Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Bread & Wine By Shauna Niequist April 16, 2013

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 7:45 pm

As expected, I flew through Bread & Wine. This whole book was about food and preparing food for the ones you love and dinner parties and living life around the table, about nourishing our bodies and  our relationships and our souls. I think the reason I love Shauna so much is because is so different from me. She mentioned that she grew up in a ministry household where the home was sanctuary from the busy world. Her home life was quiet and always wished it could have been a little louder, even though she understood quiet was what her parents needed. I can relate because I feel like my home is my sanctuary. It’s my quiet in a  busy, hectic ministry life. Instead of opening my home to people, I tend to recover in my home and recharge my batteries.

This doesn’t mean that I can’t connect to the idea of nourishing people through food and through relationship. I believe the table is a very valuable place and it is often missing in our fast paced American lives. I love family dinners. I dream of feeding my own family someday and sitting around our dining room and talking about the day. In someways I find that 1950’s housewife role ideal. Clean the house, take care of the kids, make dinner and feed the family. I like the sound of that.

Let’s be honest, I have little to no cooking skills. I’ve tried a few things, but really I’m not a cook. Shauna includes recipes at the end of almost every chapter and I couldn’t help but notice how brave she is with food. Her palette is more refined (in some ways… she admits to loving fake cheese). I’m more of a comfort food kind of a girl. I like simple pasta and burritos and macaroni & cheese and pizza. I’m not really into bacon wrapped dates or salads with feta cheese crumbles. Her recipes sounded interesting, but I’m not sure I would make a lot of them. The enchiladas sounded good and Sarah Bessy made them and agrees. Shauna’s blueberry crisp recipe that she got from her mom also sounded like something I would make.

The hardest part about reading this book was I had the flu part of the time while I  was reading it. It made the food portions sounds less tasty, but the great thing about this book is it about so much more than food. Shauna writes with such honesty about her relationships. Her tales of miscarriage and high risk pregnancy are gut-wrenching. Her closeness to her family and core friends is touching. She shares about her marriage and raising her boys. She writes about her crazy schedule and how the world can flip upside down sometimes. I love these essays because they speak such life to me. They are heartfelt and authentic and they move me to tears. She is so extroverted that I know we could never be alike, but I would love to have her as a friend. Who wouldn’t love someone who cooks all the time and throws awesome baby showers and makes care packages for new moms that include lots of good food. As I was reading this I was thinking about how I could really use a friend like her in a couple months (less than 6 now…).

This book inspires me. It inspires me to step out of my comfort zone and into my kitchen more. It inspires me to share my table with the ones I love. It also reminds me that the Shaunas of the world are there to throw dinner parties and the Amys of the world are here for quiet sanctuaries. We are all different and that is okay. I can learn a lot from people that are different than me and I can love them for what they bring to the table. Any book by Shauna Niequist is a must read in my opinion and her new book is no exception!

 

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist October 29, 2012

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 3:31 pm

I wrote a book review for Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist at the beginning of the month. I was really impressed with Shauna’s honest writing about change, disappointment and rough seasons of life. She balanced it all so well with growth and healing. Such a good read and it did a lot for as I deal with my own bittersweet situations. I decided to check out her first book Cold Tangerines since I loved Bittersweet so much.

I was curious about Cold Tangerines because it was her first book and the tag line is “celebrating the extraordinary nature of everyday life.” I wasn’t sure if Cold Tangerines was the happy book before the bottom fell out and Bittersweet was the sad, realistic book to follow. Now I wouldn’t call Bittersweet sad (it did make me cry), but a mix of both bitter and sweet reflections, so it was fitting for it’s title. I thought that Cold Tangerine might be fluffy and maybe I wouldn’t like Shauna as much if she was too perky. However, I found great consistency in her character. She’s an amazing writer. When I read her work, especially when she writes about writing, I think that I could do that. I could be a writer. I could share short insights into what I’ve learned through everyday life. In fact, that’s what I try to do on a somewhat regular basis here on this blog. Let’s face it though, sometimes I just want to write about cupcakes. Shauna also writes a lot about food, so I think she would understand my need to write about baked goods!

This book covers the period of time where she left her job at a church and become a stay at home writer and mom. I could relate to her as she wrote about her identity being wrapped up her job. I think those of us with “church” jobs think that the job is who we are. We are saving the world and trying to make it a better place. What are we without our titles, projects, meetings, and busy schedules. Would we cease to exist? I hope not. This is a lesson that I’ve been learning more and more. My job is only a small portion of who I am and what I have to offer the world. It’s not my identity. Being a church lady isn’t the only thing I’m good at. I love my job and I love being a church lady, I’m not knocking the profession, I’m just saying I’m more than that.

I find myself being drawn to books about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I love One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp for that reason and now both of these offerings by Shauna Niequist. I used to think that life was all about striving for the next big thing – the next up and coming, bigger and better thing. It was always about striving for more. Now I realize that right where I am is more than enough. I love the simple things and living a simple life. I don’t know why I thought I had to be all important and massively impressive. Talk about a lot of pressure. So like Alicia Britt Chole writes about, I’m choosing to be Anonymous. I’m finding that by choosing the unseen life, I’m slowing down to a pace where I can see the unseen things in my own life. The treasures of each day are plentiful. Each moment if truly a gift. I used to say that in a Hallmark card kind of way – all gushy and happily-ever-after-like. I didn’t quite believe it because it seemed too sweet to be real life. Now that I can take both the bitter and the sweet and be thankful, I’m learning the value of each minute. It’s not going to be rainbows and sunshine all the time, but God is good no matter what and I can see him in all things if I’m looking. Even in the things I don’t understand, I know that he is there, holding me. I don’t have to get it all. I just have to be thankful. Because being thankful makes me joyful and being joyful makes me smile and laugh and feel free.

Now to keep with the theme of my reading lately, I look forward to starting Love Does by Bob Goff. The tag line of this book is “Discover a secretly incredible life in an ordinary world.” Sounds right up my alley, doesn’t it? I’m so glad that God has colored in my ordinary world with his love! No excuse for boredom and never a dull moment! I’m living an adventure!

 

What I’ve Been Reading – April 2022 April 30, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 9:00 am

Bookish Thoughts for April

April was a month full of good books! The bonus of extra time at home is extra time to read! You’ll notice lots of 4 stars on my book list. You’ll also notice that my non-fiction to fiction ratio is fairly even this month (which is extremely rare). Here are some highlights of the month… Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the first play I’ve read (since long forgotten high school days). It took me a while to get into the format, but I eventually got the hang out of it and really enjoyed the story. I added two new special books to my home library. I pre-ordered both Shauna Niequist and Roseanna M. White’s new releases. I got the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet for the bonus chapter on writing. Shadowed Loyalty is a signed copy which is a first for me (and such a treat)! Both were excellent reads and worth the wait. I read on some of my favorite topics this month from the Enneagram to parenting to memoirs. I also read some of my favorite authors this month – Ian Morgan Cron, Bob Goff, Shauna Niequist, Jenny B. Jones, Emma St. Clair, and Roseanna M. White. It felt like a month spent with good friends!

My two extra special additions to my home library!

Top Picks for April

Non-Fiction: Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley. This book came recommend by a wise friend! She has pointed me toward many a good book. It took a while for me to get a copy at the library, but it was worth the wait. In fact, this book is on my short list of books I want to purchase next. I get asked for parenting book recommendations frequently and this book will be on my list now! It was practical and relatable. These habits might seem common sense or even small, but they set the tone and foundation for our families. I liked that the chapters ended with an overview, deeper application, and further reading recommendations. Any book that recommends more books is a winner! Non-fiction runners-up this month are The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self by Ian Morgan Cron and I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist.
Fiction: Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price. I read the first book in this Jane Austen Murder Mystery Series last spring (Pride and Premeditation). I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t an instant favorite. I came across Sense and Second-Degree Murder as a new release and I thought since I read the first book, I might as well read the second (I’m a sucker for a series). This book was better than the first in my opinion. I read it over Easter weekend and I kept wanting to sneak in more reading sessions despite my busy schedule. I just had to know what happened next! These books are loosely based on the classics and loaded with girl power. Elinor wants to be a chemist. Marianne is training under her father to be an investigator. In P&P, Lizzie is training under her father to be a lawyer. Something about these ladies’ not letting society hold them back from their dream professions just makes me happy. Runner-ups for fiction are Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany.

The Book List for April
 1 Star = I did not like it. 2 stars = It was okay. 3 stars = I liked it. 4 stars = I really liked it. 5 stars = It was amazing.

Non-Fiction:

  • Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage by Beth & Jeff McCord – 3 stars
  • The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self by Ian Morgan Cron – 4 stars
  • Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie – 4 stars
  • Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms by Justin Whitmel Earley – 4 stars
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish – 4 stars
  • Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan – 3 stars
  • I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist – 4 stars
  • Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It by Bob Goff – 4 stars
  • Wild and Free Nature: 25 Outdoor Adventures for Kids to Explore, Discover, and Awaken Their Curiosity by Ainsley Arment – 3 stars

Fiction:

  • Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman – 3 stars
  • Falling Sommerset by Jenny B. Jones – 3 stars
  • Falling For Your Brother’s Best Friend by Emma St. Clair – 3 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany – 4 stars
  • The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle – 3 stars
  • Dragons in the Water by Madeleine L’Engle – 3 stars
  • A House Like a Lotus by Madeleine L’Engle – 1 star
  • Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price – 4 stars
  • All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir – 3 stars
  • Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White – 4 stars
 

Birthday Baking, Books, & Boosters February 1, 2022

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 5:48 pm

I had fun thinking of the alliterations I could use for this post. Like bestie birthday brownie baking, books, and boosters. That title felt a bit long, so I shortened it a smidge. I love a good alliteration, especially if it sums up my week so well.

The week has some highlights. One being a book swap with a friend. About once a month, we swap books from our home libraries. I love it! It’s fun to talk about the books we share as well as catch up on life. This time I was able to make the book swap while Jeremy watched our boys. It was such a special treat! Kid-free/mom-friend/book-time is amazing!

The other major highlight of the week was my forever friend, Maggie, came down with her kiddos for a birthday celebration. Maggie and I share a birthday month, so we played up celebrating us! I haven’t done a ton of baking this month, but I made up for it one day. I made chocolate chip cookies, a brownie cake, and brownies without frosting for our time together. Maggie and I have been friends since we were 16 and I love that we are still celebrating birthdays together at 36. Her friendship is such a gift! It’s also fun that our kiddos are becoming buddies. Maggie and I have sacrificed a bit our friend time to have more family outings over the last few months. While our conversation is often interrupted, it’s a joy to watch our kids play together. On this particular play date, the kids thought they saw an “X” in the yard, so they started to dig for treasure… by our septic! Luckily, I clued into their plan before anything degusting was unearthed! There were lots of giggles when I explained they wouldn’t be finding treasure in that certain spot in our yard.

Other than the book swap and the birthday play date, our week has been pretty low-key. Jeremy got his booster on Thursday and the side effects gave him an off and on fever all weekend. We all did our best to be quiet and keep a restful vibe around the house for Jeremy’s sake. On Friday, I took the boys on an errand to the library and to get Papa Murphy’s pizza. There is nothing quite like stocking up on pizza and letting it be at least 3+ meals over the weekend. As a special treat for being quiet, I got the boys Mini Murphs. They are take and make pizza kits with personal sized pizzas. The boys loved the experience of assembling their own pizzas and declared them the best pizza they’ve ever eaten. Owen now thinks he is qualified to work at Papa Murphy’s. He just might be right.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, all the extra time at home has created plenty of reading time. I’m loving my new Kindle Paperwhite. At one point this last month, I picked up a paperback with small font and immediately wished I could make the font bigger like on my Kindle. This is 36, folks. I’ve also had a lot of fun pre-ordering books. I have new releases arriving in February, April, and May. I need to find a new release to order in March so I can create my own book of the month vibe. In case you are wondering what books I’ve pre-ordered, here’s the list:

  • Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie – Release Date: February 15
  • I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: Discovering New Ways of Living When the Old Ways Stop Working by Shauna Niequist – Release Date: April 22
  • Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White – Release Date: May TBD

Okay, I should wrap this up. My hubby is home from work. We’re having orange chicken tonight in honor of Chinese New Year. No recipe to share here. It’s the boxed stuff from Costco. Tasty, though, and it’s a staple in our meal rotation. We’ll walk to the mailbox afterwards to get some fresh air and daily steps. Simple times, but good!

Fun fact: I put this birthday banner up for every birthday celebrated at our house (unless it’s the boys’ birthday party when I go with a themed one just for them). I’m a big fan of birthday décor.
My version of a brownie cake! Happy Birthday Month!
Silly kids! Or should I say pirates!
Super excited to make their own pizzas!
I got up and someone stole my reading spot!!!
 

Immanuel – God with Us December 14, 2017

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:12 pm

This blog post was supposed to be published last Thursday (12/14/17), but for some reason it’s not on my site. So sorry if you see this post for the second time because I know it did send out as an email. 

I’ve been reading through a one year devotion by Shauna Niequist, one of my favorite authors. One of the days I just read was about Advent how it’s for those who don’t have a place for shiny, happy Christmas seasons. Advent speaks of long, waiting, hoping for a Savior to arrive. Advent lets us feel those raw emotions of longing and being not there yet. I could have highlighted the whole devotional that day. I can relate to the concept of an Advent Christmas. Waiting for a Savior. Longing for hope.

This Christmas season has been different for me. Not only I am waiting and longing for my own home but I’m also longing for health. My eyes did not heal with this last round of antibiotics and I’m not waiting for a call to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist. Over a month of battling infections in my eyes has taken its toll on me both physically and mentally. My immune system is shot and I catch every bug that comes through our house (which currently is a head cold from Graham). I’m taking 400% of my daily vitamin C with no signs that it’s working. I’m completely and totally spent. I’m sad, a little depressed and slightly confused on why I can get better despite my best efforts.

So yes, I can relate to an advent season of longing and desire. Keeping my eyes open for a Savior, one who will bring restoration. And then I remember that this Savior is Immanuel. God with us. I am not alone. God is here in these moments. He hasn’t left my side. This knowledge that I am loved by my Creator and he is present in my longing and waiting gives me hope. It brings peace to my troubled heart. While I have not received an instant healing (believe me, I’ve asked), I have to trust that the journey is worthwhile even though I walk down unpleasant roads. God is with us. He is for us. We are not alone.

Last year I clung to a cheerful, happy Christmas to anchor my emotions. I wanted all things Christmas because I was desperate for joy in an unknown season of waiting for our house to sell, our plans on hold with uncertainty. This year, I cling to an advent season of longing and waiting. Watching and searching. Lots has happened in a year. Our home has sold, our new home continues to have progress. Things are moving forward and yet that doesn’t mean things are peachy or rosy or perfect. Life will always have it’s messes, it’s hang ups, it’s hills and valleys. When I’m in the valley, I know I am not alone and that God is for me and my Savior loves me.

So I keep pressing on. Believing. Praying. Hoping and dreaming. I keep taking the next step and moving forward in faith.

Prayers are greatly appreciated, for sure! I hope no matter what kind of Christmas season you find yourself in that God’s presence would be so close, so real to you. Despite all the holiday hustle and bustle, He is the reason for the Season. The hope of resurrection and restoration. Perfect peace. What a lovely Christmas gift!

““Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Helping Daddy put lights on the tractor for the lighted tractor parade.

 

Thoughts on activities, haircuts, the house, prayer and a doctor’s visit… January 27, 2017

Filed under: Selling, Building, Moving,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 11:52 am

A lot has happened in the week and a half since my last post. Owen had his first play date with a MOPS friend, Maci,  a week ago Thursday. These two are buddies at church so it was nice to invite Maci and her mom over to play outside of church. This was Owen’s first play date with a “girl” friend since most of his cousins are boys. I was a little nervous that they wouldn’t find anything to do, but that wasn’t the case. They played with everything in the house for about 15 seconds before moving on to find something new. It was a whirlwind, but definitely worth it!

Last Friday, Graham got his second haircut. I am cheap and haircuts are drama with my boys. This combination leads to me being pretty lax when it comes to keeping a schedule for haircuts. Graham’s hair was almost in his eyes, so it seemed like time. I am happy to report that this haircut went better than the first one, but it did still have its fair share of unhappiness. The lady cutting his hair gave Graham her phone and let him watch Daniel Tiger so in the end it was Daniel Tiger for the win. Graham is once again looking dapper.

Saturday was a super exciting day. There was a model train show at the WA State Fairgrounds. Owen and my nephew, Nolan, love trains so we decided to take the three year olds on an adventure while the one year olds stayed home with Nana & Papa. It was nice to hang out with Nate & Beckie and catch up with them. Owen & Nolan had a blast spending the day together. The highlight for the boys was probably taking a ride around the track on a miniature Thomas train. They were fascinated with all the model trains and I was a little worried that leaving the train show would result in massive meltdowns. Luckily we grabbed some awesome catalogs that the boys took as souvenirs and they happily said good bye to the train show. They flipped through their catalogs as we took of for lunch. It was a special day getting to spend time with the older boys and make a fun memory for them. We are still talking about the epic model train show and Owen wants to go back – every single day!

Truthfully, I can’t remember if it was Sunday or Monday, but Owen got a haircut from Nana. Owen also used to be a screamer when it came to haircuts so we started just giving him buzz cuts at home. We’ve discovered that he likes to sit in the highchair and look at himself in the mirror in the hutch. He will happily let Nana cut his hair under these circumstances. It might be strange, but whatever works, right?

Tuesday was our MOPS outing to a local fire station. Owen was so excited to see an ambulance. He got to sit a fire truck twice, once in the front seat and once in the back. He got to go into two different ambulances. It was heaven for a toddler boy. Maci was also there and she and Owen ran around the fire station hand in hand. They are the sweetest things! Graham enjoyed the fire station but if you let him down at all he took off running, looking for unsafe things to get into and play with.

Tuesday was also the big haircut day for me. Jeremy is the only one of us that didn’t get a haircut this week! I’ve been growing my hair out for about 2 years. It’s been super easy having it long during these baby days. However, I reached a point where it was driving me a bit crazy. I had split ends upon split ends and it was getting knotted badly every day. I was super excited to chop it off and go back to my shoulder length style. I loved having it long and I might be tempted to grow it out again, but for now I am very happy to less hair to deal with!

Sorry for the long update! There is just so much to share! Let’s move on to the house. We’ve had four showings in the last week. Two of those showings were to the same person. It’s been exciting to see interest in the house and it makes me hopeful that we could see an offer soon. The house situation continues to be the thing that weighs on my soul. God and I spend a great deal of time talking about it. Prayer is my only answer. It’s the only thing I know to do. I was reading my devotional yesterday and the perfect quote about prayer found me. “I feel powerless, and prayer reminds me that I may be powerless, but there is power, and the one who holds the power is good.” (Shauna Niequist, Savor) I read that and thought it perfectly summed up my life right now. I feel powerless and yet I know the one who holds the power and he is good. I am trusting God through every up and down. Through every emotion. He is with me. He is for me. I will keep praying. I will keeping trusting. Our stories never turn out the way we expect, but I know that in the long run, it will be okay.

The last part of my update is about Graham. He had his 15 month well check yesterday. He is still below the charts when it comes to height. Poor shorty pants. He was over 20lbs at this visit so that felt like a victory! Because he is growing proportionately, the doctor didn’t seem too concerned about his height at this point. She did come math and said that he would most likely grow up to be 5’9 but still has the potential to reach 6ft. Graham got four shots and a finger prick. He screamed through the entire appointment. Bless his heart. He still isn’t quite himself today. Poor kid. Overall, though, he is healthy and a smart and right on track for his age. I am grateful that his next appointment only has one shot and then he doesn’t need until he is four. We are almost in the clear! Hooray!

As I reflect on the last week or so, I am grateful for the opportunities that we’ve had. Our family has enjoyed some special outings and spent time with people we love and care about. I am blessed. I took some time to journal about my blessings on Wednesday and I am grateful for the reminder that life is sweet and beautiful even in the struggle and the mess. I am thankful and hopeful. Even when I get tired and weary, I know that God is good and that is all I need.

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Rice is nice!

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Getting to ride Thomas! Owen is the one in blue on the last coach.

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Fascinated!

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Free entertainment!

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Visiting the fire station with our MOPS friends

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Before and After

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The fun before doctor’s appointment!

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Graham didn’t not enjoy himself…

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Back on the Market August 12, 2016

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Selling, Building, Moving,Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 6:56 pm

On Wednesday, we received news that our buyers were formally backing out of the sale of our home. This was the expected outcome after we arrived at an impasse over closing costs. Almost immediately, our home was back on the market. We even have a showing tomorrow. I don’t want to take a ton of time to discuss this closed door. The main thing I can say is I feel weird. I’m still in my house. We didn’t close today. I don’t feel like I belong here. I spent so much time and energy saying good-bye. I had prepared in every way to leave and then we didn’t… Now it just feels off. Like outgrowing something… I am grateful that we didn’t move just to find out that the house wasn’t sold. I would feel awful imposing on the hospitality of my in-laws while I had a perfect good house sitting empty a few miles away. Overall, this could be for the best. While it means more time, it also means a new appraisal and hopefully a better bottom line in the end.

The rest of the week has been about moving on with life. It keeps going. Wednesday was church. Thursday, my mom and I took the boys to the park. This park happens to be right by the train tracks and Owen was delighted to see three different trains. Last night we went to the storage unit and picked up more kitchen items. I have the strong urge to bake because that is a comfort move of mine, however, it’s too hot at the moment. Once the cooler weather comes in I plan on making a couple different goodies. One being a family favorite of Hello Dollies and the other will probably be something pumpkin because pumpkin also sounds like comfort to me.

During nap times, I’ve been able to make good progress on my new book, Present Over Perfect. I love Shauna Niequist. She is one of my favorite authors. This books affirms so many decisions I’ve made. I am all about the smaller life these days. I’m trying to be intentional with my time and influence. I love being home with my boys and making my family a priority. I love serving the kiddos at Bethel and I enjoy being a part of my local MOPS group. I might not run in big circles these days, but I love the small circles I am in. I know that I am encouraging others and pointing them to Jesus. This book empowers a healthy lifestyle, healthy boundaries and a healthy priorities. It encourages stillness and shows the power of small things. It’s a good read for sure. I am also equally excited to start How to Survive a Shipwreck by Jonathan Martin. I know the title seems a bit dramatic, but I can relate the shipwreck feeling. In life there will be failure and disappointment. I’m hoping for some practical encouragement from my next read.

Jeremy spend a good part of today making the outside of the house presentable. We did some more grocery shopping. We needed to restock some key pantry items. Tomorrow I will clean the inside of the house thoroughly and pray that this showing could be the one! How awesome would it be to only have one showing back on the market before we got another offer? While that seems unlikely, I can dream. This whole process has brought out two sides of me. One is always hopeful, thinking the best is right around the corner. The other is very pessimistic and “woe is me.” It’s strange to flip flop between hope and discouragement. Especially so many times throughout the day. More than trusting in my own emotions, which are all over the place, I am trusting in God. My mom sent me a quote from Corrie Ten Boom that says, “God doesn’t have problems, he has plans.” I am reminded that my house situation isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity. God isn’t freaking out because my house didn’t sell, so I guess I shouldn’t either.

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Owen saw that I was reading my Bible. He ran and got his and read it next to me.


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Owen had a toe injury this week. He didn’t want to look at the offending cut so we covered it with a towel.


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Graham is loving his hand-me-down walker from Uncle Nathan & Aunt Beckie. This kid loves to go!


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Playing in the park with Grandma


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How did he get so big?


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Watching a train from the bridge

 

Cooking Marathon June 20, 2014

Filed under: Cooking Experiments,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 6:53 pm

Jeremy and I always talk about how we want to be more intentional with our meal planning. We often look at each other just before 5:00pm and ask what the other wants for dinner. A lot of times we go for quick fixes because we are too hungry to wait for anything to be prepared. Owen was super sick yesterday (he is doing much better today) so we knew today was going to be a home day so Owen could rest. We made a quick run to the store and stocked up some cooking supplies. We proceeded to spend the afternoon making freezer meals and other goodies! We made pulled pork sandwiches for dinner, Jeremy made a loaf of cinnamon apple bread and I continued to perfect Pioneer Woman’s baked fudge recipe. Our freezer is now stocked with five 9×13 pans of yummy meals that will each feed us for days. I made an enchilada casserole from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. Jeremy made 2 lasagnas, an egg bake and chicken spaghetti. I’m super excited to pop these in the oven over the next couple of weeks. I’ve heard of people taking a day to make a bunch of freezer meals and I always thought it sounded like too much work. After today, I am amazed how much food can be prepared in just one afternoon. I’m positive this won’t be the last time we do this. Plus, it was so much fun working side by side in the kitchen with my hubby. We’re so domestic!

Stocking up the freezer

Stocking up the freezer

The goodies we enjoyed today!

The goodies we enjoyed today!

 

Mommy Lit May 19, 2014

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:32 am

I’ve been reading a new genre these days – mommy lit. I’m not really interested in parenting how-to books because every kid is different. There are no formulas in relationships and that includes babies. Or so I have observed. I have a small group of authors that I love and trust. I found a new book this week through Sarah Bessey’s newsletter. The forward to the book was written by Ann Voskamp and the there was a short review in the first few pages by Shauna Niequist. If Sarah, Ann, and Shauna liked it, I assumed it must be a good read. The book that I am referring to is Found: Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett. I love reading books like this because I am reminded that I am not alone and I am not the only person who thinks these things. Micha used to be in full-time ministry before she became a stay at home mom. Motherhood interrupted her flow of spirituality. Suddenly she wasn’t praying the way she used and she felt like it was her fault. She thought that the life of a stay at home mom wasn’t impressive enough to God. She felt like she was disappointing him by no longer doing the “holy” work of ministry. Micha wrestles with the holiness of mothering and the worthiness of this calling. She validates that eternal significance of investing in your family. She is honest about the raw, hard moments that motherhood can bring.  Micha leans towards the liturgical church calendar and she loves the monastic order of Benedict. She likes the flow, the purpose and the stability of their prayer lifestyle. I have not been drawn this particular way, but I love getting the perspective of another frame work of faith. It was very calming and purposeful.

This book got me thinking about my prayer life and spiritual life. Motherhood has definitely changed how I do things. I used to keep a prayer journal. Writing my thoughts helped me get them out of my head. But now sitting down to journal isn’t as easy was a it once was. I find though that in each new season of my life I need Jesus just as much as before. There is no walking this life alone. My prayer life has changed and it has deepened as a mother. I talk to God a lot. Staying home with a baby takes prayer! I’ve never been a list person. I don’t go down a sheet paper with a list of requests that I daily take to the Lord. I do think about my friends and loved ones. In those moments when they come to my mind, I say a prayer for them. If I know someone has a job interview or a doctor’s appointment, I try to say a prayer for them. I know those things are important. Even if someone randomly comes to mind, I try to say a prayer of blessing over them.  My prayer life feels like a relationship. I chat with God often. I tell him how I really feel. I ask that he act on behalf of others. It’s never been rigid thing. I love to pray. However, I would not label myself as great prayer warrior or an intercessor. I don’t spend hours on my knees petitioning heaven. I just don’t have hours at my disposal these days. I believe that you should the best you can with that you got. I believe that talking to God shouldn’t be formal and something you check off your list of things to do.

I’ve also been thinking about the discipline of Bible reading. I love reading my Bible. It’s a really good book! I don’t read my Bible everyday. I do use a Bible reading plan, but I’m the kind of person that gets ahead so I don’t fall behind. Right now I am one month ahead in my reading. If I miss a day or two, it’s no big deal. If I have time and I’m engaged then I will read more than one day at a time. I’m getting to that place where I’ve read the Bible in a year for a few years now and I think that it’s time to challenge myself in a new way. Once I finish this current plan, I think I’m going to camp out in a certain book of the Bible for a year. I’m not quite sure what book that will be yet. Instead of reading all of my Bible, I want to go deep with a part of it. I want to live in that book for a while and really get to know. I want to move into it and make it my neighborhood. I’ll keep you posted as I figure this out more. I’m ready for something different. I’m great at checking boxes and following plans. I’m curious to see how I do getting off the marked path. I think experimenting is always eye opening.

Sooo… Anyway, back to mommy literature, I’m grateful for the discovery of a new author and a book that made me think about my own mothering and my own faith. Motherhood and faith are so linked. It really is important work and my faith keeps me going through it. Next on my list of mommy books is Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker. Can’t wait!

 

Oh Blog March 30, 2014

Filed under: Simply Me — Amy Scott @ 5:44 pm

I seriously write the best blogs… in my head. Throughout the day, I blog. I come up with deep insights, funny stories, witty remarks. I am real, honest and vulnerable. I say exactly what I’m thinking and I don’t worry about how people might take it. I just know they will understand and appreciate my authenticity.  In my head, my blogs sound a lot like Shauna Niequist and Sarah Bessey, which of course, means we should be friends. In fact, if I write like them, I might as well be famous like them too. But I’m not. Most of my thoughts stay unwritten, unshared. And that is mostly because unless I write these thoughts down in the exact moment I think them, I lose them. I can never recapture their true greatness.

I’ve been reading Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton and she had this chapter about do what you want to do because you have something worth sharing and worth offering to the world. If you want to write then do it regardless of how great you feel as a writer. Everyone has a story and you deserve to have your story heard and who knows how your story might effect someone. Don’t hide because you might think you’re bad. Very inspiring stuff. I like to think that I could write like that. Just throw it all there and share my story for the sake of having it known. Glennon’s story is very dramatic. Lots of drinking, drugs, sex and an eating disorder (before coming to Jesus with her mess). I feel like people who have dramatic stories like this can talk about how hard life is because legitimately their life has been be a mess.

But what about me? I’ve always been a “good” girl. I have no horrible back story to recover from. Regardless though, my life feels a bit messy. It always has been messy, but being a mom really kicked that up a notch. I often filter what I write on this blog because I personally know the people that read it and I don’t want to be seen a whiner. I know that I have a good life. But life is hard and good at the time. It’s not one or the other. It can be good and hard at the same time.

Parenting is hard. From the very beginning it’s hard work. Even pregnancy wasn’t a walk in the park. Choosing to have a family changed everything for me. There are days where I’ve been on my own a little too much and I just wish I could be selfish. I wish Owen didn’t need me. I wish I could just lay in bed and alternate between sleeping, reading, eating and watching television. Sometimes my spirit cries, “Can’t life just be about me for a while?” But when you’re a mom, nope. It’s not about you. It’s about your family. It’s about the little face staring at you that definitely needs a nap but has somehow avoided one for the last four hours despite your best efforts.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed. I look at my life and I get overwhelmed. Apart from keeping myself alive, I must keep Owen alive. I clean the house. I volunteer at church. I attempt to work in the office a couple times a week. I try make the dog happy. I try to make my hubby happy. I try to keep in touch with those who matter the most to me. All the while, I feel like because I am in ministry and because I am a good girl, I must come across as “put together”. Of course, no one is perfect and no one would buy it if I said I was perfect, but I feel like all I am allowed is a few minor flaws. Other than that, I should be nearing that mark of perfection any day now. Hmm… It’s not working. When people ask me how I’m doing, I don’t want to be a downer, but sometimes I want to be really honest. Scary honest. I want to tell them about how I’m not thrilled my son has decided not sleep through the night anymore or how I’m really tired of him pulling out my hair and me finding Amy hairs all over him and the floor of my house.  I want to say that I’m tired and that I’m trying really hard and how even my best efforts don’t seem like a enough. I would tell them about how I’m trying to love people better and not be so absorbed in my own world, but it’s challenging. My world shrunk when Owen was born and pulling myself out of the mommyhood haze to engage people can be difficult. I feel the tension when I’m at church especially because I want to be there for the people I’m serving but at the same time, parenthood comes firsts. I’m still not used to this conflict of interest.

Anyway, there are a lot of things I could continue to say, but I think instead I am going to go have a doughnut for dinner. Yep, you read that right. Right now Owen won’t know how terrible a role model I am in the food the department. I better enjoy these days while I can. Which does lead me to one last random tangent. I’ve been pondering the fact that little eyes are watching me through all this and they are taking in my every move. I know right now Owen doesn’t understand it all, but someday he’ll clue in. What attitudes will he see shining through me? It has me worried. I don’t want him to grow thinking “My mom acts like she has it all together, but I know she doesn’t.” Ugh. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Can you be too real? Too honest? How do you be honest on a level that is age appropriate with children? I don’t know. I guess I’ll learn, but I’m wondering. I know those little eyes are watching me and it kind of freaks me out in “I’m responsible every second of every day” kind of way.

Sadly, this blog is not as brilliant as the blogs in my head. Sorry you can’t read those. They are good. Hope this snippet of my story was worth sharing. Maybe someone is wrestling with life being good and hard all at the same time. I’m there. I understand. You are not alone.