Please bear with me as I write this...sometimes what I feel makes complete sense until I write it out. I would also point out that what makes sense for me doesn't have to make sense for you...God gives us each a particular passion in this life; He doesn't make a one-size-fits-all list of convictions because we each are different and deal with life differently.
Anyway, now that I have made no sense at all and you're totally on the edge of your seat (right? Or am I missing something?) let's talk about stewardship.
There are two different ways that God addresses stewardship in the Bible: one is stewardship over money and possessions and another is stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Jesus talks about using your money and talents wisely in several parables and teachings. God told Adam and Eve that they had dominion over all in the Garden (Genesis 1:26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, and let them rule
over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the
earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground."), and Paul reminds us that because Christ is in us and Christ has dominion over all things, that we also have dominion over all things [1 Corinthians 3:21-23"So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (emphasis mine)].
As a housewife, I take my "job" seriously. (Though, honestly, you wouldn't be able to tell from the way my house looks today...ahem...) One of the most active ways that I "work" is in trying to find ways to save my family money. No, I'm not into coupon clipping, even though it might help. Sometimes. I do look for the best deals for my money, though, even when I spend it on me. I'm not much of a budget-maker, but we do live within our means. When I find a new way to save money that makes sense, I get really excited. Ridiculously, even. :)
I guess that's why cloth diapers make sense for our family. We really don't have money to spend each week buying disposables (other than the packages we received at baby showers, we have bought one extra pack of newborn diapers...and hopefully we'll be able to donate two packages of size 1's to the Smithville, Mississippi, relief effort). Instead, we spent just over $100 (again, money from baby showers) for Abby's starter stash...and it looks like we might be spending a little more from our tax return for a few more diapers. Yes, the starting prices are a bit much compared to buying a pack of diapers a week, but overall? I know that I'm spending less on something that would only be thrown away.
This isn't just a plug for cloth, I promise, but since I began cloth diapering, I've realized how much we buy that we throw away. How much we buy that, in reality, kills the grass and the insects and makes the animals sick. I'm realizing more and more what I can do to save money and be a better steward of this world. I'm realizing that I do have talents, gifts and that I can do...better. I'm definitely one to use 3 or more paper towels for any small job, but I'm finding that I feel convicted when I do. And I don't think it's just because I've been reading stuff online.
Honestly, beyond using cloth diapers, I haven't made any other major changes in my family's lifestyle. (Yes, I breastfeed, but in my mind, that's hardly an issue.) We still buy paper towels, toilet paper, nursing pads, etc. I started washing clothes in cold water in college, so that hasn't been an issue either. I don't buy organic or eco-friendly cleaners on purpose (let's be real: Mrs. Meyers just smells heavenly!), and I don't use "natural" soaps (though, after a sample of Yester Year Soaps...I might...just because it smells great, cleans, and moisturizes without breaking me out).
But. I am seeing the reasons why a Christian would care about the Earth. Why Christians can (and maybe should) start taking notice of these "green" issues without feeling or becoming pagan. Whether Jesus comes back this year or in the next hundred years or a millenium from now, our mission hasn't changed. We are to spread the gospel. We are to take it to the uttermost parts of the Earth. And. We need to do our best with the resources that God has graciously given us: time, money, talents, gifts, and this Earth. Not because we want the Earth to be around for generations, but because we want to be able to hand it back to God in a manner that is worthy of our calling.