Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

5/7 Fast Recap April 9, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 7:08 pm

It’s hard to believe that the five weeks of fasting are over! As I prepare to write this final blog, I’m thinking back to all that has happened in my heart and in my life. The five weeks have gone quickly, but at the same time it seems like that first week was a lifetime ago. My life can get pretty hectic and sometimes all I do is look to the future – planning for this, preparing for that. It would be a waste if I finished these fasts without looking back and remembering. Lessons are not truly learned if they are quickly forgotten.

The funny thing about this fasting experience is the things that I thought were going to be hard turned out to be easy and the things that I thought would be easy turned out to be hard. I guess I didn’t know myself as well as I thought going into this experiment. This hit me right off the bat with week one. I would have never thought the clothing fast would be so hard. I still vividly remember the moment where I almost broke. I still remember how hard to it was to have one pair of socks and shoes. The clothing fast opened my eyes to see how much my appearance really does matter to me. I get so much of my identity for my clothing. I never realized this before. It was humbling.

The second week of the fast was the biggest surprise of this whole experience. I thought it was going to be hard to give away 49 items. I regularly go through my house and donate items. However, when I took the time to evaluate each item I owned, I realized how materialistic I am. I realized how much stuff I had that I didn’t need and wouldn’t miss. Saying good-bye to 310 items was one of my top highlights of this fast.

The third week was the food fast and we all know I struggled with that fast. A lot. More than I should have. I wanted everything that I couldn’t have. My stomach was not used to being denied. I thought I could eat seven foods over and over again with no problem, but really I struggled with my lack of options.  While I never went hungry over the week, I was surprised to find how a limited diet could affect my mood. It was shocking to see how much I thought about food. It was always on my mind. My constant desires for food I couldn’t have was a reminder for me to pray for those who don’t have full bellies and who live on next to nothing.

The media fast was one of my favorite fasts. I loved being able to pull my life away from screens and do tangible things. Read a book, make a cake, clean the house, go to dinner, have a phone date… these were all things that I enjoyed greatly. Not having my laptop and cell phone up and on at all times was freeing. I thought this fast was going to be one of the hardest at the beginning, but it turns out that I was just fine without my media.  In fact, I should go without it more often!

The final fast was a personal choice. I decided not to clean my house for a week. This wasn’t really has hard as I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t feeling great for most of the week and the rest of my time was busy preparing for our big Easter weekend. Not cleaning my house freed up my time for more important things. Around Friday I started to wish I could clean my floors, but I wasn’t really home this weekend so it didn’t get to me too bad. I will admit that I swept and vacuumed today. Now I don’t plan on cleaning the whole day, but it was nice to do something.  Vacuuming was like reconnecting with an old friend.

In closing, I would like to say that the 5/7 Fast really did shift my priorities. It opened my eyes to see my world in a different way. It’s amazing how clearly I could see God moving in my life as I dedicated myself to change. There were many rollercoaster moments with ups and downs, but God was always faithful. He was able to speak to me in ways I never before imagined. I know that I am different as a result. I’m not sure what’s next for me after this experience, but I hope that big things continue to happen. I pray that this won’t be a passing phase, but the spark of true change.

 

Personal Fast Update April 5, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 6:51 pm

I thought I would write a quick update on how I’m doing with my personal fast (not cleaning my house for a week). I honestly thought that this was going to be a hard week for me. Usually I’m pretty OCD with my cleaning schedule… Usually my vacuum is another extension of my arm… Usually I spend an entire day doing household laundry… Not this week and let me tell you, I’m okay with that! I think I can narrow my acceptance down to two reasons:

  1. I’ve always has this need to clean personality. Even has a high school I would dust by room and keep my stuff organized and tidy. When I moved into the dorms at college I suddenly found myself sharing a room with a complete stranger… a stranger who didn’t feel the need to organize like me. My years in college taught me how to look at only my stuff, not the whole space. As long as my part of the room was clean, I was fine. I’m able to do this now as adult. I’m not upset by messes if they are not mine. I can go into any space and not care, unless I’m responsible for it. I think I’m using that same skill this week. I can’t clean my house, so I’m not looking at the mess. Honestly, I’m not a pile person so things really don’t look all that different round my house. Yes, there is stuff on my floors and I randomly feel it under my socks, but I am pretty good at ignoring things I can’t fix. This is helping me through the week.
  2. I have developed some interesting health issues this week… bad headaches, back pain, something is sore in my right foot. I feel like I’m rapidly aging or something. I told Jeremy at this rate I’ll be using a walker next week and drinking Ensure. All this to say… I haven’t been a mobile as I usually am. I try to save my energy for work so I can prep for our big weekend at church. It’s taking all I’ve got to get my work done, so when I’m home, I’m not moving… I’ve been living on the couch or in bed. Maybe God knew that I needed this cleaning fast to help me through this crazy week.

I’m almost 100% sure I’ll clean my house on Monday, at least I’ll vacuum and sweep the floors. The rest of my week is action packed and I won’t be home much, so hopefully I will be distracted and my home will stay in somewhat decent condition. If it doesn’t, I know it’s not the end of the world, it’s only a weekend.  So, yes, this is my update on the cleaning fast. It’s been a good week. My routine is definitely all off, but who cares! Crazy weeks come and go. That’s life. I’m just doing my best to keep moving when I need to be moving and stopping when I don’t!

 

I’m back!!! April 2, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 2:32 pm

Wishing my hubby a happy post birthday!

Four weeks down, one more to go! This experience with the 5/7 Fast has been amazing. Each week has been eye-opening and this week was no exception.  In a lot of ways this last week has been the easiest fast for me. Here are some thoughts that I jotted down (in a notebook, not on my computer):

  • Because it was such a rainy wet week, I’m pretty sure I heard every raindrop. No longer drained out by the television or the radio, I found myself listening to the rain a lot.
  • I missed music more than I expected. Turns out I like my life to have a background soundtrack. During meals out or walking through stores, I took note of the radio. I often sang along to myself or bobbed my head along with the tune.
  • I didn’t miss my cell phone really at all. I turned it on for less than 5 minutes on Thursday so I could text Jeremy a question. I was waiting for someone I was supposed to be meeting with and I didn’t have their number so I couldn’t contact them directly. I was super nervous about leaving too soon so I texted Jeremy to ask what he thought about my waiting time. The lady arrived before he could text me back so my phone went off immediately without a response.
  • I read a lot this week! 4 books to be exact. I started The Hunger Games Series and let me tell you, they kept my attention! Better than television, my biggest battle was overcoming the strong desire to go see the movie once I finished the books (I’m going tonight)!
  • Starting on Friday and going through the weekend I started to not feel good. When I feel under the weather, I’m usually planted in front of the TV as a way to rest. No such luck for me this week. This was the hardest part of the media fast.

Me and my Peeps cake creation!

It was surprising how easily I filled my time without media. Monday I went out to dinner with my hubby as a post-birthday treat. We did some shopping and had a good time together. Tuesday I made a special cake for my class of girls! My Peeps cake was a lot of fun to make and something I wouldn’t normally tackle. Wednesday I had my class at church per usual. Thursday I had a phone date with my sister in Kansas and then dinner with a mentor from the Assemblies of God Network.  On Friday Jeremy and I ran some errands. He come home and installed a new faucet for our kitchen sink and I steam vacuumed our carpets. Saturday I spent lying down and reading. Sunday I cleaned my whole house (in prep for my cleaning fast this week). When I haven’t been doing an activity, I’ve been reading and my time flew right on by.

The biggest benefit of this week was the quiet. It was great to plug and disconnect from the screens in my life. I didn’t open my laptop for three days and I didn’t miss it. I joked with Jeremy that once the fast was over we would be sitting with our laptops up, our cell phone on with apps running, the television on and the radio playing all at the same time. I’m happy to say that this scene hasn’t happened… at least not yet!  Truthfully, dinner dates and phone dates are so much better than commenting on Facebook. This week felt more real, if that makes sense. Instead of digital, my life was tangible. It was nice. I wouldn’t mind fasting media more often. It was a good week for me to do the things I love to do and connect with people I care about. Apart from the not feeling good portion my week, I would definitely say that this week was a blessing to me. I loved it!

 

Requesting Radio Silence March 25, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 1:37 pm

This next week will be week 4 of 5 in the 5/7 fast. I will be fasting all forms of media. I will only use my computer for work purposes. My cell phone will be off all week. I’m pretty sure that has never happened before! I do plan on keeping it my purse in case of an emergency, but I don’t plan on powering it on unless something major happens (like my car is in a ditch or someone needs immediate medical attention).

Our world revolves around media. We live our lives with screens in front of us. I am guilty of this a lot. In fact, I am this very moment! I’m hoping this break from the ordinary will help free my time from the excess of distractions in my life. I know it won’t be easy.

Top 10 things I will miss during media week (in random order):

  1. The radio – It’s on in my car like 95% of the time. I’ll turn it off when I’m praying in the car, but that is about the only time it goes off. Maybe if I turned the radio off more, I would pray 95% of the time I’m in the car.
  2. My Fitness Pal – This app on my phone has been a good friend of mine for over a year. I’ve learned that without counting calories I eat everything in sight. The bummer thing about not using this app is that it says what you’ve logged in a certain number of days in a row. I’ve gotten over 100 days before, but right now I’m currently at over 90 days in a row. I guess I’ll be starting again at 1 after next week.
  3. Random Text Messaging – I text a lot! I text my sister almost daily. I text Jeremy when he is the same building as me so I can find him. I text pictures of my dog to my mom, sister and Jeremy.
  4. My clock on my phone – I don’t wear a watch so I use my phone to tell time. If I’m late for something next week, I’m sorry! I wasn’t around a clock!
  5. Facebook – How will I know what 350 of my friends are up to at any given time? Breaking ties with Facebook is like becoming a hermit to most people.
  6. Once Upon a Time – I’m addicted to this new show on ABC. Lucky for me, it airs on Sunday so I’ll be able to watch it the day tonight the fast starts and watch the day following the fast. I can be patient, right?
  7. My laptop – I love my laptop. His name is Bartholomew (Bart for short). You know I love something when I name it.
  8. My blog – I’m going to miss sharing my daily adventures with you. Check back in after the media fast to see how it went and see how I’m doing with my personal fast.
  9. Personal Emails – Since a lot of my close friends live out of the area, I email with them a lot… If anyone wishes to catch up with me, I suggest calling my land line (yes, I still have one).
  10. Googling – I look everything up! Who was that one person that played in that one movie? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? If I have a question and Google has an answer.

Honestly, I am excited for the media fast. I love it when Jeremy and I go camping and we disconnect from the world. It’s no longer about always being available every second of the day. It’s about freedom from the things that take up the most of my time. I think I’m going to be blown away by how much time I have free when I don’t fill it in with media. I think life will be a little quieter. I’m a pretty quiet person by nature, so I’m hoping this will be a relaxing change. I look forward to unplugging and living without a screen in front of me! I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programing after next week! See you on the other side!

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

PS – Today is my hubby’s birthday! I couldn’t post a blog without giving him a shout out! We surprised him in Children’s Church with a cake and cards signed by the students! It was awesome! Since we are finished with the food fast, we are now enjoying many yummy and good foods as a way to celebrate!

 

Sneak Peek: The Personal Fast March 24, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 8:32 am

I thought before the media fast started (week four – beginning this Monday), I would share with you what I have decided to do for the personal fast (week five). I’ve put a lot of thought into it. The trickiest thing about this fast is the fact that it’s the week leading up to Easter. Not only is that one of the busiest, most stressful weeks of my life, but there are also several family gatherings to attend (think good food that I want to eat). I wanted to pick something that would be challenging but not take away from the activities at hand. Before I share with you what I decided, let me tell you about the fasts that I decided not to do. I call them the rejected fasts:

  • Caffeinated Soda – No caffeine in my system the week before Eggstravaganza and the day of… that just sounds like a recipe for a slow, tired, cranky Amy if you ask me.
  • No Hot Water – I started to think about all the people who shower using rain water that they’ve collected. I thought about people who can’t even drink their water… I am sad to admit that I don’t have the guts to take cold showers all week.
  • 7 Personal Hygiene Products – I use a lot of products in the morning that keep me clean, smelling good and my hair from looking like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket. I thought about paring down my supplies to just 7 items, but this proved to be too hard without giving myself freebies. I couldn’t decide that I needed more than the others. Shallow, I know!
  • No Heaters – I thought about not heating our home for the week to save on electricity, but also to be like others in the world who don’t have heated homes. I realized that Jeremy would have to choose this fast as well since it would affect not only me. We briefly talked about turning our power off (except for the fridge), but yet again, cold showers the week of Easter just didn’t sound so good.

Saying good-bye to a few of my favorite things!

Now, I might get made fun of for the fast I have chosen. However, if you know me, you know that this will be a sacrifice. I have decided to not clean my house the entire week. I’m sure some of you think that is no big deal, but I am OCD. I live in a spotless house. I have light carpets that show everything and I vacuum a LOT. Here is a look at my weekly cleaning schedule:

  • Monday: Sweep kitchen floors, sweep entry way floors, vacuum entire house, do general tidying.
  • Tuesday: Nothing but the usually wiping down counters and doing laundry.
  • Wednesday: Wash ALL towels and blankets in my home (fold and put away), sweep and mop all floors, vacuum the entire house, clean both bathrooms, dust the entire house, empty all trash cans, Lysol the entire house, spray Febreze on approved surfaces.
  • Thursday: The usual tidying – nothing major, just maintaining the clean from the day before.
  • Friday/Saturday/Sunday: One of these days I will sweep all the floors, vacuum the entire house and do the general tidying and laundry. Sometimes I will do the floors two days in a row if they look bad.

As you can tell, I put a lot of time and energy into keeping my home clean. It’s something I struggle with. I know that some people get uncomfortable with how clean my house is, so I’ll leave it intentionally messier when I know they are coming over. I’m crazy I know! I realize this…

This week, I will allow myself to wipe down the counters, use the dishwasher and wash clothing. I will not do anything else in my normal routine. I will have to work hard against the guilt of not cleaning. I will feel the urge to clean a lot. I’m hoping that by freeing myself from my cleaning schedule, I can do three things:

  1. Put more time and energy into my job (preparing for Easter Eggstravaganza and Easter services)
  2. Enjoy more down time at home. Instead of feeling like I have to clean, when I am home I can spend time resting, spend time with Jesus, and spend time with my hubby.
  3. Remember that I am blessed by my home and that others in the world would think I live in a palace. Dirty to me doesn’t even come close to what these people live in. I will remember those who live in the streets, in the garbage dumps, and the sewers. I will try not to freak out over a speck of dirt, because I am truly blessed beyond what I can fully comprehend.

 

 

Playing With Your Food March 23, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 8:52 am

A sign of creativity or going crazy?

This is the question I am asking myself! After processing how I was going to eat the ends of my loaf, I decided I was going to have a little fun with it. The foods I picked don’t need much prep and each meal looks the same. Too much repetition is starting to wear me down. I need a little something different. As a way to spark some change into my diet, I decided to make bunny toast! It’s as simple as grabbing a cookie cutter from my drawer that is full of them. Here is were the variety came back into my life!!! Do I want my toast to be the shape of a flower, a gingerbread man, a snowflake, a pumpkin, a heart… etc. CHOICES! OPTIONS! YAY!

I decided to go with the bunny since it’s almost Easter and with Easter being such a big ministry day, it’s been on my mind a lot. Why not start the celebrating off early with a nice piece of bunny toast! I had a little too much fun while I was doing this. Might be some form of 7 food delirium… I cut out my bunnies and then propped them in the toaster so their little heads were sticking out! Then down they went! Once they popped out, they were ready for a nice layer of jam. Yum, yum! I used the end pieces that I blogged about the previous day and guess what??? They tasted just fine! Maybe my rejection of the ends has been all in my head. Can you see the serious growth that is coming from this fast?

Now you might notice that there are some scraps left over after the bunny shape was made. I will admit that I didn’t eat the entire piece, but MOST of it. That has to count for something, right? I took the suggestion of Regina and I gave Jeremy the left over scraps to feed to the birds (he LOVES to feed birds). I also gave my little dog a piece from each bunny – so it really is a win-win-win. Many people benefited from the bunnies and the end pieces. Talk about a happy ending for all!!! (Except for maybe the bunnies, but they are made of bread and probably don’t have feelings)

 

Convicted: Eating It All March 22, 2012

Filed under: 5/7 Fast — Amy Scott @ 2:41 pm

Maybe you grew up hearing things like, “You better eat everything on your plate. There are starving children in the world that would love to have that food.” I didn’t really grow up with that mentality, but I feel like that is the back of my mind during this fast. Originally I purchased two loaves of bread going into this week knowing that I would be make making a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as well as having toast for a snack. I’m just going to be honesty with you… I don’t like the ends on a loaf of bread. They taste like all crust to me. I don’t dislike crust, but I think the amount of crust on a middle piece of bread is great.  The ends of the loaf are a bad ratio to my taste buds.

Now I’m probably going to get mocked and look down of for this, but I usually throw away the ends of the loaf. I know… I’m terrible. I don’t often think anything of this decision. Jeremy and I have a hard time going through bread before it goes bad. Most likely I’ll throw away some dried out pieces along with the ends and replace it with a fresh new loaf. This process repeats itself often our home.

I have gone through an entire loaf of bread this week and I’m on to my second loaf. I still have the bag for the first loaf in my pantry sitting there… with two ends in it. I feel guilty about throwing them away. They are food and I feel like on a week where I am focusing on my excess, I have no excuse for not eating the whole loaf. I know a starving kid in another country would jump at the chance to have those ends, but I can’t bring myself to every eat them.

So I feel great conviction about this. I’m going to eat the ends and use the whole loaf. It’s not my preference, but it is the right thing to do. Food waste is not acceptable this week (and really shouldn’t be on a regular basis). So yes, I’m going to do this… I wish I was excited, but I’m not. I guess I’ll need a lot of peanut butter or jelly to help me get it down.

On an entirely random note, I felt like doing some math – I must have missed it from the weeks before! I have eaten 20 slices of bread this week and 12 things of string cheese! Never before in my life have I eaten so much of one item in such a short period of time. I wonder what the grand total will be by the end of the week… Hmm… These are a just a few of the interesting thoughts that bounce around in my head!