The Modern-Day Chatelaine
Growing up in Colorado, you're inundated with environmentalist rhetoric. Save the mountains. Save the trees. Eat more granola. Yada, yada, yada. Even the outdoor enthusiasts - the hunters and anglers and campers and mountain bikers, etc. - are on the "green" train... Oops, that wouldn't be a train, would it? I mean, the green TRAIL.
Do I sound a bit jaded when it comes to recycling, conservation, and bunny hugging? (Bunnies harbor plague-infected fleas, by the way. Don't hug them.) Did I laugh when someone told me that PETA really stands for People Eating Tasty Animals? (Yes, I did.)
Camping, in my opinion, is nothing more than subjecting oneself to voluntary homelessness. I question the validity of global warming, and even if the theory is true, I doubt driving a hybrid would make any difference in the grand scheme of things. So why am I writing a post about "green living"? Because I believe there's more to going green than saving the whales and paying triple price for organic apples and free range eggs.
Green living is practicing the Biblical principle of responsible, effective stewardship in every aspect of life. It's about living "in the green" instead of "in the red" in our finances, in our physical health, in our relationships, and with our time.
The Greek word for steward is oikonomos. The word oikos means "house" and the root word nemo means "to arrange." A steward was the manager of a household or an estate. He or she was responsible for the servants, the bookkeeping, the supplies, hosting guests, and general supervision of the manor. A female steward was called a chatelaine, and every good chatelaine carried a... chatelaine. (For an excellent article about the history of chatelaines, visit Dazzling Ornaments.) Think of it as a Blackberry or Day-Timer for the well-dressed pre-20th century woman. If I could send one to each of you, I would, but you'll have to make do with a picture.
The pieces are now sold as vintage jewelry, but for a chatelaine, it was an invaluable tool. Dangling from her waist, wrist, neck, or hand, this bejeweled ornament held the keys to the castle, a tiny notebook and pencil (for jotting down that item to pick up at market), and other items specific to the lady or the manor. If you are a seamstress, you might be familiar with the term, as modern-day chatelaines are used to keep sewing tools within easy reach.
All this week at Inkwell Inspirations we'll be posting various thoughts and insights on "living green." I want to inspire you to read each post this week with the notion that you are the chatelaine of your own estate. You answer to the Jesus, Lord of Lords.
Is your household running in the red financially? What about relationally? Are supplies (natural or spiritual) being wasted and squandered through carelessness? Are your accounts - whether checking or emotional - balanced? Are you ready to receive guests and minister grace to them, or is everything so depleted you're barely able to take care of yourself? Are you delegating authority to others, or trying and failing to do it all yourself?
Living green isn't just about taking care of the planet we're planted on, although if we all practiced good stewardship the planet-and the people on it-would be much better off! Living green is about creating a lifestyle that is efficient, economical, and well-managed. God has given us the keys to the castle... (read Matthew 16:19 and 2 Peter 1:3). What are we doing with them?
Serious question: When you look at your life, where do you want to start "living green" instead of living in the red?
Amusing question: If you were to create a chatelaine to carry that represented the stewardship of your personal household, what would be on it?