A Message from Magnolia

Rachel & Dalayna here today for a special, limited time, tag team post! With Rachel visiting the States for her spring break we HAD to take advantage of the opportunity! So for today's purposes you can see Rachel's thoughts in italics. 

Can I just say that being apart for nearly TWO years is completely unacceptable and will NEVER happen again. When I did the math and realized it had been that long, this year's spring break destination was a "no brainer". I've got friends all over these days and quite a few in Texas. Texas and I have never been completely acquainted, and it seemed about time. (Considering we're neighbors now.) After some trip planning sessions and discouragement in finding flights, Dalayna and I settled on a mini Texas road trip. Which without a doubt had to include a visit to Magnolia Market. You know what we're talking about...right!? Chip? Jojo? Silos Bakery? Can I get an amen?

So, now that we are Fixer Upper pros ;) we thought that would be the perfect theme for our post today. Truly though, we are all fixer uppers aren't we? We all have places in our lives that could use a fresh coat of paint, areas that show their wear and tear more prominently, and things that are completely outdated and in need of a full overhaul. Whether it be battles in the mind, bad self-talk, grace-less judgements, or a heart that is cold and dull, we believe Chip and JoJo's principles don't merely apply to fixing up homes, but fixing up our lives.

You don't have to be a faithful viewer of the show Fixer Upper to know Chip's favorite day and favorite part of the process -- Demo day. And it is fun to watch! It's fun to watch the walls go down, rooms that seemed so small and layouts that seemed so dysfunctional are destroyed, opened up, and are set up for the perfect transformation. You see Jojo lay out her ideas and miraculous game plan for a client's house, but still as a viewer you look at this house and don't see how on earth she is going to pull it off. But as the walls go down, the old is taken out, and the dust settles, you begin to see the great potential that was lying beneath the old, the ugly, and the outdated.

In our lives we all need to have some demo days. Days when we realize the potential we each hold is not being utilized or maximized. The reasons why could be many. Lack of vision, lack of purpose, lack of love for yourself, lack of belief in God's plan, discouragement, confusion; I could go on and on. The reasons vary, but transformation begins with demo day. Step one is always destroying, tearing down, and throwing out the bad, the ugly, and the outdated. 

I'll be completely honest. This step in the process might be...no is...my least favorite.  I think if I were a Chip and Jojo client it would be my least favorite part, and when we're talking about this in relation to our lives it's my least favorite part. For a couple of reasons. (Reasons you might relate to.) First of all because this part takes time. LOTS of time. This part requires patience and a lot of trust. LOTS of patience. LOTS of trust. Secondly, I'm not always the biggest fan of structure. Just the word often times implies restriction, limitations, a stiff sort of vibe. Unfortunately (as it may feel sometimes) this step is essential. Without it we could not be amazed by the transformation. Think about it, what are we more impressed by? Room makeover shows, or shows when homes are completely remade? I don't think I need to answer that here. The bigger the transformation-the more drastic-the more in awe we are. The more inspired we are. 

The same goes for us. We are born messy. (Even if we don't think so.) We are all in need of a major
restructure. And when we encounter Christ, that process begins. It isn't simple, it does take a lot of time and it requires a lot of patience and trust on our end. Trust that God knows exactly what He is doing. Trust that He is the expert on life remodels in general but also on ours. Trust that He is going to handle us with great care and work until He rebuilds us into exactly what He always dreamed for us. Think about it like this, when those people come to Chip and Jojo, they literally hand them everything they have. All of the finances they can afford to invest in their home and all of their dreams for that home. They have to trust them in the process. That they will steward well what they've placed in their hands and handle their dreams with care. There may be many moments along the way when the home owners worry and doubt. When things seem to be moving slowly and when Chip and Jojo find structural issues to address that no one ever saw coming. But Chip and Jojo are there every step of the way to walk and talk them through it and to help the trust in the process and hang on for the outcome. And so it is with us when we place our lives in the hands of Christ. The ultimate transformer. 

If Chip and Jojo just remade rooms with some paint and pretty things, they would not be the sensations that they are. It's the restructuring that makes the show. The complete transformations and our knowledge. That their transformations are good and solid and thorough. We know that these people are getting the very best. That though the process is long and painful and uncertain, they will love their homes in the end. But they have to endure the restructuring to get there. 

I personally LOVE this next step in the process! And Jojo has this step DOWN. When the clients come back to see their fixer upper they don't just want to come back to a house. They want to come back to their home. They want to see that their home has pieces of them scattered throughout. They want to be able to identify with the aesthetics. They want pieces that will evoke memories or stimulate new ones. People go to Jojo because they know she will set their home up in a way that is personal and original. 

When walking through the steps of our fixer upper of a life, we can rest assured that God doesn't have a template that He expects us to all fit into perfectly. He doesn't have expectations of who you should be based on any of His other children. He made you an original, not a carbon copy. He didn't even model you after that lady you follow on Instagram with the perfect... well everything. He modeled you after His Son, with very clear distinctions that make you one of a kind. Be assured as much as God wants to do an overhaul on your life, He never one time will ask you to be someone else. It is in the overhaul that He will bring out more of YOU. More of who He created and purposed you to be. More of the passion He has put inside of you. More of the beauty that has been hiding within. More of the best of you. He works in a way that is personal and will forever maintain your originality. 

Here's where it gets good, really good. This is our favorite part of every Fixer Upper episode. It's late at night and Jojo comes over with all of the pretty things. All of the finishing touches. She lovingly places them around the house. You can see it in her eyes, in the way that she handles the things, that she cannot wait to share the home with the family. She cannot wait to reveal the final product. She moves things around until everything is just so. Her family shows up, kids and all, to bring the whole thing together and to enjoy that sweet moment of everything coming together. The moment when an old rundown house becomes a home. 

It should really be the same in our lives. Let's back up a few steps. When we allow Christ to come in and have a good old fashioned demo day, to restructure us according to His vision and then to help us find who we are in light of all that He has done, this should be our response! To take great care with the transformation. To only allow things in our space that will highlight all of the beautiful work that has been done. To think about each item we allow in and how it will compliment our surroundings, what they will say of our Designer. What will they say of us when people finally see the finished product?

And then we open up the doors! That moment when Chip and Jojo welcome the family into their brand new home for the very first time. I don't know about you, but I tear up almost every single time! Why?! Because we know what they went through to get there! We know how much time and work and sacrifice went into it. And we relate to it! Truthfully, we all want to come over too! We wish we were friends with those people so that we could come in and experience it with them! We want the cookies with the milk around the beautifully handcrafted farm table! We want to be a part of the transformation!

We're all in process. We're all on a journey. We're all growing and changing and becoming, and it's touching to us when we see the pay off-the rewards of those processes. The fruit of our labor if you will. In ourselves or each other!

And that's the whole point. I'm certain these people do not walk through this process to then isolate themselves in these beautiful homes and never invite anyone in. In fact, I'm certain it's quite the opposite! I'm sure they endure the lengthy, trying process for the sake of having a space worth sharing with others. And I don't know about you, but that's why I'm constantly allowing this process in my own life. Why I'm willing to endure the long, difficult, painful task of tearing down and rebuilding over and over again. That's why I constantly take such great care with the things I allow to fill my space and why with each passing year I find more and more who I am in the light of Christ. Because I want to have a space worth opening up. I want to have a space that demonstrates the grace and love and character of my Designer. A space where people feel invited and at home. Always. 

Fixer Upper fans and critics alike flock to share in pretty much anything Chip and Jojo put their hands to because of their success and mastery with these 5 steps. In the same way, we desire that people would be drawn to Christ in us. And we desire that for your lives also! 

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