The magnolia is an ancient tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall with flowers so tough they cannot be damaged by the beetles who originally pollinated them. (Magnolias are believed to have been in existence before bees!) You half-expect God to reach down from the heavens and pluck the magnolia flowers from the tree.
In our world where flowers spring up from the earth, it’s a rare and beautiful sight to see huge white flowers adorning the sturdy branches of the magnolia tree high above the reach of human hands. It’s as if they are put there as something to aspire to, something great, enduring, and beautiful in a very simple way.
The Magnolia Story, with Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of the much beloved home improvement and inspiring lifestyle HGTV series “Fixer Upper”, is their story.
When our television airways are so cluttered with the “reality” of feuding spouses, rolling eyes, back-stabbing, and eye-on-the-prize-win-at-any-cost to get my 15 minutes of fame, it’s refreshing to see a couple who looks like they genuinely like each other!
Not only “like”…they actually play! Albeit with hammers and stuff…
I’ve seen doormats lettered with the words “If you’re Joanna Gaines, come on in!” Who wouldn’t want this talented woman, with her easy smile and grounded heart, to cross their threshold, have a glass of tea, and then start nailing up shiplap in the bathroom?
She is a woman with vision and a willingness to put those visions into action with her husband, Chip. Even when it scares her a little. Which is does…a lot!
I love how they play and banter. He’ll run around like a kid in the candy store, trying to out-do his last crazy stunt, and she’ll just smile and say, “That’s great Chip”…and mean it.
There is Grace in their marriage. I love that!
However, as their story unfolds in the book, you quickly see he’s not as goofy as he appears. Well, he is, but he’s also a man of vision and purpose with a faith in life and a love for his wife and family that have spilled over the container of his soul and swept through his beloved town of Waco and into millions of American households with each episode.
Their current fame started with a leaky houseboat and a dream. But before then, they experienced a lot of what newly married people start with…nothing:
“And Chip carried me over the threshold. Right into a nightmare.”
The houseboat story alone is reason enough to pick up the book because it shows what can happen when you can take what looks like a disaster scenario, work through your anger and fear, and then look at it through the eyes of possibility.
All of life’s best transitions seem to develop when your mind aspires to something higher, something greater, something that may look simple and beautiful on the outside and yet is just outside of your reach. When you trust in God, have faith in your purpose, and surround yourself with the right people, you can easily step into a journey where what you see may be only as close as the next step.
And you take that step. Then the next one. And the next until slowly and then suddenly everything falls into place and looking back, you can see how the path had been laid out for you all along.
“If I had planned my life, it never would have ended up like this. So maybe it’s kind of fun not to plan. Maybe it’s more fun just to see where life takes you. After all, we’re living proof that sometimes even the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful.”
This book was a gift – not only a tangible gift but a gift to my heart. I encourage you to allow the Chip and Joanna Gaines story to fill you with the possibilities of life and discover what can happen when you overcome doubt and trust in your gut.