Theme Thoughts: Made Ready August 14, 2018 Our 8th issue of the Magnolia Journal hits newsstands today! I’m excited to be sharing some thoughts on the theme “Made Ready,” with you, as well as a look at some of the stories you’ll find in the issue. As autumn edges closer, and the garden readies for harvest, I’m noticing that this transition of the seasons represents much more than just the ebb and flow of the leaves falling, the weather changing, and the fresh fruits and vegetables being pulled from the soil. This season of harvest also serves as a gentle reminder to acknowledge in ourselves all that has grown quietly within us over the months and years in our lifetime – to take stock of the unique strengths and abilities and quirks that make each of us capable for whatever season we find ourselves in today. By no means do I have it all figured out. If anything, I’ve learned that it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in the present, let alone the future. But as our team conceptualized this theme, we kept returning to the idea that each of us, in every circumstance, is made ready for whatever season we find ourselves in, whether it’s one of hard work and heavy loads or of rest and solitude. This concept of being made ready is about acknowledging our capabilities but also knowing when we need help. I believe that we are all equipped, but we’re even stronger together. This issue is a celebration of the many iterations of what it looks like to be made ready. I’m really excited about the stories in this season’s magazine and how they reflect this theme. Our guest columnist, Chris Heuertz, shares about his journey with the Enneagram, a unique personality typing tool that leads us to embracing the fullness of who we are and how we can better understand others. There’s also a piece about The Old Church, a building Chip and I purchased in Waco. It has no clear plan yet, and we’re not rushing it, but we see worlds of potential in it and know that its story is most definitely not over. We’ve also weaved in a recipe on how to make pasta from scratch, as well as a guide to the charming city of Asheville, just to name a few. In this next season of life, consider what being made ready means for you. Perhaps you’re a new mom, or you’re heading back to school. Maybe it’s a dream you’re finally going to chase after. Whatever life may be throwing at you, whether it feels like success or like failure, expected or unexpected, I hope this issue reminds you that you are made ready. You are capable and equipped to take on these things, to learn from them, and then to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. I hope you not only feel inspired by the stories in this issue, but also empowered to celebrate the season wherever you are – and that you’ll cheer others on too. Here’s to Issue 8 of the Magnolia Journal! You can order your copy here or subscribe at magnolia.com/journal.