Lit List | April Reads

May 1, 2017

Hi, lovely readers!

Well, it’s a rainy day in Minnesota today (with some weird snow/sleet) and it’s the perfect time to curl up with a hot cup of tea & a great book.

I had the chance to snag The Magnolia Story from my local library and it was such a worthwhile read. I’m not a Fixer Upper fanatic (although WHY WAS IT TAKEN OFF OF NETFLIX), but I’ve definitely enjoyed watching episodes of this awesome couple, Joanna & Chip Gaines, work together to create beautiful homes and awesome spaces.

  1. Bringing people together through beautiful spaces. I had the opportunity to hear freelance writer & author, Dia Boyle, speak on the importance of beautiful spaces in the home/apt to create opportunities to bring people together. Now, you might be thinking it’s all about having a really clean space and everything has to be orderly and perfect. But, her talk addressed the importance of creating spaces that apply efficiency and beauty in order to bring people together and to desire to want to spend time together in a space that cultivates togetherness. She reminded us that beauty cultivates goodness, which cultivates Truth. Beauty leads us to God and reminds us of His loving mercy and goodness. This doesn’t mean that you have to have expensive pieces or the latest paint colors in your home, but rather a space that breathes your own unique designs and a place that brings your family or roommates or friends together. In the same way, Joanna & Chip build and design homes that cultivate beauty and bring people together. In the book, Joanna talks about creating a home that speaks to the personalities of her family members and making it fit their family life, the ages of their kids, and spaces that allow them to spend time together creating wonderful memories as a family and with their friends.
  2. Trusting God in the big and little things. Joanna & Chip are such an adventurous couple and truly build each other up in their quirks and differences, which they so beautifully and generously shared with readers. Their honest and authentic writing about how God is working in their lives was inspiring for me as a reader. I appreciated that it was unapologetic and so beautifully real throughout the chapters as they retold their story of dating, marriage and building homes – all while raising four little kiddos and building up their marriage as a couple. There were so many moments that God stepped in and they would take leaps of faith together into the unknown (i.e. issues with thousands of dollars of loans, the market crash while building homes, etc.) that is truly inspiring and reminds us that – no matter where we are in life – God is taking care of us and has a plan for us.
  3. No television, no problem. Throughout the book, Joanna & Chip addressed not having a television in their home when they were first married and it continued throughout their marriage, even with a hit television show. The couple gets together with other families and, in their dating years, would join others to watch a show or movie. Otherwise, they would play cards, talk about their dreams and find other activities to do in their hometown. I love this idea! Although my husband and I have a television in our apartment, we rarely use it and it’s not hooked up to cable. We’re very much a Netflix & Amazon household, but even then, we have to monitor how much time we spend in front of the screen. I’m inspired by a couple who’s on television and how they choose to be so intentional with their screen time. Granted, I’m not interacting with the Gaines on a regular basis (I wish!), but it’s a nice reminder that even if you’re in the industry, you don’t have to be obsessed and utilizing all the latest technology. I like that they keep it fresh & honest. Can you tell?

If you’re looking for a great read this week, I highly recommend hitting up your local library or Amazon to order your copy of this book. It’s an easy read and it’s fun to get to know more about this couple and the phenomenon of Fixer Upper! It’s so much more than fixing up houses. There is purpose & mission in the work that they do that points to the greater glory of the Kingdom of God.

Happy Monday! 

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