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My Focus Words for 2019 – Part 2 – and Thoughts on “The Magnolia Story”

Photo Credit: Lucas De Jesus | Lettering: She Laughs and Letters

I decided to split this post into two parts, one for each of my 2019 focus words. Click here to read Part 1.

Disclaimer: A few of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase. 

Still not sleeping…

As I mentioned in my last post, I am up late typing this out since I can’t sleep. It is now past midnight and I need to wake up in 5-ish hours to teach some of my lovely students in China through VIPKID. (Are you interested in hearing more about this job? Let me know and I can do a separate post on it!)

I started reading The Magnolia Story (by Chip and Joanna Gaines) as part of my 2019 reading list, and it’s really inspiring. I’m not going to do a whole review on it right now, but I definitely would recommend it!

Takeaways from The Magnolia Story

Here are some of my takeaways as I’m reading Chip and Joanna’s story (I’m about 60% into it as I write this):

1. Something that is standing out to me is how they were constantly dreaming with one another. I looove that! It’s something I think many couples may do early on in their relationships, but that sometimes goes away. I know that’s true for us. It seems like we’ve just settled into life (I almost said normal life but it hasn’t felt normal lately either, haha), go through the motions, and have stopped talking about our dreams in the process.

2. Don’t let fear get in the way of taking action on those dreams. Man, Chip Gaines has a boldness and fearlessness about him that’s super inspiring! He often would try to set dreams into motion the minute they were identified, and would encourage others to do the same.

3. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. I absolutely loved this quote from chapter 9:

Sometimes worrying about something is much worse than the actual thing you’re worrying about. So really, what’s the point in worrying?

4. Listen for God’s voice and obey it. I loved the examples Joanna shared about the several times she so clearly heard God speak to her. It was so cool to see how even though what God told her at the time may have seemed crazy, He knows best and His plans for her and their family were better than they could’ve imagined.

Focus word # 2 is….

So what is my second focus word?


After such a rough year and feeling like we’re starting this year out lacking vision and motivation, I want to be intentional to stir up conversations with my hubby and just spend time dreaming together. And then I want to be able to support him in those dreams, and make his dreams mine.

Another thing Chip wrote about in the book was about comfort, and how just getting comfortable and stagnant in the place you’re in sometimes squelches us. So maybe our family needs to switch things up a bit and do something crazy…who knows?

Start dreaming!

I”m excited to set aside some time with my hubby in the next day or two to be able to talk about all this. I have a surprise experience gift/date night I’m planning with some cash his aunt gave me for Christmas. In case he reads this, I won’t say what it is until later!

If you are married, I’d encourage you to ask your hubby: “What are your dreams?” If it’s been a while, maybe they’ve changed since you last discussed this! I know that’s definitely true for my guy. I can’t wait to delve into this conversation with him and maybe surprise him by having a “yes” attitude and saying, “Okay, let’s do this.”

Also think about what your dreams are right now, and share those with him!

If you are single, I’d still encourage you to think about what your dreams are at this stage in life, and share your dreams with someone you trust and that just might encourage you to pursue them (no party poopers for this conversation)! And ask your dear friend what their dreams are, and spur him/her on to take the first step in getting there. You can be a part of helping someone else attain what they may have written off!

No matter your age, God can still use you. He doesn’t want us to live in fear, and I’m realizing that a big reason why we don’t pursue our dreams is because of fear. Yes, dreams could be self-centered. But if we are living our lives for God and His glory, then there’s a good chance that He put those desires in our hearts, and if that’s true, then there’s no reason to be afraid! Of course you’d have to be intentional about analyzing your motives for whatever it is you want to do. 🙂

How about you?

Are you a dreamer? As you’ve gotten older, do you find yourself dreaming less? What step(s) can you take to change this? What dreams do you have, or what dreams did you have that may have been put on the back-burner? Comment your thoughts below!

Interested in reading Chip and Joanna’s book (FOR FREE)?

Did you know that I’m able to read this book for free right now because of Amazon Prime?!

If you don’t have Amazon Prime, click here to get a free 30-day trial! In addition to all the other Prime benefits (free 2-day shipping, access to movies and shows, and more!), you can also access certain e-books for free as long as you’re a member. If you don’t want to pay to be a member, just make sure you finish your book(s) before your trial expires!

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