Monday, March 30, 2009

For such a time as this

I've been thinking lately about the current economic crisis and what the implications might be if it gets worse and lasts for years. As you know, my parents both lived through the Great Depression and their families, like most rural people, came through it OK. They weren't living high on the hog by any means, but they weren't starving either. So, what does our generation have in common with the generation of 1929? I'm afraid to say, almost nothing. The 1929 generation had been raised with certain values and societal expectations that we don't have anymore. Women cooked 3 meals a day from scratch, could improvise recipes (read a depression era cookbook for examples of this), sewed, mended, preserved food, relied more on folk wisdom and remedies, gardened and butchered. I'm speaking in generalizations here, obviously Mrs. J.D. Rockefeller wasn't knitting socks and canning peas. ;-) They were able to withstand a decade of hardship because they came out of the corner swinging, so to speak. Contrast that with the 2009 generation, the intervening 80 years have seen huge changes in almost every area of life. Most women don't cook from scratch, can't sew or mend, don't preserve food and would be helpless in the face of illness. And when was the last time you knew of a man walking 5 miles for a dollar a day?

The average grocery store will sell out of food in 24-72 hours from the onset of a crisis. Imagine if there was a complete collapse; a countrywide Katrina. There will be no food and without electricity there will be no water for most people; massive amounts of people would be dead within a week. I think the best prevention any of us can take if to look at your particular family and make a plan for what you would eat including how you would cook, how you would drink, how you would do laundry, how you would stay warm and how you would treat illness and injury. Keep in mind that in a total collapse there would be no fossil fuels, so a plan that relied on kerosene heaters, for instance, would be worthless. Likewise, if you cut your own firewood with chainsaws you will need a backup plan. I'm not suggesting that everybody switch to a non-electric lifestyle tomorrow, but what I am suggesting is that you have a workable plan. Figure out what you're going to do about your food situation and begin to implement your plan. Start today! Figure out how you're going to wash clothes and work out the kinks now, before you have to rely on it. Make a checklist and prioritize. To make a plan to grow a garden, but not have the seeds in hand won't work.

Look around you at the people you see everyday and think of how few of them are prepared. Massive starvation/dehydration within a week. A week. We have this time graciously given to us to prepare, we shouldn't be afraid or go into panic mode but rather take the first steps. And, if no calamity should ever happen, the time hasn't been misspent. To take responsibility for one's own family is never a wasted effort. The Mormons have the teaching of having a years worth of food stockpiled for their own families. That's a really good idea, I think. There are many companies who specialize in selling large quantity freeze dried foods for long term storage, so even if you aren't in a position to garden you can still have food available.

As Christians we trust that God is watching over us, but we also have a responsibility to help ourselves. There is a story told of a man in a flooded area who was forced to take refuge on his roof. Neighbors came by in a boat and told him to get in, but he wouldn't, God had a plan he said. The waters rose higher and the Coast Guard came along to help him evacuate but he wouldn't go. God would save him. A helicopter came as the water rose to his neck but he wouldn't grab the ladder they dropped for him. He would trust his God. And he drown. When he got to Heaven he asked God why he hadn't saved him and God replied "I tried. I was the neighbor, the Coast Guard and the Helicopter crew."


  1. Very good post. I'm afraid too many people out there simply aren't considering the *very* real possibility of an economic collapse in the near future. I have a young friend in college who has recently studied the Great Depression and she feels it'll "never get that bad this time because our government is more prepared for it". And I know quite a lot of people who share her view. It makes me sad because it proves that there is a wide-spread (blind) belief that the government is there to save us and take care of us.

    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

    I lament deeply that I do not have my own property with a garden yet, and there's no doubt I'm coming into it at a really bad time. I'm in the position of so many who are dependent on the grocery store and city water and electricity...but it makes a deeper cut because I *know* what I need to do to survive....and do not have the means to do it.
    HOWEVER...we have invested in heirloom garden seeds for a full survival garden. We've invested in lamps that will run on a variety of fuels. We've invested in ready-to-eat meals. And we've made a plan to move out to my folk's property out in the sticks if we lose our jobs and lose our home. So....I suppose we're doing our best under the circumstances.

    Fantastic post, Mrs. G!!!

  2. Great post!!!! Thanks for writing about it.
    This topic comes up very often in our family talks. :)

  3. Thanks for a fabulous post! So very, very true. I don't think we know how spoiled we are. There are people in other countries who would think the poorest of our citizens to be wealthy...just having running water is a luxury. We are too used to discarding valuable and reusable items. Tired of your bedroom this season? Toss those sheets, pillows, comforters and buy new ones! Toss this, toss that, buy new everything all the time. Waste, waste, waste. We just had a plumbing problem that lasted a couple of days. My husband practically lost his mind. We had a big bucket we used at the neighbor's outside spigot to fill up the toilet to flush it, and a large container of drinking water to wash up with. We were merely inconvenienced, and wasn't so bad looking back, but at the time we were really complaining about it. How silly. I still had a toilet to use, a warm bed to sleep in, power, etc. Just the loss of the water was so upsetting.

    I think that everyone should try to go camping in their own home for a week...just to prioritize what will be necessary in case of emergency. And to know we can handle it. And am I going to practice what I preach? Not unless I can talk my husband into it. So of course, when tragedy strikes, like 99.9% of America, we won't be ready.

  4. Amy, you have such a deep conviction and concern for this that the Lord will help you.

    When we got our food storage for example, it was at a time when we were able to obtain the lump sum of money needed, which doesn't always happen. It was a blessing for us. It came interestingly enough from a doctor that was moving and selling all of his food storage. He had taken a trip to Idaho, I believe it was, before the big Y2K scare and gotten the needed storage for he and his family of ten children. It’s funny because just a couple of years later, I ended up working with him.

    The Lord knows our hearts; he knows when we are trying to be prepared like the ten virgins of old. I was just reading tonight in Malachi about tithing and how the Lord will open up the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing even so that we will not be able to receive it. He will keep the devourer from us. This is all paraphrased but shows His love for us and how, if we tithe giving back to Him a mere portion (10%) of all that He has given us, He will bless us beyond measure.

    I have to say a big Bless you and Thank you to all who are trying to live a pure and simple life and who are trying to serve our Heavenly Father. You boost me up! :0)


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