WEDDED Wednesdays: The Paytons' Story

Last year as I was preparing to get married I wrote a series of blog posts entitled, "Wedding Wednesdays." Through that series, I shared my wedding planning and premarital journey in preparation for my wedding day. 

Well now, Danny and I are almost 9 months in to our marriage!

And GOD has connected us to a special group of young married couples.


In celebration of this newfound community, we have decided to launch a new series of blog posts, entitled "WEDDED Wednesdays." Each week we will share our friends' stories of love and marriage with you! First up - The Paytons!! 



How long have you been married? We will have been married for 3 years come September - September 2nd.

How did you meet? We met at a birthday party for mutual friends November 2010. 

"The story is actually quite peculiar, this was one of maybe two events that my friend Tori (the birthday girl) invited me to...and I did my best to not show up, lol. I purposely waited until after the party started and called Tori and told her that because it was late, I wouldn't make it. She told me to come on because everyone was on CP time anyway. There were three tables and the table with the people I knew was full. So I sat at Chawn's table and we talked about food and football. He thought I was weird because I had pictures of food in my phone. Because it was a birthday party and people took pictures, we actually have a picture from the first time we met." - Yolanda

How long did you date? Technically we started dating after we knew we were going to get married. 

"After the birthday party, Chawn stalked me on Facebook lol and started emailing and g chatting me. The first time we hung out was February 2011. We made a bet over Krispy Kreme Donuts. Chawn bet that the Falcons would make it to the Super Bowl...he lost of course. So he bought the donuts and I made Sweet Meat burgers - burgers with Krispy Kreme donuts as the buns.

A week or two later Chawn went to Spain to work for a year and once a month he would come home. We talked every day but I thought it was because I was bored at work and he was bored in Spain. I didn't think there was any interest.

When he came home in June I realized I liked him. He told me he was going to fast for a week to see what God said about us. It was the longest week of my life. After the week was over I asked him, 'Sooooooooo how was your fast?' All he said was, 'Good.'  

Chawn left again for Spain and didn't come back until September. In September I went to Chawn's church with him. My journal entry explains it best:

'WOW.  Best word I can think of to describe to day.  Talk about a new season, a new day, a day of just....(i'm smh as I type)...I can't even begin to express how things changed over the course of a mere...7 hrs........

Apostle Mike began to speak to the congregation.  He spoke on people consulting their circumstances, situations, and other people instead of God.  Said that sometimes we can't see what God has for us and it'll be right in front of us.  Sometimes our own "plans" for our life can throw us off and we're blinded.  Apostle Mike can began to tell us that we are entering a new season.  We have to be able to see what it is God has for us.  He kept reiterating it being a new month and that we should be thankful God brought us through another month. 

Sooooo then they put on a track, Israel and New Breed "New Season".  The track played repeatedly as Apostle Mike walked around encouraging people to SEE what it was that God had for them.  You could really feel the prescence of God as he moved around the room.  People (from when I did see) were moving about the room, praising the Lord and having their individual time with Him. 

During this time Apostle Mike (AM) kept asking people do you see it now?  Do you see what God has for you?  And I did.  It came to me as clear as day.  The things God revealed to me:  1) Don't worry about my "classification" with Chawn.  He would be my husband one day and that was all I needed to know.  2) Don't stress about what it is that I will end up doing after O-I.  That too will be revealed in due time.  MAN!  Talk about peace of mind.  I felt so calm. 

Then I started thinking about the lyrics in the song on a completely different level.  "Its a season of power and prosperity...".  This made me think about Chawn and I.  What a powerful union we could form.  How we can encourage and motivate others, how we would be blessed for doing what it is we were suppose to do. 

I guess it was around this time when things took a turn and the focus of the service became directed at Chawn and I.  AM came over to Chawn (mind you we sitting on the 2nd row from the front) and asked him "Do you see it now Chawn?"  Chawn shook his head yes.  AM: "You see it? What is it?"  Chawn... :-|  AM: "Cmon...prophet.  Tell me what it is!"  Chawn:....uhhh..ummm.  AM: "What is it?  I want you to say aloud.  (To me...) Did you know he has a prophetic calling on his life? (Me...nodding yes) Well what is it Chawn?  Cmon say it aloud."  Chawn:....ummm...this...this wife.  AM: "YES!  (Looking at him and then me...) YES......'

After church Chawn said to me, 'I didn't even ask you, is that okay?' Later that day he wrote me a note asking, 'will you go with me? Circle one...yes or no.' We dated for 4 months and were engaged for 7 months." - Yolanda

How would you describe your wedding? Our wedding was fun, delicious, and too expensive, lol. 

"I also had a hard time getting out of 'planning/coordinator' mode on the actual day, which made me look back at times and realize I should have cut loose a little more. BUT! The food was delicious (I'm a foodie) and everyone seemed to have fun. It was definitely a family affair (more Payton than my side but that was good." - Yolanda

Marriage Mission Statement: We keep it simple, "Teamwork makes the dream work." That's the center of everything we do. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is our scripture and works in conjunction with this.  Teamwork being our 3-strand and God.

Best advice you received before marriage: Hmmm...Choose your battles wisely. 

"That's what I think on the most. Some of the other more cliche (but true) tips were a little more intuitive for us 'Keep God first,' 'Don't forget to date,' etc. But not nagging the heck out of him was a difficult task for me coming from being on my own." - Yolanda

Favorite Activity to do together: 

"Honestly just hanging out. Doesn't matter where or what we're doing. I like sitting and being able to just have conversations with him. It's nice to talk for a long time and it either be really deep and intellectual or be about a bunch of nothingness. We've gotten to the point where we read each other's thoughts or will just randomly. Lol! Because we know what we are thinking without saying it aloud....We also like to travel though. I guess if I had to choose an 'activity' it would be traveling." - Yolanda

"Spending time together and trying new things. Going into the city and trying new foods. Trying new things together." - Chawn 

Advice for engaged couples: Don't get so caught up in the "wedding" that you forget about the "marriage." That's all inclusive....finances, personality, differences, purpose, etc. 

Links: We love doing marriage devotionals to spark conversations about any and everything. It's great because it builds our arsenal for conflict resolution for times when we don't see eye to eye, and reminds us of how to enjoy marriage and our mate. One of our favorites is Bible Gateway's Night Light for Couples devotional.