Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Invitation

It is absolutely amazing to me--and something I never, ever expected--that we are planning yet another birthday party for Lily! So, yes, I do have another invitation, but before I share it, I'd like to tell the story behind it. It's truly amazing and such a blessing to Lily and us, but it reaches deep and shows the way that God works in others.

For the 4th of July, we went to a place called Peaceful Way to celebrate. It was a free event, but it was loaded with fun things for a family to do--land, a pond with water trampolines that look similar to the Wipeout course, a playground, horses to ride, helicopter rides, hay rides, a splash area, kayaks, and a jump castle/water slide. There was a dinner, and guests were asked to provide a vegetable and dessert, while the owner, Mr. Curtis Bostic, provided the meat. Once it got dark, a phenomenal fireworks display that could rival what our downtown firework show had to offer was put on. There was music and beauty and peace. Basically, it was a relaxing family event that left Dave saying it was one of the most memorable family events he's ever had.

At Thanksgiving, Mr. Bostic had a Thanksgiving event where basically all but the water activities and fireworks show were there for the guests' entertainment. There were candlemaking and pumpkin crafts, and some who attended were dressed as pilgrims. Again, there was a dinner, and the atmosphere was full of beauty and peace.

Fast forward to the end of March. . .Dave and I were beginning to talk about Lily's birthday. Truly, I had wanted to keep it small and simple, but Dave is bigger on birthdays than I am, so he talked me into going bigger. We had looked at a few options, but they just didn't seem like the right type of place to have a party for Lily. By the first week of April, we still hadn't decided on a place.

Toward the end of that week, for some reason, I began thinking about our Peaceful Way experience. I went online to see if anything had been posted regarding this year's 4th of July celebration. We had such a great time that we'd like to go back to it. When I mentioned it to Dave, he suggested seeing if we could have her party out there.

Now, we knew that the land was available for organizations and certain events, but we didn't know the price. We didn't know any details regarding renting the place, actually. But finding out and expressing interest, could that hurt? We decided to contact the owner. Since we weren't affiliated with any organization, we told him about Lily and that Peaceful Way had the atmosphere we were hoping to provide for her party. After about a week and a half, we still hadn't heard from him. Last Thursday, I decided to try contacting him again, just in case my first message didn't go through. About five minutes later, I heard from his secretary! She had gotten my first message and emailed me the information, but apparently, it hadn't gone through! She stated that the land was available and that the owner usually didn't rent it for birthday parties, but Mr. Bostic was touched by Lily's story and he was willing to let us use it. He wanted to talk to us, though, before we sent in the contract information. (I should also add that the use of the property is free, but you have to pay for so many hosts per guests and lifeguards and horse handlers. We had the option as going as cheap as we could or to go all out with the pricing.)

I talked to Mr. Bostic the next day. This man is amazing! After asking me what I was expecting for the party, and my stumbling to tell him what of his amenities we wanted to use, he said, "I tell you what. Why don't you give me a wish list. Tell me what you'd like to have, regardless of how much it costs." I spouted off a list for him, and we discussed whether we should have water activities (we did wish to have kayaks available). At that point, he told me that it would be an honor for him to provide everything for us for free! No host fees, no lifeguard fees (we won't need lifeguards anyway), no horse handler fees. He went on to offer helium from his helium tank--I just need to provide the balloons--and snow cone syrup for his snow cone machine.

I told him that it wasn't our intention not to pay, that we'd like to give at least something. He then said--and if you thought the first part was amazing--, "Let's make a trade. You bring a tree for us to plant on our property, in honor of Lily, and we'll do this for you." I honestly cannot think of too many places that would be PERFECT to plant a tree in honor of Lily. This is one place that I would LOVE to do so! Dave and I were blown away by the beauty, family atmosphere, and peacefulness this place has to offer. These are qualities that we hope to surround Lily with. I am delighted to be planting a tree there in her honor. To even add to that, he asked if he could personally wish her a happy birthday!

I am blown away by the kindness and generosity of Mr. Bostic. Before my message to him, he didn't know us. Besides that message and a twenty minute phone call, he still doesn't really know us. Yet he is willing to break the rules of his policy to allow us to celebrate Lily's birthday on his property. He is willing to provide us with more than we would have asked for. And he is willing to honor our daughter, a little girl he's never met, by allowing us to plant a tree on his property. Obviously, Mr. Bostic has a good bit of money. That allows him to be this generous to us, but Mr. Bostic has his own testimony, his own story, to tell, with God as such a huge character in his story, and I believe THAT compels him to share with others what he has been blessed with.

And that adds to our blessings.

So without further ado. . .here is Lily's birthday invitation. So if you're in the Charleston area. . .

Saturday, April 28, 2012
12:00pm until 4:00pm
Peaceful Way
(Email me your RSVP and I'll give you the address and directions.)

We invite you and your family to come out to Peaceful Way and celebrate yet another year with Lily. Peaceful Way is a farm in Ravenel, South Carolina. Mr. Curtis Bostic, owner of Peaceful Way, has graciously donated his farm for the use of Lily's birthday party. There will be plenty of activities for all: a playground, jump castle, horse rides, kayaks, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, ping pong. . .even a hayride!! Lunch will be provided, as well. So please feel free to join us for this family event where we celebrate life.

No gifts please. Your presence provides the greatest of presents.

Please RSVP via email at southerngirl72j@comcast.net as soon as possible. We need to give Mr. Bostic an estimate of how many people we expect to be there.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. There are some truly wonderful people in this world! What if...what if everyone were so kind???

  3. Jill What a wonderful man!
    I know you said no gifts but you know how we southerners are... how about donations to Pattison's Academy?

  4. Oh Jill! How exciting. What a wonderful blessing from the Lord. Oh how I wish we lived closer, this celebration of life is something that my family would love to be a part of. We will be praying for lily and her special this sat.