Monday, May 23, 2022

For Such A Time As This!

In the book of Esther, we read the account of Queen Esther and the decree that wicked Haman had tricked her husband, the King, into signing, a degree that authorized the demise and annihilation of her people.  When Queen Esther’s relative, Mordecai, learned of the decree, he sent word to Queen Esther, who knew nothing about it, and what she learned rocked her world …

When Mordecai learned of everything that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city and wailed loudly and bitterly. And he came as far as the king’s gate, for no one was to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. In each and every province where the command and decree of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and mourning rites; and many had sackcloth and ashes spread out as a bed.

Then Esther’s attendants and her eunuchs came and informed her, and the queen was seized by great fear. And she sent garments to clothe Mordecai so that he would remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathach from the king’s eunuchs, whom the king had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what this mourning was and why it was happening. So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square, in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, and the exact amount of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the elimination of the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict which had been issued in Susa for their annihilation, so that he might show Esther and inform her, and to order her to go in to the king to implore his favor and plead with him for her people.

So Hathach came back and reported Mordecai’s words to Esther. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king in the inner courtyard, who is not summoned, he has only one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.” 12 And they reported Esther’s words to Mordecai.

13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”  Esther 4: 1-14 NASB

Queen Esther had a choice to make.  She could cower in fear, keep silent and hope her position as Queen would protect her, or she could gather what courage she could and go before the King.

The book of Esther is a fascinating read with all the suspense of a modern-day novel, only it’s not a modern-day novel, it’s about real people with real fears and real problems .... serious problems.

As women today, we too are faced with serious fearful situations, inflation, food shortages, rumors of war and just general ‘overwhelm.’  Depending on who you listen to the outlook goes from grim to grimmer.  Instead of offering doable solutions to problems we’re facing, it seems that many are more interested in fostering fear.  I’ll be the first to admit that things are not good, but I also want to say that we are not powerless, there are things we can do to look out for our families and that we cannot give into fear.

What are you doing, what am I doing … for such a time as this? 

(Please no political comments, they will not be published.  Regardless of who or what you think is responsible for our current problems, it doesn't change the situation we're all in and that my friend is the situation we have to cope with.)

Until the next post,

patsi

Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.'

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18 comments:

  1. We are, like you and your husband, continuing to do what we’ve always done (but in the past the reasons had more to do with living in the country and wanting to be able to provide ‘in case of….’). In this present time, though: our garden is much more purposeful; I am dehydrating more; I have been vacuum packing grains, etc. for longer storage AND (drum roll) I am taking the leap (at 75!) into pressure canning! I’ve had the equipment for a long time but avoided the learning curve (mostly confidence-building.) The results are SO gratifying. I purpose to daily preserve something, grow something, learn something. We are moving forward without fear (God is our Strength) and are actually enjoying the process.
    Thank you for all of your encouragement and knowledge shared over the years!

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    1. Anonymous, I love your comment, in my opinion you are spot on in moving forward, learning and doing. That's what we're doing, concentrating on what we can do, not what we can ... regardless of our age. Yeah, for facing your pressure canner fear, you go girl!

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  2. Hello Patsy, longtime reader but never commented before. This post is awesome! Your writings are so helpful and encouraging but this is special. Thanks you for reminding us that we've got this... or rather our Lord has this. We're just His hands and feet for our circle of influence. Thank you from a South African fan who grew up in America.

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    1. CJ, thank you for such an encouraging comment. Yes, we are His hands and feet for our circle of influence, may we never forget Who we represent and work for! Love your comment!

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  3. Though this is not perhaps what you had in mind when you asked your question, I think it is very important to foster an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focusing on what I can't buy or where I can't go or what I can't do, I try to focus on what I can do, what I have and look for things each day that lift me up. As an example, today I drove to a big fruit and vegie shop not far from home and was able to buy lots of fruit and vegies for my family at good prices. Most of the produce I bought is what I would describe as 'seconds' due to its size, shape or stage of ripeness, but I am so grateful that I have a shop not too far from home that sells produce not 'good enough' for more upmarket shops. If I had to buy all my produce from the supermarkets or more upmarket greengrocers, it would cost me a lot more money. I live in southern Australia, so we are heading into winter now. I hate hot weather, so now when I go outside to hang out my washing to dry, I focus on the cooler air and the sunshine feeling lovely and warm instead of beating mercilessly down as it does during summer. I live in the suburbs, but I really enjoy hearing birds outside in the garden or flying overhead while I am hanging my washing out. I feel grateful to be able to hear the birds. These are just some examples, but thinking about the positive experiences in my day to day life helps me feel more positive overall and grateful for what I have.

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    1. Debbie, in my opinion our attitudes are super important, and I love that you addressed it. I don't think I can add anything to your comment, you said it so well ... thank you! We all need this reminder!

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  4. I am concerned that many Americans have come to think of our government as their keeper over the last two years and that if times get hard they will be taken care of in some way. We have really learned to be lazy in looking out for ourselves. I can see this in our family. It's all going to be fine and we do not have to worry or even have supplies for a few weeks on hand.

    I am continuing to try to weigh decisions through the lens of common sense and not my emotions. I have no where else to turn but to my Lord. If I go by my emotions then no amount of thinking ahead and preparation can be enough. But, if I pray and ask for wisdom then I can feel that I have done the right things and have done enough. So much of what others are doing with big gardens and preserving I cannot do so I have to just lay it down and trust that we will be taken care of as we have always been. I have to remember days of little when His provision was over and above all that we could even imagine and know that His ways have not changed and He will be there again and again no matter what the circumstance.

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    1. Lana, yes, yes, yes! God does not expect us to do what we cannot, however I do firmly think He expects us to do what we can. God can and does do great things with our efforts if we are His children, and for me that brings great comfort. At the end of the day, when I've done all I can whether great or small, I can rest in the knowledge that God will do the rest. "All I can do" is going to look different for each of us depending on the season of life we're in, we need to remember that. In my opinion, we don't need to let fear and what we can't do paralyze us. We can never do enough or prepare enough to alleviate fear, we just do the best we can and leave the rest up to God. Great comment!

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  5. I have always trusted God to take care of my needs with the understanding that I must do my part also. For the last few years I have felt an overwhelming need to keep a good supply of not only food but household and personal items. This is largely due to your wonderful blog, Patsy. Since it's just myself and two cats I don't have to stock as much as someone with a family but I do want to make sure that I have enough for both myself and any other family members that may need things that become unavailable.
    One of the worst things we can do is become overwhelmed by worry. I know it's hard not to fret about the "what ifs" especially for parents raising children but the best thing we can do is do what we can with what we have. Some weeks I can only add a couple of canned items to my stores but it is a still couple of items that I didn't have before. Some weeks I may not add anything new but will cook a large meal from what I already have and freeze portions for later. Anything is better than nothing.

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    1. BaggysMama, you expressed how I feel so well. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. I think many of us have felt the nudging to get better prepared and like you said, something is better than nothing! Great comment!

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  6. First, I want to wish you a very Happy Birthday and many more!! I have always loved the Book of Esther and to see some of it posted here this morning was a beautiful start of the day. I was up very early this morning because my to do list for this week is rather ambitious. By 6 a.m. garlic was in the dehydrator and I had started rolling out what turned out to be 3 dozen English muffins for my husband. While this was not a shopping week I could make the most of what was on hand to increase my pantry. We have increased what we can produce in the small garden we have by using more containers and today I will be working with those You are so right, Patsi. Things aren't good but we aren't powerless. When reading that it reminded me of the Serenity Prayer in "accepting the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." Also near and dear to my heart is Psalm 121 and I often am amazed that I can "lift my eyes to the hills" because we have been blessed with living in a valley with mountains we can see all around us.

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    1. Cookie, I love the Serenity Prayer and have committed to memory Psalm 121. It too is another one of my favorite comfort Scriptures.

      Our garlic will soon be ready to start preserving so I'll be doing the same as you.

      I'm whittling away at my 'to-do' list for this week as well, canning yesterday and today I baked the banana bread, one for the freezer and one to eat.

      We do our main grocery shopping once a month but are always on the lookout for a bargain. We never turn down an opportunity to add to our pantry via bargains.

      Thank you for the birthday wishes and for such a great comment!

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  7. Your post came through my feed reader at exactly the right time. Several women in my widows group and I were discussing our fears and concerns earlier today at a gathering. So much is controlled by so few companies, and so much is now produced overseas and imported, that we're all concerned. Crude oil is sold overseas for refining (since pollution controls make it difficult to refine much in the States) and then bought back as refined oil; paper goods are manufactured, for the most part, outside of the US; baby formula; replacement components and auto parts ... we could have gone on for hours. And the Ukraine situation will impact us, in the long run, even more than it has. They are a major supplier of the world's barley harvest, and that will be next to non-existent this year and probably for years to come. So, what am I doing? First, I'm limiting my news to just enough to be informed, and then it gets turned off. If I listen 24/7, my fears really creep in and take over. I'm also doing what I have done for many years, and that is make sure I have ample supplies on hand. And, I'm limiting unnecessary expenditures, in order to insure that I have funds needed should push come to shove. I'm also keeping my gas tank close to full (and parking inside a secure area, whenever possible), in case of emergency. Trips out are combined whenever possible, to reduce fuel consumption, and I'm reading more for information, in addition for pleasure. Sometimes, it's both educational and for pleasure -- a great story with some learning, as well. This week will involve pantry inventory, to determine what I need to restock and what I'll need to put up this canning season. I'll also pull my canning notebook and other canning books to look for additional recipes I may want to put up. I've also signed up to follow several area farms that are closer than the ones I usually shop, so that I will know when certain kinds of produce is available closer o home. Feeling the need more tan ever to be on point this year with my pantry prep.

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    1. Lori, I was hoping someone would share that they limit their news watching. In my opinion, that's an important one that we all can do. Great comment! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I love that in the bible God demonstrates His providence for the people of Israel while they were in the dessert. He provided food and water miraculously for them, not even their shoes and clothes wore out. I love that, He took care of them it wasn't their own strength that kept them alive and safe all those years, just like our salvation is by His grace so no one may boast.
    In josephs life (Jacobs son), we see that God guided him to store food because of the famine that was ahead, and he did and so many people didn't starve when the famine came because of all the food he had put away.

    I'm currently in a position where I have to trust Jesus and my heavenly Fathers providence for my life. for several years now I trusted that God will feed me, clothe me, and shelter me as long as I cant do these things for my self and He has.
    and when He wants me to be like Joseph and make preparations for what I might need then He will provide and show me what to do.
    in whatever position you may find your self in, trust Him, He is God.

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    1. Anonymous, Yes! Yes! Yes! We've been in positions where we've had to rely on God's provision and He provided. We've had times of surplus and times of need in our lives and God has been faithful in both. Those times of need made us realize how much we needed to prepare and be willing to help others during our times of surplus. Love your comment, thank you for sharing!

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  9. Esther's story is so encouraging. I am in a situation now where I wonder if things are happening "for such a time as this". I just got diagnosed with breast cancer, and part of me is comforted by my pantry - things built up for the times I can't make it to the store, or if I lose my job, and also wondering what is God's plan for me, and hopeful that I can use this trial for His glory in some form. Time will tell, and hindsight offers the best vision!

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    1. Kathy, I'm so sorry for your diagnosis, I pray it is in the earliest of stages and can be taken care of quickly. It has been my experience that when I asked God to use a trial that I've endured for His glory, He does. I pray that He does the same for you.

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