Unease.

I’ve been reading Rural Revolution and similar sites for years, so I’m pretty familiar with preparedness themes.  And if you spend too much time on some of the more “out there” prepper and economic sites, it can make you a bit paranoid, which is something I try to guard against.  I’ve always figured there is a prudent level of preparedness everyone should have given that natural disasters and the like can and do happen.  Keep plenty of canned goods stocked in your pantry, have a rotation system for your canned goods, make sure you’ve got batteries and bottled water, yada yada yada.  If you’re reading my site, chances are you already know all this.

And on a separate but related theme is homesteading; interest in permaculture and the popularity of having a small-holding with a big garden, fruit trees, and small livestock such as chickens seems to have increased in the past five years or so, and this is no bad thing.  If you’re a lefty-type who worries about “global warming”, homesteading is good because it’s the ultimate in “grow local” and saves fossil fuels.  If you’re the libertarianish sort, the independence of homesteading is appealing.  Personally, I just love being outside working in the sun and dirt, so it’s been more of a hobby for me.

Yet over the past year, I’ve developed a growing sense of unease.  It really started last spring when we began house shopping.  A number of years before we’d moved from expensive Ann Arbor next door to cheaper Ypsilanti and bought a small house in order to save money for our eventual move out to the country, and last summer we made that move onto ten acres.  We had originally wanted around five acres, but this sense of unease, this sense that I wanted more land for food and fuel production, increased with every home we looked at, and we ended up doubling the amount of land.  We now wish we’d bought a home in a cheaper and even more rural area with even more land and a ready-made barn (we have no barn at present).

That sense of foreboding grew stronger toward the summer’s end as current events became even more violent and disturbing, both at home and abroad.  Part of my reason for going back to work full-time in the fall despite my husband’s preference that I stay part-time was so that we’d have money not so much to save but to invest into tangibles and infrastructure.  I couldn’t really put my finger on what was worrying me; current events were crazy, but aren’t they always?  And aren’t financial predictions always sort of dire?  I decided not to read economic or preparedness sites for a while.  Yet my unease grew, and I began to meet others with the same unease, who interestingly are from all different backgrounds and political persuasions.

Last month Frank and Fern’s post Gardening As If Your Life Depends on It caught my interest because of the number of people who commented there saying that they too had developed this sense of unease over the past year.  I tried to leave a comment and chime in but because Blogger hates me and marks 80% of my comments as spam, I was not able to, but my comment was that no one points to any one event – the debt situation in Greece, the increasing power of the Islamic State, massive third-world immigration, race riots – but the cumulative effect seems to have unnerved people.

I’ve tried just laughing it off – oh the internet, we’re all just telling each other ghost stories and giving each other the fun-creepies.  Right?

I’ve tried to go back to the Bible for some verses to quiet my unease:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:25-34)

To be clear, I don’t think preparedness is unbiblical, since we are supposed to care for our families:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1Timothy 5:8)

The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. (Proverbs 21:20)

…but the anxiety and unease is perhaps not the attitude God expects us to have.

Yet still I have this weird sense of foreboding, like everyone is collectively holding their breath and waiting for something big to happen.  It feels different to me now, though I can’t say why.  It just feels like everything is about to change, the way you can sometimes feel when a big storm is coming even when the sky is still blue.  It feels like an Ass is wearing a Lion’s suit and an Ape is pulling the strings.

So I pray and try to give my anxiety to God and I stock up on canned goods and frozen items when there’s a good sale and I work my garden and I try not to worry and wonder, but I worry and wonder all the same.  The days seem evil, but then the days have always been evil and there is nothing new under the sun.

Even so, come Thou, Lord Jesus.

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17 thoughts on “Unease.

  1. I agree with you. It is scary times we are living in but I have felt this way at other times in my life. However, our hope and trust are in the Lord as our Provider and Protector. What we should really be concerned about are all those who are heading towards eternal damnation. We know how it all ends, where we’ll be and it will be great but for so many, it won’t be and this is tragic. They refuse the Truth that sets them free from their sin and damnation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I don’t think preparedness is unbiblical…”

    I don’t either. That said however, I grew up within doomsday preparation of another sort, off the grid, sustainance survival, always hearing abut how bad things were going to get, how we’d have to shoot our neighbors when they came to steal our food. At some point I surrendered my very life itself to Christ and realized, I have no intention of trying to live that way. My survival is not of prime importance, His will and His kingdom are. As far as scripture is concerned, we are to rejoice, to love our neighbor, to celebrate because His return is imminent. That is certainly challenging, especially as you watch all the anxiety and events unfold in the world, but that is what trusting God is all about, that is what keeping our eyes on Him, rather than on the world truly means.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lori and IB, thanks for the good points you both made – very comforting when I’m indulging my worrywart side. 🙂

    My survival is not of prime importance, His will and His kingdom are.

    Honestly, my own life does not worry me. My family growing up was quite poor once I hit the high school years and I survived; a cheerful attitude makes poverty much more bearable. And I don’t cling to this life much anyway. What triggers my anxiety is my children. Were it not for them, I would not even care about what’s going on in the world, but I fear for their safety and futures. That’s a hard fear to lay down.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember walking around a park with my oldest daughter when she was a teenager telling her that our society was going to get darker and darker so she just needs to cling to Jesus and His many promises to us. God tells us 365 times in His Word to NOT fear; one for every day of the year so I’m guessing He doesn’t want us to fear but knows it will be a struggle for us. Keep praying God’s protection around them, Sunshine, and He is faithful to hear our prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. But laying aside the doom and gloom, gardening is such a joy in and of itself. I know some parts of the country are having a terrible drought and others have been overly wet, but here in Michigan we’ve had just the right amount of sun and rain. I can’t keep up with the harvesting!

    I just went for a little ramble around the pond and in the garden with the puppies and found a bunch more cucumbers I’d missed – a bit overgrown, as these are supposed to be pickling cucumbers!

    After a good splash in the pond and a nice dig in the mud trying and failing to catch crayfish, the pups satisfied themselves with harvesting a few unripe baby cucumbers and chewing them on the porch:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re well on the way to something but, it’s not form Revelations. As we saw the collapse of GM because the production of ever fewer workers could not sustain ever more retirees, so it will be for the first world. The demographic winter has flipped the population pyramid. Western Europe is in big trouble on this point. The US, not as much but, we still have a ridiculous amount of unfunded liabilities going forward, I think $127 million for Social Security and Medicare.
    A lot of knew something was going to happen back in 2007 but, who know what form it would take? According to the President of Lehman Bros., all was well the Friday before they decared backruptcy, on a Monday befre markets opened.
    Some thing is coming but, we don’t know how it will play out. However, these crisises seem to happen in the fall.

    Completely off topic but,that is one satisfied puppy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. …but my comment was that no one points to any one event – the debt situation in Greece, the increasing power of the Islamic State, massive third-world immigration, race riots – but the cumulative effect seems to have unnerved people.

    This is the beginning of a wise approach to the issue. If you watch that show “doomsday preppers” and ever thought to yourself “those people are crazy” its because they are. Each of them are planning for a very specific, low-base rate, impossible to predict event. “We are prepping for the New Madrid Fault to trigger a EMP from a not-so-well-known Mexican weapon depot and we are pretty sure it is going to happen in 238 days.”

    This is nonsense. An overall preparedness strategy for “any old garden variety” emergency with short (3 days to a week) mid (a month or so) and indefinite sustainment is smarter and not crazy at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s worth noting that we Americans have been rather insulated from all this ever since the Civil War–apart from the Indian wars on the frontier, nobody really had to fear being invaded. Seems to me like the prospect of losing one’s savings in an economic collapse pales before what the inhabitants of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America have faced over the past few centuries.

    And OK, yes, it does seem like the governments of the world, including our own, are doing some mighty stupid stuff with those khazzerim of ISIS and in Iran, but thankfully it’s not anything like the Austrian corporal or the man from Georgia (not Jimmuh Cahtuh) back in the 1930s and 1940s.

    Scary, yes, exciting, yes, but let’s not forget history. Along these lines, a professor of mine from Serbia, when informed about the American passion for roller coasters, noted that when you come from a country that’s been in a bunch of wars in the past century, you learn to see a lack of adrenaline in your veins as a good thing–and she really didn’t see the attraction of the roller coaster.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t have a strong sense of unease, but talk of civil war is now a couple years old at least. And so, as Hamlet says:
    “If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You may consider this odd but, on the old blog, the thread would have gone into the hundreds by now. With this, it will be at a dozen. I am uneasy about that.

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  10. Mrs. Fern of Thoughts from Frank and Fern, has kindly linked to my post and followed up with one of her own:

    A Pervasive Sense of Dread
    http://thoughtsfromfrankandfern.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-pervasive-sense-of-dread.html

    If Blogger didn’t delete all my comments, I would tell her, “Thank you!” 🙂 And her post is worth reading – it’s another perspective on the matter.

    As for me, I am exhausted. Any gardener knows why…Why, is that another ten pounds of zucchini I see, just waiting to be picked, prepared and frozen?

    Look forward to a post soon on making and freezing zucchini lemon dessert bars. Yummy!

    Also, the mullein is in full flower and I’ve had no time to pick it and make cough syrup! Tomorrow. Lord willing, I will do that tomorrow, which means I probably will not be able to do any blogging. Sorry, folks! If anyone wants to wash and cook my zucchini for me, I would have more time for writing posts here! 🙂

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  11. Hi Sunshine. Your post here was kind of the icing on the cake for my article. There are many different people from all walks of life that are feeling the unease and dread of something coming. So thank you for the inspiration for my article.

    If Blogger won’t let you comment on our site, please send me your comments by email and I will post them on the blog. There are several other people that do that since they can’t comment either. I have no idea why it won’t work for some folks, but we would love to hear from you. thoughtsfromfrankandfern@gmail.com

    Blessings,

    Fern

    P.S. I have about 35 lbs of Cushaw, 10 lbs of yellow squash, 5 lbs of plums and some cowpeas waiting to be canned today. I don’t think it will all get done, but I’ll give it a shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Fern!

      I will email my comment to you next time. 🙂

      Hope you’re getting through that canning! It’s raining here, so I can’t harvest my mullein flowers to make cough syrup (they need to be picked dry), and I have a bunch of pickling cucumbers that grew too large to use whole, so on top of zucchini prep today, I’m going to make lacto-fermented pickle rounds. I’m going to take pictures and make a little post on it, I think, if I have time.

      I know that you make your own sauerkraut. I haven’t done sauerkraut yet but will try it for the first time later when my cabbages are ready (I planted them awfully late, so they are still little). I have an interesting story to tell about making “salted cabbage” from when I spent some time in Russia and a severe economic collapse occurred (this was in 1998) while I was there.

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      • I really look forward to seeing how you make lacto-fermented pickles. I really want to try that. Making sauerkraut is very easy, and I’d like to hear your story about your experience in Russia. It sounds like you learned a lot during that time.

        We canned 20 pints of yellow squash, 5 pints of plums, 1 pint of green beans, 2 pints of cowpeas and 16 pints of minced garlic. The cushaw will have to wait and I hope to pick up 5 bushels of peaches tomorrow. The shelves are filling up and that is great! I look forward to hearing from you. Blessings.

        Fern

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