Have you ever had a time in your life where a certain theme keeps coming up in everything you see? It happens to me a lot. The particular all encompassing topic of interest that has been my constant companion for the last week has been preparation. It all started with thoughts on preparing for retirement, turned into emergency preparedness, and this mornings readings brought me to preparing children.
I discussed a little about our retirement preparations previously. We are now more focused then ever before on our farm and the "homesteading" life. However, what I didn't expect was how those thoughts would effect our plans for the next 10 years of Mr. Wonderful's military career. We've planned on going overseas and high adventure for years.... yet, come the beginning of this week my desire to do so has been greatly reduced. Why? Well, my husband served a mission in Japan from 97-99, minored in Japanese in college and spent several months there last year. He loves Japan and has taught our family to do so as well. Thanks to Hiragana Mama I've been able to help in the teaching of our children. Anyway, as I'm sure you're aware, recently there has been some massive destruction in Japan (where we were hoping to go next year) as well as the targeting and killing of Airmen in Germany at the airport there (also on our list of places to go.) Now, I'm not saying that these event are going to keep us from going to these places, but they sure have made me think.
We are a family of 6 and counting. We live comfortably in a 3 bedroom house and with my OCD and world traveling husband, we're downsizing quite a bit (mostly it's been in preparation for any overseas move, but still applicable if not). We don't need much, we specialize in multiple sets of bunk-beds and sharing rooms, and we'd happily inhabit the floor if necessary. However, the one thing that is unchanging about our situation that we can't modify like sleeping arrangements, is the need to get everyone adequately fed. It takes a bit more to feed our family than others without as many members, and so preparation for future events (natural disasters for instance) is a BIG deal for me. It seems like everyday gives me a reason to stock up even more on the things that we use. And unfortunately, while we have a good supply of food, to feed 6 people for a month just with what is in our home (assuming the electricity is out and my frozen stuff is now unusable) is questionable to me.
How these thoughts effect my desire for adventures overseas is like this: after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the power went out. No heat, no electricity to your refrigerator, no lights. The commissary at Misawa quickly ran out of essentials, people could only buy things with cash (card machines don't work without power!), and the people in the cities were desperately in need of everyday supplies because they are not allowed to keep a food storage due to hoarding laws. I really evaluated things at this point. I honestly would rather stay in the states and have my food storage, acreage for gardening and the knowledge that I've settled and prepared as best as I can so as not to watch my family go without food and water, and also so that we can have goods available to bless others in hardship. Perhaps it's time to leave the high adventures to others (if it were just the husband and I there would be no question!)
This post: http://jorgensensblog.blogspot.com/
Which lead me to this blog: http://actegratuit.blogspot.com/2011/03/earthquake-aftermath.html
And this post on that blog: http://actegratuit.blogspot.com/2011/03/humanitarian-aid-for-hachinohe.html
has made me contemplate what I want and what needs to happen for our family. Simplicity comes to mind. Adventure is great, it's exciting, it's wonderful! Our time in Korea was some of the most eye opening and enjoyable times in my life, but if I can't do that and accomplish all the basic needs my family would need in an emergency it's not worth it. So, even though I prefer to be at an ACC base, my husband is actually talking about going to teach at our last base so we can have a farm there and he can have a more set schedule. Weird how things change, right?
Whether or not I got my point across in that last rambling mess, I must move on as children are starting to rise and the day must be on it's way! My last thought was on SPIRITUAL PREPAREDESS. My day began the best way I learn.... through reading. My husband took our iPad and iPod so I hopped on lds.org to read my scriptures and instead of getting that far the opening page spoke clearly to me and everything that I think about... so, I followed the link and it lead me to a Feb 2011 Ensign talk on The Power of Early Preparation.
So, go read that and here's one last thought for you from our nightly reading of Stand A Little Taller by President Hinckley:
A Quiet Voice
A soft answer turneth away wrath:
but grievous words stir up anger.
"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills of difference become great mountains of contention. The voice of heaven is a still, small voice; likewise, the voice of domestic peace is a quiet voice."