Saturday, October 27, 2007

Purchasing Power

O God,

We've wasted
we've complained
we've grumbled.
We've misused our resources
We've confused
our needs
with our wants.
For these sins
Father, forgive us.
Help us
reset our priorities
according to Your will.

--Norma Johnson
Lobatse, Botswana

I have been really intrigued lately about how my personal shopping habits have a direct effect on our brothers and sisters around the world. When I support coffee, chocolate, and sugar that is Fair Trade Certified I am helping to give those South American families a better life and better communities. When I buy local goods, I am supporting my local economy, local families, and the health of my local environment. When I choose to stop buying "Made in China" products, I am supporting better, healthier products for my children, the economy of my country, and saying no to pollution, sweatshops and the evils of child labor. When I choose to eat less meat I am reducing my impact on the environment and eating a more balanced diet. Organics has become huge in America in the past five years because we started buying and supporting organic foods which has made the food industry supply more of it. Our buying choices influence things.

We are a global community and our choices affect our brothers and sisters around the world. It's about thinking about how to love others in a new way through how I spend, how I eat, and how I use my time. Living simply is a another avenue to love God and love others instead of ourselves.

I ventured into Ten Thousand Villages today and purchased the cookbook that I have wanted for about 10 years. It is the More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen is filled with recipes and suggestions by Mennonites on "how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources". Here is an excerpt from the foreword:

The More-with-Less Cookbook will best reach its goal of helping Christians respond in a caring-sharing way in a world with limited food resources when placed in full view of family members rather than simply adding it to the collection on the kitchen shelf. It can constantly remind your family of its central theme, "There is a way which gives not less but more." More joy, more peace, less guilt; more physical stamina, less overweight and obesity; more to share and less to hoard for ourselves.

I look forward to the challenge of eating more simply and knowing that in some small way it makes a difference. It will make a difference in my thankfulness for what I have, more mindful of sharing with others, and sensitive to the environment and the families of the world.

Here's to learning how to be better stewards of our money, our purchases, and the daily choices that we make that influence our families, communities and the rest of the planet. Here's to learning how to love our global neighbor in do-able, tangible ways. Here's to loving the Lord and worshipping Him in a new way by how we view His creation, His people, and His heart.

Lord, give me the grace to love You and to love my neighbor as myself in my heart, in my mind, and in my daily choices.


Tami said...

Hi Amy, I am a new commenter, but a long time reader. I just have to tell you that your post spoke to me and was such an encouragement. We are on a similar path. I am going to look for the book you recommended. Thanks for the info. Blessings to you, Tami

Erin said...

Amy, I was introduced to the More With Less Cookbook 4 years ago at a church dinner. It is one of my favorites. :) Make sure you try the Homemade Hamburger Helper and Dutch Apple Bread. Erin

LadyRed said...

It is so great to see the younger
generation pick up the torch. I've raised five kids...did it simply because I was a stay at home mom. But, the kids are gone...I want to go more meatless, more recycling and less plastic. Two tips: I bought glass casserole dishes at yard sales...and threw out the plastic. I'm also on the email list for gov't recalls: Mom's that buy secondhand need to keep an eye on recalls.

Mama Monk said...

Wonderful! I too, have enjoyed the three Ten Thousand Villages cookbooks. I just picked up "Simply in Season" a couple months ago and use it often. Thank you for the reminder of how my purchases impact the world. Always good to keep in perspective.

Courtney said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Amy. We're on the same quest! In fact, I just came to the same realization recently and posted about it. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for all of your insight!

Mrs. Pivec said...

Oh, Aimee, I recognized the quote from the beginning of this post right away. I have had Longacre's book for years and love it so much! I even ran a simple living group based around her other book, "Living More With Less." I read it every year! I know you'd love it!

AIMEE said...

Mrs. Pivec, I want that book SO bad!! I have searched for it at thrifts and always have my eye out for it! I probably will just buy it online! I have never known anyone to read so I am glad to know you have and love it.