Marriage

2015: All Things Lovely

Rachelaz.com

Twenty-fourteen was a wonderful, but it’s a new year and I love it already.  We’re new parents, we own our own little business, and I’m transitioning into becoming a stay-at-home momma. So I’ve decided to broaden my scopes, challenge myself, draw up a few plans, and set some new goals.

I’m going to give this “lifestyle blog” thing a shot. 

So, I hope you enjoy my journey as I transform this space– where I’ll be posting the random tidbits of my life. Such as what God’s doing in our hearts; my foodie finds, the cooking fails; what I’m learning; the fashion my little family is wearing; what I’m reading; and stuff our small company is building.

Thanks for taggin’ along for the ride!

xoxo,

    -RACHEL

Our Story

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

Johnny and I both come from huge families– we have twelve siblings combined (not including their spouses.) Another thing we have in common is that both our parents chose to keep us out of public school and homeschool us (which is what brought us together.) Though we grew up together and had mutual friends, the almost four-year age gap kept us from ever meeting.

Fast forward a few years years– I was in Bible College, and Johnny had just graduated from the University of North Texas. While in search of a job, he decided to reach out to me and conveniently “confuse me” with his sister’s friend who had an open job post.

Upon receiving his message, I read in between the lines and expressed that I didn’t talk to, or accept friend requests from guys on social media, whom I didn’t know in person. The moment I hit send, I recognized him. (I had a slight crush on him in middle school.) I promptly sent a new message and asked if he remembered me.

Awkwardly enough, he didn’t. But we set up a time for me to help him “work on his resume.” (I know, also so convenient.) Our coffee meet quickly turned into dinner and a movie. And before we knew it, we became good friends, and shortly thereafter we began dating.

After a few weeks of dating, it didn’t take us very long to realize that we were running in entirely different spheres. So we broke up. It wasn’t a fun breakup. But we were confident it was the best decision, so we went our separate ways.

During our time apart, Johnny’s life took a huge turn. After being burnt out, the Lord radically got a hold of his heart and proved His love and faithfulness. Johnny got plugged into a small group at church, began making new friends, and allowed the Lord to completely transform his life.

After almost a year without communication, I received a letter from Johnny. He expressed all that God had done, and asked me if I would be interested in meeting up for dinner.

We took a month to pray and seek the Lord, and one month to the day later, we went out again on our second-first-date. God showed up, and continued to lead and guide us. I quickly fell madly in love with this witty, extremely good-looking, compassionate, and kind-hearted man. Though our relationship hasn’t been, and will never be perfect– Johnny Cavanaugh is exceedingly, abundantly more than I could have ever asked, hoped or prayed for. He is my single greatest gift on this side of eternity.

After going through a premarital class, Johnny proposed on August 26th, 2012. He had me kidnapped by one of my girlfriends, and surprised me at my work along with our families, and over a thousand post-its. Since we’d begun dating, little notes here and there had been our thing– but I was shocked to see what he came up with. He got down on one knee and I said yes (through a boatload of tears.) lets be honest, I basically stopped breathing…

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

engaged: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

We got married six months later, on March 3rd, 2013. It was our dream wedding. God pulled so many strings and truly honored our every heart’s desires. It was the most magical, beautiful day ever. And we were so blessed to celebrate and party with two hundred of our favourite people in the world.

Though our story isn’t necessarily your typical one, it’s so incredible to look back and so clearly see how God was in our every step. He is so faithful. My heart is forever grateful.
(details at bottom of page.)

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

married: rachel allish zamora & johnny cavanaugh // rachelaz.com

engagement photographer: elizabeth erickson. // venue: ashton gardens, corinth, tx // wedding photographer: taylor lord // wedding dress: pronovias barcelona, “duende” // flowers & decor: marry me maude // bridesmaids dresses: simply bridal // men’s suits: al’s formal wear //

What Marriage Isn’t

John & Rachel Cavanaugh

“But I have this one thing against you. You do not love Me as you did at first…” Rev. 2:4

Husband brag:  My man is good at a great number of things–  He crushes just about any sport, can cook better than Martha Stewart (so I mayyy be bias), has the patience of a saint, communicates better than most women I know, and lives to serve. But despite his incredible character, many accolades, love for God, and huge heart– my man is absolutely terrible at this one thing.

So now that you know how awesome he is and how much I love him– I’ll take an unconventional route and let you in on what he’s not so hot at. This one thing– well, it kills me (quite literally). I’m certain he’ll never get any better at it. And the worst part is– he consistently fails in it every day and will continue to for the rest of his life.

So here’s the thing: as absolutely wonderful as he is– my husband makes a terrible god.

“Your spouse makes a crappy idol.” Maybe you’ve heard other married folks say this kind of stuff. Maybe you’re like single Rachel and quite frankly just can’t imagine someone who you’d actually have to keep from idolizing– because you know, you’re just too confident and cool to actually like anyone that much. Maybe you’re like I often am, and don’t even realize that you’re operating as if your spouse is your God. So single or married, let me tell ya, IT HAPPENS, so hear me out:

My sweet hubster wasn’t created to supply all of my needs. As well as Johnny loves and knows me, he cannot give me the strength, peace, joy, love, or comfort that I so desperately need. John Erik Cavanaugh is not all sufficient in himself– so how could he possibly sustain me? He cannot. He isn’t and wasn’t ever created to be my idol. And likewise, I shouldn’t be his either. The more I try to create space for him to fit in that role, the more he fails me– and the more angry, disappointed, and bitter I become.

As a result of idolizing my spouse, I’ve directed all my attention towards having the perfect marriage, and being a exemplary wife. Making certain we’re communicating well, being a light to others, and finishing each season strong. I’ve been striving and trying so hard under all this pressure and in my own strength, that I’ve forgotten my primary role as a spouse. I’ve missed that the whole point is to help and encourage Johnny to grow in Christ, to lean on Him for his strength, love and security.  Not to control him. Not to manipulate him into being a better Christian. Not to make sure we “look good” at all times. Not to make sure we read our Bibles every morning, and pray together every night. I don’t have to work and strive, strive and work.

So many things spin out of control when I take my eyes off of Christ. If He isn’t our foundation, we will crumble. He alone holds everything together. But before Jesus Christ can be our center, He must be the sole sustainer of my life– and He can’t fill that role if I’ve replaced Him. I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot depend on your spouse to make God the center of your life for you. I must fight the lies that Christ in my life isn’t important– on the contrary, it’s EVERYTHING.  We’re two human shells, created to be dependent on Christ, learning to grow in love for one another with a non-earthly affection. Marriage isn’t about idolizing your spouse. We weren’t born to be gods.

Whether it’s our spouse, occupation, children, earthly possessions or gifts– on this side of eternity nothing will satisfy. No marriage, relationship, status, or thing can fill the void. Christ alone satisfies. Only in Him our deepest desires are met; our fears are fought; our fickle love is surpassed; our victories are determined; our voids are filled; and our joy is made complete. So go to Him and let Him love on you. His heart is already turned towards you.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deut. 6:5