Thursday, February 24, 2011

A simpler life

Anyone that follows the stock market, commodity prices, the dollar and news events is probably getting somewhat uneasy.  Commodity prices have been steadily rising for months and have really shot up recently.  This is for multiple reasons - manmade and natural disasters, unrest in the world, too many people living off of the "system" and not putting into it, too much borrowing and not enough saving, terrible political decisions in multiple countries... the list goes on and on.

It is not helpful to live in the spirit of fear that is permeating our world.  One of my favorite scriptures is in 2Timothy 1:7......   For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.   BE ADVISED  it is the better part of wisdom to look ahead and make wise decisions for your family..... not in a spirit of fear, but in a useful, responsible way.

No matter where you live or what you do, you can make your situation more stable.  Proverbs has a lot of wisdom concerning living in wisdom or in folly.  If you have not read through Proverbs lately, you should.  Just look at today's date and read that Proverb.  Here are a few samples.

A wise man fears and departs from evil,
      But a fool rages and is self-confident. 
Proverbs 14:16
Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
      But a fool lays open
his folly. 
Proverbs 13:16

No matter where you live, you should look around and see what local resources are at hand..... then learn to use them.  This is wisdom, not fear.  When you learn in a non-emergency situation it is a lot easier.  Add knowledge and skill one layer at a time so no one is overwhelmed.  If I had tried to feed my family sourdough bread baked on the wood stove 3-4 years ago no one would have eaten it..... including me.  I probably would never have attempted a full on farmer's breakfast on the stove, but now it is very possible.  We have changed over time.

I have already posted this video, but am posting it again with a caveat from my sister.  She said the pictures make everything look easier, cleaner and faster than it really happened.  We have just made one step after the other after the other.  Each person works within their strengths..... or develops new strengths.  For example, my hubby had a milk cow when he was younger.  Bonnie would much prefer him to milk her and gives the most milk to him.  This is not practical for us.  I have had to learn to milk, and my sister is next.  It doesn't matter what is the easiest, this is a new skill we must develop.

Ask yourself these questions....
  • Does my family produce more than they consume?
  • Is the bulk of my food local and sustainable?
  • If it is not, do I have an ample supply on hand for an emergency situation?
  • Can I slowly change the way my family eats, lives, cooks and plays to be more sustainable?
  • Do I know how to produce food and energy for my family?
  • Do I have a skill, knowledge or resource that I can barter with?
  • Can I convert grass into protein? 
  • Do you know how to garden?
  • If you have a garden.... do you use heirloom seeds?
  • Do you know how to properly save and reuse your seeds?
A side note.... Baker Creek Seeds is my favorite non GMO, heirloom seed company.  We plan to add a section of garden for the animals this year. 

Questions like these help you think ahead in a non-emergency situation.  When a power outage or other disruption occurs, use the opportunity to practice some of your skills.  Do you have to run to the store regularly?  Rethink that.  Then when the next disruption occurs, try again.  Instead of complaining, figure it out.  Do laws need to be changed so you can have a wood stove in an area RICH with firewood?  How about backyard chickens?  Do zoning laws need to change?  What has to happen so you can live more sustainably?

Living a simple life brings a peace that is beyond wonderful.  We are not quite there yet, but we persevere.  Stay close to God, eat local and fresh, be prepared, be a good neighbor, learn to function closer to where you live.  Be content.