By this point that everyone has read The Magnolia Story. This story has really stuck with me, its the humbleness and their unwavering faith in the Lord that amazes me. Life wasn’t a perfect picture for Chip and Joanna, there were bumps and challenges along the way. There wasn’t a clear direction for them, there wasn’t an ‘aha’ moment where they realized what God’s plan was for them. Instead, they took each moment and made the most of it. They didn’t question why things fell into their laps, instead they capitalized on them and made the most of them.
What an unbelievable testimony of faith! When I watch Chip and Joanna and read about their lives, there is never a question in my mind that they had unwavering faith. They knew that no matter what happened God was going to be behind them. So they found joy within the hard and difficult circumstances.
Which is where we get what I believe is the biggest lesson from their story. Finding happiness and joy in the difficult times. We have this belief that once we achieve our desired goals or life aspirations that then we will be happy. However, as Chip and Joanna explain through their story, that isn’t the key to happiness. “It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there’s always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there–wherever “there” is for you–you’ll be happy. But that’s just not life. If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in beauty, either.”
― Joanna Gaines
When I moved from Indiana to Arizona I had this belief that I wouldn’t be truly happy again until I was closer to family, and it has taken me over two years to realize that this was not the case. I was looking at my life through the lens of what could have been instead of embracing what it was. It was making me miserable, until one day my husband snapped me out of my funk. He was blunt but honest, “This is where we are, get over it and accept it.” It was a punch to the gut, but it was true. Happiness is a choice, and once I accepted that fact, things started to brighten. I was able to see past the day to day and embrace the challenges in life with happiness. There are still bad days, but I am able to put them into perspective and move past them. It’s a slow process changing the way you view happiness, but once you start you will see how much joy you were missing out on! And that’s where I think Joanna speaks so much truth, they have so many blessings, but they were happy when they were broke and things were hard, which allows them to be happy when they are successful!
I love how Chip approaches life, it’s one of the best ways I’ve ever heard to find true joy. “I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”― Chip Gaines If you treated each day like it was Saturday, what would you do? Would you do the things you truly enjoyed? Would you start making real changes? I’ve been struggling with this one for the past year, especially after I read The Magnolia Story. I wanted to live each day as if it were Saturday, but I was scared. What if I wasn’t good enough at my dreams, what if my dreams were unattainable, what if people made fun of me? I’ve always wanted to start blogging, traveling and trying new things. But I never thought I’d be good enough or that anyone would care. And while those fears are still very real for me. The lesson I took away from Chip is that, fear is natural, but letting it cripple you is where things get dangerous. Take strides each day to live like each day was Saturday. One step at a time will get you to your dream!
Lastly, if we were to take a moment and stop planning our lives out, we might start to enjoy the surprises in life. As Joanna says, “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.”― Joanna Gaines As hard as it may be to let go of control, it may just be the very best thing we could do. Let Go and Let God. Let Him take you down the path you were meant to go on. It will exceed your wildest expectations!
Being in Phoenix has helped me to grow up in so many ways that I never would have had I not left the comfort of Indiana. It forced my husband and I to rely on each other and not others for help and support. The move has taught us how to handle our differences and how to handle the challenges thrown at us. I never would have imagined living in Arizona, but it has been such a unique and wonderful experience. Letting go and letting God direct your life is the biggest blessing you could give yourself!
So today, I pray that you take time to care for yourself. To embrace happiness, to live life to the fullest, and to enjoy the twists and turns that come along the way! Make the most of every day you are given!