Sunday, December 29, 2013


Hello little world. I worked at my friends store yesterday. She's letting me work off my Christmas ticket :) honestly the most generous person I know. She paid me way more than I was worth while I was pursuing baking earlier this year so I could afford a babysitter for Fenley. Love her to pieces. 

Anyway, was working with my other dear friend up there yesterday and she made the comment... "Your little world has definitely grown." What a true statement! We rarely go somewhere that we aren't stopped and get to hear a heart warming story of how God has used Wills' life in their life, family, home. Proud momma. Strong son. Perfect God. Selfless Savior. 

It's amazing to see what God is still doing here in the Bowie household. Learning that He will never stop. His pursuit of us is unending. Who needs unending unfailing love? Who needs a relationship that isn't based on status or performance? As one mentor/friend/truth guru texted me tonight... God is not a riddle. He's a green pasture :) Who needs a green pasture? Me, me, me! Now if I can just lie down in that green pasture instead of analyzing where I should put my blanket...

Shortly after Wills went to Heaven I was obsessed with hoping that Wills remembers me. I wanted him to remember what I look like. Remember my love. Know our story together. Know I'm writing and loving on behalf of him. Know that he is my mamas boy and how proud of him I am. Seriously was consumed with hoping he still knew me in a real way. Then one afternoon I had a worship session in my closet and The Lord put a beautiful hope on my heart... a hope that Wills knows ONE THING about me: that I claim his Savior as my Savior too. That my heart claims one name: Jesus. The same Jesus he lives with also lives in his mama and daddy. Wills is in Heaven and he is living WITH Jesus who is eternal life (1 John 1:2). And his mama is on earth and living THROUGH Jesus til I can be with them in eternal life... True bond. We share THE ONE thing really worth sharing :) makes me so happy to think about.

Ok so new normal is pretty entertaining to me lately...

1) Granny Jill somehow talked me into a spray tan today. Needless to say I still stink and have partially orange hands tonight as I type this. 

2) I finally got my roots done last week. Teri at LaCru wouldn't let me pay her. Heart of gold. Love that woman. So I'm officially blonde again! 

3) Our Christmas was really sweet and really hard, all at once :) Hard knowing I'm only two and a half months postpartum yet no baby carrier to tote around. Walt and I bought ourselves what we wanted for Christmas basically - just this one year am I letting it slide :) not one surprise under the tree for either of us. Yet the best Christmas to date. I carried Wills' lovey with me in my purse that day. It helped my heart. How good is God that we can have bleeding hearts yet still have a sweet and full holiday? When you go through something like this - as bad as it hurts and ugly as it feels - you realize you really only need Him to have peace.

4) Fenley woke me up a few mornings ago by saying... "Mommy, you're my hero." :) 

5) I am planning my 30th birthday party - yes that's right...I'm planning it. Have I mentioned I'm a bit into celebrations? Poor Walt. No way he could plan what I have in my head. He knows it. I know it. Let's just say I see visions of pink, gold and glitter. Saying goodbye to my 20s and thrilled about it. I was born to be at least 30. Old soul. Used to tell my parents to tell boys who asked me out that I couldn't date yet. Such a nerd. 

6) Also planning Fenleys 3rd birthday and per her request - an alligator party. I specifically told the girl designing the invites that I didn't want a "preppy alligator" theme but instead like a "whimsical or funky alligator" theme. I get the file emailed to me from her and the title of the file was "Preppy Alligator". Haha. I got my panties in a wad for about 3 seconds - then remembered I'm not that person anymore, shrugged my shoulders, emailed her a few changes and moved on. "First world problems" have never left me easier. I love it. And I now love Fenleys party invitations :) just not sure I'll ever get them mailed out!

7) Have gotten to rekindle a few old relationships lately. Been so cool. One friend in particular is a soul sister for sure now. I stayed with my parents last night and she came over. My dad cooked for us and we shared a bottle of red wine and our hearts (and maybe a few tears) by the fire til after midnight. She's 6 years younger than me and way wiser I do believe :) huge heart, steady hand, big prayers. She trusts The Lord with abandon and it's inspiring to me. She doesn't see that about herself but it's oh so true. Also obsessed with her mom who I want to come teach me how to decorate my house...with deer heads and still keep it classy like her :) I think that means I need a bigger house. Only one problem...likely I'll never move from this house now considering who I got to raise here :) 

Really just learning more about myself and my God every day. Don't want to analyze as much. Want to be truly free to accept His marvelous love more readily. And to just live in His love. Want my heart to know how to melt into Him really well...and to admire His fingerprints on the souls He puts in my life. We all have a number of days. I want mine to be marked most with love...I want the story and do believe I am living the story that can only be written by Love Himself. Won't you join me? :) 

Guess that's it for now. Learning to love for an audience of One and loving it... 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


So I got a really sweet gift in the mail this week. An anonymous gift, at that. A bracelet with Wills' birthstone. The note said..."Some friends are thinking of you." It lit me up inside. It's so humbling and heart warming to know people are thinking of our hearts and Wills. And that they want to help make it better by giving me a bracelet along with their love. Means the world to us.  

People are awesome. I know this world is ugly but God knew what He was doing when He redeemed us through His Son and formed the body of Christ after Jesus went in Christ is so rich, so beautiful, so meaningful. Just more marvelous fruit to add to the ever growing list of "marvelous happenings".

Did some Christmas wrapping yesterday. Doing it with a less stressed heart this year...not so caught up in the commercialized lies. None of my presents will have perfectly coordinated bows, or even ugly bows for that matter - because I keep forgetting to buy bows. Oops! Farewell to the idea that all needs to appear perfect so I can feel Merry and Bright. I mostly blame Pinterest :) 

Read today in Acts that God doesn't NEED anything from us. Human hands can't serve His needs because He doesn't have any! He Himself gives life and breath. He is not far from any of us - and His hope is that we would seek Him (Acts 17:22-31... HEAVILY paraphrasing). And a beautiful thought sweeps over me... Instead of heaping on guilt as Christians at Christmas time (for over spending, for not doing enough for the poor, for having or not having Santa) I want to just take a deep breath, drink some crockpot hot chocolate, open a fun present, give of myself and smile a deep joy knowing I am His and He is mine. And that's the best gift we can receive this year...being TRULY loved by Him. And a great gift we can give Him back is to sit on Christmas Day and just marinate in His love. Sit until you feel it. Soak it up and thank Him for it. Then if He tells you to get your butt up and out of your flannel pajamas to go give a $143 tip to a kid on roller skates serving cars at Sonic having to work Christmas Day, then you'll go do it because of intimacy with Him. Not out of duty or obligation or guilt. Dancing with Him...the highest calling :) 

God isn't threatened by Santa. Or the media trying to phase Him out of this holiday or country, for that matter. Or anything stealing His glory. However, He is jealous for YOUR love and YOUR heart. Choose to give Him all of you. Simple as that. The media can say "Happy Holidays" all day long...but guess Whose Word stands forever. And thankfully 2,000 or so years ago, He called this season "Immanuel" and that name it will be forever... Period. 

Oh how I've come to love and depend on that name. Found an old prayer journal from earlier this year. The first prayer written in it was from January 1, 2013. I specifically asked God to invade our hearts, thoughts, plans, goals, spirits and home in 2013. Also told Him I wanted to say YES to sacrifice, obedience and believing faith. Wow. And I am here to testify that Who we are celebrating this Christmas is a LISTENER and a PROMISE KEEPER. Everything is on purpose with Him. Not one tear or heartache is unaccounted for... Hallelujah! What a thought!

So let's celebrate "God with us" this Christmas. Because He certainly is with us. In the big family lunches. In the lonely place. In the car. In the meltdowns. In the family drama. In the bowless presents. In the happy tears and ugly cries. In the broken hearts. And for us and many other moms and dads this year, in the empty cribs... Just whisper Immanuel and feel yourself melt into Him...

Ho, Ho, Ho! :)

Another cool thing I found in my old prayer journal. Wrote to Him as Marvelous God in May of 2013 :)

Cannot even handle the sweetness of this picture! Thank you to Leah Hendrix for these pictures of our family. She wouldn't let us pay her :) again...the body of Christ is amazing. And we are thankful!

The other night Fenley dressed up as "Mary", daddy was "Joseph" and I was "the wise men" and baby Jesus was "in her tummy". Cutest moment yet this Christmas, hands down...

And this is her rock star altar ego :) haha. 

Wouldn't be a good blog post without a picture of my WLB...outside the day of his baby dedication with Jeff. Best. Day. Ever. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Back in Wills' room tonight...listening to Fenley and Walt watch Arthur Christmas. Cutest Christmas movie ever in my opinion. 

Finally have addressed our birth announcements that we ran out of :) yikes! So if you don't get a birth announcement, you'll be getting a Christmas card! Daddy Bowie has me on a budget and I don't blame him - I have yet to work a full time job since we got married - another yikes! I have a degree in French. Not French plus Business or Education. Just French. My dad said get a degree... I said how can I avoid Business Calculus and dissecting anything in a science class? So French it was. I love the language and culture... Went to Paris in high school :) it was dreamy. 

Back to jobs - or the lack thereof... I was actually baking from home when we found out we were pregnant with Wills. French Macarons were my specialty. They're deliciously sweet and pretty particular little French pastries. I was obsessed with them. And the week I got morning sickness with Wills was the same week I had to do 50 dozen - yes, 600 - for a wedding. It put me over the edge with throwing up. I literally couldn't talk about them without gagging. I'm not exaggerating... Ask anyone that knows me or tried to place an order. Apparently Wills didn't care for French Macarons :) 

I'm actually thankful because it sent me back home with Fenley 100% and I really got some quality time with her. Who knows what will come next... Part of me wants to try my hand at baking again. Another part of me wants to go to work raising money for something that pulls on my heart strings. And another huge chunk of my heart wants to stay at home with Fenley until she starts preschool. Nice taking a deep mental breath knowing God's agenda is marvelous and that I can trust it. Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus! 

If I do try baking again... A few friends have mentioned I could name my business "Marvelous Macarons" :) quite a thought. I'll have to blog about my first attempt back at my macarons. It's going to be a pretty emotional batch for me if I had to guess...

So we got to share our testimony with our church family last Sunday. It was awesome. I'm a pretty shy person - believe it or not! - and was nervous about being recorded but if God opened the door to share about His could we resist? :) so we shared. And have gotten so many messages, calls and texts about how God has used it to draw people closer to Him. A few words come to mind... Amazing. Exciting. Thrilling. Chill bumps. Happy tears. Smile inducing. Jaw dropping. God glorifying. Just marvelous, really, hearing people share how God has used our son in their hearts.  

I love that we got to share in conjunction with Zechariah and Elizabeth's story of their son John the Baptist. Ya know the first words out of the angels mouth were... "Don't be afraid." Wow. Their son would never marry, never drink, live in the wilderness and die at a young age by being beheaded by a godless king. But they were told not to fear. The angel was bringing GOOD NEWS. How could that be good news??? 

Because Earth's scoreboard is wrong... 

Need I say more? Wills... Short life. Sick body. Never married. Never got to go to the prom and have me bug him about his first crush. Never rode the school bus. Never had his first car. Never got to go snow skiing or see the beach. Never got to have what we consider a normal life. 

But God brought us TRULY good news about our son too. A prayer warrior at Pinelake - that we still haven't met - got a word for us from The Lord after she heard about our story... One of the things she wrote to us was "Don't be afraid" :) Wow. How can we not be afraid? Because on Heaven's scoreboard, Wills had a perfectly full and purposeful life. Who wants "normal" here anyway? Been there, done that, and lived pure dissatisfaction. 

God has redefined "good" for us. Used to I would read psalm 84:11 "He withholds no GOOD thing" and I would think good meant for how I see my life playing out. But now I'm learning...good is Him. He is the good thing that He doesn't withhold. Wills had a very full life of the BEST One. Forget prom. Forget his first car. Forget his first crush and first day of school. He had God's perfectly gracious hand on his life. What more could I want? Seriously. Forget Earths scoreboard... Teach me more about what matters in the greatest reality: HEAVEN. Wills' short life has a lot of fruit. May that be the ultimate desire of my bear fruit for my Good King and Savior. Tearing up writing this...shocked at what God has done in my own life through this journey. I've never cared less about earthly things and I love it. Hello, true freedom :) it's so good to finally meet you. I actually talked my mom OUT of buying me a Kate Spade bag the other day. Yep, I'm a changed woman!

People ask if we are ready for more kids. And I say...I'm really proud of my two kids. We'll see if God calls us to shepherd a 3rd :) I hope if God calls us to a 3rd child, that I will be most concerned about the anointing on their heart than their percentiles at doctor check ups and milestones reached according to the latest study. Been there, done that. Empty. Thank You Lord for being the very best thing and for filling Wills' life to the brim. And for humbling me in the process. You're just so GOOD. 

Good night, sweet world :)

A swaddled toddler. Seriously??? She insisted...

The rainbow the morning after Wills went to Heaven. Could see it end to end. Marvelous. 0% chance of rain that day. 

Walt and me, thanksgiving day after our half fried turkey :) love my manly man. 

Fenley let me rock her to sleep the other night. In Wills' room with his boppy. Hello, therapy. Happy happy night for me. She hasn't let me rock her in about 2 years. 

Ice skating with her daddy. She kept saying she was Tinkerbell :)

Will end with one of my favorites. Looks like a little smirk here :) my WLB. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I just tried to move Fenley inside from sleeping in her car seat. I failed... She woke up. Used to that would have exhausted me. Like...I need you to nap, child. And this time I just really felt The Lord say sit down and soak this up. So I laid her on the couch and I sat with her. Scratching her arm and looking at our nativity on the mantle with our four stockings hanging underneath.

And the most beautiful reality consumed me...

I really have the sweetest daughter here. She gives me the sweetest moments. 

My handsome husband is really on his way home from the deer camp. The husband who gives me butterflies still. The husband that his company makes me jealous of the deer camp. 

I really have a son in Heaven. He sees God's throne room. He knows what Heavenly storehouses of snow look like. He doesn't know sorrow about missing me...just excitement to see his mama again one day. 

I really have a Savior that died on a cross so I can know his Father. 

And Jesus' Father... He really adores me. He really chose me for Wills and Fenley. He really made me, on purpose. He really meets me here and fills my heart with Himself. 

I really have a home that I love that is filled with so many happy and beautifully heartaching memories. 

I am really walking out a story that I thought would take me out emotionally and instead it's the one thing God has used to sober me out of my excessive stuper and help me feel real emotions for the first time. 

Leads me to think of a story God has richly used for us from Daniel 3. The 3 Israelite friends that won't bow to the king...are then thrown into the fire and a 4th man shows up in the fire (Hello Jesus!!) And they just walk around in the fire. They are then pulled from the fire and...

"Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!" (verse 27)

They didn't smell like smoke :) during the early weeks of Wills' diagnosis I was terrified that this chapter would wound me in a way that I could not recover from, mentally and emotionally. That I would be a child of God that reeks of heartbreak...that people could smell me coming a mile away with my very own personal cloud of gloom. God oh so gently led me to this story. 

They didn't bow to the king of their day. I refused and still refuse daily to bow to the fear that tells me this is impossible to recover from. I refuse to believe that it's impossible to walk through this and not smell of smoke... I want to be known not for how this earth and it's diseases drained me of my joy. But rather how God tended to me on this earth in the midst of disease and in my heartache and say... He is marvelous and I'm smitten with Him. Because of the fire, I deeply know His goodness like never before. Just like the 3 friends in the fire. I know they loved God before but now they had seen Him firsthand. They were rescued from their fire. And so was Wills, who has seen the greatest miracle...death came, Jesus intervened and now Wills is spending his first Christmas with the Prince of Peace. And I now have a hole in my heart that is shaped like my baby boy. To miss something this much means I loved him that much more :) sweet grief. 

God prompted me to make a list. Of people that I knew had been through heartache in this life but didn't smell like smoke. It was a short list to start with but it's growing :) He is introducing me to people who really see Him in their question marks. And let Him answer those questions. Even when His answer is just His presence. Isn't that all we need anyway? Him? When He gives an answer, hallelujah! But when He gives What a privilege to get Him as the answer to your questions. 

This life...many questions, one Answer. 

Side note...2 people on my "no smell of smoke" list.

A Godly woman who lost her hearing in her 30s, now brutally dying of cancer and on hospice but still only has the sweetest joy for God and how good He has been to her. You can't trick her into poor mouthing. 

A dear friend who has two special babies in Heaven. She had a quiet c section room...which was my greatest fear. And she is the one I constantly needily (is that a word?!) text about how she has the SWEETEST grief. 

Like I said...the list is growing and I'm thankful to meet others who don't smell like smoke :) only God can keep you from smelling like smoke after the fire. His presence is the cure. Praying He protects me from the doubt and fear and anger that try to sneak in.

A marvelous side note on this perfect Christmasy day...

My ornament of my two babies. This ornament was the last one left at the store. It already had two other names on it. I asked if they could get the other names off and they said no. I said, could you try? She said yes. I said a prayer. She came back. Said the marker had never come off like that before :) I said, with tears, it's because I prayed and then got to share our story. Then the guy ringing me up recognized Wills' name and shared that he knew our story and wouldn't let me pay for it. Glory!

Happy weekend!
Lauren :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Hi there :) long time, no blogging. I've been busy. Ok not really. Just pensive and content...

Ready to write for a bit.

Thanksgiving was awesome. We had the best holiday. We three Bowies hung here all day...almost botching lunch - to the point we called Cracker Barrel to see if they were open :) thankfully it came together and was delicious! Here's a pic of Walts half fried turkey...we didn't buy enough peanut oil. Oops! We just stood outside and laughed at our poor half cooked turkey. We ended up flipping the turkey and it was fabulous - I think we are on to something.

Then we had friends over for the Egg Bowl. 5 kids total. It got crazy. But was the PERFECT kind of crazy. Here's a pic of our parenting skills at their best... Movies and Cheezits.

Anyway, it was a really really really good day. The first Thanksgiving I think I've ever actually had real gratitude in my heart. Crazy, huh? That the first holiday after my son goes to Heaven is the sweetest holiday yet. Do I miss him? More than words. Can Jesus please hurry up and come? I internally beg that often. But God's economy is upside down. Loss for a believer here means real life there. A potentially really sad day here turns into the sweetest day because of Gods promises... Wills' real life is happening now. My life is the shadow. May I live this shadow of a life genuinely preparing and hoping for the real life coming. Where I'll be reunited with my Wills :) and even Jesus. Glory. 

Glory. A word God has pressed heavy on my heart lately. So yesterday I started looking a little deeper. What do ya know...when you google it, a synonym is "marvel" :) in two days of "studying" this word, He has shown me two verses so far...

"Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me GLORY."
Psalm 50:15

"Your godliness will lead you forward, and the GLORY of The Lord will protect you from behind."
Isaiah 58:8


Glory: a thing that is beautiful or distinctive; a special cause for pride, respect, or delight.
plural noun: glories
"the glories of Paris"
synonyms: wonder, beauty, delight, marvel, phenomenon

Is it just me or does Glory seem to be something tangible? Not just some faint phrase of "God, get the glory"...but a real thing that the Heavenlies can see maybe? What if our lives send up real visible glory to Him? And what if He intimately knows the glory that each child gives Him? Beautiful thought to me...that He receives a tangible Glory from our obedience and trust. And that He adores the glory we give him. Just like I adored Wills' smell :) I am obsessed with the thought that the glory we give Him is a sweet aroma to Him on His perfect glorious throne!

Gosh. I tend to get really excited when it comes to God's perfectly mysterious yet simple story... I adore that He lets us be a part of it. So undeserving, so graciously grafted in. I'll keep y'all posted on my Glory study. If anyone else wants to nerd out with me about it, let me know and we'll chat :)

Switching gears... Walt and I went to the movies a few nights ago. It was fun. We are more in love than we thought possible. He's so cute! I actually feel like we are dating's crazy. I love it. After we got home and before bed, he found me crying in Wills' room. And do you know what that strong sweet man did? He stood there and listened to me. Not a fake listening that men have perfected. But a genuine, tender guess what... I just kept talking :) it was awesome. And he just kept listening. I tell him often I think he'll have extra jewels in his Heavenly crown because he puts up with me so well. And lets me watch Sabrina every night as I doze off. True love, people!!!

I had coffee with a dear friend this morning. We come from completely different backgrounds and live completely different lives. Our life stories couldn't be more opposite...and yet as we sat there and chatted, I realized we are absolute sisters. In Christ and our love for Him. Two women from broken roads that have merged onto a very sweet and narrow road with our True Love. Both learning to dance with our Savior in our own ways and sharing the joy of learning how to move our hearts with His. Glory :)

Learning to dance with The Lord. What a thought. Not always easy, but always beautiful. 

Have a good day, little world :)
Lauren Masa