Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We spent the last week enjoying the lovely-ness that is Upstate New York! Days and days were spent on the beach (Lake Ontario) and in the meadows and the forests, at the pond and in the cabin enjoying the change of scenery. It's just so lovely there--absolutely nothing can compare to the peace, and the beauty and the all encompassing quietness of it all.
The kiddos had a wonderful time swimming and fishing and 4-wheeler-riding and doing all of the wonderfully fun things we get to do in the country. 
I miss that lifestyle SO much. 
I've lately found myself very content to be settled where we are--surrounded by so much loving family and dear friends--but going back, I can't help but LONG for wide open spaces. 
Anyways....that's not where the Lord has placed me so I'll have to be thankful that I can at least visit those spaces! Even if all I took away from it was raging allergies/asthma and lung trouble. Gah. 
Can't win. =)
A few pictures of my sweet babies--love my little rays of sunshine!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Friday! My weak little asthma lungs are slowly healing and getting back to normal! Hooray! Today I ran a mile and it felt AMAZING!! My lungs worked pretty good and I went fast and didn't feel like I was going to die. What an answer to prayer! 
School is officially over for Amelie (Mr. Wonderful has two more days of meetings and one more graduation to play for). Here's a shot of my sweet girl on her last day of 1st grade!!!!

First Day of First Grade vs. The Last Day!

I really feel like summer snuck up on me this year! We leave for vacation in a few days and I'm all set and EXCITED to spend days on the beach!!! Let's hope camping agrees with the family! =) I google-earthed our camping site and am so excited about literally being ON the beach. YAY!! SO thankful to be feeling better and breathing better and hopefully will stay that way! 
Speaking of probably followed the CF story of Nate and Tricia--you can check out his blog for updates (click here) but Tricia is starting an aggressive anti-rejection treatment today. It will leave her immune system weak and unprotected--won't you pray that God will protect this sweet lady? She has been through so much and has remained so positive. 
That's it for now--if you can take a big deep breath without any problems thank your lucky stars and your Heavenly Father--Every Single Breath is a gift.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I've been avoiding my blog...
Last week I came down with a simple head cold and it has spiraled into a full blown case of THE stupid asthma. 
I am wondering if this is my new asthma-prone-life?
It's a little scary.
I am seeing a good doctor and am on lots of medicine so those are good things.
Although the medicine does make me full of THE crazy and THE sleeplessness. 
My doctor has advised that I stop running (not that I can really run at the moment anyways) and I am heartbroken. I have worked so hard to get to where I am--months of consistency down the drain all over again. I am in exactly the same place I was last fall--JUST starting to run consistently good times and JUST starting to handle three miles easily. Then AND now I was training for my first 5K. I'm afraid I'm going to have to postpone again unless something miraculous happens. 
I feel a little betrayed by my body.  I am discouraged to find myself back in this place. At the same time I am encouraged to know that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. I strongly believe that God has a plan for me and everything I go through so I'm going to take it one. day. (breath) at. a. time.
 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 really speaks to me and I am going to work on this!!
16 Rejoice always,  
17 pray continually,  
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I'm so thankful that He loves me even when I'm doubtful, and fearful and weak. Amen!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today I'm going to share a story with you--one of the BEST stories I've ever read. It's so super important to me because it was written by one who is extremely dear to my heart. This is the story of my best friend Sarah (written in her own words). When you have a quiet moment (or at least, a mostly quiet one =) please read it.  


I’m a church kid. That meant I was in church every Sunday, morning and night, and every Wednesday. We memorized verses in the Bible, we would go around the neighborhood handing out tracks, we’d do clean-up days at the church, sing in choir, etc. It was all I ever knew and for the most part, I enjoyed it.

From a young age, you hear the gospel (good news) and how you get saved (become a Christian). It went something like this: Jesus was born to a virgin, grew up and did lots of awesome miracles, died for your sins, was resurrected 3 days later and is in heaven building you a mansion on streets of gold. All you need to do is tell Jesus you’re sorry for your sins and that you believe he died for you and that’s it! You’re saved! Oh, and if you don’t pray that, you’ll go to Hell. There’s fire there that will never go out. Ever. And that’s where Satan lives.

So, as a 6 year old, it was a pretty easy decision. Getting saved was the right thing to do, my parents were saved and I sure as you know what didn’t want to go down “there”. Salvation was talked about a lot in children’s ministry at our church, as it should be. It’s important. But the way it was presented turned out to be a huge problem for me. Waves of doubt would come and go as I got into my teens. Did I really believe this?

Like most teens, I had a brief period of rebellion. But, I decided the church life was for me and I repented. Back to my list of dos and don’ts. That’s what being a Christian was to me. Jesus died for us, so now we have to do x, y and z. Wear long skirts, no rock and roll, no PG-13 movies, NEVER hold hands with a boy and the list goes on.

The next few years were pretty normal: boyfriend, engagement, marriage, move to NY, have baby, move to Lancaster County to work at another church, have more babies and that brings us to now. But something started happening in Josh (the husband), which resulted in something happening in me.

He was really growing, changing and becoming more passionate about his faith. And I became more unsure, upset, angry, frustrated, depressed. It was ugly. I felt like no matter how many good things I did, I felt more miserable. It didn’t make sense! I was part of the worship team, I taught Sunday School, I did Bible studies, worked in youth group….I was the model Christian! But on the inside, where it mattered, I began to realize what had been nagging at me all these years. I never was truly a Christian. Praying a prayer for fear of Hell doesn’t save you. Doing Christian things doesn’t save you. It’s only Jesus who can truly change you. I need Jesus’ gospel; the real one. And this is what it looks like:

You’re a sinner. That means Jesus has a standard, and you don’t meet it. And on your own, you never will. You can’t even go a day without breaking 1 of the 10 commandments! Now, because of that sin, there’s a debt owed. That debt is death: eternally being separated from Jesus. BUT, because God is a mercifully and loving God, he decided to pay that debt for us through his son, Jesus. Jesus came to this earth, lived like us but perfectly, and then died a death no one should ever have to. And on that cross all of the sins that were ever committed or ever will be, were paid for. 3 days later, He conquered death and is with His father in heaven. Done. So now, all we have to do is accept that gift, realizing it is only Jesus that can save us and nothing else. Not our good works, not other religions, nothing but Jesus. Once this happens, you are a new person. You are forever a part of God’s family. Now, this doesn’t mean everything will be perfect, but it means that God can take even the bad and show you the good in them.

So, about 4 months ago, I became a real follower of Jesus. And it was the best moment of my life. There was such freedom in that moment. I didn’t have to worry about keeping up appearances anymore. I still do a lot of the same things, but the motivation is totally different. I want be in church, not because it’s what I’ve done my whole life, but I love worshipping Him with other Christians, and love hearing the word of God preached each week. I can’t get enough of Jesus!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope and pray one of you will read this and want to hear more about Jesus. Feel free to contact me at pianochick67@gmail(dot) com or you can find me on the Facebook, Sarah Rose Vaughn. This is the biggest decision of your life. It can change you forever, and I promise you’ll love it. =)

Questions? Really---do write Sarah at the above address or me-- michellerose630@yahoo(dot)com.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The school year is slowly but surely winding down and I am just dying for Amelie and my husband to be home!!! I can't wait to start our summer schedule! It's absolutely gorgeous out--the weather has been cooler than normal and the NY girl in me LOVES it!! 
Anyways....Maevey had a playdate with her BFF yesterday and came home with a surprise--HAIRCUT! The damage:
The pile I had to cut off to even it up:
  The super cute result!

It wasn't planned--but I love Maeve's short hair and I think it will be perfect for the summer. She looks so cute and big!
Not much else is new--just plugging along. I've stuck with my eating-right plan (using My Fitness Pal App) counting calories and have continued my morning running in preparation for a 5K on July 4th! My running is going really well and I can FINALLY run 2 miles again without breaking a sweat. WOOT! Weeks and weeks of dedication are finally paying off! I am soooo not a natural athlete so it's really difficult for me to even run short distances without lots of consistent practice. I've been going out 5 days a week for 3 months to get to this point. Gah. Oh well--thankful for working lungs and legs--that's for sure!! 
As far as eating--watching my food hasn't been as hard as I thought. I am eating a little differently but I actually can eat MORE now that I understand what calories are where. It's kind of amazing. I've lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks--I can't believe it! It hasn't even been hard! It will get harder as time goes on, I'm sure, but it's super encouraging to me! 
That's it for now--just going to lace up my shoes and take the kids for a walk to visit the ducks at the lake down the street. Happy Tuesday!