Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Slow to Anger

Being a mother comes with so many blessings. There are the obvious ones, like kissing tiny toes, hearing first words, and watching little ones grow into young ladies and gentlemen who love the Lord. Parenting also teaches me so much about myself, for example, when I respond impatiently (OK, angrily) to ever-piling messes and never-ending bedtimes. My God, on the other hand, is slow to become angry with me.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

photo credit: wikipedia.org


Aren’t you glad God isn’t like us?? What are your favorite “ways” of the Lord, that are not like our ways?

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Change for the Better?

coins

image credit: office.microsoft.com

Well!  Paying with cash this past week wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be!  As planned, I used my debit card for my weekly grocery trip, then got cash for any food purchases for the rest of the week (except for our anniversary dinner).  Not only did I spend about 20% less than I usually do on food in a week, the experiment was a wonderful lesson in delayed gratification. Here is how we did:

  1. No mid-week food shopping at the grocery store.  We didn’t run out of food, and had more than enough to eat for meals and in-between. It makes me wonder why I always feel the need for those extra stops.
  2. No driving-thru to pass the time.  We have 50 minutes to fill while one of my kids is at an activity three times a week. Instead of amusing ourselves with food, we drove back home, ran errands, or one time we went inside to watch the lesson. (Earlier in the year, we would go to the playground to get some exercise ourselves. But with shorter says upon us, it’s too dark now.) The room was crowded, and my three-year-old wiggled like three-year-olds do, but it was a better use of our time than French fries.
  3. There was a lot less asking for treats. In fact, one evening after being out for errands near dinner time, I wanted to stop for a snack.  “But we didn’t ask!” one protested.  We weren’t going to a favorite spot, and he didn’t want to waste our limited funds on a place we didn’t like that much.  He wanted to save it. “Is this coming out of our food cash?” they wanted to know.  It did, and it honestly wasn’t worth it. The line was so long, we may have eaten sooner if we had just gone home.
  4. While there was less asking for treats, there was a great deal of discussion and planning of treats.  I would hear them say things like, “If we don’t get anything the rest of the week, we will have enough money for frozen yogurt on Saturday.”  That’s what they really wanted, and they were willing to wait for it, if required to.  When Saturday came and I handed over the last of the cash to pay for the yogurt, we were actually happy about it! It was a real treat, and we appreciated it.  I am always lecturing the kids about self-control, but I need to give them a chance to actually practice it!  And I need to practice it myself.
Does this mean it is actually possible to change?? It doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it? Spending a few less dollars on food.  But using my debit card for everything (and not being terribly thoughtful about it) is a long-held habit, so the fact that I was able to do something a little differently, at least for a few days, is somewhat encouraging. It’s encouragement that I need, honestly, because I do get very discouraged about other long-held habits (like worrying, or being impatient) that I want to change but haven’t.  But bit by bit, I know that He is working on me.  One day at a time.
~~For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you (and me!) will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6, NASB)~~

Thanks for stopping by,

Susan

P.S.  And yes, I am going to stick with using cash for food! 🙂

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Time to Break the Piggy Bank!

broken piggy bank

image credit: office.microsoft.com

As I shared last week, reviewing my spending over a period of time showed me how frequently I was spending money on food, without realizing it. The problem with going to the grocery store too many times per week is that, picking up “just a few things” often adds up to more than I was planning on spending. My Saturday grocery total is pretty consistent, but I haven’t been factoring in what I spend on mid-week trips. I also wonder whether I’m setting the best example for my children, for example, when French fries are used to pass the time while one child is at an activity, or as a bribe to a whiny toddler. (I’m not proud of it; just being honest. :)) But I see here that the kids and I both have an opportunity here to learn some self-control and discipline. My kids may also learn that anyone can change, including grown-ups.

~~Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6, NIV)~~

Now, I am a long-time debit card user, and while it is very convenient, I admit that the convenience comes with risk. As I’ve experienced myself, it’s very easy to swipe a card when you know (or, you think) that there’s money in the account. So what I plan to do this week is to use CASH ONLY (gasp!) for food purchases. I will get some cash from the ATM tomorrow, and that’s gonna be it for the week. It will have to cover impromptu groceries, frozen yogurt, chicken nuggets, whatever goes into our mouths.  I will allow two exceptions: 1) We went out of town this weekend, so I did not do my regular shopping on Saturday. I plan to do that tomorrow, using my debit card. 2) Tomorrow night we will go to dinner as a family to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary! (Praise our merciful and gracious Lord!) That will go on the debit card, too.

I will also get the kids involved. They’re going to know that, if we run out of money on Wednesday, there will be no French fries until next week! I’m already a little nervous thinking about it. But I’m also looking forward to it.  I’m curious to see how they respond.  I’m predicting that one of my kids will be very concerned about holding on to the money all week. Will they all be like that? (I already know the answer for the three-year-old). And where will I fall on the saving spectrum? I will let you know next week!

Thank you for stopping by,
Susan

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