Hello everyone. I’m back with a lovely book that is teaching me how to be a holiday grown up who cares about the planet, while celebrating the planet maker and loving well those this dear planet maker made. This must read, The Seven Days of Christmas: A season of generosity is available at www. JenHatmaker.com.
Here are the themes I loved...
1. Fall in love with the call to be a Christian community known for a different kind of beauty, the kind that heals & inspires.
2. “If enough of us decided to share, we would unleash a torrent of justice to sweep away disparity, extreme poverty and hopelessness.”
3. With the average life span lasting 25,000 days, we have this one shot at living to expand the kingdom, fighting for justice. We will stand before Jesus with none of our luxuries, and we’ll have one moment to say, “This is how I lived.” (I know these are mostly Jen's words, but I mushed them together to represent the themes that will change the way we do this life. Period.)
Here are the real-life family challenges we are happy to engage:
1. We’re giving away 7 items per day for 30 days. My husband, Ty, kept challenging that he’d give away my plants—my vibrant, verdant green plants. Monster. Not Christmas-y! However, the t-shirts, functional markers, books we’ve loved are moving to worthy homes along with the coats, clothes and games we’ve outgrown. We will also get rid of a handful of items sentimental to us so that there is a move toward giving beyond the convenience of releasing what we don’t use.
2. We are giving to a football banquet at a local high school where most families live at the poverty level. My dear pal and her husband, who is the head football coach, led this team through a history making season. It’s time to get the party on and they want to do it big for these guys.
3. We’re of the belief that our money started out as God’s money. We live in the 1% group with loads of options. I am happy to help amazing non-profits that enter into the lives of beautiful people and intelligent communities here and across the globe, with options for sustainable income and merciful giving. There is no way I would be where I am without someone believing in my potential. It just makes sense to do the same for someone else.
4. Once gardening season hits, we are going to compost and plant.
5. Farmers Markets will be our new places to shop (shame on me for not doing this earlier). Colorado winters make this a seasonal event.
6. We’ll dine at local eateries and bring our glass containers for leftovers.
7. We’ll shop second-hand, which was an economical decision made when I was working three jobs and paying off huge student loans for my lovely New York City private university to get a masters in the lowest paying sector of professions. (I lack strategy sometimes.) I still love those finds. When I get compliments on them, I say, “Good Will, 2002.” No one judges.
I will use my favorite line in closing, “I’m done separating ecology from theology, pretending they don’t originate from the same source. . .We should fulfill our calling to be caretakers of the earth regardless of whether global warming is real or there are holes in the ozone layer or three non-human species becoming extinct each day. Our vocation is not contingent on results or the state of the planet. Our calling simply depends on our identity as God’s response-able human image bearers.” (134, 136)
Thank you, Jen Hatmaker, for making a way for us to celebrate holidays in a way that bends towards the appropriate posture of gratitude for what we already have and in acceptance of the fragile reality of what waste and over production has done to the earth and to the people we are called to protect and restore with dignity, choice and control. We stand with you. Don’t we, beloved people? XOXO, dear ones.
For ways to continue conscious consumption, please visit these websites which are watchdog groups: Not For Sale, change.org, and free2work.org. Divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions by going to www.divestinvest.org. There are so many nonprofit organizations that create sustainable income—Free The Girls, Kiva, Mission to El Salvador, and the Starfish Project are some of my favorites. Consider how you can get involved in supporting these worthy ventures.
PS—How will you commit to conscious consumption & simplification this season and in the year ahead? PLEASE share so I can keep working at this! Thank you and much, much love & comfort to you and yours always & forever. Amen.