Are We Hoarding Toilet Paper Again?

Well, here we are. It’s 3:13 pm on Thursday, and…maybe it’s because there was an arctic cold snap here in NYC, or maybe it’s because my dad just called and said he thinks coming home for Thanksgiving is not a good idea, given the CDC’s most recent report…but things right now…seem pretty overcast.

I don’t want to say “bleak,” because…well, that’s depressing. But it just feels a bit like overcast skies have rolled in and settled in the past 12 hours.

Allow me to tell another jogging story…

I was running this morning through my neighborhood in lower Manhattan, and I passed, not one — but two separate women, each carrying two-24 packs of Charmin toilet paper.

Now, either these women were each hosting a slumber party of epic proportions, or…they were stocking up for what Joe Biden has warned, a “dark Covid winter.”

Cue the slasher music.

My very first instinct, I’m ashamed to admit, was “Oh no! I’ve got to stock up too!

Then, after coming to my senses, I thought, “What a sad reality we find ourselves in.

Granted, this is coming from the girl who is still working through the off-brand, single-ply brand of toilet paper I had to buy during the pandemic last March/April. (I’m lookin’ at you, Angel Soft…we are not friends.)

But as I was running along — not getting flipped the double bird this time, thankfully — I couldn’t help but think about those two women panic buying toilet paper for a second wave that hasn’t even hit — yet.

And two words came to mind, that haunted me the rest of my run: Scarcity Mindset.

These two women were living from a mindset of scarcity. A mindset of lack.

And sure, maybe four weeks from now, I’m going to have to go find these women and beg them for three squares of toilet paper that’s now non-existant in NYC, and sure enough, they would then prove to be the smart, prudent and visionary winners at life.

But the fact of the matter, is that — planning ahead, or not — they were living from a scarcity mindset.

And actually this is something I know a lot about. Eating disorders are, by definition, a manifestation of scarcity mindsets: living from a place of lack. A place of emptiness. A place of anxiety and fear.

In anorexia, you live from a state on unworthiness – of love, of comfort, of food, of gentleness, of self-kindness. And as a result of this scarcity of love and self-worth, you turn to food — or rather, withholding it — as a way to affirm that scarcity. Because stepping out of your comfort zone — your eating disorder — and then actually discovering that the preceived lack of love and worth is actually true — would be too much to bear. So you clamp down on the restriction, and living from lack becomes the cage where you feel safe.

This is true, not only for eating disorders, but for so many other areas in life. The scarcity mindset can bleed into our relationships — turning to infidelity or promiscuity to quench this insatiable feeling of lacking love or stability or value. It can bleed into our finances, our shopping impulses, alcohol consumption, material things we hold onto, achievements or accolades we tirelessly chase after. All stemming from a place of lack. Of need.

So what is the fix? What can get us out of this terrible cycle? Becuase ask any addict — be it of food, alcohol, drugs or designer shoes — the answer is never at the “bottom of just one more bottle.”

It’s a shift in thinking.

A shift in world view.

Instead of operating from a mindset of scarcity, we must adopt a mindset of abundance.

For example, instead of focusing on “the lack,” run a gratitude inventory of all the things you do have. This small shift makes you realize that, in fact, your cup runneth over.

Instead of dwelling in anxiety over all the ways things could go wrong, imagine all the endless possibilities resulting from things going right.

But most of all, we must replace the negative “lacking” thoughts of anxiety, with truths: that we are loved, created by a good and trustworthy Father, and that we have the power to choose our thoughts, and our choices in life.

And usually, the decision to make that mental shift has to be radical. At least it was for me. I had to choose to radically believe those truths that, at the time, I didn’t believe were actually true for me. But I knew that in order to heal from the insidious disease that was actively trying to destroy me, I had to live from that new mindset.

Because at the very heart of it all, it comes down to this: the scarcity mindset — one of fear, lack, need, anxiety — it comes from the enemy.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

God wants us to have an abundance mindset, because that’s precisely what God came and established for us on the Cross: an abundance of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. And if that doesn’t demonstrate just exactly how much we’re worth, I don’t know what does.

So. Toilet Paper.

Perhaps it’s a little bit of a reach to say that stocking up on toilet paper or other essentials during a global pandemic is part of the enemy’s arsenal of tricks and slings of arrows, but hey…it’s 2020 –I’ll believe just about anything, anymore these days.

What is true, though – is that I really do have a lot to be thankful for — a family that loves me and is healthy, friends and loved ones that I care for dearly, a place to call home that is warm and safe from the outside elements, a job that fulfills me, my own heath…and oh yeah…a stock pile of single ply. 😉

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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101 thoughts on “Are We Hoarding Toilet Paper Again?

  1. BBB…. I absolutely love your positive personality! As a christian we know we have not been given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7),and when we see people so panicked over toilet paper it sure gives us a clear picture of those who have taken their eyes off of the one who meets our every need as we CALMLY go to the store and but toilet paper. God Bless your day!
    Julia

    1. Hi Julia! Oh my gosh thank you so much for saying that! You’re ability right – one of power and a sound mind! So true! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  2. I showed my boyfriend that adorable picture of you jogging and said: “Special Gentleman– what do you think would happen if I attempted to make such an athletic but adorable pose?” In between laughs and snorts he said something along the lines of ‘concussion.’ 😂 I am the clumsiest, most poorly balanced person in the history of ever.

    ~ Sloane

    1. Hahaha oh my gosh you’re too funny, Sloane! I know you could do it!!! 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  3. I just got done helping Julie unload groceries. Most everything was still in the store except meat and – drum roll – toilet paper. I mean, holy shit! Don’t they still have a bunch left from last time??? I despair of humanity in the things they choose.

    Then I open your blog and here we are again! Where is the sense of community where we all act in consideration of each other, specifically taking just what you need. Does no one remember the Israelites and the manna? Take too much and it turned all wormy. One can only hope they clog their toilets with extravagant use!

    OK. Not exactly on point with your article tonight. But scarcity is the issue. You bring up many good categories where people have scarcity. Number one is scarcity of God in people’s lives. Without Him it all falls apart as we are witnessing yet again. I read a book about violence and the author described the “myth of civilization.” It doesn’t take much for people to become uncivilized,as we have seen too often this year.

    God created people to be civilized. If we ignore our Maker and Designer, well…there’s going to be a shortage of toilet paper.

    BTW, sent you a short email today.

    1. Hi Jeff! Oh gosh…and so it begins!! Yikes! I agree – where’s the community? The hoarding the stock piling… it’s selfish! The only reason there are shortages is because people are hoarding it!! That’s so true – we were created to be civilized and kind and generous to one another! Awesome. I have three jobs due tomorrow morning but I’ll get to it in the afternoon! 🙂 yay! Hope you and your girl are having a great week! Thanks for the awesome insight! Hugs and love xox

      1. Three jobs! That’s great! I’m just so sorry to hear that you might not make it back to family. We are well here…hanging on for round two of COVID hoarding. *sigh* Much love!

      2. Thanks Jeff! Yeah I was up late late finishing them! Oops! Thanks – yeah I’m so disappointed. No decision has been made yet, but when pops says he doesn’t think it’s a good idea…there’s no arguing with the big guy!! Haha Hugs and love xox

  4. It’s a little interesting how people did this the first time around. Even with the limits people are buying them out again because of another potential lockdown. Apparently they ran out or low and decided to buy them out again? I don’t know.

    I have the same mindset with talks of the gasoline vehicle car ban by 2030 or whenever. But then where am I going to put them because I already have two cars already and need tools and a shop to get some back in working order. Car guys are reviving old abandoned vehicles in woods, junkyards and people who are selling them on craigslist. It’s a regular thing now. Some of these guys already have 50 vehicles sitting around their farmland areas.

    I’m still puzzled by the toilet paper hoarding though. It’s not like we are running low on those resources anytime soon. Though stores are going to have them stacked to the ceiling pretty soon because toilet paper is a hot seller these days.

    1. It really is a fascinating study in human behavior. Oh wow that is so interesting. Thanks for sharing that! Hugs and love xox

  5. This is really beautiful. It’s hard living in a world that’s not your true home . Been feeling that way a lot lately. Clinging to my father God and Lord Jesus ! As for toilet paper, may that be the only thing we lack . Crazy times. Hugs!

    1. Hi PK! Oh gosh thank you. You’re right – we are just passing through. Our true residency is in Heaven!! Hahah Hugs and love xox

    1. You’re right. Science and prayers. That is the best combination! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  6. I never did understand the toilet paper hoarding. It was insane. It seems every time I think 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, something else happens.

    I also think about people whose hope is in government and science and how concerning it would be now. As for me, my hope is in the Lord. Yes, I will listen to doctors. But my hope is not in doctors. My hope is in the Lord.

    1. Right?! It doesn’t make any sense to me either. I guess it’s something that they can control, and that’s a comfort when things are out of control. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh my gosh!! Thank you Mary!! I’m so glad it struck a chord with you! So glad our paths crossed! Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh wow I love that quote! The expansive love of God – amazing!! Thanks for stopping by Rollie! Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thank you Tonya 🙂 and I, yours!!! Have a beautiful weekend, my friend! Love you! Hugs xox

  7. I needed to hear that. Thank you. It’s funny, my kids go to a school where they emphasize an “abundance mentality” which means some of the same things you mentioned, namely being optimistic about the future.

    1. Hi Cath! Thanks so much – oh wow I love that your kids school emphasizes that! What an important principle to bring into adulthood! Hugs and love xox

  8. I knew this was going to happen again. I stocked up on toilet paper all summer when it was plentiful. If you had asked me a year ago what Bible passage would be the one I would learn the most from in 2020, I never would have guessed Genesis 41.

    1. Hi Greg, I’m googling Gen 41 as we speak! Hahah thank you for sharing that. Yeah, I may lick up an extra package of charmin this afternoon — just in case 😉 that was a wise move on your part! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hahahah you’re too funny!!! Leaves and receipts! Hahah thanks for stopping by! Stay safe! Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh hahah that’s such a great idea! Sounds like you’ve got a great neighbor! 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  9. But wait, did you speak to either of those women to determine why they bought the toilet paper? Maybe they have large families that are trying to stay home? Maybe they DID run out last time and don’t want it to happen again? But let’s write a post that takes them to task.
    See, it’s a problem when we look at someone else and decide we know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
    You mock inexpensive toilet paper, which is all some of us can afford by the way, and then analyze motivations you know nothing about.
    And it’s medical experts who call for a dark winter, which we can already see happening.
    I don’t understand why you think this virus is something to laugh at. For someone who claims to be “Christian”, well, I wonder if Christ passed so much judgement.

    1. Hi Diana – thank you for voicing your concern. You’re right – I did not speak to either of those women. Perhaps that is true – but with them being all of 24 years old and living in Greenwich village, I don’t think they have a bundle of children at home in their studio apartment. You’ve touched on a great point: passing judgement. I wholeheartedly agree – it is not Christlike to do. And I would hope that people would read my words, not as judgmental, because I was not intending them to be, but rather, using a situation to exemplify or bring about topics of faith/growth. Not judgement. And (typically I don’t defend myself tit for tat, but I must stand up for myself here) : as far as the inexpensive toilet paper goes…I am not mocking it. I have ulcerative colitis. I have had it since I was 16 years old – over a decade. And yes, being a “bathroom disease,” using an “extra soft” brand or a sandpaper-feeling single-ply brand is *literally* the difference between a good and bad day for me. I’m sorry if that is too much information lol, but the fact of the matter is – that is an unfortunate fact of life for someone with a digestive disease. And yes, it is slightly more expensive, but i build that into my budget. And believe me, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you turn down buying a new shirt because you have to save cash so that you can buy soft toilet paper. So, I’m sorry if you feel that I was mocking inexpensive toilet paper. I would hope that people get more out of this post than a joke I included to lighten the tone – because the virus IS serious. And I’m not laughing. (I just canceled my thanksgiving trip to see my family, who i had not seen for 10 months, due to the virus, so yes. I take it seriously.) Finally – I am not perfect. And I know I have a long long long way to go in my walk as a Christian and everyday I try my best to follow in Christ’s footsteps. So thank you for pointing out my areas of improvement. I will certainly take them to prayer. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  10. In a crazy sort of way, this whole TP-hoarding thing is funny. It’s the same thing that happens here in the South when the TV meteorologists say that four-letter S word–snow. Suddenly, the milk, bread, eggs aisles of the grocery stores are bare! As though people never have those things in their refrigerators or pantries and as if the snows might last for months. (Here in the South, we’re lucky if our snows last a few hours, a couple of days at worst!) But there’s a much more serious side when one considers the multitude of warnings we’ve received over the last few years about the very real danger of the U.S. quickly becoming another Venezuela, with long lines of desperate but hopeful consumers waiting to get basic necessities–not just TP, paper towels, and cleaning supplies, but food items, medicines, etc. The difference is that the Venezuelans could find a way to escape by coming to the USA. But for us, there is no other freer place to go! Once we’ve lost our freedom–personal, economic, political–there is no alternative place to which we can escape. That will be the ultimate test of our faith. Whom do we really trust, God or political man’s schemes? May God have mercy on our country!

    1. Hahah oh gosh – yeah I remember that from when I lived briefly in Charleston. Gosh I really hope that’s not the case! Thanks for stopping by. Yes – God have mercy! Hugs and love xox

  11. Great article! All in all let us never forget that no matter the chaos that stems out of Washington, D.C., God is seated on the His throne in heaven and He will work all things for the greater good for those who love Him. In Jesus’s own words, ”These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
    (John 16:33) Have a blessed Thanksgiving Caralyn! 🙂

    1. Hi Darryl! Thanks so much – oh yes I love that verse. It’s so comforting! He’s already overcome the world indeed! Big hugs to you xox

  12. Thanks for posting this, I like this a lot. I am going to try to think more in this mindset today, too. It’s too easy to get caught up in worrying about what might happen instead of looking forward to what might happen. Have a good day today.

    1. Hi Nick! Thanks so much – yes! We can all adjust our mindsets if we …. put our mind to it! 😉 Hugs and love xox

  13. Very well said. Sadly, too many people are being taught to live in constant extreme fear. Many people are using this fear to control people. There have been far worse pandemics than this, but people lived their normal lives. I do hope thank you have a Happy Thanksgiving regardless.

    1. Thank you so much JB! I agree. There is no freedom In fear. Happy thanksgiving! Hugs and love xox

  14. My sis in Overland Park, KS, saw a couple of women stocking up and so she thought, ‘well, I better do so, too! Result, her store ran out by the time she got to the checkout with her SIX multipacks of toilet paper . . . two-ply. 😉

    1. Oh gosh!! Yeah it’s definitely a “contagious” mindset for sure! It’ll be interesting to see how the nyc shelves hold up this time! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  15. Scarcity mindset is a kind of fear. And as so as these images get posted on social media everyone else will panic. It’s almost like monkey see monkey does. My daily prayer is that this virus goes away as quickly as it came.

    1. You’re right – a fear indeed. And a contagious one indeed. Thanks for stopping by. Joining you in that important prayer! Hugs and love xox

  16. Amazing isn’t it? I was in Costco on Wednesday and I overheard a woman asking about TP and the employee shook is head. As I drove my cart past him, I said, “No toilet paper, fortunately I don’t need any?” and he replies, “No, we got in a shipment of 10,000 this morning and it was gone within 15 minutes of opening.” 10,000 of those jumbo packs! Yes, it is a scarcity mindset. It still amazed me though. Good points.

    1. Oh my gosh WOW. yeah I was at the super market yesterday and a 12 pack of charmin was going for $26.00!!!!!!!! I found that out at the register and put it back haha. Thanks Jolie for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  17. Thinking of your double-bird story, I went grocery shopping since reading your post and the only handicap spot was the priceless spot next to the grocery exit, but it is parallel compared to all the other straight in spots. A car was half in the pregnant mother spot, so I got my small car in what was left. As, I unloaded the cart, after shopping, an old guy, maybe 70s so not much older than me, pulled into the remaining space in my parking spot, straight in. I had one inch between my front bumper and the side of his car, but since I squeezed in on the other side, there was only one inch between me and the handicap sign. I was wedged, unable to move. I simply shrugged. The man stared at me. I stared back without saying a word. He screamed, “F$%^ you!” backed out and drove away. If he were sane, I could have finished unloading the groceries into our backseat and he could have the space, but I doubt if he had a handicap tag. Then my wife complained all the way home that I gave him an aggressive shrug and intimidated him and I should not have done that. I asked her if she wanted all of our frozen food to melt while this guy shopped. The world has gone crazy and if senile Biden locks us down again, it will get worse. People are not following the guidelines now. I have a niece with COVID because she thought partying was more important than being responsible. More rules means more violations of rules. We all need TP. We all need to eat. We all need Jesus – the only true answer to the insanity.

    1. I apologize for the poor choice of language. Just because someone uses an epithet against me, it does not mean I can repeat it, even ‘disguised.’

    2. Oh gosh!! I’m so sorry that happened to you! Ugh, makes me sad to hear. You’re right – people aren’t taking it as seriously. I’m sorry to hear about your niece! I will keep her in my prayers for a speedy recovery! Yes! Hugs and love xox

  18. Love this. You write so well and so honestly. I was at the store yesterday and shelves were almost empty in the TP isle. Almost felt panic creeping in and had to take s deep breath and reset my brain. First thought , naaaaaa not again, but then remembered I still had stash at home. It’s easy to fall into that panic state. Its 2020, but God is in control. Thanks for reminding me. I did however pu 2 packs today just in case. Uggg. COME ON 2021. Love and peace, VICTORIS

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much Victoria! That’s so kind of you to say. Oh gosh – yeah I think the rush is upon us!!! Yes He is! Hugs and love xox

    1. You’re right about that, Rosemary. That was wise of you to do!! Happy thanksgiving! Hugs and love xox

  19. How fortunate for toilet paper. An actual necessity in a pandemic and much nicer than the old Sear’s catalog sent to the rural population of America 100 years ago. I could not help but laugh looking at my backup single ply just in case. I often say that GOD watches out for the ignorant and uninformed. Thank GODness. Another great observation. Have a great BE Thankful Day.

  20. A mindset of abundance. That sounds a useful way of looking at faith in Jesus. Matthew 6: 25 – 34 read in that light looks rather different from the conventional viewpoint. Thank you, Caralyn, that’s helpful!

  21. It’s sad to note what is going on in the world at this time, problems have multiplied in your country, the tissue paper story is a wonder, but at least you can talk of tissues, now what about our brothers and sisters who live in those flooded countries, where the water is reaching the roof!!!, It’s shocking, it’s scary to even think what they are going through there. Issues of tissue paper isn’t important there, they are more concerned with finding a dry place, a toilet, coz there is water every!!! Where do they sleep? About food!, Where do they get. It’s scary, it’s sad, it’s worrying, it’s terrible. My sister, this world is coming to an end soon and my appeal to you and all others is to get born again, to get saved and to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Son of man, Our Redeemer and Life. Let us all give our lives to Him. He is soon coming back to this earth in great power and Glory. Take care of yourself now okay?

  22. Yes, my friend they are even panic shopping down here in Florida. Some time ago this year i did a post “What Type of Plague is This” that observed what I refer to as “The Empty Shelf Syndrome” I’ll probably do a post specifically on that too. See https://rhemalogy.com/2020/03/22/what-type-of-plague-is-this/ . If you get a chance stop on by. Stay warm up there in NYC it’s starting to cool off down here mid to lower 70s. And most of all stay safe. Blessings and Peace.

  23. Hi Caralyn, I love all your posts. You are such a great writer. I couldn’t of said it better myself. You are right- instead of stocking up on toilet paper we need to be stocking up on Gods Word. I recommend RightNow Media as a good resource. There are tons of bible study videos to lead you closer to God. It’s actually helped me desire to read Gods Word more. Xoxo Laura

  24. Thank you for sharing this post. It has been scary to see the COVID-19 rate climb. I went into a grocery store last week and the toilet paper section was almost bare. I took a deep breath and reminded myself I have plenty at home and I cannot panic. Thank you for reminding us to turn our focus back to God and our inheritance of abundance. Thank your or your transparency. Thank you for allowing God to use you in a essential way.

    1. You’re right – the numbers are staggering and sobering and downright scary for sure. Oh gosh, you’re right – deep breaths and trusting and focusing on God is what is going to get us through, what is hopefully a brief and not as drastic second wave. grateful for you! Hugs and love xox

  25. I like how you said things just “seem overcast”, because that will always be my memory of how this all began in March—the sky was slate gray and I was burrowing deeper into my fear, things just getting darker in the springtime.

    1. Hi Lindsay, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. You’re right – the sky definitely was blustery back in March, setting the tone. I pray that we get through this in a quick and hopeful manor! Hugs and love xox

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