Growing Spiritually

by: Jeanie Cullip
24/7 MOMS Inspiration Editor

Not to long ago I read that experts predict that America will become cashless. Cash will be as obsolete as the 8 track! Many of us already have phased cash out of their pockets. Checks, Credit cards, telephone transfers, automatic bank drafts, and the good ol debit card has taken it’s place. My debit card gets used all the time. No amount is too big or too small. I do feel silly using it at the corner mini-mart to purchase just the local newspaper. However it works anytime and anywhere. It is always with you ready and waiting for you to use it. They have placed convenience charges in some places to use them. At first I thought that this may discourage me from using it everywhere, but it has not. There is way to much freedom in my debit card.
Yet I have thought of something that might encourage me, something I saw my parents do very well – spend cash.
How hard could it be to manage a cash budget? I put together a list of what we would need for a week. Groceries, allowance, bills, special treat with the kids and a ten dollar buffer just in case I forgot something. Then I drove up to the cash machine pulled out my debit card for the last time and withdrew all that I needed. I was thrilled about my new cash-budget system when I left the bank parking lot. I of course wanted to try it right away!
First I stopped by that corner mini-mart and purchased a newspaper with cash. That felt great knowing that I was not receiving a convenience charge and I was not persuaded to spend another $4.45 to avoid it. I took my children out to lunch for Costco dogs for their special treat cause I had cash. (I really dislike going in and purchasing something with my debit card to get cash back or worse use their cash machine and pay the charge in addition to the fee my bank will tack on cause it was not their machine.) I had forgotten to plan the two dollars to buy what my son needed for school, so I had to dip into my buffer sooner than I had expected. Later that evening I remembered that my children needed new shoes, for soccer was beginning later that week which set me way back, but I was certain that if I shopped frugally I could stretch my dollars over the next 6 days. So the next day I went to the grocery store and there is where my system failed. I was able to purchase the food that we needed but I remembered the other necessities laundry detergent, toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes , fabric softener and they finally had the brand new coconut M&M’s and creamier Carmel Milky Ways that I have been waiting for. When I checked out I was short and I had no debit card, fortunately to save my embarrassment I had my son’s wallet in my purse.
As soon as I left the store I headed home to get my debit card. I returned to the bank and withdrew enough to repay my son and get by the rest of the week. I was for sure that I would make it the next five days. I will spare you all the details that happened the third day but on the fourth day I gave up on this cash budget system and returned my debit card to its rightful home in my purse. I still think that the cash budget system is the most financially responsible method of spending, but it requires a whole lot more discipline and control than I have. I will leave it to those with more experience.
Sometimes that is how I feel about spiritual disciplines like prayer, bible study and fellowship. They are great ideas they are great things to do, however as a mom, putting them to practice can be quite the challenge. I wake up early to read the bible to find that one minute I am learning the beatitudes and the next I am fast asleep on my kitchen table. I begin praying for my children and without a second thought I am creating a to-do list for the rest of my day. I try to get a full nights rest so that I may wake up early to attend morning bible study each Tuesday however my daughter at the age of 10 months wakes as soon as I begin to take a shower, the boys will wake early and cause a major catastrophe and before I know it is 9 am and I have not even had my coffee!
I begin to feel discouraged just as I am with my cash budget system and I start to become tempted with leaving this to those more experience as well, those with older children or those in another season of their life. But God has already thought of this and offered a different solution to my problem.
1 therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works and of the faith to God,
12 In order that you may not grow disinterested and become sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are inheriting the promises.
God’s answer to those who have difficulties with growing spiritually is not to give up or leave it to those with more experience or those with more time. He says that we are to imitate those Christians through faith, practice, and patience. We can learn we can mature and learn these disciplines it just takes time. Jesus knows that it is hard for us, He knows that we struggle and He sympathizes with our weaknesses and responds by giving us mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

And when we do Hebrews chapter 10 verse thirty-five states

Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.

Now that is something you can count on!

Dear Jesus, All to often I put aside the disciplines that are to difficult for me to handle. I admit that that I have become a couch potato in the exercise of my faith so that I may become stronger spiritually so that I may mature. Direct me Lord each day in planning and guide me to balance of good care of my family with consistent prayer, bible study, and fellowship.

Are you growing spiritually? or are you sitting still? What are you doing each day? Discuss here on the 24/7 MOMS Community.

Blessings & Giggles to you & yours,

Stay- at- Home Mommy & Writer

Jeanie Cullip is a happily married, stay-at-home mom of 3 children of her own and 2 step-children. Finding joy, love & hope right in her own back yard and sharing it with her neighbors near and far. She is a freelance writer residing in Gig Harbor. Find out more on her website jeanie cullip, writer.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

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