The Gift That Only God Knew

Buying the perfect present for Christmas can be so hard, am I right?

Let me tell you about the present I (kinda) got Mary this Christmas, but why, ultimately, she’s getting the present that only God knew she would get:

It all started with a surprise date I put on our shared calendar: Tree. For a few weeks, Mary tried figuring out what that meant, until finally I couldn’t resist any longer: I had booked a trip for our anniversary to go to Waco, TX to visit the Magnolia Market! I had all the details figured out. I had a family member to watch the kids. I’d cleared it with work. 

But then Baby O threw our calendar into disarray. We had to push that trip to Fall 2017. We even had to rearrange a family trip we’ve been paying for ALL year that we are revealing to the kids at Christmas (shhh. It’s still a secret.) to Spring 2017 instead of the day after Christmas. 

So I figured, this Christmas present has got to raise the bar of awesome

Without giving away the present, I searched high and low for exactly what I wanted, and I eventually found it online at the Magnolia Market! (Ironically?)

December 6th I chatted with a rep, gave them our story, and asked if it would be on their 12 Days of Christmas sale (it was expensive, and I was throwing all my eggs in that basket). They kindly replied no, but gave me 10% off anyway! So December 7th, I ordered it. 

(Side note: they have a large volume of sales since they’re wildly popular, so there’s a 7-10 day delay on orders.)

My mom ordered a product, and the next day or so, it shipped. But mine hadn’t. And then mom had a problem and couldn’t get in touch with Magnolia, since they’re so popular. 

So I emailed them, telling them our story and why I needed this gift in before Christmas. And that mom needed help fixing an issue. They responded, and sent mom her new thing the next day. 

Still no tracking number for me. 

Emailed them again. 

 Sam, the customer service manager, replied on December 16 that there was a problem in the warehouse, so they upgraded me to overnight shipping and refunding me the shipping charge!

December 19th, no tracking. Sam replied that Joanna herself checked the entire batch of items (of which I only needed one) and didn’t give her stamp of approval due to a quality issue, so they are going to search all of them to find me one. 

December 20th, I’m sweating. Sam emails me back and gives me an update that’s quite remarkable:

They indeed searched all their stock, which happened to be 400 of these heavy items, just to find me one! They couldn’t find a good one that met their quality standards, so they refunded me, gave me a gift card, and promised to send me one as a gift from them when they come back in, brand new. 

Pretty cool on their part, so their Customer Service Team (and even Joanna for getting involved) gets an A++ in my book. Go buy from them. Today. 

Pretty cool, except I still didn’t wouldn’t have a present for Mary, for Christmas, had it not been for God intervening. Allow me to explain quickly:

Last Thursday, December 15th, a church member came into my office wanting to help my wife and I, which she already had, and then insisted on this: “Let me give you money to go buy your wife something for Christmas.” Wrote a check. Gave me a hug. And left. I thought I already had a present, yet God alone knew Mary wouldn’t be able to open anything, so He sent this woman to me (5 days before I learned there would be no present) to provide a way to give Mary a present that only God knew. 

Y’all. God is still good. 

Even when you don’t see hope or help for the little things. 

God cares. 
A big THANK YOU to Sam from Magnolia Market, to the church member who listened to the Holy Spirit within her, and to God. 


What To Do When All You Hear Is Noise

You ever imagine what you could do if you could just break through all the noise?
Continue reading

Passion Report: What Are You Gonna Do

Thursday, January 5, 2012.
Session 8, the final session.
Speaker, Louie Giglio.


If you could sum up Passion in a statement or two,
That they would all realize that they were in a place of mystery.
That God is back. Continue reading

Passion Report: Piper And the Background

Wednesday, January 4, 2012.
Session 7. John Piper


(pic take from Passion’s twitter page)

Lecrae opened up for Piper, ending with “Fade into the Background.”
We should fade into the background in comparison to the great fame of Jesus Christ.

Jesus intends for your life to bring him glory. Continue reading

Passion Report: Chan And Friends

Session 4. Tuesday, January 3, 2012.
PM session with Francis Chan.


Read the Bible for yourself. You get so many messages a day. You hear so much noise. Continue reading