We bought our vacation home when our 4th child, Jack, was 10 months old. The rest of the crew were 3, 5, and 8. We spent Jack's first summer as a toddler chasing him up the hill on the side of the house (a great workout for the glutes, by the way!) and Maeve learned to swim in our "backyard". Killian and Joe discovered a shared love of fishing -- one they still agree on to this day. And, Kyle and I envisioned our young family growing up with leisurely weekend trips during the fall and winter for burning leaves and ice skating, interspersed with longer trips in the Spring and Summer for swimming, fishing, boating, and bonfires. We even hit fast-forward in our dreams and wondered what it would be like to play with our grandbabies "up at the lake".
Since then, we have have 4 more babies of our own (one is heaven-side) and watched so many of these dreams come true. We were blessed with caring neighbors and lazy days. Kyle and I agreed that the time spent away from "screens" together as a family was so very good for all of us, despite the struggle to pack up the car or deal with a teen's complaints about "being bored" (they always ended up having fun when they got there!).
When our family needed healing after we lost Fiona, a friend encouraged us to take time away at the lake. She was so right. It was exactly the right amount of bonding, fresh air, sunlight, and peace we had been yearning for.
But, families grow larger and older. Your 5 and 8 year olds become responsible working young adults -- because that's what you raised them to be! -- and they can no longer sneak away for a weekend, much less an entire summer. The majority of our family members are promised to school, work, sports, and volunteer work. And that's a GOOD thing! But it means that paying to keep a vacation home which gets extremely little use is not the best use of our resources right now.
"A time to every purpose under heaven."
God is so good to let us know that the things which exist within time are only good for a while. And then it is time to move on. I won't lie, tears are streaming down my face as I write this, but sadness is also temporary. I was reminded by a very good friend today, "It is sad the idea of it being gone, but the sadness is really the sadness of life changing. Because even if you kept it, things wouldn't go back to the way they were.".
Because, yes, we are selling the lake house. And we are sad. But we also know that the last 12 years were precious times. The were times of joy and adventure. Times of serenity and relaxation. Times of learning new things and perfecting old tricks. Times of our family's deep love for each other.
"A time to keep."
(In your kindness, if you would click the picture above and check out our listing, we would very much appreciate it. Maybe you know someone who would love our lake house the way we do?)