Thursday, August 7, 2008

Finally, I have gotten it together enough to address this comment. I had to go line-by-line as there was just too much to say. Feel free to throw bricks. :-)

Anonymous said...

I become disgusted with anyone who drives an SUV or other gas-guzzling car, who does not reduce their consumption, etc.

Do I drive a gas-guzzling car? Oh, yes, I do. There’s no way to call a 1999 Suburban anything but a gas-guzzler, as my husband will mournfully tell you as he watches the balance in our fuel budget dip lower and lower each month.

In our case, our family actually could squeeze into a larger-styled minivan. For several years, we drove just such a contrivance. We moved up to the Suburban when we began our adoption process; not knowing when we would be adding children or how many children we’d be adding led us to assume that sooner and bigger were our best options. We purchased the vehicle used and have filled it to capacity quite frequently. I think it was money well spent as we have actually been able to cart two entire families around from time to time or take children from other families to events, therefore reducing overall emissions.

Unless you used cloth diapers, recycle just about everything, and grow, preserve, and cook most of your own food, YOU are NOT being a good steward of creation.

I do, in fact, use cloth diapers. I am also forced by my city to recycle even the tiniest shred of recyclable material due to our strict limitations on how much each household can put out for weekly trash. Our city is so anti-family that, in fact, trash pick-up criteria was established based upon the “output” of two adults and one child. My family manages to stay within those limits 80% of the time. I know this because I’ve actually been keeping track, just so I could report back to you on how large our carbon footprint is.

Speaking of carbon footprints ... my family’s actually is not large enough to be able to grow our own food. By choice, we live not on sprawling acreage, but in a modest, 1,500 square foot townhome. By converting the garage into usable space, we’ve managed to add 300 square feet to our house without increasing the amount of impermeable surface our family requires in order to live. I was able to locate some demographics for my area, and was shocked to see that a family of 6 (our current size) is most likely to occupy a home of 2,300 square feet. That’s a lot of heating, cooling and the dreaded impermeable surface.

The Lord has led us to specific ways to care for His creation, and we follow His lead there. As I’ve stated, we do not own a large home. We also spend the money that the Lord has put into our hands in a careful manner by not supporting certain practices and by educating interested parties about the whys and hows of those choices. We believe that this is a far more effective tool of stewardship than simply slapping a “Save the Salmon!” sticker on every public water fountain we see.

Stewardship means caring for creation and NOT being wasteful and selfish. Having a huge family and being wasteful and consumptive is just pure selfishness.

Ironically, most people I know with large families consume LESS and waste LESS than those I know with two or fewer children. A part of this, clearly, is necessity. Dividing the pie of your income, time, etc., into four pieces versus six has different results. More pie for everyone!!!

On a deeper level, though, I see a basic understanding in larger families that more can be done with less. Appliances age and are kept up rather than sent to the dump in favor of the newest, snazziest model. An investment of money up front for a supply of cloth diapers can be used for five children, instead of hundreds of boxes of disposables over the course of the diapering years. Clothes are handed down. Furniture is inherited. Food is purchased in containers less likely to be single-serving packaged. All of this adds up, but is often overlooked. Larger families do not always, I think, actually consume more raw goods--at least not on the same per capita that they are consumed by the majority of smaller American families.

Am I selfish? Oh, absolutely. But you can’t tell me that someone who paid $26 for their really cute imported-by-a-free-trade-agency-and-handmade-by-a-tribe-in-Botswana grocery tote isn’t, on some level, just as selfish. We’re all sinners. We’re all selfish. And that’s just how it is.

Oh, and as far as the quiverfulll reasons for having a large family, PLEASE! Who interpreted that part of the bible?

The Holy Spirit interpreted it for me, personally. And while what He spoke to my heart led us to adoption as a way to fill that quiver, He has spoken to many others in many different ways. To some, He has said, “Your quiver is full! Enjoy the one child I have given you!” To others, it’s, “Baby number 10 is on the way! Rejoice!” Some Christians use birth control and know that the Holy Spirit has given them peace about that. Some have been deeply convicted to never impede God’s process in that area. Who is right? Who is wrong? I say ...How good is our God that He speaks to us personally!

I could interpret it in many different ways if I THOUGHT I was supposed to "interpret" it.

I come from a tradition that discouraged personal interpretation of the Bible. Since having found a faith that encourages such, I have to say that I have been amazed at how trustworthy the Holy Spirit actually is. I encourage you to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) and see what God leads you to in His Word.

ALso, you may want to read more of the gospel of Paul, especially where he writes that those who are Chrisitans are best to NOT marry and to NOT have children, as they are distractions from what is the righteous way to live (e.g., a Christ-like life of piety and prayer, whether one was a MAN or a WOMAN, there were NO admonishments that women were lesser than men). ONLY THOSE who were too weak to resist temptation were told that marriage would be an option, but clearly Paul indicated that being unmarried and childless was preferable.

Yes, Paul clearly suggests that IF you can not shake off the lusts and longings of this world, then it is preferable to marry. BUT ... he also fails to recant any of God’s earlier admonishments to be fruitful and multiply or to be blessed by the gifts of children He sends you. Clearly, throughout the history of God’s people, it has been both necessary and good to reproduce. It has also been necessary and good to turn to the Lord and ask Him what His will is for you. I believe that if He leads you to marriage, that is because His will for you is such. If He leads you to a life of abstaining from marriage, then that is also His good and perfect will.

Paul is an amazing man and a powerful example of one type of individual that God used to spread the gospel. There are others, of course--married others. Let’s not forget them.

DO any of you people read those parts of the scripture???? NO, your kind only want to interpret those pieces that uphold your selfish, wasteful ways of life.

I believe that I’ve done a reasonable job supporting my conviction that my lifestyle is neither wasteful nor non-Biblical. But don't take my word for it. Grab your Bible, ask the Lord to open your heart and your eyes, and see where He takes you. You just might be surprised.


Gayle said...

You did a great job of biblically backing up your lifestyle.

Usually when we get letters like this people don't really want to hear our reasons. It's quite obvious that this person is carrying some bitterness towards someone or maybe even an organization. If it's any comfort I don't believe their attack was personal I bet there's quite a backstory to their opinions.

Keep up the great work in your family and the Kingdom!

Face to the Sunshine said...

Amen, and kindly spoken. <3

Mary Ellen Barrett said...


Luke said...


That is an excellent response. I would not have been so kind and gentle in my response. Wonderfully done!


~ Angi :) said...

Bravo, Girl! Toe to toe with dignity and grace.

. . .Or was that Grace? As in Mary Grace? MG?


ah, of a certainty, it 'twas not.

It was *grace* all right:


Sarah said...

Very well-worded response to an anonymous coward. Now I'll have to tab back to see what elicited this person's hostile comment.

(MrsPianoMan on SL forums)

Katie said...

I'm delurking to say that your life is anything but selfish! I'm always inspired by your posts. As a single girl who feels like fostering/adoption may be some where way in the future...I admire you!

Rachel said...

Well done, MG. Not that you owed that explanation to anyone. YOU know what the Lord is doing in your life. On another note, thanks for the Old Schoolhouse tip. I'm a big fan of your blog.