To the Notre Dame Cathedral | Paris, France

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To the Notre Dame Cathedral | Paris, France

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is easily one of the most revered buildings in history, literature, and culture. Though ravaged by flames, I think it endured Monday’s tragedy in an amazing way.

The fire devastated nations, but it also brought nations together. It brought people to their knees, but it also brought them to stand beside those they might not have otherwise. So many notable features and items were rescued, so much is still intact. I don’t undervalue what was lost, but because no lives were taken, what was destroyed can be rebuilt.

It won’t be the same, but it’ll be one piece again.

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Certainly, visitors now won’t revel before the history of the lost structures, but the purpose of the cathedral remains.

As soon as I heard the news, my heart sunk. I love all things Paris and its people and Hugo and the 850-year-old monument. But ultimately, I felt compelled to share what was left when all of the different waves crashed over me Monday.

It’s this: my time in Europe nearly seven years ago is such a huge part of my testimony.

In short, I truly learned this world is not our home. There's nothing here that isn't fleeting or fallible.

However, His is grace is sufficient, and Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the light of the world.

At Notre Dame, I was undoubtedly overwhelmed by its intricate, rich, grand beauty and history, but I was absolutely in awe of our sovereign God, who is the only one we are made to worship.

I read a post that said Americans don’t understand the loss of this cathedral because Americans construct such buildings to house teachers.

Europeans, on the other hand, construct them to be teachers.

“To a mostly illiterate culture they helped teach the concepts, wisdom, and stories of the scriptures through imagery, sculpture, and architecture…” Scott Erickson wrote.

This teacher has to be reconstructed, but the teaching, Scripture, is ever unscathed and accessible to all.

In the midst of the tragedy, I pray for those who are mourning, shaken and affected, and for those who have fought the flames.

Ultimately, I pray this tragedy points to hope in the constant God who is over all, always. 

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Dog Session | Remy Turns One

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Dog Session | Remy Turns One

Okay, guys. I’m going to start here: we know Remy is not our actual child. He’s not a human. Obviously I’m currently growing our human son.

However, Remy is a gift.

He brightens a lot of our days with his sweet face, gentle yet hilarious nature and constant desire to snuggle with us. He’s the best dog.

Therefore, you better believe we celebrated his birthday. (And of course when I say “we,” I mean Jason didn’t stop me from baking our dog a cake, but ya know.)

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Family Session | St. Augustine, Florida | Downtown St. Augustine | The Reynolds Family

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Family Session | St. Augustine, Florida | Downtown St. Augustine | The Reynolds Family

Beyond old city walls, brick streets lead the way through new and old, brightly and badly colored shops. Flags from a multitude of countries blow in the satisfying summer breeze. Cathedrals tower above locals and tourists; Flagler boasts a rich achievement, sunsets glint across the Bridge of Lions, our historic yellow AirB&B beckons us after we walked for hours in the beating heat, never seeming to see the same sight twice, and history hangs around every corner.

St. Augustine was a great weekend adventure, and it was the perfect spot to meet our friends, the Reynolds family.

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Packer Wedding | Gainesville, Florida | Jefferson & Kayla

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Packer Wedding | Gainesville, Florida | Jefferson & Kayla

Jefferson and Kayla have one of the most special places in my heart.

I don't mean to start their wedding blog by telling my own story, but I truly believe the way they love others reveals the most about them, and I just so happen to be blessed to know them and their hearts. I'll make a long story short just by saying God is awesome, He pursues us relentlessly, and He uses those who love Him in obedience to do so. So, when we were students at UF, I met Kayla in a living room just off campus during a Cru Community Group Bible Study. 

Through coffee dates and cultivating a faithful friendship, I got to know Kayla and then Jefferson, and they just radiate joy. They love so well. And I tear up just thinking how precious they are.

And they’ve been married for a year now! Therefore, it’s time for all of us to reach for some tissues as I excitedly get to share about their absolutely PRECIOUS day!

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