Hello friends and family! Laura and I hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season with your families. This year has been wild to say the least but we still get the incredible opportunity to worship our Lord during this time of year. I (Zach) know it's been a while since the last one of these (so long ago, in fact, that last time I wrote one Laura and I weren't even married yet). Apologies on that front, but life has been rather crazy.
On Saturday, October 17th, we stood before our friends and family and declared before all of them and the Lord our love for one another. We vowed to always approach the many obstacles of life together and puruse one another as we each continue to pursue the Lord. Our day was beautiful and everything we could have hoped for or imagined. We got ready at Laura's grandparents farm and before heading over to the ceremony at the church down the street, spent an hour together, praying, and sharing our personal vows with one another. We then headed to the chapel, said the traditional vows, and became man and wife. Afterwards we had dinner, drinks, and dancing with all of our loved ones.
C.S. Lewis said it best when he said "When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now."
We want nothing more than to exalt Christ above all else, and pursue one another with the same fervor that the Bridegroom, Christ, pursues His Bride, the church.
Immediately following the reception, we headed to the airport to stay the night and head out on our early flight the next morning to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. We spent a week in paradise soaking up such beautiful sights, weather, and all the food and drink we could want. We were very nervous for these plans with the current pandemic, but the Lord provided us a fun and safe experience we will never forget!
A few weeks after returning from our honeymoon, both Laura and I contracted Covid-19. No worries! We both had rather mild symptoms and were over it quickly. The worst part for us was the quarantine period. Thankfully, my lovely Aunt Teresa got the two of us Lego Harry Potter Years 1-7 for the Nintendo Switch as a wedding gift, which made the quarantine process much easier. In additon, our incredible friend Sarah George made us dinner and a lovely care package with a bunch of goodies in it. Post Covid, things went back to "normal". Laura and I were both working and both loving the community that had formed in our Life Group.
Post quarantine we celebrated Thanksgiving. However, just days after the holiday, I got a call that Wednesday from our landlord that the duplex we were leasing had zoning issues and that the City of Cincinnati was evicting us to force our landlord to renovate the apartment from a duplex back to a single-family home. This happened in the middle of a week where I was preparing a sermon to deliver to H2O that Sunday, writing another sermon for seminary, and writing yet another paper for another class in seminary. Saying it was a chaotic week after that would be an understatement. Between Wednesday night and Friday I toured twelve houses throughout the Cincinnati area. And Thursday night, I completely rewrote my sermon to focus on the book of Esther. Throughout the entire process, though, Laura and I couldn't help but feeling as if this was a blessing in disguise. We loved our little apartment we were in, but it was rather little and it was in Clifton, which is the neighborhood surrounding the University of Cincinnati. So, for all of our tours, we looked outside of Clifton in other areas of Cincinnati. Not only would that be an easier commute for Laura, but it would put us in a quieter neighborhood surrounded by families not college students. And it was the first place we tourned that we absolutely fell in love with.
Ministry wise, the last two months have been incredible. Our Life Group has become one giant family that has continually grown deeper with one another . On top of that, our teaching team has continued to do an excellent job on Sundays. The hardest part currently is the long break students have due to Covid-19. They left before Thanksgiving and will not be returning until mid January, which means a long time doing virtual Life Group again. The good news is, that with UC's schedule this year, we are finally able to have a full sermon series over the break. So, we chose to go over a series titled Songs of the Season, which is going through popular Christian Christmas songs and examning the scriptual truth behind them. Thus far, we have went through O Come, O Come Emmanuel, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and Mary Did You Know. This Sunday then, Grant recorded a sermon for Joy To the World. If you'd like to tune in to that this Sunday, the video is embedded below!
Hi friends! It is SO good to finally update you all on the CRAZY few months we have had as newlyweds. On top of eveything that Zach has mentioned, the wedding, the honeymoon, COVID-19, the eviction, AND MINISTRY, I have also been actively searching for a full-time job and started our Photography business! You read that right!!! Admist all the chaos, I have pushed more into a long-time hobby of mine to make it a source of income for our family.
Zach and I both love technology, and with his recent dabbles into the video editing world for the church, I finally decided to get more serious with my photography hobby! The biggest obstacle for me when it comes to taking photos has always been the editing side of things. So, Zach did what he does best, and sat down to watch multiple hours of youtube vidoes to help understand what it was we were getting ourselves into. With some encouragement, I sat down with him and we have been learning, shooting, editing, and building this business ever since.
While I still need to find something more substancial to bring a more constant income in for us, this has been a huge blessing to pray and dream about as we look to our future. Photography is somthing that is super flexible schedule wise, can be moved wherever we decide to go, and can bless the people within our ministerial context. It has been so fun to think about and pray for how the Lord could use this for His glory as we seek Him in our next big steps.
Below are some highlights from our recent shoots. If you want to view more, head to the the gallery page of Doxa Photos on our site! We are currently taking inquiries! If you are interested or would like to know more, text us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below, are some of our wedding photos!
Once again, I want to thank all of you who are supporting Laura and I either financially or via prayer through all of this as you are making it possible for me and the rest of H2O Cincinnati's staff team to reach the students at the University of Cincinnati. If you are not a part of our financial support team, I ask that you prayerfully consider joining us and our mission with H2O Cincinnati at a monthly amount by clicking on the give button on the top of your screen.