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July 3, 2012 / jamiedayton

I VOW

Twelve years ago I said wedding vows to my very dedicated Husband. At the time I was saying all that I had to repeat, to a man I was in love with but knew so little about.  Today I know that man so much more, but even more I know Jesus. See when I got married I knew OF Jesus but I didn’t KNOW Jesus. So those vows where just words being repeated to a man I was attracted to. I have since learned what love really is and what marriage is. I have learned HOW to love because I AM loves me! Today I would say those same vows but I would add a few more.

Our Marriage has not been easy, being that both of us came from broken homes. We had NO real positive influence or model of a succesful and loving relationship or marriage.  We really where set up for failure according to the worlds standards, but God knew exactly what HE was doing and He had/has much better plans and promises for US!

You can find the definition of love right in the bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

This is so very different from what the world teaches. instead of a feeling that makes you feel good,it is an action that makes others feel good, that puts you and your needs below that of another and their needs, it means to be self-less not self-ish. Oh how difficult this is, NO WONDER DIVORCE RATES ARE SO HIGH. When the world tells  screams at us to think about ourselves first, do what feels good. If I can tell you only one thing, making a marriage work is not about doing what feels good sometimes you just have to close your mouth and walk away, letting that person say the last word. And that is okay!  As a wife we are called to submit, like it or not, your husband is the head of the house hold and unless he is asking you to do something that goes against God then you are to respect his decisions. Like them or not. Yes he should consider your opinions but his say is the last. He is responsible for you and your children, He will be judged on all the actions he made regarding all of you. That is a huge weight on his shoulders, you are created to help him with those choices but you will only be judged for your own actions. SO next time you are giving him a hard time, step back and take a look at what this will look like when Jesus replays it for you at that judgement seat.

Some things I have learned in the last twelve years have brought me to my knees more than once. The Lord has really spoken to me and I made these extra vows.

  I vow to not put my expectation in my husband but in God alone.

It is so unfair to any human for you to put expectations on them, they will not meet all of them and then you are left hurt, upset and feeling unloved. They are left feeling inadequate and like a failure.  But God said to put all your expectations in the Him. He can handle it, He delights in it!

5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. Psalms 62:5

He will meet all of our expectations, believe that! He loves to do it. But remember, He does it in His time, His Schedule and His way………

  I vow to allow the Lord to meet my needs especially my need to feel loved

 No one person can meet all of your needs, and if you are like me I have a lot of needs and want people to just know them with out me having to point them out. Well a husband is not a mind reader and even after 12+ years together, he isn’t going to know them all because you change and so do your needs, heck half the time I don’t even know what it is I really need. But God does and He will meet every need I have, He will love me fully and unconditionally, He knows me intimately.  Allowing God to meet these needs, frees me to LOVE my husband the way he needs without me wanting in return, and when I am not wanting, I find I am receiving, my husband does not have to guess what it wrong and try to fix it, he will just do something for me and it will be appreciated because I am not getting upset that it wasn’t what I wanted or enough, God is good that way!

The Lord will always lead you. He will meet the needs of your soul in the dry times and give strength to your body. You will be like a garden that has enough water, like a well of water that never dries up.

Isaiah 58:11

31 Do not worry. Do not keep saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘What will we wear?’ 32 The people who do not know God are looking for all these things. Your Father in heaven knows you need all these things. 33 First of all, look for the holy nation of God. Be right with Him. All these other things will be given to you also.

Matthew 6:31-33

 29 Are not two small birds sold for a very small piece of money? And yet not one of the birds falls to the earth without your Father knowing it. 30 God knows how many hairs you have on your head. 31 So do not be afraid. You are more important than many small birds.

Matthew 10:29-30

139 O Lord, You have looked through me and have known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I get up. You understand my thoughts from far away. 3 You look over my path and my lying down. You know all my ways very well. 4 Even before I speak a word, O Lord, You know it all. 5 You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me. 6 All You know is too great for me. It is too much for me to understand…………

13 For You made the parts inside me. You put me together inside my mother. 14 I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and put together with care in the deep part of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be.

Psalm 139:1-6,13-16

  I vow to love and forgive with the same grace that the Lord Loves and forgives me

 No matter how hard you try to not mess up, you will and so will your husband. It may be something small like not taking the trash out, or it could be something huge like infidelity. Either way, someone will end up hurt. I have learned that forgiveness is HUGE in making a marriage work, no one is perfect we are all sinners and in need of Jesus. But just as Jesus forgave us our transgressions so also should we forgive the transgressions of others especially our husbands. So if he doesn’t call and tell you he is going to be late for dinner, take a deep breath and give him a big hug and kiss when he gets home, tell him you love him and give thanks that he is safe.  When you start to feel that anger rising up in you remember Grace. If you received undeserving grace from Jesus then even more so does he deserve it from you.  It will make things go so much better for all of you.

25 When you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins also. 26 *If you do not forgive them their sins, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.” 

Mark 11:25

But all of this is only possible if you are in constant communion with God, He doesn’t fill you up if you don’t ask, He waits for you to come to Him, He is a gentleman that way. SO you have to stay in the word daily, pray continuously and worship and praise intentionally.  Then do it all over again tomorrow!

June 11, 2012 / jamiedayton

Teaching Moments Part II : Better Than a Band-Aid

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:24

You know it is so hard to ask for things sometimes. Especially when you think know the answer will be NO. At least it is for me, I think that is why praying is so hard for me. I tend to think I won’t get it so I won’t ask, or that what I am seeking is not important enough to bother God, The Creator of all that is. Of course it could be my big, I mean little, rebellion problem I am dealing with, but that is for another post. ALL LIES!

The bible tells us in my opening verse of Mark 11:24 that if you ask with belief you will receive. I want my children to believe this with all their hearts so they don’t have to struggle with belief the way I do.

Fear

I have started with praying away fear at night, the boys tend to get bad dreams so I began praying away the darkness and things that give bad dreams. I pray that the Lord will send an army of angels to put a hedge of protection around them, their room and our house. That not even the smallest shadow of darkness may enter and only the Light of Jesus will dwell in them. I pray that the Lord gives them sweet dreams. I even ask for Him to come to them in their dreams and tell them things. I LOVE seeing the smile of content and peace on their faces as they fall asleep knowing that they are protected and their sleep will not be disturbed by fear. If by chance there is a bad dream, I will have them pray with me for the Lord to cancel that dream and make it go away. We have not had any sleepless nights due to fear of sleep and what lies behind those closed eyes in a very long time. The best part is when Daddy has bed duty and doesn’t pray this prayer with them, they have begun taking it upon themselves to be covered in His protection. Makes my heart sing!!!!

Healing

I know that healing is so controversial today. Don’t close out on me just yet. Wether you believe in modern-day healing or not I think we could agree that Jesus did heal, right? I mean it says He did in the bible. He healed many people from all different ailments.  But the one thing that was His signature remark you could say, was “go your FAITH has healed you”. I want my children to have a healing kind of faith. A faith that knows they have a Father who loves them even when they mess up, who cares deeply for everything about them, even the smallest bruise and scrape, I want them to really understand that He knows the number of hairs on their heads and that they are important enough.

So I began to pray for the Lord to heal every single bump, bruise, scrape and cut they get. I always found it funny that they immediately asked for a band-aid when they got hurt. They believe that band-aid makes them better. That gets expensive, especially living in Kuwait where those cute little cartoon character band-aids cost 3 times what you pay in the states. Prayer is so much cheaper, convenient and faith building. I love it when boy#1 comes to me after getting hurt or when he feels sick and asks for me to pray to Jesus  asking for healing.  Even better is when I have finished praying and he gets up and runs off to play as if he was never in pain.

I know there are times we pray and things don’t go the way we wanted, believe me I know, if you haven’t read my post on wanting a miracle you should. I know what unanswered prayer is, or rather not answered how we want. They are so many reasons that are beyond our comprehension for this. But this just leads to more teaching moments. James 4:1-3 tells us

4 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

This is just one example on how to teach your children. If they pray and don’t receive what they have asked, then we can discuss their motives for what they are wanting.

I just want them to come to know Christ and who He is and how He loves them.  I hope that they will find that they are falling in love with Him too!

June 2, 2012 / jamiedayton

Teaching Moments: part I – Who’s Friend Are You?

 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:18

am  was addicted to parenting books. I want to know that I am doing the very best for my children and raising them to have healthy lives- by healthy I mean physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I have read both Christian based and secular books. I take what I think is useful and try to apply it to my parenting. However the Bible is not like these other books. You can’t just take what you like out of  it and ignore the rest, it has to be read in its entirety and the WHOLE thing has to be applied to your life.

I was not raised in a christian home (have I mentioned this before?) we did believe in God I suppose, but we surely didn’t live Godly lives,  I don’t even think we had a bible in our house. So obviously we didn’t read it or try to apply any of it to our lives.  After becoming a Christian in my 20’s I was still such a young Christian and wasn’t very aware of the fact that believing meant transforming, and changing. I thought I could continue to live life the way I wanted, doing what I liked and made me feel good, just having the assurance of heaven over hell. Not a bad gig really, until I met God. I really met Him. While I was serving in the Army during the Iraq war in 2003 ( did I mention I spent 8 years in the Army? I did.) being so close to where it all started really had me seeking Him. The fact that the land was real, it wasn’t just stories in a book; I stayed a night in Ur where Abraham was born. I spent a few days in Babylon where David was saved from the lions and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were protected from the fire. I drove past Babel where they tried to build a tower up to heaven, and up and down the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, two of the four rivers that ran out of Eden. I felt like I was walking on Holy ground, I sought God and He came. Then I began to change. I realized believing was so much more than just believing, it was KNOWING. I was starting to get to KNOW God.

I am still getting to KNOW God.

After having just finished Beth Moore’s James study, something really stuck with me. James 4:4 says

 You adulterers![a] Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

This means that if you are not doing Godly things, living Godly lives then you are friends of the world, having an affair with the world, cheating on God and ultimately HATING Him, Doesn’t that scare you just a little bit LOT.

So I decided I am going to teach my children this. It is not okay for them, me or anyone who professes faith in Jesus, to do what we want to because we feel like it. Not unless you want to become an enemy of God. I have always told them about the scripture verse from Ephesians 6 :1

Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.

 when ever they disobey I remind them of this, telling them that Jesus says this (they respect Jesus a lot  more than me!)

Now, let me explain something real quick, Jesus loves us, we all know that right, I mean the bible tells us so. I definitely want my children to remember this more than anything. But I have come to the realization that, just as important as it is for my children to always know that God loves them no matter what, is that there are things and people in this world who hate them also. I tell my children about satan. I think they need to know that there is a war going on and satan is the evil guy and Jesus is the good guy. They can definitely understand that, just apply it to any Disney movie or cartoon that they watch, good vs. evil. Life is not all peace, love and rainbows. Sorry, it just isn’t. The sooner they can grasp that,  knowing that they are apart of the ultimate good guy team, when they love Jesus, they will be on the side who will always kick the bad guys butts, the better (good always wins!). Oh how I wish I was taught this at a young age. I think I would have an easier time overcoming a lot of my faith issues if I always knew this (yes I have faith issues, so do you, don’t deny it). It is so much easier to explain to my child who has been hurt by a bully that the boy just doesn’t know Jesus and that is why that boy did those things, not that he is a bad boy, he just doesn’t know how to love because he doesn’t have Jesus to teach him. Ephesians 2:1-3 says :

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

Back to obeying and disobeying.  See God commands us to obey Him, He commands our children to obey us, who obey Him. In James He says if we disobey Him we are His enemy and in Ephesians He tells us that satan is the spirit that is at work in our hearts when we refuse to obey Him and when we disobey Him we are in fact obeying satan (did you get all that?).  So after speaking about this with my good friend and mentor, I have started to apply this to my parenting skills, call it harsh if you want, but it is the truth. When ever one of my sons (my daughter is still to young to disobey, but I am sure she will and I will tell her the same thing) disobeys or does something hurtful or wrong and they know it is wrong, I ask them who are they friends with. That son will reply Jesus, then I will tell them how what they had just done was not being a friend of Jesus but a friend of the devil. They know he is the bad guy and don’t want to be his friend so they repent, change their attitude,and begin to obey.  It really is fascinating to see the lights come on, truth set in and the darkness run! I rest assured that as they grow in their faith walk with Christ they will always measure things up to this one thing, friends with God or friends with satan.

March 9, 2012 / jamiedayton

The Fruit of the Spirit

I am a homeschooling mom. If you asked me why I homeschooled I would tell you it is because I don’t have any other choice, schools here in Kuwait are EXPENSIVE (how about $10,000.00 a year just for Kindergarten and the prices go up from there). Truth be told, because I use this excuse I don’t put all my effort into it, I complain about it a lot and do everything but enjoy it.

Now that it looks like we are for sure moving back to the U.S this summer I have been really asking myself, is it God who wants me to home school? Have I been defiant in my calling to teach my children. Lord knows I plan to sign them up for school as soon as we know where we are going, but I am trying to hear from Him and am asking for His wisdom in this matter. truly, if He wants me to home school, I will, and this time with a more obedient heart.

After all, I know that they won’t learn things like this at a public school

Fruit of the Spirit Tree

We are doing KONOS curriculum and studying the character trait HONOR.  One of the activities is to make a Fruit of the Spirit tree. The idea is to teach that we Honor God and when we do we will portray the fruit of the Spirit by living in th Spirit.

To do this we listened to the Seeds Family Worship song on the Fruit of the Spirit. I took some wire hangers and cut them, straightened them out, tied them together with one of the cut pieces by bending it around with some pliers, then twisted all the hangers together and straightening one out at a time for a branch. Then I wrapped brown tissue paper all around it. I took a coffee can filled it with rocks and wrapped some construction paper around it. We planted the “tree” then cut out fruit, wrote a trait on them, punched a whole on the top and strung yarn through them, then the boys took turns hanging the fruit while we sang the song we had learned earlier.

The Fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL. Galations 5:16 & 22

We talked about theses things being a way to tell if someone has Jesus in their heart. Now I am on the spot to be more in the Spirit and to live with more self-control, kindness, gentleness……. so they can see it modeled, but it is also a great discipline tool as I say :__________ Are you being Gentle??”

I wrote on the planter

“Plant the seed of JESUS in my heart where the SPIRIT will live and bring forth His FRUIT”.  For heart I drew a heart and inside wrote the names of my four children.

May you have much fruit in your life!

 

March 2, 2012 / jamiedayton

2 Months

Happy 2 Months Baby Girl!!!!!

February 22, 2012 / jamiedayton

I Can Do All Things Through Christ…..

I can do all things through Christ  who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

I made it to church!!! I am so proud of myself, really, getting all 5 of us up, dressed, fed and in a taxi in time to make it to church, everyone settled into class and I sitting in a chair singing praises to the One who makes it all possible was so amazing and exactly what I needed. And I did it without any screaming or crying.
First, church to me is not just a place I go to hear someone talk about what the bible says, it is home, a place where I can FEEL God and his love, I can SEE Him and his mercy, it really is like the best family reunion ever. I LOVE It there.

Second, I want to make it clear that it was not easy. I got so many comments about how amazing of a mother I am and how brave I am and so forth. Thank you , I appreciate the comments, but I don’t want to discourage all the mothers out there who think I have it all together and they wonder what they are doing wrong because they seem to be falling apart.  It took a lot of preparation, and not just laying out clothes and packing snacks the night before, I mean PRAYER, I prayed all night and that morning, cancelling satan’s plans to stop me or steal my joy. I claimed the strength of Jesus and asked for Him to give me grace and joy overflowing. I prayed all the way to church in that taxi and as we got in the building.  Than I sang praises with a truly thankful heart to  a God who helped me get there. Because, like the Philippians verse says,  I can not doing anything on my own, and even more so now with a baby and 3 other young children BUT in Christ who gives me strength. I CAN do ALL things.

February 11, 2012 / jamiedayton

Living By Faith, Not By Sight

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:6,7

Soo….. I am embarrassed to admit this but I have only left the house 2 times in the last month and that was for doctor appointments. Why, well there are many reasons, Anxiety, Fear, Uncertainty, my sanity…..

Baby girl got sick at just 14 days of age and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia 3 days later. After that I vowed not to take her out until she was 100% better, well that fed into my fears and anxieties. Fear ,that she would get sick again,; anxious, that I wouldn’t be able to handle all the children when we went out. I mean, I have an almost seven-year old who really is in his own world most of the time, a four and a half-year old who is outgrowing his wild, rambunctious, destructive phase but it is still there some times, and a newly turned two-year old who is filling in the shoes of the four and a half-year old in the said phase quite nicely, and well, I am overwhelmed at wondering how I can take care of baby girl when out and about with all of them. I have lived by sight, literally at home, in the body, Not with the Lord.

OF course the longer I stay cooped up in this house with all four children the more overwhelmed I feel. I am losing myself in this mess and I hate it. Again this is where Seeds Family Worship has been so helpful. I will be just at the edge of my sanity when one of their songs will come to mind, as I sing this beautiful scripture over and over, the tears flow and then the darkness is chased away by His brilliant light. I am so thankful for a God is mighty to save!  So today I decided to Live By Faith and with Christ and so I braved the big wide world, I sent the 3 boys over to a very dear friends house, she always has my back! and took baby girl grocery shopping (we really had nothing to eat in our house). Since she seems to be coming off a growth spurt this was a good day as she slept most of the time in her car seat, better than the last week of my having to hold her all day and still only sleeping for 20-40 minute stretches in-between crying fits and spitting up. Or maybe she really needed to get out too.

Next step is to go to church. I hate to admit it but I haven’t been in 5 weeks. I am so not ready to fight with the boys about getting ready fast enough and getting in the car and going into their assigned classes, nor hear boy #3 crying as I drop him off. He just turned two a few weeks before baby girl was born and that is the minimum age for the classes and so he has never been. Not a good time to transition.  But I am going to go, I need to go, there is something so refreshing there and I am thirsty for it, but until then I have my trusty Bible, Seeds, and a loving Father who will meet my here with a refreshing cup!

Here is a picture of her at 6 weeks, getting home from her first trip to the grocery store.

and here are the songs that have really helped me through this past month.

From the Praise CD

Better Than Life- Psalm 63: 1-4

Psalm 63

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

1You, God, are my God,   

earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you,   

my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land   

where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary   

 and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,   

my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,   

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Mighty To Save- Zephaniah 3:17  (this song I sing to myself replacing YOU with ME, and I sing it over baby girl to calm her down)

Zephaniah 3:17

17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;   
 in his love he will no longer rebuke you,    but will rejoice over you with singing.”
 from the Power of Encouragement CD
Cast Your Cares- Psalm 55:22

Psalm 55:22

22 Cast your cares on the LORD   

and he will sustain you; he will never let   

the righteous be shaken.

Take Heart- John 16:33

John 16:33

   33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

   In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And From the Seeds of character CD
More Than Conqueror’s -Romans 8:37

Romans 8:35-37

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:   “For your sake we face death all day long;    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
I don’t know about you, but I get so much encouragement hearing these sweet promises from an ever present, loving and faithful Father!
*Disclaimer: I have not been paid or asked by Seeds Family Worship to comment on their CD’s.