Preparing Your Heart and Home:
In the Beginning…
I can pinpoint the exact year God put, “Get prepared!” on both my heart and my husband, Jay’s. It was 2015, around six months after my baby Bella’s birth, a few months after I lost my sister Tricia to breast cancer, and when I was scouring through floor plans for the farmhouse we intended to build. I dreamt of this quaint little cottage tucked into the woods. For years I stared lustfully at the pages of Southern Living Magazine at all those single stories, with pitched roofs, and little flower boxes. Determined to squeeze four children into it, I wanted: easy to clean, a place to decompress, and an escape to write or paint; but each time I presented Jay with a house, he said four words, “Needs to be bigger.”
One day after hearing the words again, frustrated, I asked, “What are we building, an ark?” Jay’s eyes met mine, and I knew that’s exactly what he intended to do.
“Look,” he said. “I just want a place that both our families can hunker down in case of economic collapse. It may not be in our lifetime, it could be our children’s children, but I know this is what God wants me to build. I feel hard times are ahead.”
From then on I called our project the Ark, but I wasn’t truly happy about it. I felt fear as our savings dwindled with each square foot he added. After the foundation was laid, I prayed that if this was God’s will, He’d give. me peace, but if not He’d shut it down. That Sunday, I took my boys to church while Jay stayed home with our sick infant. Pastor Chuck Carter walked to the podium, opened his Bible, and read, “By faith Noah being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” Hebrews 11:7 English Standard Version. The message was crystal. I needed to trust. Immediately, I underlined that verse and wrote, “Farmhouse confirmation” in my Bible.
That was the start of our preparing. While God led us to prepare space, He was actually preparing our hearts. I often wonder if Noah’s faith grew as he built the ark.
I’m not sharing this to create fear or make anyone feel inadequate because they don’t have the resources to build an ark of their own. I’m sharing this to illustrate God speaks to each of us personally, and we receive different assignments. Sometimes, those assignments are simply a test of obedience or God’s way of growing our faith. They may require great risk, and faith to happen, but if God is directing it, you will have peace, no matter.
By October of 2015, we felt pressure to get the house completed. God knew something was coming down the pipeline that we couldn’t see. The week in November we took occupancy, Jay was forced to resign from the development company he worked for. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect—and fatal. Although, the ark stood furnished and paid for, our funds were now dwindled.
I felt peace that God was just moving Jay into something else. I’d settled my fears—regarding finances—in the pew that Sunday morning, but Jay, on the other hand, began doubting He did the right thing by building the house. So much so, after a session of dry heaving on the kitchen floor, He surrendered it all to God. He admitted it was out of his control, and he needed God to take it from him.
God pulled Jay up off the floor and led him into opening his own shop. By January, Structure Development opened its doors. Since then, every project Jay’s developed, he’s prayed over.
In two years we had lost my sister, our savings, and Jay’s employment, but the Father birthed: a new life in my geriatric womb (I was 44), a new business, a new home, and—most important—a revived faith. The Father breathes life into death.
I wish I could say I learned to follow God in everything after, but that’s not the case. Sometimes I expect God to follow me. After the house stood, I began this stockpiling obsession out of fear—not faith. Fear only brings disaster. It’s embarrassing to admit, but we’ve thrown out most of our stockpile due to bug and moth infestation in our rice and grains. There is nothing more humbling and convicting than pouring fifty-pound bags of rancid rice into the garbage when there are starving children in the world.
I’m so thankful through God’s grace there can be clean shelves and second chances.
“The stedfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23 English Standard Version
The Revealed Mission:
More recent, I’ve prayed for direction in this area of my life, and God’s convicted me of my selfishness. He placed a mirror up to my heart. He hasn’t blessed me to be a hoarder, but to be a blessing to my family and others He brings into my path. When I’m storing food with this in mind, I feel a greater desire to ensure the food is properly stored. This attaches responsibility to it, and increases my desire to share what I’ve learned along the way–which is now the mission behind this blog.
Another thing I’ve learned is we need God to partner with us to guide us to the right products and ways to save money. He also gives us peace about all the shelves we can’t fill. Don’t worry, that’s where the Father comes in. He overcompensates for what we lack. Remember, our Heavenly Father can rain manna from heaven or send a raven to feed us—and while we are doing our part—I hope we keep that in mind.
Is Prepping Lack of Faith?
Some see preparing your home as a lack of faith in God’s provisions, but I disagree. I see prepping, not as a lack of faith, but as a practice of it. I believe the Bible when it warns us of hurricanes… tornados… volcanos… and persecutions.
“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.” Proverbs 28:19 ESV.
Faith is partnering with the Father. We do what He leads us to do and He’ll do the rest. I’ve thought about how Jesus fed the 5,000 with five small loaves of bread and two fish. Did you ever think He really didn’t need the bread and fish? He could’ve fed that crowd without it. He spoke the world into existence, but He wanted the disciples share in the work. (Check out Fish Sandwiches by Troy Schmidt)
I know there are those who can’t stock up on goods right now, who’s paycheck runs dry each week or who’ve lost their jobs due to Covid 19. If you have someone in your family in that situation, I hope you’ll consider coming alongside them if you’re able.
Although I heed the warnings of crises in the Scriptures, I also believe the Word when it states God is not in the earthquake, the fire, the wind. (I Kings 19:11-13) Remember God is in the still, small voice, which means we need to tune out the craziness of the world to hear Him. If we are binging on media and not on the Word, we won’t know what to do. This leads to the first step of preparing… you start by praying. Pray about it. Do not buy until you know God’s leading you. While you’re waiting for His action plan, we’ll be posting on The Hallelujah House some things you should know.
What to Expect Moving Forward:
Moving forward, every Tuesday you will find a “How To” article. This can range from how to pick an emergency radio to how to store flour. Every Friday is our faith day. On Faith-filled Fridays, our blogs will be Christ-centered and will have a heart- preparing focus.
We are also excitedly preparing to offer podcasts in the near future. So, stay tuned. I hope you’re as excited as we are looking ahead, and if you haven’t already—please subscribe via email, so you’ll never miss one of our helpful blog posts or other projects in the future.
Next week, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get started preparing our hearts, homes, and harvest.
Until next time…
Sign up to receive blog posts in your email below: