Have you been paying attention to the news lately? There isn’t a single story that brings any feeling of peace! But that aside, whether we are preparing for disasters or the everyday, everyone needs to prepare themselves on a regular basis for life in general. From family meetings to coordinate calendars, to preparing our food storage as our leaders have asked. We need to prepare frequently.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared” — but what does that mean in real life? Once you are an adult with a family to worry about, how does that translate?
I love the movie One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. In one scene, Melanie (Pfieffer’s character) keeps pulling things out of her “mommy bag” to save the day. At the end of the scene, George Clooney’s face is priceless as he says that he needs a bag like that. To me, that bag is being prepared.
Mom’s Grocery Store
Growing up, my mom’s idea of being prepared was having a spare room in our basement that we dubbed “the grocery store of Mom” because she stocked up on everything. We had a large family, so stocking up was wise. We went through a lot of things with six kids! And after I moved out, I had to figure out how to help my significantly smaller family prepare.
I’m not a fan of the traditional food storage that so many people these days are all excited about. I think that a lot of those long-term storage foods just aren’t edible. Powdered eggs, and anything with TVP (textured vegetable protein) just makes me gag. So when I am looking for long-term food storage, I have to be honest with myself. If I’m not going to use it, I don’t buy it. But if there is a sale on toothpaste, I get a few extra. They last for years and can be used later. Those little extra supplies have given me quite a stockpile of short-term food storage!
When I first got married, my husband gave me a hard time for this habit. But then a year into our marriage, I lost my job. He was a student at the time, and with no income, every extra bit of food and supplies kept us afloat till I found a new job. Needless to say, he doesn’t complain anymore.
Yesterday I was driving down the freeway and saw a billboard sponsored by ready.gov. The caption read, “‘Wait and see’ is not an emergency plan.” I love it! And they have a great point. Sadly, we need to be prepared for anything in this world of ours. Natural and economic disasters happen when you are least expecting them. But even a change in family situation is something to be prepared for. This month we started homeschooling my son. We hadn’t planned on it, but it is what is best for him right now. And every bit of preparation in my life has helped me stay sane with this major change.
So, are you prepared? If not, it’s not too late to start. For my small family, getting a Costco membership was an excellent investment. Practically every container purchased becomes a surplus supply. Next, you need a place to store it. Many people have nooks and crannies they discount that can make all the difference. Extra space next to a dresser can become a small storage spot. My favorite space to stash things is the space under the bed.
Canned goods easily fit between the frame and the floor. Cans also fit under couches, and it helps keep toys from disappearing under there. Most closets also have a few corners where you can fit supplies. So, despite what all those preparation web sites are telling you, you don’t need anything special to get started. The most important thing is that you do something — anything — to get started.
It’s a Commandment
The doctrine of preparation is not new. Doctrine & Covenants 38:30 reads: “. . . if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” I personally find that when I have everything I need for a trip, even a short one, I am a lot more confident. So I try to be prepared with a first aid kit in my car. (I can’t tell you how many boo-boos I’ve fixed on the playground!) And I even bring a gluten-free snack option for when we are on the go and I have to feed the family fast food. (Not many fast food places have good gluten-free options.) So preparation isn’t something you need only in a disaster. I need it regularly!
In the same train of thought, we need to prepare ourselves by fortifying our testimonies. Strong faith is always required during hardships. Taking time every day to prepare yourself to be more confident before the Lord is an investment you won’t regret. President Nelson is inspired and has asked us to study the Restoration before April general conference. He said in the last conference that if we did as he asked, April conference would be an experience we would never forget. What a cool promise!!
I regret the times I haven’t taken advantage of promised blessings. And that is one blessing I can’t allow myself to miss. I am grateful for the counsel of our prophets to both spiritually and physically prepare for the future. There are great blessings in our future as we follow their counsel. Preparation and peace of mind are always worth the effort.
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Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.