I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now. It has been difficult, because I don’t want to offend or estrange anyone. But, I’ve recently received some emails and some comments here on the blog that have concerned me. The common thread in all of them was that “preparing” and “fear” are connected. I’ve thought a lot about that over the last couple of weeks, and honestly, the idea has me pretty concerned. People don’t tend to be their best selves in the face of fear. Fear as a motivation is powerful, but doesn’t always lead to wise action.
Preparing out of fear can lead to some rather negative things:
Going into debt in order to get food storage / “preps.”
Feeling extremely overwhelmed & scared b/c you aren’t prepared for anything / everything.
Paralyzing fear: doing nothing b/c you don’t know where to start.
Trusting in yourself / others instead of God
Damaging relationships b/c of the pressure you put on others to “prep”
But for me, the most concerning result of prepping b/c of fear is that it often leads to selfish action. Selfish action when it comes to “preparing,” is something I very much want to avoid encouraging.
Consider this quote:
“We are all self-reliant in some areas and dependent in others. Therefore, each of us should strive to help others in areas where we have strengths…”
Marion G. Romey
THAT is what I’m working toward here at Simple Family Preparedness. I really hope that is clear. I don’t want to motivate you to prepare by scaring you! I want you to be motivated to prepare b/c it is wise & responsible. But most importantly (to me at least), b/c it allows you to give and help others. This is one of my most real motivations for “prepping.” I know that it is virtually impossible to be prepared for everything life could throw at me. I hope (and pray) that there are others that are more self-reliant in areas where I am weak. I hope that they have a similar philosophy as me and will be willing to help me should the need arise.
I may lose some readers by saying this, but I don’t have a single gun to protect my food storage or “preps.” It isn’t that I think there is something inherently wrong with guns, but I don’t feel a need to protect my food storage in that way. In fact, I feel the exact opposite. I want to be able to help others should the need arrive.
Another idea that floats around with this “fear and prepping” idea is that we shouldn’t prep b/c God has taught us not to fear, and if we are preparing then that shows a lack of faith in God’s ability to provide for us. While I do not hide the fact that I am religious on my website, it isn’t usually something I get deeply into. But I have to say something in response to this idea. I have a firm belief and faith in God. But I believe that we can and should do all we can to help Him provide for us and others. Consider this:
“God does watch over us and does notice us, but it usually through someone else that he meets our needs.”
Spencer W. Kimball,
The first time I really thought seriously about these that quote in connection with my motivation toward self-reliance was a little over a year ago. My husband lost his job not even 3 months after graduating from law school. We had 3 kids 2 yrs old and under and we expecting a 4th. We had a lot of food storage, but not a lot of savings. In other words (just like the first quote above), we were strong in one area of self-reliance (food storage), but weak in another (financial). My parents, however, were strong enough financially to invite us to live with them for a few months while my husband found another job.
Both my husband and I were extremely grateful for their generosity. My parents aren’t rich by any means, but their “preparation” financially allowed them to give back. In addition, because we moved two states away, were unable to use the hundreds (maybe more) of dollars of food we had in our freezer. Instead, we gave it to someone locally who needed it. Again, our “preps” were able to help someone else. In turn, my parents helped us. Our “preps” didn’t meet our needs, they met someone else’s! And my parent’s “preps” didn’t meet their needs, they met ours! Personally, I think God has designed it this way. He wants us to be responsible and prepare, but that doesn’t always mean we will actually use our own “preps.” He may use them to help someone else and then use another’s “preps” to help us.
I realized I wanted the ability to be able to do for others what my parents had done for me. I wanted to be as “prepared” as I could in as many ways as I could so that when a need arose: mine or someone else’s, God would be better able to fill it. That motivation, as opposed to fear as a motivator, has lead to some rather positive things:
- I became a THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) consultant so that we could buy our food storage without going into debt. But not only have we been able to do that, we’ve generated a great income as well, that is helping us be better prepared financially.
- I’m not overwhelmed as I “prepare,” b/c I trust God will provide (through others) in the areas where I haven’t quite gotten around to preparing yet
- I feel that every little thing I do to be more self-reliant is important b/c through it God will either provide for me or someone else. I’m not paralyzed, I’m motivated!
That is why my tag-line is the same as THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance)’s mission statement. I want to empower not just self-reliance, but relative prosperity that allows us to be charitable: to give back to others. That is what I want the focus of this website to be: not fear! I want to empower us to be kinder and more giving and more responsible and self-reliant.