Friends! Are we really in the month of December? Translation: The countdown to Christmas has arrived. As of this writing, it’s early in December, however many folks have had the nerve to reveal they’re done with their Christmas shopping.
Herein lies the challenge to “rejoice with those who rejoice”…I fear I must be related to Scrooge. Very distantly, of course.
Good news is there are plenty of delightful distractions to detour one’s potentially foul mood. Bigger bonus: My cousin Bonnie, a/k/a Bow Creator Extraordinaire, has moved right up the street from us. I can magically appear in her foyer in three minutes, tops, begging for a bow. Smiling with relief while typing…
One of my favorite distractions is a wildly popular TV show, Fixer Upper, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines. Their new season has just begun, and there are plenty of other seasons to catch up on. www.magnoliamarket.com Just ask my friend, Val, who “caught up” on all of them while recovering from surgery. She’s newly hooked.
Before we talk about the show, surely you’ve seen the Gaines’ new book, The Magnolia Story. It landed lickety-split on the New York Times’ Bestseller List and hasn’t left.
Now that I’ve read it, I also learned Chip and Joanna recently recorded the audio version which would be a total hoot. The book uses two different fonts, helping us readers distinguish whether Chip or Joanna is the one writing. The audio version where one could actually hear them would be stellar.
Mark Dagostino is who helped Chip and Joanna write the book. He has completely captured their personalities. We can literally envision them bantering back and forth. While it’s their story, as in non-fiction, it’s quite the page-turner.
The book also takes us down memory lane via a large section of adorable pictures. You can see their childhood pics, wedding pics, and of course, Fixer Upper pics.
I learned of their show from one of our daughters-in-love, LT. She was wildly blessed by one of her friends last fall who invited her to go to Waco, Texas for the Grand Opening of the Magnolia Market at The Silos. (Silobration)
LT’s friend, Jamie Marshall Dorr, happened to register to win tickets to the Opening, never thinking she’d win. Lo and behold, she not only won, she won four tickets! Jamie took her sister, Randy, plus LT, and LT’s sister, Chelsea. We could hear them shouting many miles away they were so excited.
They got to go to the Grand Opening, attend a concert by Johnny Swim, meet Clint Harp, the fab furniture maker, and even spend some time with Chip and Joanna:
And don’t miss the identical leather jackets Joanna and LT are sporting. (Thank you, Anthro’….)
In addition to learning how Chip and Joanna built their business (you’ll be stunned to learn at one point, they nearly went belly up financially), you’ll connect with a beautiful theme within the book: Their steadfast faith in God. They consistently give God the glory in their endeavors while never waivering in their faith or trust in Him, even in the hard times.
Being a huge fan of Billy Graham and his family, I was excited to learn Chip credits Billy Graham and Danny Lotz (Anne Graham’s husband) with leading him and his family to the Lord. His Mother attended a Billy Graham Crusade in 1975. Her newfound faith trickled down to her children.
Later while attending college at Baylor, Chip met the Lotz’ children and got to spend time in their home. He said Danny took an interest in him and mentored him, showing him what a relationship with Jesus Christ looked like. (This came from an article in Decision magazine this past May.)
Both Chip and Joanna are very candid in their book. They reveal lessons they’ve learned which have the potential to open our eyes to our own foibles.
For example, one home Chip and Joanna bought was what they then considered their dream home. It was in a lovely area of Waco. Joanna worked her creativity to perfection. Problem was they had little bitty children who naturally made messes, leaving trails of who-knows-what behind.
Joanna said she was constantly fussing at them, straightening, picking up, forever exhausted and frustrated. Her “aha!” moment finally came when they moved to a much smaller home where she purposefully created fun, livable spaces for her kids to just be kids, spill milk, squish play-doh, etc.
She said, “If all I’m doing is creating beautiful spaces, I’m failing. But if I’m creating beautiful spaces where families are thriving, then I’m really doing something. Doing that became my new calling…It’s not just about pretty anymore. It’s about practical.” Stunned, she said, “I saw my family come alive in ways I’d never quite felt before.”
When their Magnolia Market at the Silos opened in October 2015, Joanna said she felt like they’d come full circle. She said, “If ever I needed proof that I should trust God with my dreams, this was certainly it. He turned my little dream, my mustard seed of faith, into all this.”
What a visual of Matthew 17:20!
Joanna concludes, “Not even a decade after I made that difficult decision to close my shop to stay home with my babies, God delivered on the promise of making my dreams come true in ways that were bigger than I ever imagined.”
This is where I hear Ephesians 3:20 blessing the Gaineses plus us readers:
Lastly, my favorite thing about Chip and Joanna is they are complete WYSIWYGs. (What-you-see-is-what-you-get.) The folks at HGTV capture their authenticity which is the main ingredient that draws us viewers in. (It’s throughout the pages of their book as well.)
Joanna says, “We love our kids, we love each other, we love this town, and we love our clients. That’s the heart behind our show.”
If you need another Christmas gift idea this season, your friends would enjoy reading the The Magnolia Story. It’s a fascinating journey.
Meanwhile, enjoy this Christmas season and may we all remember the reason for the season.
‘Til next time!