Tuesday, November 26, 2013


"Naps are for the birds." - Fenley Grace. 

Ok so she hasn't actually said that but actions do speak louder than words...and we just finished our second day in a row with no nap. And oh my gosh I'm tired! So I've been getting creative as the day goes by to keep her awake for a decent bedtime. She took an hour plus bath this afternoon. Yesterday it was baking cookies. I feel like I've got nothing but time these days...

So I play extra long with Fenley. And go on dates with Walt. And I do extra laundry and dishes (my house is REALLY tidy). And we deliver chocolate cakes to the NICU. And decorate for Christmas. And I text with friends a lot. And read a bunch of really sweet notes from y'all. And have embarrassingly long lunches with long lost friends. And Fenley and I go bother Walt at the office :) and beg family to come for a visit. One thought that has helped me get this far is...that I would rather be at home taking care of Wills, but since I can't be, I'm happy to be able to _______. It has helped my outlook a lot and also helps me fill my time with good things and good people :)

The time I had Wills was so rich. So rich that I don't think there is a word for it here on earth. And ya know what I'm learning... The time I had with Wills was rich because God wrote the story. Wills had an awesome 15 days because Life Giver God allowed him that. I love Wills beyond words because God gave me that love for him. Our story is marvelous because God called it marvelous. Wills got to come home because God said he could. I got to carry that precious child because God kept his heart beating. We have lifelong friends now because God has given us them. I tell Wills' story because God allows me. We keep walking because God makes our feet walk. He is our EVERYTHING. I'm a chicken. That's why He picked me I'm quite sure. Because He knew I would have to rely on Him. So trust me, if God can show Himself marvelous through me, He can do it with you too. You've never met a bigger coward (left to my own devices) than me. Christ in me, the ONLY hope for glory...

And who knows what's next for this little family. Or this strong-in-Christ chicken of a mama. It's a mystery...just like Wills' story was. But God showed up flawlessly and will show up in the mystery of our next season too. And every moment in between. I guess life really is beautiful because of the mystery. Doesn't make the mystery any easier to understand at times but Gods presence makes it worth it :) 

Memo to other chickens: the worrying anticipation of EVERY SINGLE event surrounding Wills' birth, life and death was worse than the reality. Just FYI :) 

All that said... Could I ask you to pray for me? I love the comfortable intimacy I learned with God through my season with Wills and really don't want to lose it. Just being honest. Anything I can pray for you? Seriously. Anything? Please share your burden or joy with me. Wills grew my heart a lot and I would love to share some of that love with you.

Thank you in advance...

"Has The Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!" 
Psalm 107:2

"What joy for those whose strength comes from The Lord, 
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem."
Psalm 84:5

"...'No one can receive anything unless God gives it from Heaven.'"
John 3:27

Good night y'all.

Here are some pics I would like to share, just because I can :)

Wills' stocking. I thought about ordering a little boy themed stocking for him but started thinking...he's so much more than a little boy. A lighthouse is much more appropriate for his fruitful, marvelous life.

Our nativity. Notice a tiny boy to the right? He's looking up to Heaven and holding a balloon called "hope"... I like to call him Wills :) because he gave me back my hope. 

My Christmas village :) a holiday indulgence that I can't pass up! These houses make me embarrassingly giddy!

Basically force feeding our favorite neonatologist yummy chocolate cake before 10:00AM. He's just amazing.

Looking right at the camera :) while his head was still bruised from labor. He had very serious eyes in my opinion. Pretty sure he knew what he was up to here...

A fave for sure. I love my wrinkles now :) they're proof I'm one day closer to seeing him again. 

Another favorite. And again, those serious eyes. 

"I wanna hold him finger" - FGB (will never forget her saying that!)

Latest purchase...Enough said :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Normal

I have officially talked Walt into letting me decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I must admit I am pretty excited about decorating and the approaching holidays... Walt has said he thinks this will be the first holiday we have ever REALLY celebrated. I agree. And we are doing things a little different this year with our little family. Starting some new traditions and intentionally savoring what Christmas is all about. I read an article the other day about removing Santa from Christmas and I went on a tangent to Walt about how we should eliminate Santa from Christmas and all these other lofty thoughts... And my simple country boy replies with, "We both grew up with Santa and we love Jesus." Well said, Bowie, well said. So needless to say, we are keeping Santa but will be worshiping Jesus :) and remembering Wills and relishing Fenley and each other.

Fenley has requested a mircophone, a unicorn and a sleeping bag. Really? She makes me laugh. 

So Friday is my postpartum check up. Bittersweet. I don't want to be finished with the physicality of having Wills. Confession: I've thought about calling to reschedule to buy myself another week of expecting one more appointment where Wills is the reason I am there. Just know if you see me in Kroger Friday afternoon, don't question the amount of cupcakes in my buggy. Just smile and wave... In all seriousness though, I do grieve the end of my appointments. I miss being pregnant with him and I am going to miss having appointments because of him. Prayers appreciated for Friday morning...

On a really uplifting note...some legit guys that Walt went to college with all went in together and blessed us tremendously. We went to dinner with one of them this week because he had something to give us but couldn't open it until we got home. Well, antsy pants me opened it the second we got in the car. Tears flowed the whole way home from both Walt and me. Inside was a gift card to The Alluvian for an overnight stay, with the romance package, a couples massage and dinner at Giardinas. I mean really. The cool thing is I turn 30 in January and I had been hoping to spend my 30th at The Alluvian before we got Wills' diagnosis and was trying to figure out how to budget for a getaway. When we found out Wills' condition all of that went on the back burner obviously. And look what God had in the works...thank you, legit guys, for splurging on this tired couple... We are so excited and more than ready for our getaway. Marvelous. 

Our new normal is constantly changing feels like. A few big changes. A few small ones. A few fun ones. A few not so fun. All in all, life feels like an adventure now. With God really calling all the shots and us asking for wisdom and perspective and endurance and joy. He knows our hearts better than we do. Who better to shepherd us? I told Jan Moncrief tonight I am having trouble finding words to describe where my heart is (which is rare for me!) but started thinking... who needs words when you have the Creator of the universe intimately acquainted with where you are? So again...I muster every ounce of faith I have and rest in Him. Glance at one picture of Wills Bowie and I'm reminded..."Oh yeah, just do now, in faith and trust. And keep your eyes peeled for marvelous."

We are having another NICU reunion Monday ("Hi, my name is Lauren Bowie and I am a Baptist Hospital stalker"). Taking them a chocolate cake. Apparently our favorite neonatologist likes chocolate :) I wish I could make sure he always has a chocolate cake at his disposal. Words aren't enough for that doctor. I know this isn't 100% true but I like to think it's somewhat true maybe...that God moved him here from Birmingham for us :) his heart certainly made us feel that way. I know Wills will be in his receiving line when he gets to Heaven. Hopefully with some form of Heavenly chocolate...

I'm thinking I've rambled enough for tonight :) good night...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Should Be Sleeping...

Yeah so my eyes are burning as I write this. Slumber is calling my name but my wheels are turning about WLB.

Wills went to be with Jesus 15 days ago. What an interesting road this has been and still is. I wouldn't change it for anything. I don't want to raise Wills as the old me...which is who I would still be if not for his perfect little life. I would be complaining about sleep deprivation, pumping, hospital bills, weight retention (aka - I can't stop eating sweets), not enough "me" time and totally missing the glory of him. Could go on and on. I remember the old me too well unfortunately. 

Thank You Jesus for your work on the cross that Wills can be in paradise with you. How cool are you, really, Jesus? That you gave your all for ugly hearts like mine. That I would have you with me in the valleys - particularly the valley of the shadow of death - and the mountaintops. Goodness. Glory. 

I've got some thoughts on Heaven. Sometimes I get overwhelmed or intimidated at the thought of what Heaven may be like. I can't comprehend it so my mind can get boggled easily... Because it's unknown to my flesh. But if I've learned ANYTHING on this road it's this: If You are involved, then it's GOOD. And if Heaven is where Your Word says Your throne is, then my goodness, what more do I need to know? :) 

The road of contentment in this life is paved in humility. God has taken me to Luke 17 quite often in my heart...

"When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, 'Come in and eat with me'? No, he says, 'Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat. Then you can eat later.' And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? Of course not. In the same way, when you obey me you should say, 'We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.'"

I like to think this duty for us from God sounded a little like this...

Boy, William Lamar Bowie
Parents, Walt and Lauren Bowie
Big sister, Fenley Grace 
Birthday, 10.17.13
Birth time, 12:34PM
Brown hair and a hairy back
He will always sneeze twice like his mom
He prefers his right side
I'm allowing T18 because that will bring more glory to My Name 
Let's give them the word Marvelous 4 times...they'll need it
Life on earth, 15 days

God said 15... I humbly whisper, "Ok." Who am I to question? And not only do we say "Ok"...but we say thank you. For a sober heart. For 20/20 glory vision. For a son. For a calling. For a new fire in our hearts. For restoration. For marvelous. For meeting us here and being so stinking good to us.

Some folks assume I don't want to be around anything "baby" right now. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love your babies!! They're precious. They smell awesome. They're lovely creations of God that He has entrusted to YOU. I adore your baby and I hope you adore and talk to me about my baby. I got my mama's boy. He's in Heaven... I raised him here. I got to plan his life celebration because he had a LIFE! I think he's irresistibly perfect for me. And your baby is perfect for you. Trust me, be yourself around me. Brag on your baby because I can promise you I'll be bragging about mine! 

I am convinced the Holy Spirit LOVES Baptist Hospital. We went to visit the other day - literally hoping to see ONE NICU nurse (Sondra Finkbeiner - I wanna be like her when I grow up!). Well... We see my OBGYN, who talks to Walt for 10 minutes about duck hunting (insert drooling husband) and even mentioned Walt going with him on a duck hunt. Then we get in the NICU and next thing we know, almost the entire team that got us home with Wills was there by chance - even Lee, our Oxygen guy :) it was just too good! We even got to pray together. Hello, glory! And shared a few Wills stories too of course...

Last train of thought I'll indulge tonight... Most of this blog has been about Wills. Well, I would like to say how crazy I am about my baby girl. She is MANY things that I wish I were. And she's only 2. I feel quite certain that she is going to have a marvelously fruitful life for the Kingdom. The faith of a child is a beautiful thing. For the first few days after Wills went to Heaven, she would go to his crib and say, "Where is Baby Wills?" And we would reply with him being in Heaven with Jesus and she would simply, excitedly say... "Ok!". I mean really, thank you Fenley Grace for teaching me. You and your brother are legit and I am so proud that God entrusted both of you to me. 

Enough for tonight I suppose :)

Night night...

Some pics...because there are literally like 1,700 of them and I just feel like sharing some tonight. Part of my process :) I love missing Wills, it's the next best thing to having him. 

Admiring our little man in the NICU 

Our last night together 

Be still my heart!

Forehead cleavage...

Miss those eyes.

Love this one of us 3...

Last but not least...our NICU reunion!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Forever bound to Wills. 
Forever grateful to God. 
Forever humbled to be used. 
Forever doing a heart happy dance to be God's steward. 
Forever sweetly loved by my Creator. 
Forever asking God to rid me of pride.
Forever expecting good things from His big hand. 
Forever eating cupcakes. 
Forever praying I'm like the servant who doubles his money. 
Forever wondering what Heaven looks like. 
Forever rainbow hunting. 
Forever texting my friend asking her how she has the sweetest grief. 
Forever not shutting up about the glory here.
Forever smelling Wills' blankets. 
Forever stalking the Baptist NICU. 
Forever not washing a certain tank top.
Forever trusting God like never before. 
Forever marinating in God's Spirit. 
Forever reading and relearning the definition of marvelous.
Forever counting miracles. 
Forever flipping through Wills' pictures. 
Forever being needy for God to carry me. 
Forever contemplating how we did this story. 
Forever lingering with Fenley. 
Forever pushing the pause button. 
Forever weepy and sappy. 
Forever nostalgic. 
Forever treasuring 15 days. 
Forever journaling. 
Forever giddy at being Gods child.
Forever thankful for Jesus and His blood and His promises and His provision and His call to the harvest...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gold Diggin'

Who knew a 44 second video of Wills breathing in the NICU could be such a treasure now. 

Who knew heartache could also be the greatest gift I've ever received. This road is lined with gold... God has made me linger long enough to pick up as many pieces as I can. I love gold digging :)

Also along this road I've met my heroes... You all know who you are. Fellow gold diggers. You've reached out to me to share your heartache and I say thank you. I've decided that heartache has no meter, whose is worse or whose is better. It's just heartache at the end of the day. Y'all are part of my treasure here. Y'all inspire me to keep going because y'all are still going too...

A few people have mentioned they hope I keep blogging. I hope I get to keep blogging too :) that's a conversation I'm having with God lately. I want to keep writing, it helps me. So I hope He keeps inspiring me...because that's the only reason I write. I pray I don't get blind again in my excess. Blind to the gold in every day life. Must say... Wills made it pretty dang easy to see gold. But I know God will continue to meet me in this season of earthly loss and show Himself marvelous to me.

Speaking of gold... 

My friend Carly owns a store called BellaChes. She is the friend who keeps me stocked up on Little Debbie's and cupcakes :) not the kind of friend who just feeds you - she'll pig out WITH you - sisterhood right there! Well, at this store is a jewelry line called Heather Moore that I am obsessed with. I have a necklace with a couple of charms on it telling "my story". One charm from Walt with "Love" in all the different languages. One charm from my mom on my first Mothers Day that has "Fenley Grace" on it. I love my necklace... the day we planned Wills' gathering I went by the store to hug their neck. I peeked in the Heather Moore jewelry case to start my wheels turning about what kind of charm I would custom order for Wills. 

And what do I see...but this in stock one of a kind piece...

That's right. God had already ordered a custom piece just for me. A "Make the Days Count" charm with none other than FIFTEEN days marked off!!! Y'all!!! Please...someone pinch me :) that's how much God loves me.

And that's how much He wants to meet you too. Just FYI :) He wants to custom order you a charm for your necklace. He wants to let you get peed on. He wants to meet you where you are and lavish His love on you!

Let heartache sober you enough to see the gold... He's right there. Accept His call to deep deep deep love with Him. Intimacy with Creator and created. Pray I keep accepting the call to deep love with Him too :)

On a lighter note...

Life is shifting into a new normal. I really loved my normal with Wills. How I treasure that 15 day normal! Goodness gracious.

Normal, right now, looks a lot like... Walt back at work but texting to check in a good bit. Fenley and me back to being "daytime buddies" as I like to call it. A lot of sitting in Wills' room and smelling his hats and blankets. Me back to doing all our laundry...not sure how I feel about that one :) Some tentative Holiday planning. Coffee drinking and donut eating. An excessive amount of looking at Wills' pictures and videos. A good bit of sleep catching up...embarrassed to say we were all 3 in bed at 6:45 Friday night! And really just enjoying each other and Fenley, missing Wills and thanking God for 15 days :) and some major "Wills story telling" too... If you come by, be prepared to listen. I may not shut up about WLB and the glory here. You've been warned.

Thanks for listening to this rambling gold digger :) night night...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dear Wills...

Hi there,

Mama here. Ya know, that soft, pale, big eyed blonde you got to snuggle with so much. Did I smother you with affection? I certainly hope so. I can't wait to do it again one day...just get ready. I plan to embarrass you in front of your friends :)

I sit in your nursery tonight...missing you, praying, loving God, listening to our song, missing you, hearing Dad and Fenley play a room away, aching, missing you, drinking a glass of wine, rocking, and did I mention missing you?

What a celebration of your life yesterday. I felt like I was having an out of body experience..sitting in a peaceful room with an 18" casket that held your tired body that was in my womb for 36 weeks. The same baby who gave me labor after I had begged God that I would get to experience labor with you. You broke my water and everything! We made a good team I think :) we still do. 

How did you do it here for 15 days? You made it look easy. But I know as a premie white male with Trisomy 18 that what you did here was no easy thing. You're a stud. My seriously joyful and strong baby boy. 

People keep telling me to grieve. I am tempted to google "grief" and the stages of grief. What I do know is this, baby boy... Just about every thought, emotion, tear, empty ache, and joy is processed with Jesus. How good is He that He sits with this seriously grieving mother and tends to my heart? Just know I'm doing my best to feel everything here and give it back to Jesus as a sweet offering of my heart and my love for you and for Him. It's really all I can muster the energy for right now anyway...

I wish I could understand everything around every corner but I cannot. You taught me that. Thank you. There's beauty around every corner...especially the scary ones. 

I'm on mission now, Wills - just like you were. I'm setting my mind on a pilgrimage to the Heavenly Jerusalem - where YOU are sweet boy!!! - and have a new desire to take people with me. I hope to arrive with a line of folks that we have helped meet Jesus. 

Your room is legit. I love it. It's my favorite place in this house right now. I love that I got to raise you here. 

If I could ask you one thing - it would be have you met Mallie our black lab that died before you were here? Do y'all get to play fetch? Is she still goofy as all get out and hyper as can be? Is she boys best friend in Heaven, too? I hope so :) I know y'all will take good care of each other til we get there. 

I'll NEVER forget the night we got to nap on the couch and I dozed off looking at your dreamy face and missed your feeding by an hour and 20 minutes - sorry again about that :) 

I appreciate the relationship I have with your big sister more now because of you. I now cherish her smell like never before. You did that for me.

Your dad and I are enjoying the heck out of each other - we've slept closer, hugged longer and lingered a lot lately. Except for when I get crispy. Then he's nowhere to be found :) I don't blame him. I'm glad you didn't get to know that part of my personality. 

I'm not a hypochondriac anymore! I welcome the departing from this life into that life. Used to I would get the hiccups and think it could be chronic. No more, buddy. You've given me courage. 

Visited your grave today to clip some flowers for drying. It was really sentimental and sweet. I was surprised... Jeff kindly reminded me it was just me and God there. That helped. 

Ate a cupcake for you today. I now have an excuse for my massive sweet tooth. Thank you for that, too :)

Too much to say. I'll go for now... Hugs, kisses, snuggles and high fives...


Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Gathering

Walt and I both had the word "Gathering" pop in our heads this morning. So that's what we are planning today :)

So many of you have reached out to us. Thank you is an understatement. Wish I could respond to each word with thoughtfulness but really just soaking in this day and knowing my baby boy isn't sick anymore. He's happy as could be and sent the clearest rainbow to our front door this morning. He and Jesus are showing off for us still and we are grateful. Our little over-achiever :) he is healthier than any of us are, and I cling to that truth and my Savior...who can't be taken from me. (Luke 10:42)

We plan to celebrate Wills' life on Tuesday November 5th (the day Wills was scheduled to be born!) at 10:00AM at Pinelake Madison. 9:00AM visit and chat...

If God has used Wills to touch your heart and life, then come remember him with us. Really. I mean that. Even if we haven't met in person. Come praise God with us!

This gathering is as informal as we can get...wear your personal favorite color :) and come expecting to feel God's presence because He is near. 

Instead of flowers, send a compassion kit to a child in need in honor of our Wills... More information:


Address for the celebration:
Pinelake Madison
223 Old Jackson Road
Madison, MS 39110

Friday, November 1, 2013


Loss. My least favorite four letter word right now. 

Wills went to be with Jesus today, right after his 15th birth day. He departed oh so peacefully, in my arms with Walt by my side...seemed pain free to me. I prayed his last minutes would be peaceful ones and they certainly were. 

Writing helps me. Don't go holding me accountable for anything said in this post though...

Sweetest 15 days of my life. 

Taking 5 minutes at a time...advice from a good friend who has had more than her fair share of earthly loss. 

Tucked Fenley in with one of his blankets tonight :)

That mustard seed size faith I have...yeah, I'm pretty much leaning on that right now. Trusting with little or no understanding of how to walk this out but knowing God will faithfully carry us through. Isn't that all we can ever do? 

I want to hold my sweet boy tonight. But I would rather him not be sick anymore. I really hate Trisomy 18 and what it did to his body. But if that's what it takes to make me even more thankful for Heaven, and the work of Jesus on the cross...then okay. 

Good night, Wills...even though it's always bright where you are.