June 28, 2018
Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night. Insomnia. I was awake and worrying about drought. The local water board asked all of the church congregations in our area to talk about water cutback issues due to drought. Bishop Watson is a man of few words, a traditional sheep farmer, so when he decides to speak, we know it’s important. He asked all of us to be better at conserving water, to stop watering our lawns, to only water enough to keep gardens and trees alive, and let everything else go.
In Spring City, Utah, we depend on winter snow for summer water, held in reserve ponds and underground aquifers. It is a unique system of reservoirs, set up by our ancestors. The water company lets water out of ponds into irrigation canals, over time, for farmers and citizens to use over the summer. It’s normal to have plenty of water in June and July, but by August, we expect to have less.
This year, 2018, the water reserves hold 15% of their normal volume, and it’s only June. That’s less than one-fifth of our normal water supply.
For our family business, drought in the landscape means fewer flowers, which means less nectar for honeybees, and lower survival rates for our honeybee colonies. Our family depends on money earned from the bees’ honey flow. My husband, Stan, will work as hard as humanly possible to help them survive. But instead of bringing in honey, he will feed them sugar syrup all summer to prevent them from starving. He will check bees often, replacing queens with drought-hardy stock. Even with his efforts, the pattern for drought and honeybees is that we will lose most of our colonies this year.
We are not the only ones in our community who will be affected. Hay farmers will only get one crop of hay (instead of 3-4 crops). Sheep farmers will have leaner sheep as grasses dry out. Cows on dairy farms will produce less milk. There will be less hay available for winter feed. We will all tighten our belts, wonder why we chose a life in agriculture when an office job would be so much easier, lean on our financial and food reserves, and fall on our knees, praying for rain.
Personally, I have deep-rooted anxiety about money. This is exacerbated in drought. My middle-of-the-night anxieties have this type of tone: “Will there be enough? Can I buy groceries this week? How will we pay our bills? How will I afford clothing for the child who just outgrew everything?”
I also wonder about money in general, “How can I make peace with money? How can I feel worthy to have more? How do I come to the place where I feel that the products I offer are worth someone else’s time and money? How do I balance charging people for products with serving and giving? Why does money rule over me? A dollar is a piece of paper that represents work and effort that someone has made. Why do I feel like my work and efforts are not worth someone else’s work and effort?” In the middle of the night, I often mentally live in a place of extreme scarcity. These are deep, personal concerns that weigh heavily on my heart.
In the spirit of Big Ocean, I decided that I need to reframe the way I talk to myself, inside my head, about money. I also need to reframe what I say out loud, at the store, to my children. I don’t want to pass on my feelings of scarcity.
For me, the reframing process begins with prayer and then I turn to the scriptures. In the next article in this series, I will share some of these scriptures that put me on a path of abundance.
Written by Alicia Moulton