6 Months

Well…6 months ago today at 12:34PM on October 17th William Lamar Bowie entered the world. Happy 1/2 birthday little man. You are still my sunshine.

All in all it’s been a good day. I baked for Easter orders. Macarons and I did not get along today… Almost committed macaron murder about 33 times. It’s a love/hate relationship I have with those dang cookies. Seriously made more reject macarons than edible ones. But still had fun with my music on shuffle…I plead the 5th on whether or not I was really excited when “Ms. Jackson” came on.

Also Walt moved his real estate office home this week. He kindly reminded me today that when he’s up there, he’s working. He can’t come downstairs and “dilly dally” with us. This made me laugh out loud. Sweet man.

Highlight of my week…

Sutton Smith Boren was born on Monday to my dear friend Kimberly. She and I go way back. Best friends from grade school. I remember talking about angels with her in 3rd grade. We march to the beat of our own “so Heavenly minded no earthly good at times” drum. I was able to be there before and after delivery. Such soul food for my heart to be there with her at Baptist while giving birth to a warm baby… She has two babies in Heaven with Wills, Levee and Meadow. And Kimberly has done such a good job as a mommy that even Fenley knows about Levee and Meadow from her toddler Willow who talks about them all the time. This girl is pure gold. And now we get to spoil Sutton ROTTEN. I can’t wait to be fun Aunt Lauren to this chunky monkey. During her pregnancy we were praying that Sutton would make it to term. And I felt God whisper…pray that he knows me. So I’ll be Aunt Lauren that prayed he knows his true Father his whole life. And when he can’t ever get away with anything in high school, he’ll call me and say can’t you PLEASE stop praying I’ll always get caught. And I’ll say nope!!

Another highlight…

Apparently I’m really good at match making. I introduced my friend Lacy to her now boyfriend about a month ago. I texted her from a wedding we were at and said “I found you a Walt.” She came out with us, they met and she rolled her eyes a LOT… But he got her number anyway and here we are a month later and they are having a blast. Which makes me happy happy happy.

Safe to say life is always rich and always tough. Thank You God for your love so obvious in the tough.

I’ll let pictures do the rest of my talking… Good night, lovely little world.
Lauren

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First view of Mister Sutton Smith
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Mini NICU Reunion with French macarons of course
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Proud Dad
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My first picture with Wills on his birthday exactly 6 months ago today.
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How we celebrated tonight. Champagne and cupcakes.

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1/2 Birthday

Approaching Wills’ half birthday. If that is such a thing. Don’t think for two seconds I won’t be eating a cupcake or two in honor of his marvelous life. So hard to believe we are approaching the year mark (August 2nd) from where we found out something was wrong with his physical health. I wish I had known the fruit of his life would be so pure and sweet. It’s been incredibly challenging and rewarding walking out this story one day at a time, while getting tidbits along the way of how God has used our little boys life. Terrifying too at times…just keepin it real. I mean, I’ve buried my mama’s boy. My greatest fear has been losing my way in the Truth while in my very personal chapter of overwhelming grief. How foolish for me to believe I could lose the one thing God has promised can never be taken away: Himself. 


Before Wills, I didn’t realize what a tight prideful rein I thought I had on things. Major illusion of control. I wanted to be free and full. And felt everything but. And during Wills, to God be the glory, I got the sweetest taste of real rest, real trust, real freedom. I loved not having the illusion of control. It was the fullest I have ever felt in Jesus. Open handedly beginning every day, every moment, every diaper change, every feeding… receiving marvelous from my Heavenly Dad. Only God can script something so painfully beautiful all at once. He allowed disease. He also brought forth marvelous. 

And after Wills, that lunge for control has slowly come back and reared it’s ugly head. Yep, even after all I have learned about the faithfulness of God. It’s like my flesh is screaming… You best get a good grip on that rein again because God’s plan is SCARY. Such a lie. Sin is scary. Living in a fallen world is scary. But life with God…is awe inspiring and wonderful and of the best quality. 

I have (heatedly) asked God on more than one occasion that isn’t it enough to bury my son? Why does He have to keep pruning me here? Do we have to keep dealing with all my trust and control issues in the midst of such heartbreak? He whispered just this week… You trust me with your son. You trust that he’s complete now. You trust that his life was and still is marvelous. You trust that he’s playing with his new friends and riding lions backs and marveling in worship forever. But you’re still buying the lie that I am a trickster. That I am going to somehow pull the rug out from under you. You don’t fully trust me with yourself. And He’s not going to stop until He has all of me. Humbled and thankful and trusting. It’s actually a fun/funny call to walk out at times in my opinion…feel like this story should be posted on a Control Freaks Anonymous group discussion board instead of this blog but just go with me…

Exhibit A: Walt and I went to the beach this last weekend for a wedding. Which leaving town has been hard in and of itself. Again, keepin it real. Well, as I mentioned earlier, I have felt the need to control more now than ever. And I have asked God to continue working this out in me because I really wanna be the most FREE we can be on Earth! And boy has He answered. So, we are just cruising along headed home on I-10 about 30 minutes from Pensacola and our tire starts making a weird sound. We are 2.5 miles from the next exit and I’m the one driving thinking we can get to the exit (insert eye roll and rebuke from Walt). Thirty seconds later, a big fat blow out. Stranded. On the side of the road. For 2 hours. With no one we know within two hours distance. After about 10 minutes of almost hyperventilating and crying on the phone to Walts mom because Walt was a little upset with me, I settled into Jesus, smiled and started picking wildflowers. I could almost feel Him laughing with me. This sense of peace overcame me as He whispered that He was with us on the side of the road. And that not having control isn’t a scary thing. Nothing is scary, with Him. Not a blow out on I-10. Not a fight with my husband. Not even the death of my son. I’m a stubborn student but I think I am learning…thankful He’s the Teacher. 

Even typing this out I realize how absurd it is to still harbor thoughts of distrust after all I’ve seen.

And for the sake of giving God the glory and for my own testimony in Him I just need to make some confessions – as reading and proclaiming His faithfulness is my medicine these days…

My God is faithful. I have seen too much to doubt. Too much. My eyes have beheld the power and glory of God and I’m still in awe. He has proven Himself so worthy to me. You want facts about a good God? Call me. And we can talk. I’ll show you my bleeding heart and His healing hand. Seriously. You have doubts? So did I. It still knocks from time to time. But now I have facts. I have a loooooong list of faithfulness to answer doubt with and would LOVE to share my list with you and help you pray for your own list. Praise You Jesus!!! He is NOT a trickster. He is an intimately loving and concerned Daddy. He carries His sheep close to His heart and GENTLY leads the mother sheep with her young (Isaiah 40). The most Godly woman I know, Ruth, was on her death bed ministering to the hospice workers as she died of stomach cancer. Marinate on that for a little while. She’s now in Heaven praising Jesus with Wills. I was pregnant with him when she started ministering to me in Jesus. I know they are tight 🙂 and that makes me happy. Let’s return to Him, rest in Him, and find our strength in quietness and confidence in Him (Isaiah 30). Let’s stop limping and start running. Even strong young lions will go hungry BUT THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD WILL FIND NEW STRENGTH (Isaiah 40). Let’s let Him teach us about His faithfulness (Micah 6:5). Let’s thank Him for the desert because He leads us there to speak tenderly to us…so that we would call Him Husband instead of Master. (Hosea 2). Let’s be real with each other. Let’s put all our “disease” on the table and look to scripture together for healing. Let’s be a generation that says God. Is. ENOUGH. That we would turn to Him in our panic, in our fears, in our lunges for control. And we would just start picking wildflowers, while quietly grinning at His faithfulness. And His sense of humor 🙂

Glory rant suspended til next time…

One last thought to chew on. Something God showed me through my dear friend Ruth who is now worshipping with Wills. Life isn’t so much about learning the next lesson. Talk about burn out. It’s about walking with Love Himself. He doesn’t slumber. He always watches over you and tends to you perfectly. You couldn’t possibly be more loved. Learning from hardship is great. Godliness plus contentment is great gain. The fruits of the Spirit are marvelous. But it all starts with Love Himself…writing a Love story for you. Then everything else is born from that great drowning in Love Himself. Just gotta say this – reading The Bible can be stressful when you don’t realize Love Himself is the Author. Preaching to myself. 

From Wills’ nursery floor,
Mama Bowie 🙂


Deja Vu

Ok so a lot of people have been talking about how over the cold weather they are lately. And I just smile and nod. I’m that weird person that likes the dreary cold weather. I love it actually. I am sad to see it fading…


Especially this winter. Don’t wanna see it go. I had Wills on a really chilly day. I brought him home on a crisp fall day. His baby dedication outside was chilly. The day he went to Heaven was chilly. And the day we had his gathering was chilly. You get the picture…

And this spring is haunting me…reminding me of last spring. When I got pregnant with this little marvelous boy. 

Spring of 2013 looked a lot like this…

Lots of Pikos. And leggings. 
Complaining about weight. 
Complaining about not being totally ready for baby #2.
Throwing up. 
Insecure. 
Exhausted. 
Anxiety. 
Untrusting. 
Control freak. 
Hating the smell of macarons. 
Fighting with Walt. 
Ungrateful. 
Even a trip to the ER thinking I was dying from macaron baking overload. Seriously. 
Lots of vino (before the preg test obviously!)
Pity parties. 
Looking at my house as not good enough. 
Depressed at my lack of growing friendships. 

It was ugly 😦 

And now that winter is thawing out and spring is starting to wake up…I am consumed with guilt over where I was last spring. The lies are just really coming in strong waves. I don’t like the reminder of me before Wills. 

Let me put it this way… Anyone else out there able to walk through the cologne department and smell one in particular and be transported back to your first crush in 6th grade? Okay that’s me. Nostalgics overload in this body and brain.

So here I sit. Painfully reminded of how ugly I was last spring and hating it. I was on my own nerves. Self absorbed and self annoyed. Today has been really tough. I so badly want to be so different and do believe I am. But gosh…the tears are just flowing freely today. 

And of course…….. Jesus met me here today. In this ache. In this regret of the former. In this hope of the future. 

And He said to my heart: “You weren’t on my nerves last spring.”

He loved me there. Enough to trust me with Wills. Enough to die for me so He could be my salvation song. Deep breaths. He came for me WHILE in my filth. 

His love is unfailing. Romans 8…nothing can separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus. Our ugliest seasons are opportunities for Him to meet us and be known through us. He is Love. Do we really know what that means? Really. In my ugliest moments, Jesus asked to hang out. Not only to hang out, but to partner in life with me. And not only to partner in life with me, but actually to take all my ugly and I get His righteousness to call my own. Crack open that bible and start memorizing where He says we are new creatures. It’ll change your world. 

He also keeps reminding me that He is doing a NEW thing here. In me. In my home. In my family. Who knows what that NEW thing is – but it’s the work of my God who I give myself to completely. Sanctification is a beautiful process. Forget the former. Embrace that you aren’t on Gods nerves today – humble yourself and get excited about His work in your life. He’s worthy 🙂

On a lighter note…I have been so busy with macarons! Valentines day was huge for me. It was great getting to bake for so many people. I loved it so much and it gave me such a high that when Walt didn’t get me anything for Valentines I genuinely didn’t care! I am seriously just so happy to have him! God has filled me up with Himself and so many other GREAT things and people. I officially have a full cup of joy and it feels oh so good! I can tell such a difference in my heart. Obviously still struggling with different aspects of life but I think maybe that’s just life here? Who knows. Always asking Him 🙂 

A couple days ago I went in Wills’ room to grab something and left with the slightest grin on my face. Healing…

Walts working like a crazy person. So proud of him and his sacrifice for his family. Single ladies – look for a man that bears fruit. Not necessarily a textbook “spiritual leader”. Especially not one that calls himself that pridefully. 

Well I’m all out of fresh sentences and thoughts for now. Back to the kitchen while Fenley Grace naps..

Lauren

30th Birthday Dinner with Walt 🙂


Mommy and Me matching necklaces from Fenley for my big day!

Confession: that’s my fork. It was a stressful day. 

Walt and Fenley before the daddy/daughter dance at valentines.

Tammy – one of Wills’ amazing night nurses picking up her valentines macarons! Love this sweet woman so much. 

And of course… Wills 🙂 getting to change that sweeties diaper in the NICU. Answered prayer right there. He is faithful.