Choose to Thrive not Survive

In a period of 6 hours this weekend, I read “The Magnolia Story.”  If you haven’t bought this book yet, go buy it now and read it immediately.  It was one of the best, most inspirational books I have ever read in my entire life.  There are so many different themes throughout the book, I could probably write 6 or 7 different blogs on it just trying to get out all of my thoughts and feelings.  However, I will strive to contain it in this one entry.  I do apologize if it is a little long.  This book gives you a full background on exactly who Joanna and Chip Gaines are.  Their struggles, their successes, and primarily their amazing faith in God’s plan for their life.  Seriously, just reading how Chip managed his finances stressed me out!  In the end, clearly, everything played out exactly how it was supposed to.  Their ability to give everything up to God and simply trust in his plan is AMAZING.  It’s something that I am not sure I would have been able to do in their situations, but it gives me hope and faith that maybe I should just trust that what is to happen will happen.  This has always been something I personally have struggled with.

“Even Locked Doors can be Unlocked in Time.”

One of the themes that really spoke to me was even if you walk away from something for now, that thing can always come back to fruition.  I suppose this also aligns itself with the age-old saying, “If you love something, let it go.  If it comes back to you it’s yours; if not, it wasn’t meant to be.”  Letting go and letting God is NOT an easy thing to actually do.  With me personally, I am at an age where every single one of my friends is either married, engaged, or about to be engaged.  As a perpetually single person, this is something I have recently been struggling with.  It is also something I have been trying to give to God and trust in his plan for me.  I have, for quite a while now, opted to just be single and be myself, which I have absolutely no problem with.  I have closed myself off to any possible outside relationship.  I work very well on my own, and I enjoy giving all my extra time and attention to myself and my dog.  However, very recently, I made this decision to look forward to an exciting adventure planned out for me.  With this decision, I have begun to think, ‘Man, I cannot wait to see who he has out there for me,’ and ‘I cannot wait to find out what my story will be.’  I have made the decision to allow God to unlock that door for me, when he knows it to be the right time.

“I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.”

I seriously wish I would have finished this book prior to Friday.  This past weekend, I had some friends from college coming in town to stay with me, that I had not seen in almost a year.  Last week I was running around my apartment making sure absolutely everything was ‘perfect.’  All the curtains were hanging properly, all the pictures were straight, I even ran around painting and buying decor for my house so it would look ‘pinterest-worthy.’  I really don’t think my friends actually cared how perfect my house was, but being the Type A person I am, I had to have it all done.  When Cooper would pull out his toys, I would get frustrated because he had to have ALL the toys out at once and make such a huge mess of it all.  Then I finished reading this book, and man… I already mentioned how God’s Timing is key in this book too?  Yeah, well I could not have chosen a better time to start reading this.  In the book, Joanna talks about her struggle of feeling like her house had to always be PERFECT to impress her friends and customers, and how that negatively impacted her stress-level and her relationship with her children.  Every time her kids brought out a new set of toys, she would get frustrated because she would be turning around and picking up just more and more toys (Hello parallelism to my life).  “… the pressure we women and moms are all under these days.  It seems as if the standards are so much higher than they were just a few years ago, mainly because of what we see whenever we look on the Internet.”  The book goes on to talk about how years ago it took extra effort for people to get out of the house, drive to a newsstand, spend the money to buy a magazine, and then read the magazine to find out the current style and trends.  In this day and age, with Pinterest and Facebook and all of the social media sites, it’s a constant struggle to maintain that “perfect image.”  Truly, that “perfect image” is completely made up in your mind, and the second you choose to make what you have, be that perfect image, the happier you are going to be!  Instead of just opting to survive, CHOOSE to thrive!!

There were so many amazing quotes and ideas and themes throughout this entire book, you truly have to read it to get everything out of it.  The main theme throughout the book though, was that God’s timing is perfect and to never stop pursuing your dreams.

“Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is that you love, and go do that until it hurts.  Don’t quit, and don’t give up.  The reward is just around the corner.  And in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice.  Know that Gad has been there from the beginning – and he will be there until the end.”

Buy the Book here!!!

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