The Mahaney clan is back from vacation and we’re all adjusting to getting up early, eating cereal for breakfast (instead of Belgian waffles), and living without two trips to the candy store per day.
This vacation was unique among all our family vacations. It began a year ago this month at the Milestone Weekend when my husband handed off his senior pastor responsibilities to Joshua Harris.
The Milestone Weekend represented the fulfillment of more than twenty years of my husband’s prayers—that God would provide someone to lead the next generation of Covenant Life Church. It was a profound illustration of the undeniable, unshakeable truth of Psalm 100:5, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
In the ensuing year, we’ve seen God’s faithfulness in a thousand different ways, as we’ve watched Covenant Life thrive and grow under Josh’s wise leadership. Our God is lavish in His expressions of kindness. For He answered my husband’s prayer beyond what C.J. could have imagined. It fills our hearts with joy.
At the Milestone Weekend, the church presented C.J. with a generous financial gift as a way to thank him for his service. Over a meal with our family following the weekend, C.J. informed our children that we intended to use this gift to bless them in some way; for it was their obedience to God that, in part, made the Milestone Weekend possible.
They responded with immense gratitude, and immediately communicated their desire to return to Chatham (Cape Cod, Mass). We weren’t surprised by their response. It was in keeping with a long-running commitment in our family to making memories.
Early in our parenting, my husband determined to lead our children to value family memories more than the latest toy. Not that we didn’t buy Christmas or birthday gifts for our kids, but we strategically sought to invest our funds toward making memories first. Thus we took short trips at Thanksgiving and Christmas, took day trips throughout the year, and centered yearly vacations on collecting memories that would last a lifetime.
Today, our kids are “hooked” on making memories. Which is why they didn’t hesitate in asking to go back to Chatham—a place that already keeps so many family memories safe for us.
And God in His kindness allowed us to make yet another memory this past week—full of laughter, lively discussions, good food, and the sweetness of simply being together. We’ll enjoy and relive these days for many years to come.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4