We just spent a few very full, very blessed days with my grandparents at my parent’s cottage. We usually get to go up a time or two over the summer, and also spend Thanksgiving there in the fall. It’s a tremendous privilege that’s easy to overlook – not only that we have a cottage we can go to, but that we have time to spend with my grandparents, and our children with their great-grandparents – though that time is running out.

We Are Family

I feel it, don’t you? That tug at the heart. Oh, I wish I had a cottage to go to. I wish there was a lake/ocean nearby where we could hang out at the beach in the evening hours or teach the kids to surf. It sure would be nice if we could afford to do more road trips with the kids and explore all the history around us. I would love if I had more time/resources to go to more conferences. Will we ever get the chance to travel the world with our kids?

Envy. Discontent. Jealousy. Even in the midst of enjoying time as a family, by the water, sun sparkling, breeze blowing, kids laughing, I feel it. See it, and I want it. I want what someone else has right in the middle of experiencing what I love and too often overlook.

cottage beach kids

It’s time we start making our memories our own. It’s time we stop taking for granted the moments we have with each other and how fleeting they are. It’s time to stop looking at Facebook and Instagram photos and wishing for what’s not ours.

Dreams are fine and good, they are the seeds to our daily lives. They fuel us in a lot of what we seek to do with our family and our lives.

But when dreams and desires take our hearts away from our time with family and God, then we need to close our eyes to what’s drawing us away and drying us up.

This goes for everything, sweet ones, not just family vacations! Houses, decor, cooking and baking skills, heck, even another’s homeschool room setup or curriculum and books for the school year!

At the root, the core of all of this is simply our sinful nature. We want what we can’t or don’t have because we are sinful, selfish human beings. We overlook and neglect to seize fully the opportunities we do have because our faces are buried in our friends’ lives rather than our children’s sun-kissed hair.

Don’t look at the way others spend their time, on vacation, as a family, or even just on the weekends.  Those are their memories with their family and while what you have may look different, don’t neglect to take the time to make those memories your own.

Besides, vacations aren’t always what they seem or what we anticipated them being. We typically want others to see the best, so we post the best, but you don’t see what goes on behind the scenes ;0)

messy cottage

There’s long days and short nights, mosquito bites, splinters, and loud, shouting children in small spaces; kids swimming and laughing, but the toddler tumbling into the water and up and down and up and down the steps, keeping mommy on her toes.There’s exhaustion and kids up late, sand everywhere, and all the laundry when you get home and unpack.

But there are also those sun-filled moments of pure joy, contentment, sitting back and surveying the scene, seeing all that God has done in our family. Drinking in the smell of sunscreen, sunshine, sweat and sand from that little toddler’s head.

Making Memories Our Own

His hand at work in our lives. How blessed we are. Those #1000gifts.

Whatever it takes, guard those times together as a family from the stealer of joy: discontentment. If you have to, stay off your Facebook or Instagram feeds. Embrace the time you have NOW, the experiences you’re enjoying NOW, no matter how small they may seem. Know that it is PERFECT for you.

It’s a BEAUTIFUL day today. Any day that we spend with the ones we love is beautiful. Whether you are spending it poolside, beachside, sprinkler-side or inside, make the most of the moments you have, and make those memories your own.