Times Are Getting Tougher, But Women Can Thrive and Not Just Survive!, by Sarah Latimer

There are hundreds of thousands of women among the SurvivalBlog reader community and their households, and most of us are feeling stressed beyond what has been “normal”. If you’ve been reading SurvivalBlog and watching the news for anytime at all, like me, you’re probably concerned on a macro level about the blatant disrespect of human life, the trampling of our liberty and privacy, the moral decline of society in general and in what the children in schools are being taught, the economic crises around the world, the pressure pot of international conflict on multiple fronts, and more. Then, on a local, community, and possibly even in your own family, you are seeing those around you hurting and you may also be struggling with personal economics, relationships in trouble, unstable employment, health matters, not to mention the daily struggles that all women have to superbly provide a well-run household for their husband, children/grandchildren, themselves, and maybe even parents and/or a group, if you are working in the direction of community living. Like my husband and I, you may also be regularly hostessing survival training and/or religious training/worship in the form of a home church/congregation, too. Hopefully, you and your family are also, at least on a part-time basis, working out of your home, which is the goal of all preppers so that when SHTF you can continue to provide goods and services while working and defending the homestead. Of course, each of us has our own personal challenges, too. With all that burden, ladies, we are feeling a lot of pressure on us, aren’t we!?!

In our culture of fragmented families and with so many families in disagreement over the value and necessity of doing anything that resembles “old fashioned” ways, many women find themselves isolated and without family support. The Lord has prompted me to step forward to write a weekly column just for you.

You are not alone anymore. Join the SurvivalBlog women. We’ll be talking about issues that preparing women have to deal with– faith, family, food, emotions, relationships, gardening, homeschooling, childcare, pregnancy, and much more– in a very personal and biblical way.

Just so you know a little about me, Sarah, I’m Hugh’s wife and a mother of “more than” four (because for various periods of time, some weeks and some many years, I’ve “mothered” in my home other children, who have my heart and prayers like my own) with two still in the household, and I’m also a grandmother with precious grandchildren, who are delights to my heart. I’m a daughter with wonderful parents and parents-in-love, including one I’m helping care for who’s challenged with the harsh symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Almost two decades ago, I made a conscious decision to leave the high pressure, high dollar career life in the city for the simple, homesteading/family life in the country, and my only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner!

There are just some things in life that money can’t buy and that do not rust, decay, or lose their value with economic downturns. Sisters, what you do for the LORD obeying Him and in serving your family and community (and the blessings/rewards that come from doing those things) is beyond valuation! You can do this! You can thrive and not just survive.

So, I’ve learned a thing or two and see the signs of the times heating up. I want to extend a hand of help to my sisters. It’s time to speak to the women of SurvivalBlog! Pressures in this world (and our households) are mounting and we are feeling it. While many of the readers are men, there are a great number of women in the SurvivalBlog households too, and we are needing some encouragement. As such, I believe the Lord has prompted me to step forward to be a voice of encouragement and practical help specifically for the weaker, gentler, more sensitive, yet intuitive, resourceful, creative, powerful, and vital half of the marriage union.

Hugh says he will charge hell with a bucket of water if he knows I’m behind him. That tells me that my support is pretty important and that I have the power to give him courage (or to take it from him). Did you hear that, ladies? We, women, have a lot of work ahead of us; some of it is for us to “do” ourselves and some of our “work” is merely as en-couragers to our men and our children in the harsh times ahead! That encouraging part with our words, touch, and attitude is as important if not more so than what we do with our hands! Let’s keep our hearts and heads in check!

We can do this! Let me just get started with a couple of simple reminders of things to help boost your spiritual, mental, and physical health this week:

  1. Get prayed up and fed up! Take a few minutes to read your Bible each day. God’s Word is so full of instruction, encouragement, and guidance. However, before you read, remember to pray and ask God to speak to your heart through His Word for personal application. Then, go about your day remembering that you (if you are a repentant believer, trusting in Jesus and His Promises) are a princess– a daughter of the King of kings– and you should conduct yourself accordingly with honor, kindness, diligence in your work, and dignity. Listen to His Word and talk with Him throughout the day about everything and then take time to “be still” and listen for His voice to speak to you.
  2. Eat healthy greens, leans, and calcium-rich foods. Green leafy vegetables provide great vitamins plus fiber to keep your body functioning well. Lean meats are the way to go, and as women we need to get lots of calcium-rich foods. Even as young women, that is the time to stock our bones well for the later times in life. It’s simple economics; you invest calcium in your youth for withdrawal in your later years. However, we need to continue to supplement all along the way with plenty of calcium-rich foods. (Unfortunately, chocolate milk only counts as half a serving of calcium, as I understand that chocolate hinders calcium absorption. Boo!)
  3. Get a dose of sun, whenever the sun is shining, whether you go for a walk or run or work in the yard (if weather permits). Alternatively, you could go for a drive or sit inside in the south-facing window if it is just too cold to spend time outdoors. Just remember that some of your skin needs to be exposed to absorb the rays, but we need to wear some UV protection when outside or in the sun for much time to avoid sunburn or skin damage. It seems crazy to think about getting a sunburn in February, but it happens, especially on those first days at the end of winter that we venture outside to work in the yard after having been couped up indoors for months. Sunshine provides us with Vitamin D and helps us process calcium. It helps our mood in the process of making us healthier, and getting out to get some fresh air and enjoy God’s natural beauty does too. While you’re at it, look for things/reasons to give Him thanks. They are there, but you have to look.
  4. Get moving, especially outside in the fresh air, weather permitting. If you can’t, then exercise indoors, but try to get a good aerobic exercise in at least three days each week. Brisk walking is excellent. The best form of exercise is swimming, but in the winter that is not often available to us. Do what you can, but keep as active as your body allows! When times get tough, we need to already be fit and able to hike, pack, and physically work all day long. Now is the time to get in shape, not later, and it is more about endurance and health than muscle-bound strength, ladies! Get started today with a little improvement every day! While you’re exercising, listen to something encouraging. Whether it is inspirational music or a teaching, use this time to boost your thought-process towards truth, get some peace, or to learn a new skill through an instructional audio/video. If you have young children at home, get them involved in your exercise activities, too. Take the ball outside and you run soccer drills where they kick and you chase and kick the ball back to them. You’ll get a lot more running in than they do, but that’s the point. Make it family fun whenever possible!
  5. Take supplements to boost your immune system and provide for womens’ health. I’ve been taking a multi-vitamin blend that I’m quite happy with this past year, but here’s what I recommend as a minimum for immunity boosting and women’s health (based on what I’ve taken for many years to quite successfully prevent colds and illnesses):

    Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, doctor, or nurse. Healthcare advice provided here is merely a recommendation. Please check with your doctor for what is best for you and your particular health needs. The advice shared here is based upon my experience and needs; your needs may vary widely.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe


  • 2 cups dried elderberries
  • 4 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups raw, local honey
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Simmer berries, water, cinnamon, and cloves for one hour.
  2. Cover, and let set on counter overnight or at least eight hours.
  3. Bring to a boil again, adding ginger root. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. When warm but not hot, add lemon juice and honey; stir until honey is well dissolved and mixed.
  5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and funnel into clean, glass pouring bottles.
  6. Seal bottles tightly, and store in refrigerator for use.

Note: If you prefer to can this for long-term storage, cut honey to 1/3 of recipe and add remaining honey only after canning jars have been opened so as not to cook the raw honey in canning process and diminish its health benefit. Be sure to mark jars that need honey added after opening.

We like the taste and take it straight, but it is also great in smoothies or yogurt, too. Even our pre-school granddaughters take it straight without a problem or bribe.

Warning: Do not administer Elderberry Syrup containing honey to children under one year of age, due to the risk of botulism poisoning in infants! If you want to make syrup for infants, substitute liquid agave or granulated sugar cane.

Sarah’s Scripture suggestion: Psalm 4