Sorry about the delay in the post today! For some reason, I didn't set the time for the post to publish, and I was traveling today, so it went unnoticed. That is until a friend and faithful reader texted me to make sure I hadn't disappeared. So glad that someone is watching out for me!
The signs are everywhere. The stress of an uncertain future can be seen in troubled marriages; anxiety over the loss of jobs and reduced retirement; worries over health care issues and policies; uneasiness due to media overload; confusion over whether to spend limited assets on prepping, and even more disconcerting .... just how and what to prepare for!
We have a national election on the horizon that will determine the fate of our country and the world. It's less than two weeks away and everyone is on edge. This must be how it felt before the Civil War; the most devastating time in our history. You can feel it in the air -- we are a polarized nation and it doesn't seem as if we can find our compass.
You worry about how you will protect your family from a crisis that could come at any moment, and from any direction. You are awake and have your eye on national and global events, knowing that the world's stability is fragile. You have a growing realization that you only have yourself to rely on.
Sometimes you feel alone. Relatives and close friends don't have the clarity you do, and you fear that they will be caught off-guard; lacking the means to defend or provide for themselves. That weighs heavy on your heart. You've talked til you're blue in the face and they continue to see through rose-colored glasses. How are you going to respond when they expect you to share your hard-earned reserves?
Who do you trust? The conspiracy nuts tell us that every phone call and keystroke are monitored. Could that be true? Are you on some list that declares you a threat? Should you take the stand that your inner voice tells you is the right and moral thing to do --- or should you play it safe and hope someone else will be willing to pay the price?
So, if some or all of these thoughts have flashed across your consciousness, you should know that you are not alone. It's how you choose to cope with these concerns that will determine your level of success in managing them. We are all different, and I do not suppose that I can give a one-size-fits-all solution. I can only tell you how I keep it all together.
Instead of being led by a divergent array of news sources, I have researched and made a determination of those that I feel provide an honest and trustworthy version of world events. My time is too precious to fill my brain with non-essential or wildly speculative information. I just want to keep my finger on the pulse, not be hooked up to a news-IV.
I rely on a very small group of like-minded friends who allow me to release steam and keep me from being consumed by an over-active imagination. We keep each other grounded and reminded that life still has to be lived. There is still joy in watching wildflowers blooming in the pasture and listening to rain on my tin roof.
I take great comfort in taking action; preparing in small, yet significant ways. Planting a garden and then canning my yield is visible evidence that I have moved towards self-sufficiency. Stocking up on essential medications, extra toothpaste and peanut butter give me a peace of mind.
Admittedly, these are all small things and will not change the course of events. I figured out quite awhile ago that circumstances are out of my control. But there is lots I can do to insulate myself. My faith is the most important security that I have. I am a child of God. He is Sovereign and in control of all His creation. Ultimately, my destiny is in His hands and its my job to live my life, no matter under what circumstances, in a way that is pleasing to Him. That includes living a moral, ethical life; standing up for His principles and giving glory to Him in all that I do.
That doesn't mean that things will go smoothly or the way I desire. But maybe, just maybe, I can live without compromising my values, help a person or two along the way, and stand for something that will leave my mark on this planet. If I can accomplish that, I will be satisfied.
Psalm 91:1-2 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”