Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School, School and more School

I want to first apologize to all of those stay-at-home moms that garnered no sympathy or compassion from me.  I would always hear how they are tired or busy, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out how that was so.   After all, they were HOME all day.  Boy was I wrong.  I have NEVER been more busy in my life, and for the first time I do not have a full time job.  Whew!

Now that we have that out of the way, I never got a chance to post beginning of school pictures.  So here they are:

cade & sg

This is the first year ever they have not had uniforms.  I miss the uniforms, but my little fashionista certainly does not.  She is really enjoying getting to dress how she would like to.  Cade, on the other hand, is like his Momma.  Athletic shorts, tshirt and either crocs or tennis shoes are his outfit of choice.

Not only did the kids start school, I started back on campus at UF.  I am NOT a selfie person at all.  But I took a picture of myself on my first day for two reasons:  a reminder that God is faithful to provide a way for you to be obedient to His calling in your life.  I never thought I would ever…EVER…go back to school.  It seemed impossible.  But God worked it all out!  Secondly, I want my children (both big and small) to realize that it is never too late to realize your passion and go for it! 


I was so nervous about being on campus as such an “old” person.  But after my first classes, I am overwhelmed by how much I absolutely LOVE what I am studying.  I have found my purpose that God has created me for.  That is such a blessing.  I actually ENJOY going to school!!!

Emmy didn’t start school, but she did start going to Mrs. Stacy’s.  We all love Mrs. Stacy and Emmy is so excited on the days she gets to go.  Mrs. Stacy has even trained her to wear a bow in her hair.  A moment we have waited to arrive for the last 22 months.  She even asks for one now!

Emmy pigtails

In the weeks since school started, we have had some exciting things happen in our family.  SaraGrace asked Jesus into her heart and was baptized a couple of weeks ago.  As a parent, there is no greater joy than to see your child surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.

SG baptism

Cade has been busy playing football.  He is the smallest man on the team, but he has a really big heart.  He is loving life as a middle schooler.

family football edit

This has definitely been a month of transitions for us, and some I was very anxious about.  I can’t tell you how wonderful the Lord has been to us through all of this.  Both of my kids just love their new school and I look forward to picking them up everyday to hear how wonderful it was.  They even love the school lunch!

On a different note, many have heard about or seen the story of Danielle Walker and the loss of her daughter.  She was featured on the Today show, along with her family.  Danielle was so brave to share about her daughter’s diagnosis.  Check out her story on the link above. 

If you know anyone who has experienced the loss of a child, please share our story with them.  Our Faith Renewed is still available at, and  I also have some on hand if you need one quickly.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God brings us through trials to share hope and encouragement of healing in Him.  He has certainly allowed us to glorify Him in our the life of our daughter, our marriage and our family.  We are so grateful!9781462735891_COVER.indd

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Middle School {and a Book Winner}

First, thank you to all who shared our post about our book and our giveaway.  We have a winner!!!  Candy Kish….come on down!  Please send me your address so I can get you a book!

This week brings a new beginning in our family.  Our kids will be starting public schools for the very first time tomorrow.  This momma is a little nervous, because these schools are much larger than what we are used to.  They are both excited, and I’m sure I will have lots to tell after tomorrow.  But I wanted to share with you about Cade and his open house.

Keep in mind, we live in a small community, full of school pride like nothing I have ever seen.  It’s pretty exciting to join the Tiger Nation, and things are about to be hopping.

Cade will be changing classes 6 times a day.  Y’all!!!  That is scary!  We had open house Monday night, and what started as a nerve-wracking experience, God turned it into one with an awesome ending.

Their schedules are released on a computer program, and Cade got zero classes with any of his church friends.  Many of them are together, so I was worried he would feel left out.  As they were all comparing schedules, I felt a little like a fish out of water.  But, I knew God had orchestrated so many things for us to be there and it was going to end well.  As we went from class to class, we started with Ag.  He has a football friend in that class, so that made me feel a little better.  After discussion about FFA he started asking all kinds of questions about teams and officers.  He is his mother’s child when it comes to that!  He was ecstatic!  And it was just the first classSmile

As we went on, he became more and more thrilled.  Many of the boys would call his name down the hall, since they knew him from football.  There was a child in a couple of his classes that he knows a little.  He said he was going to make sure to be a friend to him because he knew he needed one.  Be still my heart.  That is what it’s all about!

At the end of the night, I had such a peace about Cade and his 6th grade year.  He is as spiritually and mentally prepared as he can be for what this year may hold.  My prayer is that he is a light and a vessel in which the love of Jesus pours out to his classmates.  One thing about it, he doesn’t hold back!!! 

As we were leaving, I asked him what he thought and this is what he said: “This place is like Disney World!”  I would say he is excited!

On the way home, I couldn’t help but pray and thank the Lord for all He had done and is going to do this year.  I thought about Nanny and how excited she would have been to hear him tell about his new school, friends and classes.  When I mentioned how I wish he could call her and tell her about it, he said, “I wish we could too, Mom.  But we have something better…INSTAMAIL. Something happens and BOOM!  She knows about it.” 

I’m not sure how much she knows about what is going on here from Heaven, but one thing I do know is that my Heavenly Father knows.  He has my son in the palm of His hand, and has great plans for him.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.  “Plans to prosper not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.”

Do you know who holds your future?  How about your children?  Let’s pray together over our schools, students and teachers that God would have His way with all of them!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What’s Going On?

This has been a different season in our lives.  Once I started working on the book, I found myself spending less time on social media and my blog in an effort to balance everything.  I have missed this blog, and I am determined to get it back up and going. 

As most of you know, I started college full time in May, and I am proud to say I am finishing the semester with all A’s.  I never thought it would be possible to do this, but God’s plans are always better than ours!!!  Our kids are getting ready to start new schools, and they are super excited.  Cade has joined the middle school football team, which means he has to be at the football field every day at 7 am.  This momma is a little tired!!!  And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t  a little nervous.  How do I have a middle schooler?

Emmy is busy as ever and she keeps us on our toes.  Life is exciting in our house, as there is never a dull moment.

As for the book, things are coming along.  I am still working on some things to get our story out to the world.  God has used Faith’s life to reach so many for Him, and we still continue to give Him all of the glory for all He is doing there.

As a kick-off of sorts for the blog, I want to do a book give-away!  I will do a random drawing, and here is how you can earn entries.  Share this blog post on your facebook and you get one entry.  Tweet it and get another entry.  Comment here to let me know that you have done these things and earn yet another entry.  The contest will end Monday, August 18th at midnight.  Please join us in sharing our story, and win yourself (or a friend) a copy of Our Faith Renewed.


Our story isn’t about a book.  It is about a life.  A life that God had planned since the beginning of time.  Our story is most importantly about Jesus Christ and His ability to take broken things and make them beautiful.  Our family has been broken, but God has made it beautiful.  Faith was born with a broken body, but she now has been given a beautiful body in Heaven with Him.

Thank you for loving our family and for sharing in our lives!  It’s good to be back!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When They Grow Up

When Rob and I told Tim, our youth pastor, that we would teach the High School Sunday School Class, I was a little upset with Rob.  I knew his heart for students, but teaching is not my gift.  I also knew it was a huge responsibility to shepherd the hearts of teenagers, because the world is pulling them in so many directions.  I was scared and didn’t know if I was up for the challenge.  But I also knew that God’s strength is most visible in our weakness. 

One thing that neither of us considered was the relationships that we would have with these students.  And days like today make this all too real.  All of our students hold a special place in our hearts, and we have been very fortunate that all of the graduating seniors are still home.  We still get to see them and hang out, which does my heart so good.  I love seeing how God is working in their lives, and I love catching up with them over lunch or Bible Study.  But today, our very first student is leaving for college.  Auburn, Alabama to be exact.  We won’t have the same opportunity to see her all of the time, except through Face Time and Skype (which I know not how to work either.)

Holly has been a constant in our group these last two years.  Because she was one of only two senior girls, she always called “shotgun” in my car for every road trip we made.  This meant she had to navigate because Mrs. SaraBeth can’t find her way out of a paper bag.  We have been to Night of Joy and Rock the Universe, where she loves to ride rides and get front row views of concerts, regardless how many people we have to push through to get there. 


She has helped with VBS music, helped teach Emmy to swim, and kept Cade in line on many occasions.  One of my fondest memories will always be our trip to NY.  Our group of girls, and one boy, had the time of our lives and haven’t quit talking about it since. 


When you are in the position of teacher, especially when you’re not comfortable with it, you become the student because teenagers have a lot to teach you.  One of the things Holly has taught me has been to love yourself and be confident in who you are.  As she competed for Miss U Co High, her motto was “Dare to be Different.”  While other contestants chose Disney princesses for their characters, Holly chose Cruella DeVil.  We still sing that crazy song over and over again.  While some told her she shouldn’t be in a pageant, she held true to herself and took home the crown.  She has really taught me to be comfortable with who I am, regardless of what others may say.  That is a lesson I will always carry with me and admire her for.



As you leave on your next journey today, I want you to know that you carry a whole lot of love from Lake Butler with you.  I will miss our talks, our movie dates, our singing of obnoxious songs, and our kick-butt Cranium teams.  But I am so proud of you!  You are strong in the Lord, and I have full confidence that you will take that strength with you to Auburn, and change the world for Jesus.  Don’t ever lose sight of who you are, because you inspire people to be the best they can be.  I love you so much, and I will be counting down the days until I see you again.  Thank you for loving my family, and for loving me.  I will always hold you dear to my heart, and never forget the amazing memories we have made.  I will try to keep your Momma in line, but you know that is gonna be toughSmile  I love you and can’t wait to hear all that is going on in Auburn!

Love always,

Mrs. SaraBeth

Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Cade!

It’s hard to fathom that it has been 11 years since I first laid eyes on the little man who made me a Momma!  So much life has happened in that time, and he has grown into such an awesome young man. 

Anniversary 004

Cade was our miracle baby!  He has brought laughter, tears and a lot of “wisdom” to our family.  I used to post “Wise Words of Cade” because he would say the funniest things.

This birthday will be different.  This is his first birthday that Nanny won’t be here to celebrate with him.  They were the best of buddies.  It was very clear to everyone who knew Nanny, that Cade was the apple of her eye. 

I can’t help but be so proud of Cade.  The first thing he wants to buy with his birthday money is something nice for Nanny’s grave.  What 11 year old thinks like that?  He sure does love his Nanny!!!! 


This weekend, we celebrated his birthday with a laser tag party.  He had a blast!











Although we were drenched in sweat, everyone had a wonderful time!

Happy Birthday to the #2 man in my life!  I am so proud of you and love you to the moon and back!

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Last and First Day

Today, I leave a job that has been a huge part of my life for nearly 9 years.  It’s not just any job.  It’s the family business.  I have learned so much, and have had some great memories.  It has been wonderful getting to see my parents every day, and raising two of my children here at the office.  When I first came to work here I had huge aspirations.  I was going to rule the world…at least the world of construction.  There was nothing more empowering than a woman, running a successful business in a man’s world.  I wanted to have it all.  You see, the Lord has tremendously blessed our family through this business.  And I was going to carry on the legacy.

One of the things I accomplished here at O’Steen Brothers was getting my contractor’s license.  I was scared to death of letting my dad down, but by the grace of God I passed with flying colors.  The very first permit I got with my license was for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. 

Ty gainesville 2

This was such a fun experience!  We worked through the night.  This picture now sits on my mantle, and SaraGrace has to be reassured that I do NOT have a boyfriend (because that is what Rob tells everyone.)

Not only has this job afforded me great experiences, but it has been such a financial blessing.  I will never have a job making the kind of money or receive the kind of benefits that I have been given here.  Most people would be scared to death to leave a job like this.  But I’m not. 

Because for several years, the Lord has impressed a different calling on my heart.  When I became pregnant with Faith, my perspective changed.  I no longer aspired to make a big paycheck, and to be popular and envied.  I now wanted to make a difference in the world by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere and in any way I could.  I knew He had brought us through so much to allow us to proclaim His goodness to everyone around us.  Through that calling, I have finally had enough faith to step out and pursue a career where my passion and talents collide- student counseling. 

As I begin college classes on Monday at the ripe old age of 35, I find myself experiencing peace again.  The same peace that I had while carrying my dying daughter.  That is because I know that again, I am doing exactly what God has asked me to do.  Will it be easy? NO!  Our family is on the brink of huge changes.  It will require adjustment for all of us.  But I know from experience that once you take that leap of faith, He will carry you through to the end.

I am so thankful for the blessing of my salvation, and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I am thankful for this passion He has given me and for all of the doors He has opened for me.  Not only career-wise, but in ministry as well.  I have several speaking engagements coming up with my book, and He is blessing the socks off of that project. 

So I as go through this last day here at the office, I realize it is only the first day.  The first day of the rest of my life!  I pray that the legacy I leave behind is one of reaching others with the love of Jesus Christ.  Whatever and wherever that leads, I am ready for the challenge.

Is there something He is asking you to do?  What is holding you back?  I understand the fear factor.  I was slave to that for several years.  But now I have been set free from that with one step of faith.  I want to encourage you to step out.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.

Now that my life is slowing down a bit, I hope to do a better job of keeping up with my blog.  I have a couple of things I am going to be sharing this next week, including how all of these changes came to be.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement through the many seasons of our lives.  This new season is one I am super excited for!

1 Peter 1:5-9


5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vaughn Family Update

The Vaughns are in a cycle of change at the moment.  Not only did our book finally become available, we have some other changes coming down the pipe as well.

Two weeks ago, I gave my dad my notice that I was leaving the family business.  I was scared to death to tell him, because he believes in hard work.  My mother still works full time.  But when you are obedient to voice of the Holy Spirit, He just pours down grace and mercy, and takes care of everything.  Dad was so supportive and I couldn’t have asked for a better response.

As of May 15th, I will no longer have an office job.  I will be a student.  I am going back to school to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences.  I have 14 classes to finish, so I am planning on hitting them head-on full time.  I start in the Summer! My heart is in student counseling, so I am following God’s lead on that.  God has opened so many doors it is unbelievable.  I will write some follow-up posts because I want you to see how following Jesus with all of your heart has HUGE blessings.  It’s not always easy, but He sure works it out.

I am excited to be able to be home with our kids for the first time.  Not only will Summer bring change for them, but so will the Fall.  They will be leaving their school where they have been since the beginning of time, and transitioning to our local school system.  Though I was nervous at first, I now have a total peace that they will be taken care of.  We are blessed with one of the best school systems in the country.  Half of our church is employed by the school district, so I am assured they will be watched afterSmile  With this change comes middle school sports.  Cade is excited to play football for the Tigers, and I am excited about him getting involved in FFA.  He has made mention of showing a hog, so I am THRILLED!!!  SaraGrace will get to go to school with all of her church friends, and has made a request to learn how to twirl a baton    (cue 911).  So many opportunities await them there, and I am excited to get to spend more time with the people that I love the most.


Please pray that we will continue to be obedient to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as we embark on these new adventures.  I have had some wonderful feedback with the book, and I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to use it.

Much love!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It’s Available for Sale!!!

It's available for sale!!! I will be hosting a local book launch event in May, in honor of her 3rd birthday. I will have books there for sale, or you may order online. If you would like to purchase one from me, but do not want to wait until May, I will have my personal shipment when I return from the women's conference in VA. It is currently available in hardcover and softcover editions. The ebook is coming soon! Here are the links for ordering:



And coming soon to

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the endless encouragement, support, prayers and for loving my little girl!!! To God be the glory, great things He has done!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Our Faith Renewed

The book is complete and has been printed.  I should have my author copies this week, or early next.  I cannot begin to tell you all of the miracles that have been performed by our sovereign God, but just know that when you He calls you to it, He will bring you through it. 

After two and a half years of working on this project, it is complete and I couldn’t be more proud!  You will see the name Nat Davis on the cover.  Nat was one of those miracles I mentioned earlier.  After much prayer, I stepped out on faith, seeking someone to help me finish our story, and Nat came into our lives.  She took my words, our story and made them into something so beautiful.  She is an AMAZING writer, editor, and friend.   You can learn more about Nat at  Please be praying for her family.  Her little girl, Lanae, is fighting a pretty big battle right now, but you will see that Nat and her family are an amazing testimony to the power of Jesus Christ!!!

And now the cover…


It is absolutely PERFECT!  The picture is Rob holding Faith’s hand, taken by Chontelle Brown in the hospital.  Stay tuned to facebook, twitter, and instagram to see when and where they will be available for purchase.  I am so excited to see that God is still working through our little Faith!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Long Time Comin’

I know, I know.  You thought my blog fell off the face of the earth.  It kinda has.  Life is so busy, and I’m stretched in so many different directions that it has fallen by the wayside.  However, there is lots to report!!!

First- the book is FINALLY in the production stage.  Can we get a hearty AMEN?!?  I am praying we will have them in print in a few short weeks.  It will be available on Amazon and several other online bookstores like  I will also be holding a book signing event in May.  Details will be coming shortly.

Speaking of books, I am traveling for my first speaking engagement as an author next month.  I am headed to Virginia for the Faith, Hope & Love Women’s conference.  I am so excited to get to share what God is doing in our lives with other ladies.  But I am nervous about traveling by myself.

In other family news, we just got back from a short cruise vacation to the Bahamas.  We called it “The Vaughn 1st Annual Come Just As You Are” vacation.  There were no diets, no tans, no dress clothes, no cameras (except my phone), no iron, and minimal luggage.  So minimal that myself, SG and Emmy all packed in one bag.  It was an adventure on the Carnival Sensation.

We were so low maintenance that the kids didn’t even want to get off the ship in the Bahamas.  So we spent some time enjoying no lines at the onboard water park.

The waterslides were a HUGE hit.  After 2 1/2 hours on the slide, we were water-logged.  I even got in on the sliding action.


These kids do like each other…a little bit.


Emmy was not left out of the fun.  But she did NOT like the water.  It was a little chilly.


After the waterslides, the kids wanted to go to Camp Carnival for some activities, so we took Cade and SG to the “club” and took off onto the island for some shopping.  We were back within an hour.

Nothing like losing a front tooth on vacation.  She pulled it herself.  And the remaining front tooth is hanging by a thread.


We got a little silly at times.


We intentionally didn’t have ANY professional pictures taken.  Remember…this was a low maintenance vacation.  Just the thought of getting everyone dressed up and coordinated wore me out.  I even wore jeans every night to dinner.  GASP!!!

That being said, we did get some good some pictures at dinner taken by Cade.


And one family picture for the WIN!!!


This was probably one of the BEST vacations we have ever taken.  We had the best of both worlds.  We got to spend time as a family, and at night, Rob and I got to act like the kids that we are.  We took the Disney Cruise last year, so I thought the kids would be a little bummed out by this one. But to my surprise, they both said they liked this one “way better.”  That is a good thing because it was “WAY CHEAPER.”  We liked it better too.  No lines and no stress.  While I LOVE everything Disney, and would definitely do another Disney cruise, you feel like you have to take part in EVERY.SINGLE.ACTIVITY because it costs so much money.  You don’t want to miss a thing.  This year, the cruise was cheap, but the time we got to spend together was priceless.

We are so blessed with our amazing family, and the time we get to spend together.  To God be the glory, great things He has done!