Spending the weekend with Darling Magazine at the Magnolia silos is exactly what you’d expect: UNBELIEVABLE. I’ve been a fan of Darling for quite some time. And my sister is very close with their incredible founder Sarah. (Who is well aware of absolute obsession with her and isn’t too creeped out by it.) . So when the opportunity presented itself for me to join their spring issue launch celebration, I didn’t believe it. Me? I get to go?! I actually told my sister to “Stop kidding because it was not a good joke.” But in true Only God fashion, it wasn’t a joke. There was room for me on this trip and I got to go.
I’ve heard and observed a lot about Darling. I’ve cherished and internalized their powerful mantra. I’ve purchased magazines and stalked every woman they highlight but I’ve never been to one of their events. I wasn’t sure what to expect. On top of that, I haven’t been to Waco in YEARS (fun fact: I was born about a 30 mins away from there many moons ago). I am not a fixer upper junkie because cable is expensive but I’m definitely team Joanna and team Magnolia. I’ve heard of the silos but wasn’t sure what it would really be like. So I went in with zero expectations. I just knew I wanted to connect with women, spend time with my sister and BE INSPIRED.
Boy, was I blown away. The theme of the weekend was intentionality. Our first gathering was a carefully curated dinner. It was supposed to be outside but Texas weather was threatening to put a damper on our fun. The gracious magnolia team relocated us to the not yet open Magnolia Table restaurant. We were greeted by Joanna who welcomed us in, embodying the sign that hangs on one of the main walls that declares “Where Everyone Has a Seat at the Table”. Her gentleness and ease is admirable. We mingled with the other women, sipped blackberry champagne and red wine, snapped photos with Jo and her adorable baby bump. I was in awe of how quickly we all connected with someone. (I somehow ran into a fellow Chicago gal who lives a few train stops away from me- small world?!)
After some time, we all gathered around our gorgeously decorated tables and FEASTED. Rich salads, savory lemon risotto balls and artisan pizza. Ya girl was SO happy! Conversations flowed easily as we all desired to authentically connect. After dessert, we moved to a calligraphy workshop taught by Whitney, the resident hand letterer for magnolia magazine. The workshop centered around the idea of intentional letter writing. We wrote letters to someone we loved and addressed the envelope with our newly discovered calligraphy skills. But truth be told, we happily struggled through ink dips and smudged letters but just like at dinner, conversation was effortless. Every step of the way I was floored with each woman’s story, journey, courage and genuineness. I went back to the hotel in a daze. How is this real? How am I here? How is there another day I’d this that I get to soak up? I went to sleep thinking that Ephesians 3:20 is really what it says. God IS and WILL do exceedingly abundantly more than you ask or imagine.
I woke up ready for another day of showing up as my true self, ready to listen, engage and be fully present. On the agenda was a brunch at Wildland Supply co Boutique. With initial introductions out of the way the night before, we were all eager to go deeper. After mimosas, quiche and lots of bacon (because when in Texas…) we began a workshop created by darling managing editor Teresa. This is where things got DEEP. We talked about imagination and what would our world be like if we could eradicate the societal problem that causes us the most grief. Teresa shared how the thing that saddens us the most is likely the thing we’ve been hand picked to CHANGE. It was really beautiful to listen to every one sharing but what really made my heart explode was the way each woman rallied behind another. Authentic encouragement, confirmation, words of wisdom were being shared liked we were old buds at a high school reunion. Sounds cliche, but we laughed and cried and poured out while we got filled up. To be in a room full of hard working, influential and successful women who were there not to promote themselves but lift someone else up was as special as it sounds.
I was challenged, inspired, motivated and SEEN and it was equal parts exciting and nerve wracking. (Thank God I was with my sister lol). I’m so thankful to have had a seat at this table with such wise and rooted women. I’m sure I’ll share more as God lays it on my heart to, but for know- all I have to say is ALL GLORY TO GOD.