"The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."
Isaiah 32:17

My daughter has been begging me to let her open a bank account for several months now. Jordyn is twelve and a half and has tremendous self-discipline. I see a true entrepreneurial spirit in her, even at her young age. She decided she needed to make business cards for her career as a babysitter/mother's helper. Mommy's Li'l Helper has helped her make over $200 to deposit in her bank account.

Jordyn and I walked into our local bank the other day and opened her own account. She was given a booklet to record her deposits and withdrawals. Before we left, I helped her record the amount she had deposited, explaining to her that the booklet would let her know, at a moment's glance, what her balance was in her account. She carefully wrote the numbers in her best handwriting and gave me a grin as we walked out.

I have thought of that little booklet several times since then. Without realizing it, I make deposits and withdrawals everyday in my relationships. Like all of us, I wish that the deposits outnumbered the withdrawals, growing my account. Withdrawals come in angry words with my kids (especially now that it is summer and we are together 24/7), impatience with my husband, and a lack of following up on my friendships. There are times when I realize that I have not made a sizable deposit in some time and my account in each of those areas is shrinking. Before long, I am overdrawn, weary, and feeling horrible about myself. I have wondered why my children do not listen to me and talk in a harsh tone to each other and then the Lord reminds me of my own tone.

Making positive deposits is difficult because I must go against my sinful nature to achieve them. Those deposits require me as mommy to read one more story when all I want to do is fall into bed after a long day. They require me to do one more load of laundry, play a game of kickball outside in the heat, make another meal, fill the dishwasher yet again. Deposits require me to take a fast from poisonous words that would hurt those I love or refrain from the words, "I told you so!" to someone who didn't listen to me even though my advice was asked for. It's ironic how a positive deposit can feel like a withdrawal when the reality is dying to myself grows me more in the image of Christ and benefits not only me, but all those in whose lives I make deposits.