I know, I know…I said it out loud. Yes, I hear the words that are coming out of my mouth. It is with great reluctance that I make this statement. But…I have really grown to believe that these men in my life are on to something!
We have a deer lease that we go to every chance we get during hunting season. (I promise this blog is not really about animal hunting, it just happens to be that time of year) It is a family affair; my husband and I, all the kids, my parents, plus six other men and their families are on the lease. My kids think it is a magical place and I do too. Full of adventure. “I’m bored” is never uttered. There is no TV, internet, cell phone service or toys. There is, however, always something to do. My husband wakes up early each morning and takes along any little one who wants to go on the morning hunt. In the afternoon we divide and conquer, all taking a pint size helper to a different stand. This thought, about men and their depth of knowledge, occurred to me while I was quietly sitting in a deer stand with my daughter, Mae.
What is it they know you are wondering? They know how to truly get away from it all and be quiet, to rest. It is not something woman are inherently good at, or even really think is possible. We tend to give the men in our lives a hard time about their “hobbies” – hunting, fishing, golf, football, etc. I think what we really need to do is support their endeavors and copy them. I’d like to let you in on how a day at the deer lease goes for men…
Wake up for the morning, hunt if you want. Go sit quietly, alone, by yourself, possibly nap in the deer stand for HOURS. Come back to camp. Sit around a fire. Shoot the breeze with your buddies. Grab a bite to eat. Piddle. Go back out for the evening hunt – again, alone, in the quiet, did I mention by yourself, for HOURS. Come back at dark. Eat a shared meal. Watch the fire, under the stars. Go to bed. Repeat.
It is blissful. Unrushed, un-busy, selfish time to recharge your batteries. Let’s peek at a day in a woman’s deer camp:
Wake up. Get dressed. Do makeup. Cook breakfast. Hope you make it to a stand in time. Grab a friend so you can visit. Hurry back to camp because you have to clean up and head to town. Shop. All the ladies get together to plan the meals..who is bringing what? Pintrest a while. Make a chart of who goes to what stand when. Miss the afternoon hunt because you have to make a casserole for dinner. Size up what everyone else made. Serve everyone. Post the meal on Facebook. Clean the kitchen and the dishes, cause you can’t go to bed with the kitchen like that. Fall into bed dead tired.
We have a problem. A problem with being busy, with doing to much, with over planning and under enjoying. As I sat in the deer stand I was convicted of this truth. When was the last time you sat in silence for hours on end? much less surrounded by nature, God’s beauty? Alone? Excuses start flying about right now. About how busy we are, who would watch the kids, where would I go, then guilt starts knocking on your door. Sure hunting is fun, but our men need to step away from the pressures they are under. Pressure from the responsibilities of being a provider, work and just day to day life. We need that too. We women have our hobbies, don’t get me wrong – sewing, scrapbooking, cooking, painting, running, crafting – but they all require thinking and being active. In Mark 6:31 Jesus tells his disciples, “Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.” He didn’t invite them to a basket weaving class. God wants us to spend time alone, doing nothing, with Him, to refresh our spirit. There is no guilt in that invitation. And what could be more important? When the death of Jesus was just to much to bear, what did Peter do? He said, “I’m going out to fish” (John 21:3). He needed to be alone in the quiet to process his burden and grief. It wasn’t about the fishing. You know what happened when he went away to be alone? Jesus showed himself to Peter. He served Peter breakfast and they hung out together like men at a deer camp. How amazingly delightful does that sound? Ummm, sign me up please! God can’t do that for us if we don’t give Him the time and space to show up.
You see the hunt isn’t always about the hunt, the game isn’t always about the score. It’s about removing the busy world going on around you for a while so Christ’s presence can be full. Intentionally making quiet moments so that you can savor Him. My prayer is that you can find a quiet place in your world to go and REALLY be alone with God. Below is a recipe my dad and husband serve at camp. An easy dinner is the simple way these men host each other. Served straight out of the pot into paper bowls around the campfire. Take it with you, to your alone spot, to nourish your body while God nourishes your soul. Oh – and Shhh, you don’t have to tell the guys we got the idea from them!
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. stew meat, cut to bit size
3 strips of bacon, cut to bite size
2 potatos, cut to bite size
4 carrots, sliced
1 large onion, minced
1 can Rotel (keep liquid in all canned items)
1 can green beans
1 can yellow corn
1 can white corn
1 can sweet peas
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut up
salt and pepper
Brown stew meat, bacon and ground beef. Add onion.
Add carrots, potatoes and all can items (with their liquid).
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add 4 to 6 cups of water. Simmer for 1 – 11/2 hours.
Add Velveeta and allow to melt before serving.
This soup is even better the next day!
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