Even as a child, I looked forward to Thanksgiving Day with great anticipation. I was a child who loved traditions, and our Thanksgiving tradition was to load up in the car and head to my mom’s side of the family for a day of food and fun with all of my aunts and uncles, lots of cousins, and of course, Grandma and Grandpa.


Have you seen an alligator without a tail? No? Me neither. Well, meet Bob. I was able to meet Bob recently on our trip to Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach. 

Bob was born without a tail, which is the most prevalent birth defect among gators. Alligators like Bob have 0% chance of survival in the wild. Zero! Their tails are essential. Being born without one, is a death sentence. That is, unless someone saves them. Unless someone takes them into their protective “arms” and places them into a habitat where they will be protected from prey, and fed in a way that is accessible for them. Upon being saved, gators like Bob can grow, flourish, and live a life without fear of certain and immediate death. 

Bob, God used you to remind me of a truth that some people may not know. A truth that those of us who do know, often take for granted. We are born, not necessarily needing to be physically saved from death, but certainly in need of being spiritually saved. Just as Bob would have had zero chance of life without being rescued, we find ourselves with zero chance (as in no chance at all) of an abundant and eternal life without being rescued by a Savior, Jesus, who loves us enough to go to the cross for us. A Savior who puts us in His arms, not only saving us from certain death, but loving us, caring for us, strengthening us, as we journey forward, on this often difficult earth. 

We can be thankful that unlike the alligators, we don’t need to wait to be rescued. We don’t need to hope that by some chance, someone may happen across our path. We are able, right now, to know that Jesus went to the cross for us. We are able to reach out to Him this very second and ask Him to save us. We are able today to let Him know that we are ready to have Him walk ahead of us on this life journey. We are able to ask Him to prepare a place for us in heaven for our future journey. How awesome is that! 

There are no magical words that need to be said. It’s about aligning our hearts with the God who loves us enough to send His Son, Jesus. By asking Him for the rescue, we are changing our zero percent chance of abundant and eternal life to 100% chance of abundant and eternal life. My prayer is that no one lets this rescue opportunity pass by. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his oonly Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to fogive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24

And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11:26

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 1 Peter 3:18

If you desire to know more, comment or message me. I would be honored to help you pursue your rescue plan with Jesus. 

If you would like to receive notice when Misty posts a blog, you can subscribe to her website, 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 


The scream made its way from the church parking lot into the building, where I was packing up the last items of the night and preparing to lock the door behind me. It was a scream of pain, and one I recognized as my our middle son’s. I dropped my things, handed my youngest child off to someone standing nearby, and bolted outside. There I found one son screaming in pain, as his older brother looked on with tears in flowing down his cheeks, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
The van door had been accidentally closed on his fingers, and it was evident by the scene, who had done the closing. I quickly climbed in the van to find that we needed to go to the hospital for stitches.
After finding other people to care for the remaining brothers, my husband drove us while I sat in the backseat with our son. His screaming continued, as his injured hand laid in his lap, the other gripping mine.
Suddenly the screaming stopped, “Mom, Taylor said he was sorry. And he asked me to forgive him. I will always forgive him. Cuz he’s my brother.” As abruptly as the screaming stopped, it began again. Yet, this six year old child, had paused just long enough for God to use him to teach us all a lesson on forgiveness.
I pray today that we are all aware that we have a Savior who forgives us, always, no need for details. No need for explanation. No need for begging. He just forgives us when we ask. Plain and simple. Because He loves us. Because we are His children. It’s as if He hung from the cross, writhing in pain, paused, and said, “Father, I will always forgive them, because they are my children.”
Let us not take for granted the love the Father has lavished on us. Let us embrace this love, ask for His forgiveness, and praise Him for giving them to us, unconditionally.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are. 1 John 3:1
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us from our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Misty Cramer is an author and speaker. I you enjoy her writing, you may subscribe at for her newsletter and devotions, as well as follow her on Facebook at Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker, and Instagram @mistydawncramer. Pictures are Misty’s five sons.

#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 



I remember, at 18 years old, walking into Meijer with my boyfriend, and swearing I could hear our hearts beating out of our chests, as we walked hand in hand to the aisle with the pregnancy tests. I remember the next morning, before the sun was up, before any of his roommates awoke, taking the pregnancy test in his dorm room. And I remember the panic we felt, as we watched the pregnancy test turn to positive.

My world shifted that day. All the future plans that I had made for my life, suddenly felt as if they were snatched out of my tightly held grip. I was lost. 

My story comes upon me more vividly this week, as it holds the great celebration of the birthday of my oldest son. The memories of placing my hands on my tummy and saying, “Don’t you worry little one. We’re going to be alright,” come flashing to the forefront of my mind. Although the words seem confident, they were spoken simultaneously, with these words crying from soul, “Lord, what am I going to do? What is next?” 

Even in the midst of what I saw as an unknown plan for the future of myself and my baby, I also knew I served a faithful God. I knew there were to be difficult conversations with parents ahead. Painful decisions to be made regarding my relationship with my boyfriend, and challenges as to how I would proceed with my education.  I also knew, however, that I served a faithful God. A God who would forgive me, who would love me. One who would pick me up right where I was, in that painful and confused state. And I knew He would hold me. Comfort me. And give me the direction and strength I needed to move forward. 

I’m not sure what situation you find yourself in today, but I want to remind you, that the same faithful God who walked with me, is available to walk with you. We serve a God who is in the midst of your situation. Who has a desire to hold you when you need it, comforting you in your pain. Who forgives you, if your situation involves mistakes you were responsible for. Who will not desert you, but will instead walk with you, directing your next steps of the journey. No one cares more about you or your situation than the God who created you and loves you. He is faithful and He will not leave your side. Will you choose to trust Him today with your situation? 

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Written by: Misty Cramer. Misty and her husband Todd have been married for 38 years, and have five sons, the oldest of course, is the baby from the story above.  With a busy household of seven, God continued his faithfulness. He provided during the ups and downs faced when being married and pregnant at 18 years old. And He also faithfully provided opportunities for Todd and Misty to later enter into full-time ministry. They currently have been serving in youth, family, and marriage ministry for over 25 years. Their story can be heard in part on the following podcast, “Divorce Ain’t Happening”:

Misty is available to speak at your next ladies event, and her and Todd would find it a privilege to speak at your next marriage retreat. For more information on booking, you may head to You will also find Misty on Facebook: Misty Cramer, Author & Speaker and on Instagram @mistydawncramer. 


#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 



Christmas over 2000 years ago. The changes are evident, yet the reason behind the season remains consistent, today and forever. 

As we hustle around, jumping into our cars, preparing to take trips to the big cities for shopping, Mary and Joseph hopped on the back of a donkey and prepared for a big trip to Bethlehem.  As we drive around the mall parking lot searching for the nearest vacant spot, Mary and Joseph searched the town of Bethlehem for a vacant room to give birth to Jesus.  As we gather together in a warm house filled with the smells of our favorite holiday dishes, the family of Jesus gathered in a crowded stable filled with the smells of nearby animals.  And as we look to map quest for directions to grandma’s house, the wise men looked to the sky for a star that would lead them to the King. 
Oh, how times have changed since the birth of our Jesus.  But I am reminded of one fact that has not changed over the years.  That fact is that in the stable that special night in Bethlehem, all those years ago, a holy infant was born.  And word of this holy infant spread throughout the lands.  The angels sang praises and shepherds came to worship Him.  When the people came to see this little bundle wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, they could sit and stare in awe at the miracle that was unfolding about them.  This was no ordinary baby.  This baby was fulfilling the prophecies they had heard about.  This baby had come to save the world.
As a Christian, as someone who loves Jesus with all her heart, I am compelled to share with others the miracle that happened that day.  You see, although it has been many years since Jesus was born, the miracle of His birth still needs to be shared with people.  Just as people walked the earth all those years ago, searching to catch a glimpse of this baby, this boy, this man named Jesus, we also have people all around us searching for that relationship with this one man named Jesus. 
I love the words that Jesus’ mother, Mary, spoke when the angels delivered the news that she was going to give birth to the son of God.  She said, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.” 
What faith this young woman had!  Was she scared?  Probably.  Was she nervous about giving birth to God’s Son?  I would guess so.  Was she unsure of what the future held?  Sure.  But was she obedient and willing to do as God asked her to do?  Definitely, yes. 
That’s what I want to be like! Will some people think I’m strange for believing in the birth of Jesus?  Probably.  Will some people want to walk away from me when I try telling them that the Savior of the world was born in a stable 2000 years ago?  I would guess so.  Will some people smile politely and say this religious stuff isn’t for them?  Sure.  But will it be worth it when even one person comes to realize that the real reason behind the Christmas season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world?  Definitely, yes.
I am going to pray that as we go about this holiday season, we ask God for the boldness to share with people about our relationship with Jesus.  That He will give us all we need to give people the real meaning behind the holiday season.  That we share the real story about the first Christmas just as it is recorded in the bible in Luke 2.  People searched for Him all those years ago.  And people are continuing to search for the love and peace that He offers.  May God bless you as you spread the word of the true meaning of this Christmas season!

To receive more of Misty's Christmas Devotions, like this one, directly to your inbox, you may sign up here: You will also receive a free Christmas Kindness Calendar, Christmas Word Search, and Christmas To-Do List. 



"What's the real meaning of Christmas?", a frustrated Charlie Brown asks his friend Linus.

Let's take a journey through some of our family traditions and see if we can help Charlie Brown find the "real" meaning of Christmas. 
Every December our family begins the many traditions that we have done since I was a child.  There is the cutting and decorating of the tree.   The special shopping trip with just mom and daughters.  The trip to Toys R Us with the kids.  The giving of hints to dad as to what he should go buy mom.  And the list goes on.  Then Christmas Eve arrives.  Every Christmas Eve, three generations of my family head to church. As we sit together, sing the Christmas carols, and read the scripture, we can’t help but feel blessed and thankful for the celebration we are here to recognize.   The birth of Jesus.  It seems that although the year that has gone by wasn’t always an easy road; there is peace here. Peace in knowing we have a Savior who loves us through our triumphs and through our struggles.  Peace in knowing that we are surrounded by family.  Family who also loves us through those triumphs and struggles.
But our Christmas Eve doesn’t end there.  As we sing the closing song by candlelight, we are enjoying the moment, but also greatly anticipating what’s to come.
Christmas Eve continues as we arrive at Grandpa and Grandma’s house.  The little ones are excited about the opportunity to open their one traditional Christmas Eve gift.  All other gifts must wait for morning. (I won’t mislead you.  I get excited about that Christmas Eve gift too!) As the children study the gifts, the older children and adults scurry around the house to find as many Bibles as they can.  Then the home is calm.  Well as calm as it gets with 20 excited people.  As everyone here knows, tradition has its order tonight and the gifts are last.  First, it is time to take turns reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  Grandpa assigns verses to everyone and even the early readers give their try at sounding out the words to this precious story of the birth of Jesus. After Jesus is born, the shepherds have come to worship, and the wise men visit, we close our Bibles and sense we are on our way to finding the real meaning of Christmas.
For some reason Grandma’s part of the night makes us all pretty nervous, especially those new comers to the family like the sons in law.  Grandma begins, “Everyone put your name on two slips of paper and put them in the bowl.  Now pass the bowl around and pick out two different names.”  By now the sons in law are sweating a little.
Grandma continues, “We’ll take turns going around to each person.  When we get to the person who’s name you have on your slip you must share with the group something you really love, appreciate, or admire about that person.”  Whew!  Now those sons in law are really sweating…especially the ones who chose the mother in law's name!
As we go around the circle it isn’t long before tears fill our eyes as we share with one another from our hearts what it is that we love about one another.  The words may be from a four-year-old to his daddy.  “I like it when my daddy wrestles me.”  They may be spoken from a father to his son in law.  “Thank you for loving my daughter for being the husband you are to her and the daddy you are to my grandchildren.”  From a husband to his wife. “I appreciate your support through this difficult year.  I love you.” Regardless of the words, they are sincere.  They are full of love.  Yes, even the ones from the sons in law.  I do have to confess.  We do love watching them squirm their first year of sharing. 
After that evening, I can say, “Well Charlie Brown, I found the real meaning of Christmas.”  And it centers around one little word, love.  It all began because of the love our Heavenly Father had for us when he sent His Son to earth as a precious baby boy.  This season, as I celebrate the love He has given me, I will try to share some love with those around me.  I’ll start right now.  I pray you will be blessed this Christmas Season.  May you find the love of Jesus.  When you do, wrap it up in your heart and be ready to give it away to someone you see who needs to receive this most special gift.   And I guarantee that love will be the one gift that you’ll be happy to have returned!

I hope you enjoyed the revisiting of a Christmas Eve spent with our family. The above was actually written and published in the Bay City Times in 2003. That's quite a few years ago!  My youngest children have gone from the youngest in the group, to having cousins and nieces taking that position. My older children have gone from teenagers to married men, bringing their spouses to the group. Since that time, we have also had many other changes. Toys R Us has closed, so that tradition has disappeared. We have gone from a real tree to a fake one, so our Christmas tromping through the snow has also disappeared. And yet, there is a part that is far from disappearing. In fact, it is growing. It is the Christmas Eve tradition explained above. We no longer have three generations heading to church; instead we have four. We no longer have 20 people joining in on the sharing at the grandparents, instead we have about 30. There are a couple new "in-laws" this year, so we still do look forward to seeing them squirm a little during the sharing time.  So, as much has changed, much has also remained the same. And so it is with the Word of God. His story never changes. May we continue to put Jesus and then our families, at the forefront this Christmas Season. Let us continue to allow the "real" meaning of Christmas shine through.

God Bless each of you this Christmas Season. May the light of Jesus shine forth within your homes, and your hearts. 

To receive more of Misty's Devotions,, directly to your inbox, you may sign up here: This month, you will also receive a free Christmas Kindness Calendar, Christmas Word Search, and Christmas To-Do List. 



Let Me See Through Your Eyes in 2023?

I remember the day. It was June of 1998. I was riding in the front seat of the vehicle my husband was driving, and we had just left my Grandma's funeral. We were now in the processional, a line of many other vehicles, headed to the cemetery where we could say our final good-byes to Grandma. I recall resting my hand on my pregnant belly, tears gently trickling down my cheeks, as I took in the fact that Grandma was never to meet this special little one who was growing inside me. I recall watching out the window, observing people walking on the sidewalk, driving down the road, all going about their business as usual. Didn't they know that the world should stop today? Didn't they know our worlds would never be the same? Didn't they know we had holes in our hearts that would never be filled?For whatever reason, this scene came to me today, as I was thinking about the New Year, the arrival of 2023. The year that has close to a week of it in the rearview mirror already.Because I have not felt well, I have struggled with the transition into 2023. I wanted to jump into it feet first, sprinting forward toward the many goals I have on the horizon. And yet, I feel as if I am sitting, not standing, at the starting block, waiting for my body to get enough energy to position itself for the start of the race. The problem is, the race has already begun. It's a week in already. And that frustrates me. Yet, as I was thinking of this today, and God took me back to 1998, I got some clarity. I found the ability to look outside of my body, outside of my home, outside of my goals. I opened my heart to the many people, who like me on the day of Grandma's funeral, are feeling like they're watching the world go by, without anyone noticing. Without anyone caring.My desire is to be someone who notices. Someone who cares. Someone who Jesus will use to bring comfort. Peace. Joy. I believe there are people who are struggling with the start of 2023. There are people who have recently lost loved ones, who can't seem to find a way to move forward. There are people who are dealing with their own or a loved one's illness, who are attempting to figure out how to navigate their new diagnosis. There are those who did their best to have gifts under the tree for their little ones, who now are looking at mounting bills, with little or no income on the horizon to pay them. There are those who had hoped the New Year would bring a reconciliation within their marriage, and instead, they stare into the empty eyes of someone they used to know. There are those who prayed 2023 would bring a wayward child home for the holidays, and instead they once again, found the seat at the table empty. There are many people who are sitting at the starting blocks. They were hoping the beginning of 2023 would look differently. And now, they are watching people race past them. And they wonder, why isn't the world stopping? Don't people know my world will never be the same? Don't people know that part of my heart is broken, empty? Does anyone care?My challenge for us today, is could we step out and love someone like Jesus would? (Write a note. Stop in for a visit. Drop off some food. Make a phone call.) Could we bow our heads today, and ask God to show us who that person is who needs to hear from? Who is that person who needs to be given a glimmer of hope today? That person who needs to know that someone else's world stopped today, even if for just enough time to acknowledge the pain of another.Heavenly Father, I thank you for this New Year ahead. I do not know what it has in store, but I do know that you will accomplish your will in and through it. I ask right now, would you please bring to my heart and mind someone who needs to feel your love today? Open my heart that I may see this person, see their pain, and be a friend who can provide the love and comfort they need today. Give me your eyes right now, Lord. And guide me in the way I may serve this person. AmenMay your 2023 be filled with the love of our Savior! And if you have a prayer request you would like me to add to my prayer time, please email me. I'd find it an honor to pray for you. 

To receive more of Misty's Devotions,, directly to your inbox, you may sign up here: This month, you will also receive a free "Five Days of Reading, Writing, & Praying The Psalms" packet Misty created. 



My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 10:27-28

At nine months pregnant, my mind and body reached its limit after the long day. My husband looked at me knowingly; I had hit the wall. Exhaustion overtaking me,

I settled into my recliner with a scoop of ice cream. I had eagerly waited for that ice cream all day. With the younger two children tucked into bed, I thought my mom duties were done for the night. I released a deep exhale and began to relax.

I yelled out to our two oldest boys, “Good night, guys! Love you! See you in the morning!” They were headed toward the steps to make their way to their rooms.

My fifteen-year-old’s voice echoed from the staircase, “Mom! Aren’t you coming down to tuck us in?”

“Come on, Mom!” shouted the ten-year-old.

My body tensed. My face grimaced. My mouth began to form the words, “not tonight, boys.” After all, it had been a long day. I had just gotten comfortable or as comfortable as a woman who is nine months pregnant could possibly get. I had also tucked those boys in every night for the last ten and fifteen years. Surely a night without me wouldn’t do permanent damage.

However, before the words “not tonight, boys” could escape my mouth, I wiggled my way to the edge of the chair. Hoisting my body out of it, I waddled down the steps.

There are those times in our lives when circumstances pop up that are a bit inconvenient. In truth, those types of things happen daily. Yet, I hope after a quick evaluation of those circumstances, we are able to discern which items may be inconvenient but are also worth the investment versus the items that are inconvenient and can be put on a back burner.

For a brief moment, my exhaustion took priority over my sons’ needs. No, my sons’ lives would not be signifi- cantly altered if I did not tuck them in that night. Yes, my sons could learn that sometimes Mom could say no. However, I felt that nudge. You know the nudge I mean. It’s that little push from God that gives us that boost we need to “get out of the chair.” Tonight would not be the night I would say “no.” After all, if my sons, who were ten and fifteen years old, were still asking for their mom to tuck them in, I most certainly would not turn down that opportunity.

By paying attention to the “nudge” God gave me that night, I was able to experience time with my sons that was more than worth the trip down the stairs. I was able to bless them with a mom who went the extra mile.

God has the ability to give us those “nudges” throughout the day. Often times, we are so consumed with the daily tasks around us, we brush off the “nudges.” We convince ourselves they surely could be put off another day. Yet, very often the nudges from God are timely. Only He knows the exact moment when our friend is in need of a phone call. Only He is in tune with the financial needs of the neighbor who needs some grocery money. Only He knows the moment the young mom is feeling too overwhelmed to climb out of bed. With that said, the timing of His nudges is of utmost importance. They aren’t intended to be put off for another time. When He speaks to our hearts and minds, it is because He sees a need and has the desire to use us to fill the need. I just think that is so cool! We serve a God who wants to use us to complete His purposes!

I wonder what nudge God would like to give you today? He has something in mind for you to accomplish for Him. I hope you will commit to listening, watching, and obeying the nudge. The nudge will give you the boost you need to “get out of the chair” and accomplish something that may seem inconvenient yet is very significant.

What nudge is God giving you today and will you take action to obey it?

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the nudges you provide. I often get caught up in the routines of the day and forget to listen. I forget to pay attention to the needs of your people. Would you please open my heart today? Would you allow me to hear and to feel the nudges you give me? I thank you for turning “inconveniences” into blessings. Amen.

Misty Cramer © 2023

This devotion was taken from Misty's upcoming book, The Every Day God . This book is anticipated to be released by Fall 2023. To receive more of Misty's Devotions,, directly to your inbox, you may sign up here: . Misty is an author, speaker, and mentor. She would find it a privledge to get to know you and to see if she can be of service at your next event. 



Marriage Monday: Like & Love

          Can I love my spouse, but not really like him/her right now? I remember a time in our marriage where I was not liking my man. And my guess is, he wasn’t liking me much at that point either. I can make a list of what was going on in our lives, and place some blame on how and why he wasn’t very likable, but my guess is, again, he probably could do the same. We had young children. One of them wasn’t sleeping much at all, and only wanted mommy. We were struggling financially. I was babysitting daily for another baby, attempting to make some extra income so I could afford to stay home with our children. We were in a rut. He would go to work. I would watch kids. He would return home. I would hand off kids and go outside, trying to get a moment or two without a child attached to my body. He would get frustrated because the child would scream and didn’t want daddy. I would come back into the house to a crying child, other children needing things, and now a hubby who was anything but happy. And the cycle would continue. We would get irritated with one another quickly. We would think of our own needs instead of attempting to meet our needs together. It wasn’t fun.

            But, wow, I did love that man. If anyone would have asked either of us if we loved our spouse, we would have said, “yes, of course.” However, we sure weren’t doing a great job at displaying it in everyday life. And the results were…we didn’t like each other much.

            Thankfully, that phase didn’t last too long. We learned to communicate much better. We learned to forgive more quickly. We learned to serve the other more effectively. We learned to see the needs of the other more often. We learned. Period.

            Marriage is a process of learning, isn’t it. Today, I ask, do you find yourself in the “I love my spouse, but I don’t like my spouse” phase? Unfortunately, some couples spend years in this phase. It’s not a healthy, productive, and certainly not a fun place to reside in your marriage. Marriage is much more fulfilling when we not only love our spouse, but we like him/her too.

            When I look back at that phase, I see some important components at play on my end. I see a woman who wasn’t happy with herself. I see a woman who was exhausted. I see a woman who probably had some depression creeping into her life. I see a woman who was lonely. The list goes on, but the point is, I wasn’t at a great place emotionally. And Todd could make a list of his components, as well. We were two people who were struggling on our own, and not making the decision to come together, communicate, and see what we could do for the other. We were too caught up in the “me syndrome”. If I could sit down with that young Misty today, I would suggest she and her husband sit down and have some conversation on how they could meet the other’s needs more effectively. I would tell her to intentionally do something to serve her husband every day, even if that wasn’t reciprocated. I would tell her to get a babysitter, and go out and do something fun with this man she loves…and find out what it’s like to not only love him, but to like him again.

            Don’t stay stuck in that spot; take a step today to make your marriage better. If your spouse isn’t onboard for talking to you about it, make a commitment this week to do something for him/her that would show them you’re in the game. You’re ready to step it up and become friends, have fun together, laugh together…that you’re ready to figure out how to like one another again. And if you already are doing great in your marriage, awesome. But don’t take that for granted. Don’t let the fire burn out; fan the flame. Continue to be intentional about doing something to make it better each day. Your marriage is worth it.

Intentional Ideas for Strengthening Your Marriage this Week: 

*Ask your spouse, "What could I do to make your week better?"

*Do an activity you had fun doing together when you were dating.

*Leave a note for your spouse that tells him/her at least three things you like about them.

*Let your spouse choose something for the two of you to do together, and make the arrangements to make it happen

#marriage #marriagematters #love #marriagemonday #loveoneanother #love #serve #spouse

Misty Cramer © 2023

Misty Cramer is an author & speaker who recently released her first book. The Every Day God, 40 Daily Devotions for Walking with God through Everyday Moments, quickly made it's way to Amazon's #1 New Release and Best Seller lists in multiple categories. In this book, she authentically shares her own story to remind us all that God has a specific plan, even in the midst of life's messes. She has been married to Todd for 39 years and has five adult sons. While they enjoy their time as "empty nesters" in rural Michigan, they also love visits from their sons, two daughter-in-laws, and two granddaughters. Misty sends out a monthly devotion as part of her newsletter, and she'd love to send it along to you. The link to subscribe to the devotion, as well as the link to Misty's book can be found below: 




Marriage Monday: The Invisible Backpack

It’s been over 39 years since I went down the aisle and made the vow “til death do us part”. As I think back on that day, I consider the number of unrealistic expectations I took with me down that aisle. It was almost as if I had an invisible backpack strapped to my body…and inside it held the ugly and unquestionably problematic…unrealistic expectations.  

Oh, I am not even sure I was consciously taking these unrealistic expectations with me down the aisle. Nonetheless, they were there. And some of them were going to do their best to create some problems in my marriage.

Not all expectations are negative ones. But for the purpose of this post, the focus is on the unrealistic and unhealthy expectations. For me, these were expectations I had thrown into my backpack as I grew up. Expectations that my hubby would do jobs just like my Dad did them. Expectations that he would know birthdays were an important event and worthy of gift giving and celebration. Expectations that he would know when I was in need of some quality time. Expectations of him understanding my desire to pray together. The list could go on and on.

The reality is, my expectations were indeed baggage. They were baggage that needed to be addressed. There was a need for my husband and I to communicate with one another about these expectations. Because the reality was, many of our expectations didn’t fit the mold of what our marriage would like.

I needed to understand that my husband was not my Dad; his giftings are very different from my Dad and I need to accept and embrace those differences. I needed to communicate my ideas on birthdays, understanding that the ways of celebration and emphasis on such celebration in his family and mine were different. I needed to release the expectation of thinking my hubby should just “know” that I needed quality time with him; I could share with him my needs for this in a way that would benefit both of us. I couldn’t just expect that he knew I longed for him to pray with me; I again, needed to be honest and share this desire with him.

Are you holding onto unrealistic expectations for your spouse? Perhaps holding him to a standard you saw as a child in a romance movie. Maybe comparing him to your parent or grandparent. Are you evaluating your marriage based upon the marriage of your friends, or possibly, by the never-ending happy and unrealistic posts on social media?

Take time this week to check your backpack. What expectations can you release? Or what expectations can you pick out of the backpack, place on the table, and invite your spouse into your world for some meaningful conversation. Perhaps even offer a time of asking for forgiveness for holding onto expectations that should have never made it down the alter in the first place.

Have a wonderful week, and take some time to check out the marriage tips below.  I would love to hear how you were able to work through some of the unrealistic expectations in your marriage. Please feel free to leave a comment or question on the form below, or connect with me on Facebook and Instagram. I also send out a monthly email that includes a devotion, schedule of my speaking, and other words of encouragement. I’d love for you to be a part of what God is doing through the email group. That link is also below. Alright, enough chit-chat. Here are the tips for the week.

Intentional Tips for Strengthening your Marriage this Week:

*Take time alone to consider whether you feel you brought a backpack down the aisle that held expectations for your spouse that shouldn’t have been placed upon him/her.

*Forgive your spouse for placing unrealistic and unhealthy expectations on you.

*Ask your spouse if s/he has felt you had unrealistic expectations for them at any point it your marriage. And if so, do they feel those expectations are still alive or have them been dealt with? Discuss their response.

*Have a conversation with your spouse regarding healthy expectations. What are some expectations you can have for one another that will strengthen your marriage? What expectations do you need to throw out of the backpack?

*Remind yourself throughout the week to release the unrealistic and unhealthy expectations, while focusing on the positive traits your spouse has brought into the marriage.

Misty Cramer is an author & speaker who recently released her first book. The Every Day God, 40 Daily Devotions for Walking with God through Everyday Moments, quickly made its way to Amazon's #1 New Release and Best Seller lists in multiple categories. In this book, she authentically shares her own story to remind us all that God has a specific plan, even in the midst of life's messes. She has been married to Todd for 39 years and has five adult sons. While they enjoy their time as "empty nesters" in rural Michigan, they also love visits from their sons, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters. Misty sends out a monthly devotion as part of her newsletter, and she'd love to send it along to you. The link to subscribe to the devotion, as well as the link to Misty's book can be found below:

Sign up here for the monthly devotion:

Head to this link if you’d like to purchase the book: 

Follow Misty on Facebook to receive daily encouragement:

 Misty Cramer © 2023

Page 1 of 2
Go to top