/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » pondering preparedness


For whatever reason, the word “preparedness” has been coming to my mind lately.  I don’t really understand it, but when something happens more than once (it usually happens in threes for me), I sit up and pay attention.  It’s usually God trying to get my attention, although I haven’t fully decided if this topic is divine-intervention or not.  😉

I have a pantry and I try to buy things to feed my family in a pantry-stocking manner.  In other words, it took a little while to set up, but I’ve got items that we use regularly, purchased at the lowest price I could find at the time, available to me to use so I don’t have to pay top-dollar when I need them.  Makes sense, right?

I think so.

I’ve not been stockpiling water, ammunition, or other items that some people do – mostly because I don’t see a need for them, and partly because I don’t want to be lumped in that “crazy group” of people who are ready to live in an underground bunker someplace in the Rocky Mountains.  And yes, I’m serious.  I know people like this and would rather not partake in a conspiracy-theory, no matter how plausible it might seem.

So where does “preparedness” come in for me?  Why is this an issue?  I honestly have no idea – genuinely.  And yet, it’s at the forefront of my mind and I can’t help but think that having a storehouse of items isn’t a terrible idea.

I think I struggle for two reasons:

1.  I am incredibly self-sufficient, left to my own means.  As much as I value relationships and people, I would rather Do It By Myself if given the choice.  Sometimes this is good, but lately it’s come to my attention that it’s a detriment to my spiritual walk.  If I’m reliant upon myself, then I’m not reliant upon God … you can see where this goes for me.

2.  I’m not a Latter-Day Saint (Mormon).  I’m not going to be LDS, and I understand why food-storage is a big deal and important within that particular faith.  But I’m not part of that group and that’s that.

And yet, I find myself longing for a small chest freezer to stick in the basement and to buy bulk quantities of wheat berries for my bread-making.  I find myself perusing sites that are linked to blogs about preparedness – and I don’t know why I’m there.  I wonder about #10 cans of dried goods, how I would use them, or even IF I would use them, and I find myself staring in horror at dried butter solids in a #10 can that are designed to mix with water and create a spreadable butter.

The foodie in me turns up her nose, but I wonder if it’s wise to continue to stock up on things that we use (okay, maybe not the #10 can of butter) and store them away for a rainy day (or a harder recession than we’re in now).  It seems like a good idea, and then I turn myself in a knot wondering if I’m being too self-sufficient and not God-reliant enough.

I’m conflicted – in case that wasn’t obvious.

There are certain things we will eat and some things we won’t – I’m not, for example, going to store up dried non-fat milk.  Icky.  Not when I’ve gone to great lengths and reasonable expense to procure farm-milk for my family.  There are some things that I won’t do because of the health-ramifications.  I won’t consider highly-processed foods like Twinkies®, no matter what the urban legend is about the preservatives allowing it to survive a nuclear holocaust.  😉

I know none of us are promised tomorrow, and I think that’s where some of my conflictedness comes from.  But then I think, even if I’m not promised tomorrow and I won’t be here, at least my family would have things they need to continue on without me…


I talk myself in circles.  I need to figure out why this is such a hard topic for me and what my solution is.

What do you do for pantry-items and/or putting away things for the future?  What doesn’t work for you?  Why do you do what you do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  I don’t want to debate religion or theology – I’d just like to hear your ideas and tips.  I suspect we will end up with a freezer sooner rather than later, but what I stock it with will be determined by where I land on this topic.  😉


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  • http://sharpenyourscissors.net Laura Webber

    I have also struggled with “preparedness” as you call it (such a gentle term!). I stockpile to save on our finances, but instead of feeling like a hoarder, I have found myself with countless opportunites to instantly be generous because I have so many sharable goodies in my home… diapers, cleaning supplies, and yes, even frozen food to share! The more I have, the more I have to give away!!!
    .-= Laura Webber´s last blog ..What Do YOU Do? =-.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Ya know what, Laura? That’s *exactly* what I need to hear. Seriously. There is a positive side to this issue – beyond being able to provide for my family, I have the opportunity to be generous. And that truly is a desire of my heart.

    *This* is why I need input from my friends – otherwise I talk myself in circles. I so appreciate the thoughts! :)

  • Carrie

    I have these tendencies, too. Sometimes I think it’s a response to feeling overwhelmed trying to balance work and mothering…stockpiling is one way I can feel I am caring for my family when I feel that there are other ways in which I’m insufficient.

    P.S. I have two fridges AND a deep freeze. All full. It doesn’t help the feeling.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Carrie, thanks for your honesty and grace. I really appreciate it, since that blend seems to be where I trip myself up. :\ I can be brutally honest with myself, but it rarely comes with grace on the side. :( Gotta work on that….

    The weird thing? I have no problem having a stockpile/using preparedness in HBA items (ala CVS, etc.), as the basket under my sink shows. 😉 And in the past, I’ve not batted an eyelash at having a well-stocked pantry and shopping to maintain the pantry.

    But for whatever reason, this is a harder one for me – although it’s easier when I think of the freedom I’ll have to be generous, to entertain w/o worrying about the budget or how I’m going to pay for these things, etc.

    I so appreciate the feedback & honesty. Thank you!

  • Kathy Waugh

    Is that what you call this? I have a pantry FULL of things that I buy and sometimes never get around to using. I buy them either because they’re on sale or because one “always needs chicken broth on hand” – right? Sometimes, I purchase certain items, only to realize that I have loads of it already in my pantry. Ugh.

    Thank goodness for the food donation basket at church, I let my kids pick out something before we head out on Sundays so they can drop it in the basket.

    I really should start planning my meals around whatever is in my pantry — at least for awhile. I have been craving a freezer chest too — just so I can stock up on tons of items that will likely get freezer burn before I ever get around to cooking with it.

    Wow. Thanks for bringing this issue to light. I’m so glad I’m not alone.

  • http://www.ultimatemoneyblog.com Mrs. Money

    I go from one extreme to the other. A few months ago, I was one of those people who wanted to move to a bunker in the Rockies. Then I realized that I was making myself crazy by playing worst case scenarios in my mind. I was starting to stockpile food. And now I have a pantry full of canned veggies that we probably won’t eat because I am scared they are full of BPA. *sigh*

    On another note, I read your about page and see that you’re from the A2 area! We would love to move up there soon (my family lives there) and I am a knitter too! It’s an addiction, isn’t it?!
    .-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..The Many Uses of Coconut Oil =-.

  • http://www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com Kathirynne

    Perhaps the “Maybe I should be stockpiling food.” feeling is a prompting from God, and by following that prompting, your are walking with him….part of trusting in God is listing to that “still, small voice.”

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com Sue

    I like the way you think, Kathirynne!  

    I came to that conclusion a while ago when I finally gave in to the prompting and figured that even if I didn’t know *why* God was asking me to do this, my obedience was important.  And so I’ve done it.  :)