Mr., Mrs. and Miss Grover Chronicles: Exciting new updates and The Christian that Cried Wolf

Well hello there my long lost friends…..You must be thinking, “It’s about time”.  It’s so good to be back again with the newest edition of Mr., Mrs., (and now Miss) Grover Chronicles. I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve updated you on how things are going with us here in the North land, but now more than ever there are so many wonderful and exciting updates to share with you.  I hope you’ll take a chance to drop me a phone call or an email sometime to let me know how you’re doing and what’s new with you. I make it a priority during my prayer time and devotions to remember as many of you as I can as often as I can, asking God to encourage and bless you through all of the triumphs and trials that you face each day.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS ALL NEW EDITION OF GROVER CHRONICLES:

  1. A long time coming…catching up.
  2. Love being fruitful…and multiplying.
  3. Church and ministry updates
  4. The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog has begun
  5. Cooking with The Grove
  6. Grover’s Unword of the Month
  7. The Christian that cried “Wolf”
  8. Praises, Prayer Requests and final words

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A Long Time Coming…catching up

Well. In the 16 plus years that I’ve been doing Grover Chronicles I’ve never been this late in sending out a new update. When I first started this roughly 16 years ago I was sending a new one out every couple of months, and then it slowly began to get further and further apart. I guess it goes with the territory.

So the past almost 2 years have been quite eventful for us here in Ottawa. After 9 years or so of trying, in September of 2011 Sarah finally got a full time contract with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as a Kindergarten teacher at a local public school. Though she was very thankful to finally have received the full time contract, the school year had its shares of blessings and struggles in the classroom. Sarah has always LOVED being a teacher, and in my estimation she’ll always love being a teacher in any situation or place that she finds herself. Sarah is now at a point where she is determining whether or not she will be returning to full time teaching since her maternity leave is almost over. This is a very serious and “involved” decision. Please keep us in prayer as we consider this option. We continue to be so thankful for the doors that God has opened to Sarah as a teacher.

As for me, I’ve spent the past couple of years keeping busy between work, church ministry, and completing a chef training degree from Algonquin College here in Ottawa. Most recently, I finished a week of security guard training and am now fully licensed in the province as a security guard. After months of applying and seeking work in this field with unfortunately no results, I was offered a job at a Limousine company here in Ottawa, which is where I am currently working now. A few months ago I was made aware of an opportunity to apply for a position with OC Transpo, the city of Ottawa’s transportation department. This is a 6 month process, and involves a 6 step process. I’m currently through the testing stage and into stage 3. They are looking to make final hiring decisions sometime before September, so please pray that God would direct every step of this process. This job would provide the best salary and benefits of any job that I have ever been offered. I am currently dealing with a driver’s license upgrade issue that is threatening the possibility for an upgrade that would allow me to obtain the proper driver’s license to secure this job. Thank you for your prayers in this regard. I have to say, as I have said on many occasions; it is easy to question God as to why He chooses to lead us in the direction that isn’t always the way that we would have thought or hoped for. Well, if you haven’t figured it out yourself yet, I’m here to tell you that there is no better place to be, than exactly where He wants you to be. Sometimes that means waiting on Him, seeking Him whole heartedly, and taking things one step at a time while you patiently wait for the next big direction in your life.

Loving Being Fruitful…and multiplying

I could go on for hours about our most precious new addition to our lives and home, Miss Grace Sophia Grover. She was born on July 10, 2012 at 4:30 am, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces. For years I’ve dreamt about what it would be like to not only be a father, but even to experience the whole process of taking part in, and observing child birth. For the majority of you who are parents, you understand the joys (and challenges) of being a parent. Grace reached 10 months old on May 10th, and I can honestly say that so far being a parent has brought me joy beyond compare and the challenges have been minimal, all things being equal. We have dealt with some bumps along the way, and particularly we are still dealing some sleeping issues, but all in all, Sarah and I are finding that being parents is truly the greatest blessing and joy that God has ever bestowed upon us individually and as a couple. Please pray that we would continue to have the strength and wisdom to care for our sweet Gracie in a way that would always glorify God.

Church and Ministry updates

Over the years, both Sarah and I have been far more than blessed to have been able to volunteer and use our gifts and talents to serve and assist in many different areas of ministry. Sarah was a children’s ministry director for 11 years. Both Sarah and I have had many years of being actively involved in worship ministry, and to this day we believe that although we have had the privilege of leading worship at different times, we continue to see ourselves as equal participants in the precious landscape of worship to our awesome God, seven days a week, and not just on Sundays or when we happen to be in the church building. For me (Jared),  I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with both children and youth since I was a young teenager in several different leadership roles. To this day, as much as possible, I never forget the impact that certain children and youth have had in my life personally.

I say all of this for this reason; in most of our lives, we get to a point where God moves us to a different place of service, both physically and geographically, and sometimes even psychologically. That is where Sarah and I are at currently. We are currently in the last month or so of looking for a new church home. Since the story is somewhat detailed and long, I will just say that neither of us have ever really been in the position where we needed to look for a new “long term” church home. We’ve both gone to college and had to adjust to different church homes for a short period of time, but at this point, we are now looking for a church home, that hopefully can be our final “move” (barring God’s ultimate direction for our life). For anyone that has gone through this process, you know that it is not necessarily a “fun” one, but we are thankful for it. We have enjoyed experiencing what many other churches have to offer and the wonderful people that serve Him throughout this great city of Ottawa. We have currently narrowed our search down to two wonderful churches, Sequoia Community Church (http://www.sequoiachurch.org) and Chapel Ridge (http://chapelridge.drupalgardens.com/). Sometime in the next month or so we will be making a final decision on which church that we will make our home. Please pray that Sarah and I will follow and  be sensitive to God’s leading as we enter into this new stage in our lives.

The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog HAS begun

Since many of you already know, I’m not going to beat a dead horse, but for all of those that are not familiar with it, I am so pleased to share with you that the first episode of The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog is finished and ready to be viewed. If you haven’t seen it, please take an opportunity to view it. I thoroughly enjoyed putting this together. Every segment had a lot of thought put into it; even the “silly” ones. This first episode is 33 minutes long, because I wanted to go for a “television” feel. Even if you don’t have a full 33 minutes to sit and watch the whole thing, you’ll find a detailed time table of contents at the very start of the video that will allow you to skip ahead to see certain segments, or to come back at a later time and view the rest of the video. In the future, I’m planning to produce the individual segments and share them individually (still as part of the overall vlog). If you’re looking for a laugh, or to just get an opportunity to see some things God has put on my heart, take a look, and hopefully you’ll be blessed.

GG Rev Vlog Logo

http://tinyurl.com/bnv5lu6

Cooking With The Grove

As most of you know, I have always had a love for cooking. In fact, in the past couple of years, I received my 1 year diploma from Algonquin College here in Ottawa in Culinary Skills/Chef Training, and am loving every bit of what I learned and have been able to put to use in my own kitchen. I decided that it was time to start doing a little cooking segment on my GG Rev Vlog (shortened name for my Vlog). This is just a reminder that very soon I will produce and publish the first in the segment, which will start with what some affectionately call Grover’s “world famous guac”. Well, I don’t claim that it’s world famous, but it’s still one of my favorites and I have appreciated the people that have shared their love for it. Here is the intro for Cooking with the Grove. Stay tuned for the first regular episode of this segment in the near future.

Cooking with The Grovehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1elIzb4FVBo

Grover’s Unword of the Month

haggleable (hăg’əl-ə’bəl)

a. (adj.) Negotiable, especially as to price.

Example: The sticker on this car is haggleable.

The Devo: The Christian That Cried Wolf

Definitely one of my all-time favorite parts of this blog over the years has been the devotional section. I am so thankful for the lessons and truths that God has taught me over the years, and I truly consider it a privilege to share just a little bit of what He teaches me in my own personal devotions. After years of having just this typed devotional, I thought it would be an excellent time to roll out a video version of the devotional. I call it, “The Devo”. I believe that both type written, and video are two very good channels of  communicating and sharing these thoughts.

In the first episode of The Devo, I share a devotional thought on “The Christian that Cried Wolf”.  In this edition of the Grover Chronicles, I’m going to encourage you to watch the first episode of The Devo, and then, starting with the next edition of Mr., Mrs, and Miss Grover Chronicles I will post both a written and the video option for the devotional thought. Hope this will bless your heart and challenge you to remember that when you make a request to God, that you understand that He hears and answers your prayers, but not necessarily in the exact time or way that you always expect. Don’t be a believer who is constantly asking for God’s help, and when He comes to help, you reject or dismiss the help that He so clearly is offering you. You can see this Devo here:

The Devo 1

https://vimeo.com/64936558

Praises, Prayer Requests and Final Words

My Friends, it is truly a blessing and a pleasure to call you friends. No matter where you are in your journey with God, or no matter where you are geographically, I am thankful for you, and am so glad that I have this means of communication with you.  Thank you for your care, concern, prayers, and interest in the Grover family.

We praise God for so many things, but specifically today, I thank God for continued good health within the whole family. Grace seems to be a very healthy little girl with the most beautiful smile and more joy on her face than we could ever ask for. I praise God the wonderful Christian friends who live near us that continue to be a blessing to us as we seek to keep our eyes on Him. Sarah and I give thanks and praise to God for helping us to get to a place where we are nearly decided upon our new church home.

Please pray for my job situation, as I am currently dealing with a very complicated drivers license upgrade that has caused me to have to be without my drivers license for at least 30 days, which is quite a challenge for us because my current job requires me to job, and since I am without a drivers license for this amount of time, I need to find some work to make up for the lost income during this time. Please pray that this will all be resolved in God’s will and timing and that He would provide a job for me to make up the money that I am losing this month.

Please pray for Sarah and I as we deal with Grace’s sleep situation. For a number of months Grace has been having a lot of problems with sleep at night. She sleeps fine during the day, but at night time, most nights she either can’t seem to get into a deep sleep and is falling asleep and waking up every couple of hours or so and sometimes can’t get back to sleep for 2-3 hours. It really becomes draining for Sarah. The very unfortunate thing is that I try to be of as much help as possible, but unfortunately (and it’s very hard for me to deal with sometimes) Grace does not want me at night time at all. She only wants Sarah, so I am only able to be of a very small amount of support to Sarah at night.

In Proverbs 20:6  it says, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?” (NLT). Sarah and I want to thank all of you for your love and prayers for us. We consider it a privilege to call you friends.

Blessings, until next time,

The Grovers

A Very Merry (and a tad late) Christmas and Grover New Year to you!

  HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS POST CHRISTMAS EDITION OF GROVER CHRONICLES:

1. Home is Where the Heart is

2. Finally, a good job

3. Grover’s Cooking

4. Announcing: The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog

5. The Season of Waiting

6. Grover’s “Unword” of the Month

7. “Are You a Loser, or a Giver”: Getting out of your own way.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you my friend!

It’s so good to have the opportunity to get back in touch with you and share some of the new and exciting blessings that the Lord has been showering on us lately. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to read all about it today in this special Christmas edition of the Grover Chronicles. I really miss having the opportunity to send you an update on a more regular basis, but such is life and responsibility. If you have the opportunity, I would really love to hear from you, whether by email or a phone call. I would love to speak to you in person via phone, but I understand more than ever now how sometimes that’s not possible. If you don’t have a phone number for me, please drop me an email and I will gladly send it to you. It would be great to hear your voice. I want to let you know that you are on my prayer list and I personally think and pray for you as much as I am able. Your care and friendship to Sarah and I mean so much and I hope that we have the opportunity to be even a little bit of a blessing to you.

Home is Where the Heart Ishouse

Did you know that I walked to work barefoot, uphill in a snowstorm both ways today? HA HA! Not really both ways or barefoot, but I did walk to work this morning in a snowstorm. It makes me feel like an old man with a story to tell. Well…its not so bad at all because of the fact that I was walking to work, from our NEW HOME! Yep…that’s right, as some of you may know, but many of you may not know, Sarah and I purchased our first home in November. We found it around the end of October, and had a quick, 30 day closing on the new town home in Kanata, Ontario, which is basically like a suburb of greater Ottawa. We had been searching for about 4 months or so before we found it. We absolutely love it! It was such a fun experience over all; very time consuming, but enjoyable, and ultimately it led us to the home that I believe the Lord had for us.

One of the greatest things about the whole experience was the friends and family that got together to help us move from our apartment to the new home. It was truly amazing. We had over a dozen people help us. It was such a wonderful feeling and a blessing to be a part of it. We filled a 17 foot U-haul to the max, as well as 4 cars full. We had EVERYTHING moved out of the apartment and into the new house in 3 hours flat. I actually enjoyed the move. Thanks to all our amazing friends and family for their help.

So, the area that we relocated to is only about 10 minutes or so away from the apartment that we lived in since we were married. We dropped off our apartment keys to our landlord a couple of weeks ago. Have you ever had that feeling where you hate to walk away from something because you know that it will have such a warm place in your heart? Well, Sarah and I were feeling that after we dropped off the keys to our former apartment. As we drove away from the old apartment Sarah said to me, “I’m really going to miss that place. I really liked it.” To which I replied, “Yeah, me too.” What an exciting conversation huh, or should I say EY? We are SO happy and blessed to have this new place, but saying goodbye to our first apartment (which we liked very much) was still a little sad for us…BUT…I’m snapping out of it and am looking forward to so many awesome new “firsts” in our new home. **At the bottom of this blog you will find a video tour of our new home.** There is a part one, with a part two video just below it.

DSC02646Speaking of firsts, Sarah and I are very excited to have spent our first Christmas in our new home together. We are had a little slumber party with the In-laws on Christmas eve, followed by a wonderful Christmas day with 2 different families who joined us for Christmas dinner, games, and a movie. I can’t describe the feeling of thankfulness and joy to be at this place in my life. Sarah and I were reminiscing the other day about how many wonderful experiences and memories that is to come for us. We are very aware that life will not necessarily be easy, but we certainly desire and are determined to give God the glory for all of the good times, as well as the trials that may come our way.

Finally, a good job

On another note, many of you have asked me about what I’m doing for work now. In the last edition of Grover Chronicles, I mentioned that I was on the long, hard hunt for a new job. Well, praise the Lord I found a nice, full time job. The company is called Sun Media, which is a division of Quebecor Media Corp. Sun Media is in charge of handling many different aspects within many different newspapers throughout Canada. We handle all of the “Sun” papers in Canada, as well as a lot of small community papers as well. We do everything from delivery complaints, billing, classifieds, to vacation starts and stops and sales. It’s nice because I get the opportunity to do a number of different tasks so it breaks the monotony a bit. Praise the Lord for the new job!

Grover’s Cooking

In addition to the new job, I recently began taking an online culinary course through Algonquin College in Ottawa. For as long as I can remember I have had an extreme love for cooking. Even before I went to New Brunswick Bible Institute I entertained the possibility of going to school for culinary skills. This past summer Sarah and I had been discussing and praying about long term jobs and careers that would be suitable for me, when the subject of culinary came up. So we took a visit to speak with one of the heads of the hospitality department at Algonquin. It just so happened that they were just in the process of beginning a brand new online culinary program.

The full program begins January 18th. I will be taking 3 or 4 courses. Then sometime before summer starts, I have to go and work at Algonquin Colleges International Restaurant as part of the requirements of the course. I’m really looking forward to it. After talking with the head culinary department it seems that there are a lot of great opportunities in the culinary field in Ottawa. The nice thing about it is that there are a opportunities working with everything from catering businesses, retirement homes, and government agencies that don’t always require the same kind of hours that a lot of high end restaurants do. So, according to the research we’ve done, I don’t have to get into a position where I am working LATE nights and Weekends.

When I think about where I have been, and what the Lord has brought me through, I am so blessed and thankful to know that His plan is perfect, even when my plans don’t match up. My hearts desire for so many years was that I would be a pastor. I still believe with all of my heart that God has a very special ministry for me, but it has to be in His time, and in His perfect will. An important lesson that I have learned over the years is that ministry is important and precious regardless of where you live, where you work, or what your title is. While the Lord has me here in Ottawa, Ontario, my desire is to be “..faithful in the little things..”, and even if God never gives me “the big things”, I will be happy and proud to serve Him wherever I am and in whatever capacity that may be.

Announcing: The Grove Grove Revolution Vlog

 

Promo for our upcoming Vlog (Video Blog) called the Grove Grove Revolution Vlog

I am excited to announce that in the near future, there are plans in the works for a special video journal (the popular term is Vlog) that I will put out as much as I am able. I am affectionately calling it “The Grove Grove Revolution”. My good friend Josh Hiatt coined that term back when we were roommates in Maine. He even wrote a little jingle for it that I will share with you sometime. I have always had a strong desire to have the ability to communicate what is going on in my life, and in the day in which we live this is an excellent way to do it. I am excited to be able to give you a little glimpse into our life here in Ottawa, as well as get a chance to see Sarah and I in our natural element. SO…stay tuned for more info on that. The goal right now is to get a video ready within the next month. To the left you’ll find a little video preview trailer.

The Season of Waiting

Babies. Babies…everywhere Babies. My family back in Maine is growing on almost a regular basis with new little ones joining the family. Sarah and I really love and miss our little nieces and nephews (and Mom and brothers of course) and are really looking forward to going to Maine for a week after Christmas to see all of them. My brother Gary has 3 little ones. My brother Aaron has 3 little ones. My brother T.J. has one on the way, and my brother Chad has one little guy. As the oldest boy in my family, I always pictured myself being the first to have children, and I ended up being last. Sarah and I have so much to be thankful for, and know that the Lord has great things for us now and in the future. Please pray for us as we are in this season of waiting for the Lord to bring a little one into our life. You can look forward to getting a really big, enthusiastic YIPPEE from me when that day comes. I’ve dreamt my whole life of being a dad, and that desire grows more and more each day. I know that it is going to be the biggest responsibility that I’ve ever faced before, and I pray daily that God would continue to prepare Sarah and I to be the parents that He would have us be, giving Him all the honour and glory.

As Always…we love you,

Jared & Sarah Grover

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Grover’s “Unword” of the Month

mahonkin (mə’hôngk-ĭn)
  1. a. (adj.) Humongous; extremely huge; so big that there is none larger.
    Example: You have one mahonkin sub in your car!

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Devo: “Are You a Loser, or a Giver”: Getting out of your own way.

THE THOUGHT:

I woke up this morning thinking about all that I am currently facing in my life. I woke up thinking about a lot of the same worries, concerns, frustrations and questions that I have had on many other occasions.  When I woke up this morning, right off the bat, even before I got out of bed, God blessed my heart with a great word of encouragement and strength. God always encourages and strengthens me, but this morning in particular, He reminded me of something that I tend to forget sometimes. That message was that…I am NOT a loser….I am a GIVER! Many of you may be thinking, “well Jared…of course you’re not a loser”. Although I’m a generally a happy and positive person, I still have my human moments where I can fall into the unfortunate pit of despair and hopelessness. Praise God that I am not the author and finisher of my faith! It’s HIM..and he reminded me that I am NOT a loser…but my job is to be a GIVER. Follow along to get my point.

Recently I have began reading my devotions in the book of Isaiah. To be honest, I’ve never really read through Isaiah before, but while I was counselling at an area Bible camp recently, I decided to randomly open my Bible and pick a random chapter out to read. I landed in Isaiah chapter 38. Now, from what I’ve read so far, Isaiah is filled with a LOT of very strong words, and sobering thoughts. Listen to what it says in Isaiah 38:1 (What a way to start off the book). Isaiah is talking to King Hezekiah who is deathly ill and he says “..This is what the Lord says. ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” At that point, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. HA! I figured I should probably read on.

What an amazing chapter. If you haven’t read this chapter, I urge you do so. Many of us are at the point that Hezekiah was, in one way or another, and can identify with Hezekiah’s “poem” in verse 14 where He says “..I am in trouble, Lord. Help me!”; but wait a second…Hezekiah hits the nail on the head when he continues on to say “But what could I say? FOR HE HIMSELF BROUGHT THIS SICKNESS. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt.” How? What? Why? If you are going through a rough time, read, hear, and meditate on the following verse. Verse 16 says “Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to LIFE and HEALTH. You restore my health and allow me to live. Yes, the anguish was good for me, for You have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.” Wow! This is some good stuff.

Hezekiah had reached a point where he had lost complete control over his circumstances. There was nothing he could do. God told him that his life was OVER. If that doesn’t wake you up a bit, I don’t know what will.

I find myself spending so much time trying to figure everything out. I can be guilty of spending more time trying not to “lose control”, that I have nothing to give back to God and forget that I am NOT in control, and more importantly, I DON’T NEED TO BE IN CONTROL. I need to be a GIVER. When I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself that I’m not in control, and I NEED to give it up to God…completely and utterly. I’m not suggesting that we do nothing, or that we sit around and allow God to do everything. I’m suggesting that we get out of our own way, give up our issues to God and take each step as God leads day by daysometimes minute by minute….because He’s the ONLY one that sees the end, and I know this much…it’s NOT going to be a bitter end if your feet are walking in the path that He has gone ahead and set for you.

Here’s an important question for you. At this point in your life,  are you doing “enough” to make a difference in the kingdom of God, or are you just  “surviving”? Are you doing “enough” to fulfill the plan that God has for your life? If you have not given all of your worries and cares over to God completely, the answer is a resounding NO, but don’t forget that it’s not about perfection, its about your your willingness to recognize that God never promised that the cross would not get heavy, and He never promised that the hill would not be hard to climb, but that He WOULD  be there to lead, guide, and direct your steps, as long as you are willing to follow Him.

BRINGING IT HOME:

This is a lesson that I believe we spend our whole lives learning and reminding ourselves of, and that is that as long as we live there will be situations that are completely out of our control. We fall into the pit of despair and worry so much that we lose the vision that God has for us. It’s not abnormal. It has happened before, and it CAN happen again, but this morning I was reminded that it’s when I come to the end of myself and there seems like there is nothing left…HE’S THERE! The same God that said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28),  also said “..I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).

Maybe you’re at the point of “death”, or maybe you’re just in a place where you are trying to gain some semblance of control in your life. Are you frustrated, mad, sad, or confused and have no idea what will happen next? Take heart…because if you’re reading this devotion, and believe that God is still on the throne, then you’re life is not “out of control”. Fix you’re eyes on Jesus.  For those of you that are parents; do you remember when your child first began to walk, and every time they started walking across the room towards you, wobbly legs and all, you would say to them “come to mommy” or “come to daddy”. With every step they took, you were hoping that they would just keep their eyes focused on you and they would take each step with all the determination and strength they needed to make it across the room without falling to the ground. Our God is the same way. In our times of struggle and trials, He is right there, looking at you with love in His eyes telling you to keep your eyes on Him, and He will direct you each step of the way.

This may just seem to scratch the surface for some, and I understand that issues like this can sometimes be symptoms of bigger problems in our hearts and lives, but this devotion today is meant to encourage you, my friend; to not settle for the enemies lies that say that you are stuck in a rut for an extended period of time. Don’t allow Satan to rob you from moving on with the abundant life that Jesus has for you. It is not until I am able to get out of my own way and let God do what only God can do that you will be able find that strength and encouragement from Him that will see you through every moment of need.

My friend….You’re NOT a loser….Be a giver!

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Check out part one of the tour of our new home.
Part 2 of our tour: I promise…this one is shorter..lol

God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality

In this edition of the newly renovated Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles”, you can look forward to:

1. HEY..I got my permanent residency…3 months ago!

2. Grover’s Unword of the Month

3. Things My Wife Taught Me (Video)

4. God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality

HEY friend,

How in the world are ya? I was thinking about you this morning, right after God spent some time speaking to my heart. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason over the past several months nearly every Friday morning God seems to speak to my heart in a special way. I don’t mean that He doesn’t speak to me on other days, but for some reason, Friday mornings have been particularly significant. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way that it’s been happening lately. So I thought I would come back home and fill you in on how things have been going for us here in Ottawa.

At the Canadian border in Prescott, Ontario

First of all, I am happy to report, for those of you who don’t already know, that my permanent residency was approved back just before Christmas. Praise God! What was suppose to take 4-6 months, only ended up taking 3 months. Man, am I relieved about that. No more stressful border crossings. If you have never tried to cross the Canadian border as a visitor awaiting your permanent residency in another country, consider yourself blessed. Before my permanent residency was approved, it was painful to cross the border, because nearly every time I crossed the border the immigration officers made it anything but easy and comfortable to pass through smoothly. Now that I have my residency approved, it’s much better.

Did you know that job hunting is a full-time job in and of itself? Fun, fun, fun! Please pray that God would lead me to the job of His choosing and that it would be stable, and a job that I can do well. At this point I’m looking for just about anything until I can find a more permanent, stable position. I have in the process of hearing back from the local school district about an interview date for an educational assistant position with the school district.  I have had a number of interviews, but no offer yet. About a week or so ago I had a phone interview with Teen Challenge in London, Ontario for a Program Director position. Pray about that one, because this seems to be something that is right up my alley. There are a number of people in our church who are currently unemployed and looking. I will keep you posted on the job situation.

Sarah is doing well and working hard with all her students at school. Please continue to pray for her. She loves being a teacher, but there are certainly times when it can be discouraging. She is really in need of a permanent position. She is working full time at the moment, but her contract is not full time. She is filling in for a maternity leave this year. For a number of years she has been trying to get a full time contract, but hasn’t been successful yet. Our prayer is that she might get one for next school year.

Kids Choir at our church

Church is going great. Now that the holidays are come and gone, we are focusing on preparing for our next big Kid’s presentation. This Spring our presentation is called “Sonrise”. We are excited to see how this is all going to come together. The format is going to be a bit different than the usual. We are giving the children an opportunity to do a presentation that allows them to truly worship the Lord. It’s a worship service led by the children. We’re including some of our puppet friends, narration, as well as an awesome blend of traditional hymns and choruses. It’s coming along quite well at this point.

Us with Selah (Amy, Todd, and Allan)

Sarah and I had the opportunity to go down to Binghamton, NY to see the amazing trio Selah in concert. They are an excellent group. Check them out online at www.selahonline.com. Sarah and I have been big fans of theirs for a long time.  We have purchased a number of their music books, soundtracks and cds. They are such a blessing and their songs are so powerful. The concert was great…and might I add that Amy Perry has some PIPES. Todd Smith (lead singer) and his wife Angie have a moving and stirring story that some of you might be interested in reading about. Let me know if your interested and I will give you the youtube link to their story. I was pretty excited to be able to meet with the group after the concert and get a picture with them. Although it was a four hour drive down to New York, it was worth every minute.

Canadian geese. They’re all over the place up here.

Are you enjoying the weather lately? It’s been so nice here in Ottawa. The spring is a very rejuvenating time of the year for me. It’s like I can feel that new, fresh feeling in the air. It’s wonderful to wake up and be able to have my window open and hear the birds chirping and the Canadian geese flying around. It’s quite calming to me. I’ll tell you something about those Canadian geese…THEY’RE EVERYWHERE UP HERE, all over the place. Just watch where you step when you’re in the park.

My nephew Cameron and I

In case you weren’t aware, my family back home are apparently busy having children left and right. Gary and Chrissy just had a new little baby boy named Cameron (click on picture thumbnails to enlarge), they have my sweet little Mikaela, and NOW they JUST found out that they are having another little one due in December 2010. On top of this we have my brother Aaron who has his two girls Alexis and Aireonna, and his new gf is now expecting a little Aaron jr. My brother Chad has my adorable little nephew Jayden. SO…as you can see, they have their hands full down there in Maine, and by next December my mother will be a grandmother of 8 children. CRAZINESS. I won’t comment on how much I am PATIENTLY praying for the time that God will allow Sarah and I to have children. It’ll come….as soon as God says so.

Well, I must be getting back to the job hunt. I’m almost at the point where I’m just going to have to take a job at Wal*Mart or Costco or something until the Lord opens a more permanent door. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. SO, please do keep in touch. I would LOVE to get a phone call or an email from you if you have time to pick up the phone or type an email. Many of you are in my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis. Thanks for supporting me with your thoughts and prayers. I certainly miss you, and look forward to the opportunity of hopefully seeing you again  in the not so distant future.

In this edition of Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles, take some time read about “God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality”. I hope it will bless your heart. The first part of this message was written back a couple of months ago, but the rest of it was finished today. I believe this devotion is one that has taught me and blessed me in more ways than I have seen in a very long time. Be encouraged.

Until next time…look behind you because I might be standing there waiting to go BOO (creepy isn’t it..ha ha),

Jared & Sarah Grover

Grover’s Unword of the Month

Bananosecond

(bə-năn’ə-sĕk’ənd)

    1. 1. (n.) The time elapsed between slipping on a banana peel and hitting the ground.

I slipped and was on the ground in a bananosecond.

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Things My Wife Taught Me

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God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality

On Friday mornings I am usually up at about 5:45 a.m. to deliver flyers (Wal*Mart, Zellars, Canadian Tire, Loblaws, Best Buy, Future Shop, The Bay, etc.) to homes in my area. It’s funny because I’m not a morning person AT ALL, but God just seems to give me something special during that time. We live in a fairly nice area right next to the Ottawa river, and many of the houses are right on the river, so I get to see the sunrise as I deliver the papers. It’s such a beautiful sight.

I am in awe of God. I have so much to be thankful for. It’s amazing how easy it is to take everyday beauty and comfort for granted. I am writing this note to you from my comfortable apartment, sitting near a cozy fire, gazing at the beautiful white snow that blankets the ground as far as the eye can see. Although this all sounds and seems serene, you can be sure that my mind is much less composed than that. For the past number of weeks, God has been speaking to my heart in a way that is both strengthening my walk with Him, and forcing me to take a good healthy look at the way that I view His love. Not just His love for me, but His love for everyone. During the Christmas season we are bombarded by heart-warming stories of kindness and love that remind us that we live in a world that is lost, hurting, and in need of a Saviour. From the first moment that God spoke to my heart about this a number of weeks ago, I have been looking forward to sharing it with you.

I cannot begin to tell you how much the Lord has taught me in my journey with Him so far, but over the past couple of years He really has been working in my heart, and teaching me things that I’ve never been taught before. He’s been speaking to me in those moments of silence where I just seek to hear Him and ask Him to move me in a way that challenges and stirs my heart to action. Have you ever had moments like that? Have you had moments where you just sat in silence and really made it known to God that you were there to listen? Not even speak…just listening? For me, as most of you know, that is a very difficult thing to do sometimes, nonetheless it will shock you, the things that you will hear and learn when you just listen.

A few months ago I was headed into McDonalds for a healthy snack (HA! HA!) and a homeless man approached me and asked, “Could you spare a little change?”, to which I replied, “I’m sorry, but I don’t actually have any ‘change’ right now.”  I have been approached like that many times in the past, and each time, more often than not, the first thought that comes into my head is, “not again…another guy just looking for some money to waist on booze”. I proceeded to go into McDonalds, bought my food, and came back out to the car to leave. Before I started the car, I paused, and I felt God speak to my heart basically saying, “Jared, what if that guy really did need some money for food?” I stopped and began to reflect on that for a while, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for my poor heart attitude towards the homeless man.

At that moment, I realized something more clearly than I ever had before. Our idea of reality isn’t always as “real” as we would like to think it is. In reality, there may be many homeless people out there that stand around begging for money so that they can go out and buy some booze…BUT WHAT’S THE MORE IMPORTANT “REAL” ISSUE HERE? What was Jesus FIRST reaction and attitude toward the homeless, drunkards, prostitutes, hypocrites, and everyone else? Love, forgiveness, and reconciliation!!! Here are some things that Jesus says about love and forgiveness:

Luke 7:47-48

47“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

In Matthew 15: 32, Jesus called His disciples to come to Him, and he told them, “I feel compassion for the multitude...”

There are two things that I want to say right off-the-bat. First of all, for all of my friends who may be of the opinion that there is often an unbalanced amount of preaching on love and forgiveness, and not enough preaching on justice and sin, understand that I am largely in agreement with you, but please continue to read this devotional and see my main point and purpose for this devotional. The message that I have to share has NOTHING to do with pushing some “lovey, gushy, ‘lets all just get along’, feel good” message onto you, so READ ON! Secondly, I am well aware that there are many people out there that are deceivers and actors and try to get us to believe that they are something that their really not, but again…this is NOT my point.

SO, you might be saying, “Grover…what IS your point”? I’m glad you asked, ‘cause here it is in a little bit more than a nutshell (It’s not that easy to put something in a nutshell, so I’ll do my best to be as clear and concise as I can). Our heart, soul, and minds FIRST reaction to other sinners (just like we are) ought to be one of love, compassion, and forgiveness. The time for the judgement of God, consequences of sin, and even the opportunity to speak out against sin will come. There will be no lack of judgement and justice from God when it is all said and done, but right now, I am asking that you consider how you typically react or treat someone who is “out of the ordinary” for you. Maybe it’s not even the “out of the ordinary” kind of people that you struggle with having a heart of love and compassion towards. Maybe it’s even people in your everyday life that you struggle with. What is your reaction to them? What is your heart attitude towards them? How do you approach them, speak to them, or even think about them? Would you feel comfortable sharing your attitude and feelings for that person with Jesus?

Ever since that day at McDonalds, my mind has not been able to shake the fact that far too often my first reaction to someone different than myself is that of scepticism, frustration, and judgement. I just don’t think that this is what God was talking about when He said, “Love your neighbour as yourself…” (Mark 12:31), and “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report…meditate on these things.”(Philippians 4:8)

This devotion is largely about personal reflection. Please continue to stand up for what is right. Please continue to stand on your convictions and don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak the truth to people. I am in complete agreement that we are living in a world that needs to hear the complete, clear, unadulterated, and convicting Word of God without excuse. With that being said, I also believe with all of my heart that God never intended our message to be without an absolute love and compassion for those people we have an opportunity to minister to. I believe that’s reality. How about you?


Life’s Beautiful Realities: My Better Whole (rather than my “better half”)

So Blessed

So Blessed

In this edition of the newly renovated Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles”, you can look forward to:

1. Catching Up with what’s new in life, (including the pics to prove it) as well as some prayer requests.

2. Grover’s Unword of the Month! (You don’t want to miss this!)

3. Life’s Beautiful Realities: The Better Whole (rather than my better half) encouraging devotional that God has laid on Jared’s heart.

4. Super Links: Find some highly reccomended links below including an excellent video message series by Pastor Andy Stanley called “I” Marriage.

Catching Up

Hello my friends….It’s great to connect with you after a long time,

I know it’s been such a long time, to which I am sorry, but consequently I am blessed and excited to share a lot of exciting recent news, pictures, and encouragement with you. First of all..How have you been? What’s new? Even as busy as the past several months have been, many of you have still been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. I have certainly felt them, and can’t thank you enough!

SO…right off the bat….If you haven’t figured it out, or just in case I haven’t told you fifteen thousand times already…I’M

Our Guests

Our Guests

A MARRIED MAN! Please feel free to take a look at our wedding website at http://www.sarahandjared.weddingwindow.com to find out a lot more. Praise God for his love and direction in our lives. On July 11, 2009 I married my best friend, Sarah Jill Roberts from Ottawa, Ontario where I am now currently a “visitor” as far as Canada is concerned, until my permanent residency application is approved. That in and of itself is a huge matter for prayer. If you have ever experienced the immigration process you know it can be a big pain in the gluteous maximus; but on a more positive note, just recently Sarah was approved for spousal sponsorship. Now it’s just a waiting game.

After seeing an immigration lawyer we were informed that the process of permanent residency can take up to 6 months. We’re praying that it will be quicker than that, but we’re not getting our hopes up. Under the rules of Canadian immigration, I am not allowed to legally work until I am fully approved. That in and of itself is a huge disappointment to me, because Sarah will be working and I will only be allowed to volunteer. I am thankful to say that I have been approved to volunteer for the school district that Sarah works in, and plan to do a lot of volunteering there. Sarah is now working in two different schools. She is teaching one AM kindergarten class, and one third grade English class. It is my desire and plan to try to keep myself busy volunteering in the school district so that when I am able to start working, I will have some good references, as well as some contacts for positions of employment. I also plan to do some volunteering at a rescue mission in Ottawa. We have a man that attends our church who happens to be one of the pastors at the Capital City Mission in downtown Ottawa and has told me that I am welcome to come down and volunteer.

For nearly 9 years, Sarah has been the leader the childrens ministries at our home church. She coordinates all of the Sunday School (called Kidz Zone) classes, leads the open session, and started a “Kid’s Nite” program every Wednesday night at the church. In Kidz Zone we are currently doing a program that is taking us through the whole Bible. Now that we are married, I am blessed to be able to take a more active role in these ministries. When Kid’s Nite starts the week after next, we will be beginning to practice our annual kid’s choir presentation. I am so looking forward to working along side Sarah in these ministries. Sarah is finding it nice to be able to share the load with me.

After a beautiful honeymoon at a Couples all inclusive resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (check out photo links at bottom of

At Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.see the Sax player in the background

At Couples Tower Isle, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.see the Sax player in the background

page), we came back to Ottawa for a couple of days before we took off to Maine for a 2 week visit. During our time in Maine we had a beautiful 2nd wedding reception that my mother and a friend of mine put on for Sarah and I. We were thankful and blessed to have been able to invite a lot of family and friends that weren’t able to get to our wedding in Ottawa, to this reception in Howland, Maine at my former home church.

Well, we are now settled into our apartment here in Ottawa and are looking forward to a great future together. The apartment is slowly but surely getting organized. We are very happy with our little apartment. When we looked initially, all of the apartments that we saw were quite small in comparison to this one that we are in now. It has a good size living room, a good size kitchen (which I’m happy about) and is in what seems to be a very nice neighborhood. If you ever need a vacation, or just want to pay us a visit, please don’t hesistate to give us a call or drop us an email. We’d love to have you. Well…I guess we’d have to give you our bed and sleep on the couch because I just remembered that it’s only a one bedroom. That’s ok. The couch is good enough for me, but I guess it’s Sarah that I would have to talk into that situation first. HA, HA!

An official Potsdam, NY EMT Rescue Squad suit

An official Potsdam, NY EMT Rescue Squad suit

In the last installment of Grover Chronicles I believe that I forgot to share that I had graduated from an EMT course that I took through State University of New York in Canton, NY. It was a great learning experience for me and challenged me in so many ways. If it were not for the help of God, the patience and help of Sarah, and the countless hours of studying I never would have made it. I am now a certified EMT. On top of all the medical knowledge that I gained through this course, I also learned how to operate the jaws of life. That was a great experience. I even got to wear full rescue squad gear. I had the opportunity to ride on an ambulance for a number of months, as well as work for an ambulance service for a number of months. The funny thing about it, was in the total of 3 or 4 months that I was involved with the ambulance service, I had no opportunity to see any real “emergencies”.  The purpose for taking this course was in hopes that if I needed to, I could use the certification to possibly work on a squad in Canada if need be, as well just the satisfaction of knowing that I accomplished a worthy ambition.

So that’s the scoop on our life where it stands right now. Now that I’m married I am learning that are a lot of new adjustments that I am having to make in my life. I’m sure that all of you married friends of mine completely understand and most can agree that those adjustments are necessary and often helpful in our lives.  I just want to take a few moments to share with you a little bit about the how those adjustments have affected my life so far, and more importantly, what the Lord has put on my heart about “life’s beautiful realities”, and how my wife is not just my better half, but rather she is part of “the better whole”. Even if you don’t have time right now, please take some time to read the little devotional if you are able.

Until Next time,

We love you,


Jared & Sarah

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Grover’s Unword of the Month

Accidentist (āk’sĭ-dən’tĭst)

1. (n.) A dentist known for making mistakes.

Example: My accidentist decided to drill my good molars at my appointment today.

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Life’s Beautiful Realities: The Better Whole (rather than my “better half”)

One of my good friends asked me a few weeks ago what I liked about marraige the most so far. Although I know that I have a long way to go, and a whole lot more to learn, I told her that one of the things that I enjoyed the most about being married was being able to wake up every morning beside my wife. Not just the fact that she is beautiful and all mine (eat your heart out men..lol), but also for the encouraging fact that she can experience “a new day” with me. Our goal and aim as a couple is to remember that each day is a new day, and a new opportunity to have a fresh start, as well as an even more important opportunity to bridge that gap in our relationship that makes us “whole”. To me..this is one of many beautiful realities in life.

My desire in sharing these devotional thoughts, is that the Lord may really allow me to share my heart, through His Word, and encourage those of you who might need some enlivening (it’s a word…I promise), or at the very least, give you something to think about. I really try to wait on God to inspire me, and give me something that would speak to the hearts of people. Although I may never have any awe inspiring words to share, I am so thankful that I can use this venue to communicate my love and care for those that I care about. If your reading this….thanks for being you!

(Just a disclaimer: although this devotional is largely geared toward married people…it has a lot of points that largely apply and carry over to single people as well.)

If you think about it, referring to your husband/wife as “my better half” is really an unhealthy title to give away. I am very much aware that often it is just a “joke” or a “nickname”, but never-the-less, it really has a negative conotation towards who you are in the eyes of God, and even who you are suppose to be in the eyes of your loved one. I would prefer to call Sarah “the better WHOLE”, if I were going to use that term at all, but most women prefer sweetheart or beautiful, so I’ll just stick to that. It is amazing, and I mean AMAZING how much I have already learned in the very short time I have been married about the husband/wife relationship. Regardless of my lack of experience in this area, I am determined, and encouraged by God and others to see the beautiful realities of  my new found love and commitment. Again, a lot of these realities can be seen in light of many different kinds of relationships.

Lately I’ve had to reexamine some ways that I can become “the better whole”, rather than just “the better half” in Sarah and I’s marraige. Recently I was brought to this very familiar scripture in Psalm 37:23-24 which reminded me that: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.”

As a believer, and as a husband, in order for me to focus on becoming the better whole in my relationship with my wife, I must allow my steps to be “ordered” or directed by the Lord. As much as I would like to figure everything out, and make everything right, the truth of the matter, according to experience, and His Word, I am not responsible to “figure it out”, but rather am responsible to follow in His steps (that by the way, He directs).

Becoming that “whole” mate that God wants me to be is something that I have to realize is not about perfection, but instead it’s about desiring, striving and seeking out opportunities to be the best mate that I can possibly be with the help of God. At a men’s get together that my church had for me just before I was married, one of the men stood up and said something that I will never forget. He said something like this, “…in and of myself I can’t be the perfect husband, but by the grace and help of God, I can strive to be the perfect husband for my wife…”.  This is my prayer as well. Take a moment to think about some things that I have learned recently about my role in the “whole” relationship:

1. I learned that I had to realize that it would not come naturally.

It goes against our nature many times to give of ourselves, and to give up our own desires and “needs” in order to bless, encourage, and show love to our spouse. Everything that I have read recently, as well as all the advice that I have receieved from godly counsel has reminded me that in marriage it is not largely about me…but rather it is about what I can do for my wife. It doesn’t seem natural, but I am slowly finding out that what I perceive to be natural, is not always the way it works. My God is the God of the supernatural. He works in ways that I never could understand, and yet, His way is the only right way. Always remember that despite how “unnatural” it may seem…GOD WILL ENPOWER YOU to be able to do it. Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

2. I learned that my head knowledge is no good until it becomes heart knowledge:

I have read and listened to so much advice and opinions on how to respond and act in different relationships in my life. I have been very open and receptive to that advice. I have weighed and considered it. I KNOW (for the most part) a lot of what I am suppose to do. The problem is that sometimes it has a hard time making it’s way to my heart. I may even have times where I’m aware of what I need to do, but I don’t allow my heart to be in it, or I don’t allow God to take control of that area of my life that I struggle with. Maybe I’m afraid that it will be too hard, or that it won’t help. Please, let God decide that. Let God give you the strength to do what you know you need to do. If you are confused and/or frustrated….stop, look, and listen for what He might be trying to show you. Always remember that “Where your treasure is, THERE your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

3. Let God reveal a “turning point”.

I know that I have been guilty many times of wanting something to change, or get better so badly, that I spend too much time focusing on looking for a turning point in a situation, rather than allowing God to move and mold in His way, and in His time. Never forget that there may be big changes, and there may be turning points taking place beyond your scope of human sight.

Another very familiar portion of scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE”. Be encouraged by the fact that even though we can not always see every important turning point, we have the complete assurance and blessing of knowing that our Father is paving the way for us. That is certainly a road that I want to travel on.

4. Allow Him to mold your heart.

It is so important to remember that it should always be our hearts desire and ambition to allow God to mold our own hearts. It’s not enough to just say we want it, or think we want it, but to really, with everything we have, plead with God to give us the desires of HIS heart. No situation can be overcome without the sustaining power of Jesus Christ. I have been asking God to keep me open to His leading, and His work in my heart and life. Regardless of how difficult and hopeless the situation may seem, will you agree with me that we need to allow Him to mold our hearts.

5. You will be more happy and peaceful when you simply obey God and leave the results to Him.

To some this might sound harsh, but I can not mince words. There is no greater understanding of love then to understand what our Lord has done for us. The least that we can do is surrender our situations and circumstances to Him, and know, as He has proved to us time and time again, that He is in complete control, He has complete compassion, and nothing takes Him by surprise.

I once read something that said, “we are His servants, not His adviser’s.”  Stop and think about that for a second.

Everything that I have read about relationships, both marital or not, tells me that it is my job to be a servant, regardless of my position in life or in that relationship. I had to realize that even though I may not have a “mental” understanding of all that perplexes me, I am confident in the fact that I a son to a Father who has the “Godly” understanding that I need.

I have tried to the best of my ability to outline some encouraging thoughts that I have felt led to share. Whether you are a married individual or not, my prayer for you is that you can embrace the opportunity that you have to be a servant for an awesome Lord and Savior. If you are married, even if you have to remind yourself daily, your mate is your better “whole”, rather than just your “better half”. This, I believe, will serve us much better than all too often expecting that the answer is the responsibility of the other person in your relationship.

In conclusion, my prayer is that I will always remember and appreciate that fact that I am part of a relationship where my position is not just “the better half”, but that I would take my rightful place, with the help of God, and be the “better whole”. I am reminded that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church. May our love reflect His in all was say and do.

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Super Links

I often come across excellent links that I believe would benefit others as much as they have myself. Each installment of Grover Chronicles I will post some links for your viewing pleasure.

1. “I” Marriage video message series by Pastor Andy Stanley. (click on the links below)

“I” Marriage Intro 1

“I” Marriage Part 1a

“I” Marriage Part 1b

“I” Marriage Intro 2

“I” Marriage Part 2a

2. Professional wedding photos.

Pre-wedding: