Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Puffed" Up


Do you ever start to get "puffed up" in your faith, and then God brings you back down a couple notches?  Yeah, that happened to me today.  This week we are having a Christmas party at church.  Our church gave us some really nice invitations to hand out to people in our community, and they come with a New Testament Bible.  Yesterday I decided to invite a couple of my neighbors.  I gave one of the invitations to a neighbor who was out running past my house.  We used to walk together at the beginning of fall, but then our schedules changed.  The other invitation I gave to a next door neighbor.  I was returning some Tupperware, so I brought an invitation packet with me.  They weren't home, so I left it on their door.  I'm not gonna lie, I was proud of myself for inviting people to church.  I was thinking that God must be pretty proud of me too. 

This evening, my puffy self asked my husband if he had invited the people from his work.  He said, "No, I wasn't sure what time the party is, so I couldn't fill out the invitation.  I was going to check and then give it to them tomorrow." 

"All of the information is already on the invitation, right?" I answered.

"No, it's an invitation.  You have to fill it out." He said.


Fill it out?  I quickly opened one of the invitations.



I probably look like one of those people who goes door to door just handing stuff out....except I don't even know what I'm handing out, apparently!  The pizza guy who leaves Dominos coupons on our doorstep has more meaningful handouts than this.

Needless to say, I got de-puffed tonight.  I texted my (walking partner) neighbor and apologized and let her know what the invitation should say.  Then August and I walked next door with a new invitation for the next door neighbors.  They are an older couple.  The wife was not home; she is out of town helping their daughter who had just had surgery.  The husband was gracious with my mix up, and he told me that he would come. 

Why do I always have to learn lessons the hard way?  I always have to end up looking stupid.  Humility.  God always gives me a good dose of it, but I am thankful that He does.  How silly for someone like me to get puffed up.   I have done nothing.  God sent His Son.  His only Son to die for me.  Jesus suffered, bled, died.....for me?  How foolish of me to get a skip in my step when I invite someone to church.  Really Amanda?  How prideful.  I am nothing. The only thing I have to boast in is Christ.  He is everything, and He has given me life.  How silly of me to take pride in my "good works."  I am focusing on the verse below.  Adam mentioned it when he was writing in one of the prayer journals for our middle schoolers (you can read about that in my last post). 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
God must have known that I would need this verse later in the week.  Ugh, I can't wait to get rid of this flesh.  Hopefully next time, this verse will pop into my head, and I won't need a lesson in humility. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer Journals for Christmas

Look at me on a blogging streak!  Haha.  I'm on a roll.  Today has been a busy and hectic day.  It was a blessed day, but a full day.  I slept better last night than I have slept in a while.  Adam and I have been going to bed super late for some reason, and last night we didn't go to bed as late....12:00 a.m.  Yeah, that's not as late for us.  Goodness.  We are usually in bed around 10:30 or 11, but lately we have been night owls...like 1 and 2 a.m.  Oops.  Anyway, this morning August slept in until 8:15....so I slept in until 8:15.  I try to aim to have us both ready to go out the door by about 9:10.  Sunday school starts at 9:30, and since Adam teaches middle school youth, we can't be late.  If August and I aren't ready on time, then we have to drive separately, which is no fun.  Adam spends the morning in preparation for teaching, so August is my responsibility on Sunday mornings.  So, since we slept in, we started off our morning running behind.  After I nursed him, changed his clothes, got myself ready, got the diaper bag ready, hunted for shoes, etc. we were headed to church.  I decided to take August to the nursery for Sunday school for the first time.  He usually stays with me in Adam's class, but lately as he gets older, that is harder and harder to do.  He is very wiggly and just wants to play with everything.  It makes it very hard to focus.  So I took him into the nursery, passed him off to the teacher, and he immediately started screaming.  I searched through his diaper bag and realize I didn't pack everything I needed.  So I leave him with the nursery worker, rush home (in the pouring rain), rush back to church (still pouring), and get back to the nursery to see that he is still screaming.  We are going through a clingy phase.  It's been going on a good month or more.  The nursery teachers are so great with him though.  I'm pretty sure they have more patience for that than I do.  Haha.  So I gave him a bottle when I got back.  I decided I would just try him in the sanctuary during the church service.  He didn't even make it to the actual sermon.  He wanted to sing too apparently, and very loudly at that.  So back to the nursery we go.  I stayed with him since it was a bit busy back there, and I was hoping I could get him to sleep.  No go. 

When we got home this afternoon, I needed to get the house ready for our middle school youth party this evening.  I already had the kitchen cleaned up, I just needed to prep some of the food, sweep the floors, clean the bathroom, and just pick up around the house.  Adam and I also decided to make the students prayer journals as their Christmas present.  We went to Walmart (ugh.) yesterday since I needed to make a return and bought the supplies we would need.  I made the journals for the girls, and Adam made them for the boys.  He is so crafty! :)  Haha, he even admitted that it was kind of fun making them.  We wrote out a prayer inside the front page of the journal specifically for that student.  I wrote one for each of the girls, and Adam wrote one for the boys.  I think doing that showed them how much we care about them and pray for them individually, and it also models to them how to pray.  Not that there is a specific format or that you have to use certain words, but I think sometimes it's hard to know what to pray about if you have not been praying.  I think a prayer journal is beneficial for anyone for a lot of reasons.  1) It's much easier to focus if you are writing down your thoughts. 2) A prayer journal is something you can look back on and see how God answered previous prayers, or how he answered them in a way that was surprising to you.  3) Prayer journals are also a good place to record encounters with God- those moments where you just know that God is speaking through you to someone else or God has purposefully placed you somewhere and used you, etc.  I think those kind of moments are good to look back on in hard times because it solidifies your faith.  I think recording those things is important.  A homemade prayer journal could be a great Christmas gift for a new believer, friend, son/daughter, or anyone really. 

One of the journals Adam made for the boys. 

One of the journals I made for the girls.

I love how you can personalize a prayer journal.  If your child is older, you could let them create their own.  They might be more likely to use it that way.  I have planned on starting a prayer journal for August ever since he was 2 months old, and I still haven't started it.  I want to write prayers for him in it.  Prayers about his salvation, his witness to others, his future, his thought life, his obedience to us and to God, his potential wife, his education, his time management, just everything.  I think it will be neat to give to him when he is older, so that he can see how we have prayed for him through the years, and he can see how those prayers have been answered in his life.

Adam read the Christmas story during the party, and we ate food and played a game.  Well, I missed the game part since I was nursing/bathing a little one. :)  But that's ok.  I missed being part of the fun, but I enjoyed the time with August since we have had such a busy weekend.  I fixed a cheesy rotel dip with chips, cocktail sausages, frozen pizza, cookies, and I let the students bring drinks and other desserts.....it was the party food of champions.  Haha. They seemed to enjoy. Ahh to be in middle school and eat whatever you want without the guilt.  Must be nice. :)  (By the way, am I the only one who has problems with eating too much of the food?  I eat it before they arrive to "test" it, I eat with the students during the party, and then I eat as I am cleaning up the leftovers.  Ughhh....I seriously need to start practicing some self control, because if I do this for the rest of my life, I'm gonna be huge.)

Well I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend.  I will probably be recovering tomorrow, but I also have a lot I still need to get done.  Ummm...Christmas cards anyone?  I have them and haven't mailed them out yet.  That is terrible.  So I HAVE to get on that tomorrow, especially since some of the cards need to make it to Texas!  Ahhh.  Goodnight y'all!  Have a peaceful evening!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vaccinations, Haircut, and Tragedy

Today was a full day.  We had August's 6 month vaccinations this morning.  He is almost 7 and 1/2 months old, but he got his vaccinations today since he had the flu when he was 6 months old.  I know vaccinations are kind of controversial, and I don't think parents need to feel the need to defend their decisions when it comes to vaccines, but we have chosen to vaccinate.  My thought behind vaccinating our kids is that we don't know what the future holds.  We may be called to the mission field in a faraway country where disease is more prevalent than in the U.S., and it will be a huge relief to know that our kids have been vaccinated.  Also, it seems like there are more and more outbreaks of various diseases in the U.S., so I am glad to know that we have prevented as best we can.  I can see the other side of the fence though.  Are vaccinations causing more harm than good?  Is it a government conspiracy? No lie, I wonder about those things sometimes.  But you know I was vaccinated as a child, and I am doing alright.  It's really an individual decision for each parent to make.  I don't feel strongly either way, I just know this is what we have chosen for our family.

Anyway, dunno where that tangent came from.  After his appointment we got some breakfast from Bojangles and headed home for a nap! Oh, by the way, Adam was off work today since he had a vacation day that expires at the end of this year.  So he took today off.  After a nap, I headed to my haircut appointment.  I had just planned on getting an inch or two trimmed off, and I decided literally right before she started cutting that I wanted it chopped off.  I got it chopped off when I was pregnant, and I remember that I loved it.  It was so easy to style and made getting ready a lot faster.  These days I'm all about convenience, but I would like to still have some style.  So I opted for an angled bob.  I'm so rebellious, I know. ;) 

Adam and I had an easy night at home this evening.  August was running a low fever from the vaccines and was a little fussy, but he was able to eat half a banana for supper.  We spent the evening cuddling and loving on each other.  As you know, there was a tragic shooting in Connecticut tonight.  I heard bits of the incident throughout the day, but I didn't really know what had happened.  I heard the full story on the radio for the first time late this afternoon after my haircut when I was sitting in traffic.  I was stunned.  20 children shot....why???  I can't believe it.  I started crying in my car.  Being a parent now means so much more when I hear news like this.  I can't imagine the pain those parents are feeling right now.  I can't imagine.  I don't even know how to offer any condolences.  I don't even know what to say.  I know that God is sovereign.  I know that all of those children are with the Lord right now.  I know that Jesus is holding all of them and has wiped their tears away.  I know He loves them more than anyone could ever love those kids.  But I also know that they are there because of someone's choice.  Someone's selfish, ignorant, satanic choice.  I don't know what that man could have been going through to do that.  I do know that he is getting his punishment right now.  I am scared for him.  I'm scared for his eternal punishment.  I know people wish he was alive so that he could receive the death penalty or that they could shoot him in return, but he is getting his punishment right now.  And I do not even want to think about what it is like for him.  How tragic.  I'm just so in shock about this situation.  I just feel like our schools are not safe anymore.  I know the school that I worked in routinely practiced lock-down drills.  I am so thankful that we were extremely prepared.  Our principal and vice principal did an amazing job at equipping the staff to deal with those situations.  But I know things like this still happen because there is still sin in this world.  I will be praying for those families in the weeks and months to come.

Well, I started this blog post with just wanting to quickly mention a sweet comment that Adam gave me today, and then decided to tell you about our day, and then decided all I could think about were the victims of today's shooting.  That's so sad that I have to type that...."today's" shooting....because it seems like there is one almost every day now. 

I will end with Adam's compliment.  Tonight as we were watching Shark Tank (our favorite show during the week), a Walmart commercial came on.  In the commercial, the lady ended up saving $50.  "I will buy a new pair of shoes!" she exclaimed.  Adam looked over at me and said, "I'm so glad that whenever someone mentions $50, you think of our grocery bill instead of shoes."  That was one of the best compliments that I have ever received.  I am so glad that my husband knows my heart for our home, and my desire to manage our money for God's glory.  I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to finances, but I do try to spend them in a way that would be pleasing to God.  I don't say any of this to toot my own horn, cause God knows I do not have a horn to toot.  It just makes me feel really good to know that Adam notices my efforts and that gives me encouragement to continue to manage our finances well.  Thanks for reading, y'all.  Always feel free to leave a comment.  I love hearing from you.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 10, 2012

August crawls!

Here's what's going on at the Hare house this week!  Someone decided that it was time to do some Marine crawling! Today August is 7 months and 1 week old. He also said "mama" to me the other day right after I said it! What a week! Enjoy the videos!


 P.S. If you can't see these videos, leave a comment and let me know.  We got a new computer with Windows 8 (ugh, in my opinion....thankful for the computer, Windows 8 not so much), and I can't view videos on a lot of websites, so I'm not sure if it's Windows 8 or if it's something else.  Thanks!
Images by Freepik