Survival Skills: Preparing For The Hard Times Ahead…

 

For the last twenty years, I have been studying and researching the basic necessities for survival. I had no idea what I was doing at first, it really started with my first marriage and my first home. My next door neighbor, Tina, was one of the smartest people I had ever met, and she was the one who put the tiny bug in me regarding sowing, growing and preserving my own food. I had gardened in the past, mainly with my father and one of my grandfathers, Leon, when I was little. I even had a toy house my father built for me when I was very young, where I would play “house” and keep silly things like linens and wood, old plates and glasses in there, in case I was in need of them. Who knew these tiny little things would one day become integral in my adult life. Sure, it sounds simple, if not a little silly to talk about such things, but our children today have NOT a clue about these things. In fact, the school district where my children go to high school do not even have a Home Economics class in their curriculum. No, it is actually called “Smart Consumerism”, which I later found most school districts in the country have. Most have not a clue how to sew, cook, clean, or budget. They only know how to make money and how to consume it. My sons actually had ONE cooking class, where they learned to make mini pizzas with mini bagels. No learning of preserving foods, growing them and harvesting them, and our town is actually listed as a rural area! This is what society is today. We have been taught not how to fend for ourselves, but that others do it for us, and we just pay them for their services.

A subculture decades ago started forming, many of which would be called “Preppers”. Those not in that frey joke and call them alt-right wing conservatives, gun toting born again fundies who live off grid and wait for the apocalypse to arrive. Sure, I am sure there are those who meet those characteristics, but the majority of these preppers are just individuals and families who have been quietly preparing themselves in the event an event would come about that would cause us to revert back to a more rustic way of living. 

I am one of those people.

I dove into the world of survivalism many years ago, and with the state of our society today, I’m all the more glad for it. Even though I’m not the greatest gardener, not the greatest cook, not the greatest organizer, I DO know that if our world comes to a halt, we’re going to be okay for a bit. Deep in the recess of my mind, I think I really wasn’t expecting this outbreak of the COVID-19 to happen. Well, at least, not of this magnitude. Our country has come to a halt, and because of this, many who do not know these skills were forced to spend most of their money to buy supplies, causing the supermarket to become bare of these supplies. People hoarded these supplies, taken over by greed and fear, price gouging others who didn’t get there quick enough. When in a state of fear, we revert to animal instincts. What happens, though, when our instincts have gone to the back recesses of our mind because society taught us these instincts were useless?  

 

Survival skills are not on most of our societies’ minds today. This is precisely what should have been instilled in our children at a young age, a proactive approach to preparing themselves so that in times like this current crisis, chaos and fear would not be the leading emotion in our society.

We have to be better than this.

We have to be smarter than this.

We have to stop blaming others for what’s happening and take accountability for our behaviors, and learn from this. 

We have to stop expecting someone else to take care of the issue because we were not prepared for it in the first place.

We live in an age of amazing technology, where so many resources are at the palm of our hands. Videos, articles, books, seminars, they are everywhere. Yet, most people turn a blind eye. I cannot necessarily blame them, many were brought up in the age of consumerism, where the free market has given us a way to live a life of privilege. And guys, let’s face it, most of us live in a privileged society. We have the privilege of buying what we need when we need it. From something simple like a candy bar to a case of bottled water.

Sooner or later, though, time was eventually going to be used up and we would eventually have to fend for ourselves. I believe this pandemic we have been facing is just the tip of the iceberg. If anything, maybe it is God telling us to stop playing around and get ourselves in order.

I want to tell you some of the things I have been doing over the last several years to prepare for these types of times that will be eventually coming to pass.

Wealth to me is more than money. It’s a fully loaded pantry, it’s a bountiful garden, it’s the knowledge I gave myself when others thought I was crazy for learning it. No degree will give you these skills, and no one can take them away once you acquire them. 

Food

When my Mom-Mom was alive, she lived with us for the last 6 years of her life. And every Christmas, she would request the largest bags of flour and sugar imaginable so we could bake our yearly cookies, cakes, pies and other desserts. I remember many years ago thinking how nice it was we had so much of these ingredients, because it resulted in less frequent trips to the grocery store. And we all know with the holidays, trips to the market can be tedious and overwhelming.

So, I started buying large quantities of flour, sugar, oats and rice. These four ingredients can make a multitude of things from breads, cakes, pie crusts, cereals, granolas, puddings, etc. I also started buying spices in bulk. If it was a dry good, I was buying a lot of it. 

I also started collecting mason jars and canning pots. I began with a simple recipe, sauerkraut. But I have also learned how to pickle everything I could possibly pickle. Fermenting foods are not just good economically, but in health as well.  

We also invested in a chest freezer, to keep meats and other goods preserved, so we could buy these things in bulk.

Paper products

Did you know that cloth and beeswax can actually do away with tin foil and plastic wrap? And cloth without the beeswax are great alternatives to paper towels and napkins. Can you only imagine how simple it is to get a piece of fabric, scissors and a needle and some thread? The possibilities are endless and you aren’t contributing to the excess waste that is killing our world. 

                One of the many beeswax covers I own, all in different shapes and sizes.

 

Cooking

I just informed my husband that my main project for this year is creating and building a cob oven for outside. It’s not a necessity, mainly because we have a charcoal grill that can easily be used with wood. But economically speaking, imagine how low your gas or electric bill would drop if you spent more time cooking outdoors? We have a chiminea and a fire pit, so no matter what, cooking will always be an easy task for us. To make a cob oven, all you need are bricks, glass bottles, soil, sand, clay and water. Most have all this already at your disposal. 

 

Gardening and Foraging

I don’t think anyone needs to be an expert to understand the necessity of gardening. Sadly, we have grown weak in the mind from the daily convenience of going to the grocery store and getting whatever produce we need. I feel I need to tell you, things are gearing up to change in this world, and the current pandemic is just a slice of what’s to come. I know plenty of people who have no desire in the world to garden, but I implore you, you will NEED to know this very thing in order to survive. Right now, imports are being put on hold, so many of our tropical fruits and vegetables will be less available, if any at all soon enough. What happens if grocery stores close? How will you feed yourself and your family? 

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Convenience has made us a very lazy society. We want what we want when we want it, and all we need to do is click on something from a smart device, or jump into a vehicle and go somewhere who has it made already for me. What will you do if these conveniences were no longer available?

Think about this – Look at our domesticated animals. Especially the new “toy” breeds that are out there. For society’s own self-interests we created these beautiful little beings. But if humans were no longer here, what group do you think will be the first to die from the feral population or just lack of supervision? We create things out of convenience and sometimes selfish desires, and we forget the consequences if something bad were to happen. It was easy before to look away from this possibility, but seeing where we are now, we can no longer ignore what’s staring right in front of us.

 

Waste Disposal

Now, many of my friends have poked fun of me in the past for this conversation starter, but I will remain steadfast in my interest in composting. Composting is simply a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. (https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-composting-definition-and-examples.html)

So, whether its food waste, plant waste, human/pet waste, almost everything that is wasteful can be composted one way or another.

What would happen if water was no longer available? Meaning, the water company no longer worked and there was no water in the pipes for disbursing…What would you do? Did you know flushing toilets didn’t come until 1596 but honestly didn’t even become mainstream until the late 1800’s. Think about that. How did people go to the bathroom? Currently, many people living off grid/camping, etc use a tool called composting toilets. There is NO smell, and actually more hygienic than flush toilets. Unfortunately, our convenience-based minds cannot understand this concept because flushing toilets means that flush makes it go away from you. Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Seriously, all you need is a bucket, toilet seat, toilet paper and saw dust, and you’re all set. Sure, it’s not pretty, but it works and it’s a lot more hygienic than water flush toilets.

 

Home-Based Products

There are so many home products you can make on your own with just a few ingredients you may already have in your home. From detergent, toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer, lotions, salves, balms, you name it, you can most likely make it. 

At the end of the day, you HAVE the ability to make life easier for yourself and your family by knowing these skills:

Light a fire

Cook

Make shelter

Foraging

Gardening

Navigating

First Aid

Tying a Knot

Purifying Water

Also, look into the concept of Bug Out Bags. These are emergency bags used for just that: Emergencies. I am in the middle of creating one bag but I need 4 for each member of my family. It’s just a simple backpack with clothes, food, first aid, and survival tools like a compass, batteries, solar chargers, knives, cooking equipment that can fit together if the need to vacate your home arises. 

At the end of the day, these skills WILL get you through tough times. No, we are not at The Walking Dead level yet, but if we continue to turn a blind eye and continue to make ourselves believe everything will still be at the tip of a finger/delivered to you when and where you want, you will be like the toy breed animals who will be naturally selected first. You’re better than that! So go learn these skills! Like I said above, NO ONE can EVER take that away from you!

Be safe and God Bless!

Bridget

The Homesteading Hobbit

 

I Can Only Imagine…Our Eternal Home…

Home.

This simple word means different things to many people. Some see physical locations, other see people. But for those in the Body of Christ, Yeshua Messiah, Home is as simple as American Apple Pie. We don’t need any fancy adjectives or words to describe what Home means. It’s just simple.

Many Christian songs describe Home in the eyes of the writer. And although our descriptions may differ, the end result is the same: To live in eternity with our King, our Savior. Yesterday my church sang Chris Tomlin’s “Home”, and earlier in the week, I was listening to Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”. Those are just two small descriptions of what Home in Heaven COULD be like. Truth be told, there isn’t a single thing on this planet that can truly describe the awesomeness of what Heaven is like.

But it’s sure dang fun to think about!

I may have tapped into Heaven in previous blogs, but as I get older and closer to the day when my earthly life is complete, I can’t help but imagine what my eternal life will look like. I’ve read books by Kat Kerr, Mary Catherine Baxter to name just a couple, and my imagination just blossoms into this never-ending dream of life with my Creator.

From the streets of gold, to the Throne Room, the Court Rooms of Heaven, the storehouses, the Hall of Tears, heck the Lamb’s Book of Life itself…it’s HOME. And I want to share with you my personal prophetic dreams I have during my sleep, as well as blurbs throughout the day that the Father gives me.

Now, some people like Kat Kerr bring up places in Heaven that aren’t biblical, but I have learned that our Father in Heaven is so Almighty, that to judge a person’s perspective on Heaven is just not worth doing. Who am I to judge what someone believes to be a prophetic vision of their Home with God? Now, I personally believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and therefore what’s in the Bible is Truth. But to limit the Almighty Savior to this beautiful little Book is just silliness. So, let’s delve into what the Heavenly Father has shown me:

(Left: According to Biblical measurements, the size of Heaven would literally span almost the entire United States. Right: What the Three Heavens look like according to the Bible)

It’s important to say that the boundaries of Heaven are indeed protected by the most beautiful layers of jewels you’ve ever seen. Each gate being a single pearl, they are surrounded by 12 layers of gemstones no Universe could come close to the beauty and strength they have. Angels stand guard at each gate, allowing only those who are worthy and stainless to enter.

When you enter, you are surrounded by parks and vistas too far for our earthly eyes to comprehend. With the flowers and blades of grass humming praises to God, the aromas surrounding you make Viktor and Rolf’s Flower Bomb perfume seem ordinary.  The streets you walk on are literally golden, yet transparent, far as the eyes can see. The sky above you is the clearest blue you can see, yet, near the horizon, are majestic purples and pinks and yellows, not sure if you are looking at a sunrise or sunset. But there is no nighttime. The closest you can get to the skies darkening is when you are in the heavenly woodlands, thick and lush with oaks, maples, willows, ash…every tree imaginable.

Downtown Heaven is like a city, with tall, crystallized buildings, sending off prism waves of light that literally pulse with energy from the praises in the air. As if the very air in Heaven is worshiping. Inside each building are homes and businesses where people who mastered their arts and crafts on Earth could continue what they loved doing. At the end of the main city street is the Throne Room. The closer you get to the Thone Room, the heavier your chest feels, because the Glory that is our God is so powerful, that the only thing that could handle it is our eternal bodies. Our earthly fleshy bodies would not be able to withstand the awesomeness that is His Glory. In front of the Throne Room is the River of Life, literally flowing within the building itself. At the center of the River, right smack in front of the doorway of the Throne Room, is the Tree of Life. A different fruit grows every month, and the fruit AND leaves on the tree have heavenly healing powers. As you go up the steps into the Throne Room, you will encounter Men, Lions, Lambs, Horses, Eagles, and Angels with eyes all over their wings. They part in two to allow you into the building, where all your family and friends, loved ones, acquaintances, really anyone who wants to be there, to greet you, as you enter and walk down the aisle, where your Bridegroom Jesus, our Yeshua Messiah, is waiting for you, smiling and ridiculously happy to see you. Clouds billowing at the bottom of the steps lead you up to the Father, who sits on the Throne waiting for you. Jesus takes your hand and walks up with you, His bride, to present to His Father. This is where your get your crowns and your robes of Salvation and any other rewards for your works during your earthly life.  Once you embrace the Father for your return Home to the Kingdom, Jesus turns you around to present you to the Heavenly people. It is a massive homecoming, and the day is all about you.  This is the part where you will finally be reunited with your family, friends and loved ones. This includes any children who passed before their own earthly birth. Many of these children will still be infants and toddlers, as the growth rate in Heaven is incredibly slow, for the sole purpose of being able to raise them.

There will be a feast for you, provided by Yeshua, because it is your wedding day, and you are home in Heaven. Multitudes of people will be present, and you will be able to remember all those you met during your earthly life.

Once your feast is over, you will be brought to your Heavenly property and be given the official tour. The great thing about where you live is that you will be living amongst those you were closest to on Earth. All your friends, family, loved ones, people you called your “inner circle” will be living around you. Mind you, it sounds unreasonable, because there are just millions and millions of people out there. However, because Heaven is Omnipresent, there are things our Earthly minds cannot understand. Like dimensions. Imagine your heavenly inner circle is like a multidimensional cube. You may be only able to physically see one dimension, but through thought you are able to travel to dimensions where your property is part of, where others live. I understand it may be hard to comprehend but remember this is God we are talking about. Quantum Physics cannot even apply here, as that’s just child’s play to what Heaven is like.

Now, for me, I want to tell you about my personal property. This vision has been coming to me for a long time now, and although I have no idea if this is truth or not, I have faith that God is showing me what I am building up there. Because that is what we are doing here. Works do NOT guarantee our salvation, no, only belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, who died for our sins, who gave His life to destroy the penalty of sin (death), we also know that faith without works is dead. So, although our faith gets us inside Heaven, our works are what build the place where we will call home in Heaven. I was shown what used to be a small shack of a house that I had been building, because even though I was doing so many good works in my life, my lack of faith in Jesus thwarted it’s building. I’m grateful to say that coming back to Him has assured me that my soul will be in everlasting bliss with my King. And I am building a palace! Why? Because I will be ruling with my King! That’s what we are called to do! So, our Lord WANTS us to have majestic palaces. We were not born to live in sadness and unfulfilled servitude. He created us to rule along side with Him! In all HIS GLORY!  We have made ourselves believe in this notion that we cannot feel happy when good things happen to us, thus allowing negative ideas and events to be put in our world, forcing us to believe we deserved these bad things, linking them to “life lessons”. Sure, our God is a Mighty and Just God, but if you think for one moment God put you on Earth for the sole purpose to suffer, you really don’t know Him.

Suffering comes from the enemy and the enemy alone. Does God allow suffering to happen? Well, yes, of course…. we are living in Satan’s world, you know…the Earth is Satan’s domain. Just as God allowed Satan to put Job through suffering, we too, are given trials and tribulations. It is through faith, prayer and commanding the authority through our Almighty where we can defeat the enemy! Otherwise, the suffering will continue to happen. So, think about that before blaming God for your troubles.

I digress, back to Heaven!

My property has a bit of everything on it. But, most of what lives there are animals. I asked God years ago that any neglected animal, domestic or wild, be put onto my property to live eternal happiness. So, it’s a bit of an animal sanctuary, with rolling hills, a mountain range, woodlands and meadows. The valley of my home is an eternal Springtime, however the closer you get to the mountain range the seasons change to Autumn. The people that live around me live in a village-like setting…like the Shire meets a rural Scottish village. There is a lot of farming that goes on there, with lakes and ponds in different areas. The majority of the trees on my property are different types of Willow, my favorite tree species. In another dimension of my property is a tropical area where the leaves are as thick as the humidity. Clear blue waterfalls and tropical life live here, that connects to the Crystal Sea. I do not have Winter on my property.  Although many residents of Heaven have Winter on their property, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Some of the structures in Heaven are for specific purposes. There’s the Storehouse, where body parts, both internal and external parts, sit and wait for their purpose to be fulfilled. Whenever you hear of a miracle, the Storehouse is usually involved.

There’s the Hall of Tears, where every teardrop fallen from every human ever lived on Earth resides. Each tear is documented. When you hear of God wiping away your tears, this is precisely where He puts them.

The Great Library is one of the largest buildings in Heaven (not including the Throne Room). Although the Lamb’s Book of Life resides in the Throne Room next to the Father, our personal Book of Life sits in this library. If you’ve ever seen the Citadel on Game of Thrones, know this is just a modicum of what the Great Library looks like. Every wholesome book as well as documents from everyone’s lives and events on Earth are shelved somewhere in this library. Scrolls, leaflets, even tiny notes on napkins are stored here.

There is such a thing as the Portal, that Kat Kerr discusses in her books. I have seen it. It is a place where people can come and see events unfold on Earth. Many Heavenly residents use the Portal for the purpose of watching their loved ones on Earth get saved/baptized, be born or even as they are leaving their earthly life.

The Sea of Eternity or the Crystal Sea as some call it, is the vast ocean around Heaven. The entire Sea is lined with crystals and gemstones from all over the Universe. Some that are not even of Earth. It is clear as glass, and sparkles like prisms in the sunlight. I have seen people that go there as if they were to go to any beach. Only they are in their heavenly clothes rather than bathing suits. Our heavenly clothes are usually long flowy dresses or skirts, long flowy tops, all different pastels, whites, ivory, etc…Here’s where it gets weird: Sure, you can go into the sea, you can even go into the River of Life. It’s wet, as you know, but you WON’T get wet. Wrap your head around that, now!

One of the most beautiful parts of Heaven are all around within the small parks. Gardens and small meadows, coves, etc., where you can go and be quiet, seem to be infinitely around. You even have a private garden on your property where you and Jesus hang out. Because Yeshua is Omnipresent, He can be in multiple places at the same time. So, when you are in Heaven, when you want to be near Him, it happens almost instantly! My private gardens are filled with pink and lavender roses, so thick it’s almost soundproof. My garden backs up to a covered porch on one side of my home. This is where I have had visions of having tea with not only my King, but I have had dreams of being there with my Mom. (who is still thankfully living here on earth!) Having these visions give me hope and utter happiness that this is what awaits me.

There are ALWAYS parties going on! From as small as private picnics to massive feasts, people go from home to home, community to community, to stay with loved ones. Because time does not exist in Heaven, it really is impossible to comprehend how things go on up there. Parties can sometimes last days, if not weeks, before things settle down and move onto the next place. Many of the parties are continuing celebrations of homecomings that are hosted by your loved one.

Now, although I have not seen in my visions other places that other people have seen, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Heaven is infinite; and right now, this is all that God has shown me.

I pray this gives you peace and yet a sense of urgency. The King is coming, everyone. This is eternity we are talking about. You must ask yourself: Are you so rooted in the Earth that eternity is nothing but a fleeting thought? Do not have that backwards way of thinking, loved ones. I have seen things, been blessed with things given to me I wish I could explain more than I have here. Our life here on Earth, albeit important, is the “fleeting thought” when it comes to the scope of eternity. This life here? This is just a blip. Eternity, however, well…I do not need to give an explanation on how long eternity is. You have the choice to decide where you want eternity. I pray you will be blessed in reading this. I pray seeds have been planted in your heart. For I would love nothing more than to spend eternity with you all. God Bless.