Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

You are Loved & God is Good! December 7, 2016

img_4121Here are the notes from my MOPS talk yesterday. It should take about 15 minutes or less to read. I hope that it brings encouragement to you.  I had such a wonderful response yesterday. I was blessed to share my heart with such wonderful ladies!

Hello. For those of you out there that I haven’t met personally, my name is Amy Scott. My husband is the children’s pastor here at Bethel Church. I’m on the MOPS steering team and have been for the last few years. I love MOPS and I love that you are all here today. This is a special place and what we do here is important. I hope that as you’ve spent time around the table with other moms, you’ve felt a sense of community and belonging. It’s so encouraging to know that you are not alone and that you have a group of ladies cheering you on.

What I want to share with you ladies today is a lot of preaching to the choir. It’s a message that really touches where I am right now. I don’t know this as a fact, but I’m assuming a lot of you might be in a similar place or maybe can relate to my story.

I’m a thinker. I can’t turn my brain off. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it a curse. I’ve been thinking a lot about life, especially the last year, 2016, and all the changes that have happened. It’s been a big year. I turned 30, bought a minivan… Jeremy and I put our house up for sale. It was our first house and full of so many memories because we started our family there. My home has been my sanctuary, my refuge. Selling it and letting go was has been an exciting, but emotion filled decision.  I won’t go into all the details, but we’ve had one deal fall through and it’s been months of delays and extensions with our current buyer. We thought we would close at the end of September and now we are praying that we close at the end of the December. The kicker is, we thought for sure that we were going to close in October, so we moved in with my in-laws. Now it looks that was two months too soon. My in-laws have been great to live with, but it isn’t ideal when we could have been in our home. In a lot of ways, I’m ready to move forward, but I feel stalled.

Some of you know that at the end of this summer, my husband had some serious health issues arise and we had to take a step back from ministry for a few months to make his health a top priority.  He is doing better now, but there are still some questions that we haven’t found answers to. It’s been a lot to take in, a lot to process.

There are numerous other changes that would take too long to go into, but this whole last year; I’ve felt like my life has been sifted. It’s been a rewarding process in the sense that I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I can handle. Mostly I’ve learned how much I truly need to rely on God to get through the day. Sifting happens when things get shaken up. And I’ve felt shaken this year. In a lot of ways my sense of security has been lost. When your security is in things or even in people, life can be scary. There is a sense of doubt and worry. I’ve learned a lot about God being my rock, my anchor.

I’m a writer and a blogger. I used to attempt to write deep thoughts about life and ministry, but once I had kids my blog morphed more into our family life and what we’re up to on a weekly basis. My 5 followers love my updates. I’ve chronicled the highs and lows of this year through my blog. It’s interesting to me that after all the updates, once I’ve gone through all hang ups, holds up, struggles and fears, I would always wrap things up by talking about the goodness of God. Strange to think that I would write through all the struggles of life and then close by saying God is good.

And that brings me to what I want to share with you today. The heart of my message is you are loved and God is good. In the midst of it all, I would hold on to these two truths. I am loved and God is good.  I knew this was true. I didn’t doubt it. And with these two truths being whispered in my ear and repeated over and over in my heart, I was able to walk forward on firm ground even when life felt unstable and insecure. I didn’t have a lot of answers. I still don’t.

I could choose to stress and worry about my husband’s health or about why we keep experiencing hold ups with our house, but instead I remember that I am loved and God is good and the details that I cannot control lose their hold on me.  I can have peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 says:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God’s got this has been my motto. I don’t need to worry, I don’t need to figure it all it out. I just need to trust that God’s got this.

I want to share a passage of scripture with you from 1 John 4. I’m going to read verses 9-19:

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.

So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

There are a few key thoughts that I want to focus on. The first is that God loved us so much that he gave his one and only son so that we might have eternal life. God’s love is all about relationship. He loved us so much, so deeply that he gave the greatest sacrifice so we could have a relationship with him. It’s because of this truth that I have never doubted the goodness of God. God is love and his love restored my relationship with him. And I know that he desires that same relationship with each of you. His love is constant, searching, reconciling. He never gives up and never let’s go.  I am secure in this knowledge.

Which leads me to verse 16 where it says, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.” We can trust this good news. We can trust God! No matter what happens in life, we can trust that he loves us. As I say it, it sounds simple, but it is deeply profound. We can trust his love. We can trust in a world that doesn’t make sense, that God’s got this, because he loves us. He is love. We don’t have to have it all figured out. We can trust his love.

In a period of time where fear has been waiting at my doorstep, hoping I will let it in and take root in my heart, I have relied on verse 18 that says such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If I am truly trusting in perfect love then I don’t have to be afraid. This doesn’t mean that everything works out the way I hope because God loves me. I have gotten many answers I didn’t like and I’ve walked down roads that I didn’t plan to walk down. I’ve experienced hurt that I didn’t want or expect in my life. I think we all have. But I don’t have to be afraid of these things. God’s perfect love casts out all fear.  Even when I am uncomfortable, even when I’m confused, frustrated, broken hearted, or worn out, I know that at the base of it all, my foundation and my rock is this perfect love. This perfect love that knows where I’m at and is with me in each moment. When our trust is in God’s love, we can say good-bye to the hold that fear has over us.

Now the overall context of this verse isn’t just about us and God. It’s not a bubble. It’s not God loves me and I love him. End of story. This love is lived out in the context of community and relationship. It’s about us shining that love to those around us.

Verses 11 and 12 say:

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

God’s love is brought to full expression in us. WOW! That’s big. I’ll be honest with you all. I’ve been debating about what I would share with you for a while. I’ve taken this talk a thousand different directions in my mind. But God really challenged me to share my story today, to be real and honest about where I’ve been and what I’ve walked through.

I’m a private person by nature. I want you to all think that I’ve got it together and that I’m composed. Over the last year though I’ve had more than one moment where my composure has fallen apart. In those moments, Christ followers have been there to encourage me. I’ve had the best support as I’ve been honest and open with trusted friends and family members. By sharing my story with them, even the ugly parts, they have been able to respond to my need and love me in a deep and personal way. I lose out when I keep my story to myself and you lose you out to.

This great love that we are a part of invites us to share that love. We aren’t meant to keep it to ourselves. We can live like Jesus here in the world and extend that same love to others. We need that love and we need to give that love. Community is important. Sharing your story is important. God has given you a unique story that only you can tell. Maybe you’re in the middle of the hurt and you need the love of community to hold you up as you sort through the mess. Maybe you’ve recently walked through something and your testimony of how God got you through it can give encouragement and strength to someone so they don’t give up. It’s a cycle of encouragement and every part of the process is important.

Now, I realize that this is a Christmas party. I haven’t spent much time talking about shepherds or wise man. The heart of the Christmas story is Jesus. God came to earth in human form and walked among us. He loved us to much that died for our sins, so he could have a relationship with us. The love and the sacrifice of his story is why we are here today. It’s why we celebrate Christmas and even more so why we celebrate a risen Savior at Easter. This story isn’t a holiday story. It’s an everyday story. The truth of God’s goodness and his love is evident all year around and it’s up to us to respond to it and to share it with the world. My hope and prayer is that you will walk out of this room holding deeply to the truth that you loved and God is good. With that knowledge tucked in your heart, I pray that you shine a little brighter today and love a little deeper.  This is the heart of the Christmas message.

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas November 20, 2016

I usually hold off on Christmas decorations until after Thanksgivings. I’ll start listening to Christmas music in November, but Thanksgiving weekend is the kick off of my Christmas decorating. This year is different, however. I’m thinking it might just be the stress of our house not closing (yes, we signed another extension. We should know Monday if the sale is actually going to go through or if we’ll have to relist our home). Christmas is comforting to me and I’ve needed comfort and Christmas a lot this week. It started with me buying Christmas jammies for the boys on Monday and then it lead to Owen getting a small Christmas tree in his room and holiday window clings. Today, Owen decorated the star to put on the top of his tree. Now it’s official!

This week I got the opportunity to help in the baby classroom at MOPS (opportunity = we didn’t have enough volunteers so steering team had to step in). It was surprisingly nice to do something different at MOPS. I enjoyed chatting with the other childcare workers and I think Graham enjoyed hanging with me. It was a craft meeting and sewing machines were involved so it’s probably best that I missed that meeting anyway. I’m not crafty.

During Graham’s nap time in the morning, I’ve been intentional about my time with Owen. We’ve started doing Bible time together. We read a story and color a picture about it. We’ve also been working on tracing our letters and numbers. This week I saw great improvement in his tracing skills and his ability to hold a pen. I never thought how challenging holding a pen could be until I tried to teach a 3 year old how to do it. I am loving these one on one moments with my big boy. I love watching him learn and I am enjoying the teaching moments we share. I am praying that as I share stories of how great God is and how he takes care of his people, Owen’s heart will be soft and receptive. I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was four, so I know that Owen is not far off from possibly having his own Jesus moment and I am glad that I get to help sow these seeds and I pray that something good will grow out of it.

Yesterday, we drove over the mountains for my littlest nephew’s baby dedication. It was fun to spend time with my nephews and niece (and their parents and Nana & Papa). Owen got to jump on a trampoline for the first time and he loved it. He now knows that he got one for his birthday and he is itching for us to set it up. However, it’s pouring down rain at this moment. November isn’t prime trampoline weather on this side of the mountains.

God is good despite all of our ups and downs with the house. I am thankful for his constant love and encouragement during what feels like the longest process of my life. God’s got this. I don’t have to worry. I might be disappointed, but I don’t have to worry. Graham is sick and I’m wondering if my week is going to be a little slower than expected because of a sick kiddo. This morning I was trying to give Graham Tylenol to help lower his fever and he was crying in disdain. Owen on the other hand was practically in tears because he wanted Tylenol despite the fact that he doesn’t have a fever. I’m good at making everyone upset with me. It’s a glamorous life, being a mom. While I love the hugs and snuggles my boys give me, they also give me a handful of tears and meltdowns too. Gotta keep things even, right? Good thing God made my kiddos cute. It keeps them alive. Add Christmas jammies to those little boys and they “look” like little angels!

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We love our Red Cups!


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Relaxing in matching Christmas jammies!


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Happy cheese muncher!


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What can I say? They like to match! And they look so cute while they do it!


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Just a few things I am thankful for! I love doing this craft with my Wednesday night girls.


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Practicing tracing and holding his pen


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Can you see Owen?


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Doing Bible time in his Thomas tent


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Decorating the mini tree


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Owen’s new nightlight


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Getting some Colton snuggles


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Keeping up with the cousins and bouncing on the trampoline all caught up with Owen. He slept through Colton’s dedication.


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The tree is official now! It has a star!


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My handy helper!

 

Still Waiting… November 13, 2016

We didn’t close on our house last week. I’m not surprised, but I was hopeful. Now we will see if anything happens on Monday or Tuesday. If we don’t sign by then it will be another extension which just might break my brain. I stopped by our empty Moonlit house today after dropping a student off after church. The house felt weird. I hadn’t been there in weeks and the separation of time made it feel less like home. Our stuff isn’t there. Our little people weren’t there. It just didn’t feel like home anymore. I’m ready for it to be sold. Here’s hoping we can close soon and move on to the next chapter in our housing adventure!

Staff retreat with Graham went well. The kid was so exhausted that he passed out and slept hard everyday. It was great! His last hotel stay was rough, so his sleep was a pleasant surprise. We got a huge hotel room that after the first night, we had all to ourselves. It was such a blessing. Graham needed an afternoon nap each day, so while the staff kept diligently meeting, I got to slip away for some quiet time which was just what my introverted personality needed. It was fun to be with the staff and reconnect with them after a season of being away. We ate lots of good food and enjoyed unusually warm weather at the beach. It was a good week.

Now I am home and battling a sore throat. The days have been busy, but full of good things. Friday I said good-bye to my long time forever friend, Maggie. As you know, we meet every other month for lunch dates. We’ve been close since high school and her friendship is truly irreplaceable in my life. Her family is moving to California to start a new adventure. I am so excited for her, but so sad at the same time. I will miss her so much. However, I know that we will stay close through phone calls and emails and visits that might happen yearly instead of monthly.

Yesterday was my nephew’s birthday party at a fun bouncy house building. Owen has a love/hate relationship with bouncy houses – mostly hate. He was able to get over he fear and bounced away a good deal of the time. At the end of our bouncy time, he was even able to conquer his fear of the slide. It was a super fun outing and we had a blast celebrating with Nolan!

As always, there is lots to do this week. Places to go, things to do… I am grateful that with staff retreat behind us, we have no overnight travels for a few months. I am ready to take a deep breath and settle down. I am getting excited for the holiday season. I keep dreaming of turkey dinners, red cups, Christmas cookies and matching winter jammies for the boys. I love this time of year!

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There were so many bunnies around our hotel at staff retreat!

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This is one way to get a nap at staff retreat

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Passing on the Mo’s love

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Graham was laughing at the ocean! He loved it!

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Out for a windy walk

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The large spacious living room at our hotel! We didn’t want leave!

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Brothers reunited!

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My hubby brought me my first red cup on Thursday. It was perfect for my sore throat!

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Saying “see you later” to my forever friend, Maggie. Over a decade of friendship and going strong.

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Having a bouncy good time at Nolan’s birthday party

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These two are such good friends!

 

A Day Out with Thomas July 24, 2016

This last week has moved at a remarkable pace. We are flying through our days and they are filled to the brim with activity. I left off last week saying that we would tour a Lexar home plan on Wednesday. My plan was to bake on Wednesday morning and put off my normal house cleaning until Thursday. Jeremy sent me text on Wednesday morning saying at the appraiser called and wanted to appraise the house that day. I went from having a relaxed day to cleaning the house at break neck speeds. I had barely enough time to clean the house, take a shower and get out the door. Insane! The hour drive to see the Lexar home felt like an eternity to me because it was a Wednesday and I knew that we had to make the same drive home in order to get to church on time. It was a jammed packed day. I wish I could say that I didn’t like the house, but I did. The house we saw had some upgrades that we really liked. However, with Lexar raising their prices recently, our budget really has no wiggle room for upgrades. The house we toured was really well decorated. The lady who owns it makes her own decor and furniture. She is the kind of person Pinterest was made for. It was nice to see the house set up so well and so functionally. Jeremy and I could definitely see how the home would work for us. My favorite spaces were the master bedroom and the playroom. The tour gave us lots to think about. (And in case you are wondering, we haven’t heard anything back about the appraisal…)

Before I can jump into the happy Thomas the Train update, I want to briefly touch on Thursday’s big news. Thursday, Toby left our family for a new adventure. It had been in the works to take Toby to a local humane society since the beginning of July, but due to some policies it got put off until this last week. It was a hard thing to do. When we first tried to rehome Toby in January, it was sudden and while we agreed it was the right thing to do, it left me an emotional wreck. I sobbed and had the closest thing in my life to a legitimate panic attack. It might have been the postpartum hormones, but I think it was the surprise and pace of the decision mixed with a whole lot of guilt and feeling like a failure. I was nervous about how our second attempt at giving him away would go. With everything else that I have on my plate right now, I didn’t want to have a mental breakdown over the dog. I think that having a lot of time to process the decision was good for me. Having most of the month of July to think about it and say good-bye was helpful for me. Toby’s last month with us was filled with lots of walks, treats and love. He is a sweet dog, but just not good with kids. Now he has a chance to find a family that better fits his needs. While I have not sobbed like last time, Toby is still in my thoughts throughout the day. I wonder how he is doing. I think about how he would have been a part of our day. There is a void – for good or for bad. I do miss him. I think that moving in two weeks will help since we’ll be in a new location and no longer in the home that we brought Toby home to. It’s been rough, but good in a lot of ways. Just another big change for our family. We’ve had a few lately…

On to the happy stuff! On Friday, we took off up north for a Day Out with Thomas! As we were walking up to the train station, Thomas was pulling in from his first ride of the day. Owen was thrilled to see him. The funny thing about Owen is he takes everything in and processes it quietly. His eyes were huge and he had fun, but he is barely smiling in any of the pictures. The day wasn’t great for photo opportunities, but the experience itself was worth it. We went around the site and collected coloring pages, temporary tattoos and played at the Thomas train tables they had set up. We climb up inside engines they had on display. They had all the songs from the show playing around the railway. It was a fun atmosphere. The ride itself was scenic and everyone we passed waved at us. Owen had a fun time waving back. Once our ride was over, we got in line to take our picture with Thomas. Because he had to depart for his next ride, the photo opportunity stopped right as we got to the front of the line. We got some pictures with Thomas in the background. They aren’t Christmas card worthy, but they are funny. Owen wouldn’t take his eyes off of Thomas so all you see is the back of his head in the photos. Graham on the other hand is crying because he is cranky and needs a nap. It made for a humorous photo. We left the railway feeling pretty good about our fun adventure with Thomas. Our ride home was also an adventure. An accident on the freeway had southbound I-5 crazy backed up. It was faster for us to take an extremely scenic route home and avoid the freeway all together.

I got home on Friday with just enough time to get a little dinner and then take off for my MOPS leadership retreat. I was exhausted from the big day with Thomas, but I mustered the strength. All I really wanted was my pajamas. My MOPS meetings on Friday and Saturday went well and I am excited for all we have planned for next year. Now that August is almost here, I am going to need to start working on our publications. June/July are sirt if a short break for me when it comes to publications, but I’m about to jump right back into it. After the retreat was over, I came home and packed some boxes while the boys napped. Jeremy worked on fixing a few things that came up in the home inspection. Once the boys were up, we dropped them off with Nana and Papa and took off for Olympia to talk with Adair homes. Now that Lexar has raised their prices, we need to seriously look into other options to make sure we are making the best choice financially. The meeting with Adair went well and gave Jeremy and I lots to discuss at dinner.

Today the house is looking bare as I take down the artwork on the walls and wrap it up. I’m currently out of bubble wrap, so I’m pausing to complete this blog. Jeremy is out digging up pipes to fix our septic with his father. We are moving toward closing and doing our best to be as prepared as possible for this big move and transition. Please be praying for us! We appreciate it!

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Triple stacker! Silly boys!


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Oh the things that happen at church. Luckily it looks like no big deal now.


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Toby’s last walk with the family. Such a hard decision even though it was a good one. Despite all the crazy he brought to our lives, I do miss him. Just not the pee on my floor.. And the barking…


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Playing in the yard is what being a kid in summertime is all about!


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Our epic photo with Thomas! What do you think? Christmas cards?


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Enjoying our time at the railway


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Such a good time at the Day Out with Thomas

 

Who would have thought? July 20, 2016

If you would have asked me about what I thought 2016 would like on January 1st, I would have never imagined any of this. Our world continues to move forward in surprising ways. I can tell that God is in all of this because it’s not something I saw coming. Our counter off to the home inspection was accepted. We will move on August 8th and close on August 12th (as long as the appraisal goes well). I find myself with only a few weeks left in my house. Monday, I packed up dozens of boxes and tried to determined what we needed in our kitchen and what could go. Jeremy and Owen took two truck loads out to the storage unit. We are making progress. Packing is now a daily pastime. I am so grateful to have Jeremy home from camp. It felt like life paused for a week and now we are back to moving full steam ahead. We switched the boys’ dressers so Graham can use the long dresser has a changing table. We will sell our changing table so it’s one less things to store. I’ve been sorting through our things and consolidating. I’m trying to be strategic when it comes to what stuff will move with us and what will go to storage.  The nice thing about having a project like this is I feel productive at the end of the day. Keeping my kids alive is a lot of work, but at the end of the day, I don’t always feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. Packing makes me feel like I’m doing something. It’s been good.

The week without Jeremy finished well. We went had dinner with my parents on Thursday and went down to Longview to hang with my sister on Friday. We took Owen to the park and he has a blast. We did a little shopping, got more “panda rice” and milkshakes at Burgerville. The boys were so excited when Jeremy came home. Graham crawled around the house trying to keep up with Jeremy. Every time he reached Jeremy, he would pull himself up and lift his arms up to be held. It was super sweet. Owen gave Jeremy numerous hugs and told him that he missed him. These boys love their Daddy! It’s great to have the family back together.

Our weekend was filled with family time. We drove over the mountains for my niece’s 4th birthday party on Saturday and then we had a family BBQ with relatives visiting from South Dakota on Sunday. Like I mentioned early, Monday was a big day of packing and taking loads to the storage unit. We also walked the property with a local contractor and ran errands up in Olympia. Jeremy hasn’t had any down time to recover from kid’s camp. While the boys napped, I worked on a MOPS project. I walked into our bedroom to find Jeremy laying on the bed with his eyes closed. My hubby never lays down, so this was a big deal. Poor guy just can’t rest with the pace we’ve set.

Yesterday, I went into the church to make a sign for our MOPS play date and then we went to the park to play. Owen had a great time going down the slide and watching for trains with his friends. As we were leaving the park, Owen yelled “Good-bye everybody!” It was sweet to see him connecting with his buddies.

Today, we have our rescheduled home tour with Lexar. I am excited to see if the plan we like is the “one”. If we don’t love this plan then it might be back to the drawing board for us. Lexar has raised their prices, so we might look into other builders. We aren’t sure yet. Things with the property are moving forward. We will need to nail down the details soon. We don’t want anything to hold us up once we have the green light to build.

That’s life in a nutshell. It’s wonderful to see the process move forward. Each steps brings us closer to the next. I’m excited that once we move, we will close. Once we close, we will have the finances to start building. This new home and all that it entails is an adventurous new chapter for our family. I have loved our current home and I am sad in way for this chapter to end. So many sweet and wonderful memories. I am equally thrilled though by the new memories we are going to make moving forward. God is in all the changes. He has our family in his hands. I am thankful, excited and looking forward to the future.

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Doesn’t everyone watch TV like this?


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Graham: How do I get up there?


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Playing outside while baby naps


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Dinner at Grandpa & Grandma’s new place


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Being such a big boy playing at the park


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Milkshakes with Auntie


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Welcoming Daddy home!


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Happy birthday, Brinley!


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Flying planes


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Cheering Daddy on while he plays a game


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Cousins and buddies!

 

 

Breezing Through June June 14, 2016

As always, we are a busy bunch. It’s hard to capture the true level of crazy which is our everyday lives in words. The days often seem long and the nights go by too quickly. I am a tired mama. I love my boys and I enjoy our life, but I would really love more sleep. I’m sure I am not alone in that feeling.

June has been full of activity. We have celebrated three family birthdays so far. My sister and I went to see Me Before You on Friday (I read the book so naturally I wanted to see the movie. Both are equally sad).  We have Father’s day quickly approaching. As well as a few graduation parties. There is a lot to celebrate in June.

The month started off hot. Our heat wave meant we celebrated my nephews’ birthdays at the Oregon Zoo in 100 degree weather. The last time we were there it was January 1st and 18 degrees. We apparently like to visit the zoo in extreme temperatures. I’m not a fan of the heat, but overall it was a fun day with family. It is certainly a day we will remember!

We’ve spent the last two weekends moving my parents into their new rental and storage unit. The first weekend was very hot and the second weekend was rainy. Lots of extremes just a week a part. Moving my parents is the beginning of the adventure ahead of us all. We are still on the search for the property of our dreams. Our house has still yet to sell. Lots still to do and look forward to. I realize that this process is going to be a bit longer than I anticipated, but that’s okay. I’m enjoying each moment in our current home. As I look around Graham’s nursery, I’m glad to spend more time in it. I know that by the time we move into our new home his nursery days will be over.  We’ve been playing in the yard, going on walks and enjoying what time we have left at Moonlit Lane. I have no clue how long we will be here, but I am determined to enjoy it for what it is worth. This has been a good home to us.

This weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday. The boys and I went to brunch with my parents after church on Sunday. The whole family gathered later that evening for pie. I’m a big fan of using the number exact candles as the birthday person’s age. Jeremy was concerned about damaging the pies with candles all over. We used a rubber band to secure the candles together. This candle brick put off quite an impressive flame.

I always wrestle when writing this blog. Part of me wants to gloss over life and present a happy picture. I want you all to think that I live a peachy existence. Life is truly good. But… there are difficult moments everyday. This mom life is not for the faint of heart. On Sunday as I was getting the boys ready for church, I knelt down on the ground to get Owen dressed and when I got up I realized my knee was wet with dog pee from the night before. I could smell the problem before bed, but couldn’t locate the issue… Well, my knee discovered it! Then Owen dropped Lamby in the toilet. Good thing Lamby has a twin that is is hidden in our home for moments like this. I made a quick Lamby swap and calmed the distraught toddler. Then there are afternoons like today where I assume both boys have napped and been fed, they should be able to play with toys while I take a few minutes to blog. However, if they are awake they seem to demand 110% of my direct focus. Owen had a place mat full of food that he requested himself and yet he is crying and opening the fridge and begging for something else. Owen’s crying upsets Graham and suddenly I have two kiddos in the midst of meltdowns… This is life. Everyday. We have good days, but even the good days are full of moments of frustration and insanity. It blows my mind that life can be so good and so hard at the same time.

We had our last official MOPS meeting for the school year last Tuesday. We announced next year’s theme with a video. The theme is Starry Eyed and in the video it talks about how we are both light and dark. And I’m feeling that these days. Light and dark. Good moments and hard moments. Life is both. God is in both. The starry eyed theme is a call to wonder and to see God in all the moments. I can relate to this. I’m sure that is why they picked it as the theme for a mom’s group.

Okay, the relative peace that I was able to recapture so I could finish this post is fading. I’m off to wrestle with the natives. Pray that I survive! They are adorable and fierce!

PS… I finished this blog about 4:00pm… I am posting it much later than 4:00pm… Mostly because the chaos level was quite high in our home so my husband just drove off in a van full of crying children so I could have a few moments peace. God bless him!

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Enjoying a hot day at the Oregon Zoo and celebrating Carson and Bennett!


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Cooling off in the yard


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Documenting the last MOPS meeting! Here I am with my dedicated attenders, Leanna and Marielle! Missing Kim, Kate and Johnna. I love being a table leader! MOPS is the best!


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Owen enjoying his prize from MOPS for being potty trained! He loved his sucker and Play Doh.


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It was pouring rain when April and I left the theater on Friday. My feet were already wet so when April mentioned the big puddle ahead I thought it was no big deal. Turns out it was extremely deep. My feet were soaked the whole ride home!


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Costco run


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Owen supervising the moving process from Grandma & Grandpa’s lawn mower


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Birthday brunch with my mom


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The impressive flame from Mom’s candle brick

 

 

Calling and Equipping October 16, 2014

Filed under: Women in Ministry — Amy Scott @ 5:41 pm

I was thinking back to my days at Multnomah Bible College earlier today. More specifically, I was thinking about the internship I did at a local church while I attended college. This church was a lot smaller than the church I had come from at home. It was also a nondenominational church, so it wasn’t organized the same way as Bethel Church (my home church and current church to this day). I had been a high school student who had been deeply involved with my home church, specially the youth group. I loved being there with my friends, serving alongside them. I took part in anything that offered the chance to grow my leadership. I devoured leadership and spiritual growth books. I was told about how I would do big things for God when I went out in the world. I was primed to change the world when I left home. But… I actually found myself in a smaller church in Vancouver, WA called Grace and Glory Community Church. I loved this church for all the ways that it was different than Bethel. It was small and quaint. I knew the names of almost everyone there, but I still had a hard time connecting. An 18 year old girl from out of town doesn’t easily join in ranks with the families who have been in the community for a long time. I was a bit isolated, but I loved the preaching and the pastors. My first year in attendance, I found myself helping the youth group because youth ministry was the majority of what I knew at that time. This was a stretching experience and ultimately, I was too close in age to the students to be a true leader. I acted like a leader, I showed up and helped, but the kids didn’t look up to me. They didn’t know me, so why should they really look up to me. I don’t hold it against them at all. My second year there was a more formalized internship. I met weekly with the pastors (the lead pastor and youth pastor) at Starbucks to talk about ministry books and church stuff. It was a really neat season to be poured into by these great men. I learned a lot from them and I enjoyed the friendship that I found at that table even though I was so different from them. The main goal of my internship was assimilation. That’s a fun word, huh? They wanted to work on getting people in the doors and keeping them there. I thought a membership program was what they needed. They also wanted to work on a better database system. I did research on database systems and helped to consolidate their information into one more accessible program. Mainly, I just tried to replicate what I knew what working at Bethel.

I look back on that internship now and I realize that I really had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t come in and radically change their church for the better. I offered what I knew and I grew because the situation stretched me beyond my familiar roles. However, this wasn’t a home run for them or for me. This was just a girl simply doing the best she could with the ministry before her. And you know what? That’s okay. I think Jesus was pleased with my small, measly offering at Grace & Glory because it was heartfelt. I wanted to make a difference and I did the best that I could. Sometimes what you we have to offer isn’t glamorous. People aren’t going to interview us and ask what makes us successful. Sometimes success doesn’t even look impressive. But growth and going forward into the unknown is a big win. And it’s mainly, just a simple act of trust. There were times during that season that I was really confused. I didn’t know if I was doing a good job because I wasn’t rocking the world for Jesus. I was making decisions about things I really didn’t understand and I was trying to make the best of the situation in front of me. I left that chapter of my life wondering if I did them any good. I think I did. I know that even through the struggle and the learning curve, I grew and became a better person thanks to the influence of those pastors. I was treated like an adult and given an adult job. It was scary. But God was good.

There is this saying in church circles what says “God doesn’t call the equipped, but he equips the called.” Meaning, God will call you do something you are unprepared for, but don’t worry he’ll prepare you in his way. It’s supposed to reassure you that no matter who you are, you can do what God calls you to do. In a lot of ways, I agree with this statement. I have learned that God doesn’t always “equip” us before heading into the situation. It’s not calling, equipping, and then going. It’s usually goes like this – get the call, go forward, and be equipped as you go. The equipping comes in the doing. And sometimes the equipping process can look like a mess. It’s painful and uncomfortable. It’s walking into unknown territory. I realize now that this is what my years at Grace & Glory were like. I wasn’t equipped, but I was called to be involved in the local church and I did learn a lot from it, even if at times it felt like a mess. I will note, once I started dating the children’s pastor from my home church, they did ask me to teach Sunday School a few times. I really did enjoy my time in that classroom. There was this little guy, Wesley, who was about kindergarten or 1st grade and he could play the violin. He was the cutest thing ever and we hit it off right away. I didn’t know it then, but working with kids soon became a passion of mine. I was just entering the world of children’s ministry and my life was about to set a course with kids being a major focus. Even in those uncertain times, I can see God using my situations to mold me and guide me.

I can see how this calling and equipping principle can play into parenting. I’m walking forward in parenting knowing that God will equip me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m fully equipped in this moment. There are going to be lots of moments (and there are and have been) where I am not equipped. I have no clue what I am doing. But God is in process with me. I’ll never be “there” fully at the mark of perfection, but just the act of going forward and doing your best is all the is necessary. There is no real way to prepare for parenting but to experience.

So to tie this all together, after reflecting on various seasons of my life, I can see how God has called me and equipped me to do very different things. Sometimes (most of the time), I have no clue what I’m doing. But that is okay because God uses my not knowing to make me a better person. I would be too cocky if I just went in like a rock star and did everything right the first time. There is no growth in that.

I’m also learning that being faithful in small things makes a bigger difference than I can see now. Often, I think about how I never really did go out and change the world after high school. Even now, my circle seems to have grown smaller as I make my family and raising Owen a priority. But… the influence I have does matter. If I can make a small positive change in a few lives and then they make small positive change in the lives around them, there is a ripple effect. I might not be preaching to thousands on a weekly basis and becoming a church super hero, but I am investing in the lives of those around me. Hopefully, that influence will spread and the positive change will reach far greater than I can imagine. Maybe even those two years at Grace & Glory will reach a far greater level of influence than I’m even aware of right now. Our lives can touch others for the better and I hope that is what I am doing. I’m living my calling and praying that God equips me as I go. It’s not easy and my execution isn’t perfect, but it’s a lovely mess that I am making. I know God is using it all for his glory.