I recently read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino, and I loved it so much that I didn’t see it as an option to not write about it.
I was obviously interested in picking up this book because I loved Fixer Upper when it was on, and fell in love with Chip and Joanna Gaines as people, not only because of their attitudes about life but their relationship with each other.
The book begins with stories of Chip and Jo before they knew each other, and sort of how they each found out what they were interested in and what their passions were. They both had some pretty big dreams and it was clear that when they joined forces, they only got stronger and their dreams became that much more within reach. One of my favorite things about their story is that they strongly believe that they are better together, and that rather than needing or wanting to spend time apart, they get energy and inspiration from being and spending time together; I find that really sweet.
They also write about the different risks they took throughout their career, which were actually quite a lot, more than most people would be comfortable with, I think. I had no idea, but I find it inspiring to think that two people who are so grounded and rooted in their community and with their family took some pretty big leaps of faith to get to where they wanted.
Their faith is obviously a big part of their lives, and I appreciate that they write and speak about it with such a frankness and in a way that is not flowery or overblown. It shows itself in their intentional decisions in regard to their businesses, their family, and their relationship as a couple.
One thing that constantly inspires me about the Gaines family is their view of and commitment to hard work. One of the lines in the “Magnolia Manifesto” is that, “We believe: in seeking the balance between hustle and rest and striving to be passionate about both: a leisurely first cup of coffee to start the day mindfully and then at day’s end not clocking out from a job till you’re proud.” I love that. That is one of my goals for this year – to find that balance and to give myself enough time to do each. I tend to be good at focusing on one or the other during the course of a day, but I would love to marry the two in every day so that I can experience that balance daily. I truly think that that will lead to enjoying every day more.
Just a couple more things that really struck me are these quotes. Joanna was talking about how her idea of what ‘thriving’ is, changed over time with her expectations of what life would be like. “I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.” So even when things get messy, and in fact especially when things are messy and maybe not what we had expected out of life, that is when we can truly thrive. I find that encouraging, especially as I navigate work and figure out the messy way that life goes, and try to find out what I want to do with my future. It means I don’t have to wait for everything to ‘fall into place’ (whatever that means) before I can really get started, but that I can thrive now.
One last lesson that Jo mentions and that I believe in is that, “…getting our intentions right simplifies our decisions in life and changes our perspective. And in the end, what it’s all about is thankfulness and contentment.” I couldn’t agree more.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a quick and easy read, and it offers an insight into a couple of people who have made something meaningful and beautiful out of their lives, which is something I think we all aspire to do.
Until next time! xx