Every day in the woods is a blessing.

As we all FINALLY make that trip out into the woods here in Oklahoma, I pray that we can all take a moment to truly appreciate everything that is around us. This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are near. What an amazing time to “disconnect” and enjoy the world around us.

It is pretty incredible to me that we are able to spend time in such beautiful country in pursuit of game. There is something about sitting 20 feet up in the air that truly brings out the beauty of the outdoors. One thing I enjoy doing while sitting in my tree stand is counting my blessings. When you are away from all the distractions and business of our everyday lives, it is a great time to stop and focus on all the things that are going RIGHT in your life.

If you haven’t had a chance to step outdoors yet this fall, I encourage you to do so. It is truly medicine to the soul.

Colossians 3:15

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

‪#‎GodisGood‬

hand in mine

Advertisements

Pope & Young Women’s Membership Drive

If you haven’t yet joined The Pope & Young Club, now is the time to do so!

“The Pope & Young Club has announced their 2015-16 “Ladies Only” membership drive.
All ladies joining the Pope & Young Club from now through March 2016 will be entered to win an Illinois Whitetail hunt with Midwest Trophy Outfitters. The drawing is open to all new female members that join before March 2016. www.pope-young.org Also – if you use the Special Code FB2015, the first 100 will receive a FREE Kuiu P&Y Cap!”

“The Pope and Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and conservation organizations.

If you are a fair chase, ethical bowhunter and you care about preserving the culture of bowhunting – you should be a member of the Pope & Young Club.”

Getting Children Outdoors

coyote calling

“Behind every young child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.”

As a single mom, it is imperative that my daughter enjoy her time outdoors because we spend the majority of our free time outdoors. It has not always been easy getting her to look forward to a long, quiet sit in the woods, but we’ve gotten there over the years.

Here are a few things that have helped me over the years, and I hope they will help you as well:

  1. Include them in the WHOLE process. Bring your little one out with you throughout the year, not just during hunting season. Let them tag along while you prepare for the upcoming season. Bring them along for the scouting, ground preparation, hanging stands, setting blinds, etc. This will better prepare them for the upcoming season, and you will be surprised how keen their senses are once given a little guidance. My daughter has become an expert at scouting, and looks for tracks and signs of deer now, everywhere we walk. If they feel like they are part of eventually making the hunt successful, they will have a great sense of accomplishment when that first kill is made.
  2. During the off season, work with them on calling. One of our favorite things to do as a team is coyote hunt, and that’s a great opportunity to start her out calling. My daughter is so fascinated with calls, and her little face lights up when I allow her to use a call on her own. There have been many evenings that we sit outdoors and just work on calling. It is incredible when you are able to have your child call and have an animal respond. I can promise you, they will think it’s pretty neat also.
  1. Treat them as an equal. Suit them up just like you would yourself when heading outdoors. Give them their own set of binos, hunting pack, and gear them up just like they are preparing to go on their own. When they feel like they are a “real” hunter just like you, they will gain a whole new level of confidence.
  2. Pack SNACKS! I cannot stress this one enough. We all know how much our little ones like to snack, and I promise this will not change while we are in the woods. One thing I like to do to eliminate a lot of the noise is pre-package snacks in Ziploc bags. I try to think of snacks that won’t make a lot of noise, and something that will be high in protein to keep them full longer. Deer jerky is an absolute winner!
  3. Make it fun! Hunting is serious business, no doubt… but there is no reason it shouldn’t be fun. Think of fun and creative ways to keep their attention while out on a long sit. If you like to use face paint, ask them to do it for you! You may end up with a beard and hearts on your cheeks, but they will have a great time doing it, and it will be a great memory for them as well. If we are constantly telling them to be quiet, and reprimanding them for not having as much patience as us, I can promise you, they won’t be as eager to join you next time.
  4. Allow them to help you clean your/their kill. When my daughter got her first deer, her most exciting moments came after the hunt. As they grow up and venture out on their own, they are going to need to know how to gut and clean a deer on their own, so why not start them now? If you process at home like we do, allow them to help you with that as well. This will help them to understand WHY we hunt. They will know where the dinner came from, and feel accomplished having helped you every step of the way.Camden Gutting Deer

There will definitely be impatient sits, and times when you’ll wonder if you’ve scared away every deer in the woods, but I promise there is no greater feeling than being able to enjoy your time in the woods with your child. Knowing that you’re leaving behind a knowledge of the outdoors is something to be proud of, and after all, we are responsible for raising the next generation of hunters.

A glimpse into my life…

When I started this blog, I started it with the intention of sharing my life with others.

In July, I attended The Life of a Single Mom ministries, and that weekend I took home a wealth of knowledge that I am incredibly grateful for. The whole experience was one that I will forever cherish, and the feeling I felt upon leaving was one that I can’t explain.

My daughter is 7, and for the majority of her life, I have raised her as a single mom. Up until the past two years, I raised her, living away from my family and my strongest support system. I feel like my choice to move away when she was young ultimately helped shape the type of mom that I am today. I have the mindset that ANYTHING is possible. Not because of who I am, but because of the God that I serve. I have been through many trying times as a single parent, but never once have I questioned my success because I know that God has brought me through all of the struggles to continue to mold and shape the person I am today.

Have there been times of doubt? Of course. I think that every parent has those doubts. We are constantly facing stereotypes of what we SHOULD be doing with our children, and how we should be raising them. If we spend our entire time parenting wondering if we are fitting the mold of how society wants us to raise our children, we will fail. To be quite honest, I don’t want to raise my daughter in the cookie cutter image that the world has laid out for us. Why? Because I want something greater for my daughter.

I want my daughter to grow up with the freedom to be herself. I want her to grow up knowing that nothing is impossible.

I feel like often times, when a parent finds themselves single again after a failed relationship, the main focus is to fill the void of what they are missing. My goal has never been to fill that other parental role in Camden’s life. While I feel like it is ideal for parents to not grow up in a broken household, and to have both parents there for them from birth, I know that is unfortunately not the reality these days. That being said, I don’t feel like raising her on my own is a hindrance by any means.

I am often asked “How do you do it?” I don’t feel like I am doing anything spectacular when it comes to raising Camden. I am simply playing the cards that I was dealt, and I do my best to try and make sure that we both reach our full potential. I feel that, if anything, we are given more freedom to chase our dreams. We talk a lot about our goals, and I like to teach my daughter that every goal must have an action plan attached. It is important that our children learn that the things they want in life will never be handed to them, and I try to show my daughter that we need to pave the path that we want to travel if we wish to be successful in any endeavor.

I live for new opportunities. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love spontaneity. My closest friends often laugh at my willingness to jump on a new opportunity. We only miss the chances we don’t take, and I try to live my life with no regrets. There is a certain amount of discernment that comes into play here, because I believe that not EVERY opportunity needs to be pursued. However, if an  opportunity arises that aligns with the goals that we have set out, I do my best to see that we give it a chance.

I feel like often times, the label “single mom” is attached with a crutch. “I could never do that because I’m a single mom.” “I would love to do ___, but I know that I can’t because I’m a single mom.” I say to heck with that C word, everyone is given the same amount of hours in the day, and if there is something we wish to do, we are the only ones who can make that happen.

There are obstacles that every parent faces when making decisions for their children. I don’t feel that it’s fair to be pitied because you are a single mom. Yes, it is tough.. but why don’t we stop thinking of all the reasons we can’t do something and think of all the reasons we CAN do something?

Get up and chase your dreams. The only one stopping you is you.

                                                                                        cam scouting

Encouragement.

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” -Proverbs 11:25

If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that how we treat others directly affects us. Have you ever spoken harshly to someone, particularly a complete stranger, just because you were having a bad day? I think it’s safe to say that we all have. I know that every time I have ever snapped at someone, I always feel terrible afterwards.

On the contrary, I’m sure you are aware how rewarding even the smallest good deed done for someone else can be.

You NEVER know what battle someone is facing. Your words have the power to lift their spirits, or break them down.

Encouragement is defined as: something that makes someone more determined, hopeful or confident.

I love that.

Wouldn’t this world be a better place if there were more determined, hopeful and confident individuals?

Give the gift of encouragement.

It’s FREE.

Your words are powerful, let’s use that power for good.

1465130_10200918001979318_1293312068_n

Why we hunt.

image

While I feel that everyone SHOULD enjoy the outdoors, that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, there are many anti-hunters out there who think quite the opposite. Hunters are attacked daily for their lifestyle by those that don’t agree with it. As a single mom raising my daughter to enjoy and revere the outdoors, I am often asked “Why would you want to raise your child thinking it is okay to kill innocent animals?” “Why wouldn’t you want your child to allow animals to live their lives without fear?” I choose to simply ignore the negative comments, because I know that, through hunting, I am teaching my daughter far more positive values than any anti-hunter could fathom.

My seven year old is not the most patient person in the world (I don’t know where she gets that from). One thing that I love about hunting, is that with every venture into the woods, she grows a little more patient. The little girl who was only able to sit an hour without losing patience last season, has quickly learned that the more patient we are, the better the hunt.

She realizes that we are free to hunt and enjoy the outdoors because there are men and women every day fighting for that freedom, and we must be thankful.

She has realized that, the quieter we are, the less likely we are to scare away critters, and we may end up with the opportunity to watch a fawn frollick about 50 yards away.

She has learned that if we wake up early (even though it’s tough sometimes), we are able to get a front row seat at watching the woods come alive in the morning.

She has learned that if we listen closely to the sounds of the animals we are hunting, it is much easier to mimic that call when trying to draw the animals in.

She has learned that there are colors in an Oklahoma sunset that you can’t find in any crayola box. (And, sometimes she gets extremely frustrated by this)

She has learned that we are in the animals’ home, and we must be careful of where we step, because not all animals are fond of un-invited visitors.

She has learned that things don’t always go our way, and that’s just life. More times than not, we aren’t able to walk out of the woods with a kill, but our time in the woods was far from wasted.

She has learned that the sound of legos snapping together in the blind is much different to the ears of a whitetail than that of a woodpecker in the tree above us.

She has learned to be observant, and pay attention to the things around us.

She has learned that honesty is always the best policy in life, and that even though there are 30 turkeys within shooting range in front of us, there are certain rules and regulations that we must follow and refrain from killing one outside of season.

She has learned that when we are able to successfully harvest a whitetail, there is a process that comes before being able to eat that first batch of deer jerky.

She has learned to respect the land that God has given us, and that it’s always kind to pick up the trash we find on the ground, even if we didn’t put it there.

She has learned that any day in the woods is better than the best day sitting at home.

Most importantly, she has learned that anything we want requires work. Nothing is going to be handed to us in life. I often remind her of what the bible says in Proverbs 12:27, “The lazy do not roast any game, but the dilligent feed on the riches of their hunt.”

Sitting outdoors with my daughter also allows us to both reflect on the beautiful things that God has given us. Without our majestic God, we wouldn’t have this beautiful country to enjoy, and I will never allow an anti-hunter to make me feel like we are doing anything wrong by enjoying God’s creation.

If you are interested in following other women who hunt, go check out the rest of the amazing grrrls at Rockstarlette Bowhunting. Rockstarlette Bowhunting

Visionary.

Dreams and Vision - Thyme Is Honey

While I haven’t known Savannah since childhood, I can only imagine that this picture is very fitting of her as a young girl.

I have never in my life met anyone so talented.

I’m sure that if you’ve seen any of her work, you can definitely agree.

I think the most admirable trait about Savannah, is how she makes others feel. No matter what she is going through in her own life, (being a wife, busy mother of two and a full-time photographer) she always takes that extra second to make someone feel special. She will always go the extra mile for her clients, and strives to make sure that everyone feels beautiful in their own skin.

Her work is truly amazing, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out her photography, I strongly urge you to do so. You won’t leave any other photoshoot feeling more refreshed than you will after finishing up a shoot with Savannah.

Savannah Lutrell Photography

Oh, by the way, she is JUST as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside! 🙂