The fifth season of the hit show Fixer Upper is underway. You might heard the news that this will be the final season of the show, which stars the husband and wife duo Chip and Joanna Gaines. Their reasons for leaving the show are nothing short of admirable: the desire to spend more time with their children. Still, their decision has fueled genuine disappointment in homes all across the country… including mine.
No one can deny that this charming couple makes an incredible team, both on and off camera. They have a knack for making things better and improving whatever they can, and this talent extends beyond renovating homes.
Here are four other ways that Chip and Joanna have fixed-up their little portion of the world.
Fixer Upper “Fixed Up” Reality Television
The irony behind reality TV is that very little of what is portrayed is actual reality. Fixer Upper is different. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware of the fact that parts of the show are scripted. I’ve watched every episode of every season at least three times (don’t judge). The story, or at least the layout of the story, remains the same for every episode: look at three houses, buy the unexpected one, inspect the house before demo begins (sometimes they find a problem, sometimes they don’t), show the clients the home, enjoy demo day, go antique shopping, run into an issue, call the client, order a piece of furniture from Clint, show the Silos or the farm, pass the baton to Joanna, bring the kiddos to visit, reveal the finished product to the clients, end of show.
Despite this, it’s obvious that Chip and Joanna have succeeded in bringing about a truly authentic reality show. Who doesn’t love Chip’s childlike enthusiasm? Who doesn’t admire Joanna’s vision? Who doesn’t laugh at their banter and playfulness? As a newlywed, I am thoroughly impressed by their marriage. It’s obvious they get annoyed by each other at times, yet they spend more time encouraging and affirming the goodness in one another than they do dwelling on grievances. It’s refreshing, and based on viewership statistics, I’m not the only person who thinks so. In fact, I’ve noticed HGTV adding a couple new shows that have a similar authentic, family feel to them. I’m hoping this trend is here to stay!
Chip and Joanna “Fixed Up” Each Other
Chip jokes all the time that he was Jo’s original fixer upper, and if you read their biography, The Magnolia Story, you see many examples of the ways in which Chip has grown because of Jo. Similarly, Chip had a major impact on Joanna as well. The show is much more about their business than their personal lives, but the book gives us a little glimpse into how the show came about. It also shows how much of a hand Chip had in “fixing up” his wife. It was because of Chip that Jo got into design in the first place. Hearing that her dream was to own a little boutique someday, Chip affirmed and encouraged Jo to chase after her dream right then. He helped his naturally cautious wife to take the risk to pursue her dream.
They “Fixed Up” How Celebrities Should Interact With News Outlets
Okay… maybe we can’t really call this one a fixer upper, but they certainly set a very high standard. Last year, the Gaines family found themselves under fire when it was discovered they attend an evangelical church that supports and preaches in support of Biblical marriage. An employee of Buzzfeed attempted to retrieve a definitive statement from them about their own views on homosexuality.
Refusing to comment, their silence lead to a media blow-up and lots of speculation on the matter. After a little time passed, a “New Year’s Revelation” post appeared on Joanna’s blog. It doesn’t mention the fiasco specifically, but the undertones are clear. Written by Chip, the article states that they refused to be baited to use their influence for harm. They’d rather change the conversation:
You wanna talk about how to build bridges between people that disagree? We want to be a part of that conversation. Do you want to talk about healing and compassion and kindness and restoration? We’re in the restoration business, we can for sure make time for that. (source)
Line by line, I was blown away by Chip’s simple but wise articulation of a loving message; one that made it clear that he was a true follower of Christ, one who is in complete control of himself and chooses only to love his neighbor, including pushy reporters.
They “Fixed-Up” Waco
Even before landing a TV show, their family business, Magnolia Homes, was a staple in Waco’s small economy. From their construction business, to their rental properties, to their boutique, Chip and Jo were always working to bring more beauty and more goodness into their little community. It reminds me of Mother Teresa’s quote, “find your own Calcutta.” Restoration and rejuvenation are needed everywhere, and it seems as though Chip and Jo are extremely gifted at it. Waco is growing: the population, the businesses, and the tourism. So much of that has to do with the efforts of Chip and Jo.
St. Catherine of Sienna said, “If you are who you should be, you will set the world on fire.” To me, it seems pretty clear that Chip and Jo have done just that. While the show is ending, and will be missed by millions of people, we certainly have not seen the last of the Gaines family. Personally, I am looking forward to whatever endeavor they decide to tackle next. Until then, you can probably find me in one of two places: in Target admiring Jo’s line, or on my couch with my husband and my dogs, soaking up every bit of Magnolia charm I can.
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Written by Grace Bellon, lover of bearded men, rich coffee, cheesy puns, cuddly doggies, and Catholicism. You can find out more about her here (warned ya she liked cheesy puns).