Do you ever just mindlessly scroll through Instagram and come across another fellow Instagrammer and think, "wow, I really like this person?" Like, "this is my kinda person!" Well, maybe it's just me, but this Kansas sweetheart is totally "my kinda person!" I initially started following Kerry Cramton because she creates some stellar leather cuffs and stamped metal jewelry that I'm totally in love with, as well as she has some killer style (hello, Savanah Sevens Model!!) But the more I stalked... uh, I mean "followed" Kerry I realized that she loved Jesus as much as I do and she has two young children just like me and she's raising her children in a broken world...JUST LIKE ME!!! So I decided to contact this lovely lady and pick her brain on raising kids, teaching them about Jesus, but most of all I wanted to know how her and her husband live out their faith and direct their children into what God has in store for them. I completely believe that our most important role as parents is to teach our kids about God's love and to live out our lives so that they will want to be just like us, which in turn will hopefully imitate Jesus! Amen to that, right? So, I know it's Monday, but why not start your day off with a cup o' joe and reading an inspirational testimony regardless if you have children or not. I hope to someday meet this incredible mama who I'm so blessed to call a sister Christ and I know you will fall in love with her beautiful words as much as I did.
Hi! My name is Kerry, I'm 32 years old and live in the heart of Kansas! My husband, Clint, and I have two boys, Coyer is 4.5 years old, and Case is 2.5 years old! I'm so very blessed to be married to an amazing man, the love of my life and my rock, Clint! We met shortly after college, I'm a KSU alum (Go Wildcats!) with a business degree. Clint attended JUCO on a basketball scholarship and also attended Fort Hays State University, where he also received a business degree. We both were born and raised on a farm and ranch. We now raise Sim-Angus cow/calf pairs and no-till farm corn, wheat, soybeans, milo, and alfalfa near Tescott, Kansas. We feel so blessed to raise our boys in the country! I think any time you can be close to nature and God's creation it teaches children so many valuable lessons about life and it gives us many opportunities to teach our little ones about God and our faith. Especially with the agriculture industry, there are a lot of unknowns from price fluctuations, Mother Nature, and risks of disease/death in the crops and animals.
Candace asked that I share a little of my testimony and my walk with God. I was raised in a very small non-denominational church and I felt I have experienced and saw a lot of God's presence and miracles at a young age! I also have been in two pretty bad farm related accidents and I saw and felt God really move in my life during those times. Although, the recovery from the accidents was hard, it was a huge time of growth for me in stepping out in faith and believing for miracles. I was so fortunate to eventually walk away from both accidents with no long term pain or problems. With all that being said, I also felt times that I wasn't walking close to God and many times I felt unworthy or not perfect enough to please God and I chose to distance myself because I didn't feel good enough. I want to encourage anyone that is going through a hard time to really focus on God and trust in HIM to spend time in His Word and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The more you get in the Word the more you build your faith and open the door for Him to move in your life! God has really taught me in this last year that He doesn't want perfection, if He wanted perfection He wouldn't have had to die on the cross for our sins. We are an imperfect people who need Jesus! All He requires is that we ask him into our heart, believe in faith, seek Him, and ask for forgiveness of our sins and try to live life according to His word. Mistakes are going to happen but if we stop and recognize those mistakes and truly repent and move on, that is all He requires of us. God's grace and mercy is truly amazing and a love that is so unlike any kind of earthly love. I love that God can bring so much peace to my life when I feel it gets chaotic, if I make time for Him, He never fails me. This past year I would say was the biggest time of growth and where I have changed so much in my walk with God. A year ago was breast cancer awareness month and at the beginning of the month we had some really tough news. My sister got diagnosed with breast cancer and it had spread to her lymph nodes. My sister, who is also my best friend, is only 34 years old and has twin girls that are 2.5 years old as well as a 5 year old daughter. We were devastated when we got the news, she had just lost all her baby weight and is very active, and we didn't have any breast cancer in our family! When I heard the news I was in tears, I knew she would have to have chemo and I knew this would not be easy. Life felt pretty unfair at that point. Her and her husband farm and ranch as well, and raising twins was a task in itself. She was just finally getting a little more freedom from the newborn stage! We both really dug into the Word and tried to keep positive throughout her treatment. She was a rock star, by the way, and I couldn't be more proud of who she is! The amazing part was that God never once left either of us, on our darkest days we would have encouragement in various ways that we knew were from God! Fast forward a year and she is cancer free, she has reconstruction in November and her journey is not over, but wow, how much God has changed us in this last year! I thank God every day for His love and guidance as we walked out this journey and everything He has taught us. It has not been easy, but I can't imagine walking this out on my own, I would have crumbled. He has been my strength and encouragement and I've grown so close to God through this.
I'd love to share a little bit about my boys. Coyer is my oldest and is very strong willed and can be a challenge at times. He is ALL farm boy and loves the outdoors and doesn't slow down for anything! However, he never misses a thing and has a steel trap for a brain. He also is very tender hearted and loves his mama, family, and God. My youngest, Case, is definitely more easy going, and he loves to cuddle, but likes to get into mischief with his brother and can be very ornery at times!
Cooped Up: How do you teach your boys about Jesus? Is it more book learning, experiences, Sunday School?
My boys witness a lot of what goes on in my life, I try to be very open and honest with them and always tell them as much as I think is age appropriate. We prayed together for my sister and we pray for anything from little to big problems in our life. I always try to teach them to be thankful for everything they have, the life that we live, and to watch their words! I want them to speak positive blessings in their life, not negative talk. I love to hear them pray, I usually say bedtime prayers, but sometimes they ask to pray and it melts my heart to hear how thankful they are for everything God has done in their life and their innocence when they pray. I also have really enjoyed "Duck Commander Devotional for Kids" by the Robertson Family/Duck Dynasty. The boys love reading it every night and I enjoy the little activities it has for them to do. My oldest remembers a lot of what we read and I think it has been great for him. We also have an amazing church that we are involved in and this is the first year Coyer has got to go to Sunday school and not the nursery! He LOVES going and learning. He also has started his second year of preschool, it is a church based preschool and it has been so good for him socially. I have really enjoyed watching Him grow into the little man that he has become! My in-laws and my parents are great role models as well, they both are Christians and share with the boys about Jesus when they get the opportunity!
Cooped Up: Have your boys ever asked you questions about God that made you really think?
My boys ask lots of questions about God and sometimes I don't know the answer! I try to be honest and say, "you know I don't know, but we can pray that God shows us the answer to your question and I bet He will show us in some way." I encourage them to start their own relationship with God and I tell them He is a best friend that watches out for them and loves us a whole lot, that He is always there in your time of need or when you are scared. I tell them to pray and ask God to protect and watch over them any time they have fear or doubt!
Cooped Up: How do you feel the best way is to help grow your kids' faith? And is there an example or experience that you've got to witness firsthand Jesus at work in your kiddos?
The first things that comes to mind is I always lay hands and pray for my boys when they don't feel good or any kind of pain. Sometimes they say it still hurts and I remind them to have faith and mommy will keep praying and believing for healing. I can think of one time in particular that Coyer can also remember God healing him. We had just got a trampoline and my husband went to jump with my Coyer, well when Coyer came down something happened to his forearm. He is a tough kid and doesn't really sob cry about anything pain-wise. He was bawling and my husband felt terrible, as we both were regretting this purchase! Nothing I was doing helped the pain and even into the night he couldn't sleep. It was a weekend so I thought we would wait it out until morning because he could still move fingers and his arm. I was worried though that he may have a fracture in his forearm. My husband and I both laid hands on him and prayed for him, and I told Him we were praying God would heal his pain and that he would be just fine. He woke up in the morning still in a lot of pain and slept terrible that night. As I was trying to make an appointment to see the doctor, he slipped off his makeshift sling and said, "mom it's all better! See I can move it." As he went on his way driving his combine everywhere and he had zero pain! He has remembered this incident, and although it may seem little to you all, it really impacted him. He didn't forget God's faithfulness! I think anytime we can read scriptures to our kids or even when they sit in church and hear the word, you are filling them with the biggest blessing you ever could! Just hearing the Word has so much healing power or even listening to Christian music. I've found some great worship music, I especially love the bands "Third Day" and "Unspoken." I don't always have on worship music, but when I do I'll hear my kids singing those songs and I think how awesome it is to hear them sing such powerful words over their life. We really need to watch what we are letting our kids listen to, I think so many times some songs that are catchy are so negative and I don't want that for my children. They are at an age right now where they are taking everything in, trying to figure out this world, why not give them the most powerful tool to be successful! The most important job in my life is that I take the time to teach my children about Jesus that they know He is their savior and how important it is to ask Him into our heart so we can all be in heaven some day together. There is nothing in our life that is more important than Jesus Christ our savior!
A few things that I have enjoyed lately are "The Everyday Life Bible" by Joyce Meyer, she has tons of extra commentary and advice and I really, really love this Bible! Also, I'm enjoying the "She Reads Truth" app and "Jesus Calling Devotional" by Sarah Young. I just finished "The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God" by Jep and Jessica Robertson, and I highly recommend this book. If you struggle with trying to be perfect or not feeling worthy of God's love, this book is a must read. It is beautifully written and they both were so open about their past and how God has transformed them! I also have really enjoyed the "I Am Second" testimonies on YouTube. It's so powerful to hear peoples' testimonies about God working in their lives and it makes you realize we are all an imperfect people and no matter our backgrounds we have very similar thoughts and feelings!
Check out some of Kerry's fabulous jewelry creations on her Instagram here!