We're so sorry for the silence. Jonathan and I headed out to Kona, Hawaii last Wednesday morning and after multiple delays finally arrived late Thursday night. We were invited out to teach on photography, relationships and identity. i.e. So many of our favourite subjects.
So here we are with a bit over a week left and wanted to give you an update from the island.
We've already had 4 teaching sessions (on photography, portraits, photojournalism and love), with 7 more to go. Weeeeee.
In honour of relationships, we're going to focus on LOVE this week on the blog.
One of our favourite parts of any wedding (besides the bride walking down the aisle or the first look or the general mayhem and joy) is hearing the vows from the couple, specifically when they've written them themselves.
Tobi and Cait are an adorable couple and even though they are so much younger than us, we admire them so much.
I cried in so many places in their vows and was so happy when they said we could share them here. You're in for a treat.
Cait's vows coming later in the week.
Cait, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. From the day I first met you until today has been such an amazing journey that is coming to a conclusion today, and still this is only the beginning of far greater things ahead.
I remember seeing you for the first time. The way you were worshipping the Lord, how you talked with me, how we didn’t know at all what was gonna happen now. I didn’t dare think that things would come out this way. I didn’t dare think that a year and a half later, I would be standing here, looking into the beautiful green eyes of the woman that I will spend my life with. I did not dare dream with God. Still, not too long after I spent the first days with you, he awakened my heart to reach beyond what I used to know, to go for new shores in the ocean of life.
What can I say to make known what I feel when I see your face. What could I do to show the world how this lady entangles my heart with hers. I have yet much to learn about vocalizing my feelings for you, and I am not a professional in it. I do not wanna be one anyway. Still, what I can do, is giving you my eternal yes today. Yes and Amen are the words that I will speak towards your heart, from this day forth.
The Lord is showing me more and more of how beautiul you are, and he is enlightening my eyes to see the beauty he has placed within you as I am getting to know your heart.
I love it that you wanna be pretty for me. It shows me that you feel free when you are with me, and I want to learn how to make you feel and become free.
The more I know you, the more I come to realize that I don’t know you at all. I don’t even want to get to the point where I totally understand you, and I never will. As I see how God has fearfully made you, I am learning the fear of the Lord, and the way I can never understand you, I am also realizing how I can never understand him. It is when I glimpse what mystery lies inside your heart that I am awakened to a scent of awe in the presence of the beauty of God.
I feel like a man when I give you flowers. I can’t believe I get to do it for the rest of my life, saying in a creative way what I can’t say with my words. Making your heart hear what only mine can say. I always want to discover new ways to express what you mean to me. I want to write you songs that you will have on your mind when you wake up at night. I want to buy you clothes that make you feel like a princess. I want to be so funny with you that we will have to laugh when we remember our jokes later in awkward situations.
You truly are a the very best gift from the father of lights in whom there is no shadow of turning. He knows my heart, and you are a living proof and a constant reminder that he loves me the way I am, and you even love about me what I don’t love about myself. You love me when I sing the wrong lyrics, when I lose at basketball, when I sleep in for too long and even when I eat too many beans and you have to bear the consequences.
I just feel fully alive when you make food for me. Like that one time when I felt disconnected from you and we only saw each other shortly in the morning, but you chose to love me by bringing me some delicious food. That day is hard to forget, and it shows how blessed of a man I am. The way you care about my needs shows me how you respect me and want to lay down your life for me. It makes me come to the conclusion that I cannot make you do that - I need you to love and respect me unconditionally, and it is totally up to you. I understand how I am not the solution for all of our problems - a sobering realization and a freeing one at the same time.
Cait, Your passion for the Lord is what first drew me towards you, and it is what does now. Your love for him is your love for me, and your respect for him shows the way you respect me. This is why it feels so good to trust you - because I know that you entirely trust him and he feels that same way towards you. I am fully confident to give my life to you today, for I have seen your surrender to him, and you are not holding back. In that sense, giving you my heart means giving my heart to him - once again. This way, I will strive to give my heart to you and to him every day more for the rest of my life.
I promise to be there for you in times of need, stretching out my arm for you on days when you wish things were different.
I promise to laugh with you and to weep with you, riding with you on the joyful waves of life and navigating you through its storms as well.
I promise to be a man, and most importantly, to be your man. I promise not to try to prove it to you, but to trust that you see me the way God meant me.
I promise to be a good husband and father, leading our household in the way God is ordaining me today to do it - seeking your interest above my own, giving up my life to make yours become how the Lord has imagined it from before the foundations of the earth.
I promise to dream with you about life. To believe that everything is possible to him that believeth. To search your heart with you until we find the hidden dreams that God himself has placed there.
I promise to be teachable, holding on to love rather than being right.
I promise to pursue love as my supreme good, and by doing that, to love you in all things. To trust you in all things. To encourage you in all things, and to believe in you in all things.
Ich verspreche, dich so zu lieben wie Christus die Gemeinde geliebt hat, die Liebe die der Vater selbst zu mir hat, dir taeglich weiterzugeben, und dich zu lieben mit meiner Seele, meinem Leben, mit allem was ich bin.
Wie Christus dich ganz kennt, soll meine Lieb dich kennen
Vollkommen in dir bleiben, erfuellen Herz und Sinn
Mein Feuer in der Nacht soll immer fuer dich brennen
So sei dies mein Gelübde, mit allem was ich bin.