Monday, September 17, 2012

Care Challenge

As I posted earlier, our family has been exploring a Care of Creation theme over the past week or so.

The results? Actions amplified, more frequent action. Conscious talk with our kids, to define an action of God or identify things he encourages us to participate in, too.

Concrete actions around our house:
  • A backyard tour and scavenger hunt, finding things that God made.
  • Picking up litter and putting it where it should have been in the first place.
  • Recyling household 'waste.'
  • Leaving insects and spiders alone outdoors - quelling the stomping urge in my toddler.
  • Biking, walking in the stroller. Talking about why.
  • Splashing in puddles - a delightful interruption to our walk.
  • Visiting the large zoo and local wildlife rehabilitation center.
  • Hanging up damp laundry together, for air drying; using resources more wisely.
  • Reading the Genesis creation account, and Noah's care and obedience.
  • Helping my five month old touch leaves, bark, sticks, and smell herbs, flowers, and bark.
"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters." Psalm 24:1

Results of our scavenger hunt, plus whale and bird to represent animals.

Captivated by the pine needles' texture
Heart love is our two year old pulling down the 'God things' box and sorting through everything. She informed Grandma that the crabapple is a "God thing." Yup, God made crab apples. I love her initiative to share her learning in some way.

I'm learning a lot through the spiritual discipline of Care of Creation, too. Several internal conflicts have been revealed.
  •  How to experience a wide variety of wildlife in the suburbs? Does a zoo live out a redemptive ethic, mending the brokenness?
  • How can I (and my kids) grow in the realization that all things and people created belong to God and not humans?
    • The 'God things' box simplifies and limits God's creative power too much.
    • Banishing insects from our house with a final squish draws a barrier and neglects that these things belong not to us, but to God.
    • Sharing our garden produce starts blurring boundaries, and so does inviting others into our 'private' property. Will it catch on?

Reading to Evan about the sights and smells of autumn
Some ideas still remain:
  • A 'thank you' day or habit. Thanking God for the sheep who give you wool, for the cows who give you milk, for the trees that give you furniture, etc.
    • We recently read the book "Feeding the Sheep" by Leda Schubert. Guess it's time to check it out again!
  • Participating in God's creative acts, making something marred and ugly by humans beautiful again. Planting flowers in a bare spot. Becoming familiar with a distressed suburban spot and picking up the litter, watching the progress, learning about the roots causes, etc.
Our garden currently

"Creation is God's gift, and it is to be nurtured and maintained with love and care."

How about you? What would you do to honor the Creator?

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