Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is hunting a blessing? You betcha!

Waking up at 4:30 to go into the woods might make some say, "Nope, not for me, way too early", but for me? I simply love it. Let me share about the day in the woods with just my husband, the Lord and all His wildlife.

I am already awake at 4:00 am. I am so excited to be going hunting I can't sleep. You know what else I am excited about? Spending time with my husband. I hear ladies say all the time, "I hate hunting." To that, I might say, "I understand you may not like hunting for sport, but what about spending time with your husband?" See, at first I didn't like hunting. I couldn't imagine killing an animal, but I am married to a country boy who has hunted all his life. It was during hunting season nineteen years ago that I met my husband. 

To have my husband gather all of the clothes I need for the day makes me smile. He is concerned I will be too cold and then hurt later on that night. Fibromyalgia and cold to do mix well together. My husband even carries my rifle into the woods when I get  tired. I know, your thinking, "Wow, are you spoiled." Maybe, but I prefer to just think I am really loved and cared for. As we wake and get dressed it is still dark outside. We need a flashlight to walk back into the woods to our spot. My husband does not shine the light before him, but before my steps. He goes into the hunting cabin before me and then helps me in to my seat. We sit side by side as we watch the morning light appear. He asks, "Are you sure you are warm enough?"

As we sit, the sun is not out shining brightly, but the light is bringing alive all the critters before us. What amazes me is you could sit and close your eyes and just hear life all around you. We sit there watching and waiting. Waiting and being still is not one of my gifts. As my husband sees I am getting antsy, he says, "Just when your getting restless and ready to go, you need to sit awhile longer." Ever feel that way? I love when the Lord extends His loving hand and simply says, "Stay a little longer. Don't be in such a hurry to leave. You just might miss a blessing." (More of this in just a bit)

We saw God's creatures and just simply watched them in awe. Binoculars come in handy when your in the woods. Squirrels, birds of all kinds, a hoot owl and turkey took over the sounds around us. Red and grey squirrels were making all kinds of racket. The birds were singing to one another.I am not so sure if they were singing to one another or just singing to praise the God who made all this glory before us. As I was watching all around us I wasn't even focused on a deer really, I was focused on my husband next to me and the beauty that we were blessed to be surrounded by. We sat together talking and laughing.

Now, I am a girl, remember? I carry with me a bag that my husband only smiles at. What does it contain? My bible, a book ( I never go anywhere without a book), my tea, chap stick, or I should really be honest and say lip gloss and my phone. Those are necessities in the woods, right? Oh, yes, tissue!! Hey, don't laugh, you never know when the call will come! I love to just open my bible and read God's word while the world around me is alive. To open the pages of a book while the sounds surrounding me are bringing a sweet comfort is the best. We also shared some cookies too. You cannot hunt without snacks. lol I crack myself up sometimes. I think whatever we are going to do, why not make the best out of it? We can have fun doing anything with the right attitude. That's why I say, "Don't just watch your husband walk out the door with his rifle, join him, enjoy the time together." Hunting with my husband brings us closer together. That is something we really need and who doesn't, really? You might just be surprised at how much your enjoy watching the smile on your husband's face and just how excited he becomes when a deer comes in sight. I must say, with my husband, I get first shot. He is there to allow me to experience what he has his whole life. I find beauty in that.

We stayed in the woods all morning until hunger was waking our eager stomachs. Oh a tasty breakfast would be nice, so that is exactly what we did. I made sausage, eggs and fried potatoes and my husband heated up our tortillas and we had ourselves a brunch!! lol When our bellies were full we rested a bit before heading back out.

Just as we watched the sun bring brightness, we too watched the dark shadows come in. This brings the hoot owl alive again and the other critters? They begin to calm down. The squirrels all find their quiet places, the leaves are now still, but no sign of deer. My husband knows I am restless. He says, "We can go if you are ready, but I still think we should stay." I think about this and say, "Okay, just a few more minutes." That came to be about five altogether. As we are walking quietly back to our truck my husband stops in his tracks. He sees two deer. As my feet rustle in the leaves they hear me before I see them. (How just did those Indians walk in silence? I gotta learn that trait!) It's too late to get a good shot. See, my husband is a one shot guy. He believes if you don't have that perfect shot, you don't shoot. Some would think we would leave sad, but nope. We both had smiles. The deer? That was just icing on the cake. I could have spent that whole day in the woods without seeing one deer and would have been just as happy.

There too is just beauty in watching all that is around us. We get so caught up in rush, rush, rush and all the things we must have and all that we want to do, we forget to just sit in the quiet and listen. See, as my husband was teaching me about hunting, he too was teaching about life. If I would have just waited and had been still, those deer? They would have crossed right in front of us, but I was in a hurry. I was tired of sitting. When we are tired of sitting there are times God calls us to sit just a bit longer.

I know about waiting. Waiting for God to answer prayer. But do you know what I walked out of those woods with? Hope. In being still there is hope. It is in that being still that we learn. There are blessings all around us. They might not be the ones we are praying for right now, but they are there none the less. God knows what we need just when we need it, and this day in the woods? He knew this is just what my husband and I needed.

If you are waiting for a prayer to be answered, just wait a little longer. Be still for a bit more. Close your eyes for a minute and just take in all the sounds around you. We don't have to see the Lord to know He is here. Most of the time you hear the deer before you see him. Be still and listen for the Lord. He will make Himself known. The Lord has a beautiful whisper that speaks right to our heart. Everything in His timing. This afternoon we will go out again, just sitting and being still.

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 44:10

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

"Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I will wait all the day." Psalm 25:4-5
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