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So far jcroom has created 71 blog entries.

Run To Jesus.

Run To Jesus. I love watching God answer my prayers for my children. One of the hardest things about leaving Memphis was leaving Bellevue. We have an incredible Memphis church family who have loved us in the good times and hard times. Plus, it was such a joy knowing that our children were in kind,

The Scarlet Thread.

The Scarlet Thread. How do you view Scripture? Do you see it as a collection of stories focusing on key figures who honored God? Do you see it as a book of rights and wrongs? Do you see it as one beautiful story of redemption spanning centuries and still impacting our lives today? Seeing the

Here I Raise My Ebenezer.

Here I Raise My Ebenezer. I wrote this journal entry in May of 2018. I’m reposting it today as a reminder to myself. We have had a wonderful month enjoying having family and friends with us in Malawi. This week will be hard as we adjust back to “normal” life without family, my mom specifically,

Praying Scripture For Malawi.

Praying Scripture For Malawi. As I came to 1 Chronicles 16, God asked me to pray verses 23-30 for the people of Malawi. These people are an incredible blessing to my family, and I desire to see them living for the Lord who loves them. Based on 1 Chronicles 16:23-30 I pray the Malawian people

I Want My Child To See Horses And Chariots Of Fire.

I Want My Child To See Horses And Chariots Of Fire. Hopefully this isn’t one of those things she looks back on years from now and is mad at me for writing, but our middle child, Clara, is fearful. I’ve known this to some degree for quite some time, but just began understanding how deeply

Laying My Plans On The Altar.

Laying My Plans On The Altar. I’m a planner. I have a detailed idea in my head of how something should happen and I’m prone to disappointment, and likely an accompanying bad attitude, when things don’t follow my ideal. Which is why I’m struggling this morning….I have a fever. I’ve had a fever on and off

Who Is On The Throne?

Who Is On The Throne? I’ve been doing a self-assessment evaluating the things that I’m motivated to do and the things I struggle to accomplish. Of course, I don’t struggle to accomplish the things I’m motivated to do like reading to my kids, playing games with them, and even correcting them when needed. I’m motivated

To Speak Or Not To Speak?

To Speak Or Not To Speak? To speak or not to speak…that is the question? Since God has surrounded each believer with a sphere of influence, there are times we will have to ask ourselves this question. I despise confrontation so my natural reaction is to keep my mouth shut when I see a sinful

Daring To Dream.

Daring To Dream. Feeling especially uninspired, I sat down to the computer today having no idea what I was going to write about. Due to that today’s post has no outlines, no alliterated points, and no pretty bow of a conclusion. Today’s post is simply jumbled thoughts from my heart regarding what the Lord has

Cling.

Cling. Deuteronomy 13:4, says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” As I’m closing out my thoughts on the action words of Deuteronomy 13:4, I want to focus on the command to cling. As a mom to three under two and

Hearing God’s Voice.

Hearing God's Voice. Writer’s Note: The last post (Meanwhile.) and this week’s post go hand in hand. I (Merribrooke) wrote both about four years ago. This week’s post focuses on listening, which is the fourth action verb of Deuteronomy 13:4, which says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands,

Meanwhile.

Meanwhile. Writer’s Note: I (Merribrooke) wrote this week’s journal about four years ago, but never posted it anywhere. This week and next week’s posts were written at the same time and flow together. The next action word of Deuteronomy 13:4 is “listen”. Next week’s post will specifically focus on listen, but I felt like next

Obey.

Obey. Deuteronomy 13:4, says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” The action word I’m focusing on today is “obey”. Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to obey His commands. As a mother of toddlers “obey” is one

Fear.

Fear. Deuteronomy 13:4 says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” The second action word is “fear”. Let’s take a deeper look at what it means to fear the LORD. Even though I grew up in church and was well familiar

Serve.

Serve. This week I’m continuing to look at the action verbs of Deuteronomy 13:4, which says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Serve is the first action verb of that verse. While I was reading this week, I came to

Five Action Verbs Of The Christian Life.

Five Action Verbs Of The Christian Life. “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Deuteronomy 13:4 I always enjoy reading through Deuteronomy as it beautifully calls God’s people to obedience and promises blessings to those who answer the call. Though the

A Sweet Reunion.

A Sweet Reunion. As many of our readers know, my parents returned to Memphis this past weekend. I thought of writing on how difficult “see you laters” are. If you didn’t already know, they are miserably hard. However, God is helping me cherish the seven weeks we had with my mom (ten days with my

Fulfilling My Roles.

Fulfilling My Roles. I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.D.L. Moody Today I’m wrapping up my series of journals focusing on the various roles God has given me during this season.

My Roles: Writer.

My Roles: Writer. By no stretch of the imagination do I claim to be a writer. The great wordsmiths would scoff at me. Neither am I a theologian. I pray the Holy Spirit is teaching me to be a student of the Word, but I have no formal advanced biblical education. However, I do enjoy writing about the Word of

Naming Jack Elliot.

Naming Jack Elliot. In order to celebrate the first twelve days of our son’s life, I want to share the significance behind his name. Previously I’ve written blogs on the significance of our girls’ names. You can find these blogs titled “Naming Elisabeth Jane” and “Naming Clara Anne”. Josh and I believe that names have

My Roles: Friend.

My Roles: Friend. Since moving to Malawi the Lord has been convicting me about how little work I put into friendships. So often I get wrapped up in my own world that I fail to think about the worlds of those God has placed in my life. I expect other people to do the work

My Roles: Mommy.

My Roles: Mommy. Of the roles God has currently blessed me with, my most entertaining role is Mommy. Three babies under age three is a whirlwind of energy, tears, dancing, snacks, crafts and cuddles. In the midst of the whirlwind, God gives so much joy. Our babies are our most precious gifts. Gifts that I’m

Those Who Mourn.

Those Who Mourn. Let’s be honest. I’m highly inexperienced to be writing on grief. I’m only twenty-three and my parents and all my grandparents are still living. I’ve never lost a close friend to death. The only personal grief experiences I vividly remember are losing two great-grandmothers, a great-grandfather, and a great-aunt. However, this week

My Roles: Wife.

My Roles: Wife. Almost five years ago, I married Joshua Paul Croom and became a wife. Although my role as wife is not new to me, it is the second most important role I hold. It is second only to my role as servant of Christ Jesus. Even after five years, wife is still the

A Servant To Malawi.

A Servant To Malawi. In last week’s journal entry I discussed how God is teaching me to fill my role as a servant. If I want to thrive in all of my God-given roles, I must first submit myself to my Master wholeheartedly, lay down my selfish desires, and look past myself to see the

My Roles: Servant.

My Roles: Servant. Servant. What comes to mind when you hear that word? Do you picture a royal palace with butlers and maids? Does the face of a Christ-like mentor come to mind? Or is your image more negative? Does servant sound demeaning? Christian comedian Tim Hawkins jokes “I hate it when someone says I

Discovering My Roles.

Discovering My Roles. I’ve filled many roles throughout my life. For a majority of my childhood and teen years I filled the role of dancer as ballet was my primary extra-curricular activity. From age five to twenty-one I filled the role of academic student, ending by receiving my bachelors in elementary education. I’ve had the

A Thrill Of Hope.

A Thrill Of Hope. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new glorious morn Fall on your knees O hear the angels' voices O night divine O night when Christ was born O night divine o night O night divine A thrill of hope to a weary and dying world.

The Greatest Gift of Christmas.

The Greatest Gift of Christmas. With Christmas quickly approaching, I want to keep my heart focused on the greatest gift, Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 is familiar, especially this time of year.  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be

Bon Appetit from Malawi.

Bon Appetit from Malawi. Many people have asked questions about what the food in Malawi is like, so this blog is going to answer some of those questions. We have really enjoyed the food here. Fresh and organic vegetables and fruits are the centerpieces of our dishes. Meat is also fresh, however some cuts are

Light Broke Through.

Light Broke Through. Our very first night in our new home was an eventful one. The first thing we noticed was that the fridge and freezer weren’t getting enough power. Then we noticed that many of the lights were acting funny. By the time we sat down to dinner every light in

More Filling Than A Thanksgiving Feast.

More Filling Than A Thanksgiving Feast. “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my

The Greatest Gift During The Hardest Days.

The Greatest Gift During The Hardest Days. Some days are harder than others when living on the opposite side of the world than your family. Today is one of the hard days. My Great Aunt Deby went to be with Jesus very recently. After a long battle against Pulmonary Hypertension, she doesn't

Am I A Heifer Or A Lamb?

Am I A Heifer Or A Lamb? Weird question, yet an important one. I started reading through the minor prophets recently and came across Hosea 4:16, from which I drew that question. Before I share that verse with you, I want to give you the context. The book of Hosea is a

One Thing I Seek.

One Thing I Seek. What one thing do you consider more important than everything else? What do you spend your time, energy and emotions on? For me, my honest answer usually is my family. God has given me the incredible responsibility of tending to my family. I have the joy of coming

Our Typical Day In Malawi.

Our Typical Day In Malawi. A lot of people have been asking for details about what our daily life is like here in Malawi, so  I’m going to give the curious minds a run down of a typical day for us. Keep in mind that this will continue evolving drastically as we

Do My Prayers Even Matter?

Do My Prayers Even Matter? Does prayer really change anything? Though my head screams “YES!”, I’m convicted that my heart has been saying no. For months now I’ve allowed my heart to believe the lie that prayer won’t make a difference. It’s not that I’ve thought God isn’t powerful enough to meet

Praises And Prayers.

Praises And Prayers. We are two weeks into our Malawian adventure. It’s been wonderful and it’s been hard. Today’s blog is going to be very simple as I’m going to tell you a few of the wonderful things and a few of the hard things we’ve experienced. Praises 1. The people God’s

Thoughts From 36,000′.

Thoughts From 36,000'. In my seat a little over seven hours into our fourteen hour flight, Clara is finally asleep. So far she has slept one hour since she woke up fourteen hours ago. Josh is with Ella Jane across the plane and a few rows back. Ella Jane hasn’t slept much

Anticipating BIG Things.

Anticipating BIG Things. Two days until take off. WOW! I can hardly believe it’s already here. During all the emotion and bittersweet feelings of the last several weeks, we have been anxiously anticipating September 12th. At four o’clock that morning we will be leaving Josh’s parent’s house with ten suitcases, three carry-ons,

The Importance Of Our Church Family.

The Importance Of Our Church Family. Yesterday morning was emotional and joy-filled. Our pastor and church family sent us off with a prayer during both of the morning worship services. Bellevue has been Josh’s home since he was born and mine since I was nine years-old. We’ve been saying all along that

Focusing On The Present Task.

Focusing On The Present Task. I’m continuing my thoughts on finishing strong that I began last week. Last week, I talked about how in order to finish strong I want to cherish every moment. This week I’m focusing on the present task. For those who like updates on what’s currently happening, we

Cherishing the Moments.

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

Our Shepherd’s Promise.

Our Shepherd's Promise. This week we wrap up Psalm 23 with a life-giving promise. A promise that our Shepherd will never leave us. A promise that He wants good, not harm, for us. A promise that His character is good and merciful. A promise that we get to enjoy His presence in

The Future Focus.

The Future Focus. I only have one more verse of Psalm 23 to discuss, but I’m taking a break from that passage today. Josh and I are currently on a plane on our way to San Francisco. The U.S. board of Malawi Children Mission (MCM), the organization we will be partnering with,

Our Shepherd, Our Host.

Our Shepherd, Our Host. As we continue in Psalm 23, we see a change in perspective. David stops relating to God as his Shepherd, and instead refers to Him as his Host. God is not only our Shepherd, He is our Host. Let’s see how Psalm 23 refers to God as our

Nothing To Fear.

Nothing To Fear. We are continuing our study of Psalm 23 this week with a focus on verse four. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4 NASB The

Restored To Our Shepherd.

Restored To Our Shepherd. Today’s post continues our walk through Psalm 23 and focuses on verse three, which says, “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.” Psalms 23:3 NASB Imagine you just had an affair then had the spouse murdered to cover your

What Does My Shepherd Do?

What Does My Shepherd Do? As we continue our study of Psalm 23, I hope and pray you find a deeper understanding of our God as Jehovah Rohi (The Lord My Shepherd) in the encouragement below. “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalms 23:2 NASB