TueJul05

 

Wednesdays Word: BLOOM

I was almost home, and was looking forward to the evening ahead with my family. As I drove, I watched as a pickup slowed down, and then stopped at the stop sign at the upcoming crossroad. And then, life changed. The pickup pulled out right when I was entering the intersection. Within seconds, my minivan smashed into the side of it, pushed him out into a field, and sent me into the air, before landing nose down in a ditch. 

The next 18 months held a great deal of physical, as well as emotional pain. Shoulder surgeries, doctor appointments, physical therapy, fear, anxiety, and time off work were among some of the many challenges. 

I was reminded of that accident this weekend when I spotted this flower in my driveway. It was growing among the stones, several feet from the black moist dirt that the other flowers were enjoying. And I thought of the popular saying, “BLOOM where you’re planted”. 

There are many times in our lives, when we find ourselves in situations when life has taken an unexpected turn. When life has dished out some challenges for which we hadn’t planned? When we are forced to BLOOM in some places that are anything but comfortable. Anything, but stable. Anything, but predictable. Places that are instead, like my car accident, unplanned and painful. Shaking us to our core. 

Perhaps it’s a health diagnosis. A job loss. The death of someone we love. Unpaid bills. Relationship struggles. Every person has those situations; the ones where we are the flower, stuck in the middle of the driveway, surrounded by stones, crusty ground sucking the life out of us. And yet, God can give us the ability to still BLOOM. Like this little flower, we can reach for the sun, allowing Him to give us the sunshine we need for strength. We can dig into the ground, allowing Him to nourish us with all we need to create roots that will sustain us. And when we still feel too weary to stand, we can be showered with the reminder that His grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9) With that knowledge, regardless of where we are planted, we absolutely…can BLOOM through any unexpected circumstances.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord. Psalm 27:14

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20 in the story of Joseph) 

Misty Cramer is an author and speaker who enjoys walking alongside others in this journey we call life. Her deisre is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life's darkest challenges, as well as it's brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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TueJul12

 Wednesdays Word: YES  

Several years ago, I remember sitting in my living room with pen in hand, paper laying on the table, and lump in my throat. I knew what God wanted me to write. And I knew to whom He wanted me to mail the letter once I had it completed. What I didn’t know was whether I would actually make the decision to say, YES God, I will write and send this letter. I had a great deal of pain in my heart from the person God wanted me to write. So YES, was coming with much hesitation and questioning. Can you relate?

Several people in the Bible struggled with saying YES to God. Moses argued with God when God told him to speak to Pharaoh (Exodus 6-7).  Jonah attempted to flee when God asked him to go to Nineveh (Jonah 1). Gideon wrestled with God in length when God asked him to form an army to fight the Midianites (Judges 6). Sometimes it is very hard to say YES to God. Sometimes He asks of us, things that don’t make sense to us at the time. And yet, what if Moses wouldn’t have gone to Pharaoh? If Jonah wouldn’t have gone to Nineveh? If Gideon wouldn’t have changed his mind and fought the Midianites? Saying YES to God has eternal value. Saying YES to God changes lives. Saying YES to God changes history.

I wonder if there’s something today in which God is asking us to say, “YES God, I will move forward with this.” Is there a letter or phone call we don’t want to make? Is there a job change that has come up? Is there something in our marriage God is asking us to do? Is there a relationship in our family that needs healing? Is there financial assistance that we can offer someone? Is there a small voice from God, one where He is asking us to say YES, and we are hesitant? Scared? Unforgiving? Prideful? 

I hope today, we will lay our hesitancies, fear, unforgiveness, and pride aside, and move forward, letting God know that YES, we will do as He directs, even if it doesn’t make sense in the moment. May we remember, history was made by people who said YES to God, even when it was difficult. Even when it didn’t make sense. Will you take a step today, and say YES to God?

Author, Misty Cramer To receive these weekly devotions, as well as other encouragement in your inbox, please subscribe at mistycramer.com. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. 

Misty Cramer is an author and speaker who enjoys walking alongside others in this journey we call life. Her deisre is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life's darkest challenges, as well as it's brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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MonJul18

Wednesday's Word: APPRECIATION

I recently opened a message from a young adult I’d had involved in my ministry over a decade ago, and I couldn’t help but tear up. The message was a note of APPRECIATION for the relationship and ministry I had with her all those years ago. As I read the note, I understood she was thanking me, and yet in that moment, I felt as if I were the one receiving the gift. 

Giving thanks, showing APPRECIATION, seems like a pretty simple request; the opportunities are endless for such an assignment. And yet we often find ourselves going about our day, forgetting to give away even one “thank you”. 
 
Our words of APPRECIATION may be the support the young mom needs, as she wrestles with her value as a parent. Or what our co-worker needs, as he wrestles with how to make it through one more day on the job. Our words of APPRECIATION could be what our spouse needs to change the trajectory of our marriage. Or what an elderly neighbor needs, as she feels she has nothing more to offer the world. Our words of APPRECIATION may be the words that change, not only someone’s day, but his very life. 
 
I pray we go about this day, intentionally looking for opportunities to bring people joy, through the unexpected gift of APPRECIATION. Whether God nudges us to write a thank you to someone who walked with us a decade ago, nudges us to give a hug of APPRECIATION for the one walking beside us today, or perhaps nudges us to show our APPRECIATION to the stranger at the grocery check-out, we can trust that our God will use the gift we are offering in just the right way. 
 
In addition to a couple of my favorite verses on the topic of encouragement and thanksgiving, I have also included the popular story Jesus told us, about the healing of the ten men with leprosy. There are many lessons within that story, and one of them definitiely points to the gratitude we need to share with others and with our Heavenly Father. I hope you will be encouraged today, as you take time to read these scriptures.

And please know, I sure APPRECIATE you!


Philippians 1:2-4 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,
 
I Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
 
Luke 17:11-19 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Misty Cramer is an author and speaker who enjoys walking alongside others in this journey we call life. Her deisre is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life's darkest challenges, as well as it's brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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TueJul26

Wednesday's Word: CHILL

The summer days often get busy, too busy sometimes, as we flutter from one activity to another. And it’s not that the activities are a negative thing, it’s just that like everything, we need to find a balance, so we have time to simply CHILL. 

As I sat at the dining room table after our brunch, I could hear laughter from the other room. High pitched laughter. The laughter I have come to recognize as my granddaughter’s. I quietly got up from my chair to peek around the corner, and found my husband seated on a chair, with the granddaughters sitting at his feet. And they were CHILLING, having a good old-fashioned conversation, giggling, soaking in one another’s undivided attention. Later that day, I was soaking in some sun, as I sat by the pond. I glanced over at the dock to see a granddaughter seated beside Todd. Once again, they were just CHILLING, splashing their feet, eating ice cream, basking in the moment.

Often times, I think of Jesus and his ability to CHILL. He took time to walk with his friends. Time to chat beside the water’s edge. Perhaps joked about the size of fish that were caught that day. He took time to go to the garden. Time to pick up a conversation with someone hanging out by a well or strolling along the road. I am reminded, I want to be more like Jesus. 

Many of us, don’t find it easy to CHILL. It takes a very intentional decision to do so. With that said, I pray that as this summer quickly creeps into the closing weeks, we take the opportunity to CHILL. We make the decision to do it. To take a walk and see who God puts in our path. Have a coffee in town and enjoy a conversation with a stranger. Sit on a bench and soak in the surroundings. Or as my husband did, find the opportune time to settle in with a loved one, cherishing the moments that will soon be tomorrow’s memories. 

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11

“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’” Mark 6:31

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9

“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12

Misty Cramer is an author and speaker who enjoys walking alongside others in this journey we call life. Her deisre is to encourage others, as she shares the hope Jesus provides in the midst of life's darkest challenges, as well as it's brightest triumphs. If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture  #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus   #yestogod #appreciation #thanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #rest #relax #grandparents 

 

TueAug02

Wednesday's Word: PROMISE

“I don’t know about this younger generation,” the woman complained as she shook her head, disappointment, discouragement, and disconnection painted on her face.

Her statement was unfortunately not one I was hearing for the first time. After thirty years in youth ministry, her words seemed to be the sentiment shared by many, not only when referring to our youth, but in young adults, as well.

“They aren’t in church.” 

“They are always on their phones.”

“They don’t know how to work hard.”

“They don’t have a moral compass.”

Again, “I don’t know about this younger generation.”

Ma’am, would you please allow me to share something with you…I do know about this younger generation. And I’d be happy to lift your spirits by sharing a few things about my experience with them. Because what I see, is a generation full of PROMISE. 

I had arrived home from work with my husband, and we sat down with our cups of tea and coffee, as we waited to be “invaded”. My mind quickly raced across the checklist I had created in my head. Fridge…full of food. Snacks…in the cabinet. Beds…made for those who would stay the night. Table…extra leaves added. Pond…waiting for the swimmers. Fire pit…read for bonfire to be made. 

And we waited.

Soon, a car made its way into the driveway. Followed by another. And another. In a matter of minutes, about thirty young people, twenty-somethings, gathered in our yard, making their way into our home. My heart swelled; I knew God had brought them here, not just for them to experience an evening together, but also, as a reminder for my husband and I of the PROMISE the future holds.

This group had just finished a week of counseling at a local Christian camp. They were exhausted, functioning on only a few hours of sleep each night this week, and pouring everything they had into the jr and sr high students appointed to them. And yet they were also energized. Energized because of the PROMISES God showed them throughout the week.

They arrived at our home to enjoy a few last hours together before they headed back to their “normal lives”. Saying good-bye to such a powerful week is a challenge, and this group was holding onto the week and putting off the good-byes for as long as possible. 

Here’s what I noticed in the hours following their arrival:

They love Jesus fiercely.

They took a week of vacation time to volunteer at camp. 

They have a heart to share Jesus with those around them.

They are open to learning from other generations, as well as from one another.

They pray with confidence and boldness.

They see miracles happen because of their prayers.

They offer and dive in to help where needed.

They praise God and worship passionately.

They hold each other accountable.

My list could go on and on, but instead, I want to share a couple specific examples of what we experienced while they were in our home.

As we sat around the bonfire, they shared about miracles that happened at camp, physical and spiritual. They spoke of these things with amazement and excitement. And more importantly, with expectation. They actually expected and anticipated answers to their prayers. That shows me PROMISE for our future.

When conversation continued and someone shared a need, a fear, anxiety, the conversation turned to prayer. Soon the anxious were surrounded by their peers, as hands laid on them, and prayers ensued, sounding like a chorus of angels falling at the feet of Jesus. Again, fully expecting an answer, holding onto PROMISE.

After my husband and I went to bed, they could be heard praising God and worshiping. And as they awoke the next morning, they made their way to the kitchen, stomachs hungry for the food we were serving, but spirits starving for more. For more of what our Heavenly Father was dishing up. For three hours, we sat, prayed, listened, discussed…life-changing conversations. Topics that will have an impact on our futures. The type of conversations that hold PROMISE for the future.

By the time the last couple young adults left our home, I was exhausted…and also energized. My husband and I, as well as my parents who live next door, knew we had been given a gift through the presence of this group. We were filled with PROMISE. With hope. With great anticipation of our future generation. 

As we move forward, I have hopes and prayers for us, the “older generation”. Those of us who have seen the years of our twenties and thirties pass by. 

My hope and prayer is that we do not discount this “younger generation”. Let us not mistake their need and desire for a different type of worship, as a lack of Christian commitment. Their needs and desires for worship may be different, but they are far from disconnected. They yearn for more. They seek authentic. They seek answers. They seek faith in action. They seek change. They seek to “get out of the pews” and “get into the mud and mire” of people’s lives. They seek Jesus. That mindset holds PROMISE.

My hope and prayer is that we remember they are living in a world much different than the one in which we lived. I’m not here to argue the “but our generation lived through_____fill in the blank.” I am here to ask; can we agree that they are navigating a variety of daily issues that we did not need to navigate? The world is different, and failing to acknowledge that fact, is to ignore the challenges this generation faces. From my point of view, they are doing a heck of a job at making their way through this ever-changing landscape we call life. 

My hope and prayer is that we would join with them, encouraging them, as they move forward. Let us change our posture from shaking our heads in disappointment to a posture of prayer, asking God not only how we may help them develop to their full potential, but also asking Him what we may learn from them. If we open our hearts and minds, they have much to teach us. They are truly a passionate generation, who hold great PROMISE for the future. And I for one, am excited to see how God continues to use them. 

Press on mighty warriors. This is your time. I praise God that I have a window seat to your lives. I love you deeply and pray God’s protection and direction over each of you. As you make your way in the world, I pray you hold tightly to these words from I Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Written by Misty Cramer ©2022 Misty Cramer is an author and speaker, who, with her husband Todd of 38 years, has had the honor of raising five sons ranging in age from 22 to 37. Todd and Misty have been serving in youth ministry for over thirty years, and are thankful each day for the many lessons they continue to learn from their own “children”, as well as the many “children” who have ministered to them over the years.  

If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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TueAug23

Wednesday’s Word: SEEN 

Have you ever felt as if you weren’t being SEEN? Felt alone, as if you were going through your day and no one really noticed that you were struggling? That you were dealing with family issues? That the financial stress was causing you to feel physically ill? That you were anxious about an upcoming appointment?

I recently was feeling overwhelmed. Sad from going through the transition of our home being an empty nest once again. Frustrated because we’re down a vehicle, as one was just damaged in an accident. Concerned about finances to pay for said vehicle. Sorrowful for several parents who are struggling with their children. On this particular day, the list seemed endless.

As I was sharing my feelings with God, I was brought to several scriptures that reminded me that I was being SEEN. That He was SEEING me. He was reminding me that I was not alone. That He wasn’t looking the other way. That He wasn’t paying more attention to others who may have more or bigger struggles than me. That He was SEEING me, right in the middle of what I saw as a mess that day. A sorry, sad state of overwhelmed feelings. And He SAW me. 

My problems didn’t suddenly get fixed. No “kids” came back to the nest that day. The vehicle was still smashed. The bills would still arrive. The families were still struggling. And yet, I knew I was not alone. I knew the One I was sitting with, was SEEING me. And sometimes, just being SEEN, just knowing that God finds my messes worth acknowledging, is enough of a reminder to make the day better.

Today, I pray you remember, wherever you are; whatever you may be dealing with, that He, the God of the universe, SEES you. He finds you important enough to acknowledge. Important enough to comfort. Important enough to love. Important enough to take the time to SEE you. You are most certainly, not alone. 

You are the God who SEES me, Genesis 16:13 (I encourage you to check out Genesis 16. The same God who saw distraught Hagar, also SEES you and I.)

But you, O Lord, know me; you SEE me, and test my heart toward you. Jeremiah 12:3

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Proverbs 15:3

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

If you would like to receive “Wednesday’s Word”, as well as other encouragement, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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TueAug23

“It will be one of those days you will remember forever.” My aunts words were spoken to me with sincerity and the reflection of her experience over twenty years earlier, as she dropped off her oldest son at college.  With the emotions that were already enveloping me, I knew her words would be accurate.  Part of me wished they weren’t.  Part of me wished this experience would be an easy one, one that would go by without any real tears of sadness.  But without the tears of sadness,  I suppose that could mean that I didn’t mind letting go of this part of our lives.  And to be honest, part of me, a big part of me, does mind letting go.

Life is about letting go, isn’t it?  It’s about letting go of a part of your experiences, of your family’s experiences, ones held so close, ones that seem to have slipped away much to quickly.  It’s about doing the very best you can as a parent, realizing you have been far from perfect, but praying that your love for your child has covered most of your mistakes.

As you read this today, I am three hours away from my home, a little country town in the thumb of Michigan; the area that my husband and I have proudly chosen to raise our children.  As you read, we are in an Orientation program at a wonderful college that my son has chosen to attend.  I’m imagining myself in a program sitting attentively and yet having my mind wander as I prepare to say good-bye to my son and leave him at his new home on this college campus.

I am replaying in my mind the mental pictures I have taken the last few weeks as I’ve watched him take extra care in spending special moments with each of his four younger brothers.  The trips outside to shoot some hoops.  The wrestling on the living room floor.  The watching of cartoons that he watches only for the enjoyment his little brothers gain from having him near them.  The teasing as he attempts to persuade one to give him a hug.  And the joy as he heads to work and the youngest runs down the hall yelling after him, “Hug!  Hug!  Hug!”  Watching his 6’3’’ body reach down and effortlessly scoop up the little 20-pound body as they embrace and quickly kiss each other on the cheek. 

Those are difficult times to let go, yet without change, without letting go of parts of our lives, there would be no growth, no room for new experiences.   Ecclesiastes 3:1says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”   There have been wonderful seasons in our lives.  And yet, the story isn’t over!  We must turn the page and prepare to begin a new chapter.  Yes, one of uncertainty.  One of unknown challenges.  But also one of new experiences.  One of new friendships.  One of new growth.    

It seems that as parents, we spend lots of time slowly closing chapters of our children’s lives.  We close a chapter when take them to the bus to go to kindergarten that first day.   We close a chapter when we help them through the nervousness of their first date.  We close a chapter when we watch them go down that graduation aisle.  And we close a chapter as we leave them at college.  Yet in closing all of those chapters, we are allowing a new season to burst into bloom!  It’s fun to leaf back in the pages, reminisce about the older chapters, laugh about them, but we must always be ready to start the new chapter, even if the earlier chapters seem too precious to end, even as uncertain as the new ones may seem; more of the book is to be written.

Now, I am preparing to say my good bye.  I am preparing to close up the chapters of the past eighteen years, opening them every so often for the great memories, but closing them again, making room for the new chapters.  Will it be easy?  You can bet it won’t be.  You can be sure that I have tears in my eyes right now as I think about this, but I want to share with you a promise that I hold on to during these times of change.  A promise that I hope will comfort you as you go through whatever change is happening in your life today.   Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  I have a Heavenly Father who not only promises He will be with me through this process, but more importantly to me as a mom right now, He is promising me He will there for my son, even when I’m not able. 

So as I drive away from that college parking lot, as you leave your child at the elementary school, or as you close whatever chapter of your life is ending this summer, we can both be assured that there is someone much more able than ourselves holding our babies.  One who loves them even more than we do.  One who is holding their hands tightly, walking them into the next chapter.   Thank you God for reassuring me that you are taking care of our little ones, even the little ones who have grown much bigger than us now!  And God, when we’re not able, please give our children an extra big hug every so often from mom and dad.

Author Misty Cramer. This piece was first published in the Bay City Times, when Misty's oldest son was being taken to college...many years ago. 

If you would like to receive notice when Misty posts a blog, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

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MonAug29

Last week as my husband and I were heading home after leading a Team Retreat, I sat back in the seat of the vehicle and let him know that I’d like to make a few stops on the way home. Having not been up in this area in quite some time, I shared with him I’d like to stop at some places that held childhood memories for me. And so, on we drove. When we got to the first place, Purell’s Restaurant in Pinconning, I unfortunately wasn’t hungry yet. So I told him to pass by, as I shared that it was the place where we would go for ice cream when I stayed at my grandparents’ house. The next location was Deer Acres. Although it is now closed, this was a park that my grandparents’ created, built from scratch. To say that I have a few wonderful childhood memories there would be a grand understatement. So, Todd pulled in the driveway. I looked at the chipping paint, and the lifeless soldiers standing out front, and tears formed in my eyes. As Todd waited in the vehicle, I got out and walked closer, so I could peek inside. When I did, the overgrown broken track that I once drove the old-fashioned cars around, suddenly became bright and shiny, laughter filling the air. As I looked over at the rusty monkey cage, I could almost see them swinging around as they played and screeched. The tiny Hensel and Gretel House, now crumbling, came to life, as I remembered feeling so grown up working in there alongside my aunt and uncle. And the entry…the ticket counter, vines pushing through the cracks in the cement blocks, it also came to life in my mindseye, as my grandpa or uncle sat and took tickets, smiling from ear to ear as they saw me approaching from the parking lot. It didn’t take long for my grandma and aunt to come around the corner from the souvenir shop, arms open and ready for a big hug.  As the tears made their way from my eyes, down to my cheeks, I felt an arm around my shoulder. Todd hadn’t stayed in the vehicle. He stood beside me, sharing in the moment. Allowing me to relive memories that were before our time together. Listening as I shared a past that he wasn’t part of, but cared about because it was part of what shaped the woman he loves so well. 

Satisfied with this stop on our journey home, we had one more place to go. Todd drove a few more miles until we reached the Turkey Roost. Another restaurant that has family memories that go back well over half a century. We pulled in the parking lot and made our way into the pink restaurant. I remembered the pens they had in the parking lot area when I was a child; pens where I could go and see the real live turkeys. When we got inside, we sat down. And surround by all the people, I did a little whistle to myself. It only seemed fitting, after hearing decades of stories about how my grandpa proudly brought me in there after church, showing off his two-year old granddaughter who had learned to whistle. Sunday after Sunday, Turkey Roost became an after-church tradition. It only seemed fitting to include it in my list of stops on our way home that day. 

When we left Turkey Roost that day, my heart was full. Not only because of the warmth the memories provided for me that day, but because my husband had just invested in me. Was there a list of things at home calling for his attention? Of course. Was he tired from a long week of work? He certainly was. And yet, he intentionally had a cheerful attitude and truly made me feel like he wanted to be no other place in the world that afternoon than right there beside me, walking down memory lane.

My encouragement on this Marriage Monday is to intentionally make our spouse a priority. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a walk with them. It could be turning off the tv, putting down the phone, and playing a game or talking. Perhaps it’s a night out to a movie we’d rather not see, but our spouse wants to see. Maybe it’s bringing home a special meal. It might be just making them popcorn and being next to them, as they watch their favorite show. The challenge is… do something. Do something that makes our spouse feel like s/he is the most important person in the world. Because my marriage, your marriage, is worth the investment. 

*This blog is by no means intended to put current or past owners of Deer Acres in a poor light. 

If you would like to receive notice when Misty posts a blog, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture  #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus   #yestogod #appreciation #thanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #rest #relax #grandparents #gen z #gen x #generations #hopeforthenextgeneration #hopeforthefuture #deeracres #marriage 

 

WedAug31

“If you turn left here, we will get there more quickly.” 

“No, I drive this all the time, this way is quicker.”

“I just drove this yesterday, and it is quicker if you turn left.” 

Voice inflections change. Eyes roll. The mood of the trip just changed.

“You never reached out to me.”

“I reached out first, last time. I was waiting for you this time.”

“What a joke! You never reach out to me first. I always have to be the one to initiate.”

Words get harsher. The sound of pain makes its way through the conversation. 

“About ten years ago we went and visited Uncle Joe.”

“That was not ten years ago. It was only eight.”

“It was ten years! I remember cuz it was close to his 70th birthday.”

Argument ensues. Tension grows. 

What is it about us and our great need to be “RIGHT”? Even to the point we are willing to argue about topics that add no value to our daily lives. To the point that often times, we don’t even remember the topic of the initial argument. Years ago, my husband and I went to a marriage retreat, and speaker, Tom Harmon, gave this wise advice: “Give up the RIGHT to be RIGHT.”

What? You mean when I am RIGHT, I can just let “it” go and allow the other person to be RIGHT? Yes, it is possible. And it is a valuable tool to use in a marriage, as well as in any other relationship. When we relinquish this RIGHT, we are sacrificing self by putting the other person’s needs first. Because to be honest, many (I realize there are exceptions) of the arguments we have, are not worth battling over. They are not worth damaging the relationship. They are not worth hurting the other person. They are not worth the journey down the long ugly road. They are not worth damaging any children within earshot.

Perhaps turning left was quicker, but did the argument add value to the relationship? Maybe the other person didn’t reach out last time; are we prepared to lose the relationship over who is RIGHT. And maybe it was only eight years ago since we visited Uncle Joe, but wasn’t the goal of the conversation to set up a time to go visit him again?

I’m certainly not going to say it’s easy to relinquish the RIGHT to be RIGHT. My husband will testify to the fact that I don’t find it easy; in fact, he is much better at it than I. But I will continue to remind myself that it’s not about who is RIGHT. It’s about loving and honoring the other person, and investing in the building of relationships. 

 

Let no corrupt talk come from your mouths, but only that which is used to build others up. Eph 4:29

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, Matthew 7:12

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

If you would like to receive notice when Misty posts a blog, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture  #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus   #yestogod #appreciation #thanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #rest #relax #grandparents #gen z #gen x #generations #hopeforthenextgeneration #hopeforthefuture  #marriage #arguements 

 

WedSep07

As the last vehicle drives out of the driveway, I can’t help it; tears slowly form in my eyes, and then stream down my cheeks. My hubby wraps his arms around me, knowing that the evening will be difficult. And that even the days ahead will leave their mark, as some sadness makes its way through our home. I am pretty predictable this time of year. Whether I was sending my kids off to kindergarten, college, or even now, back to their own homes after a wonderful summer together, I just don’t deal well with the good-byes and the TRANSITION that comes with those good-byes. I like to hold on very tightly to the wonderful times that the summer brought. I still want to enjoy the laughs around the bonfire; the swims at the pond; the sounds of the guitar playing in the bedroom; the banging of furniture during wrestling matches. All of it; I want to keep it coming. I don’t want to say good-bye; and I don’t want to begin the TRANSITION. 

And yet, as I speak those things to my husband. As I share with God, once again this year, my lack of zeal for TRANSITIONING from summer to fall, I am reminded of the importance, and yes, even the joy to be found in the TRANSITION. Oh, what I would miss out on in my life if there weren’t TRANSITIONS. Oh, how I would miss seeing God work in the lives of my family, if they didn’t TRANSITION from one chapter to the next. God, you are so good, to allow us the opportunity to grow, to TRANSITION from one chapter to the next. You are so good, to allow us to create memories in one chapter, and then build anticipation for what the next chapter may look like. You are so good to allow us to take all that we learn, the good decisions and the bad, and to carry those lessons into the next chapter. Thank you, Lord, for walking with me through these times of TRANSITION, for allowing me to shed my tears, but for also reminding me of the growth and the opportunities that come with the new chapters you have for each one of us.

I pray this week, that as you move from summer to fall. As you TRANSITION from one season to another, that you feel His presence each step of the way. I pray that whether you struggled as you dropped off your kindergartener, are going through difficult evenings not having your college student at home, or any other TRANSITION you may be dealing with, that you are reminded of the faithful God we serve. That you are reminded that He has prepared a plan for us, and for our loved ones. A plan that includes this TRANSITION. A plan that includes a beautiful new chapter. May we each be reminded that without turning the page to the new chapter, we will leave the remainder of the story untold. And it's a good story. Let’s take the leap and turn that page, even if we need to leave a tear-soaked page behind.

There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the sun. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Transitions in life, can offer opportunities for discovery. Robbie Shell

Sometimes, God brings times of transition to create transformation. Lynn Cowell

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

If you would like to receive notice when Misty posts a blog, you can subscribe to her website, https://mailchi.mp/7844a4ba7f8b/welcome and follow her on Instagram @mistydawncramer and Facebook, Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker. She would love to connect with you!  

#wednesdaysword #imagine320 #laughter #joy #laugh #happy #happiness #truth #encouragement #family #memories #sisters #bible #scripture  #devo #devotions #wonder #awe #inspiration #awestruck #god #psalm #challenges #difficulties #psalms #psalm #hardship #pain #endurance #jesus   #yestogod #appreciation #thanks #thankful #appreciate #gratitude #rest #relax #grandparents #gen z #gen x #generations #hopeforthenextgeneration #hopeforthefuture  #marriage #arguements 

 

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