Memories Made in the Mountains

We escaped into the depths of the woods this weekend leaving behind the luxuries of electricity, internet, paved roads, and an endless supply of running water.
Our family did this with some new and dear friends - the McCords.
Their neighbors in the city have a cabin in the woods near Ebbetts Pass and Murphys, California. Somewhere between Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.
But I write this first and foremost - though we experienced some of the most amazing sights of creation (and there were quite a few), none compared to the amazing gift of time with the McCord family.
We are in a season of life right now where we are giving and giving and giving. Giving to school. Giving to starting a church. Giving to relationship building and making friendships. Giving to our team. Giving to our partners. Giving to each other.
We do receive from our team and the new friends we have made in the city. We receive from our friends and family. But it's wasn't until I got close to this holiday weekend where I realized my giving and receiving haven't been in balance and I was thirsty for encouragement and something else.
so off to the mountains we went...

Our Little House on the Prairie for the weekend

One room cabin with two lofts. Story has it that the couple sold the timber from the land and made $8,000 and that's what they used to build the cabin.

It's amazing how creative one can be with the bare necessities. Candlelit dinners and lighting the pilot light on the stove. The kids built with sticks and loved having flashlights to light the way at night. The boys loved that they didn't have to bath for 3 whole days!

The Cabin was the physical setting. It was the conversations that affected our heart and minds. We soak in the wisdom we receive from Ken and Kellie. Though they are just a step ahead of us in their years in parenting, marriage, and lifers in the city, we value their every spoken word and experiences they share.

Ken and Ben at the grill

Kellie making coffee primitive-style
She used a few gadgets to make the most delicious of coffee!

Look really hard up the hill from the cabin and spot Chase and Elijah building a fort and a trap for bears. The trap must have worked for we never encountered any!

Hannah and Sam colored with watercolors and painted rocks and pine cones. They left them as a gift to the owners of the cabin to enjoy when they return.

Kaila led Sam down the mountain and joyfully helped with the boys this weekend.

Asher enjoyed the lake and throwing rocks.

If the cabin was our physical setting and conversation blessed our heart and mind, then the memories made and revisited sank deep into our souls.

This is no ordinary lake. The summer of 2000, I was on staff for CentriFuge at Jenness Park in the mountains of California. Our staff often drove the 10 miles north to Pinecrest Lake for some rest and relaxation. It was here that I jumped off a 30 foot cliff into the lake. When Ben, who was my fiance at the time, came to visit after he had finished his time at camp, we also spent a few hours here.
Now 10 years later, the McCords drove us to this lake as a blessing to me.

Times have changed and only gotten sweeter. I never thought I would see Pinecrest Lake again. Especially with my husband and 3 boys!

We return to the city - our home. We return to cell phones, routine, running water, and electricity. I return with my thirst quenched by encouragement and fresh mountain air and my heart overflowing with memories. I feel balanced and I give thanks to Creator God first and to His creation - the McCords.