It can be a challenging thing, running a blog. The number one rule for keeping a blog lively is to post frequently, which can often be difficult. What should I write about? Are photos of chickens sitting on top some canning jars too cutesy and fluffy? Who cares how to can meat? Oh no, not more doggy pictures!
As my blog manager, my husband often reminds me to temper the “fluff” on my blog with more serious and thoughtful pieces. I have an obligation, he reminds me, to provide my readers with nuggets of wisdom, not just pretty pictures of sunrises. And since many of my readers are preparedness-minded, he thinks it’s wise to post frequently on that topic.
But it occurs to me that I do. Sorta. Just about everything on this blog, in one way or another, relates to preparedness.
You see, preparedness isn’t just the amount of beans, bullets and Band-Aids we have stored away. Being prepared is a balanced whole that includes everything we do: reading scripture, teaching our children, making a living, getting ready for winter.
It’s the trivial everyday things that add up, you see. If we’re too skewed in any one direction, then we’re off balance. If we do nothing but stockpile ammo, we’re off balance. If we do nothing but read the Bible, we’re off balance. If we do nothing but focus on our kids, we’re off balance. Our lives are meant to be full and whole and inclusive of many things, which hopefully include stockpiling ammo, reading the Bible, and focusing on our kids.
Don, being a guy, admits he sees things from a nuts-and-bolts perspective. That’s what guys do. For example, in the last couple of weeks he’s been pulling together our GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bags. These are emergency grab-and-go bags that will ensure minimal comfort in the event we need to leave our home instantly (wildfire, earthquake, that kind of thing). These bags take a great deal of planning. They must be tailored toward weight (Don and I can carry a lot more than the girls can) and must be inclusive of any number of weather conditions (heat, bitter cold, pouring rain, whatever). The bags must include provisions for heat, shelter, food, water, and protection. It’s no small feat to pull together a well-thought-out GOOD bag. (Don’t worry, I’ll blog about them when they’re fully assembled.)
Since he’s been so focused on the nuts-and-bolts of how to assemble the bags, Don is naturally impatient every time I post something fluffy like sleeping babies or canning pears. It’s not that sleeping babies or canning pears aren’t important; it’s just that, as a guy, he’s less interested in seeing such things on my blog.
This is when he admits he has to step back, take a breath, and acknowledge that babies and pears aren’t such bad things to blog about (just not all the time). If I posted on nothing but where to find the best prices on lentils, how to store ammo, or what should be in a comprehensive medical kid, then I would soon lose my readership (except for those with a particular interest in beans, bullets, and Band-Aids).
Preparedness isn’t just having your GOOD bags packed and ready to go. It’s not just spending time at the gun range. It’s not just an inventory of how many jars of food you have squirreled away. Such things tend to focus attention solely on the dark and dire possibilities that may (or may not) be in our future.
But that’s not all there is to life. If you have a 9 to 5 job that you hate, and then you come home and spend your time crouched over a computer screen getting depressed at the state of the world, you’re missing the point. You’re missing more than the point: you’re missing life. You’re missing the attitude that there’s a better world out there. You’re missing that God has given us some mighty spiffy gifts, such as babies and pears and chickens and dogs and sunsets.
You will not succeed in preparedness if you allow the really bad things to convince you there is nothing good left in the world. If you’re so overwhelmed by the evil that you can no longer see the good, then the evil has already won.
There are some absolutely wonderful sites on the internet dedicated to survival and preparedness (such as my favorite, SurvivalBlog), but for all our predictions about the woes of the future, we still can enjoy the present. We can appreciate the beauty of the morning, the loveliness of an oat field, or the cuteness of a dog.
On the flip side of the coin, we can’t fall for the nonsense that everything can be left in God’s hands and we don’t have to participate in our future at all. God expects us to help ourselves, not sit like slugs and wait for Him to put the very food in our mouths. We should also take the time to thank Him for what he has given us; not only beautiful sunrises and cute babies, but also for the foresight to prepare for hard times.
So, in these broad terms, my blog really IS all about preparedness. It’s about what’s we’re doing to defend and protect ourselves, and how we’re preparing (with God’s guidance) the tough times we feel are coming. And while we may be preparing to face evil, we can still recognize and appreciate the good. That's balanced.
In other words, we’ll take joy in just living our ordinary mundane lives. We’ll go about our business of watching the sunsets, dealing with a failed garden, taking a trip to town, and ultimately being prepared to meet our Maker.
And maybe that last point is the most important one of all.