A few weeks ago, my daughter and I took a trip in celebration of her 13th birthday. Because my girl adores horses and all things country/western (#RaisingHerRight) and because my sister lives in Texas, we traveled to the Lone Star State to visit her as well as visit the Ft. Worth Stockyards. And since Faith loves Fixer Upper as much as I, we took the opportunity to visit Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas.
Great day, did we have some fun together in Downtown Waco.
In a way that leans toward genuinely building community, the folks at Magnolia Market offer visitors a variety of things to do while there. Kids can swing on large wooden swings. Families can play catch on the lawn and grab lunch from one of several food trucks. (The grilled cheese sandwiches from the Cheddar Box = blow-your-mind awesome). Faith and I enjoyed wandering around their garden area at the seed and supply store. And of course, anyone can shop in their showroom/grain barn full of farmhousey, Joanna-style goodies. But what is most attractive is how collectively these options work together to create an experience that is relaxing and fun, not overwhelming or pushy. We could have slipped in and out without spending a dime and no one would have noticed.
(However, we did spend a few dimes there, as evidenced by my new shirt.)
I thought about the signature look of the relaxed Magnolia environment as I strolled around that day. Although I love farmhouse style and follow several instagram accounts dedicated to it, my home’s interior isn’t all white with neutral colored furniture and accents. But I’m drawn to other homes that are because of the way those homes make me feel, not because that’s how I style my own home. To me, they are open and inviting, and I want to plop down inside them and stay a while.
Within my own home, I want to mimic the welcoming attitude of Magnolia, even if it’s in my own way. My own style may not look the same, but it can still be whimsical, light, inspiring, and just plain happy.
Honestly, it’s the same reason I read authors whose writing style and beliefs differ from my own. As long as their attitude is welcoming rather than exclusionary, I can read and learn from their work and still be inspired to create something that’s true to how God wired me.
And that’s one thing visiting Magnolia taught me about the best kind of creativity: more than anything else, it must spring from a place of connection. Even if the content or look doesn’t necessarily reflect my own style, it’s easily approachable nature invites me to stay and learn from it.
When it comes to my writing here at Chasing Blue Skies, I know there are so many things I should do differently. For example, I’m slow to embrace the always changing roads of social media and technology. The internet moves at a million miles an hour, and in some ways I’m still riding horseback on the Pony Express. But no matter how things change, I hope what you always find here is my real-deal desire to offer a safe place for connection.
Even if my sanguine personality makes you roll your eyes.
Even if you get tired of me talking about country music.
Whether or not my style matches or contrasts your own, I hope you feel a connection here. I hope that in my own laid-back, non-fussy way, you feel loved on.
Because you are.
If I could, I would hand deliver each of you your own #shiplap shirt. (That is, if you wanted one.) But what I can do is say thank you for sticking it out here with me, for being a part of my posse. I really couldn’t love you more.