I have loved the show “Fixer Upper” ever since day one so when I heard that Chip and Johanna had a book coming out I made sure I was on the pre-order list! I just couldn’t wait till that book came in the mail! When it came I think I read it in one day!
While the TV show makes everything seem perfect and any problem easily solved with in the 1 hour time frame, the book is more real and gritty. As someone who works with their significant other it was uplifting to see that even the “perfect” Chip and Johanna had their own problems and weren’t quit the overnight success that people make them out to be. They are just a couple that loves what they do and love doing it together. They both play to their strengths to bring balance to the relationship and to their business. This book has a little bit of everything in it from houseboats, to RV adventures, kids, God’s grace for hard times, and yes Chips own special brand of humor.
The book is written like a conversation by the fireside. Jo is the main narrator with Chip jumping in to tell his side of things from time to time. I would recommend The Magnolia Story to anyone who would like to get to know Chip and Jo a little better and need a little encouragement along the way.
Below is an excerpt from the book.
“JoJo, you awake?”
Of course I wasn’t awake. It was midnight. Chip had awakened me from a sound sleep. “What is it?”
“A neighbor called. There’s a homeless guy on their front porch, and they aren’t sure what to do. I’ll be right back.”
Even though I was only half awake and he had caught me completely off guard, there was no way I was leaving this to chance, so as he left the room, I called after him: “Do not bring him home with you!”
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but off I went. And that night, on a neighbor’s front porch, I was introduced to Cedric, a guy who had made a lot of bad choices in his life but who had come to the end of his rope.
I knew Jo wasn’t about to have Cedric come sleep on our couch with four babies asleep inside. And I could tell our neighbors needed him to leave as well. So I came up with the only plan I could think of. At one o’clock in the morning we went to the store and I bought a few blankets and towels, and I took him to a flip house we were about to put on the market. The next day when I went back to check on him, Cedric was still there.
We needed to get that house into final shape for an open house, so Chip offered to put Cedric up in a hotel for a few days in exchange for his doing some work for us. Cedric said yes. He was so grateful for the shelter we had given him that he got out there and worked his tail off for us. It’s as if that’s all it took was one chance for him to discover his own work ethic. He started attending a Bible study after that and received services from the Mercy House, a halfway house of sorts that helps people with problems get back on their feet. Come to find out, Cedric had just gotten out of jail, and here he was turning his life around thanks in part to our tiny little bit of help. It was awesome to witness.
As difficult as it was sometimes to put up with Chip’s out-of-the-blue surprises, the size of that man’s heart brought tears to my eyes. Whether it was a homeless man in the middle of the night, the troubled kids who went to school on Third Street, or neighborhood kids by the shop on Bosque Boulevard, Chip somehow managed to notice them and touch their lives. He became a mentor and father figure to so many people.
Sometimes his kindness and generosity scared me to death, of course—especially when he would stop to pick up a hitchhiker or help someone whose car had broken down on the side of the highway. And I really did push him to do less of that after we had children. But that’s just Chip.
Taken from The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Copyright © 2016 Chip and Joanna Gaines.