Inspiration from The Magnolia Story


Last week I mentioned on my January Mood Board that I’d been reading Chip and Joanna Gaines’ book The Magnolia Story that One Cute Cowboy got me for Christmas.  I finished it this past weekend and it left me inspired, driven, and with a sense of things are going to work out the way God has them planned.

For those of you who aren’t addicted to HGTV like my husband, and have no idea who Chip or Joanna Gaines is, they are a married couple that have a show on the HGTV channel called The Fixer-Upper. They live in Waco,Texas and buy and restore or “flip” houses in the area to make them the dreamiest, most amazing houses the buyer could imagine. They’re endearing, and you can tell they work hard, but have so much fun doing it. Their chemistry is palpable and by the end of the episode you can’t help but feel like you’d be great buds with both of them. If you’ve never caught a show, I highly recommend it. Tuesday nights at 8:00 central time.

Back to the book. I had a bit of an epiphany while reading Joanna’s words, she reiterated time and time again that it was she and Chip’s trust in God that led them to where they are in life now. She would voice her dreams and the desires of her heart to God (and Chip for that matter) and though it might be immediate or in time, God bestowed those things upon her. Now, I know this is no new revelation, that trusting in God brings great things, but for some reason, reading her words, and hearing it in what seemed like a friends voice, it made new sense to me. Speaking, out-loud the desires of your heart to God. I know I’ve prayed to God for things to happen, or not happen. For this or that to work-out, but have I ever just dreamed out-loud to God?  I know when I was in college, one of my professors were alway saying, “Be sure people know your dreams. Tell everyone you know what your dreams are! You never know what could happen because of it.”  Why not tell the one person who can literally make anything happen?! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve prayed about the desires of my heart to God, but I guess I’ve always figured he knows my heart and deepest desires, why speak them all to Him? Reading Jo’s words only made me realize, yes, He most certainly knows our deepest and truest desires but He also wants a relationship with his children. He wants us to speak to Him like we would a loved one, because He is love. 

It’s a little bit hard for me to put into words how this epiphany has changed my way of thinking, and somewhat changed my dialogue with God. But this brought something new to the table for me. I feel like this book has only enriched my relationship with God. Not only has it made me start looking at things in a new light, I feel energized after reading this book. It was inspiring. I think Chip & Joanna are just inspiring people in general, but this book really makes you start to examine what you want out of life. What are you striving for in life?

I highly highly recommend this book. It’s a fast, entertaining book that will only leave you with a smile on your face, and I pray some hope in your heart. I know it did mine. You can even buy it on iTunes for audio for you non-book-readers out there. Go check it out, I promise it’ll be worth your time.

The Magnolia Story

 

*ASpottedHeart

 

Christmas Gifts

We all remember that one Christmas where we got the best gift ever! Maybe you were like Ralphie and wanted a “Red Ryder Carbon Action 200-shot Range air rifle,” and actually got it. Or maybe you wanted a baby doll that was life-like in every way and got her wrapped pretty in a box on Christmas morning. Whatever it was, I’m sure it’s engraved in your mind as the best Christmas ever! Mine has to do with the very title of this blog. Let me give a little back story for you. 

Back in 1991, when I was 5 years-old my family went to Disney Land. Mind you that’s the year 101 Dalmatians was rereleased into theaters. I’ll never forget we had just gotten into the park and we were making our way to some specific place in the park, that part I don’t remember the details on, I just remember we weren’t stopping anywhere else on the way. That’s when I saw it, this huge 101 Dalmatians display in one of the shop windows. My heart fell head-over-heels in love with those spotted creatures. If I would’ve been a cartoon my eyes would’ve had spotted hearts popping out of them (see what I did  there? ;). I was completely in love and I was not going any further until I had my hands on one of those spotted plush creatures. I bugged my parents until finally my mom’s cousin Janet, whom was with us, took me to get a stuffed 101 Dalmatian pup. I took that puppy with me everywhere! 

From that point on I only saw black & white spots. Everything I had was black and white. This wasn’t just a short fad, for years I was obsessed with the 101 Dalmatians. You guys, I’m talking yearrrrsss. So as you can imagine, my one hearts desire was a real-life Dalmatian pup. I’d been asking my parents for one ever since we’d gotten back from Disney Land. That was the only thing I talked about, and asked Santa for that following Christmas. 

Christmas Eve had come and we were having Christmas at my Grandma’s house with my aunts and uncles. There was a knock on the door-It was Santa! He had a box wrapped and it was for me! I was so exited and I remember being a bit confused on why I was the only one getting a gift. I remember him telling me he heard I’d been a very good girl and the package was heavy, to be careful with it. We got it carefully set down on the floor and I started unwrapped it. The sweetest puppy I had ever seen popped it’s head out of the box and I was completely smitten! I couldn’t get that box open fast enough, my heart was so full! I was so excited, I immediately named him Freckles! 

This is a picture of pure joy. That moment is forever engraved in my mind and my heart and when I think of my favorite Christmas my heart goes to that night and it’s been spotted ever since.

Last Christmas, my 3rd Christmas with One Cute Cowboy, he had another one of those memorable, special gifts. I’m a collector of vintage books, and for years I’d searched for a 1st Edition The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Christmas morning Riley eagerly handed me a gift. I opened it and looking up at me was a 1st edition The Hundred and One Dalmatians. My eyes teared up. I knew he understood my heart. It was such a thoughtful gift. I’m so lucky to have this thoughtful, caring man in my life. One that truly understands and hears my heart. 

Now I know Christmas isn’t about getting  gifts-Christmas is about the gift. When God sent the ultimate gift, Jesus Christ, into the world that cold night in a tiny stable. My heart is overwhelmed when the imagery of that night comes to mind. I’m filled with hope and gratitude. For I truly hope every one of you takes time to remember “the reason for the season.” For there is so much more to Christmas than pretty packages and fun Christmas carols. A king, the King was born that night to be the Prince of Peace, and to bring hope into the world, and to bring redemption to you and I. O holy night, indeed! Praise be to God! 


I hope all of you have had a beautiful Christmas! May peace and hope be with you!