Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Anniversary Weekend & More July 12, 2016

I’m just going to jump in… Our plan to visit the Lexar house plan we like fell through last Wednesday. The guy at Lexar put the wrong date in his calendar so he wasn’t available when we stopped by to meet up with him. That will now be pushed back to next week. We will also be parting ways with Toby next week and attending a Day Out with Thomas. Lots to look forward to. Not to mention this weekend is a family birthday party and then a family BBQ the following day. We like to celebrate!

Wednesday we had our home inspection. It went fairly well. Somethings we expected. Some surprised us. The buyers asked for a few things to be taken care and we countered. Mostly, we wanted Jeremy to be able to fix the majority of the issues since they were small and the buyers wanted a licensed contractor. Trust me, Jeremy’s got this. However, they don’t know how handy my hubby is so I can understand the standard ask of a contractor. We haven’t heard back from them yet if they accept our counter. In other news, our family has an offer accepted on a 12 acre piece of property south of Chehalis. We are super excited. We will do a feasibility to make sure the building there is well… feasible … If all goes well, my parents will be building on 6 acres and we will be building one the other 6 acres. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. We are ready to move this process forward. At this point, we will close a month from today on August 12th. We will move on August 8th, so we are already less an a month away from the big transition. I’ve been steadily packing boxes and pairing stuff down. I’m feeling good about what we will be taking with us to my in-laws house and what will go to storage. I should also give a shout out to my in-laws who have been making space for us. They have been so gracious and generous. I am grateful for their cheerful hearts and their willingness to take in this crazy ragtag bunch. Praying we don’t drive them nuts!

Now that the move update is out the way, let’s move on to daily life. This last weekend, we went to the beach to celebrate our 10 year anniversary! Since Graham is nursing and Owen loves the beach, the boys came along too. Romantic, I know. What was also romantic was the fact that Jeremy and I slept in separate full beds on opposite sides of the trailer stayed in. Jeremy doesn’t fit in a full bed. His feet stick off, so he sleeps diagonal. Jeremy and Owen took the bedroom and Graham and I took the living space. I’m thinking we’ll make 11 years the romantic, kid-free getaway. My friend, Maggie, owns a trailer at the beach and she offered it us free of charge. It’s an adorable 1950’s trailer with lots of wood paneling and Maggie has it decorated so cute. When we arrived there was a gift basket waiting for us. A bunch of friends and family had chipped in. There was a picture frame, chocolate, sparkling cider and gift certificates to local restaurants. It was such a surprise and sweet gesture. We felt loved and blessed. We packed our time at the beach with all our favorite things. The weather was rainy, but it made things quiet and cozy. We took advantage of breaks in the rain and got outside a few times. It was a fantastic family weekend. I love my husband more than words can say. The last 10 years have been better than I could have ever imagined. Jeremy is my best friend and partner in crime. He balances me out and encourages me in so many ways. I know that I am a better person because he is my life. He supports and loves me and values me. I am one grateful lady. God gave me the best!

After the high of the fun family weekend, Jeremy left on Sunday to go to kid’s camp for the week. Which means I am home. alone. with the boys. At this point, we are all still living. Sunday, we stayed after church to have lunch with him and say our good-byes. Then it was home for nap time, a walk with the dog and a movie. Yesterday, my mom came over in the morning, the boys had a bubble bath and then we went over to Nana & Papa’s house for dinner and playtime. Today, we went down to Portland to Powell’s City of Books. Oh my word. I wanted to buy the whole children’s section. It was bad. Books are a weakness of mine. The boys got three new books and each one got read at bed time tonight. My mom and sister joined our little clan on this outing. We had lunch out. Owen got “panda rice” (Panda Express). I got to do a little shopping. It was super helpful to have my mom and April there to distract the boys so I could take few minutes to focus on my wardrobe needs. When we got home from our adventure, we attempted to take the dog for a walk, but it started to rain so we had to turn around. Gotta love this July weather. Last summer was so hot. I am grateful for the cool weather and even the rain. I know. I’m weird. The rest of the week is filled with friends, family and church.The only day I didn’t plan anything on was Friday… Which could be a LONG day since Jeremy doesn’t get home till late. I might have to make up a Friday outing so we are just staring at the clock wondering when Daddy will get home.

That about sums up life. Oh, I read a book. It’s called It’s Just a Phase So Don’t Miss It. It’s written for leaders that work with kids and teenagers about maximizing your influence at each phase in a child’s life. Each phase is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. It was an easy read filled with good information and fun charts. There was humor and honesty spread throughout the pages. As a parent, it was helpful for me to remember to be intentional with my boys where they are now, but to have a plan for the future. I am raising adults. Since this was only the third book I’ve read in 2016, I was proud of myself. When Jeremy isn’t home and I don’t want to go to bed at 8:40pm, I actually take the time to read.

Okay. Now I’m done!

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Settling in at the beach


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Flashback to July 8, 2006


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Graham’s first visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Owen remembered it from last summer and was thrilled to visit again!


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Boardwalk selfie in Long Beach


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Saying our good-byes before sending Daddy off to camp.


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Time for a movie and popcorn


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Tubby time!


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Reading one of his new books at Powell’s


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Sister selfie in Powell’s


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A big mouthful of Panda rice! Yum!!!

 

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey September 27, 2015

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 9:15 pm

IMG_7161 cropI was thrilled when I was selected to be a part of Sarah Bessey’s launch team for her new book, Out of Sorts. I got an email telling me about the opportunity and I quickly applied. She had 100 spots to fill and I thought for sure that I was going to miss out. Turns out 300 applied within the first 24 hours. Sarah went to her publisher and said she wanted all of us. There was no way she could pare it down to 100. All 300 of us were her people. Since there were only 100 hard copies of the book to give away, we were all given a link to download a digital copy of the book. That was quite the process. I thought I would never find a compatible way to get the book on my Kindle app, but finally I was met with success and I happily dove into the new book of one of my favorite authors! It was certainly a treat. Later I found out that I was randomly selected as one of the 100 people who will get a hard copy of the book as well. I was over the moon. It felt like winning the lottery (because I am weird and bit overly dramatic these days).

Let me start off by saying that I discovered Sarah Bessy’s blog at the perfect season in my life. I was feeling out of sorts in a lot of ways. I was contemplating ministry and what place it would have in my life. I was also thinking about entering motherhood and that thought completely scared me and yet I was drawn to the idea of being a mom and investing in my own kiddos. Sarah’s writing validated a lot of what I was feeling. It helped me work through my thoughts on vocational ministry. Her writing also made me want to be a mother. Sarah wrote about motherhood in a way that made me want to experience it. She was real and honest. It wasn’t sugar coated, but the fact that she found such joy in motherhood really inspired me. She has a beautiful writing style and her words spoke life to me in a very important crossroad of my life. I will forever be grateful for the kindred spirit I have found in her. She is a treasure!

Out of Sorts is about Sarah’s faith journey and how she has arrived at the place she is today. She has seen many different sides of the church and different ways of life. She has used all her experiences to help sift her worldview down to Jesus and what he means in her life. I love the freedom that Sarah brings to her writing. She calls her self a recovering know-it-all and that she has spent time getting over her evangelical-hero-complex. She gives you space to ask questions and to have doubts. Sarah had to look at her past and decide what part of her faith she was going take with her and what parts were just baggage that Jesus never asked her carry. There is a time when we think we have it all figured out in a simple, childlike way and then we realize that things are bit more complicated than we would like. Not everything has an answer this side of heaven. It’s okay to wrestle and grow and let your faith develop with you. This is healthy.

Each chapter is full of good stuff and I honestly want to reread it so I can absorb it all. Being pregnant and super tired doesn’t make me the most critical thinker right now, but I will say that many points really touched me. I love Sarah’s stance on being “used” by God. I won’t do the chapter justice, but I so often we think it’s all about what we can do for God, how he wants big things from us. So often we think we need to measure up and that if we work hard enough or be something than God will be pleased and love us or bless us. The truth is God just wants us. He wants a relationship. He wants to be close to us. There is something about being loved just as you are that can be missed in our can-do, will-do culture. I’ve always been good at making lists, checking off boxes and living up to a certain standard. In my life I can see how I thought that the more I did for God, the more he would love me and bless me. This is craziness. I will never be good enough. That is why I need Jesus to be my savior. I can’t do it on my own. No matter what I think. Sarah’s encouragement to set aside the “used” mentality is what I needed to hear. I just want to be with Jesus. I want to love Jesus and receive his love. I want to be confident in my relationship with God and that it has nothing to do with how awesome I am or what I can do. I think our best life work comes out of that loving relationship. Not trying to keep up with others or be something I am not.

Another part of the book that really spoke to me was Sarah’s chapter on vocational ministry. Once upon a time I was on the church payroll and that really defined me. I thought I was doing “ministry” full time and I was really living my calling. True, I loved my season of full time ministry right alongside my husband. It was great time to grow and develop with Jeremy as a leader and a Christ-follower. Then I decided to become a stay at home mom. It seemed less glamorous… However, I can’t think of anything more important than influencing my young family to know and love Jesus. Investing in my kiddos is best work I can possibly do and I am grateful for the chance to do it. Sarah discusses how there is no line between sacred and secular work. All work can be done to the glory of God and all work is important. What a pastor does isn’t more important than a carpenter or a doctor or a janitor or a stay at home mom. We all get the chance to love Jesus and minister where we are at. All work is holy work when done with the right attitude and intention. I love being a part of the church. I love that my husband is a pastor. I am still very involved with ministry, but the pedestal of the “ministry lifestyle” broke for me a long time again. It’s always reassuring to hear that I am not the only one.

Sarah writes about her family, her faith journey, her kids, her church, her husband. She writes about wilderness seasons. I love to hear other people’s faith stories. I love to see where they have been and how they arrived at who they are now. I know that I am not the same Amy as 10 years ago. I have grown and changed. Sarah’s honesty gives us permission to be honest with our own faith journeys. Her writing is empowering and passionate and tender. She cares for her reader and really wants them to find the same freedom she has found. The thing that I love the most about Sarah is that Jesus is at the center of it all. You might see the subtitle of this book and think something about evolving faith is weird or new age-ish. But it’s not. It’s all about Jesus. It’s about loving him and loving his people and making a difference in the world where you are at and with what you have. What a sweet message and one that I hope to embody.

 

Random Snapshots of Life September 3, 2015

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time — Amy Scott @ 8:43 pm

I love to blog. Writing is something I enjoy and it keeps me sane… Or maybe it helps me get out my insanity? I don’t know. I love it. I’ve been itching to blog this week, but haven’t had the energy to do so. Plus, I don’t really have a cohesive theme of which to write on. This leads me to the post that you are about to read. Random. It will be very random. A little of this and a little of that. I used a lot of brain cells to write a post all about my second pregnancy, but I won’t be sharing that post until this weekend, so until then let me tide you over with the random musings of Amy Scott.

Fall is here in the PNW. We went from hot, hot, hot to cloudy, rainy and cool. Can I say, praise the Lord! I was over the heat. I know it might come back, but I am grateful for the break from hot weather. Tuesday was the first day of September and I woke up to clouds and the school bus driving past my house. I went to church and worked on my classroom bulletin board and then went to our MOPS registration social. It really felt like the first day of school (waking up with a new pimple really added to that feeling as well). MOPS is now back in full swing and I had my first class of the 2015-2016 school year last night at church. I love the transition of September. Mostly because I love the fall and in just a few weeks the calendar will officially concur that autumn is here!

Note the pumpkins from Jeremy's garden!

Note the pumpkins from Jeremy’s garden!

This last month was a good month for book releases. I discovered that the parent’s of Jon & Tim Foreman (members of my favorite band, Switchfoot) released a book on parenting. I was so intrigued to see what the parents of these rock’n’roll stars had to say about raising their boys. I also knew that their dad was a pastor, so I assumed that part of it would include raising your kids in the context of ministry. The book is called Never Say No by Mark & Jan Foreman. The title had me a bit worried because I say no a lot and honestly, I believe that your kids can’t do whatever they want – like walking off a cliff. Sometimes no is an important word – for safety purposes and what not. However, the book is much more about saying yes to your kids and raising big picture kids. It’s about creativity and letting your kids discover who they are and who God is and helping them transition through each season so they can be healthy adults. It’s a very good read and it was fun for me as Switchfoot fan to picture little Jon and Tim as I read about them from their parent’s perspective.

The other book that I read this last month was For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. I love Jen Hatmaker. Her book 7 changed my perspective in a ton of ways. I follow her on Facebook where she regularly makes me laugh out loud. Her new book is a combination of so many things. It’s thought provoking, encouraging, inspirational and down right funny. I frequently laugh out loud while reading her work which is silly because I am often alone in a room just laughing to myself. One night this last week, I was reading in bed with Jeremy beside me and the chapter was so hilarious that I was unable to talk and share what was funny with Jeremy. I was crying and trying to talk and I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt like a total dork, but a good laugh is important every now and again. Plus I provided my husband with some great entertainment.

Enjoying the plastic "neigh neigh" at Lattin's Cider Mill & Farm

Enjoying the plastic “neigh neigh” at Lattin’s Cider Mill & Farm

Last Friday, we went on a family outing to local farm. Owen enjoyed all the fake animals at the farm more than the real animals. He kept saying “neigh neigh” and I thought he was looking for horse because he assumed that a farm would have horses. It turns out that the farm had a collection of mechanical horse that he had seen and he wanted to ride those. We picked up some yummy baked goods and then let Owen play on the rides. Of course, we had a no quarters so none of the rides actually did anything, but he enjoyed sitting them. One of them was a rocking horse and Jeremy was able to give Owen a decent ride on that one since it moved without money being required. After our morning at the farm, we went to get Owen a haircut. Owen seems to dislike getting his hair cut more and more each time we go. This resulted in Jeremy having to hold Owen in his lap like a human straight jacket. It might be time that we watch some YouTube videos and learn to cut Owen’s hair at home – for the sake of the poor lady that has to cut our toddler’s hair and for all the people in the salon with us. It was quite the experience (interchange with the word exhausting).  However, now our little boy has big boy clothes and another big boy haircut. He is looking so old these days. It’s mind boggling.

Below are photos that depict the end of August and beginning of September in the Scott house. Nothing too epic, but this is our everyday, real life. It’s good and fun and crazy.

Owen is obsessed with this shark shirt from our vacation. He requests to wear it and cries when we take it off. He has the same reaction to any clothes that have trucks on them.

Owen is obsessed with this shark shirt from our vacation. He requests to wear it and cries when we take it off. He has the same reaction to any clothes that have trucks on them.

Owen has been sleeping in this week and Toby doesn't seem to mind the extra down time. This was Sunday morning while I was waiting for Owen to get up.

Owen has been sleeping in this week and Toby doesn’t seem to mind the extra down time. This was Sunday morning while I was waiting for Owen to get up.

My new class bulletin has a travel theme. I may have started singing " Come Fly with Me" while putting it together.

My new class bulletin board has a travel theme. I may have started singing ” Come Fly with Me” while putting it together.

At the MOPS social, Owen put Harper's name tag on his forehed and would not let it be taken off. Not a great pic for smiling, but the silly memory was documented!

At the MOPS social, Owen put Harper’s name tag on his forehed and would not let it be taken off. Not a great pic for smiling, but the silly memory was documented!

Helping Daddy shop for stuff to make freezer meals. Another highlight of our weekend was getting a chest freezer for the garage! Now to fill it up!

Helping Daddy shop for stuff to make freezer meals. Another highlight of our weekend was getting a chest freezer for the garage! Now to fill it up!

Hanging with my class on Wednesday night. This yarn game is a September tradition!

Hanging with my class on Wednesday night. This yarn game is a September tradition!

 

Hello 2015 January 8, 2015

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Family Time,Parenthood — Amy Scott @ 1:51 pm

Can you guess how this blog will start??? Hmm… By now it’s no shock for me start a blog by saying that we’ve been sick. Our family keeps cycling germs. I’m practically at the point of depression because we cannot stay healthy. I was so glad that I fought off the germs through the holidays, but I didn’t totally make it out unscathed. On New Year’s Eve, Jeremy came down with a tummy bug. Owen and I went out to have a birthday dinner with my sister and then we came home to chill. For the first time in over a decade, I went to bed before midnight on New’s Year Eve. I was asleep when the New Year arrived. On New Year’s Day, I woke up with mounting sinus pressure. It was my turn to go down and boy, did I. I feel like I’m really just now coming out of the haze. This week has been a quiet one, so I’ve been slowly able to reclaim my house and my life. The entire time that I’ve been sick, Owen has been sick as well. There have lots of runny diapers, runny noses and fevers. It’s been a rough go. Owen is not out of the woods yet entirely. Poor boy.

I haven’t given too much thought to 2015 since I’ve been focused on getting well. The good thing about being sick and having my hubby home is that I’ve had lots of down to read. My dad gave us Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. There was an incentive to read the book. Dad would reward us if we gave him a book report – oral or written. As you can guess, this was the first book I choose to read this year. I went for the written report because I was nervous that an oral report might turn into an oral quiz and I had panic attack flashbacks to Spanish in high school (the only class I had oral quizzes in). Sometimes talking money can feel like speaking for a foreign language. However, Dave and Rachel did a good job of giving common sense principles for raising money smart kids. Even thought Owen is only one, the book gave me lots to think about.  By the way, Dad if you are reading this, I will read more books at your request if with they come with a reward! Just saying… Next on my to-read list was the Divergent series. I had heard good things about it and I really liked The Hunger Games, so I thought this series would be up my alley. Of course, I love getting lost in a good story, so the Divergent series took over my life for three days. Overall, it was a good read and I enjoyed the plot twists. I wasn’t thrilled with the ending, but it was very entertaining. This week I even rented the movie, so the theme so far of 2015 might be Divergent. Now I am on to The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I’ve never read a book by her, but I’m appreciating her honest writing style. Over the years, I have often struggled with what to say yes to and when to say no. Right now I have scaled back my life a lot so that I can be a stay at home mom and invest in my family. Boundaries have always helped me stay focused on what is the most important thing for me to do. This book is reaffirming a lot of the choices that I’ve made and really encouraging me to stay the course.

Every year I like to do a recap blog post of the following year. I usually pick my favorite post of each month, but I’m not going to do that this year. 2014 sure had it’s ups and downs. In some ways I feel like a totally different person than I was at the start of 2014. I feel like my confidence has grown and I’m really loving where I am at. There is a peace that comes with doing what you are supposed to do and being where you are supposed to be. As I think about 2015, I really have no clue what the year holds. It will be my last year in my 20’s. I am just one year away from a new decade. Because I am about to turn 29, I feel a sense that I need to make this year count. But honestly, I should make every year count. 29 should be no different than 31 in my endeavor to grow and make a difference in the world. I know that in 2015, I want to focus on contentment more. I want to be thankful and joyful. I want to have peace and confidence. It’s been such an honor to watch Owen growing up into this fantastic little boy. My days at home with him are truly a gift. It’s hard to believe all the changes that he has gone through in 2014 and I’m sure my mind will blown by the little boy that emerges by the end of 2015. It’s a good life and I am happy to go forward. I believe the best is yet to come. And hopefully, my next blog post won’t mention sickness! Maybe 2015 will be the year we all stay healthy!!!

Celebrating Andrew's birthday. It's the one day a year where April is 26, Andrew is 27, and I am 28!

Celebrating Andrew’s birthday. It’s the one day a year where April is 26, Andrew is 27, and I am 28!

Celebrating April's birthday on New Year's Eve

Celebrating April’s birthday on New Year’s Eve

First Instagram of 2015 took place on January 5th. We are sick and I was unshowered, but I was going through withdrawals! There is nothing fun to take pictures of when you're sick!

First Instagram of 2015 took place on January 5th. We are sick and I was unshowered, but I was going through withdrawals! There is nothing fun to take pictures of when you’re sick!

This wild boy has some serious bedhead!

This wild boy has some serious bedhead!

 

Going Gray and Other House Projects July 29, 2014

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf,Getting Creative,Home Improvement — Amy Scott @ 7:36 pm

I mentioned in my book blog that I just finished a book called The Nesting Place by Myguillyn Smith. It’s a book all about how home decorating doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I’ve never super interested in home decor. I don’t have a Pinterest account or anything like that. My decorating style is practical, functional and not a lot of frill. I like clean lines for the most part. I’m also partial to the colors blue, brown, cream, gray. And that about sums me as a decorator. However, this book got me thinking about my home. I decided to read it based on the recommendation of some of my favorite authors, but also because I’m spending a lot more time at home these days. It seems like now is the time to take some risks and do projects that I’d been contemplating. Here is what Jeremy and I have been up this last week.

It all started with a trip to Home Depot to pick up some paint swatches to put on the walls. For a long time Jeremy and I have been waiting to change the color of our living space. Back in the day when we had cream carpet, the brown wall in our kitchen/dining space worked for us. But… we added a back splash with blues and grays and the brown didn’t quite go as well. Then we changed our carpets out for laminate floors that are brown and suddenly the space at a lot of dark brown in it. When we first painted our house, we painted everything in the front room Toasted Cashew. It was a tan/cream color, but I’ve always wondered if it had too much yellow it in. I’m not a huge fan of yellow. The tan/cream neutral was marvelous when we had all dark brown furniture. But then… we got cream colored furniture that blended with the wall. We also got a set of cube bookshelves that came with cream colored bins. The cost of replacing the bins with a different color was too much, so the cream bins stayed and added more cream to the room.  Thus, you now understand our decision to repaint. We wanted to paint the walls all one color again and get rid of the two tone we had going with the brown and cream. We also wanted a color that wouldn’t blend with the floors and furniture. This led us to Gray Mist – the new color of walls. After having the samples up on the wall for a week, Jeremy decided to go for it. I didn’t expect to paint this last weekend, it just happened… Jeremy tackled all the painting while I kept Owen out of everything and alive.

The Samples

The Samples

Gray Mist

Gray Mist

Gray Mist

Gray Mist

You’d think painting was enough, but we also did other projects around the house this last weekend. We have started to childproof our cabinets now that Owen is on the move. We added safety latches to the bathrooms because of the chemicals that we store under the sinks. Next will be the kitchen, but because of the hassle, we are waiting just a little while longer. Right now Owen doesn’t know how to open cabinet doors, but we know it’s only a matter of time.

Baby proofing

Baby proofing

I also had a few design changes I wanted to make to our front room. First, the bins I was talking about earlier have a plastic covered pouch on the front of them. I’m assuming it’s so you can label the bin with the contents inside of it. I, however, didn’t want to label my bins. I like to keep the insides a mystery to my guests. I wanted to add some visual interest so inside of using the pouches for labeling, I just filled them with scrapbook paper that matched our walls and rug. I really like the pop of color the bins now add to the room while still maintaining their warm, creamy color.

Making the bins pop

Making the bins pop

We also removed a piece of artwork that has been on a random small wall. We had a picture of the ocean which we loved in our small apartment, but really didn’t have a place in our home.  In it’s place is now a framed white board that is also magnetic. I think we’ll use this board a lot in the future and it gives the wall a sense of purpose.

Our new white board

Our new white board

And for an added cuteness factor, here is a picture of Owen “helping” during the painting project. There was lot of gunk to get off the floor after we moved the furniture around. The Swiffer was Owen’s best friend. He might be like is mama in that regard! Swiffer love!

Helpful boy!

 

Book Report July 25, 2014

Filed under: Amy's Bookshelf — Amy Scott @ 3:27 pm

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the books I have been reading. I’ve certainly been reading a diverse mix these days. Some books are by beloved and favorite authors and some are new finds. I’m really enjoying downloading eBooks from the library, but sometimes that means hunting down the right book and waiting for it to be available. Overall, I’m trying to spend less money on books so the library is a great option. Also, in a day of instant gratification, eBooks get me what I want, when I want it. I do miss making my bookshelf look impressive as I fill it up, but lately Owen has taken to pulling my books off the shelf. Maybe eBooks are safer for a while!

  • Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker – This book started off really funny. My favorite quote was one she wrote about looking back on mothering and saying she wishes she would have eaten more chocolate cake. This deeply resonated with me because I was in an intense chocolate phase at the time. However, the book took on a more serious tone as it went on. It’s about a woman who lost her mom and in turn decided she never wanted to be a mother. However, three kids later, she is learning and growing in motherhood despite the pain of her past. It was a good read, but more serious than I expected.
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – I found this book on the library website. I knew that some of my favorite authors really liked Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, so of course, I started with the squeal. Makes sense? The book is all about investing in home because it’s an important place and it greatly affects our happiness. Rubin did various things to improve how she felt about her home. It’s more of a philosophy and mind set take on home. It’s not a DIY and spend money kind of book. It was interesting, but didn’t move me to do much around my house. I figured that now that I’m a stay at home mom, I might want to invest more in the environment I’m in most of the time. Turns out my house is pretty functional for me.
  • Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers – I like Francine Rivers as an author because she knows how to write a love story. It’s a romance novel and I liked it a lot because I like romance. It’s not my favorite book by her, but it is still pretty good. Worth the read for those who like her work.
  • Help. Thanks. Wow. by Anne Lamott – A lot of people have mentioned Anne Lamott as a favorite author. This book probably wasn’t the best one to start with. I’m currently reading Traveling Mercies by her and it’s much better. Help.Thanks. Wow. is a book about prayer. I almost skim read it because I didn’t find it super moving. But reading about prayer always sounds like a good and holy endeavor so I did finish it.
  • Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery-  I loved it! Every book by L.M. Montgomery makes me want to read more by her. I really should make it a personal goal to read all her works. I’ve yet to be disappointed.
  • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – Since I read the squeal, I thought I should go back and read the original.  Gretchen Rubin spent a year improving and investing in her happiness. I loved insights like “Be Gretchen” and “What makes other people happy, doesn’t make me happy.” It was empowering to focus on being yourself and do what makes you happy without shame. So often we try to fit into other people’s boxes, I am grateful for authors who embrace who they are and encourage you to be yourself as well. I can see why this book became so popular.
  • Forever with You by Robin Jones Gunn – I grew up reading about Todd and Christy through the many books of Robin Jones Gunn. After a decade of only glimpses of  Todd and Christy through her other stories, Robin Jones Gunn has started another series dedicated to my two favorite characters of all time. I felt like a teenage girl when I heard she was writing about them again. This book as an excellent addition to the love story I have loved since middle school!
  • The Nesting Place by Myquilyn Smith – Again, my interest was peaked by a book about home. The premise of this book is that home doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I don’t have a huge interest in home decor, but lately, I’ve been thinking more about the home I am creating.  This is a great book about creating a space that works for you and showcases what is important to your family. I’m thinking a lot about not just having a functional home, but a warm and inviting home. This house will be the place that Owen remembers his childhood. This will be the place that he invites friends over to. What kind of home am I creating? As a result of this book, I have the strong desire to paint and buy new throw pillows.
 

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!