This Chip Gaines guy is a whole lot of serious wrapped up in a whole lot of faith and fun. For Christmas Gene gave me Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. In January I devoured it.
I would love to read this book alongside you, commenting on each page as we read, but I doubt many people would sign up for that. So let’s pretend we both have coffee and I will chatter away like I do when I am so excited about something and I desperately want you to be as excited about it as I am. I will number the things I’m excited about to keep us on track.
- What gives you peace? (page 66) Chip talks about the time Joanna spent an internship in New York City, “Jo was a bit homesick in New York, but she felt a sense of peace when she would wander through the little home-décor boutiques she found throughout the city. Those cozy shops inspired her so much that she began to imagine a way to create something like them for herself.” Answering this question for ourselves gives deep insight into who God made us to be and what He made us to do.
- Priorities—Knowing and living my (and for you—your) priorities is a big deal for me. It’s how I make the best use of the life God has given me. Chip asks three questions that will help each of us decide and live our priorities. “Who deserves the best of me? Which ones [business/activities] get the bulk of my passion and energy? And which, in turn, gets what amounts to my leftovers?” (page 131) Take a look at your life. List what is on your to-do list/day planner every day. Who matters to you the most? Then answer these questions. You will be on your way to discovering what your life is or should be about. Consider Chip’s conclusion about the Fixer Upper show: “It’s time for us to lay it down.” (page 136) What in your life do you need to step away from, pass on to someone else, or quit?
- The only way to live—Chip explains clearly what Jesus taught in John 15 about abiding. Chip wrote, “The thing about walking closely with God is it has to be a minute-by-minute, day-by-day kind of relationship. No formula can suffice. You have to keep listening, keep following, keep being willing to act and to move on when it’s time.” (page 140) Amen and amen! Yes, God, this is my prayer! I want that moment-by-moment, always listening and hearing from God kind of relationship with Him.
- Knowing when to move on. Many of us just won’t let go of something even when God says, “You’re done here.” Chip gives us good reason to do so. “God’s grace lasts a long as it is required. But when the grace and peace start to go, it’s a good time to evaluate if God is till in what you’re doing.” (page 141) I don’t know about you, but if God is not in what I’m doing, I don’t have enough courage to stay. I know I need Him desperately. If He’s nudging you to move on, listen.
- Focusing on what’s really important. Chip and I share a passion for our families. He writes, “And then, of course, my one true desire is to love my beautiful wife and to raise our babies well. . .If I get this one right, I have nothing more to prove.” (141) For me, nothing outside of my relationship with God, will matter more than Gene, the girls, their guys, and our Grands. If I am not there for them, nothing else I do will have meaning.
- “I have no clue what the future holds at this point.” (page 141) Chips words have never had more depth in my life than now. When the kids were growing up life seemed predictable. It had a busy, but steady, comforting rhythm. Today, with two kids about to move states away, a second grandchild on the way, and Gene talking about retiring for real this time, well, it makes my brain dizzy to read what I just wrote. I can’t begin to understand or process all the changes that are imminent. So I’ll go back to point #3—living in a moment-by-moment relationship with God, trusting Him for the now and the what’s next.
I found myself resonating with much of what Chip said. I’m nowhere near as adventurous and crazy as he is, but I feel like a kindred spirit.
Chip’s book was a fun and uplifting read. Now I want to read their first book, The Magnolia Story.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on either book.
Chip Gaines, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff (W Publishing: Nashville, 2017)
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.