For my birthday this year, my wife gave me the book Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines. I’m naturally not a huge reader, but I am trying to get into the habit of always having a book on my hands to read. This was a different kind of book for me to read. Being in ministry, I usually find myself reading vocational ministry based books, but I’m learning that it is healthy to expand my types of reading so that my perspective continues to be expanded and sharpen as well. Although Capital Gaines is not specifically a Christian book, it is written by a Christian, who is also a business owner and extreme influencer in his context and even across the nation.
This book explains the big picture of the story of Chip and Joanna Gaines, from the beginning of their journey to now. Chip reflects on his past and how he got to where he is today. He shares about his faith, Waco, TX, family upbringing, jobs he has worked, his wife and children, their show Fixer Upper, and their business Magnolia. I appreciate how real and genuine this book is.
The purpose of this blog is to not go into detail about this book, or even to get deep. You need to get the book for yourself! It’s a very simple and hopefully, practical blog. The purpose is for me to share some simple things about how Chip’s story inspired me in every day living and how it has expanded my perspective. Each thought will have some personal explanation, as well as a quote from the book that grabbed my attention:
Don’t limit God.
Like I said, one of the things that made this book impactful is that Chip and Joanna Gaines are Christians. For me, that’s a game-changer. Being a Christian myself, I try to make every decision and see life through Gods eyes. By reading this book, I can tell that they strive to do the same. I’m sure they had no idea what the Lord would do in and through them on their journey, as God exceeded their expectations. I love this quote from the book because it explains what God is capable of doing, which is far more than we could ever ask or imagine.
“One of the things I’ve learned about God in my forty-two years is that he loves to obliterate the boxes we put him in. There’s no way to predict the way he speaks to us or leads us. 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 (pg. 140).”
Put family first.
I continue to find it so true that everything in my life can seem to be going so well, but if my wife and I have an unsettled conflict, then really nothing else is going that well. The most important relationship that determines everything else in my life is my walk with the Lord, but next is my wife, and I can’t afford to neglect that relationship. I know that throwing kids in the mix adds another level as well. The rest of my family is also very important to me. My job, hobbies and other relationships can’t take priority over family. The more complex life becomes, the more intentional we must be in prioritizing this.
“Number one, our marriage and family, is by far the most important. There’s not even a close second. This is our nonnegotiable. No one else in the world can raise our babies, and no one can better love and support my wife. No matter how successful I may have been at priorities two through a hundred in my life, if at the end of the day, I didn’t get number one right, I’ve failed (pg. 131).”
Mix it up.
I find it so impactful to be around people different than me. Thankfully, this is something that I learn more about each year that passes by. We all have certain types of people that we naturally gravitate and find comfort towards, which is normal. But we should all be intentional about trying to mix up our surroundings, so that our perspective can grow and the way we begin to relate to different people can become more real. This requires patience, humility and listening to others. I enjoyed reading about the early days of Chip Gaines’ career, as he worked in various environments that might not have been on his radar, but they all turned out to make him a stronger person and leader.
“If I populate my life with people just like me, then my world is going to be mighty small (pg. 145).”
“If you come to share, you also have come prepared to hear what is being said. Actually, it’s not enough to just hear, you must also listen (pg. 148).”
Take a risk.
Playing it safe is our natural tendency. If we choose to, we could live in a bubble our entire lives, with no risks involved. That is the easy option. But I’ve been learning that it’s not the best option. I’ve had many people in my life model what it looks like to take risks in faith. I admit that I have not been the best at it at times, and it scares me. But when I have stepped out in faith and taken a God-given risk, it always ends up being the best thing for me and others. Often times, the worst thing that can happen is not nearly as bad as we think.
“It is infinitely better to fail with courage than to sit idle with fear, because only one of these gives you the slightest chance to live abundantly. And if you do fail, then the worst case scenario is that you’ll learn something from it (pg.167).”
Make time to rest.
Some people just work, work and work some more. I think that we all tend to fall into this category at times. I’m not talking about working in order to provide, or working a little extra because you have to pay the bills. I’m talking about working in a way where you may be trying to prove or cover up something like insecurity, identity or addiction, or even to avoid something in your life that you don’t want to face. Work in itself is a gift, but it’s not meant to be everything or an idol in our lives. If work becomes #1, then other things that are more important can be neglected, including ourselves. Burn-out is real, which is why rest and balance is so important.
“We will just go and go with no break unless something knocks us in another direction. In today’s world, the tendency is sometimes viewed as a strength, but honestly, I’m not proud of it. In fact, I find it pretty unsettling (pg. 133).”
This is a great way to end, because it reminds me that there are always new goals to set and steps of progress to be made. I am so thankful for this truth about life. We have the ability and the choice to make to not settle and to not give up. Sometimes waiting may be the best thing for us, but sometimes it’s not. Go after it and dream big!
“Complacency is the enemy, and getting started is as triumphant as crossing the finish line. Your goal is too far off to have a straight line of sight to it. You have to keep moving forward. And when you think you are about to die, trust me, it’s just a tiny bit further (pg. 169).”
I hope this blog encouraged you. If you want more of this, you need to get a copy of this book! More information can be found HERE.