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So far jcroom has created 86 blog entries.

My Thanksgiving Takeaway.

My Thanksgiving Takeaway. For those who don’t know, our family took a trip last week to celebrate Thanksgiving in the mountains of Malawi. When friends have asked me how our getaway was all I can say is, “It was a gift.” It truly was an incredible gift and something I pray I will never forget. Though

Small Dreams And A Big God.

Small Dreams And A Big God. I’m not a visionary. That is my amazing husband’s gift. However, I’m learning that having big dreams and asking God to do something even bigger is an act of worship. It requires a submitted heart that desires to give all glory to God, trusting Him no matter the outcome.

Happy Second Birthday, Clara Girl.

Happy Second Birthday, Clara Girl. My sweet Clara Anne, I’m reflecting back on the last year with you and smiling. You have brought lots of giggles, lots of snuggles, lots of tantrums, and lots of joy. I adore you, little girl.  Your warm disposition makes those around you feel loved. Just this past Sunday you were

If You Can.

If You Can. I wrote this blog about five years ago as a brand-newlywed college student. My mom had the incredible idea to start a blog for my cousin as she was entering her teen years. The goal was to walk my cousin, and whoever else chose to read, through the Gospels in order to

Happy Third Birthday, Angel Baby!

Happy Third Birthday, Angel Baby! My sweet Ella Jane,  You are turning three years old this week! How has it been three whole years since I first held you in my arms? Every moment of those three years has been a joy. There have been lots of moments where I’ve been frustrated. There have been

Jesus Loves Me Best…Do I Know?

Jesus Loves Me Best...Do I Know? I don’t really know if I want to share this because it’s hard, raw and new. I’m only writing it down because writing helps me process, which is a help I desperately need these days. I’m a stuffer, and according to my mom a “professional” one. I don’t like

My Golden Calf.

My Golden Calf. Today is Friday and Josh will be teaching the MCM kids about the Israelites and their golden calf. I also taught this same bible account to the four to seven year olds at our church a couple of weeks ago. When the Lord makes me think on the same biblical account twice

Cancer And A Good God.

Cancer And A Good God. As some of you may know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this week. That’s about all we know. We know the masses are malignant. The extent of the cancer and the treatment plan will be revealed at an upcoming oncologist appointment. I can’t really express all that I’ve

My Mustard Seed.

My Mustard Seed. “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will

What A Year In Malawi Has Taught Me.

What A Year In Malawi Has Taught Me. I could write so much about what Malawi has taught me. I’ve learned so much about another culture, other religions and living in community with people of other worldviews. I’ve learned how to make living with no power or no water work. I’ve practiced my cooking skills.

My Malawi Gratitude List.

My Malawi Gratitude List. I am seriously in awe that we are exactly one week away from celebrating our one year anniversary of being in Malawi. To celebrate I want to write about Malawi. This week I will give you a glimpse of my gratitude list focusing specifically on Malawi. Next week, I will write

I’m Just Sharing!

I'm Just Sharing! “I’m just SHARING!” This is the phrase Ella Jane has been screaming at her angry little sister as she quickly snatches a toy from her. Of course, knowing that her sister is “just sharing” does nothing to pacify Clara. After calming both girls and having them reconcile, I remind Ella Jane that

Praying Scripture For MALAWI.

Praying Scripture For MALAWI. The more time we spend here and the more we get to know the Malawian people, the deeper our love for them grows. I’m continuing to pray that God deepens our understanding of and love for this nation. Obviously, our primary prayer for them is that their lives will be changed

With The Help Of Our God.

With The Help Of Our God. What are some of your favorite examples of God using His people to do something that can only be described as an act of God? Though there are countless such examples throughout scripture, David and Goliath come to my mind. When Samuel first saw David he couldn’t believe that

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