If you ever enjoyed an episode of “Fixer Upper” featuring Chip & Joanna Gaines, you’re going to love the Magnolia Story. As is so often the case, the book is better than the screen version, because it adds so many layers of understanding to who these two people are. Take Chip with his dynamic, open minded, risk taking personality and gift of mercy. Introduce Joanna with her grounded, intentional, cautious demeanor and artistic flare. Both are visionaries in their own right. Bring them together and you have dynamic duo!
The style of the book is casual and easy. Joanna and Chip take turns sharing their side to each aspect of the story.
It is quite a story! Before reading this biography, I would not have guessed that these two experienced so many changes, ups and downs, valleys and mountaintops as they relentlessly pursued what they felt God was telling them to do. Long before they were approached by HGTV, they were successful entrepreneurs. The show is not what made this couple. They made the show. Because they were stepping out, working hard and breaking new ground from the moment they got married, opportunities came their way. The hard work, persistence and white knuckled faith demonstrated by these two at every turn is impressive and inspiring.
This is a good read. I really enjoyed it. These two have inspired me to chase my dreams and cultivate faithfulness. They have also, by their example, challenged me to work hard and never stop pressing toward the goal. The verse that comes to mind is Psalm 37:3-5:
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
Joanna clearly writes most of the book, but she so often highlights Chip as the star– and Chip chimes in from time to time to add dimension to the many layers of their story.
“Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is you love, and go and do that until it hurts.”
“There’s contentment in the journey.”
(Joanna on her relationship with Chip):
“Nowadays when I think about the name Magnolia, I think about it in terms that refer much more than the blossoming of our business. I think about the buds on the tree, and how they really are just the tightest buds–they look like rocks, almost. And I feel like, when Chip and I met, that tight little bud was me. I was risk averse, and in some ways I don’t think I saw the beauty or the potential in myself. Then I wound up with Chip Gaines…If I hadn’t married Chip I may not have ever bloomed.”