Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

just some more thoughts on you lost me September 11, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 5:02 pm

Our lead pastor asked me to share about 3 minutes from the book You Lost Me this last Sunday. This is a book that is jammed full of so much information and insight. It was really hard to pair anything down to 3 minutes. But here is what I was able to come up with. It’s a bit of a repeat and not new news to this blog, but I figured a refresher would be good to share with the group. Here you go!

In his book, “You Lost Me”, David Kinnaman discusses why young Christians are leaving the church and rethinking faith. With loads of research and statistics from the Barna Group, Kinnaman paints the picture of a very real problem we are seeing in those ages 18-29. While teenagers are the most active demographic in the American church, twentysomethings are the most inactive demographic.

There are three kinds of dropouts discusses in the book. The first would be nomads. They have walked away from church engagement but still consider themselves Christians. The next group would be prodigals. These leave the church and also their faith. They would define themselves as “no longer Christians”. The last group is called exiles. While they are still invested in their Christian faith they feel stuck between culture and the church.

The bottom line reason why these twentysomethings are leaving the church is a disciple-making issue. You could call it a faith development problem. They are not adequately prepared to follow Christ in such a rapidly changing culture.

We’ve discussed here at Bethel the concept of orange and how when the church and the family come together, it can be a powerful influence on a child’s lifetime relationship with the Lord. It’s going to take a team effort to see the next generation hold on to their faith in a challenging, real world.

In a section about prodigals – those who have walk away from the church and their Christian faith – I found it interesting that their biggest regret is usually how it hurts their parents. These prodigals aren’t trying to be rebellious or hurt their families. The biggest cause of pain is their knowing that it grieves their parents to see them walk away. This speaks volumes to me about how deeply kids are influenced by their parents and how they really do value their parent’s approval.

Another strong feeling prodigals have is that they have broken out of constraints. They have felt boxed in and stuck. They have felt unable to be themselves within the Christian faith and the church. This shows me that there is a deep heart issues going on here. If our kids are just “doing” the church thing, if they are just living up to expectations, then there is no personal ownership in their walk with the Lord. Without that personal relationship with the Lord to keep them connected, they’ll walk away once the decision becomes their own. As we lead children and teens, we have to be careful not just to focus so much on behavior and making sure they do certain things or act a certain way. It’s a heart level issue. It has to be real for them in order for it last a lifetime.

While we can’t make kids have a relationship with the Lord, we can be there for them as examples and role models. So much of faith is caught, not taught. We need to be safe people that they can ask honest and real questions to. Life is complex and messy. If we are trying to make cookie-cutter Christians then we’re going to lose them as they struggle with how Christ fits into their real world lives.  Discipleship is both the responsibility of the family and the church. Together, we can live honest, real faith before the next generation. We can walk alongside of them and help them see the heart of the matter is more important than following a rule or expectation.  Of course, each child must decide for themselves so this mentoring and guiding process must be surrounded in prayer.  This is a key part of making sure the next generation is actively involved in the church and being the Church once the decision is ultimately theirs.

 

A weekend of socializing and Hallmark movies! September 9, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,One Thousand Gifts Challenge,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:53 pm

Okay, I will admit that I’ve been busy… When I’m up, I’m running and when I’m down, I’m down. Like down on the couch with a blanket and a dull headache. It’s been a good weekend with lots of fun highlights that I’ll get into in a minute. When I haven’t been trying to be presentable and forming complete sentences, I’ve become completely obsessed with Hallmark movies. They are mind numbingly corny and you gotta love how they all live happily ever after and seal it with a kiss. I know they are silly, but I can’t help but watch them. They have been the perfect non-moving remedy for this weekend. Also, on a side note, they are advertising for their Christmas movies already. Normally I only watch Hallmark movies at Christmas time, so this is exciting and mean at the same time. Why mean? Because they don’t start until November! Ugh! That is a long time for this Christmas-movie-loving-girl to wait. Advertising this early is a mean tease. Okay, I’m sure you didn’t need to know that… or want to know that. I guess that is one of the benefits of it MY blog! I can ramble about Hallmark movies if I want. It’s my party and I’ll… you get the idea!

Meals with Maggie May are the best!

Anyway, back to what I’ve been doing when I’m mobile and not bumming around! This Friday was my quarterly meal with my forever friend, Maggie May (check out her baking blog to be inspired by her goodies). These lunches are the best! We take up a table for hours talking and catching up. Since we don’t live near each, a few hours together is practically heaven. I’m so glad that all those people who told me that I can’t keep my high school best friends were wrong. Maggie May will forever be in my life and I better person for her friendship, encouragement and support! We went to lunch at one of my favorite places, The Cheesecake Factory! I got my standard Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake for dessert and the entire piece was gone in minutes! I couldn’t help myself! After our lunch, we went over the mall and did a few laps to walk off the cheesecake! I bought fall hand soap which is a big deal to because it’s fall related and anything fall related is amazing. I’m one happy camper with my pumpkin soap.

Any weekend with cheesecake is a good weekend!

Saturday was spent up in Puyallup catching up with family, which was shamefully overdue. I hadn’t been to a family gathering in more months than I care to admit. It was good to see my grandma, aunts, and cousins. The occasion was a bridal shower for my cousin, Charlotte. It was fun to celebrate this long awaited upcoming wedding. The joke is that shower games are something I’m skilled at. I have no idea why these random and unique games have a way of coming easy to me. This shower was right on par with my winning skill set. Now the funny things is I don’t live close to the bride and I’m sure no one would say we know all about each other. I beat Charlotte’s close relatives and friends in the “Who Knows The Bride The Best” game. It made me chuckle, because it was pretty much dumb luck, but I felt pretty cool. My mom told me that I’m observant.  Hopefully Charlotte didn’t find it too creepy!

Today was not as social as Friday and Saturday, but still full of it’s own energy requirements. I got up in both of our Sunday morning services to take a few minutes to talk about You Lost Me with our congregation. It was good to get back up in front of people and continue to conquer my nerves in front of a crowd. Like any skill, it takes practice and the more I do it, the easier it gets. It’s been a few months and let me tell you, it really gets my blood pumping and that induces that I could throw up feeling each time. Working through these emotions is good for me. But tiring at the same time! I’m glad I got the chance and I’ll share my notes with you tomorrow. They are more complete then what I actually articulated on stage! Go figure!

Well, my hubby is out hunting. I’m all out of Hallmark movies, but I plan on watching TLC’s new show, Breaking Amish, later this evening. It sounds fascinating. I’m always curious what makes people tick – what is like to be Amish? Why do they want to leave? How hard is to adapt to the real world? I think this might be the first time I’ve blogged more about television than books! I’m human and my very real need for down time has been the focus of the weekend. Don’t worry, I’m still keeping up on my daily disciplines! God’s Word and counting my gifts has been just as important to this whole restful, soul-recovery process. Hard to believe that another September weekend is coming to a close.

 

When A Trip To Costco Can Be Good For The Soul September 6, 2012

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:47 pm

Thank you, Costco!

I’m just going to come out and say that this week has not been easy. It hasn’t been bad, but it certainly hasn’t been the easiest week I’ve ever experienced. In fact, I’m pretty tired… make that exhausted! I haven’t been this tired in a long time. It almost hurts… So yeah, you get the point – I’m worn out.

When Jeremy asked me if I would like to run some errands with him this afternoon, I was pretty tempted to say no. Nothing sounded better to me than some quiet, alone time at home to unwind and detox. However, with it being hunting season, I never know when I’m going to get to spend time with my hubby. Our schedules are pretty opposite this coming weekend, so I figured this might be the one time we get to hang out for the next couple of days. So despite the fact that moving and breathing take effort at this point, I said yes.

I’m glad I did. Jeremy didn’t seem to mind that my pace was a little slower and it was good to just do something together. Jeremy and I are no stranger to Costco and often go there with a list from the church nursery. We entered Costco with a church list and a home list, prepared to stocked up. Right away I saw they had the Sherpa throw blankets back. I got one two years ago and it’s been well loved. My hubby was very sweet and let me pick one to take home with us. It was like picking a new pet. It’s so soft and cuddly (as advertised)! As we were wandering around the store, we came across not only my favorite pumpkin mix, but they also had samples of it baked and ready for munching. Warm samples, right out of the oven. Oh my! It sent me over the edge! A new fuzzy blanket in the cart, the anticipation pumpkin baked goods and a yummy sample – it was a heavenly moment. It was the moment this tired soul needed. I know that sounds silly, but these comforts of fall really made the difference for me today.

Now I realize that it was in the mid 80’s today and it will be 90 something tomorrow… I realize that summer isn’t officially over… But I love the autumn season so much. It’s all over in the stores and each item is like seeing a welcomed friend. It speaks to me! Just like those silly Pier 1 commercials. It’s a beautiful thing.

And that is how a trip to Costco blessed my soul. The end.

 

1000 Gifts: All Around Me September 5, 2012

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 1:26 pm

As I ate my lunch, I pulled out my gifts journal and started writing out today’s blessings while they were still in my head. Part of being thankful is stopping in the moment, acknowledging the gift and truly seeing it for what it is. So often I breeze through life and never stop to say thanks for the small things. They just pass me by, unseen in my busied pace. I was thinking as I made my list how many gifts are not new. Things that bless today – like my dishwasher or clean towels have been with me often. They didn’t just appear. That thought led me down a rabbit trail where I realized that I am surrounded by 1000 gifts right now. I could name each item in my house, each a blessing in its own way. I know that I have a lot to be thankful for. A roof over my head, blankets on my bed, hot water. Seriously, it would be an endless list if I really went through all the daily blessings that I just pass in a hurry, that I don’t think about, that I have gotten used to, that I feel entitled to… Today I am aware of that fact that I am right now, in this moment surrounded by 1000 gifts and more. I feel a warm peace in my heart and a sense of contentment. This is a good place.

 

Back Again September 4, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 8:06 pm

So it begins again…

Some things are sacred. They move you and spur you on. They inspire and bring hope. They are the course correction that is so desperately needed. For me, I have gone back to a place where I am challenged and I am reminded of what matters most. Today I started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp… again. This will be my third time reading this book and my third time counting to 1000 in my journal. This time last year I was in the midst of this book and this counting. I find myself returning. It’s almost like an alter that I’ve made before the Lord. He met me so powerfully while counting 2000 gifts. I pray that the next 1000 will be just as beautiful. Ann writes like poetry. Some people find her flowery language a distraction. I get that. However, for me it is life-giving. It’s water in a dry place. It’s what I need right now. When I first read One Thousand Giftsit literally changed my life. I got a shift in perspective and it was like breathing for the first time. You know how it goes. Life comes in. Things get busy. Lessons that were once learned get forgotten. So just like a kid who is going back to school, I am going back to counting my blessings instead of sheep. I am going back to thanksgiving – knowing that thanksgiving brings joy. I desperately need joy. I miss it. I know that I have yet again squelched it. It’s all me. I am to blame. So yet again, I return to this sacred place. I open my heart and admit that I have been distracted. I have let the worry of life strangle me. I have taken my eyes off of thanksgiving. When I am not thankful, I am selfish. I don’t want this to be about me. It’s really not. I’m a small part of a larger story. I pray that I can keep perspective. Maybe this will be a life long lesson. Maybe it won’t truly stick this side of heaven. But I’m going to try. I’m going to keep putting myself in that place where my eyes look up instead of down. Where my heart beats for the life I’m living, not for the fear I’m trying to hide from. As the Message would say, I’m heading to God’s wide open spaces. I am back again. It’s humbling. It is good though. It is worth it. And the counting begins again – 1, 2, 3… where will 1000 gifts lead me this time.

 

Not Your Average Sunday! September 2, 2012

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Getting Creative,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 10:15 pm

Today was certainly not an average Sunday. That is for sure! Our church put on a block party for our community that featured two wild animals shows, a car show, free food, a dunk tank, inflatables, etc. Lots to do and see. The day was filled with fun. I think the highlight for me was seeing my hubby in the dunk tank. I honestly thought I was going be the first in line, but nope, I had to get in line behind many of our students. It was really cool to see how many kids wanted to dunk him. It means something if you are cool enough to get dunked. I paid the extra money just to go up and push the button. I throw like a girl… and I’m not ashamed of that fact. However, I didn’t want the whole world to see just how poorly I can throw. Plus, if I missed all three times, then I would have missed my shot at actually dunking him! The animal show was also a great part of the day. I loved the wolves, cougar and arctic foxes. I could have done without each and every snake they pulled out! Ick! Overall, it was a fun way to spend my day, but sooooo not like normal church. It has me a little thrown off now. Doesn’t quite feel like a Sunday.

I was on doggie duty, so I left the block party before Jeremy so I could free Toby from his crate.  I has started to brainstorm a craft project before bed last night so I decided in my few hours of downtime I would create. I used leftover canvas from crafting with April. I also used left over paper from my Missionettes bulletin board two years ago. It’s fun to do a project when I have all the supplies on hand and I can use up stuff that is just sitting my closet. Most of the paper pieces have staple holes in them, but when cut strategically you would never know they were a bulletin board in a past life! I think I like how it turned out. I keep moving the location on which I’ll display it. I had originally thought on the wall by the door, but now I’m thinking on the wood stove with my pumpkin display. We’ll see if it stays there or moves again… or goes away all together. It’s not professional artwork, but it does feel good to get creative every now and again.  Any day I can use a glue gun and Mod Podge is a good day. Does anyone else agree?

Hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day weekend!

Hubby in the dunk tank!

Decorating for Fall!

 

Welcoming September September 1, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 7:05 pm

September rolled in quietly and started off as many September mornings soon will. I bid my husband farewell extremely early in the morning. I went back to sleep. He went out to kill a deer (correction…attempt). Or really scout out elk. He has a couple days until he can legally kill the bigger beasts (Tuesday). I often joke that I am hunting widow during the months when my hubby roams the woods with a bow in hand. I get a lot of reading done and in all honestly, I’m perfectly fine with entertaining myself. The quiet feeds my soul in a way very few things can.

After tricking my dog to sleep in, I opened a book that I picked up from the library last night. I’m massively obsessed with Lucy Maud Montgomery, so I devoured A Tangled Web rather quickly. I finished it this afternoon. Jeremy had returned home earlier than expected with many stories of the elk he and his family has spotted. He settled onto the couch with college football on and I poured over my book unable to put it down.

Good books go too quickly in my opinion and soon it was over. I had originally planned to pull out my few autumn decorations on Monday for the holiday, but I just couldn’t wait. With today being the first day of September it seemed fitting to add hues of orange to my house. I pulled out our autumn wreaths. I replaced the doormat with one that has leaves on it. I changed the Scentsy scents to Pumpkin Marshmallow, Autumn Sunset and Falling Leaves.

I also updated my pictures in the house. I usually do this about twice a year… sometimes only once a year. I have a real hard time picking which pictures to transition. If I like a picture, I want to keep it up forever, but I also want to add new photos… Unless I want my walls to be overtaken, I must weigh my choices carefully and make the tough call. As you can tell, this takes me a while. I arrange and rearrange. I try to make sure the representation fair – Scotts, Vitzthums, friends… Equal amounts of Jeremy and I both separate and together. It can get complicated like a jigsaw puzzle. I will admit that I don’t think this current arrangement will last long. It has inspired to print more photos soon so I can have more options to play with.

My mom calls rearranging things “moving her kibble.” Usually this refers to furniture and what not, but in a small way I moved my kibble today as a welcoming of September and the autumn months ahead. A new season is ahead of me and I am ready to take it on. It is the best season in my opinion – the season were the world takes on a golden hue, where pumpkin is the favored flavor, when the leaves fall. It’s beautiful and I am excited!

Welcoming September!