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When making duck gumbo reveals true love.

When we first married I would have told you my husband loved two things… fishing and baseball. I myself didn’t care for either one. Both, to be honest, seem a little dull. Both include a lot of waiting. Every once in a while there seemed to be some action but the waiting in between was for the birds. I didn’t get the anticipation of a small nibble on a hook or the fight of a batter fowling off pitch after pitch. Somewhere along the way my fisherman picked up duck hunting too.

These days aren’t much different as far as his love of hunting, fishing, and baseball goes. Except now there are five of us and four out of the five have developed a love for them too. Even the girl… who knew!

Around this house the seasons include fishing (spring, summer, fall), duck hunting (three months in the dead of winter), and baseball (as long as our favorite team is playing). We have a shop and closets full of all things needed for the three and these days duck hunting has taken over.

Even the family pet is designed to hunt… trained to sit patiently until the call is given to swim through frigid waters and retrieve what’s fallen from the sky.

Over the years I’ve grown to love baseball. Who wouldn’t watching their own three play it all those years? The first time my middle one stumbled up to the plate with a batting helmet so big he looked like a bobble head, hit the ball off the tee and ran the wrong way–I fell in love. Not so much with the game, but they were so cute in their little uniforms. I still don’t fish but I can float for hours with a good book. Duck hunting–no way!

First of all its cold, I mean icy cold. Not to mention you are usually standing in water. Then there’s all the sleep you lose from rising before the sun. So this is how our weekends go. Me, remaining warm and toasty under the covers while the rest of the house quietly leaves for the love of sitting, watching the sky and calling waterfowl overhead.

In the middle of the week the happy hunters return with duck ready for eating and so I stash it in the refrigerator. This particular meat has always been a mystery to me when it comes to cooking it. I rummage through the cookbooks for a plan, and decide duck gumbo it is. He wanders through the kitchen Saturday morning and I tell him about the meal plan. He perks up with sleepy eyes and asks if he can help… even goes to the grocery store to get supplies.

We spend the morning cooking, slicing, creating our masterpiece of sausage and duck and spices galore. We visit and talk and taste. Who knew duck gumbo would provide a mother and her teenager some common ground… because lately we need more common.

Love is hard. It takes laying down your own will and way for the sake of another. Sometimes its about saying and doing the hard stuff. The tough love stuff. Other times that same love slides in slow on a Saturday morning in the midst of cooking and stirs together some common ground. It’s the same Love that followed the way of the cross and changed the world. His sacrifice for us created a bridge between common and holy. What we consider common, normal, ordinary suddenly becomes sacred ground where love is revealed. The woman in Proverbs understood this. She went about her day doing the next thing. It probably felt pretty common to her. She wasn’t much different than you or me going about our normal routine. It was her Love overflowing on those normal things that made the difference… turned normal into holy. I can’t just turn those verses in Proverbs 31 into some kind of to do list that makes me enough. No, enough is understanding the work of His love in all my normal things.. It’s embracing that every single time— love. is. enough.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.–1 Cor 13:13

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