A Family Transformation


Our family has not always been green. Some people who know us now are surprised to hear this when it comes up. Our family’s story of moving toward greener living has been a faith-filled learning process.

I guess you could say we were a typical American family: husband and wife with three kids, decent income and living beyond our means. We were recycling and thought we were “doing our part” in caring for God’s Creation, but the truth is, we were not being good stewards of all that He had given us, including our world. Over time and through different experiences we set out to save money and found that we learned along the way to be thoughtful caretakers of God’s handiwork, this planet we call home.

More and more we have come to the realization that the path to living green begins in our heart and our mind. Truly, it is a choice. We consider every purchase that we make, now thinking through the sort of imprint we will leave; whether from the waste a product has, to energy it takes to recycle something.

Some of the most basic choices at the grocery store are items that are over-packaged. I have come to a point where I cannot even buy gum because of the packaging and waste that it has. I instead choose to buy mints that are NOT individually wrapped in a tin (that can be recycled). We have also stopped buying paper towels as the messes we used them for could be cleaned just as well with a kitchen towel.

Our quest toward greener living eventually brought us to composting and beginning a garden. This effort helped us save on the garbage we were accumulating, and growing our own herbs was a huge money saver for great cooking! Another way we have moved toward greener living is by purchasing used items as opposed to new. From furniture to clothing, toys and décor, there are many ways to save money by going green.

This past fall, we heard about a new Bible on National Public Radio called The Green Bible. I mentioned that I would be interested in having this and, lo and behold, I received a copy Christmas morning. After reading the Introduction by Dr. J Matthew Sleeth, I had to share it with the entire family (and several friends, too!). We were so moved by his testimony and willingness to surrender an extravagant life to care for Creation. Dr. Sleeth’s passion and zeal ignited us to look further into how can we greater make an impact, not only in our own family, but in our community, our church, and our country.

God has stirred in our family a desire to help share Dr. Sleeth’s timely message to those in our Church as I think that we Christians have been “behind the times” in acknowledging that God calls us to action in caring for the Earth. As Christians we see that moving towards green living is important for several reasons. First, we do have a planet that is in need of revival and care. Sadly, we are learning the consequences of past generations’ lack of stewardship of God’s Creation. Second, we are responsible for teaching the next generation how to be wise caregivers for creation. Third, and most importantly, we should actively obey God and honor the craftsmanship of His hands (Psalm 19:1). But will we? Let us rise to the call God has given us and believe that we will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

By Carolyn Reilly

Carolyn Reilly and her husband, Ian, make their home in Gainesville, FL, and enjoy the joys of parenthood with their four children.