|The small bowl was a recent surprise gift. Now I have three, which makes it a collection! They are from three different pottery firms but all in those lovely vintage colors. They look so happy together.|
I will continue on the subject of the Procrastination Challenge next week but I have something urgent I want to chat with you about. I've been hesitant to write this post until an e-mail from a blog friend tweaked my conscience. It's just that, I know a lot of you are on a fixed income like we are and those who aren't are certainly having to be very careful with their funds.
But I would be wrong to spend time writing about deepening the pantry each Saturday and not share my feelings as to what may lay ahead in the near future. For awhile now, I have been having that quickening in my spirit (or perhaps what Gibbs on NCIS calls his "gut feelings") that we need to make deepening the pantry a priority this summer.
Which can be frustrating when one is already trying to stretch a lean grocery budget, right?
There are a lot of people I respect who are talking about the need to be prepared for some kind of emergency this fall. Many are Christian speakers and writers but quite a lot of secular people are now writing about difficult times to come. One of the leading economic sites (sorry that I can't remember their name!) put out a warning recently that they believe a major economic crash is on the way.
If there were just two or three Christian leaders handing out such a warning, I wouldn't be too concerned as sometimes they are reading and listening to each others warnings (that actually happened prior to Y2k). But this is more. When a variety of different people feel that sense of impending difficulties and they are from different walks of life... I listen.
For me, it verifies what I have been feeling for awhile. Now, you may think I am really loony here (loonier?) but I developed an interest in Emergency Preparedness and stocking the pantry all the way back around 1980-ish. I felt God calling me to learn everything I could at the time and my files will show lots and lots of research (I eventually tossed at least half of them since they were no longer relevant).
I felt God was telling me that my ministry was to learn about deepening the pantry and to share what I learn with others. For there would come a day when people would be very happy they made deepening their pantry a priority for they would need to eat and use what they had already purchased.
This all made sense to me when Y2k came around and really sharpened my skills of writing on a website and teaching others. We ended up using what we had stocked up on when there was an extended period of unemployment. Gosh did I learn a lot about what we would use and what we wouldn't.
If someone tells you children will eat anything if they are hungry, don't believe it. Christopher walked away from the table rather than eat beans I prepared! (I think now that he is older, he will eat them in some recipes.)
Much of what I learned is available in years upon years of writing in the archives. But it has been something like this... when one invests in an entire 25 lb. bag of old fashioned oats than one not only can have nutritious oatmeal to fill them up but it is the basis for granola, baked oatmeal, cookies, etc. You just have to make certain the other ingredients are in your pantry. Should you put that same amount of cash into boxes of Cheerios, it takes a lot more pantry space and you will go through them quickly.
Not that I'm saying don't stock Cheerios, I know few Moms who got through the toddler years without a Ziploc bag in their purse. But you see what I am saying. We need the biggest bang for the buck (and for nutrition) when we are eating out of the pantry.
The irony of this recent call to deepen the pantry is that this time I don't have a lot of money to do so, either. In the late 1990s, it was easy. I wrote long articles about "buying this" and "order that" to stock the pantry. But this time, it doesn't work that way for this household.
But I now believe God has allowed that on purpose. For I need to be where so many of you are. Trying to do the best I can with what I have.
Recently I did have some extra "pantry funds" so I stocked up again on basics like canola oil, baking supplies (for bread and such), dishwashing soap, TP, etc. I learned the hard way that one cannot have enough cooking oil. I also bought an extra bottle of extra virgin olive oil to make vinaigrette. Those basic items that are the bones of the pantry.
I don't want to scare anyone and I pray we get into 2016 with no economic collapse at all. I hope this is another Y2k where everything was fixed in time. What every happens, we know God is in control and that He provides. The same God who used ravens to feed a prophet and manna to feed the Children of Israel. Although I prefer chocolate.
I'd love to hear if any of you have that same urgency in your spirit to deepen your pantry.