Saturday, September 17, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Has the dog doo-doo already hit the fan?

 The pantry post will be a little different today.  Instead of more practical advice, I want to share thoughts from my research.  One realization that kept coming back to my mind was that we all need to listen to God for what He would have us do in the coming months and years.

This last week was somewhat busy so to unwind (I know, it is a strange way to unwind), I read some articles and watched YouTube videos talking about the various scenarios going on around the world and how some people were preparing.  Each household was different but they all felt the seriousness of the times in which we live.

It made me realize just how much God has to be holding back true calamity in most areas... some are already seeing it... to have the world be so close to collapse in various places that it hasn't happened, yet.

I do believe God has been holding back world wide calamities on a massive scale for sometime now.  As a young child, I remember thinking the Russians were going to march down the streets of my small town any day.  This was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I doubt anyone at the time would have put a bet on over fifty years going by with no nuclear battles happening.

There are now numerous nations with the capability of releasing nuclear missiles but God has continued to hold them back.  I tend to agree with Billy Graham, who always said he believed we will not see nuclear war until the time of the Tribulation because of the destruction it would create.

I didn't think much about the U. S. being in danger at home until 9/11, which many preachers and Bible teachers who teach about prophecy now see as the first real birth pain most of us felt.  Many do think the world wars were preliminary birth pains, too.

I never thought much about famine coming to America or anywhere but third world countries.  There were various shortages from time to time, usually due to wars or weather, but no one I knew was concerned about famine in a nation that is a leading expert of food to the world.  The grocery stores were full of anything and everything as long as one had the money to purchase it.

There have been experts for a long time warning that the Western states of the U.S. could not sustain the amount of water needed already as more cities were being built that needed access to that same water. Throw in a few years of extreme drought and the worst case scenarios have arrived in our West Coast farmlands.

Even the thought of having the government tell us what kind of car we could drive or where our thermostats were to be set was not even on my radar.  Now, we were told during 1970s energy crisis to make every attempt to use less energy but those were recommendations and never requirements.

As I was reading and watching last week, I realized that there were far more than one SHTF scenarios going on and even in my own country, they were overlapping each other.  While 9/11 may have been sudden and the pandemic was sudden, since then we have had a slow burn in the forest of such scenarios.  

They been hidden under the brush so to speak until we saw flare ups here and there in the past few years.  Two years ago when my husband burned a lot of brush and tree limbs where our garden used to be, it looked like the fire was out until the sun went down and the ground in that area was an orange glow where the fire was still smoldering.

I think that is what has been occurring worldwide, not just in this country.  The troubles have been laying supposedly dormant but instead were a smoldering fire... popping up here and there but actually were continuing all around us.  Worldwide smoldering SHTF scenarios.

Mostly this is not good news.  However, I think there are two areas where all the world wide bad news may actually be good for us.  First, for the Christian who believes in Christ's return, the events line up with the Bible... especially Romans 1 and Matthew 24... of what the world will look like upon His return.

The second reason that I see good in these scenarios is that people are beginning to wake up to the need to be prepared.  I have family members roll their eyes when I tell them they need to have at least "a little extra" put back.  It is always better to do something even though you cannot do everything to be prepared.

I try to gently share that it is wise to have at least two or three weeks worth of food in your pantry.  Even the most basic food and necessities will keep the family from having to get out of the house for the grocery store.  Of course, now in this age of shortages and empty shelves, it should be even more important.

I know many, many families who keep about a week's worth of groceries and no extra water in their house.  These are not poor people, either.  Why?  I think most people fall under a couple categories for not preparing for SHTF scenarios.  

Many don't believe these scenarios will ever happen to them or the area where they live.  Although, with everything happening in the world these days, many are waking up to the reality that hard times can come... and quickly.

I think for some of them... and us... we haven't experienced that kind of world before and we overlook the nudging of God to put back extra or to make a purchase "right now" if we have the funds available.

As much as I try to follow those nudges from God, I still miss it at times.  For instance, before the baby formula fiasco, I felt like I should find out what baby formula the newest family member used and put a couple containers back.  

I told myself that they had plenty of income if they wanted to put back formula and I didn't do it.  The little guy had terrible diaper rash and tummy problems because they had to use what formula they could find.  Lesson learned... follow God's lead even if it doesn't make sense.

Putting a little back at a time to be able to give in an emergency situation was His latest nudge and I have obeyed that.  Last week when at the grocery store, I picked up a couple bags of rice to be able to share.  I plan to continue as the budget allows.  Basic food has gone up a lot but much is still inexpensive.

I'm quite surprised by some items that are in short supply already like sugar and salt.  Of course, not every store is out of sugar or salt, they are limited... but what will next year bring?  I read this week that Italy is experiencing terrible weather conditions in their rice growing regions and that their olive oil (olives) and passata (tomatoes) crops are in trouble 

The shortage of wheat due to war and weather has increased the price of flour and wheat products such as pasta already. It is not uncommon to see empty shelves where pasta should be off and on.  I have read there are shortages of some vegetable oils already.  Tomato products are expected to become in short supply in the States due to weather.

So, what shortages have I noticed here?  The usual shortages continue such as peanut butter and jelly but right now it is hit and miss.  Sometimes I see full shelves and the next week those same shelves will be empty.  

One indication I have found the past two years if there are shortages is on the canned meat shelves.  I have noticed that Keystone beef has not only gone up in price significantly but Wal-Mart didn't have any on their shelves last week and Meijer had one can when I checked.

If there is something you absolutely need and you have the funds, I would not put it off.  I am so glad we decided two years ago to have dental work caught up, a little at a time.  It wasn't easy making room in the budget when we started but my husband is caught up with dental work and I will be in November.

We had a $400+ car repair last week that couldn't wait but it was better to get the car repaired and keep it going as long as possible than pay the price for used cars right now.  We know this car has been well taken care of and we would not know if another used car, even if it was a newer model, had been properly maintained.

I am now at the point where every day, I ask God for His wisdom regarding tomorrow's needs as well as today's... and to lead me to ways to be prepared.   Mostly, I need to continue trusting in His provision for those things I will need but there is not the room or the budget to do anything else.

Besides trusting Him, what we must do is to pay serious attention to what the world events are showing us.  God tells us in the Book of James that He will give wisdom to those who ask for it and I have seen that prayer come to pass over and over again through the years.

We don't have to fear anything but we do need to pay attention to God's leading.  He knows our past, present, and our future and will lead us always to do what is best for us and for our loved ones.


Anonymous said...

I am compelled to put up a third scenario for why your family members or anyone else you know is not taking your telling them to stock up/prepare seriously. It may not be that they don't think these terrible living conditions could happen to them, or that they are ignoring the "nudges of God" (great description). It very well may be that they are simply not called by God to do that. Perhaps God is calling them to act a different way, and you must respect that He has different plans for each of us and speaks to each of us in different ways. Perhaps God is calling them to live lightly, so they are free to move quickly, if need be, or to use their money for other things.

I think sometimes we get called by God for something that is important to us, and in our enthusiasm and concern for others, we can forget that God does not have the same plan for everyone, even if they are family, even if we love them, even if we think they're making huge mistakes. That's between them and God, and they've got to work it out.

Ann Stevens said...

I started having a larger pantry about 10 years ago and it's sometimes been hard to keep it going just because it's a lot of work to keep tabs on everything and keep it rotated. And for a long time, it seemed as if noting was happening and maybe I need not do so much. But now I see more and more the difficulties coming our way and the necessity for having extra of everything we can afford to have. We, too, have been looking at our budget and buying now some things we may need in the future when they will not be available either because of shortages or because of transportation problems. And being able to help our little family who don't realize the times we're in will be a blessing in times in come.

Annabel said...

I feel so grateful God would tell me years in advance to prepare. And I did. And now I am grateful as I believe as you say He has given us more time to prepare. I am trying to use it well. I am doing all I can and to encourage others. He is very generous to us. I think things are about to get very bumpy and we will need to hang on to Him more than ever and listen to His

Anonymous said...

A very good post! It is no longer possible to act like things are ‘business as usual.’ Things are not right and it will only get worse as people begin to wake up to the fact that this world is in real trouble. I pray that God protects his people. Thanks for the wise words! Sherri

Kathy T. said...

I went to the store for a few things and I happened to see a bottle of Crisco oil that was over $6.00 and I about fell over! The last time I bought it, it wasn't even $4. My weekly trip to Wal-Mart just makes me shake my head at the prices these days. Butter that was $2.69 a year ago was $4.49 this week. There was no ground beef at all, and other beef was ridiculous. I know now to get things when I see them or they might not be there next time, or be out of my price range. It's truly depressing.

mdoe37 said...

You're on point as always. I don't have cable or a satellite dish here. They only thing I have is streaming videos and an antenna. I spend most of my TV watching time on Youtube videos (free!) and follow many prepping, homemaker type channels. I feel its helpful to keep a pulse on things in different areas of the country. I sometimes get questioned by others who don't quite feel the need to pay close attention as to "what I'm hearing". It is a type of unwinding..... anything you are aware of and attempt to mitigate the risk puts you at ease.