What about economic survival skills? Are there things that you can do to survive rough economic times?
Start a Fire to Keep Warm
Make declarations each morning to stir up your faith. When Mike and I were entering our fifth year of financial difficulties years ago, I began making financial declarations. I simply inserted our names into the following passages and read them aloud each morning in a personalized way. Soon my faith was soaring, affecting my prayer life, and our financial situation began to turn around in just six months. Yes, for years (not days or weeks), I made these declarations, standing on His promises.
Deuteronomy 28:1-4; Isaiah 54:10-17; Psalm 112; & II Corinthians 9:6-15.
Our business has been hit hard this year and the Lord is reminding me to start making declarations again. What a joy it is to remind God of His promises. Reminding myself warms me up inside too!
Use Plants for Food and Medicine
When military pilots are shot down in enemy territory, they are taught to survive until they are rescued, avoiding capture. Part of this survival involves using plants for food and medicine. Poisonous plants must be recognized and avoided. Certain plants provide pain relief, while others can treat infections. Re-think the way you feed your body and take care of your family's health.
Adding one or two vegetarian meals a week to your family's diet will lower your food bill and probably their cholesterol too. Herbs can be used to treat pain, infections, and minor illnesses. Check out a book on herbal remedies from the library. We have used herbs effectively with our family to avoid expensive doctor visits.
Catch Food to Eat
Consider bartering. My friend Sarah is a hair stylist and I am a homemaker. She does my hair and I feed her several times a month. She is thankful for the home cooked meal and I am thankful to be blond instead of gray. Another friend of mine gives piano lessons to my children. In exchange, I tutor her children in history. I also barter tutoring a college student in writing and he does all my computer repair work for free. Think of ways that you can barter. Here are just a few things to consider.
- Hair cuts
- Car repair
- Computer repair
- Appliance repair
- Building/home improvement projects
- Refinishing furniture
- Yard work/lawn mowing
Water is available in the wild, but you must have a purification system to drink it. We may need to purify our finances. Economic hard times are great times to re-evaluate where and how we spend our money. Are there things that we can cut out of our budget? Can we pay off our debts? Can we cut off extras, turn off cable, or stop going out to eat? These questions are not just financial questions because how we spend our money reveals our hearts. What do we value? If we pare things down, when our financial situation improves, we can live on less, sowing more into the Kingdom of God.
So, purify your heart. Let God search your heart and guide you in the way you should go!
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting," (Psalm 139: 23-24).
Build a Shelter
The first thing I would do if I had to live off the land (after begging the Lord to COME BACK NOW!) would be to build a shelter to protect me from storms, wild animals, and yucky bugs.
We need a shelter from the economic storm. The best way to survive any trial is to have healthy relationships because these relationships will provide support. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord by drawing close to him in worship, prayer, Bible reading, and making declarations. Strengthen family and extended family relationships. Be willing to take in family members who are struggling, provided they are willing to pull their weight in the household financially and practically. If you need help, could you live with your parents, in-laws, or siblings?
Prepare an economic shelter. Save whatever you can each month, even if it is only $5.00. Make a list of things that you could sell if you had to that would provide cash to live on. Have a garage sale and put the money in savings in case of a job loss or unexpected financial trial. Consider starting a home business to bring in extra money. Make changes. You can survive. God is with you and He always has a plan!
You are more resilient than you think you are. Put your creativity to work during these lean times and watch to see what God will do! He is still on the throne! He still takes care of His little lambs.
You Can Do It!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)