I am a single mom with a ten year old daughter, a Christian Constitutionalist, and a prepper. I grew up very poor, both physically and emotionally. However, my grandmother gave me a tremendous spiritual foundation for which I am forever grateful. Life is about making choices– choosing to put one foot in front of the next and keep going, regardless of the circumstance; choosing to prepare for whatever comes; and choosing to trust in and follow God in all ways.
The first eighteen years of my life reads like a bad dime store novel. It included a little brother dying at three months of age from SIDS; an alcoholic mother and a disabled father; for six years, beginning at only age six, living with and providing care that included cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more for an elderly grandmother; being in a fire at age 12 where 46% of my body received 2nd and 3rd degree burns; my father dying when I was age 14; numerous car accidents that should have resulted in death or serious injury; living alone (getting myself up for school, cooking, cleaning, doing my own laundry, et cetera) six months after my father died; and at seventeen (summer between my junior and senior year in high school) a house fire destroyed all of my earthly possessions, except what was packed in my suitcase while I was away at a summer program I had wrangled myself into for college credit. I have visible scars over most of my body, and they are noticeable in public. It’s not always easy to keep pressing on. Sure, there were times when I was angry with God, confused, and made my share of mistakes, but I have made the choices to keep moving forward.
At a young age, I chose to follow God. I believe that He knit me together in my mother’s womb, knew me before long before I breathed my first breath, and created me with a plan and purpose for my life (as He does everyone). The rest of the story illustrates God’s faithfulness and my freewill. Instead of using the tragedies of my life as an excuse to fail, I survived and flourished, with God. I graduated from high school, earned a BA degree in college, and went on to acquire a Master’s degree. During this time, I stayed involved in the church and community wherever I lived. I have worked full-time since I was eighteen, making and paying my own way. I have worked so hard that I made too much money to qualify for financial aid after my first semester in college. I currently work from home as a grant writer in a rural community in Central Texas, volunteer to write grants for various organizations to improve my community, am a mother to a wonderful young girl, and believe in and work toward being prepared for whatever calamity may happen in life.
I have written the short synopsis of my life as an example of the fortitude and the mindset a person must possess to survive whatever the challenges (from the tragedies of life to the collapse of the world as we know it, and yes, I believe that is coming). Preparedness is not only being prepared with material items, but it is also being prepared intrinsically with an internal arsenal of faith in God, fortitude to keep moving forward, hope for the future, honor, integrity, knowledge, and love.
I am a working class mom. There is no rich relative or husband to provide for me and my daughter. I drive a 14 year old SUV that’s well maintained. I believe that the tortoise can prepare just as well as the rabbit. I believe in doing for myself and teaching my daughter the same. Below are some practical steps I have taken to prepare. I have:
- Several years ago, started buying a box of ammunition every time I received a paycheck. As a result, I have a nice stock pile of ammunition. I took a hiatus from my ammunition purchasing plan when the cost skyrocketed but anticipate beginning purchases again, starting in October 2014.
- In the past three years, acquired four firearms– a .22 revolver (bought for my daughter the day after Obama was reelected), .22 rifle, 12-gauge shotgun, and .40 caliber handgun. I anticipate purchasing a small .38 semi-auto to carry concealed (on my person) in the next two months, and in the Spring I will purchase a larger caliber rifle for hunting, then continue saving for two AR-15s.
- Purchased a BB/pellet handgun for my daughter. In three weeks, she is going to take a gun safety class with a couple from my church. I will let her carry her gun in a holster as she becomes comfortable with the safety and the use of the gun. I plan on graduating her to the .22 revolver after that and then to an automatic handgun. I’ll review the following gun safety guidelines.
- Bought necessary kits to clean and maintain all firearms. I was blessed that a retired couple from church taught my daughter and I how to properly disassemble and clean the firearms over the summer.
- Taken the Concealed Handgun Class and acquired my license to carry concealed. My daughter was able to sit in on the class with me for free, and it was very beneficial to her.
- Over the years, purchased MREs, freeze dried food in #10 cans, and stockpiled extra food a little bit at a time. I look for sales and often get to HEB and Walmart early on Thursdays and Fridays to look for sales on discounted meat for the freezer.
- Taken a canning class offered at my church, so I can start canning food. My daughter was able to attend and participate in the class.
- Over the years, acquired and learned how to use camping equipment and first aid supplies. My daughter and I love camping; it is a preferred vacation for us. Several times a year we camp. Last March, we loaded our backpacks, hiked three miles to a primitive campsite, ate MREs, and experienced sleeping in the woods alone.
- Begun studying for a Ham Radio License. I anticipate taking the test in November or December 2014. Also, I have purchased long-range radios and ammo cans to use as a faraday cages for electronics.
- Moved to the country, 20 miles from town this summer. I could not afford to buy a home or farm in the country but received a call from a dear couple from my church offering to rent a home on their ranch to me for less than what I paid in town for as long as I wanted. The only requirement, in addition to discounted rent, was to take care of a small orchard that had been neglected and to start a garden. It is important to be honest and walk in integrity, because opportunities sometime arise as others watch how we live life.
- Two weeks ago, prepared our garden for Spring planting. As a means of enriching the soil, my daughter and I put down a layer of each: cardboard, newspaper, leaves, and goat manure. In February, these items will have decomposed and be tilled into the soil.
- Had my daughter enrolled for several years in 4-H. She has learned about animals and their care and learned responsibility by taking care of her Fall animal projects. I anticipate raising goats, pigs, or rabbits in the next year.
- Taken a Constitutional course through The Oak Initiative. My daughter was able to sit in on many of the classes.
- Taught my daughter about the Constitution/Bills of Rights. Pocket Constitutions can be downloaded and printed. Hillsdale College also offers free courses on the Constitution.
- Taught my daughter enrichment tools that she is not being taught in school, such as multiplication tables and history. I encourage her to read, read, read. She likes the “I Survived” books. We don’t have regular television, but we watch survival shows together on Netflix, and she loves playing survival outdoors on her own.
- Have started memorizing biblical scriptures with my daughter. Ultimately, God is the only force that can stand against the evil coming. Creating a solid biblical foundation for my daughter will enable her to stand on her faith when the situations arise where only God can intervene.
- Attended church regularly and network with many older folks that also prepare.
- Worked with a group of folks to create a Community Development Center that works with the Food Bank, community, and offers a Prayer Room for folks. Several like-minded folks came together with the desire to help our community now and in the future. Many practical ideas have been to establish a soup kitchen, expand the Food Bank, and establish a venue and resources to serve the community if everything goes to hell. It’s important to plan infrastructure now to establish resources that will be needed in the future.
- Planned on acquiring a hunting license and taking a hunting safety course, for both myself and my daughter. Friends from church have agreed to take us hunting and teach me how to dress out a deer and store the meat.
- Read numerous preparedness books, including those by Mr. Rawles; regularly visited preparedness websites; stayed updated on current events; and tried to remain cognizant of what’s going on in our nation and the world. My daughter and I have signed up for some free self-defense classes offered in our community and will keep moving forward with our preparedness.
- Prepared and always carry a “get home” bag in my car with items I might need to get home, including a gun/ammunition, shoes/socks, food, water, first aid kit, et cetera. I have also developed a get home plan with my daughter, if an EMP or Solar Flare occurs while she is at school. If cell phones stop working and the electricity is out, she has a plan to get out of dodge (the school) and go to a prearranged location at a friend’s home about a mile from the school, where she will have a bag ready as well.
I am preparing as the tortoise, slow and steady, for whatever changes the world as we know it. I am also listening for God’s direction for the course of my life, with work and volunteer activities, and yes, even with preparedness. I am working on training my daughter in the “way she should go” and teaching her the benefits of hard work and preparedness, long-term planning and goal setting, and creating a firm foundation of knowledge about our nation’s constitution, as well as knowledge, trust, and faith in God.
I see society and cringe at the entitlement mentality, the poor work ethic, and laziness among younger generations and even my own generation, the “blame game” to justify actions, the lack of consequences and responsibility for behavior, the corruption and immorality in our government and among society, and the low expectations for ourselves and our children. I tell my daughter fairly often “If George Washington was surveying in the wilderness at 14”, then . . . I shouldn’t expect less of her. I know she’s not George Washington, but I don’t plan on lowering my expectations of her—“for how a man sees himself, therefore he is”.
Life is about making choices–choosing to put one foot in front of the next, moving forward, regardless of the present situation; using the intellect and capabilities entrusted to us by God; choosing to prepare for whatever comes; and choosing to trust in and follow God in all ways.
Preparedness is about preparation, a constantly evolving process both intrinsically and extrinsically of improving present circumstances to ready one’s self to survive. It’s a lifestyle.