Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Prepping for a Sleepover! May 31, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry — Amy Scott @ 11:36 am

It’s that time of year! It’s time for my class sleepover! Every year I do a sleepover at my house for my Wednesday night class of girls. This year I have 10 girls coming as well as some amazing leaders to help me keep things from getting too crazy! This sleepover is one of my favorites because it’s so low-key compared to the big sleepover I do in February at the church. So what does a sleepover at my house look like? We’ll start off with a pizza dinner together – yum! Once we’re done eating, we’ll head outside to play a few yard games. We usually have a croquet tournament if the weather permits. It’s cloudy right now, but it’s supposed to burn off for this evening. I’m really hoping for some croquet tonight!

After the yard games, we’ll head inside for a combo of video games and board games. The Wii is always popular as we play Mario Kart or Wii Party. This year we’ll have the addition of Kinect Sports on the Xbox. These activities are good because they allow the girls to work in teams and continue to build relationships. I have a huge stack of board games that we can play as well. Some favorites from years past would be Disney Scene-It, Apples to Apples Jr. and Last Word. My class this year is really hoping we would play the animal kingdom game. This game is a modified version of Mafia. Jeremy didn’t like the idea of people killing each other but it’s okay for animals, I guess. We make sure the deaths are non-violent and have little or no description. Most of the girls have played Mafia, but to keep things as friendly and G-rated as possible we’ve turned it into an animal game.

As we move inside from the outdoor games, we’ll pause to have dessert. This year we have cake and ice cream to celebrate the many June birthday we have coming up in the next week! Three to be exact! I purchased a cake that has all kinds of fun colors on the inside. We’ll see how it turns out. It looked intriguing. I also have toppings for the ice cream so they can make mini-sundaes to go with their cake! Oh yeah! Nothing like sugaring them up before the next round of games!

Around 10:00pm, we switch modes. I have the girls set-up their sleeping bags and get in their pajamas (if their not already). We’ll start a movie and usually it’s lights out and quiet after 12:30am or so. Most girls make it a challenge to see how late they can stay up, but the majority of them fall asleep during the movie. That is intentional planning on my part! I tell the ones that do make it through the movie to not disturb their sleeping neighbors or me. If they can be quiet enough that the rest of us can sleep then by all means stay up as late you like! Tomorrow I have another big day once the sleepover is over, so I’ll keep on top of the sleeping situation this year. I’ll need some rest before Saturday!

Saturday morning, we have a big waffle breakfast together! I provide strawberries and whip cream to make the waffles extra special! We’ll clean up and pack up after breakfast and head back to the church to meet up with their parents. Once all the girls are off, I usually head home and try to reclaim my house. This year I might just take a quick nap before I have to get ready to head up north for a graduation of one of my mentor girls. We’ll see how that all pans out! If the house has to wait until Sunday, it should be fine since I won’t be home most of Saturday afternoon/evening!

That’s my plan for tonight! I’m super excited and can’t wait to have a blast with my girls! Of course like most things these days, I’m wondering how this sleepover will look next year when I have a kid… It might be harder to turn my house upside for a pack of pre-teen girls. Jeremy and I have talked a little about it. We might do a game night or late night hang out, but minus the sleepover part next year. I don’t know. Just some thoughts and ideas. Since this could be the last sleepover at my house for a few years, I’m planning on making the most of every moment!

 

Retiring a Journal: 6,000 Gifts May 29, 2013

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge — Amy Scott @ 10:10 pm
Journal started August 2011 and finished May 2013

Journal started August 2011 and finished May 2013

Somehow reaching that next 1000 sneaks up on me. I realize it’s coming and then all the sudden it’s here. That’s what happened today. I honestly thought I would finish later this week, but as usual, gifts surprise me and there are always more than I expect and the counting goes quickly. I have counted One Thousand Gifts six times. I thought it would get old – it doesn’t! I thought it would take a decade to fill a journal – it doesn’t. In fact, it hasn’t even taken two years to fill this journal. I’ve learned not to stop counting. It’s a good habit, so why break it? I always think I’ll want a break after counting 1,000, but I miss it. I crave it. Counting gifts has opened my eyes to the small things. It makes everyday life special and unique no matter what. It takes my dark days and reminds me that there is a silver lining. It’s been a process of retraining my brain. I don’t often look for the good in things. I know that sounds un-Christian, but I’m not weird to think Pollyanna thoughts. I’ve never been good at that sort thing. I’m frank, to the point. I’m glass half empty and what’s wrong… I wish it weren’t so. How I would love to see the good in things. This is precisely why gift counting is something I feel compelled to do. It makes me more like the person I so desperately want to be. It helps me to see past my hang ups and hurts and to see how much I am loved. Each day I have the opportunity to open my eyes and see God’s hand at work. Each day I have the opportunity to acknowledge the gifts and say thank you. Will I take that time? Will I really look for them? I want to say yes, so I will keep on counting. One journal might be filled, but don’t worry, I have blank journals just waiting for their pages to be filled. How many will the next journal hold? 7,000 gifts? 8,000? I’m excited to find out. It’s amazing to me how simple it is to find joy and contentment when you’re looking in the right direction. It’s all a matter of focus. I can focus on the negative and it will grow bitterness in my heart. Or I can focus on God’s good gifts and stay thank you. This brings the spark of joy back into my heart. I can be content because I know in the smallest ways I am seen and I am loved.

 

Adventures in Shopping May 28, 2013

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 7:48 am
Looks like we emptied the stores! (The little dog was not purchased today)

Looks like we emptied the stores! Note: The little dog was not purchased today!

The dreaded shopping day has come and gone! Praise the Lord! I knew I needed clothes that fit and summery clothes before we went to Hawaii next month, but knowing and doing are two very different things. I had no real desire to try on clothes in my growing state and I had no desire to spend the extra bucks that come with the label “maternity”. The day turned out to be successful despite my reservations. Surprising Motherhood Maternity was a good store for me. Old Navy had some good selection for shorts. Now I am ready for summer and ready to grow!

This trip wasn’t just about me. My hubby goes shopping once or twice a year, so this was a big expedition for him as well. He found some great deals and walked away with a ton of clothes. Between the two of us and the Memorial Day weekend sales, we were able to save over $250 on our shopping trip. I thought that was a pretty good deal! My sister came with us on this adventure since she’ll be joining us in Hawaii and was also in need of a wardrobe boost before our travels. She scored really well too. Overall, I say everyone walked away a winner today. I got over my fear of maternity shopping and while it’s not my favorite thing in the world, it wasn’t too bad. We enjoy a lot of tasty meals together and had a good time. It was a fun Memorial Day, but I’m finding these long outings out really drain me. Pajamas and snuggling with my pup were high on my list of things to do when I got home.

Now if only the Western Washington rain would go away so I could wear some of these new clothes!

 

A Birthday in the Park! May 27, 2013

Filed under: Family Time — Amy Scott @ 7:45 am
Excited for cake!

Excited for cake!

Tomorrow is my nephew’s 3rd birthday! We celebrated this weekend with family in the park. It was a lot of fun to gather and celebrate this little guy we love so much! Carson has been an exciting addition to our family. He is my first and at this time, only nephew! He is the leader of the pack when it comes to the grandchildren because he is the oldest. It’s been a blast to watch his personality develop with time. This guy loves his animals. He received some new animal toys this weekend and stopped opening his presents as a result. He didn’t need to know what was in the rest of the bags. He had new animals to play with! The park was a fun venue because the boys threw frisbees around and took turns playing on the playground with Carson. We enjoyed a yummy BBQ lunch and cake that Carson himself picked out. After we cleared out of the park, we headed back to Carson’s house to hang out for a little while longer. It was great to have some snuggle time with my nephew as we played with his new animals. This pretty much entailed the animals climbing up the mountain (my shoulder) and falling down. After that the animals played hide and seek in my hair. Fun times! I love spending time with this little guy and his sister. I am blessed by these little members of our family. I am excited to see how they grow and the people they are becoming. Happy birthday, Carson! Uncle Jeremy & Aunt Amy love you lots!

 

Halfway There! May 26, 2013

Filed under: Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 2:08 pm
At 20 weeks our baby is the size of a banana or so I have been informed by baby websites!

At 20 weeks our baby is the size of a banana or so I have been informed by baby websites!

I’ve officially reached the halfway point in my pregnancy. The first twenty weeks have been interesting and part of me really hopes the next twenty just fly right by. The funny thing is I’ve been thinking/talking lot about being halfway there lately which has meant “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi has been massively stuck in my head. Not all the lyrics apply, but the chorus is right up my alley – “Halfway there, living on a prayer” (Don’t forget to sing the Whooahs in your head or out loud as you read that). Hehe! This song came out the year I was born and although I don’t remember it being released, pop culture has certainly done it’s job to make this song an 80’s hit I know. Soo.. anyway, I’m halfway there! Living on a prayer!

Apart from this major milestone, Jeremy and I also added registering for baby stuff onto our list of firsts this week. Can I just tell you how grateful I am that I have a husband who doesn’t stress all that often! He really balanced me out during this process. I really didn’t expect registering to be so stressful or tiring, but wow, it’s took a lot out of me. As would be expected, I did a ton of research before we went. I thought I had done my homework, but once I got into the store, it was hard to know what items were better than others. Babies’R’Us gives you this HUGE list of stuff to register for that Jeremy and I are sure is just a ploy to make more money for them. Some of the items on the list sounded the same or sounded so vague we had no idea what they were. Registering for baby stuff made me feel dumb. It was a whole new world and I had no clue what I was doing. My mind automatically assumes that if we don’t register for the right stuff then we’ll fail as parents…. No clue why I think that this “stuff” is so important… Probably because I tie them to the safety and general well-being of my child. Oh well! I’m sure our kid will survive even we missed something on the registry.

It was mind boggling to me as we registered just how much all of these items would cost if all purchased by us. Oh my! Kids aren’t cheap! Yikes! Suddenly I wholeheartedly appreciate baby showers a lot more! While I am excited to decorate and prepare for this little one, I was overwhelmed by how much stuff they suggested you have. Where am I going to store all this stuff? I’m pretty sure it’s going to look a baby bomb went off in my house. I don’t remember baby items being so big either until I envisioned them in my own space!

Like I said before, my hubby was super helpful in this process. He reminded me that the kid will survive if we don’t have everything on the “list”. Jeremy was also great at picking things when I was torn between items and clueless as to what direction to go. At Babies’R’Us, the lady that helped us finish and finalize told me it looked like we were having a lot of fun while we registered – that fact is largely thanks to my hubby who can lighten any mood. After our first registry attempt, Jeremy and I went out to dinner to regroup and re-energize. Target was our next stop and it was a bit tricky there as well. The registry system wasn’t working right so Jeremy and I got to know many employees well as we tried to make this registry become a reality. After 45 minutes of trying this and that, we were able to make it happen! There was much celebrating! Because we had done all the hard thinking at the store before, we breezed through Target because we knew what was wanted. It was much faster and much easier on my brain. 

The adventures continue on in this new journey. Tomorrow will be the next adventure as I go clothes shopping – something I have not enjoyed since January. I need summer clothes, especially before our vacation next month, but I’m not looking forward to having to shop at new stores and in a new section. Yay for expanding! Okay, not so much. At least I’m technically on the down hill slope now, right? Halfway there!

 

Learning in Layers May 22, 2013

Filed under: One Thousand Gifts Challenge,Recollections,Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 10:43 am

I’ve been mulling this post over in mind for a few weeks. I’m finding that as I contemplate about the future, I also have this strong desire to look back and see where the Lord has led me. It’s so evident that his hand has been on my life. Especially, the last year and a half. I had no clue the growth that would take place in my life over the last year, but God has been faithful. I didn’t learn all these lessons at once. Just like layers, God has been removing things from my heart that shouldn’t be there and replacing them with His truth. Most of these lessons I knew in theory, but they were head knowledge, not heart knowledge. I’m finding the best lessons are learned through life experience and often by walking down hard roads. The good news is that the hard roads lead to great places.

A year and a half ago, I was bitter and displeased. I had this restlessness and a desire for more. I wanted everything I didn’t need and it made me unhappy because the things I wanted weren’t panning out. I’m so thankful for the intervention I received because I see now what a slippery slope I was on. My friend and mentor, Pastor Vicki Judd, gave me a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I know I’ve written about this book many times here and you all are probably sick of how much I love this book. However, it’s impossible not to be grateful for the life change this book brought in my life. It took me back to seeing the small things. It brought me to a place of thankfulness, gratitude and contentment. I was so discontent in this season and this book was like medicine that I desperately needed. As a result of this book, I have kept extensive gratitude journals. When I’m tempted to let myself go down that road of discontentment, I am reminded of all the blessings the Lord daily pours into my life. Simple things like having dishes to unload from a dishwasher or having a bed to make or having friends to pray with or a family who loves me comes back to the forefront of my mind and puts me at ease.

At our annual church ladies retreat in April of 2012, we did some assessments to show us our spiritual gifts and our natural personality bents. The purpose to was empower women to serve where they love and to embrace the way God made them.  As an introvert in ministry, I’ve always felt a bit misunderstood, so this was a great exercise to explain to people who I am and how I function. The spiritual gifts assessment really did confirm my love for teaching and investing in people. If I’m doing these things in some capacity, I am doing what God made me to do. The exercise that I was deeply impacted by was when our leader gave us a list with hundreds of words on it. I love words and so the act of cutting down this list into seven core words was quite the challenge for me. However, it was worth the effort and I can see myself in my seven words – acceptance, compassion, courage, encouragement, integrity,  joy and vision. I have these words, as well as my spiritual gifts, as the desktop of my laptop (for about a year now). When I pull my computer up, it’s a reminder. Interesting situation, lately I’ve read a book called The Synergist and one of the categories of leaders in this book is a Visionary. According the books standards, I am not a visionary. However, when it comes to my personal life and my ministry, I value vision. I value having a direction and seeking the Lord for what he is doing. I don’t get swayed very often from my vision – once it’s set, I am working for the goal.  I was feeling kind of a poor about my lack of being a visionary after recently reading this book and re-looking at my lists has just reminded me that I have vision where it counts in my life. That makes me happy.

After this assessment, I felt pretty good about the journey the Lord has taken me on. I was just brimming with excitement for the “big” things I thought God was preparing me for. Oh my, I didn’t realize the next lesson was going to be so hard. After totally affirming who I am, God taught me humility.  Humility was hard and painful. I learned that I  have a lot of pride. I have a lot of big thoughts and big dreams and instead of looking at what was right in front of me, I was always looking to what was next, what I wanted to see happen. Humility taught me a lot about letting go. I learned that I can’t make doors open and I learned that some things aren’t meant to be, at least not in my timing. I had to let go of my expectations for myself. I had to let go of how I taught I was being perceived and just trust God. No more struggling to have my own way. Humility taught me a lot about acceptance. If I was doing what God called me do, it didn’t matter what people thought or what I thought about myself. Humility was the hardest lesson to learn because I learned it by hitting a brick wall. But God was good and he walked me through that season and I am grateful for the change that came in my life.

So now I look forward to a new season. I look forward to raising a family and entering into a different time of ministry. I can see how the Lord has prepared me over this last year to be at this point. I have learned that only person I really need to accept me is God. Even at this year’s ladies retreat, I was reminded that I only need to be defined by God. My life is more than titles and roles. I am more than what I can offer people. I’ve learned the joy of contentment. I have learned that going lower isn’t a horrible punishment. With humility comes freedom. I am free in a lot ways that I never have been. True, it’s easy to pick up those old ways of doing things and those old mindsets, but I am fighting to keep these lessons alive within me. They were worth the time and tears. I’m positive they have set me up for this next season and that they will be a source of strength in my future. God has been faithful to teach me these lessons in layers. Each one adds new depth to my life. I can only imagine what will be next. What an exciting journey!

 

The Class of 2013 May 20, 2013

Filed under: Children's Ministry,Recollections — Amy Scott @ 4:51 pm

My fridge is filling up with a collection of graduation announcements. It’s hard to believe this season is upon us already. However, more than any other year, this class of 2013 is special to me. My very first children’s class that I taught at Bethel Church are  now this  graduating class of seniors. At the time they were 4th graders about to enter their 5th grade year. I had no clue if I was going to like Children’s Ministry and this class of girls made me fall in LOVE with it! It’s been a blessing to watch them grow into the lovely young ladies they are today. It’s amazing to see how much potential they have and I am excited for how God is going to direct their steps in the future. The biggest blessing for me is that I’ve been allowed to be along for the ride. I have remained close to many in this class and it’s been a joy to watch them grow spiritually over the years. They are an exceptionally class! Apart from my own graduating class of 2004, this class of 2013 might be my favorite class. They have shaped my life in so many ways. I’m blessed to have been a part of their lives for this season. I’m praying God’s blessing on them as they head out into the world and spread their wings to fly. There are some serious world-changers in this bunch. I can’t wait to see what is next for them! Congratulations to the class of 2013! You did it!

Lake Day 2005

Lake Day 2005

Last Class for the Summer 2005

Last Class for the Summer 2005

This young lady has been my co-teacher for the last three years in my current class of 5th/6th Grade Girls!

This young lady has been my co-teacher for the last three years in my current class of 5th/6th Grade Girls!

Christmas 2005

Christmas 2005