About the Author

Stephanie lives in Minnesota with her husband Travis and two kids, Ava and Carter. She is an Interior Designer, Youth Pastor's wife and Mom.

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  1. Stephanie, your honesty challenges me. Truly. And yet, your honesty shows me grace, not shame. I am grateful for that about you. I’m not *there* yet, but in some ways I’m *getting* there. Even if it’s one reusable coffee mug carried to a meeting across campus instead of buying a cup at the cafe when I get there.

  2. Thank you Amy, so glad you shared…Yes, grace to you! Much, much grace. This is a whole paradigm shift for me too, I’m so “getting there” with you. Reusable coffee mugs are a great start sister! I’m with you, a great journey always starts with a step 🙂 Blessings to you!

  3. Bravo, Stephanie! Thank you so much for throwing your two cents in here! Like all good conversations, this one has to start somewhere, and you’ve started it with us. What will it look like three years from now? Who knows? But here we are today, asking how to become stewards, and THAT COUNTS. I appreciate your honesty and transparency so much. All my love to you from Austin today…call me when you start your first compost pile. ;0)

    • Thank you!! Three years from now, I hope I’m serving dinner from our garden and drinking coffee from the same mug I’m using today! And believe me, IF AND WHEN I start a compost pile, you will be the first person I call! Because basically, I blame you for even putting the idea in my head 🙂 🙂 Thanks for challenging us in this chapter!

  4. Ya, what you wrote! LOL! I had a very similar reaction to this chapter. Thank you for being so honest and sharing!

    Blessings to you!

    Vicki

  5. Stephanie, well said sister and well done. Beautiful, honest writing. Your post has spurred me on to go and read this book, to ignore the fear and resistance, there is much work to be done. I pray we are never idle or ignorant to what The Lord is wanting to teach us. Here’s to learning to be good stewards, toasting with my reusable coffee cup of course!

    • Thank you Leanna and yes, read the book!! You will love it. I’m with you, never want to be idle or ignorant in what He wants to teach me…not easy but there is real wisdom in stewardship that honors God. Cheers to you too friend 🙂

  6. I just LOVE this. You basically took the thoughts out of my head as I was reading as well, and typed them on your screen! (Much more eloquently, I must add, with the perfect dash of sarcasm). I have found the concept of re-purposing almost adventurous! Gardening yes, thrifting no. So, I’m enlisting a troop of thrift friends to show me the ropes. Thanks for these honest thoughts and conversation starters. I’m still a little miffed God made me read this, but He’s right. He’s always right.

    • Laughing, Heather! Re-purposing is an adventure, I hear you! And guess what, I think if you’re all about the adventure, you will love thrifting too 🙂 🙂 Glad you have some girlfriends to show you the ropes, that’s the best way to dive in! You are right, His ways are always good for us…Thank you for your kind words and Blessings to you!!

  7. Great post! Our city offered recylce bins, so we would put in our milk jugs and a cereal box or two. After reading 7, our new recycle can in the same size as our trash can and is filled to the BRIM each time it’s picked up. I now desire to garden, but don’t tell my dying house plants. Our city is also in the midst of creating a city garden that I am thrilled to participate in next year. Umm, yes, reading 7 wrecked my world… and I LOVE it.

    • Good for you! I love the city garden thing! That’s what I’m hoping to participate in next year too, I love the thought of gardening but live in a condo with no yard of my own so I’ll have to go that route too. Yes, there was definitely a wrecking that occurred with this book 🙂 Blessings to you!

  8. I agree with you that many who are interested in saving the world and the earth do not seem to care at all about the unborn who are “trashed” and the elderly who are left to rot and die or the many who are starving around the world. That bothers me that not using plastic is more important. Also, those who use aluminum bottles beware… aluminum is connected with causing Alzheimer’s. And it is a long established link… so they might want to rethink that one. The biggest thing that bothers me about the “green” people is that they think that computers and technology are “more green” than paper. Paper can be recycled. Trees can be planted and grow. But there are vast wastelands of computers and related equipment along with last year’s cell phones at the bottom of the ocean in various locations and in huge landfills in places like China and Mongolia in remote regions where entire valleys are filled to capacity. Technology is NOT green. Especially in a society that must have the latest and greatest of everything. When I was a child, we had a rotary phone. One. There was no need for call waiting because a live operator could break in to the call in an emergency. I know this is true because my mother was an operator and I also had to break in to a call once. We had that same phone still when my parents moved out of that house to a smaller home. They added another phone (still rotary) but a wall mounted with a long cord when I was a teenager. Still one number and no call waiting or anything. We were only allowed certain times to call our friends and if an important call was expected, we had to wait. It is called patience and not immediate gratification as this generation seems to demand. That contributes to the destruction of more than the earth. When my father died they still had those phones. Oh and they were land lines. They don’t go out when there are storms unless the entire neighborhood’s telephone poles are torn down and even if they are down as long as the lines are unbroken they still work. Way better than cable or cells that need constant electrical supply or wi fi which only works sometimes or they need to be recharged. NOT efficient. Yes, they are good when you are out alone and need help… but we always found help when we needed it because we depended upon God and strangers who helped us along the way. Or we walked to a gas station if we broke down. Admittedly, that can be dangerous. But a cell phone does not matter if someone has a gun. So to me they are all just JUNK. I had a “pen pal” in France. I called my cousin’s in Canada when I saved the money. I wrote real letters that could be saved as treasures or recycled. Technology creates so much more waste and the “connections” it makes are soooooo superficial. I use the computer only because I like to read some writers and they only blog when they used to write in books or magazines which both can be kept and reused or shared or recycled. Amazing how much better life was then and how much less money was spent on such things. If my son’s school did not require it I would get rid of it. And never get another. I have the same cell phone I have had for years. I had to replace it once when the acid from the battery inside contaminated it. I don’t feel compelled to have the latest of anything and I WILL NEVER READ ANYTHING ON A KINDLE OR NOOK. NEVER. I HATE THEM. A book is a treasure. You cannot write in the margins or dogear the pages of kindle… it is just not the same. I am in my mid fifties and would give anything to have been born in an earlier time… or for technology to have been kept to a limit. Medical technology is nice,but you cannot change a moment of your life nor lengthen it no matter what you do. God knows the day you will be born and the day you will die before it happens. Most of the best medicines with the least side effects have been around for decades. As it says in Jeremiah… “look for the old paths and walk in them…” there you will find real people in face to face relationships and a far, far greener lifestyle. Imagine drinking milk or coke from a glass bottle and then recycling it !!! They used to sterilize and reuse them. We never once got sick from that. Think of how many plastic milk containers could be done away with !!! Greed and instant gratification are the enemy of us all and the earth. Along with “keeping up with the Jones'” or the Kardashians. There is soooo much waste and so much futility and emptiness in today’s lifestyles… people think they HAVE to HAVE EVERYTHING when the truth is they NEED a whole lot less. I am no minimalist, but I do not see any great joy coming from the excesses of our world. I have not read the book, but I have read excerpts and it is meant to make you think about what you are doing and we all ought to examine our lives now and then to be sure we are in line with what God wants us to be. We don’t all need to live as paupers or have just 7 or anything… but we do need to be good stewards and a whole lot of money could be used to feed and clothe the poor and needy and to spread the gospel and to fight disease and clean the water and figure out what to do with all of those computers in the landfills of the oceans and China.

    • Agreed! There is much to consider, so many choices we make without regard for the generations that follow. I think you hit the nail on the head at the end, “we all ought to examine our lives now and be sure we are in line with what God wants us to be…” Yes!! Definitely need to be seeking Him for what He’d have each of us do, it’s probably safe to assume that most of us could improve in the area of stewardship for His glory. Blessings to you!

  9. I’m green at heart. I recycle and I hate paying full price for clothing and I shop Goodwill, too. I try to buy as much organic produce as I can. I REFUSE to feed my family corn that is not organic because chances are it is Monsanto seed which has Roundup in it. Basically, I would be poisoning my family. Look at this:http://www.naturalnews.com/037315_Monsanto_GM_corn_breakfast_cereals.html I have to try and find organic corn tortillas. I rarely buy clothes for myself because money goes toward bills first. Although I recently splurged at Victoria’s Secret panty sale because mine had some holes in it. Terrible, I know. I won’t let it get that far again!
    However, I can still do more. I read somewhere (and it might have been a link on one of Ann Voskamp’s posts) that old shoes can be donated for the children in Haiti because they have to have shoes in order to go to school. I have to find out more about that.
    It bothers me that there is so much wealth in this country and so much extreme poverty in the world.

    • Good for you! Green at heart, love it 🙂 Yep, I’m with you…it is very troubling to consider all the wealth of our country in light of the millions who suffer and starve…we COULD do something about that if each of us would play a role! So grateful that the Lord is gracious and merciful as some of us (like me) begin shifting our focus off reckless consumerism toward Godly stewardship…Blessings to you!

  10. Seriously amazing perspective! I completely understand where you are coming from and where you are going with this! Thank you for sharing! (I’ve had that immature attitude before as well)

  11. I’m curious as to how you connect environmentally concious people to them not caring about the elderly or unborn. Just because you hear someone talk about being “green,” doesn’t mean they don’t care about the other things mentioned. I’m “green,” and always have been, because I care about God’s earth and the damage being done and also because I’m frugal by being married to a student for so long. I read a lot of info on conserving, etc, and pin and share those things on social media… but that doesn’t mean that I am not against abortion or the mistreatment for the elderly. I picket for abortion and volunteer at an old age home… so because you don’t see those things doesn’t mean I don’t care. That’s not a fair thing to assume.
    Good on you for “reforming,” though. And don’t consider it a burden, consider it your gift to the earth and God when you care and bring your produce bags to the store. After shopping I immediately put them right back in my purse so I don’t forget!

    • Thank you for the grace Renee…As I wrote, it is wrong to make broad, dismissive assumptions about whole genres and groups but if I’m honest, I’ve done that with the green movement before. But the Lord is exposing that flawed perspective for what it is and I tried (maybe failed) to expose the errors of my ways 🙂 Forgive me if that wasn’t clear? Here’s to the reformers like me…we need cheerleaders like you in this! Thanks!

  12. Hi Stephanie – Just wanted to encourage you and anyone making the small steps to take on the stewardship mantle God placed on us to keep taking the small steps to bring (remember!) the reusable bags etc, especially with two little ones in tow! Been there, and it is not easy! It is hard to build these habits, but oh so crucial. I have considered myself green for years and found it especially challenging, but even more important, when my little ones came along. So kudos to you, keep it up!

    • Thank you Kimberley, yes, small steps being taken are better than no steps! I am going to make that switch to reuseable bags, I think there is much wisdom in that and it’s an easy (read: non-painful) choice to make. You are so right, this is a perfect time to demonstrate that when little eyes are watching 🙂 Now I just have to remember to buy them and store them in my car for my next trip! Blessings to you!

  13. Stephanie,
    I love your heart! What a great article! This was well said and you shared in such a loving way. I’ve got to read this book. Trying at all these things too.
    I wish I could garden and compost. I read your blog all the time and you and your family are so cute and we of course miss you but so glad for the work God is doing in you and through you guys there!!

  14. First off, Stephanie is my dear friend and sister-in-Christ, so I’m not trying to pick a fight when I offer the following “yeah but…”

    I share Steph’s “rebellious” mentality to the green thing. For me, it is the religious nature that “being green” (and other popular issues) takes on. We tend to swing from one extreme to the next. Consumerism is bad, but let’s not forget that minimalism is also an “ism.”

    Frankly, I’m not convinced that frugality is a Christian virtue. We should strive to be like our Lord. Is the God of the Bible frugal? He strikes me as more lavish and excessive than minimal and frugal. Just look around at what He made. Why do we need so many varieties of apples? Wouldn’t one or two be enough? Do we really need a gazillion stars? And what about snow? Isn’t it excessive that each flake beautifully and uniquely designed? All that work and he made dogs to pee on it.

    Scripture comes to mind too, “my cup overflows”, “a land flowing with milk and honey”, “showers of blessing.” He just doesn’t seem like the type to guilt me for eating a pineapple in Minnesota.

    So, I think our first priority as godly stewards is not to recycle, rather, it is to be thankful.