After hunting down and installing a dishwasher it was onto another hunt. This time it was to install tree stands for deer hunting. With four compression fractures, Brenda had expressed concern for me going into the woods alone, so upon invitation she joined me Saturday morning. We loaded up the trailer, ATV, stands, stuff, and more stuff, and the day was spent in God's creation. Brenda grew up in the city, and though hunting is not her thing, she is adventurous, and we high fived each other a few times that day as we were enjoying a new adventure for her. It really does become more difficult after 31 years of marriage to have new adventures together and it strengthened our bond to still be able to do so. Brenda wasn't accustomed to the power of an ATV, and as I weaved through the woods to the place to hang a stand, there were times, the only path was blocked by small trees, so I just drove over them. When I arrived at the stand location, my wife of 31 years was speechless. Again, after 31 years it is increasingly difficult to have that kind of moment. Together we hung both stands and she discovered lots of deer sign near both stands. I really couldn't have done this without her. I showed her places I had camped, where my son had harvested his buck, my daughter had shot her squirrel and numerous locations of memorable hunts. We both were exhausted as we drove into the driveway of our home, we both knew, we had strengthened our bond. She had willingly entered my world, died to herself, took on the form of a hunter and humbled herself. The result was elevation and exaltation from me, and deep appreciation and praise. It was easy to say "I love and appreciate you."
Lord, thank you for 31 plus years of dying to selfishness and living unto you and one another. Help us continue for 31 plus more. Forgive us and others who have missed your plan through selfishness, insecurity, fear, and all forms of sin. Help us all to enter one another's world and through the act of compassionate humility, become more bonded, appreciated, understood and in our heart and in our words express our spouse's name above all other human names.