The lake was barely visible out of the corner of my eye, and yet countless memories, tastes, and smells were already rushing over me.
I’ve been coming to Lake of the Springs for over 10 years, and it only gets better with age. Perhaps that’s because rest becomes more necessary with age. The refreshing, shimmering lake water beckons you come and take a dip. The late, cotton candy sunsets are the perfect backdrop for evening naps and bbq. Tall, dark trees surround our little paradise, blocking the world and its distractions out. You can faintly hear country music being played in several campsites at once, yet it all sounds like one song. Long days, sunscreen and margarita smells, and enough laughter to last you into Fall. This is what vacations are made of.
Rest really does the soul good. Unplugging from my phone completely helped me be present and look up. Spending time in God’s word, and writing down what I’m grateful for left my heart full and mind right. Each day, I heard the Lord whisper, “More love, more presence, more grace.” These are the words I hung onto throughout the week as I felt the tendency to withdraw. Whether you are on vacation or not, the world and its toys will pull at you - aiming to steal you away from the good stuff, and get you distracted with the things that don’t satisfy. Fight the pull. Dig deep. Open your life up. Let yourself be. Have some fun. When we make time to do this, we are investing in a life of depth, longevity, meaning, and connection.
The best part of the trip (though the setting idyllic), was the people. Along with my parents, husband, and siblings, came our second family: The Martinez/Johnson clan. Our relationship with these friends is so unique, as they too have five children, all around the same age as us. My siblings and I were lucky enough to have each grown up with a buddy! We have been friends with them longer than I’ve been alive, and are much better for it. We were missing two of their original bunch, but with the addition of their friend Cody, and son-in-law Matt, we definitely didn’t have to worry about leftovers…or quiet.
Every morning, we would gear up for eight hours of sun and water. After loading up the truck with dozens of rafts, coolers filled with lunch and drinks, and all sixteen of us - the day would begin. Though this is a sight I’ve grown used to, our group took up half the beach front, and made up for most of the noise. Each afternoon was filled with fun, life-giving conversation, people falling (or being pushed) off their rafts, hours of leisurely reading, and lots of naps. I love our people. I love that we pray together, encourage one another, call out each other’s crap, and embrace one another’s mess. I love that we believe in the same things, hold tight to our integrity, and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re all unique and different, but the love we have for one another runs deep.
Everyone in the world longs for community, some people and a place to belong to...and I have mine.
There are more memories and inside-jokes than I could write or you’d like to read, but I like the idea of keeping those between our tribe anyway. The tents are packed, our skin a combo of bitten, tan, and burned, and our hearts are filled with the good stuff.
Mr. Adrian, Ms. Terry, Matt, Adrianna, Tex, Cody, Coach, Emma, Brandon, Jackson, Savannah, Max, Keaton, Mom, and Dad - I love ya’ll. Thank you for loving Reed and I, and for giving us an incredible week. I like us all best in our bathing suits, together, and without a care in the world. Don’t you?
Below are some of my favorite moments from our week by the lake. Enjoy!