s on a second season of DWTS, I’m watching it again and cheering her on. It a good read and a quick one for that matter. I got it at the library Thursday afternoon and finished it early Friday AM (around 12:30). I didn’t read it in one sitting because my eye had an allergic reaction and swelled up. So I took a drug induce nap and watched The Avengers with my hubby. It was interesting to see her faith journey and how she had to find herself again after all the fame that come with the Olympics. I appreciated her honesty and her struggles. She’s known for being so smiley and joyful. It’s good to see behind her smile, she’s learned things the hard way. Life hasn’t been handed to her on a sliver spoon and it’s been difficult. She intentional and her smile comes from true inner joy. It was a great insight into the girl that I’ve only watched on a screen.

Friday’s Movie Marathon!

Friday, Jeremy was gone most of the day – golfing with family and then at our church’s annual Man Camp. I decided to do a Disney princess movie marathon! It was great! I rested and just stayed in my jammies. Toby snuggled right on in for the marathon and I was super content and happy.  I didn’t spend the entire day alone. Toby and I drove up to spend the evening with my mom and sister because both their men were at Man Camp as well. We had dinner together and watched a movie. It was a very fun day. It was the right amount of alone time and people time. The only downside of the day was how little I saw my hubby.

Today is sorta similar to yesterday. Jeremy is at church but I’m guessing he will be home in the next two hours. My mom joined me for another Disney princess movie and we had lunch together. After she left, I gave Toby a bath and he is sitting next me shivering from time to time. Poor pup. Being clean is such a trial for a little dog. I’m not quite sure what my next move is… I don’t have a new book. There is one waiting for me at the library, but I’m not sure I want to put the energy into getting presentable and heading into town. Not yet anyway. I’ve watched what feels like a million movies since Thursday, so I’m not sure that is the direction I want to go. Oh well… I’m sure I will find something chill and quiet to do around the house. Next week is super busy so I know I need to take advantage of these restful times while they are here.

It’s been a good week! I love spending time with family. There was lots of good food – anytime I get to have a grandma made apple pie is a good day! I’ve read, I’ve rested. I’ve snuggled with my pup. The only thing I wish I could remove from the week was my swollen eye because it made me cancel a dinner date with a student. Oh well. Even the best weeks aren’t entirely perfect. But it was pretty good overall and I’m a happy camper.

 

 

An Autumn Afternoon September 24, 2012

This afternoon has been going pretty well. I’ve been quietly enjoying an autumn afternoon and celebrating in small ways that make me happy. I found myself photographing pumpkins, making a cake that resembles a Pop Tart and trying out a new Scentsy scent from my sister-in-law called Caramel Pear Crisp! If the Applesauce Cake smell wasn’t enough, now I have the smell of yummy pear crisp in the air. My house smells good enough to eat! I love doing these small things that remind me that it’s fall. Changing the Scentsy to fall smells, using autumn colored sugar crystals on the cake, taking pictures of our pumpkin abundance! It is good! So good!

I finished One Thousand Gifts today. Closing the cover felt like saying good-bye to dearly loved friend and companion. This book always brings out a better side of me. It gives me hope and inspiration. This probably is why it was my third time reading it. I may never master it, but I will keep rereading and I will keep counting gifts. I’m halfway there to my next thousand. When added to previous times, I am on my way to 3000 counted gifts in about a year. It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the heart change that comes from each gift, from saying thanks to each small blessing.

Life is so common. It’s in the common things that I see beauty. It’s in the common things that I feel grace and I give thanks. So yes, this autumn afternoon is a time for counting blessings that come as surely as the seasons. Each day new and fresh. My eyes are open. I am looking. Taking it all it. I’m loving this autumn afternoon!

Enjoying an Autumn afternoon!

 

It’s In The Name September 23, 2012

I think every kid likes to hear stories about how they got their name. While my sister and I weren’t named after specific people, our parents (aka my mom) were focused on the meaning of the names. Amy Elizabeth. Amy = Beloved. Elizabeth = Child of God/God’s daughter. I remember my mom telling me she liked that when the names combined that they became Beloved Child of God. A name defining who I am and who I always will be. I am loved. I am a child of God. I have been shown this truth over and over again. I need only look as far as my name for a reminder.

As humans, we forget so easily. God walks us though the desert. Christ dies on the cross. And yet, we forget. We complain. We look for more as if what has been done isn’t enough. It is. Every mountain has a valley below and we must remember that God is in it all. The highs and the lows. I forget that I that I  am beloved. I forget my value in God’s family. I forget to be a team player when I focus only on myself and my needs. I am so small and yet so loved. So seen. God never forgets. Even in my forgetfulness, he still shows up. He still reminds me. Never let’s go. True love.

I’m in the last chapter of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Yet again, I am undone. I am brought low, humbled by the act of counting gifts. This discipline that brings joy. This discipline that helps me remember. The blessing that comes from counting blessings. It’s amazing how exciting life is when I am looking for the next gift. I would say that since my last time reading this book I have grown in my character. I now see beauty in the ugly. I am thankful for the pain. I can see God’s blessings in the good and the bad. In times when I can’t see the beauty, I am reminded to trust. I am reminded that I am completely out of control. When I quit pretending to have it all together, I feel peace. I know God’s got it covered.  This challenge is like fresh air. I am grateful. I will keep doing it. It brings life and I want to live fully.

I am beloved. Because of his love for me, I can turn around and share love. It isn’t for me to keep to myself. The gifts are not meant to be lived in isolation. Yes, I love my quiet life. I have learned that my pace is slower than most. I have found myself in stillness. That doesn’t mean I have become a hermit. I’m not hidden in seclusion left only to a faith that I contemplate. My life is very much about my relationships. The flesh and blood loved ones that drive me crazy and make my laugh and make me pray hard. I am in love. With people. Because God has loved me, I can now love them. Be light in their life. Share joy. Be a blessing since I have been blessed. This is my goal.

This Beloved Child of God, this Daughter of the King is signing off with a quote from the book, with a hope for a lifetime well spent.

Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him. – Ann Voskamp

PS… This blog by Sarah Bessey also left me undone this week. I see myself so reflected in the words of Ann and of Sarah. I am blessed by women who speak truth and share their lives – along the road, in the pain, in the mess. This blog is worth the read.

http://sarahbessey.com/in-which-im-practicing/

 

 

 

A Bit of Baking! September 22, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I don’t know why, but the urge to bake really hit my system. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get a chance to bake for my class on Wednesday and I felt like I needed to make up for lost time. Maybe it’s because the weather is changing and autumn starts today and baking seems to fit the season. I’m not sure. But I love it. I might have a gone a bit overboard though! Oh well. Two of the three things I made my hubby loves, so I’m counting on him and company this weekend to help me get rid of the evidence.

Thursday I made some chocolate-peanut butter chip cookies. I used a bag of Toll House chocolate chips with peanut better chips mixed in. Then I added 1/3 bag of mini Reese’s pieces. Very tasty! I ran some cookies to a friend and saved the rest for Jeremy. He likes it when I save some of my baking experiments for him. Even when I’m making something for a specific event or cause, I better keep a few back so Jeremy doesn’t feel left out.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Friday came and I started to think about how we don’t really have much food around the house. I decided I would make pumpkin muffins as a breakfast food to have on hand for company this weekend. I also decided to make molasses cookies since Jeremy has been craving them recently and I thought they would make good snack food to have around the house. Not to mention that Jeremy just made a TON of salsa and we have some chips, so we should be good now on the snack food front.

The Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Soft Molasses Cookies both came from the Betty Crocker website.  The only change I made was I used craisins instead of raisins. One of the other pumpkin recipes used cranberry so I thought I would do a mixture between the two. The pumpkin is the stronger flavor, but I prefer craisins or raisins any day. A good swap if you ask me.

The house smelled first like Mexican food while Jeremy made his salsa. Next it smelled like pumpkin pie as the muffins baked. After that it smelled like ginger and cloves. A unique blend of smells, but certainly tasty! What a perfect way to begin the autumn season!

Happy first day of autumn!

 

Feels like Christmas! September 21, 2012

I just wrote a blog last week about how last Friday felt like my birthday! We had strategically waited to get new phones. I was happily learning all the features of my iPhone 4s. We also had a half off coupon for The Melting Pot. The savings were a part of the excitement of getting such nice experiences. I was a little giddy with how great the day went. That was where the blog post came from.

The “Free Day” Latte Maker!

Well, now I get to do it all over again… but now it feels like Christmas in the Scott household. It takes a little explanation, but the end result has been pretty awesome.  So here is the story. A few months ago, when Jeremy was very sick, he stayed home from work and and signed up for a bunch of free stuff. He called it “Free Day”. He mainly got a bunch of free plants, but he also signed up for golf clubs, kitchen stuff… etc. Pretty much anything he could for free. Jeremy has great luck with getting picked for stuff like that. Last Saturday the UPS man dropped off a big box at our house. The return label had been torn off so we had no idea what were opening. Turns out it was a very expensive one-touch latte maker. Jeremy got very excited and pulled it all out. He made himself a drink and told me how awesome it was.  I informed him that we had a Keurig and a Mr. Coffee Maker. We didn’t need a third coffee making device for a house where only one person drinks coffee. Apart from a lack of storage space, it seemed a little excessive. Jeremy did some research and realized that the latte maker was worth a LOT and was returnable to Macy’s. It didn’t take too much twisting to get to him to take it back and take the money instead.

Just like Christmas!

After returning the latte maker, Jeremy went on a shopping spree at Costco. He was able to get all this stuff with the money he got from the latte maker – plus have some left over. He bought a new stick blender (which he is using to today to make his homemade salsa). He picked up a Dyson vacuum which was on sale! I didn’t make him do this! It was his suggestion. We also got some Christmas decorations and a new decorative pillow. It was like Christmas when I got home to discover all the goodies.

One Happy Amy!

For those of you who know me, I’m major OCD when it comes to cleaning. I’m a neat freak. There is no way around it. I love to clean. It makes me happy. Jeremy knows this and saw a Dyson as an investment into my cleaning obsession. Of course, I couldn’t keep it in the box for very long! I needed it out! Once we figured it all out, I vacuumed the whole house – even though I vacuumed the day before. It was amazing all the stuff the Dyson got out of our carpet. It was almost scary! I think my carpet audibly sighed with joy from being so clean. Oh wait…that was me! I’ve always dreamed of owning a Dyson vacuum. I can’t believe I got it for free.

I might have laughed at Jeremy when I came home at the end of “Free Day” but now I have some serious respect for “Free Day”.  I’m blessed to have a hubby that shares his winnings and thinks of me! I would have never asked for something so nice, but he was generous. I’m fairly positive that he is happy with his purchases as well (He was singing while using it)! He loves making salsa and pasta sauce. We did a ton of research last year about stick blenders and food processors, but we couldn’t make a decision. Getting it for free made it real easy to pick one! It’s a happy day in the Scott household! Just like Christmas!

 

Cycles September 20, 2012

Toby sleeps while I sort clothes

It’s amazing how life just cycles. Things that were once clean get dirty. Clothes that were once washed and folded get worn. Wake up. Work. Eat a meal. Clean house. Do laundry. Feed the dog. Over and over again. It will always need to be done again.  Want to know something? I don’t mind. I really actually love it. I love that things will come around again – a chance to do better, a chance to be better. Nothing is final. Each day is a new gift. Starting over fresh, I live the same life cycles, but each is a new opportunity.

I’ve been away from home the last few days. Way from my laptop and my blog. However, with technology these days, my phone is like a mini-computer and I can pretty much do most things on it. Still… there is something about not blogging and not pulling out the laptop that feels like a small break from the normal flow. It’s good to unplug. In fact, I should really digitally unplug more often. The world won’t stop if I’m not connected to it. I know this. Breaking the blogging cycle is always good for a few days, but I am ready to be back at the keyboard. Ready to write my thoughts. All over again. Never ending. They cycle just like my days.

Being away from the routine has drained me. Constant interaction with people has made me tired. This week as a staff we discussed the book You Lost Me by David Kinnaman. As the only one in the 18-29 age range in the room, I become the mouthpiece for a generation. I felt the pressure of accurately representing the book and my fellow Mosaics. I had given myself a pep talk at the beginning of the retreat on how I really wanted to be quiet in the meetings. I’m naturally quick to voice my opinion and I’m not sure that everyone appreciates that. Instead of jumping in, I wanted to asked into the conversation. Oh, how the sound of my voice can be tiresome. I did my best. I shared my heart. I was honest and real. And it left me spent.

So now I am home. I slept a glorious night in my own bed. I woke up not knowing what day it was. It was a busy day at work trying to make up for being out of the office. But now I’m home. In my familiar territory. My sacred ground. This quiet place where God and I hang out – just like Adam walking through the garden (except for not as cool, I’m guessing). The rhythm of life is starting to settle around me again. Those comforting cycles. Wash clothes, fold clothes. Sort through clothes, purge excess. Upload pictures, blog.  What does the rest of the day look like? Things I’ve done many times – dust the house, clean the bathrooms, make cookies, read, go to dinner with a student.

For the great adventurers in the world, this cycle, this rhythm might get old. For me it is life. It gives life. I am blessed by each day that I get to love God and love others. I am blessed by the quiet, by the patterns, by the routines. This is my joy. I don’t have to be flashy, or important, or put together. I just get to live one day at a time. Making the most of each cycle.

 

Change of Plans and Unexpected Answers to Prayer! September 16, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 12:38 pm
Tags: , ,

How many books do I take to staff retreat? A small library!

Whew! The house is clean and everything is packed and ready to go. I skipped church this morning so I could get everything taken care of before we leave our annual staff retreat this afternoon. It feels kind of heathen like to not be at church on a Sunday morning, but can you really be a heathen as you prepare for a pastoral staff retreat? I don’t think so… I listened to a podcast from Jonathan Martin, so I still got to hear a sermon this morning. That should count for something, right?

Really what I needed was quiet. Some time to order my world and get centered. To hear the Word preached, to clean my bathroom so the house sitter doesn’t run in fear, to snuggle with my puppy dog and comfort him. Toby always knows when we’re leaving. The suitcases always tip him off. He is never sure if he is going on the adventure (which this time he is not) and so skeptically he watches… just waiting to freak out. Just like my crazy dog, I need some quiet down time before I am with people constantly. Take me out of my routine and throw me into elevated social interaction and you have a recipe for me being just as nuts as my dog. I think that is why I feel so sympathetic to Toby right before trips.

As of last night, I thought we were heading over east of the mountains, but wild fires in Eastern Washington have made the air hazardous. Not the right vibe for staff bonding. So now we are headed to the Oregon Coast. While this is still business, this is an answer to prayer in a little, silly, insignificant way. I had a glum thought at the end of the summer that I hadn’t made it to the beach. I always try to make it once a summer and it just didn’t turn out. Oh well. No biggie. That’ is how life can be sometimes. So when I heard that we were going to the beach, it was like God knew that there were still a few short days left the summer season and I would see the ocean before we officially said good-bye to summer and hello to fall.

There have been many other instances this week where something has happened and I know that only God could work it out. Only God could have made that happen. Even the coupon for The Melting Pot is truly a God thing. He listens. He knows. He see our hearts and in ways that we might think don’t matter much, he shows up. He just wanted me to know that he is here and that he is aware. Today I am praising the Lord for all the things I didn’t think were going to pan out, but did. For how he is good to my family and my friends. He is our provider. Our protector. He is for us!

Now I sit here, munching on a corn dog, waiting for my hubby to get home so we can load up. I have my comfort items packed and ready to go – my own pillow, updated music, new podcasts downloaded, a ton of books and journals, my favorite sweatshirt. These are the things that make my travels more homey and comforting. I’m ready to go. Thankful to God. See you in a few days!