Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

What I’ve Been Reading – July 2021 July 31, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:23 am
Big News!!! I made it to 100 books this month! Woo hoo!!! 138+ books is my goal for 2021. I want to beat my 2020 record.

Books by Melody Carlson – One of my favorite fiction authors!

  • The Legacy of Sunset Cove – Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, Surf Smugglers, Turning Tide – This series focused on prohibition and WWI times in a small town on the Oregon Coast.
  • Christmas in Winter Hill – I was in-between books so I went searching for a light, quick read. I decided on this book because I was feeling Christmas in July vibes.

Books by Jenny B. Jones – A new-to-me author this month!

  • There You’ll Find Me – This book was shared with me by a friend and started my binge-reading of Jenny B. Jones. This book also came out as a movie this month called Finding You. I’m curious to watch the movie now.
  • Save the Date – The characters in this book tie into There You’ll Find Me so I had to check it out!
  • I’ll Be Yours – The only other Jenny B. Jones book my library had – band geek and football star romance. Not my usual read, but I enjoyed it!
  • Sugar Creek Series – A Sugar Creek Christmas, His Mistletoe Miracle, The Holiday Husband – Okay, again, Christmas in July vibes and a tie into the first two books I mentioned. These three holiday romances got me to 100 books with holiday cheer!

Books by Marissa Meyer – I started The Lunar Chronicles this month since they came recommended from multiple friends.

  • Cinder – I enjoyed this sci-fi fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella. I look forward to completing this series through my local library. The hardest part is waiting my turn to each book!
  • Fairest – While waiting for the next book in the series, I jumped at the chance to read the prequel that explains the backstory of the evil queen.

Books by other authors –

  • A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery – My monthly dose of LMM! I love this interwoven story of two clans and their obsession with who will inherit a family heirloom.
  • A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey – This was Courty’s Book Club fiction pick of the month. I loved all the baking and that the story took place in England.
  • Things You Save in Fire by Katherine Center – This was loaned to me by a friend. It was interesting to read about a female firefighter as she re-established her career at a new station and falls in love with the rookie. The book has a strong theme of forgiveness for healing and I loved that message!
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – This is the second book I’ve read by this author and it was so much better than the first one. The WWII content of the book was heavy and the ending left me crying.
 

What I’ve Been Reading – June 2021 June 30, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:58 pm
I’ve started a race with 2020 Amy to see if I can beat my book total for last year. Right now I’m one book ahead of where I was last year.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – As a fan of every film version I’ve seen of this book, I decided to give the book another go. I tried reading it probably a decade ago and couldn’t get into it. My reading style has changed over the years and I found Little Woman delightful upon a second attempt.
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown – (Courty’s Book Club Non-Fiction Pick) I’ve seen Austin Channing Brown’s work highlighted by other authors so I knew this would be a deep read. It was profound and eye-opening. Brown’s personal experiences are both heart-breaking and inspiring. This book is the kind of book that you can’t just read and walk away from. It demands that you see the world differently now that you know and that you respond with this new knowledge.
  • Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter – This book was recommend by a friend. I had never heard of it or it’s author before. It’s a story about an orphan who finds himself working in the Limberlost swamp of Indiana protecting timber for a logging company. He earns an appreciation for nature and has a wild adventure while in the end figuring out his past. There is a sequel to this novel that I have on hold at the library. I can’t wait to revisit the Limberlost.
  • The Princess Who Believed in Fairy Tales by Marcia Grad – A friend ask to read this book with her. It’s a psychology book that is set-up as a fairy tale allegory. The story unfolds like Pilgram’s Progress where the princess sets out on a great journey to learn the truth and recover her life. Not my typical read, for sure, but very interesting.
  • Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze – This was a gift from my father many years ago. I read it when I received it, but Owen was only a baby at the time so the principles felt far off from our reality. Now that I have two elementary-aged kiddos, I wanted to refresh myself on these concepts, especially after going through Financial Peace Junior with the boys this school year. This is such a practical book and I plan to implement some of it’s concepts this fall.
  • The Hope We Hold by Jeremy & Jinger Vuolo – I am fan of the Duggar family. I might not believe all the same things they do, but I still find them fascinating with their big family and their media platform to share their faith. This book is written by Duggar daughter, Jinger, and her husband, Jeremy. It was a behind the scenes look at their relationship and their journey together so far. I found it a very interesting read since I watched their “courtship” on their TLC show.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows – This my third time reading this book. It’s one that I will probably read every year because it’s just so good. This post-WWII story about the German occupation of Guernsey is the best kind of historical fiction. I learned so much through this heart-warming and at times heart-wrenching novel. The Netflix movie of the book is pretty good, too!
  • The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr – From Barr’s personal experiences as a pastor’s wife in the Southern Baptist church and her profession as a history professor, this book is powerful. I heard the hype over this book and I wanted to see for myself. I’m so thankful a book of this nature has been written. It clearly sets women free! As a champion of women in ministry this book stirred my heart!
  • The Glided Ones by Namina Forna – (Courty’s Book Club Fiction Pick) I will be the first to admit that I would have never found this book without Courty’s book club. Like her fiction pick last month, I’m not drawn to mythology. In this novel, the main character finds out she is different from the other girls in her village and is offered a position as a warrior to defeat beasts that plague their land. It has a strong feminist message. I found the tale interesting , but it was a little too violent for my tastes.
  • The Legend Series by Marie Lu (Legend, Prodigy, Champion (not pictured: audiobook), and Rebel) – My sister-in-law recommended the first book in this series to me. I’m all for finding a new series because one book leads to many more! I’m also a fan of post-apocalyptic writing. How does the author envision the world after the fall of the United States? The first book was the best in my opinion, but I enjoyed reading to the resolution of the final book.

 

What I’ve Been Reading – May 2021 May 31, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 7:00 am
So many books this month!
  • Emily’s Quest & Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery – I enjoyed reading these books for the second time. The first time I read the Emily books I was a bit harsh on her because Emily (while similar) wasn’t as endearing as Anne. However, after reading a LMM biography and learning that Emily is most like Montgomery herself, I read the Emily books in a new light.
  • The Story Girl & The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery – These books were the inspiration of one of my favorite childhood shows – The Road to Avonlea. While the novels don’t actually take place in Avonlea, the setting is just as picturesque and the pages are filled with childhood joy, drama, and mishaps.
  • The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid – I picked this book up after finding out my copy of The Story Girl came from Prince Edward Island. This book is part coffee table picture book and part biography. LMM’s love of nature is evident in all her writing, especially her love of PEI. The pictures in this book are beautiful and give you glimpse into the world that LMM grew up in.
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer – This was an April Book Club Pick. I enjoyed learning from Comer’s personal experiences and how he turned his life around. There was a big emphasis on scaling back on technology and living a purposely slower life. I can see how the principles in the book have been a benefit to my own life, especially over the last year when life got a lot slower for our family.
  • From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship by Nona Jones – I heard Nona Jones share about this book at a conference recently and was sent a copy of the book for attending. This book gave me lots to think on in the ways of using social media (specifically Facebook) for discipleship. The church often uses social media to get information out into the community with the hopes of getting the community into their doors. The pandemic shifted in-person in a big way this last year. What if we used social media for discipleship and life-change, not just sharing information?
  • Mommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to Use Home Reading Program by Barbara Curtis – A friend let me borrow this book as I move toward teaching Graham to read. I found it very practical and useful. I took notes and I hope to apply some of what I learned in this book in the near future.
  • The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease – This book is filled with research and testimonials of the power of reading to children. As a book lover myself, I hope to pass a love of reading on to my kids. As we head into more free time this summer, I especially hope to make read-aloud time a part of our everyday experience. This book is a great resource with read-aloud suggestions for all ages at the end of the book.
  • Win The Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More by Mark Batterson – I love Batterson’s take on processing the past, making the most of today, so you can set yourself up the future. We can’t change the past, but we can process it in a healthy way so it doesn’t hold us back. We spend so much time worrying about the future that we miss the present. Being human means we live one day at a time. How we live each day sets us up for our tomorrows.
  • The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch – I feel like I did a course in technology and proper habits this month. This book is a great resource for parents who want suggestions for reigning in technology. It clearly states the reasons why technology needs a proper place with practical takeaways for how to accomplish that task.
  • The Nature of a Lady (The Secrets of the Isles – Book 1) by Roseanna M. White – This was my Mother’s Day book. I enjoyed the mystery and the history in this book. I learned about Isles of Scilly for the first time. I love when fiction introduces me to a new place.
  • A Portrait of Loyalty (The Codebreakers – Book 3) by Roseanna M. White – I enjoyed the final book in this series. It’s focus on photography and photo editing in World War I was interesting.
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken – This was a book club pick and outside of my usual reading choice. As someone who isn’t a fan of Greek Mythology, I struggled to enjoy the characters. The book had some Hunger Games vibes (which I liked), but overall was too violent for me.
  • Women and Children First by Gill Paul – This book was recommended by a friend. It starts with the sinking of the Titanic and then follows a small cast of survivors as they recover from the incident. I wanted to like it more than I did. The history was fascinating, but I couldn’t enjoy the characters like I had hoped.
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson – A friend let me borrow this book and it was laugh out loud funny. Bryson shares his thoughts on living in America after two decades of living in England. His insights are hilarious and was the perfect read for a mood booster.
  • The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah – This book was a recommended by a friend. It was sad, hard book to read about Leningrad, Russia in WWII. It unfolds like a fairy-tale and a mystery. While it has a “happy ending” – it wasn’t the ending I was expecting and left me sad.
  • Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First.: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine – This was my teacher appreciation gift! Tremaine offers 10 questions to go deeper in your friendships and then answers them herself. It was a unique flow for a book. I could see myself using this book for a book club in the future or going through it with a friend.
 

The Little Things May 29, 2021

I have so many little things to share today. I guess I’ll just dive in! This week was the start of our summer schedule. The kids did three days of summer school. We took Thursday off since I got my second COVID vaccine that morning. The kids were very excited that our long weekend got to be a day longer. I love the flexibly of our new schedule. Week one was great!

I’m thankful my second vaccine is behind me. It certainly lived up to the hype. Fever, chills, aches all over. I didn’t sleep Thursday night and as a result I was exhausted yesterday. Thankfully, by getting vaccinated on a Thursday, my hubby has Fridays off and he was able to take care of the kiddos while I had a down day. Jeremy is always industrious on his day off. He enlisted the kids’ help in building a canopy to cover part of our back deck. Now in the summer we can have shade over the table and in the winter we can have cover over the hot tub on rainy nights. We’ve really enjoyed the process of getting our yard ready for summer. I look forward to reading a good book in the shade while my kids run amok in the yard!

The start of the week was gray, cold, and wet. On Monday afternoon we did a what I called Movie Matinee Monday. Owen loved the title and has asked that this be a Monday tradition. I told him maybe on wet Mondays. We watched Beauty and The Beast (2017) which is a favorite of mine and put me in a happy mood. Graham played throughout the movie, but Owen got into it. Tuesday also started out gray and cold. To add some sunshine to our day, Graham helped me make sprinkle sandwich cookies. I’m enjoying baking my way through Cookie Class by Jenny Keller. I’m positive I will be making these sandwich cookies again. They are so cheerful!

On Tuesday, I made a fun discovery. I purchased The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery online from a used bookstore a few months ago. I picked up my copy to start reading it this week and discovered a stamp on the title page. It said “Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home” in red ink with a border around it. Suddenly, I had a mystery on my hands. Did my book come from Prince Edward Island? I did some research and sent a message to the home site. I got an email reply the next day confirming that my copy of The Story Girl was purchased from their bookstore. Not only was it hand-stamped by a descendant, but the reply was from a descendant of L.M. Montgomery as well. It was a very exciting discovery for me. Visiting PEI is on my bucket list so this book only deepened my desire to go there! Someday!

As you can see my update this week is a bunch of little things. Even though it’s been a fairly low-key week around the house, we’ve managed to have some excitement and we always find fun. The little things matter. Making cookies, watching a movie together, reading a book, playing in the yard. So thankful for these small things, because really they are the big things – family, comfort, cheer, home.

Drumming his way through Be Our Guest. The arm of the couch was transformed into a musical instrument.
Such friendly and fun cookies!
My special discovery! It was the highlight of my week to find out this book came from PEI and that I got to correspond with a descendant of LMM! So cool!
Vaccine Two Complete!
Roses from my mama! Such a sweet encouragement!
Since I took this picture this morning, the shade isn’t on the table. In the cool of the morning, it’s not necessary. The shade will be great on warm afternoons/evenings. Love our party deck!
 

The Smell of Sunscreen May 16, 2021

We’ve had a stretch of nice weather. We busted out the slip and slide, set up the swimming pool, and stained the play structure in the backyard. Summer is right around the corner and we are ready! The sunscreen has come out as our kiddos run wild around the yard. We’ve had more outside time than inside time. Everyone is sleeping soundly at night after full days of activity. This is just the start of the summery vibes with plenty more fun in the sun to come!

This last week Graham reached a childhood milestone. He had his kindergarten screening. I completely forgot about it. Good thing Jeremy remembered! We are leaning towards homeschooling again next year, but we want to keep all doors open at the moment. Even if we homeschool next year, it was good for Graham to go through the process. After so much time with just family, it’s important that he can follow directions and talk with adults who aren’t relatives. He told me he wasn’t nervous at all and He came home chattering away about the experience. I’m glad he wasn’t nervous, because I sure was! I didn’t know how he would respond after so much time at home. I’m so happy that it went well!

Another exciting milestone for our family is that the little chickens moved out of the garage this weekend and into their own enclosure. They aren’t old enough to join our big chickens yet, but they are now neighbors. Having the little chickens in the garage came with a certain odor. Pine shavings also frequently got walked into the house on the socks of my little chicken checkers. It’s nice to have the smell and the mess out of the garage. Owen is thrilled with how the chicks are doing. He is quiet the chicken whisperer.

We are about to start our 36th and final week of school. I am so excited to wrap up this homeschool year. We have fun plans – especially for Graham with a preschool graduation of sorts. I’ve always been curious about homeschooling, but I don’t think I would have ever gone this direction without the pandemic giving me a giant shove. We’ve had such a fantastic year. I am thankful for my kiddos who love to learn and who have made the most of our extra time at home. I am thankful for the friends and family who encouraged me through this process. This whole experience was a grand adventure – an unexpected blessing during strange times.

With school wrapping up soon and the sun shinning brightly outside my window, it’s easy to see why it feels like summer is almost here. The kids smell of sunscreen. Last night we had a wash off little feet that were dirty from running around barefoot on freshly mowed grass. Life is never perfect, but it is good. I am thankful for these moments, these memories around the house with my little family.

Sun’s out! S’mores Time!
Don’t let the focus-face fool you, Owen loves reading stats. I read The Tech-Wise Family this last week and Owen kept coming over to look at the stats.
Out of this World Cookies for May!
Such a cool sky earlier this week!
Found the Slip and Slide in the garage. We got it all cleaned up and ready for fun on a warm afternoon.
The Big Chickens got some new neighbors! Owen helped moved the Little Chickens out of the garage.
More water fun! Getting the pool set-up!
Graham was ready for a morning in the yard to help Daddy!
I helped Jeremy stain the play structure. Since outdoor projects aren’t usually my thing, I had to document that I helped!
The Chicken Whisperer. They literally come flocking to him!
It’s looking like summer in our backyard!
 

These May Days May 11, 2021

Our floor replacement project was supposed to start today. But… it’s been postponed. Our flooring situation feels like an epic saga (a never ending one at that). There was an internal miscommunication with the building company and now we’re looking at the end of May or beginning of June for this project to take place. As much as I want this project behind us, I’m okay with the pause. I wasn’t thrilled to homeschool around the flooring project. With only 1.5 weeks of school left, I’ll be glad to do this project after we wrap up school. We will have summer school, but the summer schedule is lighter. Postponing the flooring project fits better later. I guess a delay can be a blessing.

When my hubby asked me how I wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day, I originally thought the house would be torn up right after the weekend. I didn’t want a busy weekend on top of a crazy week. This year I opted for a quiet day at home to read and eat my favorite foods. We ran errands on Friday and then had dinner with my parents to celebrate my mom. Saturday was my quiet day. Sunday morning was restful around the house with the kids while Jeremy worked. Once Jeremy got home, we went over to celebrate with his mom. I enjoy the flow of celebrating Mother’s Day over the whole weekend. Instead of celebrating three moms in short burst of time, it allows us to have a laid back flow to the weekend. No need to rush. Expanding the time we celebrate allows our family to be in the moment and present. Maybe I won’t feel this way ever year, but a low-key Mother’s Day was perfect this year.

Without a major construction project in the immediate future, things around our house are business-as-usual. Homeschooling, reading, baking, walking, outside time, hot tub time… All the usual things. The weather has been nice so we have been outside everyday. The sunshine reminds me that summer is right around the corner. We had a chat with the kids this week about our summer bucket list. We’re starting to daydream about how to fill our summer days. We have a camping trip on the books. I hope to visit the zoo. The kids hope to go to the beach. We’re looking forward to more play dates and backyard hangouts. The boys and I will return to church on Sundays for outdoor gatherings. We are enjoying this slower-paced Spring, but we are also looking forward the promise of Summer!

Graham directed me on how to decorate this cake. He was also my sprinkler of the sprinkles. He was so proud of our team effort. It was a bit busy for me, but apparently the 5 year-old sees the world differently!
Our final MOPS & MOMSnext craft! I might add some ribbon for a finishing touch.
My favorite place to read is a loveseat in my bedroom. These two are always close by. Here you can see the pillow fort bedrooms that they created. The orange vest were used for the construction phase and then cast off for “bedtime.”
My Saturday Mother’s Day Plans: Reading, dinner of mac & cheese with brownie sundaes for dessert, and then movie night with my hubby. Perfect day!
Mother’s Day 2021 – Love being their mama!
Silly Bedtime snuggles
Our MOPS & MOMSnext group did a fun challenge to share a picture of yourself in middle school. Here is 8th grade Amy. Awesome bangs and braces!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – April 2021 April 30, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 2:09 am
A small sample of what I read this month. I used my Kindle app more than ever this April.

It all started with a desire to read something new. I’ve read most of the books on my bookshelf more than once, so I went looking for something new. I discovered a book in Prime Reading that caught my eye. It was a novel by Roseanna M. White. I own one of her books (Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland) and I enjoyed it. I thought why not check out another book by her. Turns out, she’s authored quite a few books and most of them were available through my local library. This is how my novel idea took form. I decided to read as many novels as I possibly could in the month of April. I will admit that it was excessive and delightful. I can fly through most novels in a day and there is nothing quite like a series or discovering a new author to create a binge-worthy obsession.

Why so many novels you might ask? In my last post, I mentioned that there is a lot of change around the corner for me. Some big, some small. It’s mostly positive change, but my brain still seems to stress over what it is yet to come. My mind wonders and wanders. I have an tendency to overthink, worry, ponder, and brood. I didn’t want to get on a one way track of overthinking. Instead, I gave my mind a different project. Not every month can be this dedicated to reading, but for April, these books served me well and I am thankful for a chance to step into a story other than my own.

L.M. Montgomery:

I’ve only read these books once before and I wanted to revisit them. I’m usually much more harsh on books the first time I read them and then I like them more the second time around. While I didn’t dislike these works, they didn’t land in my favorites. Upon a second reading, I am finding them quite wonderful. I just added these to my home library in used paperback form. I’m so glad I invested in them.

  • Magic for Marigold
  • Emily of New Moon (I plan to finish the next two books in this series in May)

Melody Carlson:

I love reading books by Melody Carlson because they remind me of a Hallmark movie. Her stories are simple, sweet, and often fast reads. She has been a go-to author for comfort reading in my life.

  • Your Heart’s Desire
  • Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel (Dear Daphne Book 1)
  • Dating, Dining, and Desperation (Dear Daphne Book 2)
  • Home, Hearth, and the Holidays (Dear Daphne Book 3) (Kindle)
  • A Will, a Way, and a Wedding (Dear Daphne Book 4) (Kindle)

Roseanna M. White:

Here is where I went a bit crazy! I dove deep into every book I could get my hands on. Some of her books are set in America and span the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. The rest are set in England from Pre-World I into World War I. I enjoyed the books that took place in England most. They reminded me of Downton Abbey. Each book was filled with adventure and romance. They are below listed in the order I read them (which is not in chronological, oops). The books set in England build on each other and you see characters from previous books throughout the novels. I love when an author weaves stories together. It’s like getting a visit from a friend within a book.

  • The Number of Love (The Codebreakers Book 1) (Kindle)
  • On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers Book 2) (Kindle)
  • The Lost Heiress (Ladies of the Manor Book 1) (Kindle)
  • The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor Book 2) (Kindle)
  • A Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor Book 3) (Kindle)
  • A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England Book 1) (Kindle)
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England Book 2)
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England Book 3)
  • A Ring of Secrets (Culper Ring Book 1) (Kindle)
  • Fairchild’s Lady (Culper Ring Novella) (Kindle)
  • Whispers from the Shadows (Culper Ring Book 2) (Kindle)
  • A Hero’s Promise (Culper Ring Novella) (Kindle)
  • Circle of Spies (Culper Ring Book 3) (Kindle)
  • Dreams of Savannah (Kindle)

Last But Not Least:

  • Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price – This was Courty’s Book Club fiction pick for April. It was interesting to read Pride and Prejudice as a murder mystery. I enjoyed the spin on this classic. It’s book one in a Jane Austin Murder Mystery series. I will keep my eye out for the next in the series.
 

Realignment April 15, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Bible,Coronavirus Chronicles,Homeschool Adventures — Amy Scott @ 11:32 am

I was talking with a friend this weekend – catching up on life. She asked me for an update on my life. As I started to share, I felt frustration and disappointment rising within me. The conversation felt like Groundhog’s Day. This wasn’t the first time we’ve had this conversation. The big things in my heart and in my life are same things that have unfolded throughout this last year. I had some new news, but mostly just the same old, same old. It was discouraging. Not that I want new challenges to replace my current ones… It would just be nice to not feel like a broken record when asked how I am doing.

I’d been mulling on the discontent that followed my conversation. When something weighs heavy on my heart I take it to the Lord in prayer. I journal about it. I talk about with my people. I try to process what I’m feeling and get to the heart of the matter. After doing some reading on “feelings” this year, I’m trying my best to acknowledge them, feel them, but also realize that feelings are not the standard of truth. God is good and he quickly brought words to my heart to encourage me.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4

It was very clear as I was reading this verse that I can get so focused on the big picture and looking ahead to the future that I forget to pay attention to the work right in front of me. I want to give my best effort and energy to my right-now life. I want to focus on my family, homeschooling, keeping house, making meals, taking care of my health (physical, mental, spiritual). I have a good work right in front of me. It’s a simple truth. It’s one I’ve championed before. But the comparison trap is real. I often process what I’m called to do in light what others are doing. Contentment comes with gratitude, not comparison. I want to be thankful for the here and now. I want to do my work well and find satisfaction in a job well done. I want to let go of comparison.

The next form of encouragement came from good, old Instagram where I follow many Enneagram accounts. One account specifically for Type Ones shared this: Dear Little One, enjoy your life for how it is right now, not for what you wish it could be (@menneagram). I left my conversation with my friend wondering when the things that I’ve been discussing for what feels like forever will be over. When will this conversation not be the main conversation of my life? When can I move on? All that processing led me to ponder what’s next. What could life look when things change? I read this post the same day I read the verse in Galatians. They fit so perfectly together. I can daydream about life after COVID or after fill-in-the-blank challenge. It’s good to have a vision for the future. I am looking forward to so. many. things. But… looking forward to the future can’t come at the expense of today. Wishing life could be different doesn’t help me thrive in my current, daily, right-here life. I can tuck dreams and visions for the future away in the corner of my heart knowing someday I can pull them out and work toward making them a reality, but for now, for the sake of contentment, I choose to live in the moment.

This seems like an ongoing lesson in my life. One that I grasp for a while and then loose my grip on. I will probably continue to wrestle with contentment and focus until I am old and gray. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, though. I won’t give up. This week felt like a realignment of my thought life. A chance to acknowledge the hard, but also to embrace the good. A chance to dream for the future, but also to love today.

We now have 5 chicks! One last baby decided to hatch and join us a few days later than the rest.
This kid loves his chickens!
Pandemic Homeschooling! We stay home. I could have died laughing when I saw that answer!
Creating animal habitats for school
Completing my L.M. Montgomery library! I used Thiftbooks.com to get the last 6 books in my collection. Not only was the price great, but I wanted the cover art to be what I remember seeing as kid.
 

What I’ve Been Reading – March 2021 March 31, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 12:33 pm
  • Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst – I read this book with my MOPS & MOMSnext group. We did our first book club this month. I was a little nervous when they voted for this book because the topic seemed heavy. I figured it would bring up all sorts of feels. Overall, I found this book had good takeaways for many different forms of rejection. The Scripture and Biblical perspective on self-worth were positive reminders on how to lived loved.
  • The Light In Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron – This book tells the story of a teenage girl during World War II in Poland. She boards with a Jewish family and works in their shop until the war tears their world apart. Based on a true story, this book is moving and inspiring. I found myself deeply engaged in the characters and their survival. This was a book club pick for Courty’s Book Club.
  • The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield – This book was a Courty’s Book Club pick. The direction this book took went many different ways. At first I thought it was about neighborhood hospitality then I thought it would be about fostering/adoption and then it dove into loving the LGBTQ community. The author’s life has been a testament to hospitality in many forms and to many people.
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Come Rain or Shine, To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon – These three books wrap up the Mitford Series and my journey with Father Tim. Jan Karon saved her best books for last. I adored the conclusion of this series, but was so sad to leave Mitford and the characters I have come to know and love. This 14 books series was slow to start, but the reward for making it to the end was worth it!
  • That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby by Annie F. Downs – The title of this book had me hooked. When I got the boys their 3rd quarter of school completion reward, I picked this up as a reward for their teacher. As an Ennegram 7, Annie is all about fun. In health, Enneagram 1’s move toward the positive traits in the Enneagram 7. Enneagram 7’s literally help me move toward being my best self. When it comes to being an amateur and having a hobby, these are things that I have recently seen great benefit from and I wanted to read more about the topic. Annie’s essays are honest, encouraging, and fun.
  • Pat of Silver Bush & Mistress Pat by L.M. Montgomery – I love sprinkling a little Montgomery throughout each month. Prince Edward Island is my home away from home in the book world. I return there often. The more I visit the world of Patricia Gardiner, the more I love her, her home, and her people. Pat has a deep love of her home and her greatest hope is that things never change. I might not feel quite as deeply as Pat, but she is so relatable!
 

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2021 February 28, 2021

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 11:31 am
My reading was down a bit this month. It’s partially because we’re in a short month, but I also hit some mental fatigue that made reading a challenge.
  1. Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery – During the snow days, I wanted some light reading. Visiting Prince Edward Island through the pen of L.M. Montgomery is always a favorite. Jane is one of my favorite Montgomery characters. She is industrious, learns to stand up for herself, and she reunites her parents. It’s a heartwarming tale.
  2. Where is the Water? by Diana E. Greene – I own this book so I included it in the picture for the month, but I “read” this book through the audiobook version this month. I know the author personally and she offered me a free copy of the audiobook for a honest review on Amazon. I enjoyed hearing this book through Diana’s own voice. It’s a quick read/listen. It’s encouraging for those who desire a Spirit-led life.
  3. All the Feels: Discover Why Emotions Are (Mostly) Awesome and How to Untangle Them When They’re Not by Elizabeth Laing Thompson – This was a book club read. After doing a deep dive into the Enneagram last month, I felt this book was a good follow-up. While I don’t view myself as an overly emotional person, I do tip closer to emotional verses unemotional. Processing emotions and giving them a proper place in our life is an important thing to process.
  4. Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans – This was the last book by this author that I had yet to read. Her life and unexpected passing in 2019 had a profound impact on me. While I don’t always draw the same conclusions as Evans, I appreciate how she processed her childhood faith/church culture and found a way to keep her faith through doubts and earnest questioning. She was an excellent writer and conveyed yourself as a friend.
  5. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang – A friend let me borrow this book and informed me that it was intense. She was right! Wow! It’s a thick book with small font and the content is heavy. While it was difficult to read, I appreciate how it opened my eyes to Chinese history from the personal perspective of the author and her family.
  6. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery – This book is quick read, but a lovely story. After reading Wild Swans, the snow days called for sweet tales from Prince Edward Island.
  7. In the Company of Others by Jan Karon – I’ve been stalled in reading the Father Tim/Mitford books because I was waiting for this book from the library. I did a happy dance when this book was finally available. I have three more books in this series and I have genuinely enjoyed journeying alongside Father Tim. His people and his town have become friends of mine.