I was nursing our baby girl in the living room that day, sitting in the old blue armchair that I inherited from my mother.
After making sure our wee one was properly latched and situated, I took a moment to look out our east-facing window to where my man was working back in and among the pine trees.
He was preoccupied with butchering some old laying hens a neighbor had dropped off for harvesting.
It wasn’t a warm day and I’m sure there were many other things he would have rather been doing that fall morning.
But there he was, slaughtering and skinning the old laying hens so we could either stew them, pressure can or turn them into chicken burger.
Get More On Old Laying Hens Here:
Side note: I know old birds don’t sound appealing for home cooking, but I actually love the more pronounced chicken flavor you get with an older hen. They’re my favorite for making homemade chicken broth and chicken soup!
As I watched him work, my attention was drawn to something behind him. High in the pine trees behind him hung a doe he had just harvested a few days earlier. I couldn’t see her because she was covered by a tarp. But my mind’s eye painted the picture for me.
And it struck me all over again: the man’s a provider.
I don’t know why, but there’s something so attractive about a man who looks out for his family not just through dollars and cents, but also through primal activities like hunting, fishing, chopping wood, gardening and butchering meat for his family.
Money is necessary, yes. But these other avenues of provision somehow make me feel more connected to him and better cared for by him.
Several years ago, of my SIL’s was telling us about a “game” she and her husband were playing, so they could communicate the value and meaning behind acts of service they did for one another.
Her: you taking out the trash…scores 10
Him: you keeping the kitchen clean…scores 6
Her: you putting the baby to bed…scores 4
Him: you keeping up on laundry…scores 5
I just made up these examples now, because I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went. But you get the idea!
On that particular day, I had to stop and make a mental note: my man providing for us in these basic, primal ways…scores 100!
I like it.
I like it a lot.
He’s always been a provider.
Oh, his ideas of providing sometimes look different from what I think providing should look like. Especially when we were first married.
I love the man but I have to acknowledge that when we were first married, he was as cheap as borscht… without the beets!
It took time, conversation and yes, even frustrating moments to get to where we are today. And truth be told, we still have frustrating conversations around money from time to time. Or like, yesterday. But it’s wonderful to live with the confidence that his heart has always been to provide, both for the future and the present.
I don’t want to take this thoughtful, gentle-souled man who feels the weight of providing for his family, for granted.
Because in the hub-bub of life, it’s easy to do.
But when I stop to think about him and all that he has brought to my life, I honestly don’t know where I’d be (or who I’d be) without him.
And I need to remember to not just think on these things, but to voice it to him so he knows his efforts are noticed and appreciated.