Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Wisdom and grace...

is the name of our daughter, who is more commonly known as Sophia Charis (hard "k"). My beautiful girl turns 6 years old today- unbelievable. Oh, to think back in time to six years ago (minus 8 or so months)...

The spring of 2000 found us in the midst of many changes. Rob had graduated from seminary and accepted a pastoral position, and we were preparing to move to Brentwood, CA. We settled into our home mid-May and jumped headfirst into life and ministry. But my pants were getting tight. Hmmmm. Even with all the running around, half-eaten meals, and crazy schedules, I was gaining weight. And suddenly I didn't love Frappuccinos (should have been a BIG clue).

Sophia was my fourth pregnancy, so I knew how to handle the whole I-am-nauseous-all-day thing pretty well. Oddly, though, she was my absolute worst pregnancy, physically speaking. My bones and joints- well, they did things. Things I'm not sure are anatomically normal. For example, one night (when I was roughly 8 months pregnant) Rob had an elders' meeting at the church, so I planned for a nice long bath after Harrison and Eli went to bed. And it was a nice bath. Vanilla sugar bubbles, candles, a good book, and a sharp razor (for the legs, people). I must have enjoyed that bath for almost an hour when I decided to get out and have a cup of cocoa. I flipped the drain thingy with my toe and started to get up when I couldn't. Get up, that is. My hip joints were literally frozen stiff. I dried my hand on the towel and grabbed the phone that, thankfully, I had taken into the bathroom with me. The following conversation went something like this:

(Ring, ring) Nice, friendly elder man: Hello?
Me: Hi. Can I speak to Rob?
Elder (who I know was thinking, "Um, he's in a meeting.") : Well, okay. Hold on a sec.
Rob: Hey, babe. Is everything all right?
Me: Take me off the speaker phone, please.
Rob: Okay, what's up?
Me: I need you to come home. I can't get out of the tub.
Rob: What? What do you mean?
Me (slightly irritated- because I didn't stutter- and very cold) : I MEAN, I can't get out of the tub. I physically unable to get out of here.
Rob: Well, I guess I will be right there.

*Thankfully we only lived 1.5 miles from the church*
Rob walked in the house and into the bathroom. He took one look at me and burst out laughing. "You really are stuck in there aren't you?" Okay, so he finally got me out of the tub and settled with my mug of cocoa.

Anyway. There were many "false starts" with my dear baby girl. Her due date was February 14, 2001. As you can see from this post's date, that date was not realized! She started trying to come around mid-January and finally arrived at 37 weeks. What a birth! I went to the hospital because something just didn't "feel right," and I discovered I was 4-5 cm. But there were no contractions. I told my midwife I wanted to eat and then I wanted her to break my water. She laughed and said, "Okay." Apparently there were many women giving birth that day, because the anesthesiologist was literally pushing a cart from room-to-room. I looked at Rob and told him I wanted to try one. "One what?" he asked. "An epidural," was my reply. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "You're not even in pain." I was very patient in my reasoning with him. "Yes, honey, I know that. But by the time I am in pain, it will be too late. I just want to see what it's like." So I did. Long story short- it was great for the actual delivery, but terrible afterward. I couldn't walk for 24 hours. Correction, I probably could have walked, I just couldn't feel my legs. And when the doc pulled that stuff out of my back, well, let's just say if I had seen it before the epidural, I never would have gotten one.

So to my precious baby girl, Happy Birthday.

*You weighed 6 lbs 4 oz at birth and were tiny.
*You nursed like a champ for 2 days and then you completely shut down (probably to save yourself from drowning, but that's another post).
*At 6 weeks of age you began to nurse again, and you wouldn't even look at a bottle without crying.
*"Buddha- girl" pretty much sums up your physical appearance as a baby.
*You were generally in a bad mood for the first 8 weeks of your life. Then something magical happened (I like to think it was answered prayer), and you were transformed into a grinning, spit-blowing rolypoly.
*You didn't (or wouldn't) walk until the ripe old age of 16 and 1/2 months. Exactly 2 weeks before your brother Kirk was born.
*You started taking off your diaper- for fun- in the middle of the night around 18 months old. Now those were some fun (smelling) times. Your daddy solved that by using duct-tape in a horizontal fashion around your midsection on the diaper ;)
*You love pasta. (my "pasta girl")
*You adore your brothers.
*You love shopping and trying on clothes. (How are you my child?)
*You taught yourself- by sheer determination and skinned knees- how to ride a two-wheeler in one afternoon.
*You love school.
*You love "toe polly" (polish).
*One time Grandma called for you and you said, "I can't come right now. I'm looking for God."
*You love to sing praise and worship songs and will frequently tell me, "This is a great song."

There is so much about the mystery that is you, Sophia, that cannot be conveyed on the blogosphere. But your daddy and I pray daily that the Lord will draw you to Himself, and that He will grow you into a wise and gracious woman after His own heart.

Happy Birthday Sophie!!! Tell your mommy that she needs to write a book; she is sooo funny!
Happy Birthday Sophia:
May you grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

Thank you God (and Rob & Sherri)for our precious little girl. Sophia will never be your typical, run of the mill girl. Sophia is Sophia. I could go on and on and never really describe the many facets of her personality. In a home dominated with the male species, she definitely makes her presence known. Yes, she does like girly things, "toe polly", pretty dresses (which she climbs trees in, and rides her bicycle) but you have to make concessions. Sophia --- a granddaughter we are utterly in love with. Our prayers are such that God will help you be a kind, Godly woman like your mother. --- How I love my "phia". ---- Grandma
I came by way of Life in a Shoe to see why you were sticking your tongue out at Blogger. Your posts look fine, BTW. :)

You are a delightful writer. I especially enjoyed this post and the one about heros.
I love this post! My son, Max, turned six on Feb. 1st. My best friend has twins that she used to have to duct tape their diapers on, too! I couldn't have handled that mess, I don't think! What a beautiful post on your precious daughter.
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