Hey sweet friends! Each year I love writing our Christmas letter and looking back at the months that have passed. I wanted to share some of our year’s highlights with you all:
Well, here we are again! Another year has passed as I was just getting the hang of writing 2023… It always amazes how time seems to fly by even faster as an adult. I can truly say that this year was full of many ups and downs for us and can attest to The Lord’s faithfulness.
2023 started off fast. We hit the ground running and photographed a wedding in Pittsburgh in late January and while I usually experience an “off season”, things stayed a little busier this year. Thomas coached middle school baseball again and that always gets me excited for the spring. In March, I was in a car accident that left me down for a little while. But praise Jesus for keeping both the other driver and I safe. While I was frustrated about the entire situation, I soon realized that cars can be replaced and are just a material thing but life itself is precious.
Spring flew into summer. And Summer into Fall, a very busy time of year for me. We have spent many days and nights this year traveling back and forth to Morgantown for both Thomas’s mom and my dad’s health. Again, The Lord reminds us of how precious and sacred this life is.
Last night, my mom sent me a picture of dad putting the angel on top of their giant Christmas tree. Growing up my favorite thing while setting up the tree was to help Daddy put the angel on top. I sat in tears when she sent it. Tears of gratitude and joy. About 6 months ago, I remember my phone call with her after an appointment he had in June. She teared up and said “Zoe, your dad has a bad heart”. I knew immediately what that meant. A week later he underwent a quadruple bypass as we sat and waited and prayed for hours while watching a screen of numbers show his progress… I had no idea what to expect when we saw him for the first time afterward. I didn’t know what life would be like. Would he be in pain for months? Would he regain the strength that I knew and admired of him all my life? I’ll never forget the peace I felt throughout the entire process. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a crier, but when this all transpired, I didn’t cry. I had unexplainable peace.
Days after his surgery, I swear you couldn’t even tell what had happened to him. And now, almost 6 months later, he is thriving! Climbing ladders, splitting wood, hunting, and just graduated from cardiac rehab.
Each holiday season I try to slow down and take time to praise the Lord for our blessings. Advent is my very favorite time of year. The time of waiting the celebration of our miraculous gift of salvation, born in a humble stable. This year has reminded us again, how precious life is. Every moment we have with our loved ones is truly a gift. Thomas’s mom, though she has had her fair share of struggles, continues to get stronger each day. I admire her strength so much. My dad and our family have an amazing testimony. Our God is a God of healing, restoration, and peace. He is forever faithful despite any circumstances we face in life.
I pray this Christmas season you are filled with the joy and peace that only God can accomplish in your life; That you are reminded of The Lord’s unending faithfulness in every season. I read these words the other day that just spoke to my heart: “Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year. Jesus is the MOST wonderful and to you He draws near.” We don’t have to have brand new shiny things or perfectly decorated homes to experience peace from The Lord. There is a peace that goes beyond the festivities. His name is Jesus, and the very first Christmas he came to draw near to the needs of our hearts, He is our unexplainable peace.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season!
Zoe (and Thomas & Cubbie 😉 )
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I'm a family girl at heart. Some might say I'm an old soul. My deep roots in both faith and family are what inspire me to document and preserve lasting legacies for each couple I serve.
I believe in serving well and building a lasting friendship that allows you to trust that I will document your memories in an effortless and romantic light.
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