Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wasting Away...

Today, I've got an assignment: Waste


Today we are talking about a chapter from Jen Hatmaker's book, 7. Waste. I accepted this assignment from the folks over at (In)Courage.  7 is their current Book Club selection.

I read the book several months ago, then when Amazon ran that sucker for a $2.99 download, I ordered it for a few of my friends. Yay for a 2.99 gift!

Really, the whole book is on excessive, wasteful habits: eating, spending, trashing, killing our minds with mind-numbing media. Yah, it's not exactly a 'guilty-pleasure summer beach-read', but it's worth your download, for sure! It'll rock your world.

If you don't know of her, Jen Hatmaker's a bit on the snarky side, freaking hilarious, and she loves Jesus, justice, and people. All of the best qualities in a person, don't you think? Say it!

Seriously, we could be BFFs if not for her hair. She has great hair; I'm pretty sure I would end up hating her. Settle. I kid.

Anywho, some of y'all are well aware that The Spouses just moved. Last week. I watched our belongings get packed up in a moving truck and then I watched it get unloaded into our new house exactly 1,008 miles away.  (More on this later.)

As the contents of cabinets was getting boxed up, I was disturbed at how much stuff we own. Blech. You really see it when you have to move it. 
I even remember thinking about this chapter as I was taking the __th black trash bag down to the road. (If I say how many bags there were, Jen may demand her own book back.)

If this isn't the cutest thing, you're dead inside.
"Mom, I need my bucket! We've got carrots, broccoli, & blueberries!"
I like to think I'm a pretty conservative person. I'm definitely into conserving money, space, and, ya know...calories. I'd rather give stuff away to someone who will use it than have a bunch of clutter around wasting space and collecting dust. I prefer to use plastic bowls rather than plastic storage bags. I've even been known to wash a plastic bag a time or two. I like reusable water bottles and most anything that serves more than one purpose. I prefer local businesses, especially businesses with Christian ownership. I've made my laundry detergent for over 3 years now. I took the girls to a Composting Class with 4-H once. We've had gardens, chickens (that gave us eggs AND chicken dinner!), and Mack. Mack was the bull that went to the freezer. He became a Big Mack. Don't judge. Carnivorous Southerner, here. I even keep my cutesy Ron Jon reusable shopping bags in the car! And, when I forget my bags in the car, I reuse my plastic shopping bags in the trash cans in the bathrooms. 
Corn, squash, green beans from our backyard.
Dude. I'm one step away from dreads and hemp sandals.

Except that I drive an SUV. And, I don't care enough about the plastic use to go back out to my car to retrieve said Ron Jon bags. I don't know where my recycle bins are (at the old house). I know we have some. I keep purchased water bottles for guests, even though we have excellent well water. I buy prepackaged, pre-pre-prepared dinners, and disposable whatever-is-convenient. We've got paper plates, disposable cleaning wipes, and aluminum cans in the trash. I only occasionally remember to turn the water off while brushing my teeth. Check this out: we flush EVERY time we use the toilet! And, then there's the whole Big Mack thing. We eat meat. 

The Dreadlock/ Hemp Sandal Police would never let us into their club.

So, I'm a consumer, not a conserver. And, I just moved from acreage to the burbs. Blessed assurance.

<Enter Jen Hatmaker and "Seven Habits for a Greener Life" business.>
  • Gardening
  • Composting
  • Conserving energy & water
  • Recycling
  • Driving one car
  • Thrifty/ Second-hand shopping
  • Buying only local. "Live here, give here". (p.118)
She is challenging us, in the name of God, the Creator, to conserve the natural resources that God provided for us. We honor Him by respecting what He created. 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
Psalm 24:1

Before 'going green' is a political issue, or a social issue, it's a stewardship issue. We, man and woman, were created AFTER the earth and all that was in it. We were given a message to 'fill the earth and subdue it', not 'fill the earth and consume it'. (Gen. 1:28)  Cultivate the earth. As Christians we should consume only what we need, not to be hippy-minimalists-reality-show types, but because we are so crazy-in-love with the One who provides that which we need!

Jen likened God's earth to our kids' artwork brilliantly. "If I don't preserve their creations right now, one day I'll have bare walls because I squandered these beautiful offerings when they seemed so plentiful".

This is not an effortless task. When was the last time you did something of generational-thinking that was simple? 

"Buying local is often synomous with overspending." (p.141)
Saving money means buying at Walmart.
Buying local means spending a little more.

Or this hypothetical inner-dialogue scenario:

If I cook dinner from scratch every night, spending my days grinding wheat and picking vegetables from my garden my kids will never be able to participate in any after school activities rendering them ineligible for scholarships because they won't be well-rounded students and they won't get to go to a good college and they'll never be a professional athlete or get a decent job and they'll be living here for the rest of their lives!! 


Or, we set an example for the 'tree hugging liberals' that our commitment to the earth goes deeper than theirs because we know the One who spoke it into existence. 

We can tell our own stories, like Jen did, of how "God has captured me for creation care" and then live like you are captured!

Use less, recycle, repurpose, reuse, buy local, buy second hand, garden what you can. (p. 149)

I'm in!
Who's with me!?

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