Yes, Joanna spoke to me over the weekend. Told me the story of Magnolia from beginning to present and didn’t leave out the messy details. Sure… these words were over my audible book app, but it was her voice and still so impacting.

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I am sure you know of Chip and Joanna and have watched their huge hit of show, Fixer Upper. If not, girl… go to HGTV tonight for a brand new episode and then catch up on Netflix. You WILL thank me.

I admire them both for achieving so much, for having such great vision for their family and business. It seems everything these two touch turns to gold and lately as I approach my own growth in business I have asked myself this question… “What would Joanna do?” Seriously, that little thought pops into my mind because to me Joanna isn’t a small thinker, she MUST have all the confidence and know-how in the world to do what she does.

I decided to purchase their book and finally listen to the story of Magnolia. I thought it would bring me some inspiration and oh, it so did. It took me a day to listen to and I longed for more. The things I read, wow… I had NO idea they had gone through any of it.

First off, the book is read by both of them, which really does make you feel like you are sitting across from them on a rustic farmhouse table drinking coffee.

Here are my big takeaways from the book:

1. Joanna had NO design experience at all, in fact she hadn’t designed one single room before her and chip were married. 

Yes! Can you believe it?! I couldn’t either. I was sure the woman took years of schooling and extra design seminars to reach absolute perfection that is Magnolia homes, but no. She was a communications major in school and had high hopes to be in broadcast journalism. What? Can you imagine what her life would have been like if that played out.

This assured me and can assure you that what God calls you to, He WILL equip you, SUPERNATURALLY. Joanna’s rooms are heavenly and it is because God revealed this gift within her AND can reveal your gifts too. I think about how ill-equipped I am in regards to business. I didn’t go to school for this… when I hear words like profit margin and ROI, I get lost, BUT this is not a limitation. I am still qualified to prosper where I am because of who I am and the God I serve.

2. Chip and Joanna needed to embrace the disaster that was their first home!

After an incredible honeymoon driving along the east coast, Chip and Joanna returned to their small 800 sq. ft. home. It was one of their rental properties that had just been vacated and when Chip carried Jo over the threshold, they walked into a disaster. The tenants had turned off the electricity and Chip did not think to have it turned back on by the time they came back. The refrigerator had shelves full of food, now including putrid rotting meat! Joanna could barely take the smell, but because they had NO where else to go, they set up some blankets to sleep on the ground. That’s when they could smell the heated dog urine!!!

Hahaha! It was hilarious. I couldn’t believe it. She could have refused to live in such a place, crumbled under the disaster hitting her in the nostrils, but she rose to the occasion and took on her VERY FIRST design project.

What are the disasters that are staring you in the face right now? I can’t tell you how many of them in my life I would have fast forwarded through… but God allows me to go through them, in fact leads me into them so I develop the skills, strength, and perseverance I need to rise to the next level.

Joanna and Chip would have NEVER been able to handle their show on Fixer Upper with all of those dilapidated houses if they hadn’t handled their own.

3. Jo always listened to that still small voice…

Jo describes a whisper she heard during some of the major moments of her life. The voice who told her she would marry Chip Gaines on their first date, the one who told her to close her shop to spend more time with her children, and the one who told her to re-open it years later. This voice, the voice of God, she listened to… try to reason with, but ultimately followed every time and it has led her to the desires of her heart.

She didn’t understand why she was being told these things in the midst of crazy seasons of her life, but they have always been true and for her good. I think about how important the voice of God is in our business and yet how busy I can become, always moving, always planning… I am never quiet enough to hear it.

This inspired me to be still, to meet with Him honestly and ask for His guidance. When we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us, it is a promise. He has the best plans for our dreams wrapped up in His presence, we must seek Him to find out what those are.

4. Finally, be joyful EXACTLY where you are! 
Before Chip and Joanna ever had 25 million people watching their show, they were extremely happy with where they were in life. Jo embraced the craziness of 4 kids, knowing her house wouldn’t be show ready all of the time. She looked at the dirt stained couches and glasses of spilled milk as things of beauty she will one day not have. Instead of wishing all of it away, she created her life around those moments. She loved her business, rose to every new challenge, always remembering where her and Chip had come from.

You and I have big dreams. In fact, we can see them now in our mind’s eye… exactly what we believe would truly makes us happy. But the truth is, if where we are now does not fill us with joy, getting to our desired place in life never will. This was a heart and eye opening truth I needed to hear. Joanna was thriving and joyful in her life long before you or I ever knew her name which means she does not NEED any of it. She is more than content with what the Lord has placed in her hands and is anchored in Him more than what He can give her.

You need to read this book… no listen to it. You’ll find good friends in Chip and Jo. It will inspire you to dream big and lay those dreams before a big God who will do exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask think or imagine!

Have a wonderful week friend,
Leslee