Weekends during deer season have always been a bit bittersweet for me. Sweet in that my husband, who loves to hunt, adores this time of year. But, for me, it left me home alone on the weekends for many Saturdays and various other early mornings or late afternoons throughout the season. This girl truly does not mind a quiet house but week after week it started to weigh heavy on me. Instead of celebrating with him when he had a great story to share of the next deer for the freezer I started to resent the whole thing.
All the while, I watched as my husband was diligent to share his love of the outdoors with our sons, meaning sacrificing many hunting opportunities to instead sit in a deer stand with a symphony of snack wrappers opening and the echoes of curiosity in loudly whispered voices – filled with questions from little boys. His love was becoming their love, time together in the woods. Meanwhile, in my moments of “Deer Depression”, I realized I could only appreciate so many solo trips to the store, quiet moments at home, coffee dates with girlfriends or even an occasional pedicure while the boys were out in the woods. Eventually the wonder of having free moments to myself after years of baby wearing (literally) faded away quickly. While I still love time for myself, my greater desire is to spend time with my family and create memories that my sons can carry with them when I’m no longer their “go to” person in life. My seven year old’s window is already beginning to narrow for that very special time in life when it is me, his mom, who (in his eyes) knows most of the answers to his questions and is right up there in ranks with his Pokemon cards, Magic Treehouse Books and all things sugar coated. But, I know the day is coming when those cards and books are gathering dust on the shelf as he moves on to another stage of life…a stage where instead of his mom knowing the answers to his questions, I will be the mom who doesn’t understand and who isn’t fair.
Something has changed. I can’t quite describe it or exactly put my finger on specifically when it happened. I’ve switched from the irritable mom to the intentional mom. From the resentful wife to the repentful wife. Time is too precious to be wasted in anger. With that change, I’m learning to offer myself as a willing participant in hobbies once unimaginable to me because of my unconditional love for them. And you know what, the strangest thing has occurred, when I began investing my whole self in their interests, slowly, over time, and quite honestly, by the Holy Spirit alone, their interests have become my interests!
But, let’s be honest, this isn’t about time in the woods, hunting, or fast boy toys to find mud…it’s about spending time with the ones I love. If I have to meet them in the mud to do it, wait a minute while I get my boots. Who knew polished nails and pistols go together?! Hunter Boots can actually be worn by hunters?! Camo can be classy and this mom of boys can learn new tricks for the sake of my love for my family. I love being a mom of boys. Sure, there is definitely a piece of me that would love to experience bows, dolls and maybe dare I say, the American Doll Store. However, God saw it fit to give me bows & arrows, decoys and The Bass Pro Shop. I’m done fighting it. I’ve surrendered all and have been surprised to discover how much I, too, enjoy it. Not because of what we are doing but because who I am doing it with. My unexpected passion for the outdoors reminds me a lot of my relationship with Christ. He has done unimaginable works in my life that at times leave me lacking words to explain. The more I offer all that I am to Him, the more I see myself falling in love with the plans He has for me, even if at one time they were unimaginable . Because of my desire to have a relationship with Christ, I’m willing to go for a walk in the woods or have a seat in a deer stand if that is where He is asking me to go.