Preparedness has been on my heart and in the forefront of my thoughts as of late.  It is something that I am very familiar with, having been brought up with it.  My Dad always had a “little extra on hand,” just in case.  We stored an extra 25 lb. bag of flour, sugar, and dried beans at all times.  Both of my parents also kept the pantry stocked with extra canned goods.  There were times growing up when I didn’t understand the need for this, but apparently the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.  I have begun to see the need to prepare more as of late.

We have always felt it important to have our canning room shelves full.  Maybe it’s just because that is how it was growing up for both my hubby and I.  We didn’t really know that people did anything different.  I have always stocked up on extra sale items when appropriate, and we have worked diligently to preserve the harvest of our garden in the fall to prepare for the winter months.  Our freezers are always full.  Let me be clear here, we are not hoarding food, but putting it up to be used in a timely manner, and replenishing the supply.  It is a cycle.  Our needs as a family have changed over the years and continue to change as our children continue to grow, eventually it will go back the other way, as they begin to leave the nest, and so the cycle continues.

I have not written about preparedness before for a couple of reasons.  One, is that it is such a natural cycle of our lives that it did not really occur to me to do so for a long time.  Two, is that I do not want to promote and choose not to live in fear.  I am not in a perpetual state of worry that we will have enough food, water, shelter, etc. in the future, or the event of emergency or natural disaster.  My experience is one that God does and will provide.  Does this mean that we should leave it all to happenstance then?  No.  I choose not to.  A wonderful article on preparedness summed it up for me by saying that God does provide, sometimes before an emergency, during, and sometimes after.  This struck a chord with me.

Last week I decided to buy a case of bottled water to put on the shelf of the canning room.  I have never been particularly concerned about storing water, but thought it would be a good addition to the canned goods.  Just in case.

Last night our well quit working.  Upon inspection Hardworkin’ Hubby discovered that it had flooded.   We have finally gotten spring in Northern Mn.  In two days.  Roads are washing out, basements are flooding, ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams have left their banks swelling beyond the likes we have seen in recent memory, or any memory for that matter.  Needless to say a homestead without water is not a good thing.  Everyone gets thirsty.  We also collect rainwater for our garden and animals, so luckily I did have some buckets placed strategically under the eaves of the outbuildings, so no one went thirsty for long.  I was able to water the animals, and with our bottled water on the canning room shelf, the children were able to get a drink and brush their teeth for bedtime, while we continued to work on the well.  We were able to get it going again late last night, but there was a point that we weren’t sure if we could, or if we would have to wait until the next day/evening.  Having something as simple as a case of bottled water on the shelf was worth the peace of mind.  We feel confident that the well was not compromised, we caught it just in time, but all the electrical was underwater, so it would not pump. 

We have had similar situations with preparedness before; being glad that we had held onto something that was then able to repair another thing on the homestead, or having enough of the harvest filling the canning room shelves when the grocery budget got tight to non-existent.  In these moments I am always thankful that we are preparers by nature, yet we do not fear.  We walk boldly with confidence that all is well, even when the well stops working!

Just as the birds prepare their nests for their babies, the hibernating animals put up their winter stores, we too, should follow nature’s lead, and prepare to feather our nests, preserve our harvests, have an emergency plan for heat, water, food, and shelter should the need arise. In doing so, we will be able to face adversity, should it arise, with calmness and confidence, and do what needs to be done.  When our own basic needs are met, we can then help others meet their needs.

All this in a bottle of water.