Friday, January 1, 2010

Bending the Rules A Little

It seems that with suggestions of panic, rationing, food shortages, intermingling with war, politics, etc. resounding through news, the interest in being prepared is once again on the rise. Or should we say “still on the rise …”

Many people think that this is the time of year to be making goals, creating new habits or drastically changing your life to fit another path or direction. I will be different and suggest some practicality … I hope. Instead of trying something new or exotic (exotic? Hmmmm), why don’t we concentrate on continuing to work on some projects that have been around for a long time, such as a program that many have felt impossible to complete. Yep, here we go AGAIN. Yes, I am referring to preparedness.

Once again, may I suggest that you consider your preparedness preparations with renewed enthusiasm and insight?

You need to know the Preparedness is implanted deeply in my DNA. I have a firm belief that your faith is one of the prime factors allowing you to succeed … or not.

Since many of you may not know me very well, it is important for you to understand where I am coming from as I voice opinions and teach preparedness principles and concepts with my articles and website.

As you read these articles and evaluate some of the suggestions you must keep in mind that being able to care for my family at all times and in all situations may have warped my perspective somewhat.

For many years we didn’t always have the funds or facilities to have the ideal products or pantry. Through the years, faith and desperation have combined to persuade me that I could find pantry space, and I could make it work, no matter what the proper storage rules said should or shouldn’t work. I learned that if I had enough faith I could bend the rules to make what I had to work with function – even thought they said it shouldn’t have.

Should you mistakenly think it was all coincidence or luck, I need to share an underlying belief and practice. We prayed over our meager home storage a lot. We gave thanks that we had it and then prayed it would be protected so that we wouldn’t lose it. And then we prayed to be able to find the ways to stretch our meager funds to be able to obtain more. You see for a long time our preparedness was sort of seasonal. The season being that there was a paycheck coming – from somewhere, sometime. Our paychecks came from royalties twice a year – in July and January. Each paycheck had to be stretched for the next six months. This was the situation when we went back to school

Then, always trying to better our situation, we moved a lot. Many times due to less than ideal pantry conditions our supplies fried in the summer and froze in the winter. Once after a hurricane (in Utah!), we tracked down our storage and the shed it had been stored in. We found it down the street in a neighbor’s yard. And then we prayed some more! In fact, we prayed for our “survival” year round.

One year, we moved back to California, after having moved to Utah. Our preparedness supplies, always a priority, were moved as well. It had been several years of preparedness supplies being stashed in those less than perfect pantry conditions. It was now time to unpack our supplies and put them away on shelves Larry had just finished constructing in the garage. It was my intent to sort and discard much of it, because, “after all ‘they said’ it wouldn’t be good. How could it have survived through such instability and extreme temperature fluctuations?” I sat on our garage floor and cried; not tears of frustration, but tears of gratitude! Very little had to be discarded, including hundreds of quart bottles filled with home canned fruit that were not broken.

Therefore, one of my personal guidelines is that not only do you do the best you can with what you have, you allow the Lord to help!

With that foundation you will discover in future articles more details and attention given to those pantry ideas and areas that might not be considered “traditional pantry space”, as well as ways to store and keep your products that have worked – by bending the rules a little and praying a lot.

I share these thoughts and experiences to encourage you as the news continues to drone on in negativity. You can continue in a positive way – even if you think that your “funds or facilities” are not ideal.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has counseled, “Begin in a small way … and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” (To the Men of the Priesthood, the Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, p.58)

As you assess what to do and how, remember to always include Heavenly Father in your plans and projections, with a profound, sincere, “Thank You” when you are blessed. I love the concept that “Faith precedes the miracle.” Miracles abound in preparedness programs, no matter where you live!

Develop a firm belief that your faith is one of the prime factors that will allow you to succeed … or not.