I have always loved pouring time and effort into making a house a home. From my room at my parents’ house to months spent in tents, trailers and adorable ranch cabins, I have always loved adding the little extra details to make it special. I remember spending the summer in a canvas tent while working at a ranch. I had my flowers on the front step, my rug on the simple wood platform and pictures placed here and there to remind me of family and the adventures of the previous twenty years.
I am not one to stay on top of the newest trend or craze. I love genuine and simple. Not necessarily in what I buy but instead how I choose to invest my time. Working in camp ministry, I have fallen in love with hard work and the purpose-driven life. Combine this with my love for homemaking and hospitality and it is not hard to see why I was captivated by the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
When I first heard of their TV show Fixer Upper, now in its final season, my interest was simply peaked by their fun interactions and Joanna’s beautiful home designs. If you know anything about me you will know that I am an introvert. I am not necessarily a shy person, but my hesitation to jump into relationships has made me value intentionality and genuine friendships. I love getting to know people personally and to understand what makes them tick. Reading Chip and Joanna’s books The Magnolia Story and Capital Gaines has been so inspiring. These books have been so much more to me than just someone else’s success story. They have invited thousands of people to take the first step in chasing their own dreams and most of all to value what really matters. What a refreshing perspective on what the world deems as success.
Being invited to have a front row seat to watch their couple’s life was both encouraging and inspiring, but not in the way you would think. This couple is real, genuine and very down to earth. Sharing their challenging, struggles, triumphs and blessings, they always remembered to recognize their sovereign Lord’s hand in it all. They were not afraid to move when they felt peace and they were obedient to change direction when the Lord was leading them elsewhere. I deeply respect the choices they have made for their family and I have been so inspired by their lives.
It is so easy for each one of us to read a book like this, to jump on Pinterest or catch a show on HGTV and to desire to be the next Chip or Joanna Gaines. I admit I would love to be able to walk into a room and have the magical design touch of Joanna or to be more spontaneous like Chip. But I know that God is writing my magnolia story. Let me back up a little, something which Joanna pointed out in her book was the beauty of the magnolia flower. I love to garden and I admit, I do judge books by their covers. Luckily for me, their title caught my attention. It was truly their “Magnolia Story.” From such a small, slender bud does this beautiful flower bloom. The Lord took Chip and Joanna Gaines, a broke newlywed couple in Waco, TX and used them to impact so many lives. From our small insignificant lives does the Lord work and there is no doubt in my mind that He can do amazing things through those who trust Him. I am excited to continue unpacking these books together and to share the impact this couple unknowingly had on my life.