Friday, January 14, 2011

When is enough enough?

Have you ever watched a movie about an incredibly wealthy person engaging in one "last" money making scheme, only to lose everything they have?  It's somewhat like watching a train wreck.  Everything in you screams, "No, you don't need that - don't you have enough already!?!"  Inevitably, they always take the chance, keep on accumulating their wealth, and most of the time, watch their family fall apart around them - so focused are they on the object of their affection - namely, money.

Standing in the middle of my well-stocked container, admiring my heaping full barrel of powdered milk, I had a flash of being that wealthy man. As I gazed into my beautiful barrel, I though "gee, I should probably start another barrel of milk - what if 55 gallons isn't enough?" In that one moment in time, I realized that a multi-millionaire, trying to attain that next $500,000.00 and I weren't so different.  He keeps thinking "just a little more, and that will be enough.  After my next million, I will retire and enjoy my family.  I'll never have to worry about money again".  Only, when the next million is deposited in his bank accounts, he needs another million.  It is never quite enough.  He needs that hedge of protection, that safeguard.  As time goes by, his focus is narrowed to the point of being myopic.  He sees nothing but the accumulation of wealth.  His world crumbles around him, his family leaves him, and still, he accumulates.

As preppers, it is easy for us to fall into the same trap as those multi-millionaires.  We scrimp and save and prepare for every eventuality.  We buy wheat when most people are buying the newest electronics.  Rather than wasting our money on a new iPhone, we buy Ham radios.  We justify every purchase with the rational that our resources are being consumed by tangible assets.  Soon, every available dollar is being spent on food stores, communications equipment, medical equipment or weapons and ammunition.  Every time the commodity prices soar, we buy another 1000# of wheat.  As the price of oil climbs, we buy gasoline in bulk, rather than paying those pesky medical bills.  We become just like that rich man who is living for his next dollar, while his family crumbles around him, only in our case we are acquiring, acquiring, acquiring tangible assets for tomorrow, rather than living life to the fullest in the here and now.

Being the prepper that I am, I would never advocate not prepparing.  Heaven forbid!  My concern is that we are preparing for tomorrow at the cost of today.  Yes, we do need to prepare.  The time is now.  The need is urgent.  However, we need to do so with wisdom.  Don't sacrifice your today for the what ifs of tomorrow.  Don't spend all of your money on preps at the cost of paying your bills.  Don't alienate your family by spending every waking moment meditating on the doom and gloom of the state of the state.  Rejoice in knowing that "this is the day that the Lord has made".  Don't spend all your time and energy accumulating.  Teach your children.  Love your husband (or wife).  Praise your Lord.  Know when enough is enough.


  1. Amen, sister! Very well stated. What is the reason to live for tomorrow if we don't even enjoy today? We can remember the past, we can think about the future, but we must LIVE today.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    NoCal Gal

  2. This is such a good thing to remember. As we search for our place in the country, I remind myself that we need to be responsible with what we have, NOW, and make preparations for tomorrow in the best way we are able. Then leave the rest up to Him.

  3. Fantastic entry! Interesting perspective by which to look at it.

  4. Thank you, I wrestle with this all the time.

  5. Well said! I have recently come to the same conclusion. I have started by spending far less time on the computer "researching" and far more time with my family in the real world. Time well spent!

  6. Very enlightening. I am a new reader and I am enjoying your posts very much. It's a clear reminder to ME that I need to start preparing. Not in the little bits here and there, but more aggressively.

  7. In all fairness to self made millionaires (which I am not). What you described is energy, commitment, productivity, innovation, invention, discovery, etc. Should an intelligent productive person who succeeds at 30 just coast the rest of their life? Everyone has their own idea of how a life should be lived but if everyone did the same thing where would the doctors and inventors come from? I am so happy when I see someone succeed and so disappointed when I see someone who chooses to do nothing with their life. I say to the millionaires; please keep doing what you are doing, please keep creating jobs and discovering new things, and thank you for you hard work.

  8. Another breath of fresh air into my day. Thank you! Jennifer

  9. I recently heard a godly man say that we are in the eye of the storm. The news says the recession is over. I say, NO! The recession was the first part of the storm. The depression is the back side. Right now we are in the quiet eye and in this limited season of calm, we can take prudent action.

    Another godly man reported that the depression that is coming will be larger than the Great Depression. Do you know how long the Great Depression lasted? My understanding is 10 years. Bigger than that? I can't even think big enough.

    Each person will have to decide for himself/herself when enough is enough. Just as Noah and neighbors had never seen rain, I believe we have never seen the magnitude of what is coming.

    I had a dream last week that hard times had been going on for a long time and that we were operating with 1/2 our current level. All of our needs were met, but inventory was MUCH lower than what I'm accustomed to. In the dream I thought how important it was that I had squirreled away every possible thing.

    Then immediately I woke up, very unsettled and thought, "I need to stock like my life depends on it, because it does."

    Our security is in the Lord and not stock. But when I get some specific information and/or instruction, I know it is time to heed it.

    Many people may think a few cases of canned goods is all that will be needed. My guess is that most people have NOT stocked enough.

    This is our time to "press in" to God for specific instructions. I remind Him when I lack wisdom that He promises to freely give it. Cash in on that promise and ask for instructions that are specific to what your family will need.

    God's blessings and abundance to all who are reading this!

  10. You can't live the disaster before it even happens. Your daughters have to wear ribbons, not Cammo, your sons need to go to the Saturday matinee movie with buddies, not constant working. You need to enjoy a nice treat, a new dress, a pair of shoes not meant to feed livestock in.

    We need to prepare for hard times, but we need to have a reason to whistle, and sing, and smile while we do it. If our mind is always centered on gloom we won't feel the joy in our hearts that God intended. Keep a tidbit of that prepping income to make today bright.

  11. My pastor and most other Christians I know don't believe in prepping because they say the Lord is our provider. They think it's fear-based to prepare, and you can never prepare enough, and your preparations are not secure from determined thieves, etc. I just can't talk any sense into them. They think I don't have faith that God will provide and that's why I'm doing it myself. It drives me nuts! He even preaches about it, and you hear amens all over the place. I showed him a blog I wrote about how it's only reasonable to prep, nothing wrong with it, and he thought I was "trying to justify myself." How do you respond to this type of idiocy?

  12. Lisa, I'd respond by finding a new church. I really would. If a pastor doesn't realize that God may very well be providing for us by leading us to prepare, then what kind of a pastor is he? A close-minded one!

    You cannot change people who do not have ears to hear and eyes to see. Move along and find someone who does. Good luck

    NoCal Gal

  13. My wife recently told me to slow down on the prepping, as I was now using credit cards to buy prepping supplies. After some reflection, I realised she was right (to some extent) and slowed somewhat.

    We preppers can get carried away. I merely spent more of my energy and time growing more food, and learning to preserve, rather than merely buying more.

    Result? Skill enhancements, more control over food supply, and therefore increased food security.

    I still say get the basics squared away (beans, bullets and band-aids) before even considering slowing down on preparing.



  14. Well said. Ever since I started preparing, I have been focused on the supplies that we have yet to acquire. Have to remind myself to "rejoice and be glad in it" Thanks for the gentle reminder.