Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sustainable, Self Sufficiency - The Third Phase of the Revolution, Part 3

Let's Review:

In phase one, we began giving 10% of our income to God, became debt free and started saving 10% of our income in various investments like mutual funds through our 401k.  We also started an emergency fund.

Phase two has seen us start a process of raising our giving and saving to 20% of our income.  In addition to a 6 to 9 month emergency fund, we are storing up a minimum of 6 months supply of staple household goods, also in case of emergency.  The logic behind this is simple; if a time of long term income loss should strike, we will be able to survive and even thrive in those circumstances.  The formula behind phase two is built on Bible passages in Genesis and Leviticus. 

I freely admit, that phase two is easier for Brittan and me than it would be for some, because it is just the two of us.  Two people require less income and fewer stored goods than a larger family.  But it seems to my simple mind, that it is even more important for a larger family to think ahead.  I'm just sayin'.

Phase two was still in formulation when a perfect storm came together to create phase 3; sustainable, self sufficiency.  First, the economy was sitting on a 'bubble', which, as you are well aware, has burst.  Second, political direction of this country became quite unsettling to me as I heard about a future of higher taxes and increased Government control of all areas life.  I am not interested in any Government oversight of my life, aside from National Defense.  Third, I began resenting the ever increasing prices, and ever dropping quality of produce and other supplies available from supermarkets and big box stores.  Fourth, I started reading the labels on things I put in my grocery cart and grew disconcerted over the chemistry experiment that has become the American diet.  Fifth, I began thinking about factory farming, both in terms of row crop agriculture and that of livestock.  Sixth, my health was falling apart, including severe obesity and a variety of heart and nervous system disorders.

I looked at all these things and was not happy.  I am not the kind to take adversity lying down.  I'm a fighter.  I have taken my share of 'beatings' in life, but I won't stay on the mat.  It's not the way I'm wired. 

I'm also a control freak.  I need to be in control of my own circumstances, my own destiny (note:  I freely, willingly, totally know that ultimately, God is in control.  That fact comforts me.  But God's control should liberate me to act, rather than medicate me into complacency or resignation).  I have a few good years left before my 'sell by' date and I will not surrender the reigns to any man, organization or Government.  If I want a better life, better health, better environment, it is my responsibility, and no one else's, to take steps to ensure that.

Over time, a plan of action came together.  I'll describe it in part 4.