Cherishing the Moments.

Three and a half weeks. That’s how much time we have left in the States. That’s how much time we have left with the family, friends and church family we love. That’s how much time we have left in the place we call home. As our time here draws to a close, I want to concentrate on finishing strong. Finishing strong in the Croom family’s current season means cherishing the moments, focusing on the present task, prioritizing people, and anticipating great joy. This week’s journal entry is on cherishing the moments.

What a blessing our week before last was! Josh, the girls and I spent five days at the beach with eight people we love dearly, my mom’s side of the family. Before that we got to spend a couple of days visiting our grandparents on my Dad’s side. This weekend we celebrated a very early Christmas with my parents since we will be on the other side of the world when Christmas rolls around. Tomorrow, we head off to the mountains to spend time with Josh’s side of the family. Just over two and a half weeks after we return from the mountains we leave for Malawi. It’s a jam packed several weeks for sure, but we are thrilled that our families both wanted to take us on trips so that we can truly cherish every moment.

Of course cherishing every moment doesn’t require taking vacations. Cherishing the moments should be the daily habit of a believer. Yes, cherishing the moments when you’re taking family vacations merely weeks before moving to the other side of the world is pressing, but cherishing the moments is a practice I long to carry over into the weeks in between trips when the heavy wait of preparation is weighing down. Every day is a gift from our Heavenly Father. He wants us to rejoice in it. “This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 NASB). The days where we simply get to enjoy being with family are a gift worthy of rejoicing. The days jam packed with jamming things in suitcases are a gift worthy of rejoicing. Every moment is a gift that shouldn’t be squandered but spent deliberately. So how do I truly cherish the moments?

Be thankful.

This is the key. Without thankfulness you cannot cherish anything. The definition of cherish is “to hold (something) dear” and synonyms are to treasure and to prize. By definition cherishing means holding something dear. It can be inferred that if you treasure something you’re incredibly thankful for it. I choose to be thankful for every minute of the next three and a half weeks. Two of my favorite books on thankfulness are 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and Choosing Gratitude by Nancy DeMoss Wogelmuth. Through my study of scripture and these books, I have come to the conclusion that true joy can be experienced only when accompanied by gratitude for Christ and His insuperable gifts towards us. Without thanksgiving, joy is always absent. I want my life, and the next three and half weeks, to be marked by inexplicable joy that comes as a result of a heart filled with thankfulness for the gifts God has given us.

Be diligent. 

Time is oh so fleeting. When I hear three and a half weeks it seems even more so. That’s why I am choosing to be diligent with the time we have. Yes, I will be diligent with the week we have to pack making sure that I’m honoring the Lord in the way I work and prepare. However, I also want to be diligent with the week and half of nearly “free” time we have right before we leave. I don’t want to squander a moment of that time, but desire to cherish every moment and spend them wisely. Whether that means taking my girls to the Children’s Museum or just having a meal with family, I want to diligently prepare emotionally, mentally and spiritually for the journey before us. I want my time with the Lord to be so intentional that I eagerly expect to hear from Him daily. I want my time with family to be blessed beyond measure with joy and expectation of the work God is going to do. Diligence is key to cherishing the moments because without it our precious moments are easily wasted.

Please join us in praying that our next three and a half weeks will be a time of cherishing the moments. Pray that God will do a tremendous work healing our hurting hearts as we prepare to leave our families and the home we know and love. It’s a bittersweet time as we expect God to do amazing things but struggle with the sadness of leaving.