Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sort-Of-Not-Exactly

As many of you already know I’m sort-of-not-exactly a “survivalist.”  Whew, there I’ve said it out loud!  I’m not dyed-in-the-wool gun-totin’ but I do believe in keeping enough food and other necessities stored back in case “something happens.”  For me, it’s just…if something happens.  Real survivalists call it TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it).  The situation in Haiti has brought my beliefs into a clearer focus for me.  Scripture uses the word prepare in a lot of different cases:  in Exodus the Jewish people had to take unleavened bread because they weren’t prepared for a journey; all through the Old Testament the Hebrew people prepared burnt offerings for the Lord; in Joshua they prepared for war; Samuel begged the people to prepare their hearts for God; David prepared a place for the Ark of God; Esther prepared herself for talking to the king by prayer and fasting; Psalms tells us that God prepares a table before us; and Proverbs even tells us that the ants prepare their food in the summer to get ready for the winter!  The common thread running through every instance where I found “prepare” in the Bible is the essence of the word itself:  work ahead to be ready for the future.

Spiritually we get ready for Heaven.  We go to church and worship, we pray, we study the Scriptures, we try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and serve others.  And yet we tend to ignore part of what the Bible says (because we don’t like to think about it)…hard times are coming.  Jesus himself said there would be wars and rumors of wars…nation shall rise against nation…famines…pestilences…earthquakes.  He laid it on the line for us.  Where you live will likely dictate what kind of hard times you might have to face before He comes again.  Some of you will endure in your lifetime hurricanes, floods, tornados, ice storms, terrorist attacks, pandemics, job loss… and I could go on but you understand what I’m saying.  Are you ready to get through those hard times?  Are you prepared to take care of your family if one of those things happens?

As women I think we are uniquely charged and uniquely equipped to care for our families.  It helps if we have a husband who enables us to do that but even if you’re living alone you can do it for yourself.  If you’re a single parent you’re even more responsible to make those preparations.  It’s not always easy; friends and family don’t always understand and sometimes they make fun of me when I buy a case of chicken broth at a time when it’s on sale.  They just laugh and say, “I’m coming to your house if anything happens!”  Which is exactly my point.  As a woman, and as the mother and grandmother, in hard times my children and grandchildren will look to me and I want to be ready. 

So let’s get down to the meat of it…what am I doing?  You know we’re retired and that’s a limited income so I buy a little each month.  I make my money go a long way because I’m diligent about searching for and using coupons during sales.  It takes me a couple of hours twice a week to print, clip, sort and file coupons, but last year I turned in nearly $3,000 worth.  Frankly I’d rather be sewing or reading or sitting on the deck, but that won’t feed my family.  I don’t buy things we don’t eat just because we have a coupon-that would be stupid.  And I never buy any product without checking the expiration date on it.  Not even bread.  I can and I freeze.  And I write the expiration date or canning date on everything that goes in my pantry so I can rotate those items.  If the electricity goes out for a long period of time I’ll have to cook up everything in there and can it, but I’ve taught myself how to do that.  I’ve even canned meat.  I found out this week that you can coat blocks of cheese with paraffin wax and it will keep on the shelf for months!  I haven’t tried it but I will.  It does age and get sharper so it’s best to start with very mild cheese by the way.  And I watch the dates on my stuff closely – if it gets a month away from the expiration date and I don’t think we’ll be using that product for several months (stuff is good way beyond those dates!) I take it to the homeless shelter.  They can’t use it if the expiration date has expired but by doing this I can give more and spend less doing it than I used to. 

And it’s not just food and water that you need.  (By the way, how will you purify water if there’s none coming out of your faucet?).  You need medications.  You need things like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, immodium, laxatives, cold medicines, heartburn medicine, bandages, alcohol, peroxide, antibiotic ointment.  You get the picture.  You need toilet paper for heavens sake!  (and feminine products).  What if your stove doesn’t work – how will you cook?  Can you build and start a fire in your backyard?  Got any wood to do it with?  And what if the hard times last a long time?  Can you grow a garden?  Do you have seeds?  Tools? 

We’ve all heard the old saying that God gives the birds their food but He doesn’t throw it into the nest.  Well folks, take that one to the bank.  He expects us to listen to what He’s told us and do what it takes to prepare for that.  If we can’t take care of ourselves how can we take care of others?  At my house, I’m getting ready.  My husband doesn’t really buy into it but he doesn’t hinder me so sometimes it’s a little hard but doable.  But I’m forging ahead!  There’s a song we sang in church a few weeks ago – don’t know the name but some of the words were “People get ready, Jesus is coming.”  I’m getting ready.  What about you?

18 comments:

Glenda said...

Wow! You've certainly given me something to think about! I'm not sure my husband would support my efforts, either. Another thing to add to the list might be some cash. Maybe several hundred dollars that you could readily get your hands on. Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Marlene.

karenfae said...

I can understand what you are talking about and I think I normally have enough for a couple weeks if something serious happened but I do not have room to store much - I would have to have a large pantry for that and I do not have it. I do at times think it would be good to get a lot of bottled on hand as that is something that happened last year after a storm - lightening struck the area where our water station (?) is at and no one had water for about 2 days until it got fixed - had to run and get some!
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Memaw's memories said...

How totally thought provoking. I don't think I'm prepared at all.

Grammy Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

No pun intended but that is food for thought. I really need to work on getting more stock on hand!!

Phyllis said...

I call myself a good Girl Scout and try to live by the motto "be prepared" in a practical way. Since I live in the country, I rarely let certain things run below half empty - especially animal food for all the critters. I used to keep several gallons of water but they kept springing leaks and made a mess, so don't do that anymore.

We've all gotten a little relaxed since 9/11, but I haven't forgotten the lesson we learned - that you never know what will happen. Treat each other kindly and give back in some way every single day.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Don't have alot of room to store but my pantry is full, both freezers are full ect. We could live a long time, have to think of the pets though. Hmmmmmmmmmm. We have several gallons of water on hand too. I truely believe we are in the last days and we must be ready for whatever God has for this world.

judycolby said...

I grew up about 20 miles from town and Mom shopped the same way you do. We could of eaten for a long time if the roads got really bad or the creek came up.
We always had containers of water in the pantry (changed periodically) for when the electricity went out and the water pump couldn't work.
I notice my sisters and I shop the same way Mom did.

Arkansas Patti said...

And you live where???
Kidding of course. Years of hurricanes in Florida have me pretty well trained to survive for a couple of weeks with out electricity. After 2 weeks.....

Jacquie said...

Very interesting post, Marlene. And I'd say, since you will be sharing the gospel on your trip... you're a preacher!

Angie said...

We have nowhere in the house to keep a load of spare stuff so we use one of the garden sheds and I keep notebooks in the house of what's down there. Maybe I should think more about botttling things - what good would the freezer be without electric?

Maggey and Jim said...

I know what you are saying and it is hard..Having storage space and what about water, does it expire?? The medical bag is really necessary even in not so hard times.. We all need emergency kits. All of us can't afford it so just buy a little extra when you can.. I know Jesus is coming and I am trying to prepare too.
Maggey

Teresa said...

Not a bad idea.

Michelle said...

If Jesus comes, won't we, as believers be lifted up? It will be the ones left behind that need all the 'stock'. Right????

Alice Grace said...

This is a very thoughtful post, and so true! With all that is happening these days, both nature and terror, I think you are totally correct on being prepared! I will be thinking out my preparations after reading your post. And what great savings you have done with the coupon clipping! I wish I had time to do that! Maybe soon when I retire from my job, I will get better. (Is that the usual thinking, "maybe soon")....I will try to do better, thanks to this post!

Anonymous said...

Good post. Yes, we will be lifted up if we are still alive but God does say hard times are coming. He doesn't say that as Christians we will not experience them. He said to prepare. Did you know diarrea can KILL children as well as adults quickly if you have no way to stop it? And suppose there is no way to get to a drug store or it's not safe to travel there? Or there is none to be had. Be prepared Sherry D

Rose Mary said...

I think you are doing the right thing! I am stocked up as well as I can be with the limited space that we have. We are in the process of building in some more spaces (shelves, etc.) so we can be better stocked than we are.

As far as water goes, we have a well that we can draw the water out of. I do worry about the food in my freezer if the electricity goes out. We have a generator, but I'm not sure how we'd stay stocked up on gasoline for any length of time.

Jody Blue said...

A bit prepared, but need to step it up! Thanks for the reminder.

Janet, said...

You are prepared! We are somewhat prepared, I can and we have freezers stocked and my cabinets are pretty full. Perishables is where we would be hurting.