January 5, 2024

Calendar and Cash

Written by Boyd Bailey

Silence is a gift we can give each other to better experience the Lord’s affirming love.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 5, 2024

We should make plans—counting on God to direct us. Proverbs 16:9, TLB

My wife Rita and I have followed a regular routine for most of our marriage. Short-term and long-term calendar commitments and financial obligations are not thrilling topics to discuss; however, investing the time to clarify saves us tons of misunderstanding and conflict. Weekly, normally Sunday afternoons, we find a quiet place shielded from screens to look each other in the eyes and discuss what we each have as a priority for the upcoming week. Eating healthy is a priority, so we nail down what nights we will eat at home and what preparation is required. We take turns being in charge of the meals. Without meal planning, we default to unhealthy choices; my downfall is chips and salsa. Finances always lurk in the background, needing attention. I used to think I could ignore hard budgeting conversations, and the tension would go away. Of course, I learned better to have hard discussions sooner and not wait until we are overly stressed by waiting to make spending adjustments later. Weekly connections lessen calendar/cash concerns.

Another annual routine is an overnight getaway once a year to discuss the calendar and finances for the upcoming twelve months. The mistake I made early on was to list two dozen goals I wanted to pursue in my over-exuberant manner while only stressing Rita out. She would rather discuss three or four goals for the year that are attainable than strive over unrealistic expectations. So, I learned, for example, to set aside one day a week to be available for my four sons-in-law and eight grandsons, and Rita, nudging herself out of her comfort zone, prayed and planned two overseas mission trips, one which included our 14 and11-year old granddaughters. We also increased our giving goals to support Christian ministries, friends, and family in need. Increasing exercise to five days a week (a blend of cardio and strength) with consistent weekly meal planning has become an ongoing goal to work on together and experiment with a variety of formats. Thinking and praying for the upcoming year as a couple can be fun and fulfilling.

Most of all, we collaborate on ways we can grow in our faith walk with Jesus Christ. We both desire an inner working of the Spirit that produces the fruit of the Spirit in outward love and service to others. Some years, we individually read the Daily Walk Bible and discussed what we were learning. One year, Rita attended the Sustainable School of Faith, followed by a year of small group experience with the Wellspring Group. In both learning environments, she grew in understanding and resting in her identity in Christ, as well as expanding her capacity to be loved and to love. A book club that reads Christian Classics was one of my annual goals that has since started a second book club. We meet monthly to discuss life and how the books apply to life. Rita and I both plan a couple of one-day and three-day silent retreats hosted by a Trappist Monastery. Silence is a gift we give each other to better experience the Lord’s affirming love.

Whatever season of life you are experiencing, consider an intentional plan for how you invest your time and money. Better to have ongoing conversations that allow you to review how you are doing with your agreed-upon goals while having the grace and flexibility to adjust as you go. Celebrate progress and refrain from beating yourself up for not perfectly attaining what you started out to accomplish. Most of all, make it a goal to grow in grace with God the Father, Son, and Spirit. Collaborate with another person so you can encourage one another throughout the year, praying together and serving in your community. Consistency brings added blessings!

“Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty” (Proverbs 21:5, TLB).


Heavenly Father, give me your plan of how to invest my time and resources for your kingdom through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Consider reading the Daily Walk Bible over the next 12 months.

Related Reading

Psalms 20:4; Proverbs 15:22, 19:21; Luke 9:51, 14:28-30; Acts 2:23

Worship Resource

Lenny LeBlanc: There is None Like You


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