caring for creation while caring for family

The Challenge: Smaller footprint, larger hand print

All people have a responsibility to care for God’s creation and this earth; it is the first instruction God gave man (Genesis 1:26, 2:15) and part of the greatest commandments to both love God and others.  (Read more about this here.) I want to do that, but sometimes I feel like it is just too much with the constant pressures of this fast paced world.  Perhaps you are like me and want to find ways to live greener with a lighter footprint (negative impact) and a larger hand print (positive influence) on our world, but are at a loss of how to do it.

This series is a chronicling of how our family is attempting to do just that – lessen our impact and live in a way that blesses God and others.  You are probably familiar with the phrase “leave this place better than you found it.”  I know my parents drilled that into me whenever camping or visiting friends and I am guilty of saying the same things to my kids and students.  That is a great philosophy for life. But wherever we go, we make footprints – even just existing on the planet creates an impact. That is not a bad thing – that is just a reality of life. I know that I will have both a positive and a negative impact on my environment, my neighborhood, family, community, planet… My hope is to increase the positive while decreasing the negative, and, in so doing, glorify God.

The Challenge to strive for excellence in how we treat creation - one small change at a time.There are many things our family already does to live a greener, lighter footprint, life, but there are so many more things we can, and should, do.  I often justify our “less than perfect but better than average” way of life by saying that “at least I am better than so-and-so”.  I don’t know about you, but I am tired of comparing myself to others and being merely “better than average”.  That is no way to live my life! I want to run this race of life with excellence in all that I do.  I know I will be far from perfect and  will make many, many mistakes, but unless I strive for excellence, I will continue to live a complacent life in “better than average” land.


The challenge I am extending to you, dear reader, is to join my family on this adventure.  Let’s stop coasting through life being somewhat better than average.  I don’t want to live my life that way.  I want to – I need to – be constantly learning, improving, striving to be more.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV

We are adopting new habits and trying some new ways of doing things in our household this year. Hopefully these things will inspire you to follow in our smaller footsteps.  Because honestly, my one family making a few changes isn’t going to make a big difference overall. Unless… if we all start to adopt small changes, one step at a time, these small things will add up and change our world.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

So… who’s with me?



bottledwaterCheck out: The first small change with a very big impact – saying goodbye to disposable bottled water…

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  1. Darling, just one way that we are doing better about adding to the garbage dump is to USE CLOTH NAPKINS at our meals. Just think of how many paper napkins are used once and thrown away. It used to be that around the family table, each person had their own napkin “ring” and napkin, that they used for all the meals that day, or perhaps longer if they were not messy eaters. Each person folded, or rolled their napkin and put it in their ring at their place. It’s fun to have a different shaped or color napkin ring for each child. You can make homemade napkin rings (or each child can make his own) by cutting rounds from toilet paper tubes, plastic wrap/ aluminum foil tubes. They can be decorated by using crayons or glue or torn colored paper on their tube piece inside and out. After coloring or pasting, cover napkin ring with white Elmer’s glue or decoupage (they will last longer and be more sturdy).

    • Amy

      January 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I love it! We just started using cloth napkins and I love it – the napkin ring craft sounds like fun! I will have to do that with the kids!

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