Sophie Sue turned 4 on Thursday! She has been such a blessing these last 4 years and has brought us so much joy and laughter. We always celebrated Birthdays for about a week when we were younger-my Mom loved to celebrate and eat! We are keeping that tradition so far and had a big week with cupcakes we made for her Birthday snack day at Preschool, a nice picnic at the park, Birthday dinners,a fun trip to Larrys Pizza with friends, and a fun 4th Birthday party at the house tomorrow!! She is so excited! Here are several recent pics I took with my phone lately.
I've been reflecting a lot this week on our sweet blessing, Sophie, and God's perfect timing for her little life. Sophie entered our life in what was one of the toughest years of my life...My Mom had been very sick and living with us for several months. We decided to try for our 2nd baby we wanted so much after praying really hard that the timing for this baby would be God's and not ours. (It took almost 2 years for us to have Ella and some medication and with Mom so sick and me being her main caregiver we were trusting that God knew when we would have our baby) Well only 2 months later without any meds we were having our 2nd blessing, we were thrilled!! So was my Mom, who remained very sick, I was convinced that this baby would give her and myself the drive and will to win the long battle she had been fighting. So for a while I felt like she was going to be ok because I was having a baby. Afterall, it was so easy for us to get pregnant this time and God couldn't possibly want me to go through a pregnancy and new baby without my best friend and Mom... God had other plans... About 2 long months later my Mom went to Heaven and my life would never be the same again!
I had a new reason to go on, take care of myself, and eat, although I really just wanted to curl up in bed for a long time. An additional blessing at this time was the move into our new house that Tadd had worked very hard to build for us. Not because it was big or new but because it provided a good space for my Mom to live with us for what would be her final 9 months. This was not part of any plan I had at all but I am glad that God's timing provided us the additional space because she would have never agreed to move in with us if she thought she was going to be in our way. That is still the main reason I am glad we even had this house. When she moved in we had only been here for 2 months and when she went to Heaven I had lived much longer with her in our house than I had without her here. It was so big and empty without her, for now. Another part of this story that is a blessing is the differences in my 1st and 2nd pregnancies. See I was pretty sick with Ella, like nauseated and throwing up sick for the first 4-5 months, then the last 2 months, oh and bed rest off of work with high blood pressure for the last 6 weeks of her pregnancy. Sophie's pregnancy was much different, I was a little sick and somewhat nauseated but not nearly as bad, which was helpful keeping up with Ella who was 2 years old and taking care of my very sick Mom full time at our house. I was about 11 weeks pregnant when Mom went to heaven and I never was sick after she was gone. I feel that she has been a guardian angel for us, helping to watch over us! I like to think that she helped to take care of me from Heaven when she couldn't while she was here. You see she was the type to worry more over others and try to take care of them-well when she was sick the roles were reversed and she was not able to do this like she wanted to-at all. She is not sick anymore though-thank you God!
Also in our family girls and "sisters" are a very common theme. Well, Sophie continued that pattern in our family and I even had to tell Tadd that my Mom just wanted Ella to have a sister:) We had decided on a boy and girl name even before we were pregnant this time, Sophie or Seth! My Mom knew about both of our baby names and loved them both! We had not decided on a middle name. Sophie's middle name is Sue as my Mom's middle name was Sue. It was cute, cheesy, southern, and perfect reminder of my sweet Mom who was often nicknamed "Susie" in her family when she was little.
Sophie's Birthday was also part of God's timing! Sophie arrived 3 weeks early and was a pretty happy, and healthy baby from the start! Sophie's 1st Sunday at Church was Easter Sunday in March 2008, she was 4 weeks old. We had the sweetest time as a new family of four and precious family pictures to show for it! (One is at the side of our Blog-the 1st pic I ever blogged:) Easter had always been emotional to me bc of our faith and how important it's meaning is to us. This year it had doubled in emotions-you see this year I knew even more that without Christ's resurrection I would never have the hope of being with God and seeing my Mom again in heaven!! Well, the day after Easter, and only 6 months after my Mom, my Dad rather suddenly passed away and also went to Heaven with my Mom! Wow, still a lot to take in 4 years later... If Sophie had been born in March when her due date was she could have been less than a week old when we buried my Dad. God knew she needed to be a little early. Losing both parents so young and so close together can still be tough to understand. I don't pretend to understand God's timing or even his will completely. I don't know why anyone gets Cancer, why addictions or abuse can destroy lives, why some families cannot have children, why anyone has to ever lose a child... I actually don't think I can ever understand many of these things this side of Heaven.
There are so many things that I cannot grasp while here on Earth. It has been a tougher week, family who struggle with illness, young friends fighting Cancer, uncertainties about careers. Some of these things and Sophie's Birthday have caused me to question and remember God's plans and even timing. I have to remember daily that even when life is tough, God is good all the time and his ways are perfect, even if we cannot understand them now. I know that as I think back to the timing of our sweet Sophie, I did not understand how God could take my Mom from us while blessing us with a baby then take my Dad such a short time later. I am so thankful that they are happy and healthy even if there are many times I still wish they were here. In a way this has become kind of a testimony for me at work, with friends, and maybe even others that I can help by telling a little bit of my story. Many people have some sort of struggles or trials in their lives at some point. I pray that as they do they will turn to God, the one person who truly holds their future and whose ways are better than our ways.
For my Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways... For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
Marinated white beans with olive oil toast
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