Like most of America, I have boarded the Joanna and Chipper Gaines train. They are our spirit animals. We salivate uncontrollably, united in solidarity for the shiplap craze. The Magnolia enterprise isn’t merely our design inspiration but possibly also our marriage muse. They are faith centered, home-grown, hand-made, soil turning, vintage lamps along dreary paths and they are adorable. They are our Ma and Pa Ingalls.
Just this morning I placed an online order from Magnolia Market that will arrive in 5-7 business days. My order includes vases, cotton-ball stems, wall hooks and wire baskets. I am drinking their Kool-Aid. The hubs and myself are in the process of purchasing our own fixer-upper under extremely unique circumstances. The house in its current state looks like an old run-down barn. I’m going to call this house the “Hoedown House” (wink wink). It’s 1900 square foot and we have an all-in budget of
Because it already looks like a barn, we are going with it. I’m dreaming of shiplap walls, floating shelves in the kitchen and some fun whimsical tiles in the laundry and baths. Essentially my dream will materialize and when it does, I will have better friends, a happier marriage, more gatherings, smarter children and a secured financial future. Our grass will always be green and the rabbits will stay away from our lettuce. Our horses will not ever buck or rear and the pony poop will scoop itself. And nary a crumb will find our floors. Because #shiplap.
America isn't going to tire of the Gaines family fame anytime soon, but should our fixer upper dreams and values be shifted a bit? This is what God has been speaking to me over the past few weeks as my dreams have run amok... It is better to have an inviting heart than an inviting home. It is better to be run-down and full of love than fixed-up and full of pride. It is better to restore our faith and relationships than to restore what can burn to the ground. Before we fix-up our stuff, we should focus on the condition of our hearts. Hearts make a home happier than any apron-farmhouse-sink (sigh & drool) ever could. It may be tough to let the truth sink in, but shiplap doesn’t change lives. Love does. Kindness and gentleness are the most worthy long-term investments.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, because everything you do flows from it.”
So much of the fixing up process has nothing to do with aesthetics. At our Hoedown House, before we can throw a farmhouse par'tay, we first must update the septic system. And before we can update the septic system, we have to yank out some wild, deep roots. The road to farmhouse finishes is paved with sewage. If we don’t do the difficult and dirty muck work, the shiplap is going to be a lie. And so it is with our hearts, the relationships inside of our homes and the quality of our care for all who are worn-out and run-down. We must fix-up the muck before the beauty represents truth.
Personally, we are doing some heart work in our marriage and family. It involves more focused listening to one another, time spent together doing what each other loves to do, less rush at mealtime, more actual face-time, and clearer communication. At the end of the Irwin family run, our final episode, we won’t be remembered for our shiplap.
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”
But in all sincerity, someone is gonna want to inherit the Hoedown House. Because #shiplap.