Thursday, October 31, 2013

14 Candles

This place of contentment. Of seeing God. Wow...

We were prepared for a still birth. Possibly minutes. Maybe hours. And here we are celebrating week two. Not from the NICU. But from his precious room. That I was scared to decorate, but did it anyway at the Lords leading.

Y'all, God is good. His ways are certainly higher than our ways and thoughts higher than our thoughts. A lot has happened the last 3 years of my life that has not made sense to my heart. And instead of this being the thing that pushes me "over the edge", it's the thing God has used to steady me and make me better than I ever thought possible. He has healed my wounded spirit. He has cleansed my hands! He has restored our marriage. He has given us new friends and new life to old relationships. He's still working on me and I have never felt more sure of God's faithfulness and perfect timing. Ask Him for yourself...He's waiting and listening to ALL who would call on Him. 

So in this moment...because we live moment to moment here... I would just like to muster every ounce of my being and tell Him thank You, again, for showing off for me. My heart needed it and He has watered this land. 

I don't know what this afternoon holds, or tomorrow, or a week from now...but I know the One who goes before me. And He will withhold no good thing (Psalm 84). Days ahead may not look "good" but I know the Author of my faith and life will shepherd me through anything to come. 

Thank You Jesus for the glory in a life lived with YOU!

Thank You Lord for Wills, Walt and Fenley. 

Thank You that Walt got a whole entire birthday with his son. 

Thank You for 14 candles. 

Thank You that I drove myself to Kroger this morning, bought a generic Kroger birthday cake, got the lady to write "Happy Birthday" in blue and drove home to Wills still sleeping sweetly. 

Thank You for the daily bread here. Manna from Heaven, perfect provision..

Thank You that two of my dearest friends informed me they are having healthy pregnancies yesterday. I have GENUINE joy for them. And I know they will cherish their babies as much as I cherish Wills. 

Thank You for a certain friend who has kept me stocked on cupcakes. And a Little Debbie thrown in here and there. And muslin blankets for Wills and cute premie clothes. 

Thank You for my dad who can't walk in Wills' room without the sweetest tears. 

Thank You for my mom who has put up with my OCD tendencies and hasn't left my side except to brush her teeth - maybe. 

Thank You for my in laws who have tended to Fenley so perfectly while we cherish Wills. She's almost potty trained after a few days in West!

Thank You for the staff at Baptist - I am quite sure I have all their cell phone numbers and if I go too long without sending an update, they start asking for one :)

Thank You for Jeff Redding - where would our hearts and marriage be without You speaking through him to us? 

Thank You for medicine and comfort care. Thank You for doctors and nurses and his feeding tube and oxygen support. Modern medicine is a gift from You. Thank You for my OB who was very patient with me through the c section, as I was asking "How are we?" every 20 time he'll probably put in orders for extra morphine :)

Thank You for celebrations and life and Your word and Your comfort and our small group and hot coffee and spit up and soft blankets and cuddle time and a home and birthday cake and real, beautiful life WITH YOU!!!

And last but not least...thank You for Wills. Each breath he takes. Each squeak. Each diaper. I love his folded over hands and his sweet feet. And his long fingers. And his angelic head. And brown hair. And sometimes stinky booty. And his mighty spirit that is finding rest in You and showing his mommy how to rest in You too. 

God, You are so good to us. Don't ever stop. 

Wills' proud mommy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Lots of celebrating going on at the Bowie house lately. Lots to celebrate. Birthday candles laying everywhere. Campbell's cookies. Chocolate and red velvet cupcakes. A Lisa Hill cake. A homemade caramel cake. Sugar cookies. Walt asks what I want for dinner... I pause, thinking of that double chocolate fudge cupcake I just scarfed down and wonder if there is evidence in my teeth :) 

I'm still getting peed on. Even got some spit up last night!

I'm getting to give him the best milk I can! Doctor told us breast milk is like medicine to his sweet body. Made me HAPPY!

We had a pallet party tonight and I got to read him The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

We watched Elf the other night together while I ordered our four Christmas stockings. Old School Walt requested needlepoint...can't wait to post a picture once they come in. 

We have celebrated 12 birth days. Wow. We were prepared for 12 minutes. Marvelous provision...

He's been home from the hospital so long that we've had hospital visitors come by! Jeff Redding pointed that out to us :)

I ordered birth announcements today. They're so stinking cute. Way over budget but Walt obliged his excited wife. 

Wills is such a peaceful baby that he allows us to get rest. It's a blessing. I've never seen such sweet sleep in all my life.

Confession: I still haven't washed my peed on tank top! Or the outfit I went to the hospital in. Or any of his blankets. They just all smell so good!

Wrapping up... Wills' physical life is probably going to be much shorter than my heart wants to allow. But I just need to say this... Because of Jesus and what He has done in my heart through Wills, I will never stop looking for marvelous. He will always live on in my heart and in my search to dig up gold and find the marvelous. We serve a marvelous God, who marvelously blesses His children and I will never stop looking for or talking about the marvelous things He has done for me. 

Good night! Time to feed my Marvelous Fighter...

The Bowie boys. Can't keep em awake!

Walt cooked me dinner!

Too many blankets I know...he was just so comfy!

Digging up marvelous... The Word is alive!

Getting to empty the diaper genie! It's the little things :) 

Walt went back to work and I didn't lose it! He was back in two hours :)

Fenley insisted on touching his nose...

This mama's boy says Good Night!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Marvelous Joy

Hey y'all :)

Wish you could all see this story unfold from start to finish and hear every story of God's faithfulness. I'm crying just thinking of how loved we are in this.

I hesitate to write. I want to do Wills' story justice and be a good steward of our time with him and the story he and God are writing. I feel God just telling me to be that's what I'll do.

Wills' doctor, who has a heart for T18, was so motivated to get Wills home for us. No other doctor would have that mission for us. He has not been at our hospital for 6 months... Monday was his first day back and we were home by Tuesday. I cry thinking of him and the gift he was motivated for us to have...time at home with Wills. And we are headed into night 3 :) thank you Doctor...for letting God keep your heart so tender.

To moms ever facing the news of a fatal diagnosis for the baby in your womb... The doctors (most, anyway) are speaking of their PHYSICAL bodies. They can tell nothing of your child's spirit :) I encourage you to anticipate pregnancy with the sweetest joy at getting to meet your child's SPIRIT - we all have shells that are dying...but the spirit is a whole other story. I have spent the best 7 days of my life learning about who my son is. I talk to his strong and mighty spirit, not his tired and sick body. He's so much more than that. Doctors know physical. God knows heart. Let God guide every decision you make...

Prayer requests... Patience between me and Walt as these two non medical people navigate this very medical time. Skilled hands. Peaceful hearts. Perspective. We miss Fenley. Pray for her please that we protect her from our heartache as best we can. Our bodies can't quite keep up with our spirits either so pray for strength for all four of us. Pray we continue to see God's perfect gracious hand and that we keep asking Him to give us the sweetest gifts each day - through Wills.

Pray for Wills. Pray he thrives! Pray that he knows how much I love him. Pray he can supernaturally feel our love for him. 

Praise God with us. Seriously, would you just full blown worship and happy dance with us for how good God is? Tell Him thank you for us. Help us shine more glory to Heaven! 

I got peed on :) when I found out Wills was a boy I had moms start telling me get ready to get peed on all the time during diaper changes. Fast forward to the NICU... The precious nurses there let me change his diaper when I was in there. Each time I changed him I lingered wanting to get peed on. Call me crazy, I don't care :) our 3rd day, I prayed that The Lord would let me get peed on. Held him for about 12 hours that day as I was getting discharged the next day. When they picked him up each time to do his vitals, I stood to change his diaper... still no pee. Then one time they came to get him for vitals and when they picked him up, my tank top was SOAKED! He peed all out of his diaper and all over both of us :) I didn't get a trickle, I got drenched. I just cried and thanked God and Walt may have to have an intervention to make me wash that tank top :)

So many stories to tell... Just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God adores His children, rewards their faithfulness and provides magnificently. He is amazing and we are in awe. Each breath Wills takes tells me to keep asking for God to show up and give us more stories to tell on this earth on their behalf. He and God are up to a very cool work in the Heavenlies...

In marvelous joy,
Lauren Bowie :)

My Wills is in his crib!

His birthday cake

Oh ya know, just watching a movie together at midnight!

Baby dedication in our backyard :) best feeling EVER...God was tangibly there. Still is.

In the backseat of a CAR!!! Daddy drove 11mph :)

Sondra, one of our awesome nurses reading him bible stories...

Sissy love!

Daddy admiring him in his crib before his one week birthday... Be still my heart...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wills says "Hi world!"

Peaceful chats with our nighttime NICU nurse, Pam. 

Wills is sleeping soundly, sweetly, perfectly...on me right now! Our 3rd night with him. Yep, 3rd night :) and savoring each moment with this miracle boy. Also, falling in love all over again with my boyfriend/husband Walt. He's given me butterflies more times than I can count in the last 60 hours.

Nurses coming by to pray over WLB. 

Neonatologist tearing up, sharing how our story has grown his faith.

He smells better than anything I've ever smelled... I make all the family that visits sniff his precious head.

Our room smells like a florist from all the flowers. 

God is here with us. We are living, breathing witnesses to His goodness. I'm trying to keep all the stories straight in my head and heart. Hope to share more later. There are SO MANY STORIES.

We prayed for physical healing but God's perfect will. The second he came out of my stomach and I got to see him, I realized we received God's perfect will and he was just that... PERFECT. 

Thanks for the prayers, y'all - pray we are good stewards of our time with him, his story and his life. We are chosen and thankful for this special calling! And pray we get some rest, too.

A few pics below... Night night. 

Ready to have a baby... 10.17.13

His 1 day birthday. 

My two handsome gentlemen. 

Snuggle time today with my little stud. Best 60 hours of my life so far.

Us four, full hearts... Our first full day with him. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013


So many thoughts packed in to these last few weeks of pregnancy for me. Pregnancy at the end is not exactly fun (for most mamas) when everything is rocking along smoothly... But then to throw in a diagnosis where most babies are aborted for being "incompatible with life" makes things particularly...hmm, interesting. We've heard that up to 75% of babies with T18 are aborted :( I'm not here to judge. It's a heavy diagnosis. God sees the heart of every man and He has grace for every decision on this human planet when we turn to Him. Not here to cast stones...just here to study how I can walk this out to honor Him. That's all I can do: me personally glorify Him with my decision to keep rocking out with Wills in my belly. I pray others choose the same because the harvest here is remarkable! Or should I say... Marvelous? :)

As a little girl, I remember pulling up to a gas station on one of our many road trips. Tommy and I were probably 5 and 7. Side note - most of my favorite childhood memories are of being in the backseat of my parents car, listening to them chat and share life, dad drinking coffee from a thermos, John Secada music in the background and dad eating cherry Halls cough drops. I still only eat cherry Halls cough drops just because they remind me of being in that safe back seat. Thanks mom and dad for quite the sweet and very safe childhood :) Back to the gas station... We see a family living out of their car. They had two kids that seemed to be me and Tommy's ages. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears. I NEEDED to help them. Something deep down ached inside. Must admit, always been a softie. Tommy, on the other hand, thought they should just go get a job at McDonald's :) 

That's been an overwhelming theme to my life...I've wanted to feed the homeless. Protect the oppressed. Seriously, have googled how to be a foster parent no telling how many times. I sound like a saint until I say this... I've never followed through and that has always discouraged me about myself. Truly, have felt like I am not living out my calling my whole life.

When God gave me Walt and Fenley, I decided that must be my mission field for now. Serving them. But there was still that nagging thought that I wanted to do more. The verses in Matthew 25 that talk about serving the least of these have HAUNTED my heart:

"Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
Matthew 25:34-40

Background story detour... God sparked a relationship in January of this year between the wisest woman I now know and me. She is deaf and is now on hospice care for cancer. Let me tell you something...that woman has taught me so much about service to God and a REAL relationship with Him. There is no telling how many lives she has changed. And do you want to know her advice about how to find your area of service to God? Seek Him. Love Him. Know Him. Get to know Love Himself and you will naturally find yourself in service to Him and loving it. She has ministered to me in ways I can't comprehend yet. She and I have emailed back and forth for ten months and have only met once. I actually caught myself reading her emails over and over and God gently saying... "Back to the bible, Lauren" :) After that advice about service from her, that verse about serving the least of these has not haunted me as much. I've spent the last ten months laying down a lot of things at the cross. A LOT. This season would not have the fruit it does without the love God has poured over me through her. 

Back to serving the least of these. As this pregnancy ticks by...I'm overwhelmed physically and emotionally. Absolutely exhausted. Heartburn. Heartbreak. Restless nights. Worry. Anxious about every doctor visit. Anticipating a c section and this story playing out while I'm numb from chest down. Hormones are CRAZY. (ex: I made Walt a caramel cake. After 4 days I threw it out. He came home wanting another piece and I sobbed because I had already thrown it out. Poor Walt.)

And then I read something in my devotional yesterday with the Matthew 25 parable attached to it... "Sometimes we are called to give up our money or COMFORTS to provide for the needs of others." Wow. Shocking revelation to me. I have spent a lot of my life praying for an opportunity to serve. And that He would reveal when I could be privileged enough to really serve Him. And here I am... Doing what no one else can. For one baby. My perfect in Christ baby. Making a difference and believing in my son, when the world and doctors say not to. Hello Heartburn, Heartache and Hormones, come and stay a while. C-Section? Bring it. I'm just serving my God by loving on my son. A "least of these" that only I am currently called to serve. I count it a privilege to walk this beautiful story. Nothing short of a pure calling. Safe to say, that parable in Matthew 25 now encourages me instead of haunts me. Praising God for revealing that to me! 

And that turns me to Jesus' story... A baby who was born in a stable, a man who only lived 33 years and died on a cross. Never had a "home". Never defended Himself in court. All of his friends scattered. He came here knowing what He was up against. From the worlds perspective He was a failure. But open the door of your heart to Him, and find He is magnificently perfect. His humble story teaches us how to unpack our humble, imperfect stories. And how to walk through an "incompatible with life" diagnosis. Because aren't we all a little incompatible with life here on earth? :) Wills just has a physical diagnosis that demands our attention. But Wills' physically "broken" diagnosis has healed this mama's spiritual heart and given me my first real opportunity to serve my least of these. Pray I continue to do it boldly. 

Jesus, in distress, prayed for God to pass His cup of suffering but God's will, not His. That's my exact prayer now. Every day. Pass this cup. Heal our son. But if You don't, then I trust Your hand here. If you feel God leading you to pray for us, join us in that prayer please. 

A sweet precious friend texted me this verse this week. Said God put it on her heart to share with me :) I LOVE when He does this...makes my walk with Him very sweet. It was very timely. 

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" 
Numbers 23:19 

So as we wait another 23 days at the most, know that we are relying on God speaking and acting, promising and fulfilling. Marvelous anticipation. 

That's all for now :) love to y'all in Gods perfect spirit!