HELPING THE WORLD BEGINS IN OUR OWN HOME
THIS POST IS MY CONTRIBUTION TO BLOG ACTION DAY.
I can get really caught up in statistics (110 Billion plastic bags used in the US each year), horror stories (animals thrown alive into boiling vats of water in slaughterhouses), and other issues. I can get really overwhelmed, trying to figure out what my part is in caring for the environment. I remember reading a passage in Blue Like Jazz (yes, I know I am supposed to underline the title of a book, but I can't get my computer to do it. Sorry, all you english grammar people) that basically said that (we) white, middle class, christan republicans idea of helping the poor is to play in a charity golf tournament...but that isn't what Jesus had in mind when he said to feed the poor. Helping people is messy and complicated and neccessary. I don't even KNOW any poor people. Not one. That bothers me.
I started thinking about that. While I shouldn't ignore what is going on in other parts of the world, in many ways, my impact can be a lot greater (at least at this point in my life, with three small children) if I focus on the people and environment close to home. First, my children and my husband. Secondly, people in our church and neighborhood. Third, the greater community at large. There are people half a block away from me that live under the poverty level. I don't need to go to Africa to find people who are hungry. Here are some ways that I already am or plan to begin to have a positive impact on the environment and community...locally.
-Pray for opportunities to minister to people who are suffering (emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.). Pray that I will be aware of the people around me and look for ways to serve them.
-Get up early. Have devotions. Focus on my walk with Christ, so I may better serve my husband, teach my children, encourage others.
-Stop being critical of others. Learn to embrace and appreciate different views, ideas, and ways of doing things. Don't have an attitude of superiority
-Be thankful. Have a heart of gratitude. Learn to want less. Live simply. Teach my children to do the same.
-Pick up litter in our neighborhood
-Focus on the other R's. I already recycle...but I need to focus my efforts on reducing and reusing, so that I have less to recycle.
-Encourage the wildlife in our yard. Make birdfeeders, have water available.
-Donate to the foodbank, work at the soup kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Shoebox ministry, etc.
-Shop locally as much as possible
-Participate in community events (First Friday Downtown, Story hour at the library, etc.)
-Teach my children the importance of caring for the earth and the people around us. Lead by example
-Pay it forward. Simple, random acts of kindness can really brighten someone's day. Smile, hold a door, ask how someone is doing...and then wait for the answer. Buy the meal of the person in line behind me at the drive through.
-Open my home to others. Practice hospitality on a weekly basis.
-Grow my own garden
-Make my own instead of buy, as much as possible. Laundry detergent, cleaners, food, etc.
-Share the bounty with others. Double the recipe and share with the college boys next door (I am sure they miss their mama's cooking!), other neighbors, friends.