Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

What Goes Around… January 28, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 8:45 pm

I’m not sure if it’s Children’s Ministry or just working at a church in general, but I get exposed to a lot of bugs. January has been a pretty illness prone month for our staff at Bethel and the Scott household seems to be no exception. At the beginning of the month it was the flu. I only got a touch of it, but my hubby got it bad. Now it’s my turn to go down, not with the flu, but with a terrible sore throat. The strange thing  is seemingly came out of nowhere.

This weekend I preached in Children’s Church because our curriculum had us at Deborah, Barak and Jael. I just couldn’t pass up a chance to empower our young girls. I’m a firm believer that Deborah is a prime example of God giving leadership to women. I also think it’s impressive that Jael was so brave and received the honor for the victory. After preaching my voice felt horse and I thought I was just a weakling who over used my vocal chords. In the middle of my afternoon plans, my throat started to hurt and hasn’t stopped since.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the conversation I had with a student yesterday… She came up to me at the beginning of worship and asked me what to do because she has strep. I told her to listen to the music and in her heart follow along and tell God how much she loves him. I was assuming that she was fine to be at church, but now I wonder…

I also have a friend who was down last week with a cold and still getting over it… I tried to keep my contact limited, but…. Oh well, I guess that is the thing about a church job. It’s hard to keep your distance from people. Let’s face it, people show up at places all the time when they should be at home in bed. I do it too. We push ourselves, especially when it comes to church because it would be unholy or we want to see our friends or we don’t want to let some down when we should stay home. I’m sure people do the same thing with work and sending their kids to school. We just don’t have time to be sick. I know I don’t.

However, I am sick. It doesn’t matter where I got it. I’ve spent the day watching mindless movies on Netflix and trying to not swallow. Watching mindless movies is not so bad, but I’m finding that unless I want to lay in a pile of my own drool, swallowing is a must. Arg. Here’s hoping this bug goes away as quickly as it found it me. I’ve heard of the 24 flu so many this will be the 24 hour cold. I’m just praying against strep throat. The last thing I need to a trip to the doctor and meds.

Okay, I think this qualifies as the most productive I’ve been today. I should probably sign out before I undo all the good I did by resting all day. It seems like no matter what – what goes around seems to find me. Thank you children of Bethel Church for shooting holes in my immune system. I can’t say that I love sharing every bug with you, but I guess I’d rather get it from people I love.

Time to read a book in a bed. Praying for a sore throat free day tomorrow! Who knows, it could happen! I believe in miracles and healings! Amen!

 

Roots January 25, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Recollections — Amy Scott @ 9:02 pm

I was having coffee with a good friend last week and she was telling me all about the exciting new things going on her life. Her family recently accepted a senior/lead pastor position and this if the first time for them in this kind of a role. I was so curious to hear what it was like to transition from a youth pastor’s wife to a lead pastor’s wife. It was a fun conversation and at the end of it she started talking about how excited she is for Jeremy and I and that we could something like this as well. I have to be honest, it’s always flattering when people think that you’d be a good lead pastor. However, Jeremy and I have never been called to move up the ladder. Some people take children’s pastor roles as a starting point – kind of a like the bottom rung of pastoral ministry, but we’ve never looked at it that way. As flattering as these suggestions are, unless God something says something different, it’s children’s ministry all the way for Jeremy and myself.

It’s always tempting to dream of living in an area where there is a Starbucks, Costco, Target, Panda Express, etc. near by. Lewis County is still pretty rural and let’s face it, Walmart can only be so exciting… But I don’t want to trade it! I was voted most likely to leave and never come back in high school. I would frequently rant about Lewis Country and how I couldn’t wait to get out of here. God has a sense of humor though…. I’ve now lived here going on 15 years (I included my college years because even though I was in Portland, OR, I came home a lot – I couldn’t pass up free laundry, good food and my boyfriend). Moving back after college was a bit of transition. When Jeremy and I were first married I would want to go to Walmart at 11:00pm because it was the only place open 24 hours and I was used to more places being open late in Portland. I’m positive that Jeremy thought I was crazy. But I’ve adapted to this being home. I love the fact that first class of girls I taught will be graduating this year and that I’ve been a part of their lives for so long. I love the history I have with them. I love the fact that post-it notes I wrote in high school are still taped under one of the teacher’s desk. I love that my name is on a Les Mis poster in the local theater and students have pointed it out to me. There is something about being in one place for a while. You really get to see the growth over time and be part of many exciting phases for both the area and the people.

Ministry can be very transitional and I’m not saying that Jeremy and I will be here forever. I don’t make assumptions or play guessing games with my future. All I know is I’m not planning on going anywhere. In the 8 years that Jeremy has been children’s pastor at Bethel, we’ve known multiple pastors who have transitioned to at least 3 different churches in that time. I feel so blessed in a job that can be so transitional that we’ve had  longevity in a place we love. Our family is here and even though a lot of our high school friends have moved away to the big cities, we still get to see them and hang out. Lewis County might be rural, but I don’t feel isolated here. I feel blessed. I am thankful for a place to work and serve. Being at my home church for so many years has allowed me a depth of relationship and history that I am grateful for. I thankful for my home and for my quiet days and my little dog. I’m thankful for the students who have colored my world and made children’s ministry the place to be.  I would have never guessed that putting down roots here would be so good!

 

Changed My Mind… January 23, 2013

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 4:16 pm

As a girl it’s my right to change my mind… Isn’t that how the saying goes? Today I reached 4,000 gifts and I had planned to stop counting for a while and it a break. Sometimes you need space, even from good things. The first 1,000 I counted to I did in about 2 months. Each time it has taken me a bit longer. This time it took me 3 months. I thought that if I couldn’t keep up with the project, why do it?

But… I changed my mind. As I was writing my 4,000th gift I felt sad because I still had more gifts to write down. I wasn’t done for the day and really I wasn’t done with this challenged. So I flipped the page and started 1,000 Gifts Take 5. I’m again on my way – this time 5,000 is the goal. Surprisingly, I only have about a quarter of my journal left and I’m thinking it’s actually possible to fill it completely. I’m not sure I believe it was going happen, but now I think it just might.

Like all good projects there are guidelines and stipulations. Each time they get more relaxed. This time I’m not putting pressure on myself for time. It’s not a competition. I learned from this last season that when I need to count gifts my journal is there and waiting for me. On some of my darkest days it was gift counting that pulled me out of myself and gave me hope and a feeling of life. It seems like when things are going good it would be the best time to count, but I have learned its the opposite. When things are hard, I need to count. When I’m having a bad day, I need to count. When life makes no sense, I need to count.

I’m sure you might be tired of how one book and one challenge has impacted me so much. I just can’t help but share. It’s been too good to keep quiet. I just wanted you to know that I thought I was done for a while, but maybe I’m addicted to gift counting. It doesn’t seem I can give it up. I changed my mind and I’m still counting.

 

Still Counting January 21, 2013

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 5:42 pm

I know it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned where I am with counting gifts. It seems like the first 1000 is so exciting and because of that I never want to stop after it. My need for a gift journal break usually comes after counting to 2000. I’m now 30 gifts away from reaching 4000 and just like 2000, I think I might need a change of pace afterwards. It’s still so good for me. On my darkest days writing down gifts ministers to my soul. It pulls me out of those dark places and gives me a new perspective. It’s been so desperately good. Counting gifts has been a worthwhile habit for me to build into my life. I will admit that my writing down of gifts has started to go into spurts – a little here and a little there. I’m actually okay with the inconsistency. Gifts counting isn’t a science and it isn’t formula. The discipline of gift counting has awoken my soul to seeing things in the moment and saying thanks for them right away. I think because of counting, I am more thankful. I am able to the positive side of things again. Being a natural pessimistic, counting gifts is like rewiring my brain.

I start a Growth Group for church in February and the topic will be One Thousand Gifts. Even now I’m not sure how to communicate just how much this challenged has changed me. I guess people like before and afters – like before this project I was “fill in the blank here”, but now I am “…” I’m not even sure how to put it all. Possibly because I am in ministry and I’m not sure what to say because I don’t want to seem unholy or ungrateful or unhappy. I don’t want that to be my “before”.  I’m not sure how to word it all. Being in leadership sometimes feels like you need a course in strategic phrasing – how to tell the truth without telling the whole story.

So here is my best testimony without all the details – Before I started counting gifts, I was close minded and inward focused. I let my story become the only thing that mattered and all I saw was my pain. When that is all you are looking at things get bleak and hopeless. Counting gifts has opened my eyes to God’s blessings in such an intimate way. Now I know that it’s not the big things that matter but the small. I also know that God is good no matter what my circumstances. There are always good gifts around if I am willing to look for them and see them. It’s about changing my position – instead of looking inward, it’s about looking outward. Instead of looking down, it’s about looking up.

I’m not really sure where this gift counting, thanksgiving lifestyle will lead me. It’s already helped me cope with more than I can possibly imagine. Now that doesn’t mean I float around in some form of holy happiness all the time. I still really struggle. In fact, this whole last week has been rather up and down for me. My emotions have been all over in a roller-coaster kind of a way. I think without counting gifts and building in new habits, I might not have had the ups I had this week. The downs might have out weighted it all. Gifts give hope and hope drives me to keep looking up even when things feel down.

I’m not sure how great I will be at leading others through this experience. It really is just pop in a DVD and discuss, but I don’t want that to be all that it is. I’ve learned so much and I don’t just want to sit on those lessons and keep them to myself. I want to share. I want encourage and inspire. I’m still counting and I hope that I can help others to start. It’s worth it in the long run. So worth it!

 

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans January 18, 2013

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 3:44 pm

This week I finished A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. Can I just tell you I’ve learned a new pet peeve? Nothing irritates me more than people who make a big deal of nothing. I’ve been anticipating this book for months. Pretty much from the moment I heard about this project. I also heard a lot of negative things about it. Mostly from men. Things that sounded like, “She’s mocking biblical womanhood” or “she’s trying to overthrow men”. Oh my, why create drama when there isn’t any need. Some people…

Anyway, I was very proud of how respectful Rachel was in this book. She stretched herself and tried things that weren’t “her” things. She got a different perspective and while I doubt she still wears head coverings or camps out in the front yard when she’s on her period, she did learn and grow through all these experiences. You don’t have to follow different walks of a life to the word in order to have respect from them and learn from them.

My personal take on the Bible verses most used to keep women silent and in the home happens to be that they were for a specific group of people in a specific time and place. Paul wrote letters to specific churches. He never said these words are scripture for all people and all time. We can learn from the them and I especially think he was getting at order in the church and dealing with a group of difficult woman who were misrepresenting what this movement was about. I look at Jesus and how he said nothing about women in a negative way. In fact, he went out of his way to value women. He was counter-cultural in his approach to women and he never put them in a box. In fact, I think Paul was the same way. He had women who he worked with in the early church that he valued. I don’t think this should be overlooked. I don’t believe in this idea that all women are good for is being a wife and making babies. I don’t believe women should be silent and have no authority over men. With that being said, I don’t look down on stay at home moms or women who have taken on more traditional gender roles. I believe that you should do what God has called you to do and use your talents to serve – your family, your church, your community, your work place. Serve and love wherever you are at and in whatever you are doing.  The where doesn’t make a difference to me.

The thing I love about Rachel in this book is she tried so many things that were out of her comfort zone. From making dinner and housekeeping to renting a computer baby (the ones they pass out to teenagers to discourage them unsafe sex) to dressing plain and modest, she really put herself out there. She called her husband “master” and celebrated Jewish holidays and Jewish laws. She studied women in the Bible to see if there was a mold, a pattern, something that applied to all women. It turns out the Bible is full of many women with different backgrounds and different talents. God used them in different ways to bring glory to himself. There isn’t a mold. In fact, Jewish tradition doesn’t expect all women to be the Proverbs 31 women. Isn’t that a relief? The Proverbs 31 is a woman of valor to exemplifies women who are active in their own lives. They don’t passively sit by and let life happen to them. Bake bread for your family? You’re a woman of valor. Bring home the bacon? Woman of Valor! Clean the house? Woman of Valor! It’s like a “You go girl” encouragement. This makes me very happy because I will never be ALL the things mention in Proverbs 31.

While there are many things that I loved about this book, I think the best part of me was her reflection on submission. Rachel’s Jewish source explained that the term in Genesis that we translate as “helpmeet” really signifies two pillars leaning on each other with equal weight. Rachel explains that it has always been “Team Dan and Rachel”. She and her husband have never assigned specific roles to their marriage. Whoever does it best gets the job done. Even for a year of submitting, her husband found it uncomfortable that she suddenly acted like less of a person because was a woman. He went through the craziness of this project so that she could succeed. Even in having the “master” card for a year, he only went a long with it so his wife would have  the opportunity to write this book. Their marriage in a partnership and “Team Dan and Rachel” really got this project done together. This really struck a cord for me because I view my marriage as a partnership. Jeremy has always treated me as an equal. Even in his job, he shares fully with me. There is no pulling rank and me being put in my place as the little woman. In every way we are Team Jeremy and Amy. If he succeeds, I succeed and visa versa. This is so stabling and so beautiful. Rachel ends the books by sharing that Dan doesn’t need to make her “respect” him because she already does – just for being himself. It’s a natural respect, not something that is demanded. I feel the same way when it comes to Jeremy. Why would I not respect him? Why should I be made to? I respect him for who he already his – for his character, for all the things that make him unique and so special.

This book made me laugh as Rachel did things in the name of Biblical Womanhood that I have never done. She addressed fears that all women face and the tensions we live in. It was tastefully written and I appreciate how she grew through this process. It wasn’t a joke or a mockery. It was an investigation and I like where she ended up. It’s a book worth reading – both men and women. I am thankful for voices like Rachel’s who bold speak truth. She is a woman of valor and I deeply respect her.

 

Birthday Week Complete January 16, 2013

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

The much anticipated birthday has come and gone. I’m officially 27 and so far it hasn’t been that bad despite my issue with the number 27 – it’s main offense is being an odd number. I hate odd numbers. Oh well. Good thing it changes every year so it won’t be odd forever. I got to spend lots of time with family celebrating my birthday and I would love to get you the highlights!

Pina Colada Cake

Pina Colada Cake

On Friday, Jeremy and I went to the grocery store because we literally had close to no food. I was living off of a cereal as long as the milk held out. I also needed supplies because this year I planned on making my own birthday cake. Food Network Magazine had a whole section on birthday cakes this month and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a Pina Colada cake – part of the reasoning with show up later in this post. The downside of shopping at Walmart in Lewis County is that it doesn’t have the same supplies I’m guessing the average high end grocery store in New York City has (the home of Food Network). I had to do some substituting and because this cake to feed more than myself I went a bit on the safe side to make sure it was edible. I did use Betty Crocker mix and frosting, but I made the pineapple filling on my own. The cake gets brushed with pineapple juice and I added coconut extract to the frosting, so even Betty got improved upon and not left in her natural form. Like all good baking projects, I know what I do differently next time, but overall the result was a success – even if it wasn’t identical to the cake in the magazine.

27 Candles

27 Candles

Saturday was my birthday celebration with my side of the family. Jeremy and I drove up to hang out with my sister, brother-in-law and parents. We played a board game in which my dad who never plays games thoroughly beat us all. The meal was Pizza Hut carryout. I really indulged and got cheese pizza with cheese stuffed crust and cheese sticks. Everything is better with more cheese! The activity during dinner was 27 things our family loves about Amy. My poor brother-in-law – this was not his game and I totally understand because I was made to play as well. Each family member took a turn until 27 things had been said. Funny, but awkward in a loving family kind of way. Once the meal was over it was on to presents! April and Andrew got me A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. I’ve already finished it and can’t wait to blog about my thoughts! After I opened my gifts, it was time to give a gift to my mother. Just after Christmas, our family started scheming to form a family vacation to Hawaii for her 50th birthday. My dad had been planning the trip for a while and was gracious enough to let the rest of us join in. It was so exciting to finally tell mom about the trip! The last three week I’ve been bursting with Hawaii joy and having to keep it contained!  The evening concluded with 2 hours of Downton Abbey! A great birth day celebration!

Make a Wish!

Make a Wish!

Sunday was a different day by all accounts. Our church had decided to change our schedule and show the Seahawks game. Since I’m not a football fan, I stayed home. It was great to have some quiet time at home on Sunday. Opportunities like that are rare. Once the game was over and Jeremy was home from the hoopla, we traveled over to his parents house to celebrate with them and Jeremy’s brother and sister-in-law. It was a fun day full of table games and good food. As the birthday girl, I got to request the menu so we enjoyed Piggies-in-a-Blanket which for the Scott family resembles Biscuits and Gravy with sausage in the biscuits. Very tasty! Dessert was red velvet cake from Costco which I adore. I love birthdays because the food is always sooo good! I appreciated all the love and laughter that I get to share with my family. Because of icy roads, the evening ended in time for me to get home to watch Once Upon a Time and Downton Abbey. Sunday night is a wonderful night of television! It was the perfect way to wrap up the day!

Puppy.Blanket.Book.Snow

Puppy.Blanket.Book.Snow

Monday was my actually birthday! I had doughnuts for breakfast and worked on the big girls sleepover coming up in a month. It was fun to spend the morning working on a creative project that I love so much. I met up with my mom & sister for lunch. Jeremy joined us and it was lovely time. I enjoyed warm soup and bread before heading off to Starbucks for a hot chocolate. During the lunch hour it started to snow, so my afternoon at home involved watching snowflakes and reading my new book. A great way to spend the day! My mom had gotten me birthday balloons, so they festively bobbed around while I watched the snow come down. The snow and wet roads did freeze over so our plans to go out to dinner were postponed. I was fine with that. A quiet evening at home is never something to complain about in my book. Last night we made our way to Red Robin where I used my free birthday burger to end the birthday celebrating!

It was a great week full of family time, good food and celebrating! Thank you to all the loving family members and friends who blessed me and made my birthday special! I am so thankful!

 

Why Blog? January 10, 2013

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 4:49 pm

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of my blog. Why do I do it? What am I trying to convey? I realize that the topics in my blog are very diverse and sometimes random. I admire those that have “family” blogs and keep people updated on the happening of their family. I would not say this is a family blog because Jeremy has little to no input on what I write here. In fact, he reads all my blogs at the same time you do – when I’ve published them for the world to see.  Yes, I do like to write about what activities I’ve been up to and that involves Jeremy and even my Toby dog, so I understand in a way this blog touches on the family blog theme. But just look at the title this webpage – you’ll see that I’m a bit to selfish to share this blog with my family… Maybe someday I’ll grow up and share the limelight.

There are many writers who blog on a consistent basis and they are a voice speaking out with a purpose. They are passionate about this topic and that topic. You’ll find them brilliantly sharing their thoughts on Christianity, being a woman in ministry, specific causes or their most recent book release. While I envy these great thinkers, my blog isn’t about a cause. I thought it would be when I started it. I thought this would be a place where I would write about what it is like to be a woman in ministry. I quickly learned that there is only so much I can publicly write about ministry. I love serving God’s people and it certainly has it’s ups and downs. I’m not brave enough to write about what might upset me, where I see or feel injustice, all the nitty-gritty details of ministry.  At least not a blog with my name on it. I don’t want you to get me wrong, there are lots of great and glorious things about serving in church. I’m not downing my position or my community of believers. It’s just without stepping over a line, I can never be completely honest here.

This is not a baking blog or a craft blog. I’ve visited those and wow, do they make me jealous! I’m always floored at what people create. Beautiful cakes, lovely meals, amazing artwork. I would love to be crafty. I mean truly crafty – like sell my wares on etsy crafty. While I do crafts, I wouldn’t say I have a great talent for it. Yes, I like to bake. Yes, from time to time I make a homemade card, but this really isn’t a crafty, homey, cooking,  baking blog.

I realize that I’ve dabbled in all forms of blogging. I don’t really stick to one theme or category. I’m sure that might annoy some of you. And I’m sorry if it is does. I’m just not good at putting myself in a box and sticking with one theme. I’m still exploring all those options of who I am and what I want to write about.

I do know this – I want to write about life -my real, everyday life. I want to write about the things that fill my day, the people I love and the food I eat. I want to write about the shows that make me laugh and the books that make me cry. I want to write about the kids that I teach and the teenagers that hang out in my office. I want to write about sharing ministry and life with my hubby. I want to write about housekeeping and how my little dog is cute and annoying. I want to write about the things that keep me up at night and the thoughts that won’t leave me alone. I want to write about the victories in my life – big or small. I want to write about the hard times and what God shows me through them.

This blog is therapy for me and you are a part of my sanity. I would write this blog regardless of it got daily hits. I’m not here to grow my numbers or reach a target audience. I’m here because I need to write. I need to get words out of my head so I can understand them and grasp them and come to grips with what they mean. I don’t think I’m brilliant and I’m not sure I impart much wisdom here, but I do hope that someone reads this blog and relates. I pray that someone reads this blog and thinks “I understand, I totally get it”. Maybe that doesn’t happen, but that is my wish and my purpose. I want to write about life – in all it’s forms – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Why blog? Because I love to write and my world makes the most sense through words.